Post List

  • April 30, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Controlling feral cats in ecologically sensitive areas: Is "trap, neuter, return" effective?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • April 30, 2010
  • 04:20 AM

European man perhaps not a Middle Eastern farmer

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

A few months ago I blogged a paper in PLoS Biology which suggested that a common Y chromosomal haplogroup, in fact the most common in Europe and at modal frequency along the Atlantic fringe, is not pre-Neolithic. Rather their analysis of the data implied that the European variants were derived from an Anatolian variant. The [...]... Read more »

Morelli L, Contu D, Santoni F, Whalen MB, & Francalacci P. (2010) A Comparison of Y-Chromosome Variation in Sardinia and Anatolia Is More Consistent with Cultural Rather than Demic Diffusion of Agriculture. PLoS ONE. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0010419

  • April 30, 2010
  • 02:12 AM

Daniel Cohen on the Social Life of Digital Libraries

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Daniel Cohen is giving a talk in Cambridge today on The Social Life of Digital Libraries, abstract below: The digitization of libraries had a clear initial goal: to permit anyone to read the contents of collections anywhere and anytime. But universal access is only the beginning of what may happen to libraries and researchers in [...]... Read more »

  • April 30, 2010
  • 01:09 AM

Aphid adornment: Lateral gene transfer from fungi to aphids.

by Michael Bok in Arthropoda

Carotenoids are integral components of animal biochemistry. These organic compounds, characterized by long hydrocarbon chains and loops, are used in photoreception, antioxidation, the immune system, and for ornamental coloration. There are over 800 known carotenoid compounds found in nature. They absorb varying wavelengths of blue and green light, causing tissue containing large quantities of carotenoids [...]... Read more »

  • April 29, 2010
  • 10:31 PM

Celebrate diversity: Parthenogenesis in white tipped bamboo shark

by Zen Faulkes in Marmorkrebs

A few years ago, a bonnethead shark made the news because one had given birth. Giving birth is not unusual for sharks... except that the female in question had grown up in isolation. Good evidence for parthenogenesis.

Shortly after that, another shark species (blacktip) was autopsied and found to have an embryo that was genetically identical to the mother. Clearly, parthenogenesis in sharks was not happenstance. But in both cases, the parthenogenetic offspring didn’t live long. Are the off........ Read more »

Feldheim, K., Chapman, D., Sweet, D., Fitzpatrick, S., Prodohl, P., Shivji, M., & Snowden, B. (2010) Shark Virgin Birth Produces Multiple, Viable Offspring. Journal of Heredity, 101(3), 374-377. DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esp129  

  • April 29, 2010
  • 09:28 PM

The Immune System Wears Out Faster With Stress

by Reason in Fight Aging!

If the immune system is chronically stressed, such as by organ transplants or HIV infection, then it ages noticeably faster - in effect the immune system wears down with overuse like a burdened machine. You might look on this sort of outcome as a much faster burn through the normal process of immune system use and degeneration with age, and it has consequences in terms of health and life expectancy. For example: Study links liver transplantation to accelerated cellular aging The University of Ca........ Read more »

Desai S, & Landay A. (2010) Early immune senescence in HIV disease. Current HIV/AIDS reports, 7(1), 4-10. PMID: 20425052  

  • April 29, 2010
  • 09:12 PM

Bizarre Things Purported to Cause Autism: Cells from Aborted Fetuses

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

Debunks one of the weirder incarnations of the vaccines-cause-autism hypothesis I've ever heard: according to Dr. Theresa Deisher of the pro-life advocacy group Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute, human fetal cells contaminating vaccines are triggering massive autoimmune reactions in children all over the U.S., causing an epidemic of autism. Not only is this extremely unlikely, from a purely physical standpoint, but the evidence Dr. Deisher leans on to support her thesis is 1) circumstan........ Read more »

  • April 29, 2010
  • 08:32 PM

Letter-sound Training in Children Causes Brain Specialization for Letters

by Livia in Reading and Word Recognition Research

My research focuses on the left occipitotemporal region. One area in this region, also commonly referred to as the visual word form area, has been shown to activate selectively for letters. Presumably, since reading is too recent a phenomenon to have...

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Brem S, Bach S, Kucian K, Guttorm TK, Martin E, Lyytinen H, Brandeis D, & Richardson U. (2010) Brain sensitivity to print emerges when children learn letter-speech sound correspondences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20395549  

  • April 29, 2010
  • 06:09 PM

I Know What I Mean but Only See How You Act

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

When I’m writing one of these posts it is difficult to edit them in such a way as to convey my meaning clearly to those without the background I share. I’m not talking about scientific or technical background though, I mean the background that allows me access to my own thoughts. When I re-read my [...]... Read more »

Pronin E. (2008) How we see ourselves and how we see others. Science (New York, N.Y.), 320(5880), 1177-80. PMID: 18511681  

  • April 29, 2010
  • 06:01 PM

What goes into resilience?

by Jan Husdal in

Resilience, in essence, is bridging vulnerabilities by honing capabilities. Seldom have I seen such a comprehensive yet to the point article on supply chain resilience that satisfies both academia and the industry at the same [ ... ]... Read more »

Pettit, Timothy J, Fiksel, Joseph, & Croxton, Keely L. (2010) Ensuring supply chain resilience: Development of a conceptual framework. Journal of Business Logistics, 31(1), 1-21. info:/

  • April 29, 2010
  • 04:18 PM

Newly-discovered bones answer questions about fossil primate locomotion

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Utah may seem like an odd place to search for primates, but you can find them if you know where to look. Although scrubby and arid today, between 46-42 million years ago what is now the northeastern part of the state was a lush forest which was home to a variety of peculiar fossil primates. Called omomyids, these relatives of living tarsiers are primarily known from teeth and associated bits and pieces of bone, but newly discovered postcranial remains may provide paleontologists with a better ........ Read more »

  • April 29, 2010
  • 04:15 PM

Kettlebell Swings: harder than Circuit Weight Training; easier than Treadmill? That depends...

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

ResearchBlogging.orgThere's a new study in English of Kettlebells that shows 12mins of two handed swings is tougher/harder than circuit weight training, but not as hard as treadmill work. That's probably a surprise for folks used to swinging kettlebells, and certainly how kettelbells have been promoted as an amazing, tough, cardio conditioning endurance tool, where more is more. What this great new study does, therefore, is help us ask some questions about studying kb's. It also gives us new w........ Read more »

Farrar RE, Mayhew JL, & Koch AJ. (2010) Oxygen cost of kettlebell swings. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 24(4), 1034-6. PMID: 20300022  

  • April 29, 2010
  • 03:54 PM

Wired for Sex

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

Male and female brains are wired differently.  That is not intended metaphorically – they literally have different amounts and/or patterns of axonal connections between a variety of brain regions, as well as differences in the size or number of cells in various regions.  This is true in mammals, birds, fish, even insects and correlates with hard-wired, innate differences in behaviour between the sexes across in species across all these phyla.  This is as true for humans as for any other s........ Read more »

Wu, M., Manoli, D., Fraser, E., Coats, J., Tollkuhn, J., Honda, S., Harada, N., & Shah, N. (2009) Estrogen Masculinizes Neural Pathways and Sex-Specific Behaviors. Cell, 139(1), 61-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.07.036  

Scott A. Juntti, Jessica Tollkuhn, Melody V. Wu, Eleanor J. Fraser, Taylor Soderborg, Stella Tan,, & Shin-Ichiro Honda, Nobuhiro Harada, and Nirao M. Shah. (2010) The Androgen Receptor Governs the Execution, but Not Programming, of Male Sexual and Territorial Behaviors. Neuron, 260-272. info:/DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.03.024

  • April 29, 2010
  • 03:49 PM

Invasive lionfish: from aquarium to dinner plate

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) has decorated fish tanks, and invaded Atlantic waters, for decades. While sightings along the East Coast started popping up as early as the mid-1980s, lionfish began to spread rapidly, occupying reefs in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas in the 1990s. Since then, invasive red lionfish have been reported as far north as Rhode Island and, as of this January, tracked to the southern Gulf of Mexico off the Yucatan Peninsula.

... Read more »

  • April 29, 2010
  • 02:20 PM

Missing the Mark

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

World fails to hold back biodiversity losses

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Butchart, S.H.M. et al. (2010) Global biodiversity: Indicators of recent declines. Science. info:/10.1126/science.1187512

  • April 29, 2010
  • 02:15 PM

Assessing Information Literacy Skills in First Year Students

by bjms1002 in the Undergraduate Science Librarian

A new open access journal, Communications in Information Literacy, recently published an article about assessing library instruction for first year students.  The paper caught my eye because I’m working on some similar things here at Geneseo. The study sought to determine if students’ information literacy skills and confidence with research improved more with a greater [...]... Read more »

Julie K. Gilbert. (2009) Using Assessment Data to Investigate Library Instruction for First Year Students. Communications in Information Literacy, 3(2), 181-192. info:/

  • April 29, 2010
  • 02:12 PM

Identification of suitable hosts for small-molecule functional metagenomics

by epibio in EpiCentral

The majority of soil-dwelling bacteria cannot be cultured with standard microbial culture methods, and represent an untapped reservoir of novel small molecules that are key components of biosynthetic pathways. Functional metagenomics is one approach to solving this problem; however, screening methods are limited by their dependence on a host organism to facilitate the expression of genes from environmental DNA (eDNA).  To overcome the limitations of relying on a single host organism, Craig ........ Read more »

  • April 29, 2010
  • 01:29 PM

Steering library bias toward adenosine A2A receptor ligand discovery

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

The A2A adenosine receptor is an important GPCR, well-known for binding caffeine. Adenosine receptors are emerging as relevant drug targets for a variety of disorders including Parkinson's disease, and there is interest in discovering new ligands that bind to them. Among adenosine receptor subtypes, the A2A receptor is one of the few GPCRs whose crystal structure is available. Thus the A2A is amenable to structure-based design efforts, and virtual screening is an especially attractive endeavor i........ Read more »

Carlsson, J., Yoo, L., Gao, Z., Irwin, J., Shoichet, B., & Jacobson, K. (2010) Structure-Based Discovery of A Adenosine Receptor Ligands . Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/jm100240h  

  • April 29, 2010
  • 01:09 PM

Can a plant virus make you sick?

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

It has been estimated that approximately one hundred trillion bacteria colonize the human intestine. That’s about ten times the number of cells that constitute the entire human body. These bacteria are believed to have a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with their hosts. What is known about the viral communities that inhabit our alimentary tract?
The vast majority [...]... Read more »

  • April 29, 2010
  • 12:34 PM

non-natural reporter proteins unleashed to the red

by 96well in Reportergene

After the pioneering works of Schultz's group and Chamberlin's group in 1989, bio-synthetic incorporation of non-natural amino-acids into proteins has been largely explored in chemical biology. Direct evolution of new tRNAs able to carry 'new' amino-acids, combined with codon extension to the 4th base has provided us with the ability to expand the chemical functionality of proteins by introducing new chemical moieties into their backbone. More importantly, we can do this in a genetically-heritab........ Read more »

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