Post List

  • December 4, 2009
  • 08:30 AM

Mitigation transforms streams and wetlands at landscape level

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study indicates that mitigation programs may actually alter the overall distribution of streams and wetlands across the landscape and consequently modify their function with both negative and positive consequences...... Read more »

  • December 4, 2009
  • 12:29 AM

Friday Weird Science: Hyposexual, Hypersexual, and Oxytocin

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Oh, you all thought oxytocin posts were DONE!? BY NO MEANS. For oxytocin lends itself to the truly weird science, and this one simply could not be ignored. In addition, Sci is compelled to blog this paper out of sympathy and understanding for the poor little grad student (or possibly the tech) who WITNESSED this entire experiment, on a weekly basis, for I don't know how long. Oh you devoted servant of science, Sci takes her hat off to you this day.

...moment of silence...

Pattij, et al......... Read more »

Pattij T, de Jong TR, Uitterdijk A, Waldinger MD, Veening JG, Cools AR, van der Graaf PH, & Olivier B. (2005) Individual differences in male rat ejaculatory behaviour: searching for models to study ejaculation disorders. The European journal of neuroscience, 22(3), 724-34. PMID: 16101754  

  • December 3, 2009
  • 11:30 PM

Galaxy Zoo 2

by Alexander in The Astronomist.

Galaxy Zoo is the worlds largest astronomy collaboration with over a hundred thousand collaborators. I discuss the impetus, implementation and some of the results of the project.... Read more »

Anze Slosar, Kate Land, Steven Bamford, Chris Lintott, Dan Andreescu, Phil Murray, Robert Nichol, M. Jordan Raddick, Kevin Schawinski, Alex Szalay.... (2008) Galaxy Zoo: Chiral correlation function of galaxy spins. MNRAS, 392(1225). arXiv: 0809.0717v2

  • December 3, 2009
  • 11:19 PM

Scoping the future threats and solutions to biodiversity conservation

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

Way back in 1989, Jared Diamond defined the ‘evil quartet’ of habitat destruction, over-exploitation, introduced species and extinction cascades as the principal drivers of modern extinctions. I think we could easily update this to the ‘evil quintet’ that includes climate change, and I would even go so far as to add extinction synergies as a [...]... Read more »

Sutherland, W., Clout, M., Côté, I., Daszak, P., Depledge, M., Fellman, L., Fleishman, E., Garthwaite, R., Gibbons, D., & De Lurio, J. (2009) A horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2010. Trends in Ecology . DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.10.003  

  • December 3, 2009
  • 10:08 PM

Exercise Boosts Telomerase, Reduces Erosion of Telomeres

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Regular exercise is good for you, and a great weight of scientific studies back up that statement. Insofar as the degenerations of aging go, the present consensus appears to be that exercise in humans slows aging to around the same degree as calorie restriction in humans. Where else could you go to find a fairly cost-effective way of extending your healthy life span by a decade or so? The multiple mechanisms involved in producing the benefits of calorie restriction and exercise are incompletely ........ Read more »

Werner, C., Furster, T., Widmann, T., Poss, J., Roggia, C., Hanhoun, M., Scharhag, J., Buchner, N., Meyer, T., Kindermann, W.... (2009) Physical Exercise Prevents Cellular Senescence in Circulating Leukocytes and in the Vessel Wall. Circulation. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.861005  

  • December 3, 2009
  • 09:04 PM

The Decline of the Megafuana

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

Something dramatic happened to a lot of very big animals between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago. During this time period, 34 major groups of large animals died-out. Among those that disappeared, were ten species that weighted more than a ton. Giant sloths, mammoths, mastodons, giant kangaroos, and moa were just a few of the fast-vanishing fauna.
It has long been clear that these large animals, also known as "megafauna", perished in a short period of time. But scientists disagree about what caused t........ Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 06:01 PM

Risk & Vulnerability

by Jan Husdal in

Written 12 years ago, but still holds true. Supply chains are increasingly becoming complex systems of webs and networks and the system thinking that already pervaded Einarsson and Rausand (1997) An Approach to Vulnerability Analysis of Complex Industrial Systems is today still applicable to toady's supply chains. In fact, there is little difference between vulnerability in supply chains and vulnerability in complex industrial systems.... Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 05:34 PM

Evolution is in the Veins of our Captors

by Johnny in Ecographica

The human race has been enslaved by evolutionarily superior organisms.

In the beginning there was but inorganic matter. From these lifeless substances came the organics which later gave rise to legion-minded protobionts. The protobionts in time beget prokaryotic cells, and with this pivotal step the guiding hand of evolution took charge and asserted the symbiotic conception of the eukaryotes. Since the self-proclaimed commencement of evolution’s command, the human ancestral line ha........ Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 04:45 PM

"The anus was a prerequisite for intelligence" TC-S quote anthology 01

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Still working on the Sunday Protist; it's the last week of classes, finals start next week, and I have to sort out some last minute stuff for the seminar we're running next term (finally got it officially up and running in terms of registration!). As you can see, I'm rather swamped here. Also, staying up till 4am working on the Sunday Protist last night was definitely not a splendid idea. I blame TC-S for distracting me with his elaborate hypotheses...Speaking of which, I've started my very own ........ Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 02:44 PM

How well do we understand sore throat?

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

He looked sick---really sick. He was sitting on a stretcher in an ER bay, flushed, breathing a bit quickly, but his youth seemed to compensate for the acuity of his illness, and he didn't feel nearly as bad has he looked. His fever was 104, his systolic blood pressure was in the 90s, his heart was racing. He'd had a sore throat recently, and rather than getting better started to feel weak, tired, and feverish. His mom finally dragged him in when he wouldn't stop shivering. His blood work wa........ Read more »

Centor RM, Witherspoon JM, Dalton HP, Brody CE, & Link K. (1981) The diagnosis of strep throat in adults in the emergency room. Medical decision making : an international journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making, 1(3), 239-46. PMID: 6763125  

Bliss SJ, Flanders SA, & Saint S. (2004) Clinical problem-solving. A pain in the neck. The New England journal of medicine, 350(10), 1037-42. PMID: 14999116  

  • December 3, 2009
  • 12:20 PM

Hey, Calcium, show me the way!

by kubke in Building Blogs of Science

Most (if not all) questions about neuroscience can be answered with <blah blah blah> Calcium (or so it was rumoured at the Neural Systems and Behaviour Course in the MBL back in the ‘90s). Humour aside, there is some truth to the statement, and Sheng Wang, Luis Polo-Parada and Lynn Landmesser examined the role of [...]... Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 11:55 AM

JAK2 inhibition in hematologic conditions

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

The last few weeks have seen several emails from Pharma Strategy Blog readers and clients asking about JAK2 inhibition and it's importance in cancer, so we thought it was a good time to summarise the pathway with ASH imminent. Here's...... Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 10:25 AM

Early diagnosis saves lives – and here’s the evidence

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

It’s been a big week for cancer news, as we blogged about yesterday.
The Government’s report on progress against the Cancer Reform Strategy showed how much cancer survival varies across the country, and another story presented figures from Professor Mike Richards, National Cancer Director, estimating that earlier diagnosis could save between 5,000 and 10,000 lives a [...]... Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 09:54 AM

How Dark is Barack Obama?

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

During the 2008 primaries, the Clinton campaign was accused of altering footage of Barack Obama to darken his skin tone. Supposedly, this would activate negative stereotypes of Americans towards Black people; possibly following the same logic that Time magazine applied in 1994 when it darkened the face of O.J. Simpson for its cover.
Whether or not this type of (subtle) manipulation actually suffices to swing people's decisions for something as important as an electoral vote is questionable (it ........ Read more »

Caruso EM, Mead NL, & Balcetis E. (2009) Political partisanship influences perception of biracial candidates' skin tone. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 19934033  

  • December 3, 2009
  • 09:39 AM

Gone in 60 (milli)seconds

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Intracellular proteins have to be degraded, more or less at the same rate as new proteins are produced (or the cell would eventually burst). On the other hand, you can’t go about degrading proteins willy-nilly.  There are vast and complex systems for identifying proteins that should be destroyed, tagging them, and then moving them into [...]... Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 08:30 AM

What to do when a key tortoise goes extinct? Introduce an exotic...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

What do you do when a keystone species goes extinct causing major disruption to ecosystem interactions and processes?

Christine Griffiths and fellow researchers offer a controversial solution to this problem for the case of the extinct giant tortoises endemic to the Mascarene islands. Introduce two exotic species of giant tortoises to replace the ones that have gone extinct.... Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 04:28 AM

It’s Snowing (JavaScript)!

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

You know it’s December when it starts snowing in your web browser.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Or programmatically:
snowStorm = new SnowStorm();
There was a time, not so very long ago when JavaScript snow would have been “best viewed in browser x”. Thankfully now its much more reliable, JBrowse [1] is a nice example [...]... Read more »

Skinner, M., Uzilov, A., Stein, L., Mungall, C., & Holmes, I. (2009) JBrowse: A next-generation genome browser. Genome Research, 19(9), 1630-1638. DOI: 10.1101/gr.094607.109  

  • December 3, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Scientists find way to strengthen memories during sleep

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

If only we could make more constructive use of all the time that we spend asleep. People have tried playing various tapes to themselves while they're dozing, from foreign vocab lists to stop-smoking mantras, but they're all the wrong side of useless. What we do know for sure is that sleep is important for memory consolidation, if only we could tap into this somehow. Now, finally, John Rudoy and colleagues have provided some elusive evidence for how learning during sleep can be enhanced.Twelve pa........ Read more »

  • December 2, 2009
  • 10:30 PM

Alternate structures and catalysis in cyclophilin

by Michael Clarkson in Conformational Flux

Of all the sources of structural variability in proteins, the hardest to pin down is side-chain conformational heterogeneity. Side chains aren't always easy to model into their primary conformation in the first place — you need excellent crystal diffraction or NMR data to do it. Even if you pulled that off, it's not always clear how (or if) side-chain fluctuations relate to a protein's activity. If we carefully examine our data for the faintest signals, however, we can sometimes find evide........ Read more »

Fraser, J., Clarkson, M., Degnan, S., Erion, R., Kern, D., & Alber, T. (2009) Hidden alternative structures of proline isomerase essential for catalysis. Nature, 462(7273), 669-673. DOI: 10.1038/nature08615  

  • December 2, 2009
  • 09:21 PM

An alternative cloning strategy: yeast recombinational cloning

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

As part of my Ph.D thesis, I have to generate a lot of transcriptional fusions (constructs in which a promoter of choice is cloned in front of a reporter gene in order to evaluate transcriptional regulation. Such plasmids can then be transformed into your model organism to study this regulation in vivo).Traditionally, this involves amplifying the region of interest (in my case a promoter region) ... Read more »

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