Original antigenic sin - will getting the flu shot make you more susceptible to an epidemic?... Read more »
Kim, J., Skountzou, I., Compans, R., & Jacob, J. (2009) Original Antigenic Sin Responses to Influenza Viruses. The Journal of Immunology, 183(5), 3294-3301. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900398
Does tracking your food intake and your exercise habits help you lose and maintain weight? A recent paper by Burke et al, published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, reviews the collective research to date on the benefits of … Continue reading →... Read more »
Burke LE, Wang J, & Sevick MA. (2011) Self-monitoring in weight loss: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111(1), 92-102. PMID: 21185970
Birds have some awesomely descriptive names. Like the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), a North American woodpecker that specializes in drilling “sap wells” in trees to feed on their sugary phloem sap. Or the Brown Trembler (Cinclocerthia ruficauda), a Caribbean relative of the mockingbird that shakes its wings violently to communicate with other members of its [...]... Read more »
Nunn, C., Ezenwa, V., Arnold, C., & Koenig, W. (2011) MUTUALISM OR PARASITISM? USING A PHYLOGENETIC APPROACH TO CHARACTERIZE THE OXPECKER-UNGULATE RELATIONSHIP. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01212.x
The insecticide DDT (dichlorodiphenytrichloroethane) has been in the public mind ever since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in 1962. Growing awareness of its environmental effects, persistence, biomagnification in food chains, and presence in humans (including in breast milk) led to severe restrictions being placed on its use, particularly in the developed world. However, its [...]... Read more »
Bouwman, H., van den Berg, H., & Kylin, H. (2011) DDT and Malaria Prevention: Addressing the Paradox. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002127
by Janel Kopp in the Node
The Node’s staff has kindly given me the opportunity to write a background piece, placing into context the results of our studies described in the paper, “Sox9 ductal cells are multipotent progenitors throughout development but do not produce new endocrine cells in the normal or injured adult pancreas” (released today in Development; http://dev.biologists.org/lookup/doi/10.1242/dev.056499). For many [...]... Read more »
Janel L. Kopp, Claire L. Dubois, Ashleigh E. Schaffer, Ergeng Hao, Hung Ping Shih, Philip A. Seymour, Jenny Ma, & Maike Sander. (2011) Sox9 ductal cells are multipotent progenitors throughout development but do not produce new endocrine cells in the normal or injured adult pancreas . Development, 138(4), 653-665. info:/10.1242/dev.056499
We all know of men's warm, protective feelings for nuts, but why all the male interest in Brazil nuts? It might be the shape, if not the texture, but I think the answer lies in the Brazil nut's high concentration of selenium. Selenium is protective against prostate cancer, and good for testicular development (fetal period . . . sorry guys) and possibly protective against other oxidative-stress-induced ailments, testicular or not. On the other hand, selenium, at high concentrations can res........ Read more »
Chang, J. (1995) Selenium content of Brazil nuts from two geographic locations in Brazil. Chemosphere, 30(4), 801-802. DOI: 10.1016/0045-6535(94)00409-N
ATIF, F., YOUSUF, S., & AGRAWAL, S. (2008) Restraint stress-induced oxidative damage and its amelioration with selenium. European Journal of Pharmacology, 600(1-3), 59-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.09.029
Brozmanová J, Mániková D, Vlčková V, & Chovanec M. (2010) Selenium: a double-edged sword for defense and offence in cancer. Archives of toxicology, 84(12), 919-38. PMID: 20871980
A moderately unforgiving critique of an interesting theory of music cognition. Are musical preferences based on the brain's enjoyment of auditory compressibility?... Read more »
Nicholas J Hudson. (2011) Musical beauty and information compression: Complex to the ear but simple to the mind?. BioMed Central. info:/10.1186/1756-0500-4-9
The discovery of Mirror Neurons in Macaque monkeys has lead to theories of the neurophysiological substrate of speech perception being grounded in mirror neurons. This is also relevant to the evolution of speech as if ability to perceive a rapid stream of phonemes is present in species such as macaques then this provides a foundation on which . . . → Read More: Are mirror neurons the basis of speech perception?... Read more »
Rogalsky, C., Love, T., Driscoll, D., Anderson, S., & Hickok, G. (2011) Are mirror neurons the basis of speech perception? Evidence from five cases with damage to the purported human mirror system. Neurocase, 1-10. DOI: 10.1080/13554794.2010.509318
Research published in Biological Invasions shows that Australian redback spiders are invading New Zealand and could become established in many urban areas around major ports.
The paper, The invasive Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell 1870 (Araneae: Theridiidae): current and potential distributions, and likely impacts, details recorded sightings of redback spiders in New Zealand, then used biological and climatic information to reveal where redbacks could establish. War........ Read more »
Cor J. Vink, José G. B. Derraik, Craig B. Phillips, & Phil J. Sirvid. (2010) The invasive Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell 1870 (Araneae: Theridiidae): current and potential distributions, and likely impacts . Biological Invasions. info:/
Science has a lot of problems. Or rather, scientometrics has a lot of problems. Scientific careers are built off the publish or perish foundation of citation counts. Journals are ranked by impact factors. There are serious problems with this system, and many ideas have been offered on how to change it, but so far little has actually been affected. Many journals, including the PLoS and Frontiers series, are making efforts to bring about change, but they are mostly taking a social tactic: ranking ........ Read more »
Robinson KA, & Goodman SN. (2011) A systematic examination of the citation of prior research in reports of randomized, controlled trials. Annals of Internal Medicine, 154(1), 50-5. PMID: 21200038
Our brains have evolved to be good at certain things: seeing, hearing, learning language, and interacting with other similar brains, to name a few examples. But say you want it to do something new – look at symbols...
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Dehaene S, Pegado F, Braga LW, Ventura P, Nunes Filho G, Jobert A, Dehaene-Lambertz G, Kolinsky R, Morais J, & Cohen L. (2010) How learning to read changes the cortical networks for vision and language. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1359-64. PMID: 21071632
Researchers in this week's Journal of Neuroscience have identified the neurophysiological and sensory properties of EVOO, which strangely enough, activate the same oral/throat cells that ibuprofen do.... Read more »
Peyrot des Gachons C, Uchida K, Bryant B, Shima A, Sperry JB, Dankulich-Nagrudny L, Tominaga M, Smith AB 3rd, Beauchamp GK, & Breslin PA. (2011) Unusual pungency from extra-virgin olive oil is attributable to restricted spatial expression of the receptor of oleocanthal. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(3), 999-1009. PMID: 21248124
Biologists don’t know a whole lot about sexual selection in Koala bears; however, there are clear reasons for our knowledge gap. First, these notoriously cute and cuddly little marsupials spend a good deal of their time high in the treetops chewing on Eucalyptus leaves (rather than engaging in complicated courtship battles). Indeed – in [...]... Read more »
Back in the bad old days of autism they thought it was caused by "refrigerator mothers".Well, right now, some psychiatrists have decided that the best treatment for autism is something not that far removed from sticking them in a refrigerator - literally. Enter "Le Packing", which is the target of an unprecedented consensus statement just out from a list of 18 big-name autism experts (available free here).This alleged therapy consists of wrapping the patient (wearing only underclothes or naked i........ Read more »
One of the reasons that I blog on Streptococcus pyogenes so often is because it is such a fascinating and adaptable pathogen. It causes so many different diseases. Diseases as different as a sore throat, and necrotizing fasciitis (The flesh eating disease !). It's even been implicated in tourettes syndrome. This is a hardy and adaptable pathogen, that primarily colonises the throat and the skin.
In a recent outbreak in japan, it was found S. pyogenes has apparently found a new nich........ Read more »
Minami M, Wakimoto Y, Matsumoto M, Matsui H, Kubota Y, Okada A, Isaka M, Tatsuno I, Tanaka Y, & Hasegawa T. (2010) Characterization of Streptococcus pyogenes isolated from balanoposthitis patients presumably transmitted by penile-oral sexual intercourse. Current microbiology, 61(2), 101-5. PMID: 20107992
Guidelines are so in aren’t they? I guess this is what happens when evidenced based medicine begins to take hold. Broadly speaking, I reckon it is a good thing. There are caveats of course – see the furore that can emerge when powerful groups don’t like the guidelines – all the more likely when there [...]... Read more »
 Nijs J, Mannerkorpi K, Descheemaeker F, & Van Houdenhove B. (2010) Primary care physical therapy in people with fibromyalgia: opportunities and boundaries within a monodisciplinary setting. Physical therapy, 90(12), 1815-22. PMID: 20847036
 Nijs J, & Van Houdenhove B. (2009) From acute musculoskeletal pain to chronic widespread pain and fibromyalgia: application of pain neurophysiology in manual therapy practice. Manual therapy, 14(1), 3-12. PMID: 18511329
Men are tough and women are tender. This stereotype is not only ingrained in American culture, but in our bodies as well. A new study published in Psychological Science suggests ... Read more »
Slepian, M.L., Weisbuch, M., Rule, N.O., & Ambady, N. (2011) Tough and tender: embodied categorization of gender. Psychological Science , 22(1), 26-8. PMID: 21106884
Hot flashes commonly occur in the course of menopause in healthy women. Some women find their hot flashes to be very uncomfortable and distressing. Hormone replacement can reduce the symptom severity of hot flashes, but recent research has underscored the potential risks associated with hormone replacement. Therefore, there is increased interest in finding safer alternatives.Freeman and colleagues recently published a randomized controlled trial of the selective serotonin reupt........ Read more »
Freeman EW, Guthrie KA, Caan B, Sternfeld B, Cohen LS, Joffe H, Carpenter JS, Anderson GL, Larson JC, Ensrud KE.... (2011) Efficacy of escitalopram for hot flashes in healthy menopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 305(3), 267-74. PMID: 21245182
Geller SE, Shulman LP, van Breemen RB, Banuvar S, Zhou Y, Epstein G, Hedayat S, Nikolic D, Krause EC, Piersen CE.... (2009) Safety and efficacy of black cohosh and red clover for the management of vasomotor symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 16(6), 1156-66. PMID: 19609225
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
by S. Marvin Friedman
How can thermophilic bacteria not only survive, but actually proliferate, at elevated temperatures that would be lethal to all other forms of life? After extensive research during the past five decades, this question has been answered in a general way, but the molecular basis for this unusual capability has not been clearly resolved. Thermophiles [I use this term to include both thermophiles (optimal growth temperatures of 50-70 °C) and hyperthermophiles (optimal gro........ Read more »
Botting CH, Talbot P, Paytubi S, & White MF. (2010) Extensive lysine methylation in hyperthermophilic crenarchaea: potential implications for protein stability and recombinant enzymes. Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.). PMID: 20811616
Kelp forests provide important habitat for numerous invertebrates, fish, birds and marine mammals. The ecological consequences of industrial harvest of this habitat has not been fully evaluated. Now a recent study has demonstrated that there is justified cause for concern. The study revealed that the removal of these habitats has multi-trophic effects...... Read more »
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