It is still unusual when the Catholic church allows a scientific study of one of their relics. So I was surprised to find the manuscript describing the study of the DNA of the remains of one of Europe's patron saints, St. Birgitta (Bridget of Sweden) in my PLoS One inbox one fine day in May, 2008. I'm a neurogeneticist by training, so I felt competent to take this manuscript on as academic editor. The manuscript stated that they had found through both DNA analysis and carbon dating that not only........ Read more »
Nilsson, M., Possnert, G., Edlund, H., Budowle, B., Kjellström, A., & Allen, M. (2010) Analysis of the Putative Remains of a European Patron Saint–St. Birgitta. PLoS ONE, 5(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008986
A lot of medication gets misused, as is the right expression, meaning not used for the intention or indication it was developed for in the first place. This reminded me of one of my first publications on the abuse of anticholinergics.
From case reports it appears that quetiapine is sought after for recreational use and inappropriate [...]
Related posts:Music Preference and Substance Use From a large Dutch epidemiological study: overall, when all...
Is deep brain stimulation neuroprotective i........ Read more »
Fischer, B., & Boggs, D. (2010) The role of antihistaminic effects in the misuse of quetiapine: A case report and review of the literature. Neuroscience , 34(4), 555-558. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.11.003
Pinacol boronates are important synthetic building blocks used predominantly in the Suzuki-Miyura coupling reaction. Instead of a boronic acid, R-B(OH)2, the hydroxyls are substituted with a cyclic organic moiety, commonly pinacol. These compounds are often generated via iridium catalysis with alcohols and diboron starting materials; the use of metals in their synthesis complicates industry synthesis, however, as boronic acids and esters at time can be unstable and thus difficult to purify. Pri........ Read more »
Mo, F., Jiang, Y., Qiu, D., Zhang, Y., & Wang, J. (2010) Direct Conversion of Arylamines to Pinacol Boronates: A Metal-Free Borylation Process. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200905824
M. Christina White from UIUC has again hit Science with her direct C-H functionalization chemistry in the January 29th issue (doi: 10.1126/science.1183602). As an alternate route to traditional functional group modification, White's group, and those of groups pursuing C-H functionalization (which I mentioned in my previous post) seek to "streamline" synthesis by cutting out unnecessary steps and going right in for the kill at the otherwise "inert" C-H bond. Badass. In t........ Read more »
Chen, M., & White, M. (2010) Combined Effects on Selectivity in Fe-Catalyzed Methylene Oxidation. Science, 327(5965), 566-571. DOI: 10.1126/science.1183602
Chen, M., & White, M. (2007) A Predictably Selective Aliphatic C H Oxidation Reaction for Complex Molecule Synthesis. Science, 318(5851), 783-787. DOI: 10.1126/science.1148597
Feng, Y., & Chen, G. (2009) Total Synthesis of Celogentin C by Stereoselective Cï£¿H Activation. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200905134
Figure 1: Humpback whale
The question is: what do you use to study the health of whales in the wild?
The answer is: not what you’d think.
Unlike smaller sea mammals like seals or sea lions, it is very hard to obtain blood samples from whales without first killing them. Meet Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, from the Zoological Society of [...]... Read more »
Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Rocha-Gosselin, A., & Gendron, D. (2009) A novel non-invasive tool for disease surveillance of free-ranging whales and its relevance to conservation programs. Animal Conservation. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00326.x
I love the show Psych. For those who don't know the show, it's about a guy named Shawn Spencer (actor James Roday) whose uncanny powers of observation allow him to convince the Santa Barbara Police Department that he's a psychic. He's adorable, eccentric, and totally awesome in mostly every way. But I found myself yelling at my television (ok, my computer - I watch it on Hulu every week) while watching the most recent episode. I was really, truly pissed.
Let me explain. In the show, Shawn and c........ Read more »
Traditionally, computational protein design efforts have been directed at calculating a single sequence predicted to fold to a particular target structure. Recently, however, a number of conceptual generalizations have been pursued, ranging from the use of backbone flexibility, off-rotamer side chain flexibility, negative design, multi-body potentials, conformational free energy, and prediction of sequence profiles. Below I present our state-of-the-art research whose goal is to understand how pr........ Read more »
Humphris EL, & Kortemme T. (2007) Design of multi-specificity in protein interfaces. PLoS computational biology, 3(8). PMID: 17722975
Fromer M, Yanover C, & Linial M. (2010) Design of multispecific protein sequences using probabilistic graphical modeling. Proteins, 78(3), 530-47. PMID: 19842166
Fromer M, & Shifman JM. (2009) Tradeoff between stability and multispecificity in the design of promiscuous proteins. PLoS computational biology, 5(12). PMID: 20041208
Clouds, the sun, volcanoes, the earth's orbit around the sun, ill-defined 'natural cycles' - all have been brought up recently by a range of non-scientists arguing against the current scientific consensus that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are responsible for the global warming observed in the last century. I'm a neurobiologist, so my knowledge about climatology is rather limited, which means I don't really understand too much of the complex mechanisms underlying climate variabilities. Howeve........ Read more »
SAWYER, J. (1972) Man-made Carbon Dioxide and the “Greenhouse” Effect. Nature, 239(5366), 23-26. DOI: 10.1038/239023a0
I came across this paper by Rowland Hazard and colleagues amongst a whole lot of papers lying on my desk (those of you who’ve seen my desk will understand what a momentous occasion it was to find something there!). It describes a very useful finding from a study the group conducted on outcome measurement.
There [...]... Read more »
Hazard RG, Spratt KF, McDonough CM, Carayannopoulos AG, Olson CM, Reeves V, Sperry ML, & Ossen ES. (2009) The impact of personal functional goal achievement on patient satisfaction with progress one year following completion of a functional restoration program for chronic disabling spinal disorders. Spine, 34(25), 2797-802. PMID: 19910869
Birds are important in the natural history of Influenza and flu, but there is another character besides us humans. The pigs.
Our knowledge of Influenza in pig dates back to at least 1918 when it was observed that they could also catch the flu during a time when the human flu caused an uneven pandemic. In [...]... Read more »
Olsen, C. (2002) The emergence of novel swine influenza viruses in North America. Virus Research, 85(2), 199-210. DOI: 10.1016/S0168-1702(02)00027-8
Landolt, G., & Olsen, C. (2007) Up to new tricks – A review of cross-species transmission of influenza A viruses. Animal Health Research Reviews, 8(01), 1. DOI: 10.1017/S1466252307001272
Bonobos retain juvenile traits related to tolerance and cooperation. Image: Vanessa WoodsHow many times as a kid would your parents tell you to grow up and act your age? It turns out that not acting our age may be the very reason why we're so successful as a species.
Brian Hare and colleagues have just released a video (see below) showing a bonobo juvenile voluntarily helping another indiv........ Read more »
Wobber, V., Wrangham, R., & Hare, B. (2010) Bonobos Exhibit Delayed Development of Social Behavior and Cognition Relative to Chimpanzees. Current Biology, 20(3), 226-230. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.11.070
Some of us have been just waiting for the moment when barefooting or vff'ing would make it through to the mainstream. THis seems to have happened recently on the cover of nature, with DE Lieberman's research in praise of the unshod. The formal article title is "Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners" ... Read more »
Lieberman, D., Venkadesan, M., Werbel, W., Daoud, A., D’Andrea, S., Davis, I., Mang’Eni, R., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2010) Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature, 463(7280), 531-535. DOI: 10.1038/nature08723
I came across this excellent article today on Individual behaviour change strategies. It is published in the ACSM's Health and fitness journal. It covers how to tailor physical activity behaviour change strategies to make them effective. Its full of good advice and i can see me using the advice in the future. I always get annoyed when we think that getting people through the door of a gym is the end of the journey! Thats the the start, my own area is exercise adherence and i am all too aware of........ Read more »
White, Siobhan M. B.S.; Mailey, Emily L. M.S.; McAuley, Edward. (2010) Individual behaviour change strategies. ACSM's Health , 14(1), 8-15. info:/
Expert wine tasters can supposedly tell the difference between a cheap wine and a more expensive one. But research shows that a measurable portion of the actually perceived taste difference is solely due to a neurological response to knowing the wine's price tag. So I have to ask: What is the Taste of $90?...... Read more »
Plassmann, H., O'Doherty, J., Shiv, B., & Rangel, A. (2008) Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(3), 1050-1054. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0706929105
Japan’s aging population and the growing number of young Japanese shunning ‘3D’ jobs (dirty, dangerous and demanding) has resulted in an increasing demand for foreign nurses and eldercare workers. In response, the Japanese government has recently started to recruit nurses and allied professionals from Indonesia and the Philippines under bilateral economic partnership agreements (EPA).
These Indonesian [...]... Read more »
Piller, I . (2011) Language, Migration, and Human Rights. In Wodak, Ruth, Paul Kerswill and Barbara Johnstone. Eds. Handbook of Sociolinguistics. . info:/
... Read more »
Szabo, J., Vesk, P., Baxter, P., & Possingham, H. (2010) Regional avian species declines estimated from volunteer-collected long-term data using List Length Analysis. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-0877
The oceans are the world's largest carbon sink. Are they starting to overflow?... Read more »
Le Quere, C., Rodenbeck, C., Buitenhuis, E., Conway, T., Langenfelds, R., Gomez, A., Labuschagne, C., Ramonet, M., Nakazawa, T., Metzl, N.... (2007) Saturation of the Southern Ocean CO2 Sink Due to Recent Climate Change. Science, 316(5832), 1735-1738. DOI: 10.1126/science.1136188
Cassar, N., Bender, M., Barnett, B., Fan, S., Moxim, W., Levy, H., & Tilbrook, B. (2007) The Southern Ocean Biological Response to Aeolian Iron Deposition. Science, 317(5841), 1067-1070. DOI: 10.1126/science.1144602
Dalin Shi, Yan Xu, Brian M. Hopkinson, François M. M. Morel. (2010) Effect of Ocean Acidification on Iron Availability to Marine Phytoplankton. Science, 327(5966), 676-679. info:/10.1126/science.1183517
Riebesell U, Zondervan I, Rost B, Tortell PD, Zeebe RE, & Morel FM. (2000) Reduced calcification of marine plankton in response to increased atmospheric CO2. Nature, 407(6802), 364-7. PMID: 11014189
PECK, L., BARNES, D., COOK, A., FLEMING, A., & CLARKE, A. (2009) Negative feedback in the cold: ice retreat produces new carbon sinks in Antarctica. Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02071.x
Cohn et al. (2010) make some links between men's emotional (dys)regulation, restrictive emotionality and hitting people.... Read more »
Cohn, A., Jakupcak, M., Seibert, L., Hildebrandt, T., & Zeichner, A. (2010) The role of emotion dysregulation in the association between men’s restrictive emotionality and use of physical aggression. Psychology of Men , 11(1), 53-64. DOI: 10.1037/a0018090
Tas van Ommen and Vin Morgan, of the Australian Antarctic Division, published a paper ‘Snowfall increase in coastal East Antarctica linked with southwest Western Australian drought’ in Nature Geosciences.Turns out that this region of Australia has been facing a 40-year drought which was attributed to several factors, such as ‘natural variability, changes in land use, ocean temperatures and atmospheric circulation’. After evaluating the precipitation records of the two regions (East Antar........ Read more »
van Ommen, T., & Morgan, V. (2010) Snowfall increase in coastal East Antarctica linked with southwest Western Australian drought. Nature Geoscience, 3(4), 267-272. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo761
What a great study.The authors analyzed the television viewing habits of 2,037 children between the ages of 0 and 12 back and the outcome they were interested in was BMI. Parents were given diaries where they tracked among other things the format of the television their children watched. Formats could be educational viewing on broadcast or cable (shows like Sesame Street), education viewing on DVD or video (same shows as on cable but without advertisements), children's entertainment viewing on........ Read more »
Zimmerman, F., & Bell, J. (2009) Associations of Television Content Type and Obesity in Children. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 334-340. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.155119
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