What should we do when perfectly good habitat exists but certain species of wildlife decide to avoid it anyway? Researchers from the University of Oklahoma grapple with this potential mismatch between wildlife perception and habitat quality - a phenomenon they call the "Perceptual Trap."... Read more »
A pharmacist in the Gibson Desert wanted to take part in the recent mass homeopathic overdose protest organized by the 10:23 movement. Unbeknown to him, the cleaning lady had been around and accidentally mixed up the homeopathic pills with slow release verapamil. After gulping down a couple of handfuls of pills, the pharmacist's heightened gustatory awareness alerted him to the presence of verapamil in the tablets. Although he remains asymptomatic, he has a feeling that something bad might hap........ Read more »
Nickson CP, & Little M. (2009) Early use of high-dose insulin euglycaemic therapy for verapamil toxicity. The Medical journal of Australia, 191(6), 350-2. PMID: 19769561
Astronomers have long known that there is a rather close relationship between the intrinsic luminosity of a spiral galaxy and the rotational velocity of stars (around the galactic center) in the outer portions of the galaxy. This relationship even has a name: the Tully-Fisher relation.It has also been known that small, nearby dwarf galaxies, which are irregular in shape, are not nearly as bright as they "should" be, according to the Tully-Fisher relation, given the measured average velocities of........ Read more »
Can confidence ever be a bad thing? What if it happens to be confidence in your own self-doubt? In a pair of mind-bending experiments Aaron Wichman and colleagues show that doubt layered on doubt doesn't lead to more doubt but rather to increased confidence, as the initial self-doubt is undermined. The researchers say their findings have clinical implications - for instance, by turning a belief that one is definitely going to fail into a belief that one might fail, a therapist could help inspire........ Read more »
A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a simple tailored treatment for high cholesterol provides more benefit per person treated and prevented significantly more coronary artery disease morbidity and death than the currently recommended treat-to-target approaches.... Read more »
Hayward RA, Krumholz HM, Zulman DM, Timbie JW, & Vijan S. (2010) Optimizing statin treatment for primary prevention of coronary artery disease. Annals of internal medicine, 152(2), 69-77. PMID: 20083825
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
by Elio Binary fission is a most impressive invention. In one fell swoop, it ensures that progeny cells are born alike and endowed with the same potential for growth and survival. Simple as it sounds, it must have taken considerable evolutionary contortions to make it function so well throughout the living world. But there are cells that have adopted an...... Read more »
Liu, B., Larsson, L., Caballero, A., Hao, X., Öling, D., Grantham, J., & Nyström, T. (2010) The Polarisome Is Required for Segregation and Retrograde Transport of Protein Aggregates. Cell, 140(2), 257-267. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.12.031
One of the causes of age-related degeneration and disease is the buildup of amyloid clumps and other forms of aggregated metabolic byproducts. A brief outline: As we get older, many different types of errant and unwanted proteins, the chemical byproducts of metabolism, build up and accumulate between our cells. Collectively these are known as forms of amyloid, a term that might be familiar to you in connection with Alzheimer's disease, but there are many other types of amyloid beyond that implic........ Read more »
Murray AN, Solomon JP, Balch WE, & Kelly JW. (2010) Discovery and characterization of a mammalian amyloid disaggregation activity. Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society. PMID: 20162625
by Cody Cobb in Biofortified
As a molecular biologist, most of my work is done on a bench at or below room temperature. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to a research field because I have more than two fingers. I’ve never taken a course in ecology, and I’ve rarely dealt with full, intact [...]... Read more »
Snow, A., Pilson, D., Rieseberg, L., Paulsen, M., Pleskac, N., Reagon, M., Wolf, D., & Selbo, S. (2003) A Bt TRANSGENE REDUCES HERBIVORY AND ENHANCES FECUNDITY IN WILD SUNFLOWERS. Ecological Applications, 13(2), 279-286. DOI: 10.1890/1051-0761(2003)013[0279:ABTRHA]2.0.CO;2
Babyak (2000) examined the use of physical activity as a treatment for depression. Participants classified as clinically depressed were given, aerobic exercise, drugs or both as treatment. The exercise only group recovered as well as the other groups but had a lower relapse rate, perhaps caused by the participants feeling that they had a more active role in their treatment. The exercise group also a side effect of the participants getting fitter! There are many other studies associating par........ Read more »
Babyak M, Blumenthal JA, Herman S, Khatri P, Doraiswamy M, Moore K, Craighead WE, Baldewicz TT, & Krishnan KR. (2000) Exercise treatment for major depression: maintenance of therapeutic benefit at 10 months. Psychosomatic medicine, 62(5), 633-8. PMID: 11020092
Researchers in Delhi at the National Institute of Plant Genome Research have developed a tomato that has a shelf-life of 45 days. A. Datta and S. Chakraborty with co-workers report in the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they identified the ripening-specifics enzymes and silenced those genes through RNA interference.
India [...]... Read more »
Meli, V., Ghosh, S., Prabha, T., Chakraborty, N., Chakraborty, S., & Datta, A. (2010) Enhancement of fruit shelf life by suppressing N-glycan processing enzymes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(6), 2413-2418. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909329107
The influence of the motor system on speech perception has been getting tons of high profile attention lately and "sensorimotor theories" of speech perception are gaining popularity. For an interesting example of the such a theory, check out Jean-Luc Schwartz et al.'s, The Perception-for-Action-Control Theory (PACT): A perceptuo-motor theory of speech perception. It is all well-and-good to understand the contribution of motor information to speech perception, but let's not forget that there is........ Read more »
Shahin, A., Bishop, C., & Miller, L. (2009) Neural mechanisms for illusory filling-in of degraded speech. NeuroImage, 44(3), 1133-1143. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.09.045
Myers EB, & Blumstein SE. (2008) The neural bases of the lexical effect: an fMRI investigation. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 18(2), 278-88. PMID: 17504782
The Catholic Church is in the news again - this time in Germany - as a result paedophile priests being outed after years of cover-ups. Traditionally, we have entrusted vulnerable children to the care of the devoutly religious, on the grounds that, of all people, they can be relied upon not to abuse those in their care. Does that assumption hold up? We can't extrapolate too wildly from the particular problems of the Catholic Church, but there are other data out there.So I took a look at the evide........ Read more »
Eshuys, D., & Smallbone, S. (2006) Religious Affiliations Among Adult Sexual Offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 18(3), 279-288. DOI: 10.1007/s11194-006-9020-5
Ben-David S, & Weller L. (1995) Religiosity, criminality and types of offences of Jewish male prisoners. Medicine and law, 14(7-8), 509-19. PMID: 8667998
Stout-Miller, R., Miller, L., & Langenbrunner, M. (1998) Religiosity and Child Sexual Abuse: A Risk Factor Assessment. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 6(4), 15-34. DOI: 10.1300/J070v06n04_02
When I began work on this month’s project, I contacted a clinician, a case manager, and a scientist to get their perspectives on how we’re making progress fighting HIV and AIDS. I’ve introduced you to the clinician and the case manager, but not the scientist.
Dave Wessner doesn’t actually study AIDS, but he’s written a textbook [...]... Read more »
Goff SP. (2003) Death by deamination: a novel host restriction system for HIV-1. Cell, 114(3), 281-3. PMID: 12914693
Rerks-Ngarm S, Pitisuttithum P, Nitayaphan S, Kaewkungwal J, Chiu J, Paris R, Premsri N, Namwat C, de Souza M, Adams E.... (2009) Vaccination with ALVAC and AIDSVAX to prevent HIV-1 infection in Thailand. The New England journal of medicine, 361(23), 2209-20. PMID: 19843557
We know that exercise is good for us, and increasingly we’re understanding how it works at the molecular and cellular level: Physical activity boosts levels of heat shock proteins, which help cells resist stress; it also improves mitochondrial function in a manner reminiscent of calorie restriction (CR). Our knowledge is sophisticated enough that we can [...]... Read more »
Fry, C., Glynn, E., Drummond, M., Timmerman, K., Fujita, S., Abe, T., Dhanani, S., Volpi, E., & Rasmussen, B. (2010) Blood flow restriction exercise stimulates mTORC1 signaling and muscle protein synthesis in older men. Journal of Applied Physiology. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01266.2009
Several months ago, Dr. Val Jones wrote about a growing fad in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. The therapy, called platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection, involves taking a small amount of blood from a patient, spinning it down in a centrifuge, and then injecting the plasma component into...somewhere. This treatment is becoming increasingly popular, and can be very lucrative for doctors. But does it work?
Blood platelets are very biologically active particles and plasma is not a bl........ Read more »
de Vos RJ, Weir A, van Schie HT, Bierma-Zeinstra SM, Verhaar JA, Weinans H, & Tol JL. (2010) Platelet-rich plasma injection for chronic Achilles tendinopathy: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 303(2), 144-9. PMID: 20068208
Markou N, Pepelassi E, Vavouraki H, Stamatakis HC, Nikolopoulos G, Vrotsos I, & Tsiklakis K. (2009) Treatment of periodontal endosseous defects with platelet-rich plasma alone or in combination with demineralized freeze-dried bone allograft: a comparative clinical trial. Journal of periodontology, 80(12), 1911-9. PMID: 19961374
Nin JR, Gasque GM, Azcárate AV, Beola JD, & Gonzalez MH. (2009) Has platelet-rich plasma any role in anterior cruciate ligament allograft healing?. Arthroscopy : the journal of arthroscopic , 25(11), 1206-13. PMID: 19896041
Last week we explored the effects of household pets – such as cats and dogs – on child development (here). This week we’ll explore the effects of domestication on animals such as dogs and foxes.
Today I want to tell you about one of my most favorite studies, ever, of animals. Are you ready? It’s a [...]... Read more »
Belyaev, DK. (1969) Domestication of animals. Science, 5(1), 47-52. info:/
Trut, L. (1999) Early Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment. American Scientist, 87(2), 160. DOI: 10.1511/1999.2.160
Sex offenders are becoming more prevalent in energy-extraction areas
... Read more »
Berger, J., & Beckmann, J. (2010) Sexual predators, energy development, and conservation in Greater Yellowstone. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01449.x
For as long as I’ve been working in pain management (and probably well before), I’ve heard patients being described as ‘deconditioned’. From what we know about the effects of staying in bed because of illness or injury, it makes sense to think that if a person does very little they will become unfit. [...]... Read more »
Verbunt JA, Smeets RJ, & Wittink HM. (2010) Cause or effect? Deconditioning and chronic low back pain. Pain. PMID: 20153582
... Read more »
Ward-Fear, G., Brown, G., & Shine, R. (2010) Using a native predator (the meat ant,Iridomyrmex reburrus) to reduce the abundance of an invasive species (the cane toad,Bufo marinus) in tropical Australia. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01773.x
After yesterday's post about the NY Times article on Roche/Plexxikon's PLX4032, a few people wrote and asked about other therapies in development for the treatment of malignant melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and occurs in about...... Read more »
Kirkwood, J., Lorigan, P., Hersey, P., Hauschild, A., Robert, C., McDermott, D., Marshall, M., Gomez-Navarro, J., Liang, J., & Bulanhagui, C. (2010) Phase II Trial of Tremelimumab (CP-675,206) in Patients with Advanced Refractory or Relapsed Melanoma. Clinical Cancer Research, 16(3), 1042-1048. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-2033
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