A Longer Ending

DNA has many ways of protecting itself. Its end sections, called telomeres, are only a buffer to stop the essential middle being worn away. Telomeres start long in embryos and shorten as you age, causing some symptoms of ageing. Scientists have developed mice with hyper-long telomeres by taking early embryo cells – the only cell type that can lengthen their telomeres – and allowing them to divide in a dish for a while before letting them develop into embryos. The resulting mice had cells with a mix of telomeres: the top image shows a magnified section of intestine with cells containing hyper-long telomeres in green. Below is a computer-generated map of the intestinal cells with the very longest telomeres highlighted in orange. Parts of the mice containing cells with hyper-long telomeres healed wounds faster. Lengthening telomeres was already possible, but previous methods caused extra risk to the mice, which this technique avoids.

Written by Esther Redhouse White

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theimaginatorifunny  asked:

Hidden/slumbering and accidentally forgotten Castle Guardians/Sentinels...? Like, gold and silver paladins with their own special bayards? (how does one spell that word?!)

Dude, I am all game for them finding more Alteans! And I’m not just talking about Romelle or Avox as distant Alteans who survived Zarkon’s genocide and made a new home; I’m talking cryo-frozen Alteans whose last memories were of the planet burning and the King ordering all of his subjects to flee from the Galra as quickly as they could. Coran and Allura need more Alteans to relate to and the paladins need more people to help train them the way they were trained 10,000 years ago.

I’m guessing these paladins were elite warriors or guardsmen, chosen to protect the Castle of Lions and the royal family of Altea. These two were charged by Alfor after he put Coran and Allura to sleep to watch over them and to make sure no harm befell them, but they weren’t woken up until the mice accidentally discovered the pods and alerted Allura to their existence. They were put through boot-camp hell and trained from a young age to protect the King and his family and were chosen for their empathetic powers and quick minds. They are crazy good at what they do and will give up their lives to protect their charges; I can just see Keith lowkey fangirling when they totally obliterate the Gladiators in the training arena without even breaking a sweat. Shiro has two more sparring partners who can keep up with him and give him a real challenge.

(Image caption: Test phase of the floor-texture recognition task. A mouse explores the object located in the textured side of the room during the test-phase of the task. Overall, well-rested mice spent more time doing this than exploring the object on the smooth side of the room, indicating that they remembered the smooth-floor experience from the sampling phase of the task. In contrast, the behavior of sleep deprived mice and those who had the top-down pathway inhibited did not indicate that they remembered the smooth-floor experience)

Mimicking deep sleep brain activity improves memory

It is not surprising that a good night’s sleep improves our ability to remember what we learned during the day. Now, researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered a brain circuit that governs how certain memories are consolidated in the brain during sleep. Published in the May 26 issue of Science magazine, the study shows how experimentally manipulating the identified neural connection during non-REM sleep (deep sleep) can prevent or enhance memory retention in mice.

The team led by Masanori Murayama studied the long-known phenomenon of memory consolidation during sleep by building off their recent study on tactile perception in which they found that perceiving texture requires signaling within a neural circuit from higher-level motor-related brain regions back to lower-level touch-related sensory areas. They reasoned that the same “top-down” pathway might also consolidate memories of textures. Explains Murayama, “There is a long standing hypothesis that top-down input is crucial for memory consolidation and that during sleep, neurons in sensory regions activated during the initial experience can “reactivate” by unknown pathways. We found such reactivation of the top-down pathway is critical for mice to encode memories of their tactile experiences.”

The researchers developed a task to assess memory retention that relies on the natural inclination of mice to spend more time investigating new items in their environment. First they allowed mice to explore objects in two rooms with smooth floors, then they changed one of the smooth floors to a textured floor and again allowed the mice to explore. With normal sleep, mice spent more time exploring the room with the textured floor, showing that they remembered the smooth room and were less interested in it. Typically, this behavior was observed as long as the second exploration occurred within two days.

To examine whether the top down circuit was responsible for memory consolidation during sleep, they manipulated the mice in several ways. First, they showed that sleep deprivation immediately following the first tactile experience caused mice to explore the textured room less often on the second exploration, indicating that they did not remember the smooth room. Next, they inactivated the top-down neural pathway during non-REM sleep shortly after the first exploration and found that during the second exploration, mice performed as if they had been sleep deprived. Silencing the top-down pathway when mice were awake or during non-REM sleep at later times had no effect on performance, indicating that memory consolidation happened in the first bout of non-REM sleep after the experience.  

The importance of top-down circuit activation in non-REM sleep suggested that memory consolidation might involve synchronous slow wave brain activity between the two brain regions that is characteristic of non-REM sleep. To test this, they artificially applied synchronous or asynchronous activity in the higher and lower regions of the circuit during non-REM sleep after the first tactile experience. Mice with asynchronous activation were unable to consolidate memories, but synchronous activation allowed them to retain a strong memory of the smooth floor for at least 4 days or twice as long as normal. The synchronous treatment even rescued the typical lack of memory retention in sleep-deprived mice.

“Our findings on sleep deprivation are particularly interesting from a clinical perspective,” says Murayama. “Patients who suffer from sleep disorders often have impaired memory functions. Our findings suggest a route to therapy using transcortical magnetic or direct-current stimulation to top down cortical pathways  to reactivate sleep-deprived neurons during non-REM sleep. Our next step is to test this in mouse models of sleep-disorders.“                                                

Art Framing with E.J. Barnes
The Boston Comics Roundtable will host a hands-on art-framing workshop led by artist EJ Barnes on Sunday, July 30th. She will cover such topics as how to prepare art for framing, where to buy frame pieces online for maximum flexibility and value, and what sort of hangers galleries prefer. Barnes will also show her special technique of displaying word balloons on comics art even if you added your lettering digitally. About EJ BarnesBarnes is a professional artist and art teacher in Cambridge. She has published many of her own comics as well as contributing to such anthologies as Hellbound, Inbound, and Colonial Comics. She has also exhibited and sold her work across the country. You can find more about EJ Barnes’s work at www.ejbarnes.com.

I’m giving an updated version of the framing workshop I gave last fall at the Boston Comics Workspace. If you have comic or cartoon art you want to be able to hang on the wall – at galleries, the MICE Art Show, or your own Open Studio event – come watch demonstrations of various techniques for making your art presentable in a professional art setting. Sign up for the Saturday, 30 July event on EventBrite.

yoooooo collab with my best friend @starcipher…. we’ve never actually finished a collab before despite knowing each other siNCE WE WERE BABIES… they sketched/did lineart and I colored

Allura and the space mice cuz they’re cute!

Some more Mirollura things. 

  • Shiro loves watching Allura and Matt dive into a project. Slums, hordes of refugees, they can handle anything. In turn, Matt loves seeing Shiro and Allura go all “Princess and Paladin of Voltron” on people, full dazzle and diplomacy. 
  • Pidge now has too many older siblings looking out for her well being. Shiro fussing over her, she could manage but now Matt and Allura get in on it too. She gets tired of having to point out that she’s perfectly competent and in fact broke into the Garrison multiple times and held her own alone against Sendak’s forces for them. 
  • They have to be careful not to accidentally squish the mice when there’s three of them in bed together.
  • Matt and his bf and gf both of whom can bench press him. 
  • Shiro and his bf and gf both of whom can murder you. Allura and Matt get ruthless. 
  • Not even so much PDA but publicly being mushy and constantly complimenting each other. It’s awful and makes everyone vaguely nauseous when they start one of their rounds of “no, you’re the best””no, you’re the best”. 
  • On the other hand the fights are epic. Usually if two of them are on one side the other will concede defeat which prevents most arguments but if they’re on three different sides, or worse, someone is caught in the middle? It’s terrifying. Matt and Allura are the worst offenders, Shiro gets caught in the crossfire too often. 
  • All the sort of people who very carefully pick up the spider and take it outside, unless it’s dangerous in which case Allura has to assassinate it.
  • Breakfast in bed. It’s one of the only ways to get away from the chaos of Team Voltron and have some peace and quiet.  

Otoya-jinja is further along the path. It is very old, dating back to the establishment of Kyoto. It is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the kami that protect this side of the city. I love spaces where people have been praying for a long time. Mice are important here to honor their role in the trails of Okuninushi to win the hand of Susano-o no mikoto’s daughter, Suseri-hime.  There are lots of different animal statues at Otoya-jinja, I imagine it is all the animals that helped their love quest. I love the the last one’s wolfy smile.

honestly im?? so happy with the new princess allura. ive seen the original voltron and yes, whilst allura was pretty awesome, she could have been so, so much better and was honestly a little two-dimensional.

but now?? we have a very smart, very well-rounded princess of colour who’s badass enough to give leia a run for her money. plus, she isn’t sexualised in any way (take notes, joss whedon)!!

allura’s also an EXCELLENT fighter and is incredibly strong without falling into the “overly hardcore tomboy girl with 4 brothers” stereotype. she likes feminine things, her best friends are adorable little mice, she could probably kill someone with her bare hands and she’s still a wise person and a caring friend.

fucking bless the voltron reboot

I was tagged by @heartfulloffandoms (thank you (:)

1. Spell your name with song titles.

b - ben threw - of mice and men

r - rage - attila

i - i am free - we came as romans

t - throne - bring me the horizon

t - troll - the plot in you

a - azalee - betraying the martyrs

n - not enough - memphis may fire

y - youngbloods - the amity affliction

2. Why did you choose your url?
because i thought it sounded cool.

3. What is your middle name?

4. If you could be a mythological creature, what would you be?
probably a dragon.

5. What’s your favorite color?
blue and purple.

6. A song you like right now?
vice grip - parkway drive

7. Top four fandoms:
the walking dead, the last of us, the music i enjoy fandom, lord of the rings.

8. Tag 9 people:
@sarabeaarr @whoa–nelly @flordewitt @acelarac @joelmiller @benihime @beardedjoel @elizabooze @kirsctein