Post List

  • February 12, 2010
  • 02:20 AM

As the worm turns

by ouroboros in Ouroboros: Research in the biology of aging

A couple of worm genomics papers caught my eye this week.
One is about using networks of genes as biomarkers. (The first author is our own turritopsis, and we extend our heartiest congratulations on the publication of this interesting paper.) It’s a neat idea: networks make better biomarkers than single genes; furthermore, thinking about genes [...]... Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 02:17 AM

The Neuroscience of Meditation

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Meditation is different from rest or sleep. It’s a wakeful hypometabolic state with lowered sympathetic activity as opposed to the fight and flight reactions which requires an active sympathetic system. Parasympathetic activity is increased which is important for relaxation and rest. This increase of parasympathetic state is characterized by reduced heart rate, lower systolic blood [...]

Related posts:Neuroscience of Learning Arithmetic Maybe I have told you in the a previous...
The Ne........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 12:22 AM

Friday Weird Science: Redder than a baboon's butt

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

...can Sci use "butt" in her post title? I guess we're going to find out!

Courtesy of NCBI ROFL, who gave me the idea to Pubmed this thing.

Ozkaya, E. "An unusual case of mercurial baboon syndrome: lasting seasonal attacks in a retired metalworker". Contact Dermatitis, 2008.

So what, you may ask, is baboon syndrome?

(Pics below NSFW. Really, it's Friday Weird Science, is this even a question by now?) Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 11:23 PM

Tube ‘em & Move ‘em: The Data Set

by Brian McMichael, MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

On a large, retrospective, chart-review of residents of nursing homes with advanced cognitive impairment, on the rate of surgical or endoscopic gastrostomy tube (G-tube) placement during acute hospitalizations. ... Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 08:12 PM

Measuring the Strength and Speed of the Microbial Grappling Hook

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Amber Pollack-Berti I’ll admit, I’ve been in love with the type IV pili (T4P) for a long time. After memorizing all those complex pathways for regulation and metabolism, there was something so refreshing and accessible about pili. These bacterial surface appendages are, by their nature, mechanical structures. They are easy to visualize. Their composition is simple: a Type...... Read more »

Clausen M, Jakovljevic V, Søgaard-Andersen L, & Maier B. (2009) High-force generation is a conserved property of type IV pilus systems. Journal of bacteriology, 191(14), 4633-8. PMID: 19429611  

  • February 11, 2010
  • 04:57 PM

The brain surgery path to transcendence

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Transcendence: the belief that you are connected in ineffable ways to the world around you, that you are not limited by your body but can go beyond it in mysterious ways.The feeling of transcendence seems to be linked to the right parietal lobe. Brain scans of meditating Buddhist monks show decreased activity in this area, and people with brain damage in the region report feeling more spiritual.Now a new study has taken a closer look in patients undergoing surgery for brain tumours. Using a sens........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 04:30 PM

Neil OConnell on A Cup of weak Qi

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Brain imaging studies are often both fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. They shine a light on activity patterns within the brain that occur during various aspects of behaviour, movement and perception. The problem comes when we try to negotiate the minefield of drawing conclusions.
Acupuncture is a widely used and advocated treatment for pain (as [...]... Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 03:17 PM

Protection against 2009 influenza H1N1 by immunization with 1918-like and classical swine viruses

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Influenza A viruses typically cause severe respiratory disease mainly in the very young or the elderly. The 2009 swine-origin H1N1 virus is unusual because it preferentially infects individuals under 35 years of age. We’ve previously noted that being older is a good defense against 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, in part because older people have antibodies that [...]... Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 02:19 PM

Bacteria in Cancer Research

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Use of Azurin toxin to destroy Cancerous cells... Read more »

Punj V, Bhattacharyya S, Saint-Dic D, Vasu C, Cunningham EA, Graves J, Yamada T, Constantinou AI, Christov K, White B.... (2004) Bacterial cupredoxin azurin as an inducer of apoptosis and regression in human breast cancer. Oncogene, 23(13), 2367-78. PMID: 14981543  

Chaudhari A, Fialho AM, Ratner D, Gupta P, Hong CS, Kahali S, Yamada T, Haldar K, Murphy S, Cho W.... (2006) Azurin, Plasmodium falciparum malaria and HIV/AIDS: inhibition of parasitic and viral growth by Azurin. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 5(15), 1642-8. PMID: 16861897  

  • February 11, 2010
  • 01:43 PM

Are you a motivated labmate?

by 96well in Reportergene

I went through this little gift from Uri Alon: its essay appeared in Molecular Cell which aims to conjugate psychological principles to the every-day lab routine for improving motivation. How Uri Alon improves the motivation of his lab? He try to balance three fundamental needs of any scientist: competence, autonomy and social connectedness, for instance:I make our weekly group meeting an event that enhances social connectedness. The first half hour of the two hour meeting is devoted to nonscien........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 01:01 PM

Posttraumatic Growth from Awe?

by Cole Bitting in Fable

The emotion awe is little studied, but is unique and perhaps exceptionally important because of its ability to induce accommodation - a state which creates flexibility in values and beliefs. Awe, simply put, facilitates personal change and growth. Awe also is an emotion associated with the negation of self, and the regulation of the self in the presence of negation might affect the ability to cope with and heal trauma.

In their article, The nature of awe: Elicitors, appraisals, and effects on........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 11:46 AM

Of Archaeal Periplasm & Iconoclasm

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Elio Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth. Oliver Wendell Holmes

Biology is the iconoclast’s paradise. Over and over, cherished beliefs, some dating back for centuries,...... Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

Neury Thursday: Even Leeches Have Rhythm

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Scientists have localized and dissected the function of neural oscillators controlling rhythmic crawling in medicinal leeches. ... Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 10:58 AM

Is Dyslexia a Visual or Phonological Deficit?

by Livia in Reading and Word Recognition Research

It's interesting how the public's impression of dyslexia differs from the impressions of researchers in the field. I recently read an article by Vidyasagar and Pammer arguing that dyslexia is a visual deficit. To the general public, this claim seems obvious because most people believe that people with dyslexia see things backwards.

Many dyslexia researchers, however, will find this claim

... Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 10:19 AM

Its g-g-g-genetic

by Bryan in Imaging Geek

Pardon the title, but it somewhat shocking news (to me, anyways), it turns out stuttering is genetic. A study released today in the New England Journal of Medicine has identified mutations in two genes - GNPTAB and GNPT - that seem to cause stuttering. These mutations seem to be found in stutterers around the world, although the initial mutations were identified in a Pakistani family.The real odd thing though is what these genes do - they're involved in sending proteins to lysosomes; our cell........ Read more »

Kang, C., Riazuddin, S., Mundorff, J., Krasnewich, D., Friedman, P., Mullikin, J., & Drayna, D. (2010) Mutations in the Lysosomal Enzyme-Targeting Pathway and Persistent Stuttering. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0902630  

  • February 11, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Bats can hold their liquor

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

A new paper in PLoS ONE tests the alcohol tolerances of nectar-eating bats. Believe it or not, there is a scientific purpose.

Alcohol isn't a vice exclusive to humans. Animals that eat fruit or nectar may accidentally imbibe if they eat past-ripe fruit or nectar that has had time to ferment. Some species, like the pentail treeshrew, have evolved tolerances that surpass our own capacities – and some, like cedar waxwings, get distinctly tipsy after a few bad berries. Alcohol tolerance effective........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Half of top US academic medical centers have no policy on ghostwriting

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

Half of the top 50 academic medical centres in the United States have no policies on their staff ghostwriting research on the behalf of pharmaceutical companies – including UCLA and Mayo Medical School.
Medical ghostwriting is “the practice of pharmaceutical companies secretly authoring journal articles published under the byline of academic researchers.” By getting academics at [...]

... Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Bird communities as bioindicators of stream degradation

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • February 11, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

There’s a tweeting emergency

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

If you join Twitter in response to a major emergency situation, you’re more likely to become a long-term adopter of the technology. Many early users shared nothing more than the minutiae of their everyday lives on the personal micro-blogging service. However, the Mumbai Taj Hotel terrorist attack, the Hudson River plane crash, California wildfires, Australian [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkThere’s a tweeting emergency
... Read more »

Amanda Lee Hughes, & Leysia Palen. (2009) Twitter adoption and use in mass convergence and emergency events. Int. J. Emergency Management, 6(3/4), 248-260. info:/

  • February 11, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

When It Comes to Aging, Size Matters

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Recently, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists who defined the role and functionality of an enzyme important to the aging process. They outlined just how chromosomes — those vital, thread-like molecules of DNA that contain our genes — are protected against being destroyed. It turns out that a telomere [...]... Read more »

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