Figuring out the science of wasabi’s heat could be a way to develop new treatments to prevent or reduce pain.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are studying how the human body reacts to wasabi
— the hot Japanese horseradish typically found accompanying sushi or sashimi. Their latest observations unveil the “wasabi receptor” and exactly how chemicals in wasabi activate the sensory process identify possible channels for novel pain treatments.
That receptor, which they call TRPA1, plays a role in the body’s ability to sense things like environmental irritants, in addition to the heat from wasabi, so the researchers believe that learning how TRPA1 works not only will lead to understanding how basic pain sensations occur but also ways to prevent or reduce pain.
“The pain system is there to warn us when we need to avoid things that can cause injury, but also to enhance protective mechanisms,” said David Julius, PhD, professor and chair of UCSF’s Department of Physiology, and co-senior author of the new study, which appears in the April 8, 2015 online issue of Nature. “Knowing more about how TRPA1 works is important for understanding basic pain mechanisms. Of course, this information may also help guide the design of new analgesic drugs.”
One of my friends posted a picture to Facebook over the weekend showing cleverly arranged waffles, bacon and fruit on plates for his kids. I don’t have kids, but I can have fun, too. Here’s my take on David Honig’s porpoiseful breakfast plate.
The storm on its way to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast has the makings of a major snow and weather event. The National Weather Service rarely uses language like this, which was included in the forecast Sunday afternoon:
"...CRIPPLING AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC BLIZZARD TO IMPACT THE AREA
FROM LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY..."
Here’s some detail from NYNJPAWEATHER.com, a private forecaster who has been helpful and reliable during past major weather events. While the amount of the snowfall in the New York City area could be anywhere from a few inches up to two feet, the bigger concern has to do with wind and “thunder snow.” Also, surrounding areas look like they will get well more than a foot of snow. If the storm duration is greater than 24 hours, as the current forecast indicates, there will be much disruption, especially on Tuesday.
Click on any area on the map below for details of the projected storm impact.
Star chef David Chang of Momofuku posted this gem to Facebook late last night, and I couldn’t resist sharing. His caption, “My cook thought he spelled it right.”
Uproar over a misogynistic Barbie childrens book that portrayed girls as inept at writing software or even operating a desktop computer overshadowed the recent introduction of Entrepreneur Barbie, who is “ready for the next big pitch” right out of the box, according to manufacturer Mattel on its website.
“Barbie Entrepreneur doll wears a sophisticated dress in signature pink that features modern color blocking and a sleek silhouette. Luxe details, like a glam necklace, cool clutch and elegant hairstyle, are smart, professional touches,” says Mattel. “Her “smartphone,” tablet and briefcase are the tools of her trade and always by her side!”
Adds UnMarketing, the doll “now comes with gut-wrenching self-doubt and receivables collection issues!”
Not sure whether this sounds delicious, or horrifying, or both. According to Gothamist.com, a database engineer in Texas created this thing he calls a Cthurkey (a nod to horror writer H. P. Lovecraft’s octopus-head creature the “Cthulhu“) made from turkey, octopus, crab legs and bacon. His recipe calls for cooking each part separately, so it’s more of a presentation than an actual dish. Read more at Gothamist.com, which published this first in 2013.