Yesterday I pointed to a new paper, Plasmodium vivax clinical malaria is commonly observed in Duffy-negative Malagasy people. P. vivax is the least virulent of the malaria inducing pathogens, and it is presumably responsible for the fact that the Duffy antigen locus is one of the more ancestrally informative ones in the human genome. In [...]... Read more »
Ménard D, Barnadas C, Bouchier C, Henry-Halldin C, Gray LR, Ratsimbasoa A, Thonier V, Carod JF, Domarle O, Colin Y.... (2010) Plasmodium vivax clinical malaria is commonly observed in Duffy-negative Malagasy people. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(13), 5967-71. PMID: 20231434
Published today in the journal Nature is the whole-genome sequencing of a basal-like breast cancer tumor, metastasis, and xenograft. There’s also a News and Views article by Joe Gray of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as well as a news feature on large-scale cancer projects.
This study is a bit unlike our previous cancer genomes (AML1 and [...]... Read more »
Li Ding, Matthew J. Ellis, Shunqiang Li, David E. Larson, Ken Chen, John W. Wallis, Christopher C. Harris, Michael D. McLellan, Robert S. Fulton, Lucinda L. Fulton, Rachel M. Abbott, Jeremy Hoog, David J. Dooling, Daniel C. Koboldt, Heather Schmidt, Joell. (2010) Genome remodelling in a basal-like breast cancer metastasis and xenograft. Nature, 464(15), 999-1005. info:/10.1038/nature08989
Why does the full moon seem bigger when it’s near the horizon than when it’s high in the sky? The moon illusion, which also applies to the perception of the size of the sun in the sky, has intrigued artists and puzzled psychologists for many years.
The moon illusion refers to the fact that the sun [...]Young children see the moon illusion is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Helen E. Ross, & Adele Cowie. (2010) The moon illusion in children’s drawings. Int. J. Arts and Technology, 3(2/3), 275-287. info:/
On FriendFeed, Open Science is a frequent discussion topic and I also get the impression that the scientific community at large is starting to pay more and more attention to the principles of Open Science, possibly in the wake of the Open Access movement.As a proponent of Open Science, I've always had a bad conscience that my own contribution to the movement was so ridiculously small: I just tell everybody about my results here on my blog. Most of my data is acquired in a proprietary format (ha........ Read more »
Karl Götz. (1980) Visual guidance in Drosophila. Basic Life Sci, 391-407. info:/
Neuser, K., Triphan, T., Mronz, M., Poeck, B., & Strauss, R. (2008) Analysis of a spatial orientation memory in Drosophila. Nature, 453(7199), 1244-1247. DOI: 10.1038/nature07003
Do animals create art? So far, this seems a uniquely human ability.
But do animals have a sense of the aesthetically pleasing? What about the ability to judge and critique art? Can an animal decide if a given work of art is beautiful or ugly? What is beauty in the first place? All good questions.
Shigeru Watanabe of Keio University in Tokyo wanted to investigate the questions, with pigeons. Did he introduce them to the works of Picasso? Or Rembrandt? Romero Britto? No. He used art created by ........ Read more »
Watanabe, S. (2009) Pigeons can discriminate “good” and “bad” paintings by children. Animal Cognition, 13(1), 75-85. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-009-0246-8
T cell receptor (top) interacting with MHC
It would be nice if I could claim that advances in biology are driven by pure intellectual processes, by hermits on mountaintops achieving new theories through mediation and deep, pure thoughts. Of course, that’s not the case. I think its fair to say that many, if not most, of [...]... Read more »
Kirak O, Frickel EM, Grotenbreg GM, Suh H, Jaenisch R, & Ploegh HL. (2010) Transnuclear mice with predefined T cell receptor specificities against Toxoplasma gondii obtained via SCNT. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5975), 243-8. PMID: 20378817
Kisielow P, Blüthmann H, Staerz UD, Steinmetz M, & von Boehmer H. (1988) Tolerance in T-cell-receptor transgenic mice involves deletion of nonmature CD4 8 thymocytes. Nature, 333(6175), 742-6. PMID: 3260350
↑ Click to enlarge image
A fossil unearthed from a remote corner of western India reads like an ancient crime scene. The fossil depicts a dinosaur nest containing two unhatched dinosaur eggs and the broken pieces of shell from a third egg. Next to the shattered shell lies the remains of a hatchling dinosaur. The fossil also features the remnants of a rather more sinister creature: an ancient snake lies coiled around the broken egg, as if caught in the act of raiding the nest.
The fossil........ Read more »
Wilson, J., Mohabey, D., Peters, S., & Head, J. (2010) Predation upon Hatchling Dinosaurs by a New Snake from the Late Cretaceous of India. PLoS Biology, 8(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000322
Douglas and Walsh (2010) paint a not so pretty picture of what child protection workers think about their clients, particularly those battered mothers entangled in what are usually, extraordinarily complicated dynamics. The authors suggest several possible improvements, including better worker supervision, tougher police interventions, and more holistic service delivery for victims and their children.
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Lax security at zoos is putting ecosystems at risk for invasion by exotic species according to a new study by researchers in Spain. Zoos already are the 2nd biggest contributor of exotic species invasions in Europe...... Read more »
Fàbregas, M., Guillén-Salazar, F., & Garcés-Narro, C. (2010) The risk of zoological parks as potential pathways for the introduction of non-indigenous species. Biological Invasions. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-010-9755-2
When groups of people get together to make decisions, they often struggle to fulfil their potential. Part of the reason is that they tend to spend more time talking about information that everyone shares rather than learning fresh insights from each other. In a forthcoming paper, Andreas Mojzisch and Stefan Schulz-Hardt have uncovered a new reason groups so often make sub-optimal decisions. The researchers show that when a group of people begin a discussion by sharing their initial preferences, ........ Read more »
Andreas Mojzisch, & Stefan Schulz-Hardt. (2010) Knowing others' preferences degrades the quality of group decisions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/
We’ve discussed the use of online shopping and gender previously. Especially women are skeptical towards online shopping, they tend to fear risks and threats associated with online shopping. The acceptance of online transactions depend on the perceived risks involved, the technology used for the online transactions and the organizations as the other parties in the [...]
Related posts:Women Online Shopping: Shop Until You Drop?
Finding Credible Health Information Online: MedLibs Round 1......... Read more »
Beldad, A., de Jong, M., & Steehouder, M. (2010) How shall I trust the faceless and the intangible? A literature review on the antecedents of online trust. Computers in Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.03.013
Who better to interview the creator of BioTorrents than the creator himself? :)Interviewer: So Morgan, your article entitled “BioTorrents: A File Sharing Service for Scientific Data” was published today in PLoS One. BioTorrents uses the popular peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, BitTorrent, to allow scientists to rapidly share their results, datasets, and software. Where did this idea come from?Morgan: Well about 6 months ago I was downloading some genome files from NCBI's FTP site and was ........ Read more »
Langille, M., & Eisen, J. (2010) BioTorrents: A File Sharing Service for Scientific Data. PLoS ONE, 5(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010071
Unbeknownst to them, the salmon of western North America achieve a significant feat in their annual upstream pilgrimage. In their selfish quest to return to their native spawning grounds, the salmon ‘transport’ millions of tons of biomass – protein – hundreds of miles inland, for the benefit of wolves and other creatures.Indeed, it appears the wolves of Denali National Park in Alaska rely on salmon, enabling them to live in places where large terrestrial prey is not abundant.This conclus........ Read more »
Adams, L., Farley, S., Stricker, C., Demma, D., Roffler, G., Miller, D., & Rye, R. (2010) Are inland wolf–ungulate systems influenced by marine subsidies of Pacific salmon?. Ecological Applications, 20(1), 251-262. DOI: 10.1890/08-1437.1
Bonus: homemade video included!
Years ago I was vexed by creationists claiming that because most mutations (that aren't neutral) are deleterious, and only few are beneficial, then evolution cannot happen, because for every beneficial mutation there are many deleterious, thus, goes the inference, making adaptation impossible. (See GLOSSARY OF EVOLUTION below.) This understanding totally ignores selection, and the fact that not all individuals would be hit by deleterious mutations. And eve........ Read more »
Weinreich DM, Delaney NF, Depristo MA, & Hartl DL. (2006) Darwinian evolution can follow only very few mutational paths to fitter proteins. Science (New York, N.Y.), 312(5770), 111-4. PMID: 16601193
Ortlund EA, Bridgham JT, Redinbo MR, & Thornton JW. (2007) Crystal structure of an ancient protein: evolution by conformational epistasis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 317(5844), 1544-8. PMID: 17702911
Ok I’ll admit, ‘America’s Next Top Model’ is a guilty pleasure of mine. If I’ve learned anything from the gospel of ANTM, it’s that you need to ‘find the light’ in order to obtain a prize-winning picture. So what about the rest of the animal kingdom? Are Homo sapiens (led by the fierce Tyra Banks) [...]... Read more »
Olea, P., Casas, F., Redpath, S., & Viñuela, J. (2010) Bottoms up: great bustards use the sun to maximise signal efficacy. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 64(6), 927-937. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-010-0908-1
Dakin, R., & Montgomerie, R. (2009) Peacocks orient their courtship displays towards the sun. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 63(6), 825-834. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-009-0717-6
Do a search for “high blood pressure” or “hypertension” and you’ll find that nearly every health website recommends the DASH diet to control blood pressure. It makes some sense: If sodium and saturated fat cause high blood pressure, then removing them from your diet should make it come back down.
But changing your eating habits is [...]... Read more »
Fung, T., Chiuve, S., McCullough, M., Rexrode, K., Logroscino, G., & Hu, F. (2008) Adherence to a DASH-Style Diet and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke in Women. Archives of Internal Medicine, 168(7), 713-720. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.168.7.713
This is the second in a series of three posts from my notes at the NARSAD Healthy Minds Across American 2010 symposium in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and OU-Tulsa President Dr. Gerry Clancy served as host for the event. Following a presentation by Dr. Helen Mayberg from Emory University (notes here), Dr. Wayne Drevets presented a review of neurocircuitry in depression.Dr. Drevets has been a leader in neuroimaging research in mood disorders. His studies have included usin........ Read more »
“If the Creator, if He exists, has an inordinate fondness for beetles.”
-attributed to J.B.S. Haldane
One of the first principles of sexual selection theory is that males compete with each other for fertilization opportunities with females. Individuals of one sex ’struggle for possession’ of members of the other sex. Females that are ready, willing, and able [...]... Read more »
Okada K, Yamane T, & Miyatake T. (2010) Ejaculatory strategies associated with experience of losing. Biology Letters. info:/10.1098/rsbl.2010.0225
Often, species become endangered because of multiple stressors, with habitat destruction taking the prize as the most egregious. However, often what pushes a species into extinction is not the main driver of endangerment. For example, passenger pigeon numbers were decimated by unabated hunting, but the proximate cause of extinction was likely an inability to thrive in low densities. Yet, seldom is the case where a known single species interaction is the primary cause of engangerment and maybe ex........ Read more »
O’Donnell, S., Webb, J., & Shine, R. (2010) Conditioned taste aversion enhances the survival of an endangered predator imperilled by a toxic invader. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01802.x
A rapidly forming stereotype about autistic people is that they can't use stereotypes. In the words of this site about kids with Asperger's Syndrome, for instance, "they are usually free from sexism or racism." Scientific tests suggest that this is false—another example of stereotypes revealing more about the fears and hopes of stereotypers than they do about the stereotypees. "Seeing everyone as an individual" is an American ideal (so strong that children pretend not to see race), so we'r........ Read more »
Santos, A., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., & Deruelle, C. (2010) Absence of racial, but not gender, stereotyping in Williams syndrome children. Current Biology, 20(7). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.02.009
Milne, Elizabeth, & Grafman, Jordan. (2001) Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions in Humans Eliminate Implicit Gender Stereotyping . The Journal of Neuroscience, 21(RC 150), 1-6. info:/11404442
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