Posts tagged animals
This incredible photo marks the end of Matador Torero Alvaro Munera’s career. He collapsed in remorse mid-fight when he realized he was having to prompt this otherwise gentle beast to fight. He went on to become an avid opponent of bullfights. (The look on this bull’s face says it all for me. Even grievously wounded by picadors, he did not attack this man.)
Torrero Munera is quoted as saying of this moment: “And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer - because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth.”
“Cows are amongst the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them; and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures.”
Octopuses Rewrite Their RNA to Beat the Cold
by Mitch Leslie
An octopus dwelling in the frigid waters of the Antarctic doesn’t wear gloves on its tentacles, but it has found another way to endure the cold. A new study shows that this animal uses a trick called RNA editing to customize crucial nervous system proteins to work at low temperatures. The paper is the first to reveal that RNA editing, not just changes to a specific gene, can lead to adaptations.
Low temperatures hamper certain proteins that allow the nervous system to send signals. When a nerve cell fires, protein channels in its membrane open or close to allow various ions in or out. And when the electrical charge across the cell membrane returns to normal, the ion channels that let potassium ions out shut. But frigid temperatures can delay the potassium channels’ closing, hindering the neuron’s ability to fire again. So researchers hypothesized that species inhabiting frigid climates have modified their potassium channels so they work better in the cold.
Molecular neurophysiologist Joshua Rosenthal of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan and his graduate student Sandra Garrett figured they knew how that adjustment would occur. “We thought we were going to see changes at the level of the gene,” Rosenthal says. That is, they expected the potassium channel genes from cold-living species would have evolved so that they produce a slightly different protein that performs better at low temperatures…
(read more: Science NOW) (photo: Sandra Garrett)