Post List

  • August 2, 2010
  • 04:17 AM

The Intestinal Crypt

by Eva Amsen in the Node

It’s not often that the introductory part of a research talk is beautiful as well as informative, but Hans Clevers achieves both by using this video about the intestinal crypt in his presentations. (Click either screenshot to see the video)

The video shows how stem cells at the base of the intestinal crypt produce the epithelial [...]... Read more »

Barker, N., van Es, J., Kuipers, J., Kujala, P., van den Born, M., Cozijnsen, M., Haegebarth, A., Korving, J., Begthel, H., Peters, P.... (2007) Identification of stem cells in small intestine and colon by marker gene Lgr5. Nature, 449(7165), 1003-1007. DOI: 10.1038/nature06196  

Barker, N., Ridgway, R., van Es, J., van de Wetering, M., Begthel, H., van den Born, M., Danenberg, E., Clarke, A., Sansom, O., & Clevers, H. (2008) Crypt stem cells as the cells-of-origin of intestinal cancer. Nature, 457(7229), 608-611. DOI: 10.1038/nature07602  

  • August 2, 2010
  • 02:02 AM

Humor and treatment of chronic mental illness

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

This post stresses the importance of the therapeutic milieu and the use of humor in treatment of chronic psychiatric illness

Related posts:Negative attitude in medical students towards patients with Mental Illness
Excellent Review of A History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness
Mass Media and Mental Illness
... Read more »

Taber KH, Redden M, & Hurley RA. (2007) Functional anatomy of humor: positive affect and chronic mental illness. The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 19(4), 358-62. PMID: 18070837  

  • August 1, 2010
  • 11:10 PM

Multilingualism 2.0

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The social networking market research site Inside Facebook has some intriguing language stats. In July, the fastest-growing languages on Facebook were Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish and French. The Portuguese growth rate was a staggering 11.8%. Arabic grew by 9.2%, Spanish by … Continue reading →... Read more »

Otsuji, E., & Pennycook, A. (2010) Metrolingualism: fixity, fluidity and language in flux. International Journal of Multilingualism, 7(3), 240-254. DOI: 10.1080/14790710903414331  

  • August 1, 2010
  • 09:29 PM

The roots of bioinformatics

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

I’d like to bring to wider attention an article series, The Roots of Bioinformatics.
Hold up.
Before experimental biologists run away, you’re some of the people I’d like this to reach!
At a recent bioinformatics meeting I attended, a senior experimental biologist from overseas commented to the effect that it was hard for bioinformatics researchers to build their [...]... Read more »

Searls, D. (2010) The Roots of Bioinformatics. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000809  

Hagen JB. (2000) The origins of bioinformatics. Nature reviews. Genetics, 1(3), 231-6. PMID: 11252753  

  • August 1, 2010
  • 07:50 PM

A "Man Bites Dog" Story of the Plant World

by Michael Long in Phased

Chanyarat Paungfoo-Lonheinne (University of Queensland, Austrialia) and coworkers show that microbes can become plant food, with possible implications in sustainable agriculture and biofuel production. This news feature was written on August 1, 2010.... Read more »

Paungfoo-Lonhienne, C., Rentsch, D., Robatzek, S., Webb, R. I., Sagulenko, E., Näsholm, T., Schmidt, S., & Lonhienne, T. G. A. (2010) Turning the Table: Plants Consume Microbes as a Source of Nutrients. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011915  

  • August 1, 2010
  • 06:04 PM

Man as "Monkeys Wearing Pants": Why Humans Make Poor Money Choices

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I don't read many economic blogs but one I do follow is Barry Rithholtz's The Big Picture.  Barry acknowledges the limitations of human decision making and knowledge.  His economic approach is a refreshing humbleness.  He has stated that we need to remember that man is not far removed from our primate ancestors---we are basically "monkeys wearing pants".   Understanding this, his investment approach is to know that all decisions may be influenced by bias of our monkey-based b........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2010
  • 05:56 PM

“Cosmological Models with No Big Bang” by Wun-Yi Shu

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

Why Shu's “Cosmological Models with No Big Bang” does not suggest a valid cosmological model.... Read more »

Wun-Yi Shu. (2010) Cosmological Models with No Big Bang. arXiv. arXiv: 1007.1750v1

Perlmutter, S., Aldering, G., Goldhaber, G., Knop, R., Nugent, P., Castro, P., Deustua, S., Fabbro, S., Goobar, A., Groom, D.... (1999) Measurements of Ω and Λ from 42 High‐Redshift Supernovae. The Astrophysical Journal, 517(2), 565-586. DOI: 10.1086/307221  

Bianchi, E., Rovelli, C., & Kolb, R. (2010) Cosmology forum: Is dark energy really a mystery?. Nature, 466(7304), 321-322. DOI: 10.1038/466321a  

Sean M. Carroll. (2000) The Cosmological Constant. LivingRev.Rel.4:1,2001. arXiv: astro-ph/0004075v2

  • August 1, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

Serotonin in the octopus learning system.

by Mike Mike in Cephalove

          (Note: I apologize if this post seems jargon-ey.  I've tried to explain or reference any hard to get terms, but I do assume that readers know the very basics of neural functioning.  If you need a primer on this, check out wikipedia's page on neurons or this great tutorial.  Feel free to post in the comments if there's anything you want explained more thoroughly, and I'll give it a crack.)      &........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2010
  • 06:05 AM

azolla & endosymbiosis

by alison in bioblog

There are other photosynthesisers besides Volvox, living in our fishpond. Bigger plants include waterlilies, various sedges, & Elodea. And at this time of year the surface is covered by a carpet of duckweed, but when summer comes the Azolla will tend to take...... Read more »

L.Ran, J.Larsson, T.Vigil-Stenman, J.A.A.Nylander, K.Ininbergs, W-W.Zheng, A.Lapidus, S.Lowry, R.Haselkorn . (2010) Genome erosion in a nitrogen-fixing vertically transmitted endosymbiotic multicellular cyanobacterium. PLoS ONE, 5(7). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0011486

  • August 1, 2010
  • 03:38 AM

alt cosmology paper reinvents the big crunch

by Greg Fish in weird things

Extending my previous note on the state of many papers submitted to arXiv today, the view hungry editors at the Technology Review blog decided to do a very, very generous write-up for a paper that predicts a universe with no Big Bang and while explaining a few odd observations related to certain supernovae, forgets to [...]... Read more »

Wun-Yi Shu. (2010) Cosmological Models with No Big Bang. n/a. arXiv: 1007.1750v1

  • July 31, 2010
  • 04:37 PM

The Power of Touch

by Livia Blackburne in A Brain Scientist's Take on Writing

Touch imagery has always been a useful storytelling tool. Even when we're not putting together a lyrical masterpiece, it sneaks into our language. We talk about warm smiles, slippery personalities, getting caught between a rock and a hard place.

As it turns out, touch imagery might be more than just a product of an overactive metaphor engine. It may have something to do with the underlying way our brain structures our thoughts. Psychologists sometimes call it the scaffolded mind hypothesi........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2010
  • 02:48 PM

Newsflash: a possible mechanism for Parkinson’s disease

by Sam W in From C to Carnivore

Mutations in the allele LRRK2 is used to test for Parkinson’s disease. It’s a gain-of-function mutation that causes familial as well as sporadical Parkinson’s. But so far, no one really knew what LRRK2 actually does. Now, a new study shows that pathogenic (=disease causing) LRRK2 prevents the correct function of certain miRNAs. miRNAs are RNAs [...]... Read more »

  • July 31, 2010
  • 12:35 PM

Motor imagery enhances object recognition

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

THOUGHTS and actions are intimately linked, and the mere thought of an action is much like actually performing it. The brain prepares for an action by generating a motor simulation of it, praticising its execution of the movements by going through the motions invisibly. Seeing a manipulable object such as a tool, for example, automatically triggers a simulation of using it - a mental image of reaching out and grasping it with the hand that is nearest to the handle.  

Motor simulations and ........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2010
  • 12:20 PM

The Jaws of Death: How Spiny Dogfish Destroy Their Prey

by Chuck in Ya Like Dags?

One of the paradoxes of public opinion on dogfish is that they’re simultaneously considered a swimming wall of teeth annihilating everything in their path and wussy, poor excuses for sharks.  I’ve heard a lot of hearsay about the “weak bite” … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 31, 2010
  • 10:44 AM

Feel like I-dosing?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

A few months ago my facebook friends in the US started mentioning it. Only a few weeks later it appeared in the news in Europe, generating a lot of noise in Belgium last week when I-dosing or ‘binaural beats’ were condemned as a form of narcotics.The phenomenon of ‘binaural beats’ was first described in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. It is the sensation of hearing interference beats when two slightly different frequencies are played separately to each ear. The rate of the ‘perceived’........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2010
  • 12:11 AM

A huge scan through cancer genomes

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

Genentech and Affymetrix just published a huge paper in Nature using a novel technology to scan 4Mb in 441 tumor genomes for mutations, the largest number of tumor samples screened for many genes. Dan Koboldt over at MassGenomics has given a nice overview of the paper, but there are some bits I'd like to fill in as well. I'll blame some of my sloth in getting this out to the fact I was reading back through a chain of papers to really understand the core technique, but that's a weak excuse.It's........ Read more »

Kan Z, Jaiswal BS, Stinson J, Janakiraman V, Bhatt D, Stern HM, Yue P, Haverty PM, Bourgon R, Zheng J.... (2010) Diverse somatic mutation patterns and pathway alterations in human cancers. Nature. PMID: 20668451  

  • July 30, 2010
  • 10:32 PM

Men Murdering the Women They Love

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

The underlying motivation for why 15 men in Israel had murdered or attempted to murder their female partners is explored here with considerable insight and tact by Elisha et al. (2009). The authors call for increased research into the 'types' of men who perpetrate such despicable acts.... Read more »

  • July 30, 2010
  • 07:26 PM

Viruses are (NOT) objectively better than bacteria

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

Thomas approached me long ago with a simple yet misguided premise; viruses are objectively better than bacteria. I’ve been playfully criticising virology for years and it sounds like I finally broke him. In any case we went back to our respective corners to put forward our respective cases. We each wrote our own arguments separately and next week you will hear our rebuttals. You got to read Thomas’ attempt at an argument last week so without any further ado…
Viruses are objec........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2010
  • 06:04 PM

Fish Market: Competition gets clients better treatment from cleaner fish

by Matt Soniak in

Game theory models based on repeated interactions between two individuals have often been the framework for understanding cooperative interactions in humans, but these models rarely apply in nature. Non-human animals, after all, rarely find themselves in situations like the “prisoner’s dilemma.”
Instead, partner choice and competition are emerging as the framework for understanding cooperation in the [...]... Read more »

  • July 30, 2010
  • 04:00 PM

Does drinking beer increase your attractiveness .... to mosquitoes?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

The anopheles mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, is the primary vector for human malaria. Mosquitoes in general, the A. gambiae included, find their prey by tracking body odor exuded from the breath and skin. Apparently, the composition of body odor determines A. gambiae's preference for one individual over another. It has been known for some time now that A. gambiae preferentially seek out and draw blood from pregnant women (Linsay et al 2000; Ansell et al 2002; Himeidan, Elbashir and Adam 2004), ........ Read more »

Lefèvre, T., Gouagna, L., Dabiré, K., Elguero, E., Fontenille, D., Renaud, F., Costantini, C., & Thomas, F. (2010) Beer Consumption Increases Human Attractiveness to Malaria Mosquitoes. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009546  

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