Sleeping fish may help us understand why we snooze

New research reveals that sleep patterns of zebrafish are similar to the slow-wave and REM sleep of humans and other mammals, birds, and lizards. Furthermore, the study suggests that these sleep signatures emerged in the brain of our common ancestor more than 450 million years ago. According to the scientists, a better understanding of how sleep evolved could shine light on the biological processes behind it and perhaps lead to new treatments for sleep disorders. From National Geographic:

Based on our understanding of the evolutionary relationships between fish and mammals, the team suggests that REM-like sleep states evolved more than 450 million years ago, making this type of sleep a deeply held biological phenomenon.

“We share a backbone, but we share much more than that,” says study coauthor Philippe Mourrain, a neuroscientist at Stanford University. “It makes it easier to understand sleep and what it does in ourselves..."

Lead author Louis C. Leung, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, built the microscope responsible for the complex imaging done for the study. Most body activity is choreographed by an intricate network of nerve cells, or neurons. When neurons are active, they release calcium, so researchers genetically engineered the zebrafish to include a protein that would flash fluorescent green when it detected calcium, indicating an area of the body is active...

The advance could be particularly valuable for health professionals seeking to design new drugs to combat the growing epidemic of sleep deprivation in many countries. Better sleep-enhancing drugs could provide some relief for people who struggle to drift off.

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WATCH: Live shark cam, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Having a rough day? Relax! These adorable sharks are on the other side of the glass. Read the rest

China legalizes eating a pufferfish bred to be nonpoisonous

Chinese fish farms have successfully bred seven generations of Takifugu rubripes and ten generations of Takifugu obscurus that lack the gene that causes normal specimens of these pufferfish species to produce a deadly toxin that means near-instant death for anyone who eats a fish whose poison has not been completely removed during preparation. Read the rest

A delightful cartoon about the "living fossil" fish, the coelacanth

Known as a "living fossil," the coelacanth is an order of fish thought to have been extinct for 65 million years until one was caught in 1938 in a fisherman's net off the coast of South Africa and identified by museum curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer. This wonderful paper animation tells the story of the curious creature and its rediscovery.

(hhmi BioInteractive via The Kid Should See This)

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Goldfish secrets

The BBC reports on "Four secrets your Goldfish is hiding from you."

4. Goldfish were originally kept for meat 3. The goldfish bowl was a disruptive technology 2. Goldfish are an invasive species

Number 1 will blow your mind, but not before it blows theirs. Read the rest

Random nude man jumps into Toronto aquarium with sharks

On Friday night, a nude man jumped into a large tank at Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto for a brief swim with sand tiger sharks, sawfish, green sea turtles, green moray eels, and other fish. "The guy seemed totally relaxed... and like laughing," said one onlooker. Pretty ballsy. From CBC Toronto:

Security at the popular tourist attraction asked the man to leave shortly before 10:30 p.m. ET but he refused, said Jenifferjit Sidhu, a spokesperson for Toronto Police Service.

Instead, he swam to the edge of the enclosure and emerged from the tank before doing a backward flip into the water, she told CBC Toronto on Monday...

But before officers arrived, the man got out of the water, put on his clothes and left the aquarium. No marine animals were harmed during the stunt, Sidhu said.

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Fishmonger shut down after gluing googly eyes on his catch

To make his fish look fresher, a Kuwaiti fishmonger glued googly eyes on his stock. The Kuwaiti Commerce Ministry reportedly forced him to close shop after a Facebook video showing the infraction went viral.

As one Twitter user wrote, "Never judge the freshness of fish by the googliness of their eyes." Truer words, truer words... Read the rest

Thousands of fish dropped from the sky

Since the 1950s, wildlife departments have airdropped fish from planes to repopulate remote lakes. Above is video shot by Kamas State Fish Hatchery.

"They kind of flutter down, so they don't impact very hard," said Kamas State Fish Hatchery supervisor Ted Hallows. "They flutter with the water and they do really well."

From an article Hallows wrote in Wildlife Review (PDF):

Many of the lakes in Utah are excellent places to fish, but you can’t get to them with a truck or a car. The Uinta Mountains alone have more than 650 fishable lakes. The best way to stock many of these valuable fisheries—and sometimes the only way to stock them—is from the air… What used to take the old-time biologists and their pack trains months to stock can now be stocked in a few hours with an airplane. And using an airplane stresses the fish less. That means more of them will survive their fall to the water.

More at The Kid Should See This: "Aerial stocking: Utah wildlife departments drop fish into lakes from airplanes"

pic.twitter.com/n9By2HusQe

— Pattern (@Pattern) August 29, 2018

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Watch how this gorgeous handmade cricket lure got made

From first sketches to first bass caught, watch Nate Marling create a fishing lure that looks and moves like a cricket. Read the rest

Fish suddenly eats tankmate

Since moving in, Ted had done nothing to help with the housework. The household tasks assigned to him on the whiteboard in the kitchen have always gone undone. Despite demands that he pick up after himself, Ted leaves food scraps everywhere and never pays the rent on time. On Friday, after finding the leftovers she'd left in the fridge eaten, Sally decided to put an to Ted's bullshit.

The quiet of her and Dave's wee flat had been disrupted for long enough. Read the rest

Charming tiny fish pond art inside Altoids tins

Jackie Chaves of BonAppetEats makes delightful jewelry that looks good enough to eat, but among her best-sellers are these cute miniature ponds inside Altoids Smalls mint tins. Read the rest

Watch this robotic fish frolic in the deep

MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MITCSAIL) created this graceful fishbot that can swim around a lot like a regular fish. Read the rest

Reader reviews for animal medication tell a grim story about human healthcare in America

If you want an idea how desperately bad the U.S. healthcare system is for those unable to afford it, the reader reviews on Moxifish—aquarium antibiotics—make for grim reading.

Worked in two days! My fish no longer has a tooth infection:) lol

My fish started work at a new job and his insurance hadn't kicked in yet. Well, of course, my fish got a bad case of bronchitis or something like that. Nevertheless, we decided to get him some meds and boom! Within 2 days he was all new again and just kept swimming!

My fish got bronchitis the first week of a new job and didn't have the time or money to go see a doctor. I received these quickly after ordering them and now my fishy's nasty cough is gone!

My fish have been sick for two weeks straight and having trouble sleeping at night. I finally figured out that the fish have a bad sinus infection and swollen glands. After just a few hours the swelling is gone and my fish can breath again. They were even outside all day building a shed and didn't feel sick at all. :).

$40 for thirty 500mg amoxycillin capsules isn't a good deal, and it seems likely the reader reviews have become more about the joke than the broke. But doctor visits can cost hundreds of dollars without insurance (and $50 or more with it), alternatives are not easily accessible, so here we are.

P.S. survivalists have long suggested stocking up on pet antibiotics for the comic-book apocalypse. Read the rest

Film examines truth of legendary gathering of fish-surnamed people

In 1987 or so, the Welsh island of Anglesey, legendary redoubt of the druids, hosted a similarly legendary gathering to which only people with fish-themed surnames were invited. In Fish Story, Charlie Lynn (with the help of one Caspar Salmon) sets out to unravel "the truth behind a fishy tale." Read the rest

Watch this large carp escape death by fisherman

Not today, fisherman, not today. Read the rest

(UPDATED!) Fish caught with very strange "tattoos"

SEE UPDATE BELOW

This mysteriously "tattooed" fish was caught near Lopez Jaena in the Misamis Occidental province of the Philippines. Some locals considered the fish a warning from the depths. They're actually right, as the likely non-magical explanation is that the fish was caught in a printed plastic bag floating in the ocean and the pattern transferred to the animal's scales over time. (Mysterious Universe)

UPDATE:

According to ABS-CBN, "Zosimo Tano who caught the fish, clarified... that the print on the fish's body came from his shirt, which he used to cover the fish."

(Thanks, Teddy-Bob_Silas!)

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Flashlight fish have glowing lanterns below their eyes

Flashlight fish, also called lanterneye fish and scientifically photoblepharon (light-eye), are strange and wondrous creatures best viewed during a night dive in the Pacific. Read the rest

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