Can we describe reality? As a general philosophical question, I could spend all day discussing it and never arrive at a reasonable answer. However, if we restrict to the sort of models used in theoretical biology, especially to the heuristic models that dominate the field, then I think it is relatively reasonable to conclude that […]... Read more »
Scientists at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) strategically-funded institute Rothamsted Research have shown that a biodiesel waste product could be used to protect soil quality for agriculture.... Read more »
Redmile-Gordon, M., Armenise, E., Hirsch, P., & Brookes, P. (2014) Biodiesel Co-Product (BCP) Decreases Soil Nitrogen (N) Losses to Groundwater. Water, Air, , 225(2). DOI: 10.1007/s11270-013-1831-7
Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm are using lightning and other high voltage currents to help utilities track the health of electrical grid components throughout their systems.... Read more »
Nikjoo R., Taylor N., Niasar M.G., Edin H. (2012) Dielectric response measurement of power transformer bushing by utilizing high voltage transients. Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP), 503-506. DOI: 10.1109/CEIDP.2012.6378830
Not all stem cells are created equally. Some are totipotent, meaning they can divide and differentiate into any cell type, while some are unipotent, meaning they can differentiate into one specific cell type. Understanding the potenty of various stem cells is an important step towards understanding how tissues are developed, remodeled, and maintained. Today’s beautiful images are from a study of stem cells in the mammary gland. Mammary glands go through a lot of changes during both puberty and........ Read more »
Rios, A., Fu, N., Lindeman, G., & Visvader, J. (2014) In situ identification of bipotent stem cells in the mammary gland. Nature, 506(7488), 322-327. DOI: 10.1038/nature12948
Today, Sick Papes is thrilled to sit down with Dr. Ian Baldwin, eminent biologist and pioneer plant whisperer, to discuss a recent pape from his lab about the ineffable love/hate triangle between feisty tobacco plants, lazy grazing hornworms, and hungry-as-hell spiders. Dr. Baldwin is a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, where his group heroically uses genomic and molecular tools to study plant and animal interactions in the real godforsaken desert.... Read more »
Kumar P, Pandit SS, Steppuhn A, & Baldwin IT. (2014) Natural history-driven, plant-mediated RNAi-based study reveals CYP6B46's role in a nicotine-mediated antipredator herbivore defense. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(4), 1245-52. PMID: 24379363
Ferrets are popular pets because they are curious, playful and engaging. A new study by Sarah Talbot et al (Charles Stuart University, Australia) looks at play, behaviour problems and enrichment in domestic ferrets. Despite a reputation for aggression, it seems that ferrets rarely bite – and they love toys.Photo: grynold / Shutterstock Normal 0 false false false EN-CA X-NONE X-NONE ........ Read more »
Normando, S. and Gelli, D. (2011) Behavioral complaints and owners' satisfaction in rabbits, mustelids and rodents kept as pets . Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 337-342. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2011.01.005
Talbot, S., Freire, R., Wassens, S. (2014) Effect of captivity and management on behaviour of the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 94-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.11.017
Researchers at TU Delft have come very close (99.8%) to the theoretical limit of light absorption enhancement (light trapping) in a broad light spectrum range. Their article on light management in ultra-thin silicon is accepted for publication in the journal ACS Photonics.... Read more »
Andrea Ingenito, Olindo Isabella, Miro Zeman. (2014) Experimental Demonstration of 4n2 Classical Absorption Limit in Nanotextured Ultrathin Solar Cells with Dielectric Omnidirectional Back Reflector. ACS Photonics. DOI: 10.1021/ph4001586
by amikulak in Daily Observations
Imagine a square box about the size of a soccer ball. Now imagine turning it over with your hands. It’s a task that’s easy for most people to do — […]... Read more »
Gandhi, T.K., Ganesh, S., & Sinha, P. (2014) Improvement in Spatial Imagery Following Sight Onset Late in Childhood. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797613513906
European power plants that burn wood pellets imported from the Southern United States to generate electricity are emitting less than half the greenhouse gases than when they use traditional fossil fuels, a new University of Georgia study has found.... Read more »
Puneet Dwivedi, Madhu Khanna, Robert Bailis and Adrian Ghilardi. (2014) Potential greenhouse gas benefits of transatlantic wood pellet trade. Environmental Research Letters, 9(2). DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/2/024007
One of the topics I keep an eye on is visualization of various types of genomics data, and I’m always interested in new tools for graphical representations. In the past some of our most popular posts have been tools that aren’t heavy-lifting analysis types of tools–but better ways to visualize and explore data, or different […]... Read more »
Rozak David, & Rozak Anthony. (2008) Simplicity, function, and legibility in an enhanced ambigraphic nucleic acid notation. BioTechniques, 44(6), 811-813. DOI: 10.2144/000112727
Rozak David A, & Rozak Anthony J. (2014) Using a color-coded ambigraphic nucleic acid notation to visualize conserved palindromic motifs within and across genomes. BMC Genomics, 15(1), 52. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-52
Bailey T. L., Boden M., Buske F. A., Frith M., Grant C. E., Clementi L., Ren J., Li W. W., & Noble W. S. (2009) MEME SUITE: tools for motif discovery and searching. Nucleic Acids Research, 37(Web Server). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp335
New research is describing the ways that arthropods use gustatory receptors. Drosophila use a muscular reflex to extend or retract the proboscis, based on the sweet or bitter taste they experience. In silica studies are showing that female behaviors are driving gene duplication and evolution of taste receptor genes, while specific taste receptors are responsible for male female interactions in fruit fly courtship rituals.
... Read more »
Choi EA, Park HY, Yoo HS, & Choi YH. (2013) Anti-inflammatory effects of egg white combined with chalcanthite in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated BV2 microglia through the inhibition of NF-κB, MAPK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. International journal of molecular medicine, 31(1), 154-62. PMID: 23128312
Briscoe AD, Macias-Muñoz A, Kozak KM, Walters JR, Yuan F, Jamie GA, Martin SH, Dasmahapatra KK, Ferguson LC, Mallet J.... (2013) Female behaviour drives expression and evolution of gustatory receptors in butterflies. PLoS genetics, 9(7). PMID: 23950722
Koch SI, Groh K, Vogel H, Hansson BS, Kleineidam CJ, & Grosse-Wilde E. (2013) Caste-specific expression patterns of immune response and chemosensory related genes in the leaf-cutting ant, Atta vollenweideri. PloS one, 8(11). PMID: 24260580
Thistle R, Cameron P, Ghorayshi A, Dennison L, & Scott K. (2012) Contact chemoreceptors mediate male-male repulsion and male-female attraction during Drosophila courtship. Cell, 149(5), 1140-51. PMID: 22632976
An extensive survey of an isolated region in northern Democratic Republic of Congo has uncovered one of the largest remaining populations of Eastern chimpanzee which, until now, had been completely unknown to science. ... Read more »
Thurston C. Hicks, Sandra Tranquilli, Hjalmar Kuehl, Geneviève Campbell, Jeroen Swinkels, Laura Darby, Christophe Boesch, John Hart, & Steph B.J. Menken. (2014) Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence: Discovery of a large, continuous population of Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii in the Central Uele region of northern DRC. Biological Conservation, 107-113. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.01.002
We’ve written a number of times about the role of non-belief or of strong religious beliefs on juries and juror decision-making. The majority of research, largely based on White participants, has shown repeatedly that for White Christians, if you are an non-believer (e.g., an Atheist or a Muslim), you will be looked on less favorably […]
You’re on trial: Is it better to be an atheist or a black radical Muslim lesbian?
Everyone knows you just can’t trust an atheist!
He........ Read more »
Van Camp, D., Sloan, LR, & ElBassiouny, A. (2014) Religious bias among religiously conscious Black Christians in the United States. . The Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/00224545.2013.835708
Pornography is considered a male thing and women are expected to dislike it. But is this really true? Research shows hyperfeminine women evaluate pornographic content quite positively. ... Read more »
van Oosten JM, Peter J, & Boot I. (2014) Women's Critical Responses to Sexually Explicit Material: The Role of Hyperfemininity and Processing Style. Journal of sex research. PMID: 24511896
Poor old paracetamol (acetaminophen if you wish).Tablets (before tablets again) @ WikipediaFirst it was the Brandlistuen correlation  suggesting that sustained exposure in-utero may impact on childhood developmental outcome (see here for my take). Now another swipe has been taken at this pharmaceutical stalwart of pain relief / fever reduction with the publication of results by Zeyan Liew and colleagues  suggesting that: "Maternal acetaminophen use during preg........ Read more »
Zeyan Liew, Beate Ritz, Cristina Rebordosa, Pei-Chen Lee, & Jørn Olsen. (2014) Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy, Behavioral Problems, and Hyperkinetic Disorders. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4914
Dr. Jean-François CôtéA team of researchers, led by Jean-François Côté, researcher at the IRCM, has identified a "conductor" in the development of muscle tissue. The researchers say that ther discovery may an important impact on the treatment of muscular diseases such as myopathies and muscular dystrophies."For several years, we have been studying myogenesis, a process by which muscles are formed during embryonic development. During the last step of this process, muscle cel........ Read more »
Hamoud N, Tran V, Croteau LP, Kania A, & Côté JF. (2014) G-protein coupled receptor BAI3 promotes myoblast fusion in vertebrates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24567399
Dennis DischerAdult stem cells and cancer cells have many things in common, including their ability to migrate through tiny gaps in tissue. They also experience a trade-off when it comes to this ability; having a flexible nucleus makes migration easier but is worse at protecting the nucleus’ DNA compared to a stiffer nucleus. Nuclear proteins that regulate nuclear stiffness are therefore thought to control processes as diverse as tissue repair and tumor growth.Now a new study by researchers ........ Read more »
Harada T, Swift J, Irianto J, Shin JW, Spinler KR, Athirasala A, Diegmiller R, Dingal PC, Ivanovska IL, & Discher DE. (2014) Nuclear lamin stiffness is a barrier to 3D migration, but softness can limit survival. The Journal of cell biology. PMID: 24567359
Schindelin J, Arganda-Carreras I, Frise E, Kaynig V, Longair M, Pietzsch T, Preibisch S, Rueden C, Saalfeld S, Schmid B.... (2012) Fiji: an open-source platform for biological-image analysis. Nature methods, 9(7), 676-82. PMID: 22743772
The teenage ability to sleep past noon is one of the great joys of adolescence. It’s also one of the great headaches of parenthood. On weekends parents are up bright and early, but try as they might, they can’t get their teenage children to make use of the morning hours. A simple explanation for why […]... Read more »
Wrzus, C., Wagner, G.G., & Riediger, M. (2014) Feeling Good When Sleeping In? Day-To-Day Associations Between Sleep Duration and Affective Well-Being Differ From Youth to Old Ag. Emotion. DOI: 10.1037/a0035349
While many screening methods for sudden cardiac death exist, a large proportion of institutions do not employ noninvasive cardiac screening. The most commonly reported reasons why noninvasive cardiac screening is not used was lack of evidence to support its effectiveness and cost.... Read more »
Asplund CA, & Asif IM. (2014) Cardiovascular Preparticipation Screening Practices of College Team Physicians. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. PMID: 24451693
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