Post List

  • December 15, 2009
  • 12:47 AM

Security issues in maritime supply chains

by Jan Husdal in

This week’s focus are risks in the maritime supply chain and today’s article reflects on security in maritime supply chains and suggests that the complex interaction of ports, maritime operations and supply chains creates vulnerabilities that extends beyond the immediate shipping line.

... Read more »

  • December 15, 2009
  • 12:42 AM

Risk and vulnerability in maritime supply chains

by Jan Husdal in

This week’s focus are risks in the maritime supply chain. Today’s article reflects on security in maritime supply chains: Assurance of security in maritime supply chains: Conceptual issues of vulnerability and crisis management by Paul Barnes and Richard Oloruntoba from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, suggests that the complex interaction of ports, [ ... ]... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 11:09 PM

Gene and protein annotation: it’s worse than you thought

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Sequencing centers keep pumping large amounts of sequence data into the omics-sphere (will I get a New Worst omics Word Award for this?)  There is no way we can annotate even a small fraction of those experimentally and indeed most  annotations are automatic, done bioinformatically. Typically function is inferred by homology: if the protein sequence [...]... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 05:09 PM

Height: A Predictor for Jealousy?

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Recent research examined whether height predicts jealousy in relationships and how this differs for men and women. Find out more.... Read more »

Brewer, G., & Riley, C. (2009) Height, Relationship Satisfaction, Jealousy, and Mate Retention. Evolutionary Psychology, 7(3), 477-489. info:/

Pawlowski B, Dunbar RI, & Lipowicz A. (2000) Tall men have more reproductive success. Nature, 403(6766), 156. PMID: 10646589  

  • December 14, 2009
  • 01:33 PM

…but I’m not ready to stop looking for a cure

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

People come to pain management with a wide range of attitudes and expectations.  Over the past few months I’ve been reviewing the ‘goals’ that people write in their pre-appointment psychometric questionnaires, and almost without exception people write ‘Reduce my pain’ or ‘Fix my pain’.  While they’ll also write down ‘do more’, ‘return to work’, ‘get [...]... Read more »

Clarke KA, & Iphofen R. (2007) Accepting pain management or seeking pain cure: an exploration of patients' attitudes to chronic pain. Pain management nursing : official journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses, 8(2), 102-10. PMID: 17544130  

  • December 14, 2009
  • 12:21 PM

To fertilize or acidify? Nitrogen plays both sides in soils

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

The human industrial and agricultural sectors contribute to air pollution by releasing nitrogen oxides (sometimes denoted NOx) into the atmosphere. And just like ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide dissolves into the ocean, soil acidification can occur when nitrogen oxides dissolve into soils.

But we also know that nitrogen is a major component of fertilizers, which [...]

... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 12:11 PM

"A tale of two membranes", "follow the (Spliced) Leader" and more in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

The Blind Leading the Blind

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Image: Jesus! vs. Darwin! by The Searcher

It's a tired old routine, yet time and again the same argument is taken off the shelf, dusted, buffed and then presented with a sly smile as if it were something new. Evolution, it's asserted, is only progressive and builds on earlier adaptations in its march forward through natural history. Therefore, if there is any evidence that a species adapted "backwards" it must mean that natural selection is flawed. However, the fallacy in this argument is........ Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 11:41 AM

Beyond the Farthest Star

by Brian Koberlein in Upon Reflection

Figure 1: The Orion Constellation. (Source: APoD) When you look up into the night sky, you are seeing into the past. Cosmic distances are so vast that it takes time for light to travel them. Light from the closest star...... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 11:15 AM

Bird Calls: Scolding Predators or Warning Fellow Birds?

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

When approached by a predator, birds often cry out—they produce what is known as a 'call'. But why would a bird do such a thing? A call draws attention to the caller and might reveal it's location, making it more vulnerable to attack. What is the purpose of such a risky vocal outburst? And when a bird calls out, to whom is the bird communicating? Predators or fellow birds?
A team of scientists from the University of California Davis conducted a series of experiments to find out more about ........ Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 11:09 AM

Wetland Plant of the Week #37

by Johnny in Ecographica

Helianthus angustifolius is a branched perennial plant that is native to North America. This Facultative Wet species can found in hydric flatwoods and marsh communities as well as along the sides of ditches and roads that have mesic to saturated soils. Its brilliantly colored disk flowers make it easily recognizable as a member of the Asteraceae’s sunflower group – the Genus Helianthus. The swamp sunflower’s tall domesticated cousin, ‘the’ sunflower Helianthus an........ Read more »

TIMME. (2007) HIGH-RESOLUTION PHYLOGENY FOR HELIANTHUS . American Journal of Botany, 94(11), 1837-1852. info:/

  • December 14, 2009
  • 10:30 AM

Errors in Biomedical Databases May Threaten Public Health

by Michael Long in Phased

Patricia Babbitt (University of California, San Francisco) and coworkers have found high error rates in three of four public databases of protein function, and offer recommendations on improving the accuracy and utility of these databases. This news feature was written on December 14, 2009.... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 09:08 AM

In the Brain, Acidity Means Anxiety

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

According to Mormon author and fruit grower "Dr" Robert O. Young, pretty much all diseases are caused by our bodies being too acidic. By adopting an "alkaline lifestyle" to raise your internal pH (lower pH being more acidic), you'll find that
if you maintain the saliva and the urine pH, ideally at 7.2 or above, you will never get sick. That’s right you will NEVER get sick!
Wow. Important components of the alkaline lifestyle include eating plenty of the right sort of fruits and vegetables, id........ Read more »

Ziemann, A., Allen, J., Dahdaleh, N., Drebot, I., Coryell, M., Wunsch, A., Lynch, C., Faraci, F., Howard III, M., & Welsh, M. (2009) The Amygdala Is a Chemosensor that Detects Carbon Dioxide and Acidosis to Elicit Fear Behavior. Cell, 139(5), 1012-1021. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.10.029  

  • December 14, 2009
  • 07:39 AM

Sunday Protist - Phytomonas: plant trypanosomatids!

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

While I was trying to come up with something quick to blog about, got a couple updates in Google Reader from J. Eukaryotic Microbiol, among them a paper on... trypanosomatids living in coconut tree phloem! Somehow, you don't typically think of plants being invaded by motile, flagellate things, but on a second thought: why not? The phloem is a vessel, and while perhaps there's no need to run away from macrophages or anything, there's no particular harm in retaining the ability to swim around. Esp........ Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

Steep, high, and remote: bias found in the location of protected areas

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Researchers conducted a geospatial analysis of protected area networks in 147 countries and found that most were biased towards high elevations, steep slopes, and lands remote from urbanization. These results cast doubt on the value of many of these protected area networks for conservation...... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 06:31 AM

Influenza before 1918, part II: 1872

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

In 1872, a pandemic influenza outbreak brought the US to its knees:

“The streets are almost deserted.” –Washington, D.C.
“A Sunday quiet prevails upon the streets.” –Springfield, OR
“The streets yesterday looked deserted.” –San Francisco, CA
“The street cars have stopped.” – Erie, PA 1

And yet, if you look at the mortality rates for influenza in 1872, it’s not a [...]... Read more »

Adoniram B. Judson, MD. (1873) History and Course of the Epizootic Among Horses Upon the North American Continent in 1872-1873. Public Health Papers and Reports. American Public Health Association. Hurd and Houghton, New York, 88-109. info:/

  • December 14, 2009
  • 03:55 AM

VEGF – How can we stop the blood supply to cancer cells?

by Avril in Understanding Cancer

I haven’t written about VEGF before, not because it’s not important, it is, in fact VEGF has been shown to be important in a whole range of solid (i.e. lump forming) tumours, these include:

Colorectal (bowel)
Esophageal (food pipe)
Glioblastoma multiforme (brain tumour)
Head and neck cancer
Lung cancer
Ovarian cancer
Pancreatic cancer
Renal cell carcinoma

Generally speaking, if you have a lot of [...]... Read more »

Nowak, D., Woolard, J., Amin, E., Konopatskaya, O., Saleem, M., Churchill, A., Ladomery, M., Harper, S., & Bates, D. (2008) Expression of pro- and anti-angiogenic isoforms of VEGF is differentially regulated by splicing and growth factors. Journal of Cell Science, 121(20), 3487-3495. DOI: 10.1242/jcs.016410  

  • December 14, 2009
  • 02:38 AM

Korean beats French

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

If you could choose to learn a foreign language, which one would it be? And why?
Such choices are usually constrained by what is on offer. However, someone must choose the offerings – e.g., language policy makers around the world have for the past couple of decades decided that English is a must-have first foreign [...]... Read more »

Piller, Ingrid, & Takahashi, Kimie. (2006) A passion for English: desire and the language market. Aneta Pavlenko. Ed. Bilingual minds: Emotional experience, expression, and representation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 59-83. info:/

  • December 14, 2009
  • 12:52 AM

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome- Where exactly is the pain coming from?

by Sport Injuries and Wellness Ottawa in Sport Injuries and Wellness

The knee of an athlete is often a diagnostic dilemma. The knee obtains important biomechanical function and is supported by an array of ligaments and muscles. For these reasons it can be difficult to pinpoint the specific structure which is injured. Such a concept is to be blamed for the creation of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS),What exactly is PFPS?When you think about it what exactly does this diagnosis tell you? Essentially all that this means is we know there is pain and we know it has........ Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 12:07 AM

Zicam and your Nose

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci saw this post recently at Dr. Pal's place, and it rang some major bells in her head. So, I figure, I've got to cover it myself, now don't I.

Lim et al. "Zican-induced damage to mouse and human nasal tissue" PLoS ONE, 2009.

So let's start with a couple of things:

1) What is Zicam?
2) Why was it recalled?
3) What are the possible effects of zinc on the common cold? Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

Lim JH, Davis GE, Wang Z, Li V, Wu Y, Rue TC, & Storm DR. (2009) Zicam-induced damage to mouse and human nasal tissue. PloS one, 4(10). PMID: 19876403  

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