Hot off the press from the holidays is an article from PNAS that’s worth a gander if you’re into RNAi. We know RNAi associated with epigenetics is possible in the nucleus (Somehow, siRNAs could trigger the methylation and silencing of genes in the nucleus.) However, one soy bean group was able to provide evidence for [...]... Read more »
Hoffer, P., Ivashuta, S., Pontes, O., Vitins, A., Pikaard, C., Mroczka, A., Wagner, N., & Voelker, T. (2010) Posttranscriptional gene silencing in nuclei. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(1), 409-414. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1009805108
Guang, S., Bochner, A., Pavelec, D., Burkhart, K., Harding, S., Lachowiec, J., & Kennedy, S. (2008) An Argonaute Transports siRNAs from the Cytoplasm to the Nucleus. Science, 321(5888), 537-541. DOI: 10.1126/science.1157647
Hwang, H., Wentzel, E., & Mendell, J. (2007) A Hexanucleotide Element Directs MicroRNA Nuclear Import. Science, 315(5808), 97-100. DOI: 10.1126/science.1136235
The study of copy-number variation (CNV) in humans has contributed to our understanding of genetic uniqueness, as well as disease. Until recently, it was difficult to assess the number of repeated DNA sequences in the genome. In a recent publication, researchers at the 1000 Genomes Project and collaborators have invented new methods to study and find repetitive DNA sequences in the human genome, and have found that CNVs occur in only 7%-9% of human genes. They used the new techniques to compare ........ Read more »
Sudmant, P. et al. (2010) Diversity of Human Copy Number Variation and Multicopy Genes. Science, 330(6004), 641-646. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197005
Discussing an interesting but seriously flawed article on the link between resources, political stability and aggresion... Read more »
Colgan, J. (2010) Oil and Revolutionary Governments: Fuel for International Conflict. International Organization, 64(04), 661-694. DOI: 10.1017/S002081831000024X
Labelling alerts consumers to qualities of the food that are not apparent from its intrinsic appearance. these qualities are referred to variously as imperceptible, intrinsic or unobservable--and may include statuses such as 'organic' or 'genetically modified'. Concern about these qualities is termed "ethical preference". In the absence of labelling or other information that informs ethical choices, consumer are likely to feel less trust in the product. (Michalopoulos et al, 2008).Understa........ Read more »
Michalopoulos, T., Korthals, M., & Hogeveen, H. (2007) Trading “Ethical Preferences” in the Market: Outline of a Politically Liberal Framework for the Ethical Characterization of Foods. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 21(1), 3-27. DOI: 10.1007/s10806-007-9059-4
Sometimes interesting scientific evidence shows up in unexpected places. Years ago, there had been discussion of the possibility that immediate post glacial climate in the North Atlantic coastal region was unusually warm, but the evidence was spotty. Then, I was looking through material taken from a geotechnical boring placed to assess the geology of a part of Boston Harbor where a new tunnel was being planned, and found a large fragment of a clam embedded in clay. The clay was deposited duri........ Read more »
Jarzen, David, & Klug, Curtis. (2010) A preliminary investigation of a lower to middle Eocene palynoflora from Pine Island, Florida, USA . Palylnology, 34(2), 164-179. info:/10.1080/01916121003737421
Back in the day, the bushbuck was considered a single species, Tragelaphus scriptus, found in various habitats across much of sub-Saharan Africa. Recently however, genetic studies have indicated that T. scriptus is actually a complex of two distinct species, the Kéwel (T. scriptus) and the Imbabala (T. sylvaticus). This evidence shows that these two bushbuck species are more closely related to other tragelaphines than to each other; the Imbabala being closest to the Bongo (T. eurycerus) and Sit........ Read more »
Moodley, Y., Bruford, M., Bleidorn, C., Wronski, T., Apio, A., & Plath, M. (2009) Analysis of mitochondrial DNA data reveals non-monophyly in the bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) complex. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde, 74(5), 418-422. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2008.05.003
The Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street movies aren’t typically thought of as mating strategies. But putting on a scary movie is a trick as old as drive-in theaters for encouraging one’s date to jump in fright and snuggle in just a little bit closer. Birds, so far as we know, aren’t into [...]... Read more »
Greig, E., & Pruett-Jones, S. (2010) Danger may enhance communication: predator calls alert females to male displays. Behavioral Ecology, 21(6), 1360-1366. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arq155
Astrophysics and Gravitation:
Planck’s Early Results
Planck Collaboration (2011). Planck Early Results: The Planck mission arXiv arXiv: 1101.2022v1
The Early Results Papers from the Planck Collaboration are based on the data acquired by the Planck satellite between August 13th, 2009 to June 6th, 2010. This work is “an overview of the history of Planck in its first year of operations” and was released along side Planck’s Early Release Compact Source Catalogue, “the........ Read more »
Baldi, M., & Pettorino, V. (2011) High-z massive clusters as a test for dynamical coupled dark energy. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2010.00975.x
Brief description of neutrophil NET's and current research.... Read more »
In this blog I discuss frequently about one of the Clay Institute’s Millenium Prize problems: Mass gap and existence of a quantum Yang-Mills theory. Sometime I also used the Perelman’s theorem containing Poincarè’s conjecture to discuss about some properties of quanum gravity and also Cramer-Rao statistical bound. Today on arxiv I have found a beautiful [...]... Read more »
Evolutionary biology is not just the study of how living things change over time, but the study of how the diversity of living things changes over time. Diversity is the raw material sculpted by natural selection, carved into more-or-less discrete chunks by speciation, and lost forever in extinction.
Joan Roughgarden is even more preoccupied with diversity than most evolutionary biologists. Some of her earliest published studies examine the evolution of optimum niche width, the range of resourc........ Read more »
Crews D., Grassman M., & Lindzey J. (1986) Behavioral facilitation of reproduction in sexual and unisexual whiptail lizards. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 83(24), 9547-50. PMID: 3467325
Dominey, W. (1981) Maintenance of female mimicry as a reproductive strategy in bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus). Environmental Biology of Fishes, 6(1), 59-64. DOI: 10.1007/BF00001800
Kopachena, J., & Falls, J. (1993) Aggressive performance as a behavioral correlate of plumage polymorphism in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis). Behaviour, 124(3), 249-66. DOI: 10.1163/156853993X00605
Leuck, B. (1982) Comparative burrow use and activity patterns of parthenogenetic and bisexual whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus: Teiidae). Copeia, 1982(2), 416-24. DOI: 10.2307/1444623
Roughgarden, J., Oishi, M., & Akçay, E. (2006) Reproductive social behavior: Cooperative games to replace sexual selection. Science, 311(5763), 965-9. DOI: 10.1126/science.1110105
Rummel, J., & Roughgarden, J. (1985) Effects of reduced perch-height separation on competition between two Anolis lizards. Ecology, 66(2), 430-44. DOI: 10.2307/1940392
In my last post I started a new short series on some biologists’ attempts to solve what they call an “adaptive recursion” or in other words, to know the full story of a trait from the bottom level of the gene to the top levels of ecology and differential fitness. Ecological descriptions frequently become “just-so [...]... Read more »
Stolz U, Velez S, Wood KV, Wood M, & Feder JL. (2003) Darwinian natural selection for orange bioluminescent color in a Jamaican click beetle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(25), 14955-9. PMID: 14623957
Just before Christmas I found myself in the pub speaking to Sean about his work on bilingualism, major transitions and the contrast between language change and the cultural evolution of language. Now, other than revealing that our social time is spent discussing our university work, the conversation brought up a distinction not often made: whilst language change is part of language evolution, the latter is also what we consider to be a major transition. As you evolutionary biologists will know, ........ Read more »
Croft, W. (2010) The origins of grammaticalization in the verbalization of experience. Linguistics, 48(1), 1-48. DOI: 10.1515/LING.2010.001
Most of us know anecdotally that print media on occasion present immunisation information incorrectly, but you can’t put a finger on how often and when without hard numbers.
A recent research article examining New Zealand newspapers puts numbers to the errors.
Helen Petousis-Harris led a team surveying the immunisation statements in articles printed in four national New Zealand newspapers [...]... Read more »
Petousis-Harris, H., Goodyear-Smith, F., Kameshwar, K., & Turner, N. (2010) Fact or fallacy? Immunisation arguments in the New Zealand print media. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34(5), 521-526. DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2010.00601.x
Different branches of biological research often use different model organisms. You’ve probably heard of some of them: E. coli, the standard organism for much bacterial research, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in genetics, Arabidopsis thaliana in plant research. Another model organism is the nematode C. elegans. These tiny worms that live in rotting fruit are [...]... Read more »
Weber KP, De S, Kozarewa I, Turner DJ, Babu MM, & de Bono M. (2010) Whole genome sequencing highlights genetic changes associated with laboratory domestication of C. elegans. PloS one, 5(11). PMID: 21085631
The question of how new protein functions arise in evolution via duplication has a certain “chicken and egg” flavor to it. It’s clear that genes with new functions do often arise after older genes undergo a duplication event, but which comes first, the new function or the duplication? For a long time it seemed obvious [...]... Read more »
Deng C, Cheng CH, Ye H, He X, & Chen L. (2010) Evolution of an antifreeze protein by neofunctionalization under escape from adaptive conflict. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21115821
Why have I left it so long between the last posting and this one? Partly, of course, there was the Christmas break. Too many things to do (and besides, who is going to read this blog in preference to spending precious festive time with their loved ones?). Oh, and then there was that workshop on [...]... Read more »
Choi, J., & Moran, S. (2009) Why Not Procrastinate? Development and Validation of a New Active Procrastination Scale. The Journal of Social Psychology, 149(2), 195-212. DOI: 10.3200/SOCP.149.2.195-212
Steel, P. (2007) The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure. Psychological Bulletin, 133(1), 65-94. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.133.1.65
Wohl, M., Pychyl, T., & Bennett, S. (2010) I forgive myself, now I can study: How self-forgiveness for procrastinating can reduce future procrastination. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(7), 803-808. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.01.029
Last year I had the pleasure of temporarily leading our psychiatry department. It was a difficult but in the end rewarding job. That’s probably why a recent publication in Healthcare Executive drew my attention: The 10 most common myths about leadership.
Leadership and management are the same dynamic.Leadership is more about vision, culture and values within [...]
No related posts.... Read more »
When serial killers go unseen: The case of Trevor Joseph Hardy From Crime, Media and Culture UK headlines last week highlighted news regarding the denied plea of the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ and confirmation he will spend all his life behind bars. This serial killer always sparks huge public interest. The article examines the differences in the [...]... Read more »
Wilson, D., Tolputt, H., Howe, N., & Kemp, D. (2010) When serial killers go unseen: The case of Trevor Joseph Hardy. Crime, Media, Culture, 6(2), 153-167. DOI: 10.1177/1741659010369952
Mitsukurina owstoni is a weird and scary species of shark, commonly known as the goblin shark.
It is very distinct from other sharks and has many unique and unshark-like traits, like its pink color! .
The species is often described as a "living fossil", thanks to its prehistoric appearance and its ancient lineage.... Read more »
Parsons, G., Ingram, G., & Havard, R. (2002) FIRST RECORD OF THE GOBLIN SHARK MITSUKURINA OWSTONI, JORDAN (FAMILY MITSUKURINIDAE) IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. Southeastern Naturalist, 1(2), 189-192. DOI: 10.1656/1528-7092(2002)001[0189:FROTGS]2.0.CO;2
Duffy, C. (1997) Further records of the goblin shark, (Lamniformes: Mitsukurinidae), from New Zealand . New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 24(2), 167-171. DOI: 10.1080/03014223.1997.9518111
Rincon, G., Vaske, T., & Gadig, O. (2012) Record of the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni (Chondrichthyes: Lamniformes: Mitsukurinidae) from the south-western Atlantic. Marine Biodiversity Records. DOI: 10.1017/S1755267211000923
Yano, K., Miya, M., Aizawa, M., & Noichi, T. (2007) Some aspects of the biology of the goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni, collected from the Tokyo Submarine Canyon and adjacent waters, Japan. Ichthyological Research, 54(4), 388-398. DOI: 10.1007/s10228-007-0414-2
Caira, J., & Runkle, L. (1993) Two new tapeworms from the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni off Australia. Systematic Parasitology, 26(2), 81-90. DOI: 10.1007/BF00009215
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