Post List

  • April 12, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Inching Toward An Obesity Drug Target?

by Carmen Drahl in The Haystack

As the race to discover a new obesity drug continues, it’s important to consider what makes a good obesity drug target. Before you bother putting a team of medicinal chemists on the job of making a small molecule that could be the next big diet pill, what do you need to know about the target [...]... Read more »

Han, Z., Niu, T., Chang, J., Lei, X., Zhao, M., Wang, Q., Cheng, W., Wang, J., Feng, Y., & Chai, J. (2010) Crystal structure of the FTO protein reveals basis for its substrate specificity. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08921  

  • April 12, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Blondes beat brunettes on beach

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

The joke around some beach communities is that you can never be too thin, too rich, or too blonde. I don’t know about the first two, but a new paper suggests being blonde on a beach may be good, but you can be too blonde – if you’re a mouse.

Animal colours provide some classic cases of adaptation and natural selection. For instance, most people with even a passing familiarity with biology know about peppered moths and industrial melanism. Fur colour in mice isn’t quite as famous as moth........ Read more »

  • April 12, 2010
  • 06:41 AM

Light from a distant black hole pierces the Milky Way

by Professor Astronomy in Professor Astronomy

Video credit: University of Michigan / Boston University / Cosmovision

We went looking for a small black hole in our neighborhood, maybe a few hundred light-years away, and instead we found a supermassive black hole nearly 7 billion light-years away.  Sometimes astronomy can be that way...

Back in February, my colleagues and I were looking at white dwarfs with the Keck I telescope in Hawaii.  Before our second night started, the astronomers at the neighboring teles........ Read more »

J. Vandenbroucke, R. Buehler, M. Ajello, K. Bechtol, A. Bellini, M. Bolte, C. C. Cheung, F. Civano, D. Donato, L. Fuhrmann.... (2010) Discovery of a GeV blazar shining through the Galactic plane. Astrophysical Journal Letters. arXiv: 1004.1413v1

  • April 12, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Article review: Internal Medicine team redesign

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

The Institute of Medicine has re-sparked discussions about limiting and further reducing resident duty hours in the United States (IOM's Duty Hours Report from Dec 2008). In response to this, the Brigham and Women's Internal Medicine residency program created an innovative inpatient team model, which was published in this month's New England Journal of Medicine.Study DesignSetting:Faulkner Hospital, an affiliated community hospital with 72 inpatient medicine bedsControl team = General Medical Se........ Read more »

McMahon, G., Katz, J., Thorndike, M., Levy, B., & Loscalzo, J. (2010) Evaluation of a Redesign Initiative in an Internal-Medicine Residency. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(14), 1304-1311. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa0908136  

  • April 12, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Designing better conservation easements for land management

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study looks at 52 conservation easements created by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in California rangelands from 1973 - 2006 to see how the approach of this land protection strategy has evolved over time. Specifically, the study focuses on the challenge of incorporating adaptive management into a legal document that sets restrictions on land use in perpetuity...... Read more »

  • April 12, 2010
  • 12:01 AM

Domestic violence in a multilingual world

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Non-English speakers’ access to emergency services in Australia is in the news again as a Melbourne man has been convicted of the murder of his wife. What makes the case particularly shocking is the fact that the victim, who was originally from Afghanistan, tried to call police a few days before the murder but couldn’t [...]... Read more »

Piller, Ingrid, & Takahashi, Kimie. (2010) Language, Migration, and Human Rights. Wodak, Ruth, Paul Kerswill and Barbara Johnstone. Eds. Handbook of Sociolinguistics. London: Sage. info:/

  • April 11, 2010
  • 10:27 PM

"Sleeping Beauty Paraphilia" and Body Image Disturbance After Brain Injury

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Brain injuries caused by strokes, tumors or head trauma can, on occasion, result in Unusual Changes in Sexuality, as discussed in an earlier blog post. A new case report by Bianchi-Demicheli et al. (2010) describes a unique paraphilia1 in a married 34 year old man. The authors called it Sleeping Beauty paraphilia:This [man] felt sexually aroused from seeing sleeping women as well as from taking care of their hands and nails while they were asleep.The patient came to the attention of the authors ........ Read more »

  • April 11, 2010
  • 05:20 PM

Detecting a Possible Stroke Biomarker in Blood Serum

by Michael Long in Phased

Tetsuo Nagano (University of Tokyo) and coworkers have developed an improved detection protocol for acrolein, a possible indicator of stroke and other medical conditions, which will facilitate rapid diagnosis and medical treatment. This news feature was written on April 11, 2010.... Read more »

Togashi, M., Urano, Y., Kojima, H., Terai, T., Hanaoka, K., Igarashi, K., Hirata, Y., & Nagano, T. (2010) Sensitive Detection of Acrolein in Serum Using Time-Resolved Luminescence. Organic Letters, 12(8), 1704-1707. DOI: 10.1021/ol1002219  

  • April 11, 2010
  • 04:17 PM

Spreading Galaxies Gospel on Facebook

by sarah in One Small Step

Paolo Salucci has a bone to pick with the community. The Trieste-based astronomer is fed up with his colleagues’ misconceptions about galaxy rotation curves and has decided to Do Something About It. In his short paper posted to astro-ph last Friday, he describes the experiment he’s set up to convince the world that galaxy rotation [...]... Read more »

  • April 11, 2010
  • 01:44 PM

Editorial Peer Reviewers' Recommendations at a General Medical Journal: Are They Reliable and Do Editors Care?

by Martin Fenner in Gobbledygook @ Nature Network

Peer review is central to how we evaluate science and therefore how journal papers, grants and jobs are awarded. Peer review is done in many different ways, and has dramatically changed in the last 25 years. But the purpose...... Read more »

  • April 11, 2010
  • 12:50 PM

How Swimming Can Change The Way You Forage

by Daniel Bassett in Chew the Fat

This study really excites me as it shows how functional morphology and swimming mode can be reflected in the ecology and evolution of animals. It shows how the different swimming modes of jellyfish determines how they forage for prey. ... Read more »

  • April 11, 2010
  • 12:46 PM

Phosphorylation without a cause

by Lucas in thoughtomics

Some rebels have no cause. It turns out that some phosphorylations are pretty causeless too!
Phosphorylation: Because all the Hip Kids are doing it.
Phosphorylation is one of the ways by which cells can change what proteins do after they have been produced. The simple addition of a phosphate to proteins can change where a protein goes, [...]... Read more »

Lienhard GE. (2008) Non-functional phosphorylations?. Trends in biochemical sciences, 33(8), 351-2. PMID: 18603430  

Landry, C., Levy, E., & Michnick, S. (2009) Weak functional constraints on phosphoproteomes. Trends in Genetics, 25(5), 193-197. DOI: 10.1016/j.tig.2009.03.003  

  • April 10, 2010
  • 07:33 PM

E-readers in Academia?

by Anatoliy Gruzd in Social Media Lab

Most early e-readers are designed as dedicated device for personal reading. However, due to their high cost, limited set of functionalities, poor quality screen and short battery life, most early e-readers were deemed to be ill suited for academia (Gorissen, 2009). As a result of these deficiencies with early e-readers, most universities have never seriously considered replacing printed books with e-books. ... Read more »

Gorissen, C. (2009) Towards an educational model of eReaders in education. Report. Open Universiteit Nederland. info:/

  • April 10, 2010
  • 06:05 PM

Questioning the Value of Recommendations in Peer Review

by Michael Long in Phased

Richard Kravitz (University of California Davis, United States) and coworkers illustrate that although reviewers often don't agree on whether to accept or reject a manuscript, editors nevertheless heavily rely on single-statement recommendations in making the final cut, calling into question the fundamental fairness of recommendations in peer review. This news feature was written on April 10, 2010.... Read more »

  • April 10, 2010
  • 02:21 PM

Snakes that Became Worms and Discovered Yachting

by Jennifer Frazer in The Artful Amoeba

Since evolution is an inherently aimless process, it often seems fickle and prone to “changing its mind”. Vertebrates came out of the oceans only to return as icthyosaurs, mosasaurs, whales, and seals. Birds took wing only to get grounded as ostriches and auks. And snakes, whose long-ago ancestor (who was also the common ancestor of [...]... Read more »

Vidal, N., Marin, J., Morini, M., Donnellan, S., Branch, W., Thomas, R., Vences, M., Wynn, A., Cruaud, C., & Blair Hedges, S. (2010) Blindsnake evolutionary tree reveals long history on Gondwana. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0220  

  • April 10, 2010
  • 10:23 AM

Immune databases and hypotheses

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

The folks associated with the IEDB (Immune Epitope Database) have published a very nice and useful guide to all the serious contenders in the immune database field.  1 If you have a particular need, this is an excellent starting point for choosing the appropriate starting point.  (It’s an open access article, too.)
They’ve obviously looked [...]... Read more »

Schatz MM, Peters B, Akkad N, Ullrich N, Martinez AN, Carroll O, Bulik S, Rammensee HG, van Endert P, Holzhütter HG.... (2008) Characterizing the N-terminal processing motif of MHC class I ligands. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 180(5), 3210-7. PMID: 18292545  

  • April 10, 2010
  • 10:03 AM

Irreversible Effects of Previous Cortisol Excess on Cognitive Functions in Cushing’s Disease

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

April 8th is Cushing’s Awareness Day. This day has been chosen as a day of awareness as it is the birthday of Dr. Harvey Cushing, a neurosurgeon, who discovered this illness.
Cushing’s disease is a rare hormone disease caused by prolonged exposure to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood, whereas Addison’s disease [...]... Read more »

Tiemensma J, Kokshoorn NE, Biermasz NR, Keijser BJ, Wassenaar MJ, Middelkoop HA, Pereira AM, & Romijn JA. (2010) Subtle Cognitive Impairments in Patients with Long-Term Cure of Cushing's Disease. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. PMID: 20371667  

Patil CG, Lad SP, Katznelson L, & Laws ER Jr. (2007) Brain atrophy and cognitive deficits in Cushing's disease. Neurosurgical focus, 23(3). PMID: 17961025  

  • April 10, 2010
  • 04:00 AM

Operational research

by Bernt Lindtjorn in International Health Research

In global health, operational research is an idea increasingly used by donors and policy makers. It involves analytical methods to help improve public health interventions and treatment of diseases in real-life situations. It is thus different from randomized clinical trials that determines efficacy of an intervention in a strictly controlled environment with inclusion and exclusion [...]... Read more »

  • April 9, 2010
  • 10:42 PM

The Invention of Agriculture

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Earlier I mentioned recent research suggesting that the heartland of Mesoamerican agriculture was in western Mexico, which has important implications for the place of that region in Mesoamerica as a whole and in areas, like the Southwest, subject to Mesoamerican influence in prehistory.  The main research I was talking about is contained in two papers [...]... Read more »

  • April 9, 2010
  • 10:29 PM

The Bad Male Habit of Dropping Dead Early

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Pinkhasov et al. (2010) discuss why it is that in developed countries around the world, life expectancy for men is several years less than for women. Their attention to actual disease states such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer, excludes a broader, sociocultural approach to the problem. I should think that if you want to reduce the 'gender disparity', as the authors call it, between the life expectancy of men and women, you first need to understand how gen........ Read more »

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