Post List

  • March 22, 2010
  • 10:22 PM

Wealth and Longevity

by Reason in Fight Aging!

History teaches us that the wealth of a region and the longevity of its inhabitants go hand in hand. The societal and economic changes wrought across the 17th century in England, for example, show us that increased longevity leads to increased wealth, through more foresighted allocation of capital resources and the compounded effect of small gains, year after year. The converse is also true: increased wealth leads to increased longevity, a fact well illustrated by the passage of many Asian count........ Read more »

Yang S, Khang YH, Harper S, Davey Smith G, Leon DA, & Lynch J. (2010) Understanding the Rapid Increase in Life Expectancy in South Korea. American journal of public health. PMID: 20299661  

  • March 22, 2010
  • 09:25 PM

Predicting endangered carnivores: the role of environment, space and phylogeny

by Marc Cadotte in The EEB and flow

For conservation biology, there are several research thrusts that are of critical importance, and one of these is to find predictors of species' extinction risk. Oft-cited is the particular susceptibility of large-bodied organisms, with their large ranges and slow reproductive rates. But there should be other predictors too, especially within larger mammals. In a forthcoming paper in Global Ecology and Biogeography, Safi and Pettorelli use just a few variables to predict extinction risk in carni........ Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 08:00 PM

Cardiac Output Regulation Within the SCN

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Circadian researchers have preliminary evidence suggesting that normal circadian clock functioning is necessary for cardiac output regulation. Therefore, vast disturbances to the circadian timing system, whether genetically or environmentally induced, may be have a contributory role in cardiovascular disease. ... Read more »

Sara C. Mednick1, Nicholas A. Christakis, James H. Fowler. (2010) The Spread of Sleep Loss Influences Drug Use in Adolescent Social Networks. PLoS ONE, 5(3). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0009775

W. John Sheward, Erik Naylor, Seymour Knowles-Barley, J. Douglas Armstrong, Gillian A. Brooker, Jonathan R. Seckl, Fred W. Turek, Megan C. Holmes, Phyllis C. Zee, Anthony J. Harmar. (2010) Circadian Control of Mouse Heart Rate and Blood Pressure by the Suprachiasmatic Nuclei: Behavioral Effects Are More Significant than Direct Outputs. PLoS ONE, 5(3). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0009783

  • March 22, 2010
  • 07:54 PM

Aeronautic ants

by Michael Bok in Arthropoda

The Neotropical arboreal ant, Cephalotes atratus, is a species of gliding ant. These ants live rain forest canopies where the workers spend a lot of time on exposed branches and leaves. If one these ants accidentally falls, or intentionally leaps from a branch to avoid predation, it is able to glide adeptly back [...]... Read more »

Yanoviak SP, Munk Y, Kaspari M, & Dudley R. (2010) Aerial manoeuvrability in wingless gliding ants (Cephalotes atratus). Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 20236974  

  • March 22, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

Dynamics conservation in the Ras superfamily

by Michael Clarkson in Conformational Flux

The proposition that general fold architecture is preserved within a family of evolutionarily-related proteins is not controversial. The amino acid sequence of a protein determines its structure, and countless studies have substantiated the idea that proteins with similar sequences will adopt similar folded conformations. Because structure and dynamics are intrinsically linked, one could reasonably assume that many features of a protein's dynamics get conserved along with the fold. A growing num........ Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 04:29 PM

Multidrug and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis

by C. Julian in The Swarm

In memoriam of Sir John Crofton (1912–2009), The greatest disaster that can happen to a patient with tuberculosis is that his organisms become resistant to two or more of the standard drugs... The development of drug resistance may be a tragedy not only for the patient himself but for others. For he can infect other people with his drug-resistant organisms... 

The World Health Organization (WHO)... Read more »

World Health Organization. (2010) Multidrug and extensively drug-resistant TB (M/XDR-TB): 2010 Global report on surveillance and response. WHO. info:other/978 92 4 159919 1

  • March 22, 2010
  • 04:17 PM

The first example of functional neurogenesis?

by Jason Snyder in Functional Neurogenesis

I recently became re-acquainted with the neurogenesis literature while writing the last post, re-finding data in papers whose gist, but not details, I had remembered. I reached out a little bit, asking others if I had forgot any studies and indeed I had, including this study by Okano, Pfaff and Gibbs from 1993.
I’ve been [...]... Read more »

Okano HJ, Pfaff DW, & Gibbs RB. (1993) RB and Cdc2 expression in brain: correlations with 3H-thymidine incorporation and neurogenesis. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 13(7), 2930-8. PMID: 8331381  

  • March 22, 2010
  • 04:12 PM

Applications of Structural Equation Modeling in Psychological Research

by Amir Rashid in Pharmacy Commitment PhD

Admittedly I am still becoming familiar with Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) in preparation for stage 2 of my research. To do this I have attended training, read literature and had a go at using SEM software such as AMOS 7. One paper which was heartily recommended by the training facilitator was MacCallum & Austin (2000). Even ten [...]... Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 03:30 PM

Fossilized 13th century brain with intact cells

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

THIS is the left cerebral hemisphere of an 18-month-old infant who lived some 800 years ago. Such finds are extremely rare, because nervous tissue is soft and normally begins to decompose soon after death, so this specimen is unique in that it has been far better preserved than any other. Although reduced by about 80% of its original weight, many of its anatomical features have remained intact. The frontal, temporal and occipital lobes have retained their original shape; the gyri and sulci (the ........ Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 02:27 PM

Development of Modality Tuning During Reading and Repetition

by Livia in Reading and Word Recognition Research

Accessibility Level:  Intermediate/Advanced

Today we’re again looking at the theme of increasing specialization in the brain over development. Rather than specialization in terms of spatial extent, as touched on in Brown 2004, Cerebral Cortex, this paper’s finding suggests specialization in processing of sensory modalities.

Church and colleagues tested children (age 7-10) and adults (18-35

... Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 02:02 PM

Time’s Up

by Merry Youle in Small Things Considered

Holins are the smallest known biological timers. Timers, not clocks. Timers tick along, then go off after the specified interval. These small, phage-encoded proteins time the length of lytic infections of some phages. When they go off, the game is over and the host cell lyses. This is important work. The phage that gets the timing right...... Read more »

Wang IN, Smith DL, & Young R. (2000) Holins: the protein clocks of bacteriophage infections. Annual review of microbiology, 799-825. PMID: 11018145  

  • March 22, 2010
  • 02:02 PM

Time’s Up

by Merry Youle in Small Things Considered

Holins are the smallest known biological timers. Timers, not clocks. Timers tick along, then go off after the specified interval. These small, phage-encoded proteins time the length of lytic infections of some phages. When they go off, the game is over and the host cell lyses. This is important work. The phage that gets the timing right...... Read more »

Wang IN, Smith DL, & Young R. (2000) Holins: the protein clocks of bacteriophage infections. Annual review of microbiology, 799-825. PMID: 11018145  

  • March 22, 2010
  • 02:00 PM

Making a PML map

by Maria Hodges in Wood for the trees

I’ve been to a few conferences recently and I’ve witnessed a divide opening up between the scientists that use high-throughput methods and everybody else. A recent paper on the ‘PML interactome' is a nice example of how assembling the data in one place gives a very good overview of the situation and provides some functional clues too.... Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 12:32 PM

A weight lifted?

by Daniel Simons in The Invisible Gorilla

People are generally bad at estimating the slopes of hills, often overestimating their steepness many times over. The overestimates are even greater when subjects are asked to wear a heavy backpack. The effect of the backpack was thought to be due to an influence of physiology on conscious perception, but a new study by Durgin and colleagues suggests it might result from subjects guessing the purpose of the experiment.... Read more »

Proffitt, D. R. P., Bhalla, M., Gossweiler, R., & Midgett, J. (1995) Perceiving geographical slant. Psychonomic Bulletin , 409-428. info:/

Bhalla M, & Proffitt DR. (1999) Visual-motor recalibration in geographical slant perception. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 25(4), 1076-96. PMID: 10464946  

Durgin, F., Baird, J., Greenburg, M., Russell, R., Shaughnessy, K., & Waymouth, S. (2009) Who is being deceived? The experimental demands of wearing a backpack. Psychonomic Bulletin , 16(5), 964-969. DOI: 10.3758/PBR.16.5.964  

  • March 22, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Dispatches from Antarctica – Farewell Weddell Sea

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

David Honig is a graduate student in marine science at Duke University in the lab of Dr. Cindy Van Dover. He is participating in LARISSA, a 2 month multinational expedition to study the causes and consequences of the ice shelf collapse. He will be posting regular updates on the expedition exclusively for [...]... Read more »

Domack, E., Ishman, S., Leventer, A., Sylva, S., Willmott, V., & Huber, B. (2005) A Chemotrophic Ecosystem Found Beneath Antarctic Ice Shelf. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 86(29), 269-276. DOI: 10.1029/2005EO290001  

H. Niemann1, D. Fischer, D. Graffe, K. Knittel1, A. Montie, O. Heilmayer, K. Nöthen, T. Pape, S. Kasten, G. Bohrmann.... (2009) Biogeochemistry of a low-activity cold seep in the Larsen B area, western Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Biogeosciences Discussions, 2383-2395. info:other/

  • March 22, 2010
  • 11:15 AM

Reconstructing full-glacial Europe

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate

When Charles Lyell first used the term Pleistocene in 1839 to replace the "long and awkward" use of Newer Pliocene (preceded by, of course, the Older Pliocene), it was done in the interest of streamlining the terminology, but the split of Newer and Older Pliocene was based on the fossil evidence of the time. Lyell designated the split of the Pliocene by recognizing a higher percentage of extant snails and other mollusks found in strata from this Newer Pliocene or, now, Pleistocene period. About ........ Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

New tool aims to help coral reefs survive climate change

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists have developed a practical method for assessing the resilience of coral reefs to climate change and for prioritizing local actions to help reefs survive. Jeff Maynard and fellow scientists tested the method in Keppel Bay of the southern Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and found that it can be a useful tool for conservation planning...... Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 10:49 AM

How do I Describe Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

by Isobel Maciver in Promega Connections

Did you know that the microorganisms living in and on the human body (most on the skin, in the gut, and in the mouth) outnumber all our human cells by a factor of ten? But read on before you grab the hand sanitizer and schedule a colonic, these “germs” may be an integral [...]... Read more »

Fierer, N., Lauber, C., Zhou, N., McDonald, D., Costello, E., & Knight, R. (2010) Forensic identification using skin bacterial communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1000162107  

  • March 22, 2010
  • 10:39 AM

Aphids have mutualistic viruses!

by Cheshire in Cheshire

Aphids can be a pain in the ass to gardeners and farmers. Although they look pretty harmless, they’re to plants what mosquitoes are to people and more. They transmit some pretty serious diseases which cause millions of dollars in damage per year. They’re also famous for their fecundity-they’re parthenogenic and their daughters are actually born [...]... Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

Monday Pets: Is My Dog Playing or Fighting With That Other Dog?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Happy Monday. Mondays are usually pretty rough, but now they’re about to become a little bit better for you, dear reader. And that is because I’m now several months into this blogging thing, and since I seem to enjoy it, and some of you seem to enjoy it, I’m going to make an attempt at [...]... Read more »

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