Post List

  • December 17, 2010
  • 10:44 AM

Juravenator: Germany’s Other Feathered Dinosaur

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

In 1861, as debates about evolution were brewing among naturalists, two important skeletons were discovered from the Late Jurassic limestone quarries of Germany. Both would be relevant to ideas about how birds evolved. Although not recognized as such until the late 20th century, Archaeopteryx was the first feathered dinosaur ever discovered and was a confirmation [...]... Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:54 AM

Rosetta Web Servers

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

The Rosetta macromolecular modeling suite has a very wide range of applications, and although installing and running Rosetta, becomes increasingly easier over the years, some non-experts would still prefer to run it over a comfortable to use web-server. We have assembled here the list of Rosetta applications for which such a web-server exists. Bookmark for future modeling tasks.

... Read more »

Liu, Y., & Kuhlman, B. (2006) RosettaDesign server for protein design. Nucleic Acids Research, 34(Web Server). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkl163  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:41 AM

Envy Makes Us Better People?

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Success is sweet, but it can also make you wary of people who might be jealous or you and who could even try to bring you down. New research in ... Read more »

van de Ven, N., Zeelenberg, M., & Pieter,s R. (2010) Warding off the evil eye: when the fear of being envied increases prosocial behavior. Psychological Science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS, 21(11). PMID: 20889930  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:37 AM

Get those computers spinning

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

This week’s issue of the magazine Science has no less than three papers on a single topic, namely new ways of computing using the quantum mechanical property of spin. Taken together, these provide a brief glimpse into the different ways researchers have progressed in incorporating spin into electronic devices. The fundamental element of a computer [...]... Read more »

Costache, M., & Valenzuela, S. (2010) Experimental Spin Ratchet. Science, 330(6011), 1645-1648. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196228  

Jonietz, F., Muhlbauer, S., Pfleiderer, C., Neubauer, A., Munzer, W., Bauer, A., Adams, T., Georgii, R., Boni, P., Duine, R.... (2010) Spin Transfer Torques in MnSi at Ultralow Current Densities. Science, 330(6011), 1648-1651. DOI: 10.1126/science.1195709  

Bozin, E., Malliakas, C., Souvatzis, P., Proffen, T., Spaldin, N., Kanatzidis, M., & Billinge, S. (2010) Entropically Stabilized Local Dipole Formation in Lead Chalcogenides. Science, 330(6011), 1660-1663. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192759  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:17 AM

Analyzing DNA to Determine a Person’s Age

by Terri Sundquist in Promega Connections

People have employed many methods to disguise their age: eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, exercising regularly, protecting their skin from the sun and, if all else fails, undergoing plastic surgery. However, a recent Current Biology paper may make it harder for us to hide our true age. The authors describe a real-time PCR [...]... Read more »

Zubakov D, Liu F, van Zelm MC, Vermeulen J, Oostra BA, van Duijn CM, Driessen GJ, van Dongen JJ, Kayser M, & Langerak AW. (2010) Estimating human age from T-cell DNA rearrangements. Current Biology : CB, 20(22). PMID: 21093786  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:06 AM

Doctors happier to prescribe sex drugs than smart drugs

by Caspar Addyman in Your Brain on Drugs

A new survey of family doctors in North America has found that they are more comfortable prescribing viagra than modafinil or ritalin. The new study in PLoS ONE was conducted by Opeyemi Banjo, Roland Nadler and Peter Reiner, three neuroethicists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. They were interested in doctor’s attitudes to pharmacological cognitive enhancers (or smart drugs as we stupid people call them)... Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 08:47 AM

Guest post: A new link between ontogeny and phylogeny

by Becky in It Takes 30

Jeremy Purvis writes: I once had an English professor in college who began class by writing the phrase “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” on the blackboard. He then began to explain—in English-professor terms—how embryos pass through stages of development that closely resemble successive stages in their own evolution. Though I can’t remember exactly, I believe this introduction [...]... Read more »

Kalinka AT, Varga KM, Gerrard DT, Preibisch S, Corcoran DL, Jarrells J, Ohler U, Bergman CM, & Tomancak P. (2010) Gene expression divergence recapitulates the developmental hourglass model. Nature, 468(7325), 811-4. PMID: 21150996  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 08:25 AM

FGFR as a target in lung cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Here’s an interesting paper in a new journal I recently signed up for, Science and Translational Medicine.  The journal provides little snapshots of how research can potentially be applied to real life disease.  Here’s a snippet from this particular abstract: … Continue reading →... Read more »

Weiss, J., Sos, M., Seidel, D., Peifer, M., Zander, T., Heuckmann, J., Ullrich, R., Menon, R., Maier, S., Soltermann, A.... (2010) Frequent and Focal FGFR1 Amplification Associates with Therapeutically Tractable FGFR1 Dependency in Squamous Cell Lung Cancer. Science Translational Medicine, 2(62), 62-62. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001451  

Pardo, O., Latigo, J., Jeffery, R., Nye, E., Poulsom, R., Spencer-Dene, B., Lemoine, N., Stamp, G., Aboagye, E., & Seckl, M. (2009) The Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitor PD173074 Blocks Small Cell Lung Cancer Growth In vitro and In vivo. Cancer Research, 69(22), 8645-8651. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1576  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 07:07 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Use Christian religious concepts to increase racial prejudice

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a lot about racial biases in the courtroom.  As regular readers of this blog know, we look for ways to mitigate the impact of racial biases. We believe in social justice. We also know (although we don’t like it much) that there are times when in the interests of advocacy, it is important [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: When to talk about racial bias and when to stay quiet
Simple Jury Persuasion: Countering jury decision-making biases
Simple Jury Persuasion: You l........ Read more »

Johnson, MK, Rowatt, WC, & LaBouff, J. (2010) Priming Christian religious concepts increases racial prejudice. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1(2). info:/

  • December 17, 2010
  • 05:39 AM

Harder-to-read fonts boost student learning

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Making learning materials more difficult to read can significantly improve student performance. Yes, you read that correctly. Connor Diemand-Yauman and his colleagues think the effect occurs because fonts that are more awkward to read encourage deeper processing of the to-be-learned material.

Diemand-Yauman first tested this principal in the lab with 28 participants (aged 18 to 40) who spent 90 seconds learning the seven features associated with three alien species. Half the students learned fr........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 04:16 AM

Single PSA test at age 60 provides an indication of future prostate cancer risk

by crabsallover in Science of Healthy Long Life

reposted from: 16 September 2010A one-off prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level test at age 60 appears to provide an indication of a man's lifetime risk of being diagnosed and dying from prostate cancer, US scientists have found.The majority of clinical trials conducted to date have concluded that routine population-w........ Read more »

Vickers, A., Cronin, A., Bjork, T., Manjer, J., Nilsson, P., Dahlin, A., Bjartell, A., Scardino, P., Ulmert, D., & Lilja, H. (2010) Prostate specific antigen concentration at age 60 and death or metastasis from prostate cancer: case-control study. BMJ, 341(sep14 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c4521  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 04:15 AM

Low-dose aspirin may reduce bowel cancer risk

by crabsallover in Science of Healthy Long Life

reposted from 16 September 2010Even low doses of aspirin may help to prevent bowel cancer, a new study from the University of Edinburgh suggests.Previous research has shown that people who regularly take aspirin may be less likely to develop bowel cancer, but scientists are still trying to determine the most effective dose.The treatment is also n........ Read more »

Din, F., Theodoratou, E., Farrington, S., Tenesa, A., Barnetson, R., Cetnarskyj, R., Stark, L., Porteous, M., Campbell, H., & Dunlop, M. (2010) Effect of aspirin and NSAIDs on risk and survival from colorectal cancer. Gut. DOI: 10.1136/gut.2009.203000  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 03:55 AM

Passive smoking 'causes one in 100 deaths worldwide'

by crabsallover in Science of Healthy Long Life

reposted from: 29 November 2010Around 603,000 people, including 165,000 children, die each year worldwide as a result of passive smoking, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) scientists.The figures suggest that passive smoking is behind around one in 100 deaths and highlight the important role that public smoking bans can play in reduc........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 02:56 AM

In the news this (last) month: massive neutron star

by Megan in Rigel

Left over from the explosions of massive stars, are incredibly dense and compact objects, but very little is known about their internal structure. , spinning neutron stars with powerful jets of radio emission which act something like cosmic lighthouses, are useful probes of extreme physics such as and forms of matter so dense that investigating them in laboratories on the Earth is extremely difficult.Various models of the internal structure of a neutron star have been proposed, including vari........ Read more »

Demorest, P., Pennucci, T., Ransom, S., Roberts, M., & Hessels, J. (2010) A two-solar-mass neutron star measured using Shapiro delay. Nature, 467(7319), 1081-1083. DOI: 10.1038/nature09466  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 01:40 AM

Move Over Boneworm, the Bone Snail is Taking Over

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

You’ve all heard about the bone-eating zombie worm from hell. Yeah it was like OK, but whatever. It had its day like, you know, way back in the 2000s. Now though, all the rage is the BONE SNAIL! Yeah, that’s right the BoNe SnAiL!!! Its cooler than cool, just trust me. The Bone Snail is to . . . → Read More: Move Over Boneworm, the Bone Snail is Taking Over... Read more »

Johnson SB, Warén A, Lee RW, Kano Y, Kaim A, Davis A, Strong EE, & Vrijenhoek RC. (2010) Rubyspira, new genus and two new species of bone-eating deep-sea snails with ancient habits. The Biological bulletin, 219(2), 166-77. PMID: 20972261  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 01:40 AM

Friday Weird Science: Feeling the Vaginal Pressure, the idea of “insuck”

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

You know you’ve blogged too much when you have to search yourself to check whether you’ve written something up before. I cannot BELIEVE I haven’t done this one yet! I always wonder about laboratories that study orgasm and human sexual behavior. Do people stand around looking all official at lab meetings and talk with very [...]... Read more »

  • December 16, 2010
  • 08:56 PM

Supermassive Black Holes

by The Astronomist in The Astronomist.

A black hole is a massive object with such powerful gravity that not even light may escape from it. Black holes only have three unique properties which are mass, charge, and spin. At one time black holes were a speculative phenomena, but astronomers now understand that black holes are a relatively common and important occurrence in our Universe, unfortunately the public and science fiction still seems to be in dark. There are a lot of misconceptions about black holes:If the Sun was replaced........ Read more »

Gebhardt, K., Bender, R., Bower, G., Dressler, A., Faber, S., Filippenko, A., Green, R., Grillmair, C., Ho, L., Kormendy, J.... (2000) A Relationship between Nuclear Black Hole Mass and Galaxy Velocity Dispersion. The Astrophysical Journal, 539(1). DOI: 10.1086/312840  

Genzel, R., Schödel, R., Ott, T., Eckart, A., Alexander, T., Lacombe, F., Rouan, D., & Aschenbach, B. (2003) Near-infrared flares from accreting gas around the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre. Nature, 425(6961), 934-937. DOI: 10.1038/nature02065  

Ghez, A., Salim, S., Weinberg, N., Lu, J., Do, T., Dunn, J., Matthews, K., Morris, M., Yelda, S., Becklin, E.... (2008) Measuring Distance and Properties of the Milky Way’s Central Supermassive Black Hole with Stellar Orbits. The Astrophysical Journal, 689(2), 1044-1062. DOI: 10.1086/592738  

  • December 16, 2010
  • 08:46 PM

Mystery pigs of tropical Asia, and capturing them on film

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

The increasing availability of automatic cameras (known in the trade as camera traps) has been a great boon to field biologists, and to people interested generally in the documentation of obscure and elusive creatures. Many animals hardly ever photographed in living state have been documented by these tools, and quite a few taxa never photographed in living state at all have been captured by them too. A few examples of the latter include Lowe's servaline genet Genetta servalina lowei (camera........ Read more »

Groves, C., Schaller, G., Amato, G., & Khounboline, K. (1997) Rediscovery of the wild pig Sus bucculentus. Nature, 386(6623), 335-335. DOI: 10.1038/386335a0  

  • December 16, 2010
  • 04:56 PM

Managing New Invasion Risks from Biofuel Crops

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

The search for new bGiant cane, a potential biofuel crop, is a noxious invader of streams and wetlands. Image Source: Wikipediaiofuels has effectively created an entire new category of agriculture, along with which comes a host of new management risks.  The cycles of crop growth and failure may be less well known than those of more familiar food crops, and they may be affected by new pests and disease.
A particularly worrisome area of risk associated with biofuel crops is th........ Read more »

Davis, A., Cousens, R., Hill, J., Mack, R., Simberloff, D., & Raghu, S. (2010) Screening bioenergy feedstock crops to mitigate invasion risk. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(10), 533-539. DOI: 10.1890/090030  

  • December 16, 2010
  • 04:53 PM

What Diseases Get Researched?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Dorothy Bishop (of BishopBlog) has a nice PLoS paper looking at: Which neurodevelopmental disorders get researched and why?.She took 35 "neurodevelopmental" disorders, ranging from rare genetic syndromes like Rett's, up to autism, ADHD and specific language impairment (SLI), and compared their prevalence stated in a textbook, to the number of scientific papers published about them over the past 15 years.Note that with something like Rett's, there's no question that they're problems with brain de........ Read more »

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