A photograph and line drawing (left side) of the fossil dolphin Astadelphis gastaldii. The crescent-shaped line in the line drawing represents the bite of a large shark, with the red portions representing damage done directly to the bone. From Bianucci et al, 2010.
Shark attacks are events of speed and violence. When they have locked on to a prey item sharks seem to come out of nowhere, and though they can be quite gentle with their jaws (as on occasions when they are unsure about whether ........ Read more »
CHRISTY C. VISAGGI and STEPHEN J. GODFREY. (2010) VARIATION IN COMPOSITION AND ABUNDANCE OF MIOCENE SHARK TEETH FROM CALVERT CLIFFS, MARYLAND. Journal of Verterbrate Paleontology, 30(1), 26-35. info:/
Godfrey, S., & Smith, J. (2010) Shark-bitten vertebrate coprolites from the Miocene of Maryland. Naturwissenschaften. DOI: 10.1007/s00114-010-0659-x
BIANUCCI, G., SORCE, B., STORAI, T., & LANDINI, W. (2010) Killing in the Pliocene: shark attack on a dolphin from Italy. Palaeontology, 53(2), 457-470. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00945.x
Recently, the only known wolverine in Michigan passed away. Unlike the life and death of most wild animals, which unfold without human fanfare, her life and death were noticed. Scrutinized even. Rare species catch our attention. Rare species persisting outside their normal range even more so. Wolverines are often characterized as solitary creatures, thinly distributed [...]... Read more »
Copeland, J., McKelvey, K., Aubry, K., Landa, A., Persson, J., Inman, R., Krebs, J., Lofroth, E., Golden, H., Squires, J.... (2010) The bioclimatic envelope of the wolverine (Gulo gulo): do climatic constraints limit its geographic distribution?. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 88(3), 233-246. DOI: 10.1139/Z09-136
From PNAS March 16, 2010 vol. 107 no. 11 5053-5057 "Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear" Lindqvist et al. 2010.
The polar bear has become the flagship species in the climate-change discussion. However, little is known about how past climate impacted its evolution and persistence, given an extremely poor fossil record. Although it is ... 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
Matching 100 billion neurons with their appropriate partners is a daunting task, especially when each neuron can make synaptic contact with about 1,000 other cells. Nevertheless, the developing brain accomplishes this feat with remarkable specificity – neurons from each area of the brain send out axons which follow a stereotyped pathway to find their appropriate targets, guided by signpost proteins along the way. Once in the right general area they have to select specific cell types with whi........ Read more »
Ko J, Fuccillo MV, Malenka RC, & Südhof TC. (2009) LRRTM2 functions as a neurexin ligand in promoting excitatory synapse formation. Neuron, 64(6), 791-8. PMID: 20064387
de Wit J, Sylwestrak E, O'Sullivan ML, Otto S, Tiglio K, Savas JN, Yates JR 3rd, Comoletti D, Taylor P, & Ghosh A. (2009) LRRTM2 interacts with Neurexin1 and regulates excitatory synapse formation. Neuron, 64(6), 799-806. PMID: 20064388
Dolan J, Walshe K, Alsbury S, Hokamp K, O'Keeffe S, Okafuji T, Miller SF, Tear G, & Mitchell KJ. (2007) The extracellular leucine-rich repeat superfamily; a comparative survey and analysis of evolutionary relationships and expression patterns. BMC genomics, 320. PMID: 17868438
Oral contraceptives can actually change a woman's mate preference...with detrimental consequences.... Read more »
Roberts, S., Gosling, L., Carter, V., & Petrie, M. (2008) MHC-correlated odour preferences in humans and the use of oral contraceptives. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1652), 2715-2722. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0825
Garver-Apgar, C., Gangestad, S., Thornhill, R., Miller, R., & Olp, J. (2006) Major Histocompatibility Complex Alleles, Sexual Responsivity, and Unfaithfulness in Romantic Couples. Psychological Science, 17(10), 830-835. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01789.x
Alvergne, A., & Lummaa, V. (2010) Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?. Trends in Ecology , 25(3), 171-179. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.08.003
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
by Elio The transposases! The contest, in case you wonder, was for the most abundant set of genes in the known universe, or at least in the genomic data banks available on Earth. Aziz, Breitbart, and Edwards examined some 10 million genes from 2137 sequenced genomes (47 archaeal, 725 bacterial, 29 eukaryotic and 1336 viral) plus 187 metagenomes, in search...... Read more »
Aziz RK, Breitbart M, & Edwards RA. (2010) Transposases are the most abundant, most ubiquitous genes in nature. Nucleic acids research. PMID: 20215432
Slade et al. (2009) is a qualitative study on people with non-specific chronic low back pain and examines their exercise adherence. It examines their experiences of exercise past and present and also how they felt during the research study programme. Many of the findings are in line with expectations from people who have been unsuccessful at establishing long term exercise behaviour, low exercise self efficacy and feelings of fear and helplessness. The participants also reporte........ Read more »
Slade SC, Molloy E, & Keating JL. (2009) People with non-specific chronic low back pain who have participated in exercise programs have preferences about exercise: a qualitative study. The Australian journal of physiotherapy, 55(2), 115-21. PMID: 19463082
Michael Ash BSc (Hons), DO, ND FDipION reviews the current understanding of the role of antibiotics in the initiation of gut associated inflammation and local and systemic health problems, and briefly explores some strategies to prevent and manage this.... Read more »
Round JL, & Mazmanian SK. (2009) The gut microbiota shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease. Nature reviews. Immunology, 9(5), 313-23. PMID: 19343057
Round JL, O'Connell RM, & Mazmanian SK. (2010) Coordination of tolerogenic immune responses by the commensal microbiota. Journal of autoimmunity, 34(3). PMID: 19963349
Andersson DI, & Hughes D. (2010) Antibiotic resistance and its cost: is it possible to reverse resistance?. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 8(4), 260-71. PMID: 20208551
Belongia EA, & Schwartz B. (1998) Strategies for promoting judicious use of antibiotics by doctors and patients. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 317(7159), 668-71. PMID: 9728003
Wlodarska M, & Finlay BB. (2010) Host immune response to antibiotic perturbation of the microbiota. Mucosal immunology, 3(2), 100-3. PMID: 20016473
Mazmanian SK, Round JL, & Kasper DL. (2008) A microbial symbiosis factor prevents intestinal inflammatory disease. Nature, 453(7195), 620-5. PMID: 18509436
Johansson ME, Phillipson M, Petersson J, Velcich A, Holm L, & Hansson GC. (2008) The inner of the two Muc2 mucin-dependent mucus layers in colon is devoid of bacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(39), 15064-9. PMID: 18806221
Mack DR, Michail S, Wei S, McDougall L, & Hollingsworth MA. (1999) Probiotics inhibit enteropathogenic E. coli adherence in vitro by inducing intestinal mucin gene expression. The American journal of physiology, 276(4 Pt 1). PMID: 10198338
Brandl K, Plitas G, Mihu CN, Ubeda C, Jia T, Fleisher M, Schnabl B, DeMatteo RP, & Pamer EG. (2008) Vancomycin-resistant enterococci exploit antibiotic-induced innate immune deficits. Nature, 455(7214), 804-7. PMID: 18724361
Chang SH, & Dong C. (2007) A novel heterodimeric cytokine consisting of IL-17 and IL-17F regulates inflammatory responses. Cell research, 17(5), 435-40. PMID: 17452998
Hill DA, Hoffmann C, Abt MC, Du Y, Kobuley D, Kirn TJ, Bushman FD, & Artis D. (2010) Metagenomic analyses reveal antibiotic-induced temporal and spatial changes in intestinal microbiota with associated alterations in immune cell homeostasis. Mucosal immunology, 3(2), 148-58. PMID: 19940845
Kotowska M, Albrecht P, & Szajewska H. (2005) Saccharomyces boulardii in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in children: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Alimentary pharmacology , 21(5), 583-90. PMID: 15740542
In the tragic battle against devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), scientists may have found the first “glimmer of hope” near Cradle Mountain in northwestern Tasmania. At least that is what Katherine Belov of the University of Sydney and colleagues are saying about this unique colony that has resisted the disease. The results are paradoxical.... Read more »
Siddle, H., Marzec, J., Cheng, Y., Jones, M., & Belov, K. (2010) MHC gene copy number variation in Tasmanian devils: implications for the spread of a contagious cancer. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2362
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, population isn’t growing evenly across the world. While some areas are growing quickly, other places are stagnating. In nearly every case, population growth is slowest in rich countries and faster in poor countries. These two maps from the UN Population Division perhaps show the trend most dramatically:
As you can [...]... Read more »
Nikos Alexandratos. (2005) Countries with Rapid Population Growth and Resource Constraints: Issues of Food, Agriculture, and Development. Population and Development Review, 31(2), 237-258. info:other/
A new study from South Africa touches on an interesting conservation question about whether we should place greater importance on quality or quantity when it comes to protecting habitat to conserve biodiversity...... Read more »
Dures, S., & Cumming, G. (2010) The confounding influence of homogenising invasive species in a globally endangered and largely urban biome: Does habitat quality dominate avian biodiversity?. Biological Conservation, 143(3), 768-777. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.12.019
For many birds, migration is a major component of life. You'd expect think that migration would have a whole cascade of effects on those birds, including the nervous system. But which way?
On the one hand, migration might be correlated with large brains to handle the the complex navigation tasks. On the other hand, migration might be correlated with small brains that are energetically efficient.
Sol and colleagues compared over six hundred species of birds (measuring over 4,000 skulls). Speci........ Read more »
Sol, D., Garcia, N., Iwaniuk, A., Davis, K., Meade, A., Boyle, W., & Székely, T. (2010) Evolutionary Divergence in Brain Size between Migratory and Resident Birds. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009617
A new GM design that effectively turns the windshield of your car into a monitor, augmenting reality and aiding driving in poor conditions. But that can cause problems too.... Read more »
Wickens C.D., & Alexander, A. L. (2009) Attentional tunneling and task management in synthetic vision displays. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 182-199. info:/
Various workers affected by measles punish a god of measles, while a doctor and drugstore keeper try to protect the god from them. (1862
Well, here we are already at Part IV of Measles Week. Doesn’t time fly? Remember how young we all were, back at Part I, when I raised the question I’m trying [...]... Read more »
Aaby, P. (1985) Severe measles: A reappraisal of the role of nutrition, overcrowding and virus dose. Medical Hypotheses, 18(2), 93-112. DOI: 10.1016/0306-9877(85)90042-8
By now, it’s well known that atoms and molecules can be in more than one state at the same time and do very odd things depending on their quantum states. However, somewhere along the line, this odd behavior has to stop, otherwise our world would be a very strange one. Objects would change temperatures and [...]... Read more »
O’Connell, A., Hofheinz, M., Ansmann, M., Bialczak, R., Lenander, M., Lucero, E., Neeley, M., Sank, D., Wang, H., Weides, M.... (2010) Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08967
Helicobacter pylori infects about 50% of the human population, and is implicated in inflammation, ulcers, and gastric cancer. Sharma et al.* used a novel approach--differential RNA-Seq (dRNA-Seq)--that selects for the 5’ ends of primary transcripts to construct a genome-wide map of transcriptional start sites (TSS) and operons.... Read more »
Sharma, C. et al. (2010) The primary transcriptome of the major human pathogen Helicobacter pylori. Nature, 464(7286), 250-255. DOI: 10.1038/nature08756
by Christian Sinclair, MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog
The third Palliative Care related article released for St. Patrick's (Palladius) day is a article that speaks to what many of us in the field know already:
Palliative Care is a chameleon: it looks different depending on the background of the institution.
But as the editor-in-chief of the Lancet has said: "It is not true, until it is published." Well JAMA has published a little bit of truth with the article: "Availability and Integration of Palliative Care at US Cancer Centers." We have a........ Read more »
David Hui, MD, MSc, Ahmed Elsayem, MD, Maxine De La Cruz, MD, Ann Berger, MD, Donna S. Zhukovsky, MD, Shana Palla, MS, Avery Evans, Nada Fadul, MD, & J. Lynn Palmer, PhD; Eduardo Bruera, MD. (2010) Availability and Integration of Palliative Care at US Cancer Centers. JAMA, 303(11), 1054-1061. info:/
by Christian Sinclair, MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog
Image via WikipediaSt. Patrick's day is good for celebrating your Irish heritage or fondness for food coloring, but it may have a new tradition, the release of major Palliative Care articles. Three major articles came out this week. Today JAMA published "Availability and Integration of Palliative Care at US Cancer Centers", yesterday the Archives of Internal Medicine released "Cancer and the Media: How Does the News Report on Treatment and Outcomes?" and on the 15th CMAJ released "Why do patie........ Read more »
Fishman, J., Ten Have, T., & Casarett, D. (2010) Cancer and the Media: How Does the News Report on Treatment and Outcomes?. Archives of Internal Medicine, 170(6), 515-518. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.11
A recent paper in PNAS identified many single-nucleotide polymorphisms and environmental factors, such multiple drug abuse, tied to alcoholism... Read more »
Bierut LJ, Agrawal A, Bucholz KK, Doheny KF, Laurie C, Pugh E, Fisher S, Fox L, Howells W, Bertelsen S.... (2010) A genome-wide association study of alcohol dependence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20202923
In January 2010, members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article in PLoS One regarding epidemiological data of human prion diseases in the United States. To those who have attended prion meetings in past couple of years, this is not new data as it has been presented before. The study examines the incidence of classical CJD and variant CJD (vCJD) within the U.S. between 1979-2008 and examines some basic demographic features of this population. The data ........ Read more »
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