The Butterfly of the Sea

This is fish is called the Sea Robin, otherwise known as a Gurnard or The Butterfly of the Sea. This interesting fish is a bottom dweller. They have several sets of specialized fins, including some that allow the fish to swim and others that let it perch on the seafloor. It’s not related to flying fish, nor do they glide in air. The Sea Robin’s large pectoral fins are normally held against the body, but are spread out when threatened to put off predators.

source 1, 2, 3



Fig 1. In 2008, bioengineers at the University of Minnesota stripped rat hearts of cells using detergent — you can see the results of three trials here. This process left untouched the blood vessels, collagen, and various proteins that compose the heart’s physical structure.

Fig 2. The ghost heart is flushed with red dye to show that major and minor blood vessels were left intact.

Fig 3. A researcher injects the ghost heart with heart cells from newborn mice.

Fig 4. Researchers adjusted the environmental conditions to simulate natural conditions, meaning they provided oxygenate fluids, pressure, and an electrical stimulus. You can see the bioreactor schematic here.

GIF source here. Research paper here. Less technical writeup here. More videos from the lab itself here (Supplementary Movie 1 in particular is pretty awesome).



Schizophrenia: What’s in my head?

When she’s experiencing hallucinations, artist Sue Morgan feels compelled to draw; to ‘get it out of her head’. Sue was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 20 years ago. The drawing is therapeutic, but it’s also Sue’s way of expressing the complex and sometimes frightening secret world in her head. In this film Sue meets Sukhi Shergill, a clinician and researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. He’s also making pictures, but using MRI to peer inside the brains of schizophrenia patients.

Read more about schizophrenia