Monday, August 31, 2015

Ebola Peptide Constructs Reveal Infective Mechanisms


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Once the Ebola virus (EBOV) gains entry and infects a host cell, a cascade of virally induced events switches the host to production of virus particles, thus propagating the infective process. Although much is known about the pathways involved, some missing steps still need to be uncovered. For this reason, Leung et al. (2015) used EBOV viral Read the rest of this article

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vacation

vacation

#worldtraveler day four

street art: artists?
A day lazily started.
We lounged on our last day, abandoning one plan and taking up a new one.
Another cable car start to the day, heading down Powell Street to Market, then over to the southside for Yerba Buena Gardens. We spent most of the midday at the Childrens Creativity Museum where the Wee Guy took advantage of the projects to create his own stop motion animation and a music video.
As with most activities designed for kids, there isn't a huge emphasis on extending attention spans, completion of projects, repetition and improvement, diligence, assimilation, perseverance ... I worry that society is conspiring to make my child feel that everything will be handed to him on an easy-feed plate, pre-masticated and perhaps even digested.
mr ebb and I had the most fun making the clay figures for the stop motion, coaxing lumps of clay around wire armatures. Meditative.
not quite Aardman
The end results - the movie clip - was satisfying too.
The fast immediacy and pace left us exhausted before we sped on to the next and the next ...
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We called a halt for lunch and a ride on the Zeum Carousel before resuming in the museum.
Eventually we escaped, ending the day as always with a trip to Humphrey Slocombe for ice cream :)
This time, we spent a little time wandering in the Ferry Building, picking up ingredients for dinner before heading back home via the California Streetcar.
coding with friends

4D Studios crew hard at work
Dinner with friends followed by more trips down memory lane, then Zzzzs.
All packed and ready for an early off. :(

Saturday, August 29, 2015

#worldtraveler day three


Itinerary day three:
Cable car Powell-Mason to Fisherman's Wharf area to pick up bike hire (one single, one tandem again), and meet up with Richard and Sarah for our epic ride over the bridge into Sausalito. Holly and Paula to walk/bus/taxi.
Amazingly, we all managed to meet up at our various gathering points before and during the ride. Great views, easy cycling with only a few uphill patches - easily managed with a very efficient set of gears on my bike. mr ebb and the Wee Guy look like tandem pros now.
Brdge traffic - only east side open, therefore stop/start pedaling among walkers. And look out for the Serious Road Cyclists who will keep to their training speeds regardless of how much path is open to them (lycra twats!).
The descent on the north side of the bridge into Sausalito is steep but not too scary, with only a couple of narrow areas to watch out for autos. Made it to the centre and found the ferry building. Holly and Paula caught a taxi from the bridge end.
So - Sausalito Ferry System = big disappointment.
Timed ticket system =  nowhere in sight.
Ferry company's answer to absent timed ticket system = stand in the full sun for over an hour to ensure you and your bike get on the ferry back to SFO.
A big fat bollocks to that one.
We chained our bikes en masse in the queue then left for shade/liquids/solids at a nearby cafe, returning just in time to untangle the bikes and embark.
Awesome bridge and Alcatraz views from the ferry, then thrilling return ride from the Ferry Building to Pier 39 area to return the bikes. Return to Ferry Building (for mmore ice cream) on the totally cute F line trams.
Cable car journey number 5 or 6 (losing count now, but the CityPass has been totally worth it for cable car alone) to Trader Joes to gather supplies; meal out at the Nob Hill Cafe (awesome pizza and carpaccio) then a trip down Memory Lane before zzzs.
Till day 4.
another awesome SFO sight: naked men on bicycles (look very closely!)

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Proteomics of Stem Cell Activity for Adult Muscle Function


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Although many lay readers consider stem cells as active only in the developing embryo, where they create new organs and body parts out of the conceptus primordial cellular soup, researchers now understand that stem cells play an equally important role in older bodies. Zhang et al. (2015)1 further add to this knowledge in their paper Read the rest of this article

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

#wordltraveler day two


Day two started as per day one - earlier than we expected for a holiday. Since mr ebb and I like to lay like slugs on days we do not have to work, rising around noon is common. Not this morning. We were out on the streets by 10:30am, heading northwards by cable car (side note: it's well worth grabbing a city pass or transit passport if you plan to take lots of cable car trips and visit a few attractions).
First stop - Lombard Street.
No skateboarding - for reals. It would be a truly crazy longboard route.
Then onwards, heading east all the way down then up Telegraph Hill to the Coitt Tower. Many thanks to the lovely man out sweeping his front step who told us about the steps on the other side of the hill that would take us down to Embarcadero.
The view from the top of the tower was worth the wait - 360 degrees of city and blue skies and bridges.
Lunch at Fog City - just the right amount of cesar salad, fries, cheeseburger, tuna melt and greens. Mmm!
Followed by more than two hours at the Exploratorium - Science World: why can't you be as educational as this place? Why do you have to pull for gimmicks, clickbait and sensationalism, dumbing the science down until it is all just whiz - bang - 'geethat'sawesome' inspirationaless flavourless pap that numbs the masses? /rant
Followed by ice creams at the intriguing Humphry Slocombe in the Ferry Building - oolong tea and nectarine plum for me; hot banana and vietnamese coffee for mr ebb; toast and jam with fudge sorbet for the Wee Guy.
Then just in time to meet up with friends from the UK finishing off the last US leg of their trip - meal out in Chinatown with ice cream and beer and wine back at the apartment.
Zzzzs.

spt27aug15: the ultimate spt


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#thisis50 on reflection

accepting dog into my life has been a great move :)
One last post (maybe) on life as a newly minted 50-year-old.
'Tis true - the 'notgiveafucks' are strong with this decade, as is the 'love the bod you're in' and 'celebrate the jiggles'.
While I'm still searching for the elusive work:life balance and feel the need to stay healthy|active|alive more keenly, I feel less likely to compromise or to give shits about anything other than my immediate nearest and dearest when they are in the line of fire. The preservation of self is closely tied with the immediate nearests and dearests, so prioritising self makes self sense in a selfish selfless way.
Yes?
Well, don't sweat it if you don't understand.

PS: birthday treats tally so far - two meals out :), chocolates, a new android tablet, a decrease in meals cooked by me, lots of putting my feet up while others slave around me, flowers (lots, and still more to come), cocktails (two big ones) ...


What Rot! Strawberry Proteomics and the Art of Staying Fresh


via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell http://ift.tt/1JzBtJZ

It’s summer and strawberries are on the menu – Wimbledon, Pimms, strawberry lemonade and all that jazz – but how do producers keep these succulent fruits in tiptop condition? Understanding more about how strawberries and other soft fruits mature during storage might lead to better environmental conditions that could preserve crop quality for consumer acceptance. Read the rest of this article

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#worldtraveler day one

after d1: family vacation? not yet
So far - 3 cable car trips; one Muni tram ride; one bus ride; ice creams; beach; museums = 1; Trader Joes = two visits

Not too late a start this morning - total surprise!
We caught a bus out to Haight Ashbury to pick up our bike rentals from San Francisco Bike Rentals (one comfort bike; one tandem!). I think this is the first holiday I've ever used the GPS on my phone to navigate on public transit. Before we flew out, I moved providers to Wind then picked up their Unlimited US Roaming package - so far (and I haven't seen any extra billing), it's working well. Seeing where we were going in real time, following the blue dot on Google Maps, is an interesting and less stressful way to travel.

By bike through Golden Gate Park for lunch by the beach - it's a fun and not too taxing ride along flattish trails and bike routes. Apart from a hissy spat from the Wee Guy about riding tandem, we sailed plainly. Comfort bike? - er no; my sit bones...
racing towards his prize: you cannot believe how excited this chap was to get into the museum
waxy monkey tree frogs relaxing
After lunch, we pedaled back through the park to check out the newly-remodeled-to-me California Academy of Science. Apart from missing the Larson exhibition, all was good. We did our Pacific NorthWest due diligence by experiencing an earthquake; we waved at the fish in the aquarium and ascended among the butterflies in the rainforest canopy; we topped out on the Living Roof, making notes on the drought resistant plants thriving in situ.
soda and ice cream bar
(returning for the grown ups sodas on sale soon, i hope)

After returning the bikes, we managed a traditional upside down dinner by having ice cream sandwiches at The Ice Cream Bar on Cole Street, before catching a street tram back to the Powell Street cable car turntable to catch a ride up the hill to go home.
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And this turned out to be an unexpected highlight of the day. Not only did we managed to grab the outward facing seats on cable car one, but we stood on the running boards on car number two. The Wee Guy's face was a picture as we clanged down the gradients, with him safely confined in mr ebb's arms.
Stopped by Trader Joes for a pizza for dinner and then back to the chardonnay for the evening.
Day one - done.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

neverending birthday continues?


I admit. I've felt really pampered over the last few days ... but enough of the birthday. 50 rocks (so far).

Summer is drawing to a close and we're grabbing some time together as a family. Indulging my twitchy feet and training the Wee Guy in How To Travel.

Stay tuned! Mostly pictures.
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