Hawaiian Reef Photos: 'Alakuma and Humuhumunukunukuapua╩╗a

I went snorkeling yesterday with ohana at Two-Step (just beyond the rocks bordering Keone'ele Cove at the north of Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, the old City of Refuge in south Kona district). This spot has some of the best coral formations easily accessible from the shorelines of the Big Island.

The 'Alakuma (Carpilius maculatus) has many common names: spotted reef crab, or the seven-eleven crab from numberings of its spotted markings. From the Hawaiian just-so story of the crab wounding the grasping fingers of a sea-god, it's also been called the bloody finger crab, with its bloodred spots as the god's fingerprints. Some of the locals here claim it can be poisonous to eat, perhaps from its diet of occasionally poisonous cone snails?


The state fish of Hawaii is the Humuhumunukunukuapua╩╗a (Rhinecanthus rectangulus), a reef triggerfish with a mouthful of a name.

Sexual Identification: Genotype, Phenotype, and Sociotype

An amazing cuttlefish trick: underwater cross-dressing in body coloration. Wow.

Sexual identity is a cognitive, intentional state about ourselves. Like all intentional states, it may need to be subjected to error correction. On the other hand, the sexual classification of living things is an aspect of biology. In biology, a given organism may be identified as to its gender by genotype (determined mostly by XX versus XY chromosomal analysis in humans, with the usual border cases), or by phenotype (primary and secondary mammalian sexual characteristics in the case of humans).

In humans, the postmodernist conceit that gender is different from the biology of genotype and phenotype suggests that what we need is a sociotype of sex. A sociotype would be male and female as self identified or identified by one's society (for example, the M or F on the driver's license or birth certificate, which is one's legally defined gender).

Denying that biology is destiny here is mere foolish conceit on the part of the postmodernist. It is like saying that the cuttlefish is changing its sex by altering its color patterning. No biologist would agree that it does that.

CSF-Carrying Meningeal Lymphatics Found Running Along Dural Sinuses

Here's another cause for textbook revision in the works. I wonder how far into the pia these lymphatics run in humans? Are they periventricular at all? Perhaps some forms of communicating hydrocephalus will turn out to be a lymphatic drainage disorder.

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ABSTRACT

Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels

Antoine Louveau, Igor Smirnov, Timothy J. Keyes, Jacob D. Eccles, Sherin J. Rouhani, J. David Peske, Noel C. Derecki, David Castle, James W. Mandell, Kevin S. Lee, Tajie H. Harris & Jonathan Kipnis

Nature (2015) doi:10.1038/nature14432

Received 30 October 2014 Accepted 20 March 2015 Published online 01 June 2015

One of the characteristics of the central nervous system is the lack of a classical lymphatic drainage system. Although it is now accepted that the central nervous system undergoes constant immune surveillance that takes place within the meningeal compartment1, 2, 3, the mechanisms governing the entrance and exit of immune cells from the central nervous system remain poorly understood4, 5, 6. In searching for T-cell gateways into and out of the meninges, we discovered functional lymphatic vessels lining the dural sinuses. These structures express all of the molecular hallmarks of lymphatic endothelial cells, are able to carry both fluid and immune cells from the cerebrospinal fluid, and are connected to the deep cervical lymph nodes. The unique location of these vessels may have impeded their discovery to date, thereby contributing to the long-held concept of the absence of lymphatic vasculature in the central nervous system. The discovery of the central nervous system lymphatic system may call for a reassessment of basic assumptions in neuroimmunology and sheds new light on the aetiology of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases associated with immune system dysfunction.

Multiple sclerosis and the Gut Microbiome: Some Preclinical Results

The gut microbiome is measured by assessing the prokaryotic DNA of a stool sample, which reflects the various types of bacteria that are g...