Imagine that there was no primate fossil record. No hominins, no Proconsul, Dryopithecus, no Eosimias, no Darwinius -- nothing. Now, given this dearth of fossil material, you could be excused for systematically organizing primates according to the stark divisions apparent between living species. Our species, while clearly a primate, would seem to stand by itself, [...]... Read more »
Zalmout, I., Sanders, W., MacLatchy, L., Gunnell, G., Al-Mufarreh, Y., Ali, M., Nasser, A., Al-Masari, A., Al-Sobhi, S., Nadhra, A.... (2010) New Oligocene primate from Saudi Arabia and the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Nature, 466(7304), 360-364. DOI: 10.1038/nature09094
Odor is like fingerprints or facial features - it's unique. Yet no single measurement could be easily applied to recognize an individual. GC/MS measurements can be used to analyze mixtures of acids, alcohols, aldehydes, hydrocarbons, esters, ketones, and nitrogenous molecules in human odor. Complex algorithms mining patterns help to pinpoint the signatures. But could these signatures be easily derived from genetic makeups?Recent article published in the Journal of Chemical Ecology looked at ........ Read more »
Natsch A, Kuhn F, & Tiercy JM. (2010) Lack of Evidence for HLA-Linked Patterns of Odorous Carboxylic Acids Released from Glutamine Conjugates Secreted in the Human Axilla. Journal of chemical ecology. PMID: 20623248
A method used by creation scientists validates evolution... Read more »
SENTER, P. (2010) Using creation science to demonstrate evolution: application of a creationist method for visualizing gaps in the fossil record to a phylogenetic study of coelurosaurian dinosaurs. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02039.x
It has been known for a long time that some anemones form symbiotic relationships with Zooxanthellae. For a while it was assumed that the anemones mainly persisted by utilizing carbon translocated from its symbionts, called autotrophy, but they can may supplement this by heterotrophic feeding on plankton. A study by . . . → Read More: Determining the Fate of Carbon in a Mixotrophic Anemone... Read more »
BACHAR, A., ACHITUV, Y., PASTERNAK, Z., & DUBINSKY, Z. (2007) Autotrophy versus heterotrophy: The origin of carbon determines its fate in a symbiotic sea anemone. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 349(2), 295-298. DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2007.05.030
Per Andren (Uppsula University, Sweden) and coworkers have combined a fine-scale drug quantitation technique with standard histological imaging to yield a powerful approach for evaluating drug distribution within tissue slices. This news feature was written on July 15, 2010.... Read more »
Nilsson, A., Fehniger, T. E., Gustavsson, L., Andersson, M., Kenne, K., Marko-Varga, G., & Andrén, P. E. (2010) Fine Mapping the Spatial Distribution and Concentration of Unlabeled Drugs within Tissue Micro-Compartments Using Imaging Mass Spectrometry. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011411
The Eddington luminosity is the exact brightness a black hole has when the outwards and inwards forces on it balance. It may seem strange to talk about the brightness of a black hole, as usually we think of them as not letting anything – including light – escape their gravitational pull, but in reality this [...]... Read more »
Pakull, M., Soria, R., & Motch, C. (2010) A 300-parsec-long jet-inflated bubble around a powerful microquasar in the galaxy NGC 7793. Nature, 466(7303), 209-212. DOI: 10.1038/nature09168
At the risk of developing a complex that all I talk about is fecal matter, for the second time this week I would like to bring your attention to another study that focuses on the gut and its microbial habitat. A couple of days ago I discussed the challenge of identifying the huge number of [...]... Read more »
Alejandro Reyes, Matthew Haynes, Nicole Hanson, Florent E. Angly, Andrew C. Heath, Forest Rohwer, & Jeffrey I. Gordon. (2010) Viruses in the faecal microbiota of monozygotic twins and their mothers. Nature, 334-338. info:/10.1038/nature09199
DELETION of a single gene switches the sexual orientation of female mice, causing them to engage in sexual behaviour that is typical of males. Korean researchers found that deleting the FucM gene, which encodes an enzyme called fucose mutarotase, causes masculinization of the mouse brain, so that female mice lacking the gene avoid the advances of males and try to mate with other females instead. The findings probably have little relavence to human sexual orientation, however.
FucM is one of a f........ Read more »
Park, D., Choi, D., Lee, J., Lim, D., & Park, C. (2010) Male-like sexual behavior of female mouse lacking fucose mutarotase. BMC Genetics, 11(1), 62. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2156-11-62
Back in the 1990s, paleontologist Jack Horner proposed that Tyrannosaurus rex—popularly cast as the most fearsome predator of all time—was really a giant-sized scavenger. With its small arms, a large part of its brain devoted to analyzing smells, and a mouth full of rail-spike-sized teeth, the tyrant dinosaur seemed to be better-suited to processing the [...]... Read more »
Hone, D., & Watabe, M. (2010) New information on scavenging and selective feeding behaviour of tyrannosaurs. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. DOI: 10.4202/app.2009.0133
Part of applying to graduate school is figuring out who I want to work with and what questions I want to try to answer. To do this, I’m reading a lot of papers. I’d hate for all this paper reading to keep me from blogging, so I’ve decided to share some of the more interesting [...]... Read more »
Novacek, M. (2001) The current biodiversity extinction event: Scenarios for mitigation and recovery. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(10), 5466-5470. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.091093698
Despite causing elevated levels of corticosteroids, physical activity results in an increase in mental health and brain function for most people. This phenomenon has recently been linked to the idea that exercise is mentally linked to personal reward.... Read more »
Leuner, B., Glasper, E., & Gould, E. (2010) Sexual Experience Promotes Adult Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus Despite an Initial Elevation in Stress Hormones. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011597
Earlier this year, the scientific journal PLoS ONE published their 10,000th article. Ten thousand articles is a lot of papers especially when you consider that PLoS ONE only started publishing four short years ago in 2006. But scientists have been publishing in journals for at least 350 years  so it might make you wonder, how many articles have been published in scientific and learned journals since time began?... Read more »
Jinha, A. (2010) Article 50 million: an estimate of the number of scholarly articles in existence. Learned Publishing, 23(3), 258-263. DOI: 10.1087/20100308
Strategies that minimize one risk…may augment another risk… Peasant farmers are perfectly conversant with such linkages. The neglect of peasant agriculture by both donors and governments is among the deeper causes of current crises, along with the increasing inequality that deprives them of secure tenure to land and other resources, reducing benefits they can expect [...]... Read more »
McKey, D., Cavagnaro, T., Cliff, J., & Gleadow, R. (2010) Chemical ecology in coupled human and natural systems: people, manioc, multitrophic interactions and global change. Chemoecology, 20(2), 109-133. DOI: 10.1007/s00049-010-0047-1
McKey, D., Elias, M., Pujol, B., & Duputié, A. (2010) The evolutionary ecology of clonally propagated domesticated plants. New Phytologist, 186(2), 318-332. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03210.x
Who would have thought that men put so much thought into not ordering fish but steak, bangers and mash but not strawberries and cream? Gal and Wilkie (2010) say more please and many men end up with perpetual tummy ache.... Read more »
Gal, D., & Wilkie, J. (2010) Real Men Don't Eat Quiche: Regulation of Gender-Expressive Choices by Men. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550610365003
A few years ago you started seeing the crest of studies which basically took several hundred individuals (or thousands) from a range of locations, and then extracted out the two largest components of genetic variation from the hundreds of thousands of variants. The clusters which fell out of the genetic data, with each point being [...]... Read more »
A year ago Buchwald and Bolm investigated some alleged iron-catalysed coupling reactions and found that copper present in minute quantities as a contaminant was the true catalyst. In a similar case, Lauterbach et al. in a new publication argue that several gold-catalyzed coupling reactions reported in the recent literature are in fact co-catalyzed by hidden palladium. Gold just cannot do it on its own.
... Read more »
Lauterbach, T., Livendahl, M., Rosellón, A., Espinet, P., & Echavarren, A. (2010) Unlikeliness of Pd-Free Gold(I)-Catalyzed Sonogashira Coupling Reactions. Organic Letters, 12(13), 3006-3009. DOI: 10.1021/ol101012n
Far from being "The Silent World", the oceans are alive with sound. Marine biologist Andrew Guerin discusses how sound is important to marine animals and what effect noise pollution from human endeavours may have on ocean ecosystems.... Read more »
Slabbekoorn, H., Bouton, N., van Opzeeland, I., Coers, A., ten Cate, C., & Popper, A. (2010) A noisy spring: the impact of globally rising underwater sound levels on fish. Trends in Ecology , 25(7), 419-427. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.04.005
"Yes" is the correct answer. Here's the background to the question:I finally mustered the courage (i.e., sufficient control over my blood pressure) to read Pulvermuller & Fadiga's recent (2010) review paper in Nature Reviews Neuroscience. But I don't want to talk about their paper -- yet. I want to discuss a paper they cite. Here is the context in which they cite it: P & F are, of course, arguing for the importance of the motor system in receptive language. After arguing correctly that sens........ Read more »
Bishop DV, Brown BB, & Robson J. (1990) The relationship between phoneme discrimination, speech production, and language comprehension in cerebral-palsied individuals. Journal of speech and hearing research, 33(2), 210-9. PMID: 2359262
GATHERCOLE, S., & BADDELEY, A.D. (1989) Evaluation of the role of phonological STM in the development of vocabulary in children: A longitudinal study. Journal of Memory and Language, 28(2), 200-213. DOI: 10.1016/0749-596X(89)90044-2
Pulvermüller F, & Fadiga L. (2010) Active perception: sensorimotor circuits as a cortical basis for language. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 11(5), 351-60. PMID: 20383203
I am typing this standing in front of my computer. My tall chair is aside. About a year ago I discovered that life is better if I stand while working some of the time. Then I found out that other people discovered it too, and more keep discovering. We hear it often: eat less and exercise. But this may not be enough. As shown in a recent study, exercise does not counteract the ill effects of sedentary lives, we should keep moving throughout the day too. New York Times article about th........ Read more »
WARREN, T., BARRY, V., HOOKER, S., SUI, X., CHURCH, T., & BLAIR, S. (2010) Sedentary Behaviors Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men. Medicine , 42(5), 879-885. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c3aa7e
Dunstan, D., Barr, E., Healy, G., Salmon, J., Shaw, J., Balkau, B., Magliano, D., Cameron, A., Zimmet, P., & Owen, N. (2010) Television Viewing Time and Mortality: The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Circulation, 121(3), 384-391. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.894824
Katzmarzyk PT, Church TS, Craig CL, & Bouchard C. (2009) Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 41(5), 998-1005. PMID: 19346988
KATZMARZYK, P., CHURCH, T., CRAIG, C., & BOUCHARD, C. (2009) Sitting Time and Mortality from All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer. Medicine , 41(5), 998-1005. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181930355
Although advances in next-generation sequencing technology have replaced the need for clone libraries in many laboratories, fosmid libraries are still useful in a variety of functional genomics studies.
Xu et al.1 present the first report of a host-specific restriction system associated with S-modification of DNA (phosphorothioation), instead of methylation. The authors observed that the enteropathogenic Salmonella enterica serovar Cerro 87, which possesses S-modified DNA, restricts DNA isolate........ Read more »
Xu, T. et al. (2010) A novel host-specific restriction system associated with DNA backbone S-modification in Salmonella. Nucleic Acids Research. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq610
Lucker, S. et al. (2010) A Nitrospira metagenome illuminates the physiology and evolution of globally important nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003860107
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