Post List

  • September 8, 2010
  • 04:00 PM

Our favorite sea monsters – The Giant Manta Special Edition

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

Sea Monsters, mythical beasts of legend and lore that ply the world’s oceans, sinking ships, terrifying sailors, swallowing entire crews whole. Sea monsters occupy a special place in our imagination. The ocean is huge, unfathomable. Of course mighty beast could dwell within, undetected.
Every once in a long while, the myths, the legends, the stories, turn [...]... Read more »

ANDREA D. MARSHALL1, LEONARD J.V. COMPAGNO, & MICHAEL B. BENNETT1. (2009) Redescription of the genus Manta with resurrection of Manta alfredi (Krefft, 1868) (Chondrichthyes; Myliobatoidei; Mobulidae). Zootaxa. info:/

  • September 8, 2010
  • 03:23 PM

Finding the Gene for Migraines

by agoldstein in WiSci

Migraine headaches affect 1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men, and can be triggered by any number of seemingly innocuous events, from eating cheese, to taking birth control pills, to exercising. In 2009, people worldwide spent $2.6 billion on preventative drugs, trying treatments from beta-blockers to anticonvulsants.1 Yet, despite being considered the most expensive brain disorder in the European Union and United States, the source of migraines has remained elusive . . . until now.... Read more »

  • September 8, 2010
  • 02:16 PM

It’s A Waterbird Wasteland

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Maybe sewage could offer salvation. Wetlands built to filter sewage and polluted runoff have become essential habitat for some of the world’s endangered waterbirds, but pose disease risks and other problems. Now, two recent studies offer some insight into the potential conservation promise – and peril – of artificial swamps.
One of the studies, published […] Read More »... Read more »

  • September 8, 2010
  • 12:59 PM

Yet more graphene transistors – it’s twins!

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Last week I blogged about a Nature paper on graphene transistors with a self-aligned nanowire gate.  Well, as I gather from a blog post by Doug Natelson, largely the same UCLA researchers have now published a paper in Nano Letters that uses a rather similar idea, even though in the latest paper the nanowire gate is [...]... Read more »

Liao, L., Bai, J., Cheng, R., Lin, Y., Jiang, S., Qu, Y., Huang, Y., & Duan, X. (2010) Sub-100 nm Channel Length Graphene Transistors. Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/nl101724k  

Liao, L., Lin, Y., Bao, M., Cheng, R., Bai, J., Liu, Y., Qu, Y., Wang, K., Huang, Y., & Duan, X. (2010) High-speed graphene transistors with a self-aligned nanowire gate. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09405  

  • September 8, 2010
  • 12:25 PM

Maximum (un)Sustainable Yield

by Bluegrass Blue Crab in Southern Fried Science

In 1954 and 1957 Gordon and Schaefer respectively described the idea of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) – that is, the amount of fish that could be taken by commercial fishing operations to maximize reproduction by the system year after year. Since then, it has been heralded as the mathematical panacea to fisheries management.
Gordon and Schaefer [...]... Read more »

  • September 8, 2010
  • 11:03 AM

Ocean of Pseudoscience Shorty – Can methane bubbles sink ships?

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

One of the often cited causes for ships that mysteriously and quickly disappear are methane bubbles, released from sub-seafloor gas pockets. The story goes that as methane rises to the surface, the bubbles cause the density of seawater to drop, and any ships in the area suddenly lose buoyancy and spontaneously sink. This effect has [...]... Read more »

May, D., & Monaghan, J. (2003) Can a single bubble sink a ship?. American Journal of Physics, 71(9), 842. DOI: 10.1119/1.1582187  

Hueschen, M. (2010) Can bubbles sink ships?. American Journal of Physics, 78(2), 139. DOI: 10.1119/1.3263819  

  • September 8, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

Mom and Pop Parenting: Determinism Strikes Again

by Emily Anthes in Wonderland

Is oxytocin responsible for gender differences in parenting styles?... Read more »

Gordon, I., Zagoory-Sharon, O., Leckman, J., & Feldman, R. (2010) Oxytocin and the Development of Parenting in Humans. Biological Psychiatry, 68(4), 377-382. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.02.005  

  • September 8, 2010
  • 09:58 AM

Wnt signaling and cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

In April at the AACR annual meeting, Bert Vogelstein talked about 12 critically aberrant pathways in cancer and we have talked about a few of these on this blog this year. Today, I want to take a look at another...... Read more »

  • September 8, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Tip of the Week: Varietas. A plaid database.

by Mary in OpenHelix

For this week’s Tip of the Week I’ll introduce Varietas, a resource that integrates human variation information such as SNP and CNV data, and offers a handy tabular output with links to additional databases that will enable researchers to quickly explore other sources of information about the variations or regions of interest.
I think this is the first resource I’ve used from Finland. And it’s definitely the first resource I have used that is plaid. But it struck me that........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Getting out of their depth: How rockfish speciate without physical barriers

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Most evolutionary biologists believe that the easiest means for two populations to become reproductively isolated—a first step to splitting into different species—is a physical barrier to movement. Mountain ranges, deep river valleys, or the sheer distance between an island and the mainland—the opportunities for allopatric speciation are all over the place. Unless, of course, you remember that the planet's largest habitat is the ocean, and there aren't such obvious physical barriers out at........ Read more »

Ingram, T. (2010) Speciation along a depth gradient in a marine adaptive radiation. Proc. Royal Soc. B. info:/10.1098/rspb.2010.1127

  • September 8, 2010
  • 08:54 AM

Autistic Toddlers Like Screensavers

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Young children with autism prefer looking at geometric patterns over looking at other people. At least, some of them do. That's according to a new study - Preference for Geometric Patterns Early in Life As a Risk Factor for Autism.Pierce et al took 110 toddlers (age 14 to 42 months). Some of them had autism, some had "developmental delay" but not autism, and some were normally developing.The kids were shown a one-minute video clip. One half of the screen showed some kids doing yoga, while the ot........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2010
  • 08:23 AM

Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Preschoolers: Pathologizing childhood or a sign of trouble to come?

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

The New York Times recently released two interesting reports about mental health issues in young children. The first examined the concept of preschool depression (see also here for one of our previous reviews about depression in young children). The second examined the practice of prescribing antipsychotic medications in young children. Both articles touched on an [...]... Read more »

Keenan, K., Boeldt, D., Chen, D., Coyne, C., Donald, R., Duax, J., Hart, K., Perrott, J., Strickland, J., Danis, B.... (2010) Predictive validity of DSM-IV oppositional defiant and conduct disorders in clinically referred preschoolers. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02290.x  

  • September 8, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Insulin Sensitive Obesity

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

This week, I am hosting Matthias Blüher, Professor of Endocrinology from the University of Leipzig, Germany, who yesterday, presented a seminar on the topic of “Insulin Sensitive Obesity” at the Alberta Diabetes Institute.
As most readers will know, excess weight is typically associated with insulin resistance, which has been suggested to be a major underlying factor [...]... Read more »

Klöting N, Fasshauer M, Dietrich A, Kovacs P, Schön MR, Kern M, Stumvoll M, & Blüher M. (2010) Insulin-sensitive obesity. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism, 299(3). PMID: 20570822  

  • September 8, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Phantom radiation protection

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Ionizing radiation exists as either subatomic particles (alpha and beta particles, and neutrons) or photons (electromagnetic waves at X-ray and gamma ray wavelengths, i.e. energies of a few electron volts). The energy from such radiation can strip electrons from atoms or molecules, thus ionizing them, but it has to have an energy above a certain [...]Phantom radiation protection is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Mauro Valente, Francisco Malano, & Germán Tirao. (2010) A computational tool for evaluating the exposure risk in nuclear medicine treatments. Int. J. Low Radiation, 7(4), 333-346. info:/

  • September 8, 2010
  • 06:48 AM

Watching mutations as they happen

by Becky in It Takes 30

Darwin never knew what a mutation was.  He inferred that the hereditary material of a species could change, and that changes could be positively or negatively selected, but he knew nothing of the “central dogma” of molecular biology: genes make RNA make protein.  Until Watson and Crick came along with their coy but memorable statement, [...]... Read more »

Elez M, Murray AW, Bi LJ, Zhang XE, Matic I, & Radman M. (2010) Seeing mutations in living cells. Current biology : CB, 20(16), 1432-7. PMID: 20674359  

  • September 8, 2010
  • 06:48 AM

Wild-type humans

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

Wild-type is the term geneticists use to refer to non-mutants. It literally means organisms that are the same, genetically, as those in the wild, compared to ones that have been grown under coddled conditions in the lab for generations, going soft in the absence of natural selection, or that are specifically mutant at some gene or other. There are no wild-type humans. Well, maybe there are a few, somewhere, but even they are not really non-mutants. We all carry millions of mutations in our g........ Read more »

Ng, S., Turner, E., Robertson, P., Flygare, S., Bigham, A., Lee, C., Shaffer, T., Wong, M., Bhattacharjee, A., Eichler, E.... (2009) Targeted capture and massively parallel sequencing of 12 human exomes. Nature, 461(7261), 272-276. DOI: 10.1038/nature08250  

Roach, J., Glusman, G., Smit, A., Huff, C., Hubley, R., Shannon, P., Rowen, L., Pant, K., Goodman, N., Bamshad, M.... (2010) Analysis of Genetic Inheritance in a Family Quartet by Whole-Genome Sequencing. Science, 328(5978), 636-639. DOI: 10.1126/science.1186802  

  • September 8, 2010
  • 06:45 AM

Sexual selection: lowered expectations edition

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Sexual selection is, for lack of a better term, a sexy concept. Charles Darwin elaborated on the specific phenomenon of sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. In The Third Chimpanzee Jared Diamond endorsed Darwin’s thesis that sexual selection could explain the origin of human races, as each isolated [...]... Read more »

  • September 8, 2010
  • 06:39 AM

Clickable Tree of Eukaryotes (Katz Lab)

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

For a while I've been contemplating on considering to con someone into making a clickable tree for me, allowing one to zoom in and click genus names leading to further info/pictures/whatever. Of course, I'd be far too lazy to actually execute such a project, especially given my lack of programming skills, and lack of faith in the stability of current phylogenies... luckily, I recently discovered some nice people already took care of that, and produced a really awesome tree:The genus names lead t........ Read more »

Parfrey, L., Barbero, E., Lasser, E., Dunthorn, M., Bhattacharya, D., Patterson, D., & Katz, L. (2006) Evaluating Support for the Current Classification of Eukaryotic Diversity. PLoS Genetics, 2(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0020220  

Parfrey, L., Grant, J., Tekle, Y., Lasek-Nesselquist, E., Morrison, H., Sogin, M., Patterson, D., & Katz, L. (2010) Broadly Sampled Multigene Analyses Yield a Well-Resolved Eukaryotic Tree of Life. Systematic Biology. DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syq037  

  • September 8, 2010
  • 06:03 AM

Is Jesus making you overeat?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

Well, in fairness, Jesus’ twelve Apostles should also share in the blame.
An incredibly quirky and yet fascinating study was published in the International Journal of Obesity which investigated the size of the food and plates that have been depicted in paintings of Jesus’ Last Supper over the last 1000 years.
The trend of gradually increasing portion sizes is well documented; just go to your local McDonalds and order a large drink and fries and drive yourself directly to the nearby ........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Cleaning up the mess: redevelopment of urban brownfields

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

From Economic Development Quarterly The state of Michigan has had an aggressive program of environmental cleanup efforts targeted at contaminated properties since the early 1970s. Following  legislative changes brownfield redevelopment was made a top economic and environmental priority. This article examines the impact of the initiative. The findings present mixed results, identifying that 15% to 20% [...]... Read more »

Hula, R.C., & Bromley-Trujillo, R. (2010) Cleaning up the mess: redevelopment of urban brownfields. Economic Development Quarterly. info:/10.1177/0891242410365711

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