ant colony (previously ant comic) by canadian artist michael deforge is in book form now!
i don’t give myself enough time to explore comics/graphic novels but this is one, which i encountered a couple years ago, that utterly kidnapped and captivated my attention. so unsettling and beautiful and lost weird. a strange mix of casual biology, entomology, and just existentialism. ch-ch-ch-check it!
web version
ant colony on amazon $17.34

ant colony (previously ant comic) by canadian artist michael deforge is in book form now!

i don’t give myself enough time to explore comics/graphic novels but this is one, which i encountered a couple years ago, that utterly kidnapped and captivated my attention. so unsettling and beautiful and lost weird. a strange mix of casual biology, entomology, and just existentialism. ch-ch-ch-check it!

web version

ant colony on amazon $17.34

johnliebler

johnliebler:

#video #medical #animation #pharmaceutical #cell #biology #science #demoreel #artofthecell

if you liked that kinesin (walking motor protein) gif, check out the artists work and follow his tumblr!

shychemist
mindblowingscience:

Artificial sweeteners linked to obesity epidemic, scientists say

Artificial sweeteners may exacerbate, rather than prevent, metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, a study suggests.
Calorie-free artificial sweeteners are often chosen by dieters in part because they are thought not to raise blood sugar levels.
In Wednesday’s issue of the journal Nature, researchers report that artificial sweeteners increase the blood sugar levels in both mice and humans by interfering with microbes in the gut.Increased blood sugar levels are an early indicator of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease.
The increase in consumption of artificial sweeteners coincides with the obesity and diabetes epidemics, Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and his co-authors said.
"Our findings suggest that non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight."
Link to gut bacteria
The study included a series of experiments.
Mice whose drinking water was supplemented with glucose and a sweetener developed glucose intolerance compared with mice drinking water alone, or water with just sugar in it. The effect occurred both in mice fed normal chow and those on a high-fat diet.
When antibiotics were used to kill off gut bacteria, the artificial sweetener effect on glucose intolerance in mice fed either diet was restored to normal.
Taken together, the data indicate that artificial sweeteners “may contribute to, rather than alleviate, obesity-related metabolic conditions, by altering the composition and function of bacterial populations in the gut,” Cathryn Nagler and Taylor Feehley of the pathology department at the University of Chicago said in a journal commentary.
In the human part of the research, gut bacteria were analyzed from 381 non-diabetics averaging age 43 who were participating in an ongoing nutrition study.  They found differences in the gut bacteria among those who consumed artificial sweeteners compared with those who did not.
Artificial sweetener consumers showed “markers” for diabetes, such as raised blood sugar levels and glucose intolerance.
More research needed 
In the final portion of the study, seven human volunteers who didn’t normally consume artificial sweeteners added it to their diets for seven days. After four days, blood glucose levels rose and the makeup of their gut bacteria changed in half of the participants, just as in the mice experiment.
To confirm the findings, the researchers also transferred feces from people who consume artificial sweeteners into mice that were bred to have sterile intestines and never consumed it before. The mice who had saccharin became glucose intolerant, which suggests that the artificial sweetener caused the unhealthy effect.
It could be that artificial sweeteners lead to an expansion of bacterial species that extract energy from food that often gets stored as fat, contributing to obesity, Nagler said. It’s also possible the sweeteners could suppress the growth of other bacteria that seem to stave off insulin resistance, she said.
The commentators suggested studies to identify specific bacterial populations that promote resistance to weight gain or improve glucose tolerance could be useful as treatments.
Other experts who were not involved in the research called the findings intriguing, but noted that the human findings in particular were very preliminary in terms of considering changes to nutrition recommendations.
"This research raises caution that [non-caloric artificial sweeteners] may not represent the ‘innocent magic bullet’ they were intended to be to help with the obesity and diabetes epidemics, but it does not yet provide sufficient evidence to alter public health and clinical practice," said Nita Forouhi, program leader at the Medical Research Council’s epidemiology unit at Cambridge University.


"…Not everyone agrees with the design the researchers used to address the question about artificial sweeteners and weight gain. Christopher Gardner, a food scientist at Stanford University who didn’t participate in the study, says that the fact that the researchers gave the FDA’s maximal acceptable daily intake of saccharin to the human participants — about 5 mg / kg body weight per day — isn’t ideal. In a real-life setting, that dose would be the equivalent to a 150-pound person consuming 8.5 12-ounce sodas per day, or 42 packets of pink Sweet ‘n Low per day.* “That may be ‘acceptable’ according to some set of guidelines,” Gardner wrote in an email, “but it should be noted that realistically this is a very high dose they are using and one that wouldn’t be consumed by a typical consumer…”
 8.5 12-ounce sodas per day, or 42 packets of pink Sweet ‘n Low per day.* 
*article linked below has the numbers switched
(source)
so sustained, excessive consumption results in a possible concern? compare that to actual sugar, where serious known issues are highly likely with much lower quantities…
also, not all artificial sweeteners are the same. this write up fails to mention which ones the study was looking at. they were: aspartame, sucralose, saccharin

mindblowingscience:

Artificial sweeteners linked to obesity epidemic, scientists say

Artificial sweeteners may exacerbate, rather than prevent, metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, a study suggests.

Calorie-free artificial sweeteners are often chosen by dieters in part because they are thought not to raise blood sugar levels.

In Wednesday’s issue of the journal Nature, researchers report that artificial sweeteners increase the blood sugar levels in both mice and humans by interfering with microbes in the gut.Increased blood sugar levels are an early indicator of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease.

The increase in consumption of artificial sweeteners coincides with the obesity and diabetes epidemics, Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and his co-authors said.

"Our findings suggest that non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight."

Link to gut bacteria

The study included a series of experiments.

Mice whose drinking water was supplemented with glucose and a sweetener developed glucose intolerance compared with mice drinking water alone, or water with just sugar in it. The effect occurred both in mice fed normal chow and those on a high-fat diet.

When antibiotics were used to kill off gut bacteria, the artificial sweetener effect on glucose intolerance in mice fed either diet was restored to normal.

Taken together, the data indicate that artificial sweeteners “may contribute to, rather than alleviate, obesity-related metabolic conditions, by altering the composition and function of bacterial populations in the gut,” Cathryn Nagler and Taylor Feehley of the pathology department at the University of Chicago said in a journal commentary.

In the human part of the research, gut bacteria were analyzed from 381 non-diabetics averaging age 43 who were participating in an ongoing nutrition study.  They found differences in the gut bacteria among those who consumed artificial sweeteners compared with those who did not.

Artificial sweetener consumers showed “markers” for diabetes, such as raised blood sugar levels and glucose intolerance.

More research needed

In the final portion of the study, seven human volunteers who didn’t normally consume artificial sweeteners added it to their diets for seven days. After four days, blood glucose levels rose and the makeup of their gut bacteria changed in half of the participants, just as in the mice experiment.

To confirm the findings, the researchers also transferred feces from people who consume artificial sweeteners into mice that were bred to have sterile intestines and never consumed it before. The mice who had saccharin became glucose intolerant, which suggests that the artificial sweetener caused the unhealthy effect.

It could be that artificial sweeteners lead to an expansion of bacterial species that extract energy from food that often gets stored as fat, contributing to obesity, Nagler said. It’s also possible the sweeteners could suppress the growth of other bacteria that seem to stave off insulin resistance, she said.

The commentators suggested studies to identify specific bacterial populations that promote resistance to weight gain or improve glucose tolerance could be useful as treatments.

Other experts who were not involved in the research called the findings intriguing, but noted that the human findings in particular were very preliminary in terms of considering changes to nutrition recommendations.

"This research raises caution that [non-caloric artificial sweeteners] may not represent the ‘innocent magic bullet’ they were intended to be to help with the obesity and diabetes epidemics, but it does not yet provide sufficient evidence to alter public health and clinical practice," said Nita Forouhi, program leader at the Medical Research Council’s epidemiology unit at Cambridge University.

"…Not everyone agrees with the design the researchers used to address the question about artificial sweeteners and weight gain. Christopher Gardner, a food scientist at Stanford University who didn’t participate in the study, says that the fact that the researchers gave the FDA’s maximal acceptable daily intake of saccharin to the human participants — about 5 mg / kg body weight per day — isn’t ideal. In a real-life setting, that dose would be the equivalent to a 150-pound person consuming 8.5 12-ounce sodas per day, or 42 packets of pink Sweet ‘n Low per day.* “That may be ‘acceptable’ according to some set of guidelines,” Gardner wrote in an email, “but it should be noted that realistically this is a very high dose they are using and one that wouldn’t be consumed by a typical consumer…”

 8.5 12-ounce sodas per day, or 42 packets of pink Sweet ‘n Low per day.* 

*article linked below has the numbers switched

(source)

so sustained, excessive consumption results in a possible concern? compare that to actual sugar, where serious known issues are highly likely with much lower quantities…

also, not all artificial sweeteners are the same. this write up fails to mention which ones the study was looking at. they were: aspartame, sucralose, saccharin

gif’d an animation of cellular respiration in preparation for my lesson on mitochondria. 

for complex things such as this process, i find that videos (even the better ones) are just to fast or arbitrarily sequential to use as a classroom teaching method. alternatively, static diagrams utterly fail to convey the process or end up getting super cluttered in an attempt to include everything. looped gifs seem to be an ideal medium in the absence of some sort of interactive, dynamic thing.

(sauce)