The March issue of International Microbiology included a very nice article by Roberto Kolter, professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. The title is Biofilms in lab and nature: a molecular geneticist’s voyage to microbial ecology (freely available as PDF).In the article, the author gives an entertaining account of the path that lead him to the study of biofilms -- that is, aggregations of microbes growing on solid substrates. He also highlights some of his rec........ Read more »
Roberto Kolter. (2010) Biofilms in lab and nature: a molecular geneticist’s voyage to microbial ecology. Int. Microbiol., 1-7. info:/10.2436/20.1501.01.105
Rosy Apple Aphid (Whalon lab, MSU) Normally I don’t talk about research that’s well covered elsewhere, but I like this one so much (and it links back to so many of my earlier posts; check the footnotes for those links) that I’ll make an exception here. I’d seen bits and pieces of this story, but [...]... Read more »
Oliver KM, Degnan PH, Hunter MS, & Moran NA. (2009) Bacteriophages encode factors required for protection in a symbiotic mutualism. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5943), 992-4. PMID: 19696350
Degnan PH, Yu Y, Sisneros N, Wing RA, & Moran NA. (2009) Hamiltonella defensa, genome evolution of protective bacterial endosymbiont from pathogenic ancestors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(22), 9063-8. PMID: 19451630
Degnan PH, & Moran NA. (2008) Evolutionary genetics of a defensive facultative symbiont of insects: exchange of toxin-encoding bacteriophage. Molecular ecology, 17(3), 916-29. PMID: 18179430
Degnan PH, & Moran NA. (2008) Diverse phage-encoded toxins in a protective insect endosymbiont. Applied and environmental microbiology, 74(21), 6782-91. PMID: 18791000
Continuing my series on the Evolution of Colour terms, this post reviews evidence for perceptual constraints on colour terms. For the full dissertation and for references, go here.
The perceptual space that results from the processing of opponent colours is non-uniform (see Figure below), meaning that there are optimal ways to describe it (Jameson & D’Andrade, . . . → Read More: Evolution of Colour Terms: 3 Perceptual Constraints... Read more »
Jameson, K., & D'Andrade, R.G. (1997) It's not really Red, Green, Yellow, Blue: An Inquiry into cognitive color space. Color Categories in Thought and Language. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511519819.014
Regier, T., Kay, P., & Khetarpal, N. (2007) Color naming reflects optimal partitions of color space. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(4), 1436-1441. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0610341104
Liljencrants, J., Lindblom, B., & Lindblom, B. (1972) Numerical Simulation of Vowel Quality Systems: The Role of Perceptual Contrast. Language, 48(4), 839. DOI: 10.2307/411991
Buchsbaum, G. (2002) Color categories revealed by non-negative matrix factorization of Munsell color spectra. Vision Research, 42(5), 559-563. DOI: 10.1016/S0042-6989(01)00303-0
While everybody was busy talking about unexpectedly old cutmarks and other Pleistocene goings-on last week, the paper by Strasser et al. (2010) describing the discovery of quartz handaxe assemblages on Crete quietly came out in Hesperia. This is a topic that was discussed at length on this blog, in several posts that generated a large amount of comments a few months back. The sticking point of ... Read more »
Strasser, T., Panagopoulou, E., Runnels, C., Murray, P., Thompson, N., Karkanas, P., McCoy, F., & Wegmann, K. (2010) Stone Age Seafaring in the Mediterranean: Evidence from the Plakias Region for Lower Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Habitation of Crete. Hesperia, 79(2), 145-190. DOI: 10.2972/hesp.79.2.145
You can think of a lot such as technical procedures or washing your hands. For residents it’s obvious. Mostly learning the technical procedure of an operation. During long operations I used to count the number of stitches. Once during a vascular operation the chief surgeon out of the blue asked what vessel it was they’re [...]
Related posts:Bedside teaching, Computer Based Learning and Wiki in Medical Education
Personalized Medical Education
Empathy for the Mentally Ill in Medical........ Read more »
Irani, J., Greenberg, J., Blanco, M., Greenberg, C., Ashley, S., Lipsitz, S., Hafler, J., & Breen, E. (2010) Educational value of the operating room experience during a core surgical clerkship. The American Journal of Surgery, 200(1), 167-172. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009.06.023
One of the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics is that objects can be described as waves, whether they are electrons, atoms, light, anything really, even your cat (or that of Erwin Schrödinger). And of course, if the equations that describe their wavefunctions are identical, objects will behave in the same way. Even if they are fundamentally different physical entities.
Two papers published this week highlight just how far this analogy can go. In one study a gas of ultracold atoms beha........ Read more »
Sherson, J., Weitenberg, C., Endres, M., Cheneau, M., Bloch, I., & Kuhr, S. (2010) Single-atom-resolved fluorescence imaging of an atomic Mott insulator. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09378
Manning, A., Hodgman, S., Dall, R., Johnsson, M., & Truscott, A. (2010) The Hanbury Brown-Twiss effect in a pulsed atom laser. Optics Express, 18(18), 18712. DOI: 10.1364/OE.18.018712
A few years ago, a cousin of mine told me the story of the time she was at a public swimming pool (in Utah, I believe) when her infant son demanded to be fed. She did what came naturally: she began to breastfeed her son. This act didn't go over very well with at least one of the pool's patrons, who came over to my cousin and sneered "That's disgusting! I have young children and they don't need to see that!" My cousin mused on how curious it was that this lady wasn't bothered by her children ........ Read more »
Hsu, M., Hsu, Y., & Wu, W. (2002) Consumption of flea faeces and eggs by larvae of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 16(4), 445-447. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2915.2002.00388.x
Laurent Cognet (Universite de Bordeaux, France) and coworkers have used PAINT microscopy to track tens of thousands of protein binding events in cell membranes within a few minutes, extremely useful for unraveling secrets of cell membrane physiology. This news feature was written on August 18, 2010.... Read more »
Giannone, G., Hosy, E., Levet, F., Constals, A., Schulze, K., Sobolevsky, A. I., Rosconi, M. P., Gouaux, E., Tampé, R., & Choquet, D. (2010) Dynamic Superresolution Imaging of Endogenous Proteins on Living Cells at Ultra-High Density. Biophysical Journal, 99(4), 1303-1310. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.06.005
Some months ago, Jonathan Green and his colleagues simultaneously published (in the Lancet) and presented (at IMFAR 2010) their multi-site RCT of an early autism intervention. In conducting and reporting the Pre-school Autism Communication Trial, they have made autism research history. They have done so simply by applying to autistics scientific standards that are well-established in non-autism non-ABA areas. The upshot is an autism early intervention trial whose results are worth serious consid........ Read more »
Green, J., Charman, T., McConachie, H., Aldred, C., Slonims, V., Howlin, P., Le Couteur, A., Leadbitter, K., Hudry, K., & Byford, S. (2010) Parent-mediated communication-focused treatment in children with autism (PACT): a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 375(9732), 2152-2160. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60587-9
Spence, S., & Thurm, A. (2010) Testing autism interventions: trials and tribulations. The Lancet, 375(9732), 2124-2125. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60757-X
Emerging infectious diseases do not only affect humans. Wildlife is threatened as well, and an alarming report from Britain documents an avian tragedy of great proportions. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Robinson, Robert, Lawson, Becki, Toms, Mike, Peck, Kirsi, Kirckwood,James, Chantrye, Julian, Clatworthy, Innes, Evans, Andy, Hughes, Laura, Hutchinson, Oliver.... (2010) Emerging Infectious Disease Leads to Rapid Population Declines of Common British Birds . PLoS ONE, 5(8). info:/
Diet medications may damage your liver, low-carbohydrate diets can cause kidney failure, and gastric bypass carries with it all the risks and complications of any body-altering surgery. However, recent research has suggested a slightly less risky fat-fighting alternative: seaweed.... Read more »
PAXMAN, J., RICHARDSON, J., DETTMAR, P., & CORFE, B. (2008) Alginate reduces the increased uptake of cholesterol and glucose in overweight male subjects: a pilot study. Nutrition Research, 28(8), 501-505. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2008.05.008
Brownlee, I., Allen, A., Pearson, J., Dettmar, P., Havler, M., Atherton, M., & Onsøyen, E. (2005) Alginate as a Source of Dietary Fiber. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 45(6), 497-510. DOI: 10.1080/10408390500285673
In the guts of each of us there are trillions of microbes. They provide us with "enhanced metabolic capabilities, protection against pathogens, education of the immune system, and modulation of gastrointestinal development" (De Filippo et al. 2010). The diversity of these organisms can play a role in the future development of disease. But, what makes our guts so diverse? As De Filippo et al. (2010) report, one main factor appears to be diet.... Read more »
De Filippo C, Cavalieri D, Di Paola M, Ramazzotti M, Poullet JB, Massart S, Collini S, Pieraccini G, & Lionetti P. (2010) Impact of diet in shaping gut microbiota revealed by a comparative study in children from Europe and rural Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20679230
Arthur Michalek (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, United States) and coworkers show that scientific misconduct costs a tremendous amount of money, and is definitely not a "victimless crime." This news feature was written on August 18, 2010.... Read more »
Michalek, A. M., Hutson, A. D., Wicher, C. P., & Trump, D. L. (2010) The Costs and Underappreciated Consequences of Research Misconduct: A Case Study. PLoS Medicine, 7(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000318
sourceThe recreational drug 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC; aka mephedrone, MMCAT) was legal in the UK up until mid April of this year. I had previously covered the only work in a behaving animal model that I could find, a paper using drug-discrimination techniques to evaluate the discriminative stimulus (aka, subjective) properties of several cathinone derivative compounds (but [...]... Read more »
Torrance H, & Cooper G. (2010) The detection of mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) in 4 fatalities in Scotland. Forensic science international. PMID: 20685050
The human visual system includes two pathways, magnocellular and parvocellular, deriving from two types of retinal ganglion cells that project to different layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus. ...
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Sperling, A., Lu, Z., Manis, F., & Seidenberg, M. (2005) Deficits in perceptual noise exclusion in developmental dyslexia. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn1474
I previously posted a study that found melatonin to be an effective treatment for insomnia among children with autism. This post has been accessed via Google search more than any other Brain Posts. It is apparent that many people are interested in the potential role of melatonin in treating sleep problems in children.There have been several research and clinical guideline manuscripts that address this issue. A review of sleep disorders in children was published in Clinical Evid........ Read more »
Owens JA, Rosen CL, & Mindell JA. (2003) Medication use in the treatment of pediatric insomnia: results of a survey of community-based pediatricians. Pediatrics, 111(5 Pt 1). PMID: 12728122
Owens JA, Rosen CL, Mindell JA, & Kirchner HL. (2010) Use of pharmacotherapy for insomnia in child psychiatry practice: A national survey. Sleep medicine, 11(7), 692-700. PMID: 20621556
van Geijlswijk IM, van der Heijden KB, Egberts AC, Korzilius HP, & Smits MG. (2010) Dose finding of melatonin for chronic idiopathic childhood sleep onset insomnia: an RCT. Psychopharmacology. PMID: 20668840
Recent activity in academia and the blogosphere has been encouraging scientists and everyday people to get out of the mono-mindset. Is monolingualism a legitimate abstraction for scientists or is bilingualism a fundamental part of language?... Read more »
Piller, I. (2010) The bilingual edge: why, when, and how to teach your child a second language. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13(1), 115-118. DOI: 10.1080/13670050802645942
Otsuji, E., & Pennycook, A. (2010) Metrolingualism: fixity, fluidity and language in flux. International Journal of Multilingualism, 7(3), 240-254. DOI: 10.1080/14790710903414331
Evidence from numerous sources seems to be converging to suggest that sponges - the first animals - emerged much earlier than the beginning of the Cambrian, and apparently sailed through severe climatic events in the Cryogenian without much trouble at all. Continue reading →... Read more »
Maloof, A., Rose, C., Beach, R., Samuels, B., Calmet, C., Erwin, D., Poirier, G., Yao, N., & Simons, F. (2010) Possible animal-body fossils in pre-Marinoan limestones from South Australia. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo934
It has been known for some time that the WMAP data is more consistant with the existence of four neutrino species than three. Nevertheless, most cosmologists shrug this off as three is by no means ruled out. However, Hamann et al. 2010 demonstrate that such a dismissal may be a mistake.
It turns out, when WMAP 7 year data is combined with Sloan data, the three neutrino species model is ruled
... Read more »
Jan Hamann, Steen Hannestad, Georg G. Raffelt, Irene Tamborra, & Yvonne Y. Y. Wong. (2010) Cosmology seeking friendship with sterile neutrinos. Eprint. arXiv: 1006.5276v1
Vitamin D is a fascinating molecule with a fascinating story. Historically, “vitamins” were defined as chemicals that humans required from their environment that were “vital” to human health. These chemicals were needed only in very small amounts to prevent disease; an absence of a particular vitamin in the diet led to a specific deficiency disease: [...]... Read more »
Rajakumar, K. (2003) Vitamin D, Cod-Liver Oil, Sunlight, and Rickets: A Historical Perspective. PEDIATRICS, 112(2). DOI: 10.1542/peds.112.2.e132
Brannon PM, Yetley EA, Bailey RL, & Picciano MF. (2008) Overview of the conference "Vitamin D and Health in the 21st Century: an Update". The American journal of clinical nutrition, 88(2). PMID: 18689388
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