- ranking universities =nonsense
- sporting nonsense
- not a serial murderer
- didn't kill her two kids
- not an arsenic-based life-form
- bloody certainty
- killer kittens = bollix
- grassing up the cuckolds
- medical error
Now you can get the dope on happiness [exec summary - it's complicated]:
Palomino, who should know better, recently sent me a little movie-gif with an explanatory caption "What you see is a myosin protein dragging an endorphin along a filament to the inner part of the brain's parietal cortex which creates happiness. Happiness. You're looking at happiness.”
We all have our domain of expertise. Jeremy Bentham, spent his life thinking about political philosophy so was able to be confident in his dismissal of The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen as "nonsense on stilts". Last Saturday I was talking to our amazing diagnostic plumber and was able to share the old joke about the itemised invoice. Michael-the-plumber seems to be able to work out what's wrong with pretty much any system involving liquids valves spiggots and/or electricity . . . and fix it with €30 in parts and about the same in labour. Me, I teach Human Physiology, so I've had to internalise the relative size of the working parts of a cell. I wish I could transmit this knowledge to my students! I've tried to present it as a scale-of-the-solar-system metaphor, with only partial success.
ANNyway, the scaling of the endorphin /myosin / happiness-is-a-drag cartoon seemed all wrong but it took me 10 minutes to tie down some numbers so that any scale bar could be shown to be internally inconsistent. My initial response there fore was :
Yerp? It's a cartoon, X. And whatever is going on the caption doesn't match the scaling. Myosin is a long string of a protein about 2000 AA / 160nm long. Endorphins OTOH are chunky but much small molecules about 30 AA long. The huge green thang in the gif could be a cell - 10,000nm in diameter but it looks too small to be 100x wider than the myosin is long. So I'm at a loss but my skeptic hat is throbbing.
I then went off to google the source of the gif and its caption: "myosin endorphins" and found that many people had been trawling the interweb along similar tracks "myosin endorphins snopes" was, for example, one of the top Google guess-the-punter's-mind completions. This led me to a much more realistic answer: "That's kinesin transporting a vesicle along a microtubule."
So I gave myself a big duh-slap and wrote:
Silly me. If it's too big to be a macromolecule and too small to be a cell it must be a sub-cellular organelle:
And cited myself about questions of size as above. Everything I know is in The Blob, but there's so much crud in there that it's hard to find relevant bits of information. What's a vesicle? It's a small membrane-bound thing of which every cell has dozens to hundreds. The vesicle in the cartoon might be loaded with endorphins, in the same way as a lysosome is loaded with hexosaminidase, but conflating the two is like saying that the passenger is the bus.
According to Google it's my birthday today. It is not. Like the happiness-is-a-drag meme has been circulating as truth for the last 6 months, Today-is-Bob's-bday is another example of GiGo - garbage in garbage out. I've no idea who / when / how Google+ acquired the incorrect data. It's always best to put the truth down in these cases, that way you're not required to remember your lies. Yest, I had to fire-up the new wifi dongle over the phone with an operative who was required only to speak to the Named Subscriber. As The Beloved is in France for two weeks I had to stoutly assert that, like the Boy named Sue, my folks had called me Roberta - and I knew her birthday when asked: phew!
yep - it came top of a google search. My non-scientist daughter sent me the gif and i love it! I have been acting this process to my students for years; not least as it really is one of the wonders of the science world. Getting vesicles from cell bodies at base of spine to synapses in your toe is no mean feat. And you are of course right i am sure. I work on axonal transport and to me this is obviously a vesicle, kinesin/dynein, microtubule combo. We model this in drosophila and show its disrupted by tau and is a GSK3 dependent process. But who cares? Its a fab gif and now the students are spared me being an idiot in my lectures......ReplyDelete
so it's something real, just not what the caption says it is?Delete
Yes, that's the point, I guess. Although how 'real' our understanding of sub-microscopic molecular processes is, that's open to question.Delete
Simon: A scientist who brings theatre to class, that's a man after my own heart and practice. Often it's the only thing retained by the students beyond the next quiz. "Remember the time you went all antic as a receptor protein bobbing about in a membrane?"Delete
Like a cartoon sperm with a leer in his eye;and an ovum with long eyelashes and a coy smile.
Your post at 5:55 caused vibration in my being... that's my favorite time twice a day and I seem to bump into it often in other circumstances :-) So what is the "stilt walking nonsense" all about? Can you point me to the "real" explanation?ReplyDelete
Deb: I thought I'd explained it. It's a molecule called kinesin dragging a vesicle (a part of the cell full of some active molecules) from one side of a cell to the other. It's not an endorphin molecule. Anyway, it's only a cartoon but trying to explain a complex and vital process in normal cell activity. It's all very small!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for re-clarifying. I was reading from too many sources and wanted to make sure I was getting my info straight! We appreciate your help on this!Delete
Either way, this gif made my day!!!ReplyDelete
Appreciate the explanation.. thanks! However, it was a little insulting to read that I came here because my crap-detector needs polishing. I would say it is functioning quite well, which is why I left my cozy Facebook sanctum for a reality check on this gif.ReplyDelete
The post has been edited to show a simple grammatical error where the writer used the wrong words. Your crap detector is finely tuned.Delete
Touché - quite right. That was me being glib/lazy.ReplyDelete
I am glad that I checked this out before spreading it furthrr on the web.ReplyDelete
It's an animation. See: http://easternblot.net/2016/02/12/image-origins-that-walking-molecule/ReplyDelete
Thank you for the link for the video! It's pretty cool!ReplyDelete
It's sad that this does not represent an accurate visual depiction of happiness. However, it looks so cool and just watching it strut along, causes happiness to occur in me. So, just like with any other form of fiction, I will just have to partake in my suspension of disbelief and just enjoy.ReplyDelete