Cell phone records for sale?

I wonder if this is still going on? “Americablogs buys General Wes Clark’s phone records” from 2006. I’m afraid anyone who buys mine is going to find them pretty boring.

Sysadmin cat

more animals

Turtle yoga class

It’s a long time since I’ve seen this many turtles together in the wild. Shifting baselines, anyone?

Originally uploaded by birdologist

LOLcreashun on Flickr

I’ve been linking some of my photos on Flickr to the places they were taken. When I came to my LOLcreashun images, it occurred to me that I could link them to Ken Ham’s religiouis amusement park. So I looked up the (Christian) Creation Museum. It’s at 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road Petersburg, KY. And I linked a few pictures to it, with added commentary. I think you can look at them if you go here: the Creation Museum map.

Exercise to prevent aging

Via Tangled Bank, “Exercise Mimetics” tells us how to prevent aging: Avoid tobacco, eat a reasonable diet, and get plenty of exercise.

But now, an exercise pill might be in the works!

Enter the era of PPARβ/δ and AMPK agonists. From Narkar et al.:

AMPK and PPARδ Agonists Are Exercise Mimetics

The benefits of endurance exercise on general health make it desirable to identify orally active agents that would mimic or potentiate the effects of exercise to treat metabolic diseases. Although certain natural compounds, such as reseveratrol, have endurance-enhancing activities, their exact metabolic targets remain elusive. We therefore tested the effect of pathway-specific drugs on endurance capacities of mice in a treadmill running test. We found that PPARβ/δ agonist and exercise training synergistically increase oxidative myofibers and running endurance in adult mice. Because training activates AMPK and PGC1α, we then tested whether the orally active AMPK agonist AICAR might be sufficient to overcome the exercise requirement. Unexpectedly, even in sedentary mice, 4 weeks of AICAR treatment alone induced metabolic genes and enhanced running endurance by 44%. These results demonstrate that AMPK-PPARδ pathway can be targeted by orally active drugs to enhance training adaptation or even to increase endurance without exercise.

Botany photo of the day: mammalian pollinator

Beautiful photographs show a recently discovered bat pollinating a flower with a long tube.

The flower of the plant species, Centropogon nigricans, is exclusively pollinated by the tube-lipped nectar bat, Anoura fistulata. In other words, this is an example of obligate pollination. It’s also thought to be a prime example of co-evolution (PDF). Dr. Muchhala described Anoura fistulata in a 2005 paper, so this bat species was unknown to science as recently as three or four years ago. Native to the outer slopes of the Andes in Ecuador, Anoura fistulata has the longest tongue relative to its body length of any mammal — so long, in fact, that it is necessary for it to retract its tongue into its rib cage.

Now go and look at the pictures.

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