Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Venezuelan poodle moth and others

I was browsing through The Scientist and came across this image of a Venezuelan poodle moth that I could not resist sharing: What is interesting about this particular moth is that scientists are currently trying to figure out exactly what type of moth it is (its phylogeny). Needless to say, the image of this fluffy moth has gone viral. The flickr website by Dr. Arthur Anker, a Zoologist, contains photos of numerous other […]

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Epilepsy medication reverses symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Researchers Sanchez et al. from the Gladstone Institute, University of California San Francisco and Washington University School of Medicine discovered that an FDA-approved anti-convulsant medication used to treat epilepsy (levetiracetam) can also reverse memory loss in addition to reducing other Alzheimer’s related symptoms in a mouse model of the disease. Alzheimer’s is currently the most common form of dementia (memory loss) representing 50-80% of cases. It is a disease that worsens over time. Although […]

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100-year old manuscript talks about the sexual “crimes” of penguins

According to the report on the Discover Magazine website, George Levick, a surgeon and zoologist, went on an Antarctic expedition with Captain Robert Scott (the Terra Nova Expedition) where he spent time observing and documenting the largest colony of Adélie penguins at Cape Adare (image above). Following his trip he published a story about the penguins for the general public as well as a scientific account. It was in this second document that he wrote […]

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Catnip for dogs?

A reader asked if there was an herb equivalent to catnip for dogs. In my search for the answer to that question, I came across many articles claiming that although some dogs will actually respond to catnip, aniseed is to dogs what catnip is to cats. Foxhounds will reportedly follow the scent of anise oil in drag hunting and the artificial rabbit that greyhound dogs chase during racing is laced […]

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Octopus smarts caught on video…and I only thought they could open jars

It seems that octopuses are even smarter, and more fearless, than previously thought. It has been known for some time that they can be trained to open jars to obtain treats as shown in the promotional video for “Aliens of the Deep Sea” shown below: There are even stories of them purposefully escaping their own tank to snack on fish in a tank nearby. More recently, the animals have been […]

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Bee Sting Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

I’m really afraid of bees. I’ve only been stung once, and after 2 seconds of pure torture, I thought the end of the world was approaching. Now I’m reading that there might be a way to use bee venom to help individuals with multiple sclerosis and arthritis… by voluntarily being stung! It sounds crazy, but it’s been shown to help some individuals. This video from National Geographic (https://youtu.be/p245IE6_qf8) shows the […]

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