Post List

  • April 8, 2010
  • 09:44 PM
  • 472 views

Neury Thursday: Cortical Networking During Infancy

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Japanese scientists have used a 94-channel infrared spectroscopy system to illustrate the dynamic, complex, and global neuronal cross-talk commencing across infant development. ... Read more »

Homae, F., Watanabe, H., Otobe, T., Nakano, T., Go, T., Konishi, Y., & Taga, G. (2010) Development of Global Cortical Networks in Early Infancy. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(14), 4877-4882. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5618-09.2010  

  • April 8, 2010
  • 09:10 PM
  • 1,257 views

Chili Burn: Can Green Tea and Chili Pepper Burn Fat?

by Scott in Science-Based Pharmacy

Diet products are common in most pharmacies. Consumer demand is one factor, with obesity proliferating to the point where the majority of Canadian adults are now overweight or obese. Compounded with the reality that there are no easy solutions when it comes to weight loss, the weight loss industry is working overtime developing new products. [...]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2010
  • 09:02 PM
  • 1,008 views

Polar Bear: Evolved

by Kelsey in Mauka to Makai


A recent study reports that grizzly bears are encroaching on polar bear habitat in northern Manitoba. That could be a bad thing—or it could just be a thing.
Polar bears and grizzly bears (also known as brown bears) have met before. In fact, they’re cousins. The brown bear came first. At some point (hundreds of thousands [...]... Read more »

Lindqvist, C., Schuster, S., Sun, Y., Talbot, S., Qi, J., Ratan, A., Tomsho, L., Kasson, L., Zeyl, E., Aars, J.... (2010) Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(11), 5053-5057. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914266107  

Rockwell, Robert, Linda Gormezano, and Daryll Hedman. (2008) Grizzly Bears, Ursus arctos, in Wapusk National Park, Northeastern Manitoba. Canadian Field Naturalist, 323-326. info:/

  • April 8, 2010
  • 06:42 PM
  • 1,249 views

Defence against cytosolic pathogens…it’s all in the AIM2 baby

by geekheartsscience in geek!

The DNA sensor AIM2 is crucial for host defence against cytosolic pathogens and DNA viruses; it not only senses these intracellular intruders but also promotes inflammatory mechanisms as part of our innate immune system.
In a research double whammy, Nature Immunology has published two studies online—Rathinam et al. and Fernandes-Alnemri et al.—that both discuss how the AIM2 inflammasome [...]... Read more »

Rathinam, V., Jiang, Z., Waggoner, S., Sharma, S., Cole, L., Waggoner, L., Vanaja, S., Monks, B., Ganesan, S., Latz, E.... (2010) The AIM2 inflammasome is essential for host defense against cytosolic bacteria and DNA viruses. Nature Immunology. DOI: 10.1038/ni.1864  

Fernandes-Alnemri, T., Yu, J., Juliana, C., Solorzano, L., Kang, S., Wu, J., Datta, P., McCormick, M., Huang, L., McDermott, E.... (2010) The AIM2 inflammasome is critical for innate immunity to Francisella tularensis. Nature Immunology. DOI: 10.1038/ni.1859  

  • April 8, 2010
  • 05:40 PM
  • 1,257 views

Do fish have six second memories?

by Daniel Bassett in Chew the Fat

The ability to find food is one of the most important behaviours an animal can undertake, and one of the best advantages an animal can have is to remember where food can commonly be found. Laboratory studies have shown that fish are able to use learning-based strategies to locate food with most studies focusing on the aquatic equivalent of the lab rat - the goldfish. ... Read more »

  • April 8, 2010
  • 04:21 PM
  • 1,300 views

Eps Aurigae’s dark secret (interferometry rules!)

by sarah in One Small Step


Since a few weeks some PhD students and postdocs have been organising astro-ph coffee meetings three times a week, where the youngsters in the department can sit together and chat about recent papers. The advantage of having these meetings for only students and postdocs is that we can admit to our utter ignorance about stuff [...]... Read more »

Kloppenborg, B., Stencel, R., Monnier, J., Schaefer, G., Zhao, M., Baron, F., McAlister, H., ten Brummelaar, T., Che, X., Farrington, C.... (2010) Infrared images of the transiting disk in the ε Aurigae system. Nature, 464(7290), 870-872. DOI: 10.1038/nature08968  

  • April 8, 2010
  • 03:51 PM
  • 865 views

Social Learning in Antisocial Animals

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

In an unusual study with potentially revolutionary implications, Austrian biologists Wilkinson et al show evidence of Social learning in a non-social reptile.Social learning means learning to do something by observing others doing it, rather than by doing it yourself. Many sociable animal species, including mammals, birds and even insects, have shown the ability to learn by observing others doing things. It's often seen as a distinct form of cognition, separate to "normal" learning, which evolve........ Read more »

  • April 8, 2010
  • 03:40 PM
  • 910 views

Chow Down

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Grazing livestock may lower nitrous oxide emissions

... Read more »

  • April 8, 2010
  • 03:28 PM
  • 876 views

A Doctor, A Friar, and Now a Presidential Advisor

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Daniel Sulmasy is used to wearing many different figurative outfits, from the white coat he wears as a physician at the University of Chicago Medical Center to the brown robe he dons after work as a Franciscan friar. Now, Sulmasy will have another important role in his wardrobe as a member of President Obama’s Commission [...]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2010
  • 03:21 PM
  • 1,006 views

My nutrition and fitness update: Week 1

by Dave in The Daily Monthly

When I started this month of posts on fitness and nutrition, I promised that I’d be using myself as a bit of a guinea pig, recording all my food and beverage intake, as well as my exercise. You can see my record here, but the MyFitnessPal site doesn’t do a very good job of summing [...]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2010
  • 02:57 PM
  • 1,056 views

Third-party social etiquette: what to do when a female bites off more than she can chew

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

The ability of humans to develop and enforce social norms has been called one of the distinguishing characteristics of our species. Social norms can be loosely defined as behavioral standards that are enforced by third-party social interventions. For example, person A violates person B in some way. Person C is not [...]... Read more »

Raihani, N., Grutter, A., & Bshary, R. (2010) Punishers Benefit From Third-Party Punishment in Fish. Science, 327(5962), 171-171. DOI: 10.1126/science.1183068  

  • April 8, 2010
  • 02:12 PM
  • 1,062 views

Update on Multiple Myeloma: are molecular remissions possible without a transplant?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

By strange coincidence this morning I was listening in to the Celgene R&D Day presentations including an update on their plans for their iMiD therapies thalidomide (Thalomid) and lenalidomide (Revlimid), while reading a couple of interesting papers about Millennium-Takeda's bortezomib...... Read more »

  • April 8, 2010
  • 12:26 PM
  • 1,537 views

What do Great Tits Reveal about the Genetics of Personality?

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, molecular ecology, personality, novelty seeking, exploratory behavior, dopamine receptor, dopamine receptor D4 gene, DRD4 gene polymorphism, ornithology, birds, Great Tit, Parus major, bpr3.org/?p=52,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper






Bold or cautious? Individuals with a particular gene variant are very curious --
but only in some populations.

Image: Henk Dikkers.




Research shows that personality variations are heritable in hum........ Read more »

KORSTEN, P., MUELLER, J., HERMANNSTÄDTER, C., BOUWMAN, K., DINGEMANSE, N., DRENT, P., LIEDVOGEL, M., MATTHYSEN, E., van OERS, K., van OVERVELD, T.... (2010) Association between DRD4 gene polymorphism and personality variation in great tits: a test across four wild populations. Molecular Ecology, 19(4), 832-843. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04518.x  

  • April 8, 2010
  • 11:01 AM
  • 1,717 views

Close to Homo? - The announcement of Australopithecus sediba

by Laelaps in Laelaps



A diagram of how the skeletons of Australopithecus sediba came to be preserved in the Malapa cave deposit. From Dirks et al, 2010.




A little less than two million years ago, in what is now South Africa, a torrential downpour washed the bodies of two humans into the deep recesses of a cave. Just how their remains came to be in the cave in the first place is a mystery. Perhaps they fell in through the gaping hole in the cave roof just as hyenas, saber-toothed cats, horses, and other animals h........ Read more »

Lee R. Berger, Darryl J. de Ruiter, Steven E. Churchill, Peter Schmid, Kristian J. Carlson, Paul H. G. M. Dirks, Job M. Kibii1. (2010) Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa. Science, 195-204. info:/10.1126/science.1184944

Paul H. G. M. Dirks, Job M. Kibii, Brian F. Kuhn, Christine Steininger,, Steven E. Churchill, Jan D. Kramers, Robyn Pickering, Daniel L. Farber,, & Anne-Sophie Mériaux, Andy I. R. Herries, Geoffrey C. P. King, Lee R. Berger. (2010) Geological Setting and Age of Australopithecus sediba from Southern Africa. Science, 205-208. info:/10.1126/science.1184950

  • April 8, 2010
  • 10:35 AM
  • 363 views

I don't mean to say "I told you so"...

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow


This morning I posted about how taxonomy underlies all else in biology, with respect to manta rays.  As if to make my point, an article is just out in Nature suggesting that the genus Drosophila - better known as fruit flies - and may be revised such that one of science's best known model species - Drosophila melanogaster - gets kicked out of its genus!  The split hasn't taken place just yet, ... Read more »

  • April 8, 2010
  • 09:30 AM
  • 1,209 views

What's a Manta do?

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow



Manta rays (Manta birostris) surely vie for the title most spectacular among the large animals in the ocean. Not only do they grow to enormous sizes, but they are placid, graceful, and generally unafraid of humans, which means we can get close to them in the water and really appreciate how incredible they are, up nice and personal. I always thought that mantas were a one-of-a-kind species - the... Read more »

Marhsall, Andrea D., Compagno, Leonard J.V., & Bennett, Michael B. (2009) Redescription of the genus Manta with resurrection of Manta alfredi (Krefft, 1868) (Chondrichthyes; Myliobatoidei; Mobulidae). Zootaxa, 1-28. info:/

  • April 8, 2010
  • 09:26 AM
  • 1,232 views

Eat your fruit and veggies?

by Orac in Respectful Insolence

Eat your fruits and vegetables.

Hasn't that been a constant refrain over the years from public health authorities? Certainly, I have. The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables have been widely touted, and seemingly with good reason. A diet high in fruits and vegetables, it is said, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. In the case of the latter, it as claimed that potential decreases in the risks of some cancers could be as high as 50% a day. As a result, the National Cancer........ Read more »

Boffetta, P., Couto, E., Wichmann, J., Ferrari, P., Trichopoulos, D., Bueno-de-Mesquita, H., van Duijnhoven, F., Buchner, F., Key, T., Boeing, H.... (2010) Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Overall Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute. DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djq072  

  • April 8, 2010
  • 09:23 AM
  • 1,005 views

Genome reveals olfactory communication in the zebra finch

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

In an article published earlier this week in Nature, researchers revealed the complete genome of the zebra finch and focused on the intricacies of their vocal communication. The zebra finch, the males of which are known to learn and repeat the same song generation after generation, show 800 active genes involved in vocalization. One group [...]

... Read more »

Warren, W., et al. (2010) The genome of a songbird. Nature, 464(7289), 757-762. DOI: 10.1038/nature08819  

  • April 8, 2010
  • 09:00 AM
  • 1,238 views

Millions of Australian reptiles falling victim to mine shafts

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

For reptiles and other small vertebrates inhabiting the Coober Pedy opal fields of South Australia, daily life means having to watch where you step (or slither).

Approximately 2 million abandoned opal mine shafts, the legacy of exploratory drilling over the last 30 years, sit uncapped, ready to entrap the unknowing victim.... Read more »

Reece D. Pedler. (2010) The impacts of abandoned mining shafts: Fauna entrapment in opal prospecting shafts at Coober Pedy, South Australia. Ecological Management . info:/10.1111/j.1442-8903.2010.00511.x

  • April 8, 2010
  • 08:27 AM
  • 923 views

Improved survival in a rare cancer with chemotherapy

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

An interesting article has been published in the latest New England journal describing how the addition of a cisplatin to gemcitabine improved survival by two months in biliary tract cancer. Currently, there is no standard treatment for this rare disease,...... Read more »

Valle, J., Wasan, H., Palmer, D., Cunningham, D., Anthoney, A., Maraveyas, A., Madhusudan, S., Iveson, T., Hughes, S., Pereira, S.... (2010) Cisplatin plus Gemcitabine versus Gemcitabine for Biliary Tract Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(14), 1273-1281. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0908721  

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