The SGM autumn conference is now over - thanks to everyone who tweeted it so people like me could catch up on events without actually going. I've just got two more topics of my own little personal blog-conference to go, and this one is going to be on bacterial vesicles rather than secondary metabolism because it suddenly struck me that I don't actually know much about outer membrane vesicles, and this might be a good opportunity to explore them.So this is the penultimate post in my SGM topic ser........ Read more »
Kuehn MJ, & Kesty NC. (2005) Bacterial outer membrane vesicles and the host-pathogen interaction. Genes , 19(22), 2645-55. PMID: 16291643
How mature are you? Have you ever wanted to find out, with a 5 minute brain scan? Of course you have. And now you can, thanks to a new Science paper, Prediction of Individual Brain Maturity Using fMRI.This is another clever application of the support vector machine (SVM) method, which I've written about previously, most recently regarding "the brain scan to diagnose autism". An SVM is a machine learning algorithm: give it a bunch of data, and it'll find patterns in it.In this case, the input dat........ Read more »
Dosenbach NU, Nardos B, Cohen AL, Fair DA, Power JD, Church JA, Nelson SM, Wig GS, Vogel AC, Lessov-Schlaggar CN.... (2010) Prediction of individual brain maturity using fMRI. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5997), 1358-61. PMID: 20829489
The burden of type 2 diabetes is staggering. Close to 20 million people in the United States are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and total costs related to diabetes are creeping toward $200 billion annually. Programs to prevent and treat diabetes are numerous, but the effectiveness of various types of programs and modes of education [...]... Read more »
Davies MJ, Heller S, Skinner TC, Campbell MJ, Carey ME, Cradock S, Dallosso HM, Daly H, Doherty Y, Eaton S.... (2008) Effectiveness of the diabetes education and self management for ongoing and newly diagnosed (DESMOND) programme for people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 336(7642), 491-5. PMID: 18276664
Deakin T, McShane CE, Cade JE, & Williams RD. (2005) Group based training for self-management strategies in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 15846663
Deakin TA, Cade JE, Williams R, & Greenwood DC. (2006) Structured patient education: the diabetes X-PERT Programme makes a difference. Diabetic medicine : a journal of the British Diabetic Association, 23(9), 944-54. PMID: 16922700
Duke SA, Colagiuri S, & Colagiuri R. (2009) Individual patient education for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 19160249
Farmer AJ, Wade AN, French DP, Simon J, Yudkin P, Gray A, Craven A, Goyder L, Holman RR, Mant D.... (2009) Blood glucose self-monitoring in type 2 diabetes: a randomised controlled trial. Health technology assessment (Winchester, England), 13(15). PMID: 19254484
Gillett M, Dallosso HM, Dixon S, Brennan A, Carey ME, Campbell MJ, Heller S, Khunti K, Skinner TC, & Davies MJ. (2010) Delivering the diabetes education and self management for ongoing and newly diagnosed (DESMOND) programme for people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes: cost effectiveness analysis. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 20729270
Loveman E, Cave C, Green C, Royle P, Dunn N, & Waugh N. (2003) The clinical and cost-effectiveness of patient education models for diabetes: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health technology assessment (Winchester, England), 7(22). PMID: 13678547
O'Kane MJ, Bunting B, Copeland M, Coates VE, & ESMON study group. (2008) Efficacy of self monitoring of blood glucose in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (ESMON study): randomised controlled trial. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 336(7654), 1174-7. PMID: 18420662
Skinner TC, Carey ME, Cradock S, Dallosso HM, Daly H, Davies MJ, Doherty Y, Heller S, Khunti K, Oliver L.... (2008) 'Educator talk' and patient change: some insights from the DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) randomized controlled trial. Diabetic medicine : a journal of the British Diabetic Association, 25(9), 1117-20. PMID: 19183318
Female Gouldian finches don't always stand by their man. Given the opportunity, they'll indulge in a promiscuous tryst with another male. But this infidelity is not merely cold-hearted cheating. It's an evolutionary ploy that enables the female finches to bolster their offsprings' odds of survival.
The benefits of promiscuity in monogamous animals such as the Gouldian finch are straightforward for males but less clear for females. Promiscuity offers male finches a way to increase the number of o........ Read more »
Pryke, S., Rollins, L., & Griffith, S. (2010) Females Use Multiple Mating and Genetically Loaded Sperm Competition to Target Compatible Genes. Science, 329(5994), 964-967. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192407
The winter of 2009/2010 was unusually cold across most of the Northern Hemisphere, leading to deaths and traffic chaos. Newspapers told lurid tales of planes sliding off icy runways, home-going revellers found frozen to death, and heavy snow and icy roads trapping motorists in their cars all night – and that was just in Britain. Needless [...]... Read more »
Cohen, J., Foster, J., Barlow, M., Saito, K., & Jones, J. (2010) Winter 2009–2010: A case study of an extreme Arctic Oscillation event. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(17). DOI: 10.1029/2010GL044256
Recent moves in Australia to more accurately record the number of actual suicide deaths does not automatically guarantee enhanced understanding of suicide causation.... Read more »
De Leo, D. (2010) Australia Revises its Mortality Data on Suicide. Crisis (The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention). info:/
The brain is a metabolically expensive organ that uses quite a bit of energy. It's no surprise that it also generates a decent amount of heat during this energy usage process. A new paper has come out that poses and answers the question as to whether there is a thermodynamic limit to brain size (evolutionary wise). The author is basically asking how big can a brain get before it becomes too hot to function properly? What sort of constraints does evolution have in constructing a bigger brain,........ Read more »
Karbowski, J. (2009) Thermodynamic constraints on neural dimensions, firing rates, brain temperature and size. Journal of Computational Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1007/s10827-009-0153-7
Here’s an interesting thought question: How much would global temperature warm if we used only the existing energy infrastructure (i.e., power plants, furnaces, motor vehicles) until these machines reached the end of their useful lives? Once they died, they would be replaced by devices that did not emit CO2.
Steven Davis and colleagues addressed this question [...]... Read more »
Davis, S., Caldeira, K., & Matthews, H. (2010) Future CO2 Emissions and Climate Change from Existing Energy Infrastructure. Science, 329(5997), 1330-1333. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188566
As said by Futurama’s mad scientist at large, Professor Farnsworth, quantum mechanics mean that anything can happen for any reason or without one. Of course this was really a swipe at how so many of us tend to see the complex physics of quantum objects, and it’s a very valid one since there’s a seemingly [...]... Read more »
Jin, X., Ren, J., Yang, B., Yi, Z., Zhou, F., Xu, X., Wang, S., Yang, D., Hu, Y., Jiang, S.... (2010) Experimental free-space quantum teleportation. Nature Photonics, 4(6), 376-381. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2010.87
Lydersen, L., Wiechers, C., Wittmann, C., Elser, D., Skaar, J., & Makarov, V. (2010) Hacking commercial quantum cryptography systems by tailored bright illumination. Nature Photonics. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2010.214
Well, it's hard for several reasons which I have discussed in previous posts, but here's one reason demonstrated by a recent paper. In this paper they crystallized the ß2 adrenergic receptor with an antagonist. Previously, in the landmark publication of the ß2 structure in 2007, the protein had been crystallized with an inverse agonist. Recall that an inverse agonist inhibits the basal activity of the GPCR whereas an antagonist stabilizes both active and inactive states but does not affect the........ Read more »
Wacker, D., Fenalti, G., Brown, M., Katritch, V., Abagyan, R., Cherezov, V., & Stevens, R. (2010) Conserved Binding Mode of Human β Adrenergic Receptor Inverse Agonists and Antagonist Revealed by X-ray Crystallography . Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132(33), 11443-11445. DOI: 10.1021/ja105108q
When writing a thesis, a chore that always takes more time than predicted is building the bibliography. Even with good software to manage your citations and references (EndNote, RefWorks, JabRef etc.), peppering your text with references and engaging in discussion with your sources takes time. (I often wonder how it was even possible to do [...]... Read more »
PORRINOJR, J., TAN, V., & DALUISKI, A. (2008) Misquotation of a Commonly Referenced Hand Surgery Study. The Journal of Hand Surgery, 33(1), 20-2000000000. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2007.10.007
Hol, J., de Jongste, J., & Nieuwenhuis, E. (2009) Quoting a landmark paper on the beneficial effects of probiotics. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 124(6), 1354-2147483647. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.07.047
PARADIS, M. (2006) More belles infidèles—or why do so many bilingual studies speak with forked tongue?☆. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 19(3), 195-208. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2005.11.002
Hegemonic masculinity takes a heavy toll on men in the general community but as Green et al. (2010) discover, an even heavier toll on men in the military. The prohibitions against such men speaking up and seeking help for their heightened emotional distress are many, and severe. Tis preferable, it would seem, for male soldiers to suffer in silence than dare to name their psychic torpor. Is this further evidence for the necessity of peace? I say yes, for sure.... Read more »
Green G, Emslie C, O'Neill D, Hunt K, & Walker S. (2010) Exploring the ambiguities of masculinity in accounts of emotional distress in the military among young ex-servicemen. Social science . PMID: 20739109
As the tools of genetic analysis improve by leaps and bounds, the cost falling with each advance, more and more research is taking place into genetic influences on human longevity. This is an enormously complex area of study, and has little to no relevance to any repair-based methodology for lengthening human life. Outside the field of regenerative medicine, most aging researchers do not work on repair strategies such as SENS, however. Meanwhile there is plenty of funding for genetic studies of ........ Read more »
Boyden, S., & Kunkel, L. (2010) High-Density Genomewide Linkage Analysis of Exceptional Human Longevity Identifies Multiple Novel Loci. PLoS ONE, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012432
The goal of every vaccine is to induce lifelong protection for the patient from the specific nasty of interest. But in order to understand how one would receive ‘lifelong protection’ following the injection of a dead or weakened nasty, or even just the bits of one, we need to go backwards a bit and have a look at how we develop an immune response.... Read more »
Lefrançois L, & Obar JJ. (2010) Once a killer, always a killer: from cytotoxic T cell to memory cell. Immunological reviews, 235(1), 206-18. PMID: 20536565
Continuing with my sub-series on vaccines this week I am going to have a bit of a look at the theory behind how vaccines do their jobs inside us. Next week I’ll look at how they work at a community level. First it’s worth defining what it is that a vaccine is supposed to achieve [...]... Read more »
Lefrançois L, & Obar JJ. (2010) Once a killer, always a killer: from cytotoxic T cell to memory cell. Immunological reviews, 235(1), 206-18. PMID: 20536565
Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was once quoted as saying: “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.” While there is certainly some truth to this quote, especially considering water quality in the 1700s, it should be noted that beer’s long history is also fraught with microorganisms—both helpful and harmful in the eyes of the brewer.
... Read more »
Nelson, M., Dinardo, A., Hochberg, J., & Armelagos, G. (2010) Brief communication: Mass spectroscopic characterization of tetracycline in the skeletal remains of an ancient population from Sudanese Nubia 350-550 CE. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21340
Are you a big-picture person, or do you tune into the detail? Surprisingly, the culture in which you were raised - including your religion (or lack of it) can shape this fundamental aspect of your personality.
A decade ago, researchers found that while westerners were relatively faster at picking out the component parts of a picture, Asians were relatively quicker to see the global, holistic components. They reckoned this was an effect of cultural differences - the individualistic Westerners ve........ Read more »
Lorenza S. Colzato, Bernhard Hommel, Wery Van Den Wildenberg, & Shulan Hsieh. (2010) Buddha as an eye opener: A link between prosocial attitude and attentional control. Frontiers in Cognition. info:/10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00156
by amiya in Physiology physics woven fine
When we want to examine the brain of a person noninvasively by Computed Tomography (CT) or MRI, we get a ‘snapshot’ of the anatomy (or pathology, if any) of the subject’s brain. We are however clueless as to its functional aspect. fMRI or Functional Magnetic Resonant Imaging allows us to do just that. The difference is not unlike a ‘still picture’ versus a ‘video of a moving train’. PET scans, previously described, also can asses the functional state of the brain.Whenever we do a t........ Read more »
Gore, J. (2003) Principles and practice of functional MRI of the human brain. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 112(1), 4-9. DOI: 10.1172/JCI200319010
And now, on to Peer-Reviewed Monday, part two but still not Monday. Mesmer-Magnus, J., & Viswesvaran, C. (2010). The role of pre-training interventions in learning: A meta-analysis and integrative review☆ Human Resource Management Review, 20 (4), 261-282 DOI: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2010.05.001 As I said earlier this week, this was started by a link to this article, a [...]... Read more »
Mesmer-Magnus, J., & Viswesvaran, C. (2010) The role of pre-training interventions in learning: A meta-analysis and integrative review☆. Human Resource Management Review, 20(4), 261-282. DOI: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2010.05.001
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) at the the Cincinnati ZooOK, let’s face it giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are just plain cool. Tall and lanky Manute Bols of the animal world covered in spots. In addition to being high on the list of must-see animals on an African safari, giraffes have served as poster children for evolution. Long before Darwin, that other evolutionist, the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, speculated that the long-necked giraffe was descended from shorter-necked........ Read more »
Simmons, R., & Altwegg, R. (2010) Necks-for-sex or competing browsers? A critique of ideas on the evolution of giraffe. Journal of Zoology, 282(1), 6-12. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2010.00711.x
Temeles, E. (2000) Evidence for Ecological Causation of Sexual Dimorphism in a Hummingbird. Science, 289(5478), 441-443. DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5478.441
Brown, D., Brenneman, R., Koepfli, K., Pollinger, J., Milá, B., Georgiadis, N., Louis, E., Grether, G., Jacobs, D., & Wayne, R. (2007) Extensive population genetic structure in the giraffe. BMC Biology, 5(1), 57. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-5-57
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