Mar. 24th, 2017

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People Are Adding ‘And Then the Murders Began’ To Famous Book Openings, and It’s HILARIOUS

Marc Laidlaw @marc_laidlaw
The first line of almost any story can be improved by making sure the second line is, "And then the murders began."
11:37 PM - 2 Mar 2017

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

One sunny Sunday, the caterpillar was hatched out of a tiny egg. He was very hungry. And then the murders began.
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An Unexpected New Lung Function Has Been Found - They Make Blood

Researchers have discovered that the lungs play a far more complex role in mammalian bodies than we thought, with new evidence revealing that they don't just facilitate respiration - they also play a key role in blood production.

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While the lungs have been known to produce a limited amount of platelets - platelet-forming cells called megakaryocytes have been identified in the lungs before - scientists have long assumed that most of the cells responsible for blood production are kept inside the bone marrow.

Here, a process called haematopoiesis was thought to churn out oxygen-laden red blood cells, infection-fighting white blood cells, and platelets - blood components required for the clotting that halts bleeding.

But scientists have now watched megakaryocytes functioning from within the lung tissue to produce not a few, but most of the body's platelets.

So how did we miss such a crucial biological process this whole time?

The discovery was made possible by a new type of technology based on two-photon intravital imaging - a similar technique to one used by a separate team this week to discover a previously unidentified function of the brain's cerebellum.

The process involves inserting a substance called green fluorescent protein (GFP) into the mouse genome - a protein that's naturally produced by bioluminescent animals such as jellyfish, and is harmless to living cells.

The mouse platelets started to emit bright green fluorescence as they circulated around the body in real time, allowing the team to trace their paths like never before.

They noticed a surprisingly large population of platelet-producing megakaryocytes inside the lung tissue, which initially didn't make much sense, seeing as they're usually associated with bone marrow.

"When we discovered this massive population of megakaryocytes that appeared to be living in the lung, we realised we had to follow this up," says one of the team, Emma Lefrançais.

They found that this huge supply of megakaryocytes is actually producing more than 10 million platelets per hour in the lungs of mice, which means at least half of the body's total platelet production is occurring in the lungs.

Here's what it looks like:

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My Mom

Mar. 24th, 2017 10:59 pm
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Mom is afraid of spiders and detests crickets, the latter she will beat to death with a flipflop. But she taught us how to catch bees and wasps and spiders using facial tissues and jars so we could release them out into the wild where they belong. She is not afraid of snakes.

Copperheads are a poisonous variety of snake. Early one cold morning while camping she came upon a curled up snake on the path to the campground restrooms. She picked it up, uncoiled it, marvelled at how beautiful it was then put it off the path and curled it up again. Cold snakes are sluggish so she didn't get bit.

Now she is in her nineties and has a walker and lives with my sister. During the time my sister is working there's a nice lady who comes in and helps her but there is a bit of time when she is able to be left alone without any problem. They have cats.

So while in the bathroom she notices a thin 4" black snake. She knew it was a mud snake, non-poisonous and rarely if ever would bite. She was worried for the snake in a house with cats. Unable to rescue the snake what does she do... I was on the phone with her when she told my sister what had happened. She's unable to get down to the floor and back by herself so... she calls 911. A very nice police officer came to the house and rescued the snake. My sister is hysterical with laughter with the occasional cries of, 'it's written up on the police blotter. Rescued snake from house.'


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