Post List

  • October 9, 2014
  • 12:35 PM
  • 83 views

Keep Calm and Evolve On

by Lauren Richardson in PLOS Biologue

Lauren Richardson, Associate Editor for PLOS Biology, discusses a new paper published in the journal. We generally think of evolution as a beneficial process, letting organisms adapt and excel in new and different environments. But as we all know, not … Continue reading »The post Keep Calm and Evolve On appeared first on PLOS Biologue.... Read more »

Szamecz, B., Boross, G., Kalapis, D., Kovács, K., Fekete, G., Farkas, Z., Lázár, V., Hrtyan, M., Kemmeren, P., Groot Koerkamp, M.... (2014) The Genomic Landscape of Compensatory Evolution. PLoS Biology, 12(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001935  

  • October 9, 2014
  • 12:11 PM
  • 94 views

Fine control

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

My last blog on timing in some neurons in the cerebellum has started a string of thoughts. Here we have a part of the brain with an anatomy that is well mapped as opposed to many other parts. It has more neurons than the rest of the brain put together. It has grown relatively larger […]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 09:43 AM
  • 147 views

Dyslexia: trouble reading ‘four’

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Dyslexia affects about every tenth reader. It shows up when trying to read, especially when reading fast. But it is still not fully clear what words dyslexic readers find particularly hard. So, I did some research to find out, and I published the article today. Imagine seeing a new word ‘bour’. How would you pronounce […]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 04:41 AM
  • 103 views

Physical activity and fitness levels and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although at present having to be slightly more cautious following some recent surgery (general anaesthetic is awesome by the way!), I normally consider myself to be quite an active person. Through previous discussions on this blog covering topics on the positive effects of walking (see here) and the physical+ benefits of the martial arts (see here) I'd like to think that there are quite a few ways and means that the population at large can easily increase their daily physical activity levels. Th........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2014
  • 08:51 PM
  • 84 views

Foot Orthotics for Reducing Load in the Plantar Fascia

by Craig Payne in Running Research Junkie

Foot Orthotics for Reducing Load in the Plantar Fascia... Read more »

  • October 8, 2014
  • 06:57 PM
  • 54 views

How Modern Genomics Crushed Bigfoot Pseudoscience

by Emil Karlsson in Debunking Denialism

Thousands of people around the world believe in the existence of a large primate that roams the mountain forests. It is known by many names, such as Bigfoot, Yeti and Sasquatch. Many of these enthusiasts even claim to have genuine biological samples from these creatures. Skeptics have so far remain unconvinced. No authentic photographs or video material has been produced (the one on the right is a man in a suit) and no bodies have been found. Meanwhile, cryptozoologists complain that scientist a........ Read more »

Sykes, B., Mullis, R., Hagenmuller, C., Melton, T., & Sartori, M. (2014) Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1789). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0161  

  • October 8, 2014
  • 04:43 PM
  • 96 views

tRNA lookalikes in the Human Genome

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

There was a time not long ago when we knew we had the longest genome. It was an obvious assumption because we are "in fact" the most intelligent and complex species on the planet. Boy were we wrong, as genetics progressed we came to realize that we weren't as genetically special as we thought we were. We found that we had tons of "junk" DNA. Of course we continue to be wrong and we now know that we may not be the biggest genome on the planet, but we are still very complex and new research is pro........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2014
  • 11:45 AM
  • 102 views

The Surprising History of Veterinary Medicine for Dogs and Cats

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

And the ‘dangerous’ woman who played a vital role.Photo: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbHWe are used to the idea that veterinarians treat dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals, but it wasn’t always so. Before the automobile, the main role for vets was in the treatment of horses. As the number of horses declined, two British government reports (in 1938 and 1944) suggested vets should specialize in the treatment of farm animals. The change to small animals is often explained as due to incr........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 98 views

A Tale Of Two Tails

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Recent, and not so recent studies, are showing just how specialized eukaryotic flagella can be. Structures are rigid, except for when they aren’t. Sperm from two species of diatoms have very different sperm tail basal bodies, which might affect how they move and function. On the other hand, rabbits have flagella with at least three different structures. Does each have it’s own function?... Read more »

Prensier, G., Vivier, E., Goldstein, S., & Schrevel, J. (1980) Motile flagellum with a "3 0" ultrastructure. Science, 207(4438), 1493-1494. DOI: 10.1126/science.7189065  

Feistel K, & Blum M. (2006) Three types of cilia including a novel 9 4 axoneme on the notochordal plate of the rabbit embryo. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists, 235(12), 3348-58. PMID: 17061268  

  • October 8, 2014
  • 06:49 AM
  • 79 views

Video Tip of the Week: UCSC #Ebola Genome Portal

by Mary in OpenHelix

Although I had other tips in my queue already, over the last week I’ve seen a lot of talk about the new Ebola virus portal from the UCSC Genome Browser team. And it struck me that researchers who have worked primarily on viral sequences may not be as familiar with the functions of the UCSC […]... Read more »

Karolchik D., G. P. Barber, J. Casper, H. Clawson, M. S. Cline, M. Diekhans, T. R. Dreszer, P. A. Fujita, L. Guruvadoo, M. Haeussler.... (2013) The UCSC Genome Browser database: 2014 update. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(D1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkt1168  

  • October 8, 2014
  • 04:34 AM
  • 104 views

Alcohol and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I tread very carefully with this post today looking at some of the peer-reviewed research on the topic of alcohol use (and abuse) and autism without wishing to stigmatise nor generalise.I was brought to this important topic as a result of the recent paper by Tabata and colleagues [1] who discussed three case reports of alcoholism associated with a diagnosis of autism. For each person described in that report, a common theme describing alcohol being used as a means to "reduce anxiety" related to ........ Read more »

Tabata K, Yoshida T, & Naoe J. (2014) Three cases of alcoholism with autism spectrum disorder. Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire). PMID: 25221235  

  • October 8, 2014
  • 04:03 AM
  • 47 views

Students learn better when they think they're going to have to teach the material

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Researchers say they've uncovered a simple technique that improves students' memory for passages of text. All that's required is to tell the students that they're going to have to teach the material to someone else.Fifty-six undergrads were split into two groups. One group were told that they had 10 minutes to study a 1500-word passage about fictional depictions of The Charge of The Light Brigade, and that they would be tested on it afterwards. The other group were similarly given 10 minutes to ........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2014
  • 12:05 AM
  • 98 views

Stronger May not be Better in Decreasing the Risk of High Magnitude Head Impacts in Football

by Kyle Harris in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Football players with greater cervical neck muscle strength and size were as likely to sustain larger head impacts as their peers. Football players who had greater cervical stiffness and an ability to decrease the displacement of their head following perturbation were less likely to sustain a moderate and severe head impacts.... Read more »

Schmidt, J., Guskiewicz, K., Blackburn, J., Mihalik, J., Siegmund, G., & Marshall, S. (2014) The Influence of Cervical Muscle Characteristics on Head Impact Biomechanics in Football. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 42(9), 2056-2066. DOI: 10.1177/0363546514536685  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 07:45 PM
  • 102 views

Climate change roundup: underestimated ocean heat content and emissions from the peatlands!

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A quick review of two new climate change-related articles. One finds we have underestimated the heat content in upper oceans, suggesting possibly higher future warming rates. The other discusses a new model to look at methane emissions in the peatlands... Read more »

  • October 7, 2014
  • 05:00 PM
  • 117 views

The Blood-Brain Barrier and the Future of Medicine

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The blood-brain barrier, not quite a brick and mortar defense from the outside world, but strangely enough it is extremely effective. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) acts as a bouncer, it keeps the bad things out, while helping to regulate certain aspects of the brain. To circumvent the BBB thousands of people have stimulators placed deep in their brains in the hope of curing their ills. Many require tubes, catheters, and shunts penetrating deep into their brain ventricles to deliver medicine or t........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2014
  • 04:21 PM
  • 114 views

Personality, Emotion and Psychopathology: David Watson Lecture Notes

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I had the privilege to attend today the William K Warren Frontiers in Neuroscience Conference in Tulsa, OK by Dr. David Watson from Notre Dame University.Dr. Watson's lecture was titled: An integrative model of personality, emotion and psychopathology. This lecture summarized a body of research examining personality, psychological symptoms and a variety of brain disorders.Here are my lecture notes and links to relevant research citations. The first two citations have links to a free full-te........ Read more »

Stasik SM, Naragon-Gainey K, Chmielewski M, & Watson D. (2012) Core OCD symptoms: exploration of specificity and relations with psychopathology. Journal of anxiety disorders, 26(8), 859-70. PMID: 23026094  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 04:21 PM
  • 98 views

Coronavirus antivirals: RNA replication machinery as an antiviral target?

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

The genome of Coronaviruses encodes not only structural proteins required for the formation of viral particles, but also for non-structural proteins (nsp’s) which are required for viral replication. Some of the latter are involved in the formation of viral replication centers (RTCs), particularly nsp-3/-4/-6, while others are involved in processing the viral orf1ab polyprotein, interfering with the cellular antiviral response, or with facilitating the replication of the viral RNA. Here the........ Read more »

Bouvet M, Lugari A, Posthuma CC, Zevenhoven JC, Bernard S, Betzi S, Imbert I, Canard B, Guillemot JC, Lécine P.... (2014) Coronavirus Nsp10, a Critical Co-factor for Activation of Multiple Replicative Enzymes. The Journal of biological chemistry, 289(37), 25783-96. PMID: 25074927  

Bouvet M, Debarnot C, Imbert I, Selisko B, Snijder EJ, Canard B, & Decroly E. (2010) In vitro reconstitution of SARS-coronavirus mRNA cap methylation. PLoS pathogens, 6(4). PMID: 20421945  

Hastie KM, Kimberlin CR, Zandonatti MA, MacRae IJ, & Saphire EO. (2011) Structure of the Lassa virus nucleoprotein reveals a dsRNA-specific 3' to 5' exonuclease activity essential for immune suppression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(6), 2396-401. PMID: 21262835  

Qi X, Lan S, Wang W, Schelde LM, Dong H, Wallat GD, Ly H, Liang Y, & Dong C. (2010) Cap binding and immune evasion revealed by Lassa nucleoprotein structure. Nature, 468(7325), 779-83. PMID: 21085117  

Martínez-Sobrido L, Giannakas P, Cubitt B, García-Sastre A, & de la Torre JC. (2007) Differential inhibition of type I interferon induction by arenavirus nucleoproteins. Journal of virology, 81(22), 12696-703. PMID: 17804508  

Li S, Zhao Q, Zhang Y, Zhang Y, Bartlam M, Li X, & Rao Z. (2010) New nsp8 isoform suggests mechanism for tuning viral RNA synthesis. Protein , 1(2), 198-204. PMID: 21203988  

Subissi L, Posthuma CC, Collet A, Zevenhoven-Dobbe JC, Gorbalenya AE, Decroly E, Snijder EJ, Canard B, & Imbert I. (2014) One severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus protein complex integrates processive RNA polymerase and exonuclease activities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(37). PMID: 25197083  

Eckerle LD, Becker MM, Halpin RA, Li K, Venter E, Lu X, Scherbakova S, Graham RL, Baric RS, Stockwell TB.... (2010) Infidelity of SARS-CoV Nsp14-exonuclease mutant virus replication is revealed by complete genome sequencing. PLoS pathogens, 6(5). PMID: 20463816  

Kumar P, Gunalan V, Liu B, Chow VT, Druce J, Birch C, Catton M, Fielding BC, Tan YJ, & Lal SK. (2007) The nonstructural protein 8 (nsp8) of the SARS coronavirus interacts with its ORF6 accessory protein. Virology, 366(2), 293-303. PMID: 17532020  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 10:15 AM
  • 108 views

Scientists Recommend Vole Shaving

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Sometimes scientists need to make their research subjects’ lives harder. No matter how much affection they may feel for those flatworms or fish or pigeons, there are certain things they can only learn by forcing the animals to use more energy. But for animals living in the wild, this can be tricky. Now scientists studying […]The post Scientists Recommend Vole Shaving appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Szafrańska PA, Zub K, Wieczorek M, Książek A, Speakman JR, & Konarzewski M. (2014) Shaving increases daily energy expenditures in free living root voles. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 25278468  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 147 views

Get Some Sleep - Your Brain Will Thank You

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

We all know we should get more sleep, but new research is showing that it isn’t just a good idea, it preserves brain structure and function. Sleep loss affects learning, and new studies show that sleep deprivation can cause irreversible neuron loss in the locus coeruleus, and that depression associated with lack of sleep can reduce hippocampus size. In fatal familial insomnia, the prion plaques destroy the thalamus and indicate a decrease in mitochondrial function – the same type pro........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2014
  • 07:21 AM
  • 115 views

Are sweet-toothed people really sweet-natured?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Three years ago psychologists reported that we assume people who like sweet food are also sweet natured. More surprisingly perhaps, Brian Meier and his colleagues also found that the sweet-toothed really do have more agreeable personalities and are more inclined to behave altruistically.How far can we trust these eye-catching results? There is a growing recognition in psychology of the need to attempt replications of past findings. In that spirit, a new paper led by Michael Ashton has attempted ........ Read more »

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