Post List

  • February 2, 2011
  • 12:59 AM

The Sophisticated, Imperfect Relationship between miRNAs and their Targets

by Linda Lin in Oz Blog No. 159

Perfect matches aren't always desirable in nature. despite what eharmony & plenty of fish tells you. And you shouldn't hanker for it either. Imperfections are what make matches harmonious..for gene silencing by miRNAs. macroscopic relationships are other people's problems, like...... Read more »

Schwab, R., & Voinnet, O. (2010) RNA silencing amplification in plants: Size matters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(34), 14945-14946. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1009416107  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 12:49 AM

Effortless language learning: not just for kids

by Janus in ionpsych

Most people believe that adult language learning is slow and effortful, in stark contrast to how children “automatically” learn languages. Recent research flies in the face of this conventional wisdom by showing that adults, too, have a fast and flexible … Continue reading →... Read more »

Warker, J., & Dell, G. (2006) Speech Errors Reflect Newly Learned Phonotactic Constraints. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32(2), 387-398. DOI: 10.1037/0278-7393.32.2.387  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 12:45 AM

Oral Contraceptives and Weight Gain: Data and Anecdotes

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

@noahwg linked an article (or a blog post?  It seems more like a blog post) in the NY Times today, on oral contraceptives and weight gain. The post covers a review of various clinical trials (there are only three listed, but that’s because they are using the most stringent measures of three treatment trials per [...]... Read more »

Gallo MF, Lopez LM, Grimes DA, Schulz KF, & Helmerhorst FM. (2008) Combination contraceptives: effects on weight. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 18843652  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 11:12 PM

Green tea consumption associated with depressive symptoms

by mercurialmind in Mercurialmind Matters

green tea associated with depressive symptoms... Read more »

Niu, K., Hozawa, A., Kuriyama, S., Ebihara, S., Guo, H., Nakaya, N., Ohmori-Matsuda, K., Takahashi, H., Masamune, Y., Asada, M.... (2009) Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(6), 1615-1622. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28216  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 10:05 PM

Energy expenditure and physical activity level are not higher in developing countries compared to industrialized

by Colby in

Do people in developing countries have higher total energy expenditures and physical activity levels than industrialized countries?  Most of us would assume so, but a new study adds to existing research suggesting otherwise. Dugas et al. performed a meta-analysis on … Continue reading →... Read more »

Dugas LR, Harders R, Merrill S, Ebersole K, Shoham DA, Rush EC, Assah FK, Forrester T, Durazo-Arvizu RA, & Luke A. (2011) Energy expenditure in adults living in developing compared with industrialized countries: a meta-analysis of doubly labeled water studies. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 93(2), 427-41. PMID: 21159791  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 08:44 PM

The Oxygen Rush: late January, all of February and a Day in November

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

I have just returned from British Columbia in Canada. I have to admit that their license plate motto is quite accurate: BC is incredibly beautiful. Another thing that struck me is the provincial flag of BC: the Union Jack at the top (OK, it is British Columbia), there are white and blue horizontal stripes, and [...]... Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 07:08 PM

Red Means Go: Coral, Color, and Climate Change

by Rick MacPherson in Deep Sea News

Acropora millepora aquarium colony grown from fragment,
One of the defining decision points of life: Settle-down and make a living close to the familiar particulars of your birthplace or venture out to get a fresh start and be exposed to additional opportunities and experiences that “somewhere else” could open up.
In addition to vexing angsty young . . . → Read More: Red Means Go: Coral, Color, and Climate Change... Read more »

C. D. Kenkel, M. R. Traylor, J. Wiedenmann, A. Salih, M. V. Matz. (2011) Fluorescence of coral larvae predicts their settlement response to crustose coralline algae and reflects stress. . Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. info:/10.1098/rspb.2010.2344

  • February 1, 2011
  • 05:09 PM


by Julia Whitty in Deep Blue Home

(Photo by suneko's wife, at Flickr.)How can so many—fill in the blank—fish, birds, grasshoppers move as one, often at lightning-fast speed, without killing most members in the process? How can they manage to get anything done in the midst of what seems to be barely-controlled chaos?(Photo by Dead Fish, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.) First up: Shoaling is defined as fish hanging out in groups for social reasons—for predator detection, for better foraging, for mate selection, and/or........ Read more »

Ward, A., Herbert-Read, J., Sumpter, D., & Krause, J. (2011) Fast and accurate decisions through collective vigilance in fish shoals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1007102108  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 04:16 PM

Diagnosing schistosomiasis: urine-based tests better than traditional assays?

by geekheartsscience in geek!

Taken from Wikipedia Intestinal schistosomiasis (caused by the parasite Schistosoma mansoni) can be detected easily and accurately by measuring levels of an excreted parasite antigen called circulating cathodic antigen, or CCA, in an individual’s urine, according to new research published … Continue reading →... Read more »

Shane, H., Verani, J., Abudho, B., Montgomery, S., Blackstock, A., Mwinzi, P., Butler, S., Karanja, D., & Secor, W. (2011) Evaluation of Urine CCA Assays for Detection of Schistosoma mansoni Infection in Western Kenya. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000951  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 03:59 PM

Microbes Make it Snow

by microbialmodus in Microbial Modus

The recent snow and ice, and deeper snow, and even more ice, across much of the U.S. over the past few weeks have finally inspired me to put together my first post for the new year.  You’re probably wondering how on earth microbes have anything to do with the 3 feet of snow you had [...]... Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 03:45 PM

I Could Be Happy If Only…

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

What if for just once things went your way? Do you have any idea how you would feel if everything worked out perfectly? A study published in Psychological Science suggests ... Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 02:55 PM

How to Plug an Oil Leak with Corn Starch

by Ryan K in A Quantum of Knowledge

One of the biggest, if not THE biggest news story of 2010 was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The spill released over 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and is one of the biggest man-made natural disasters in history. The spill lasted for nearly 3 months due to the high [...]... Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 02:20 PM

modENCODE: the data bonanza ensues

by Mary in OpenHelix

Another of the “big data” projects that is underway is the ENCODE project, or Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, to provide comprehensive annotation of genomic elements.  Some people are aware of this and are using the data already. If you aren’t, you should check out the online tutorial, freely available because it is sponsored by the UCSC ENCODE Data Coordination Center (DCC) team, for an overview of the organization and availability of the ENCODE mammal data that you can find in........ Read more »

Celniker, S., Dillon, L., Gerstein, M., Gunsalus, K., Henikoff, S., Karpen, G., Kellis, M., Lai, E., Lieb, J., MacAlpine, D.... (2009) Unlocking the secrets of the genome. Nature, 459(7249), 927-930. DOI: 10.1038/459927a  

Gerstein, M., Lu, Z., Van Nostrand, E., Cheng, C., Arshinoff, B., Liu, T., Yip, K., Robilotto, R., Rechtsteiner, A., Ikegami, K.... (2010) Integrative Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans Genome by the modENCODE Project. Science, 330(6012), 1775-1787. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196914  

The modENCODE Consortium., Roy, S., Ernst, J., Kharchenko, P., Kheradpour, P., Negre, N., Eaton, M., Landolin, J., Bristow, C., Ma, L.... (2010) Identification of Functional Elements and Regulatory Circuits by Drosophila modENCODE. Science, 330(6012), 1787-1797. DOI: 10.1126/science.1198374  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 02:00 PM

The trouble with encryption

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Lots of us encrypt files using the likes of AxCrypt and TrueCrypt. If there’s a risk of losing a device carrying sensitive information such as contacts, email, bank statements, invoices etc, then it is worth using such a tool. The ease with which a file, folder or even complete hard drive or USB device can [...]The trouble with encryption is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

George R.S. Weir, & Michael Morran. (2010) Hiding the hidden message: approaches to textual steganography. Int. J. Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, 3(3), 223-233. info:/

  • February 1, 2011
  • 12:37 PM

Oxytocin, ethnocentrism and "hormonal determinism"

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

There is an inordinate readiness, both within scientific circles and in popular scientific understanding, to ascribe direct causation to the actions of hormones, especially when it comes to moods and behaviors. For example, consider how you’d usually interpret the common expression “being hormonal”. I consider the thought that hormones somehow “control” our moods and behaviors a falsehood; a popular misunderstanding or oversimplification that hinders the understanding of what’s actu........ Read more »

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Van Kleef, G., Shalvi, S., & Handgraaf, M. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015316108  

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Handgraaf, M., Shalvi, S., Van Kleef, G., Baas, M., Ten Velden, F., Van Dijk, E., & Feith, S. (2010) The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Regulates Parochial Altruism in Intergroup Conflict Among Humans. Science, 328(5984), 1408-1411. DOI: 10.1126/science.1189047  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 12:21 PM

Real-time Q&As are intense

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

Sorry for the self-promotional nature of this post, but I wanted to talk about a novel, interesting experience.A little over a week ago, my research examining how people with prefrontal stroke compensate for brain damage was profiled in a piece in the Washington Post. As with all my research, I did a lay post explaining that work here before.The whole media experience happened very quickly, but was pretty cool. You'll notice that the Washington Post article is actually focused on Rep. Gabrielle ........ Read more »

Voytek B, Davis M, Yago E, Barceló F, Vogel EK, & Knight RT. (2010) Dynamic neuroplasticity after human prefrontal cortex damage. Neuron, 68(3), 401-8. PMID: 21040843  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 12:17 PM

Stress and Neurodegeneration

by Brian Mossop in The Decision Tree

I have a new feature at Scientific American, describing recent research that shows how stress is linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In the past, we have feared Alzheimer’s, because people rarely get better once they find out they have the disease. We watch in horror, as our aging relatives slowly become different [...]... Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 12:02 PM

ppGpp mediates cross-talk between the stringent and acid stress responses

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

We know that stringent response alarmone ppGpp can do about anything, interacting with RNA Polymerase, translational GTPases, polynucleotide phosphorylase, DnaG primase, IMP dehydrogenase and adenylosuccinate synthetase to name a few. In general the result is: production of ribosomes and tRNAs is halted, cell cycle is arrested, and amino acids produced.Well, now one more target was discovered, lysine decarboxylase Ldc1/CadA. Lysine decarboxylase is induced upon acid stress conditions and protect........ Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 11:18 AM

A welding robot for all those hard to reach places

by FrauTech in Design. Build. Play.

Many of the challenges in ship building or ship maintenance stem from environmental concerns: from the seemingly minor in not wanting ship material or ship waste to enter to the ocean to the obvious preventing future spills or catastrophic failures like the Exxon Valdez. One of the solutions to making liquid-cargo ships more resistant to failure is a double hull design.When major disasters like mining disasters or situations like the gulf oil spill occur one question people often ask is why we s........ Read more »

Lee, D., Ku, N., Kim, T., Kim, J., Lee, K., & Son, Y. (2011) Development and application of an intelligent welding robot system for shipbuilding. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, 27(2), 377-388. DOI: 10.1016/j.rcim.2010.08.006  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 10:50 AM

Footsteps of a Dinosaur Deity

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

In 1999, construction workers creating a highway from Tibet’s Bangda Airport to Changdu County uncovered a set of enormous tracks. They had been left more than 160 million years ago by a large sauropod dinosaur, but the local Tibetan people had other interpretations. Some believed that the tracks had been left by the “Deity of [...]... Read more »

Xing, Li-da; Harris, Jerald; Currie, Philip. (2011) First record of dinosaur trackway from Tibet, China. Geological Bulletin of China, 30(1), 173-178. info:/

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