Posts Tagged ‘made’

Gift ideas for a biochemist, medical scientist or neuroscientist

// December 2nd, 2010 // Comments Off on Gift ideas for a biochemist, medical scientist or neuroscientist // Jibber Jabber, Science Art

Get a pair of double helix earrings or a neuron necklace. Each piece began as a sketch, then was modeled digitally, and finally cut with a laser beam.

These gorgeous creations are courtesy of Morphologica, a Sydney-based scientist completing a PhD in neuroscience.

More brain style jewelry from etsy: Funky anatomy style jewelry here – mostly pictures printed on plastic. Proper plastic models, brightly coloured and very cool brain earrings. Simple, stylized, silver neurons.

These happy anatomy magnets are incredibly cute, and would probably make you feel happier every time you walked past your fridge. $10 is a good deal, and they ship to the US & Canada (but worth a shot getting international shipping if you live elsewhere like me.) I also like this hotdog wielding anglerfish. Not exactly sciencey, but undeniably awesome.

There is no better way to say “you’re the best dang neuroscientist I know” than to give someone a brain in a jar. This one is green because it’s A ZOMBIE BRAIN IN A JAR!!! Awesome. They also come in pink.

And as decorations for a truly terrific tree. I’ll stop with the excessive linking, you should just check out the Your Organ Grinder etsy shop.

There’s heaps of handmade anatomy including lungs, hearts, ovaries, livers, kidneys, testicles. Ships worldwide.

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Mice make morphine, humans might too

// May 16th, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Drugs, Recent Research

Image licensed Armin Kübelbeck

A recent study has found that mice are able to turn something normally found in mice brains into morphine.

Morphine is a potent painkiller harvested from opium poppies. We can make it synthetically in the lab, but it’s cheaper to let plants do the hard work. If you haven’t taken morphine, you may have taken its sibling codeine. Codeine in converted to morphine in your liver, so it’s much the same thing albeit in a smaller dose.

For the study they labeled tetrahydropapaveroline (THP) found normally in mice brains. Labeling is often used in molecular biology, you can label things by including rare radioactive atoms, or by sticking another molecule onto the original molecule. It works like a tracking device.

The labeled THP was injected into mice, and out of their urine appeared labeled salutaridine which is a precursor to morphine in the opium poppies.

Then they labeled some synthetic salutaridine and injected it into the mice, and in the urine came out labeled thebaine. Labeled thebaine was injected and finally, lo and behold, labeled morphine appeared.

It took several steps, but the mouse converted THP into morphine. Here’s the kicker, THP is found normally in mice brains AND human brains! So this process could be happening in people. Right now, you could be making your own morphine. Indeed traces of morphine are found in human urine, but until now they weren’t sure if it was something in the diet.

If morphine is made in humans, what is it doing there? It could help control pain, which would explain why our bodies respond so strongly to a dose of morphine.

ResearchBlogging.orgGrobe, N., Lamshoft, M., Orth, R., Drager, B., Kutchan, T., Zenk, M., & Spiteller, M. (2010). Urinary excretion of morphine and biosynthetic precursors in mice Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107 (18), 8147-8152 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003423107

Gift Ideas for a Microbiologist or Pathologist

// November 20th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Just for Fun, Science Art

Christmas is coming up (freak out!) so here are some funky gift ideas for someone obsessed with bacteria, a microbiologist, pathologist, or anyone interested in science and medicine.

Giant Microbes make a crazy selection of bacteria, viruses and human cells in soft plushy goodness. I’m a sucker for teh cute and fluffies! They’ve just released six new products, including yoghurt, bird flu and this platelet cell.

Platelet Toy

Swine flu is also available which might be a good (or annoying) get well soon present. Nothing says “I care” like a big cuddly version of the virus making you feel like crap. They also have little ones packaged in a petri dish for some of the fancier viruses, like Hepatitis C and Tuberculosis.

Or how about a cheesy shirt, cap or cup from Cafe Press? Check out this bacteria-inspired wall clock.

Bacteria clock

Or a book about microbiology like this one I blogged about here. Small Wonders was written by a microbiologist, and is full of the amazing things bacterias do told with utmost humour. You can by it on Amazon.

smallwonders_LR

Or a new lab coat with added sexy. Check out this one by buffalonerdproject OMG OMG OMG it has the SKULL AND CROSSBONES!

Lab Coat

It’s only $50 US and you can buy it here. It’s pretty awesome. She also make a bacteria style tie called Mr. Euglena. SO cool! She combines science with sewing and has plenty of other unique creations.

Bacteria Tie

I should totally jazz up my old lab coat pirate-style.

This Paramecium Felt Keychain is pretty amazing. The same etsy store makes magnets, brooches and all sorts. Check out this microscope and beaker magnet set while you’re there.

If you have any other ideas for Christmas gifts, post them in the comments.

You might also like:
Gift Ideas for a Chemist or Chemistry Grad
Gift Ideas for a Biochemist, Medical Scientist, or Neuroscientist






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