Considering the average age of the world’s population is increasing and the numbers of yearly strokes, I am a little surprised this story is not receiving much attention. Neuroscientists discover key protein responsible for controlling nerve cell protection
The research team, led by Professor Jeremy Henley and Dr Jack Mellor from Bristols Medical School, has identified a protein, known as SUMO, responsible for controlling the chemical processes which reduce or enhance protection mechanisms for nerve cells in the brain.
These key proteins produce subtle responses to the brains activity levels to regulate the amount of information transmitted by kainate receptors – responsible for communication between nerve cells and whose activation can lead to epileptic seizures and nerve cell death.
Protein function is controlled by altering their structure in processes that can be independent or inter-related including phosphorylation, ubiquitination and SUMOylation. In the present work it is shown that phosphorylation of kainate receptors on its own promotes their activity. However, phosphorylation also facilitates SUMOylation of kainate receptors that reduces their activity. Thus there is a dynamic and delicate interplay between phosphorylation and SUMOylation that regulates kainate receptor function.
This fine balance between phosphorylation and SUMOylation is dependent on brain activity levels where damaging activity that occurs during stroke or epilepsy will enhance SUMOylation and therefore reduce kainate receptor function to protect nerve cells.
The findings seem to indicate a very finely tuned feedback loop SUMO and kainate receptors. Strokes and other neurological events can cause nerve cells to protect themselves from activity that seem out of sync with normal brain activity. It might be tempting to think of anything that disturbs neural signaling as a condition that would require treatment to improve the feedback loop. In the case of epilepsy for example, the answer might be to stop over stimulation via neural signaling between proteins and receptors.
In one of Mitt Romney’s speeches he said that he is ready to be promoted to the White House. As most of us know, in the real world while it frequently does not work at that, in our allegedly merit based society, people only get promotions if they have earned them. That is the ideal anyway. Romney has imbibed, and gotten high on the conservative movements embrace of rewarding incompetence. Examples of this were rampant in the G. W. Bush administration. Condelezza Rice was National Security adviser to Bush. Having decided to dismiss any of Richard Clark’s warnings, 9-11 occurred. Rice was eventually rewarded with a promotion to Secretary of State. Literally loyal conservatives were yanked from various places – some from the unemployment line to manage the rebuilding of Iraq – not based on any expertise they had, but purely for loyalty to the conservative movement. I wonder how many lives were lost because of how the conservative mind processes the concept of competence. Mitt Romney – The One Political Office He Held No One Would Re-elect Him For
But I could find no example of a major-party nominee whose only experience in government was serving as a governor, but who then made no effort to talk about this experience as part of his appeal to voters for national office. Nor could I find any examples of a governor quitting after one term, knowing he’d lose if he sought re-election, and then running for president.
And why is it, exactly, that Romney is avoiding the subject of his only background in public service? Perhaps because, during his 2003-to-2007 tenure, Romney failed to impress much of anyone.
“His favorability was basically a straight line down from his honeymoon,” said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center and a longtime Massachusetts pollster. “Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt.” […]
Romney entered the Massachusetts State House in January 2003 with a flashy favorability rating of 61 percent…. By November 2004, voters were souring, and a Suffolk poll found his favorable rating had dropped to 47 percent… By November 2006, as he closed out his increasingly absentee term, his overall job approval rating had cratered to 36 percent.
Thomas Whalen, a Boston University political science professor, put it this way: “To know Mitt Romney is to dislike him. That is the moral of the story.”
Maybe he looks better in hindsight? No, Romney’s former constituents still don’t like him and still don’t want him to be president.
Maybe it’s because he was a GOP governor in a reliably “blue” state? No, Massachusetts has had plenty of modern Republican governors — Weld, Cellucci, Swift — and all were more popular with their Bay State constituents than Romney.
This is all generally overlooked, which is a shame because it seems pretty important.
We’re talking about a politician who’s held public office just once, for a grand total of four years. During that one term, his constituents got a good look at his leadership, and came to actively dislike him.
Romney looked at this and thought, “Hey, now I’m ready for a promotion to the White House!”
Romney, like the Bush family, has a very low regard for objective truths. Why should they when they have been so successful at buying the impression of success. In a media saturated culture, with a memory that clings to sex scandals yet cannot name at least four Supreme Court justices, Romney has little disincentive to give up delusions he has spent a life time cultivating.