What were the very first dinosaurs like? This is one of the most vexing questions in vertebrate paleontology. Even though paleontologists have found a number of early dinosaurs in recent years, details about the very first dinosaurs and their close relatives have been hard to come by, but in a new paper published this week [...]... Read more »
Nesbitt, S., Sidor, C., Irmis, R., Angielczyk, K., Smith, R., & Tsuji, L. (2010) Ecologically distinct dinosaurian sister group shows early diversification of Ornithodira. Nature, 464(7285), 95-98. DOI: 10.1038/nature08718
It's a sore spot for some climate change pseudoskeptics. Any time anyone makes any kind of claim about the effects of a warming planet on tropical storm activity, you can count on a deluge of rejoinders about how shaky the science on the subject really is. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
The latest issue of SpectroscopyNOW is online. This week I cover everything from MRI for testicular cancer to egg-shaped carbon balls by way of energy molecules, copper proteins, secret writing, first up a forensic test for distinguishing saliva deposits from other substances at a crime scene:
Non-destructive spit test – Raman spectroscopy can identify samples of [...]Forensic saliva test within spitting distance is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Virkler, K., & Lednev, I. (2010) Forensic body fluid identification: The Raman spectroscopic signature of saliva. The Analyst, 135(3), 512. DOI: 10.1039/b919393f
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McDonald, R., Forman, R., & Kareiva, P. (2010) Open Space Loss and Land Inequality in United States' Cities, 1990–2000. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009509
We've all heard about "beer goggles", the mythical, invisible eyewear that makes everyone else seem incredibly attractive after a few pints too many. If only beer had the reverse effect, making the drinker seem irresistibly attractive. Well, the good news is that beer does actually do this. The bad news is that the ones who are attracted at malarial mosquitoes.
Anopheles gambiae (the mosquito that transmits malaria) tracks its victims by their smells. By wafting the aromas of humans over thousa........ Read more »
Lefèvre, T., Gouagna, L., Dabiré, K., Elguero, E., Fontenille, D., Renaud, F., Costantini, C., & Thomas, F. (2010) Beer Consumption Increases Human Attractiveness to Malaria Mosquitoes. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009546
“Jellyfish? See colours? That’s crazy talk! They’d need eyes to do that! They don’t even have brains, do they?”
Some jellyfish do have eyes to go along with their well-developed central nervous system. These are box jellies, which are generally better known because some of their number contains rather deadly toxins. If that wasn’t scary enough, they have eyes. In fact, they have lots of eyes.
Rhophalia are sensory structures that you can see as black dots about two thirds of the wa........ Read more »
O'Connor, M., Garm, A., Marshall, J., Hart, N., Ekstrom, P., Skogh, C., & Nilsson, D. (2010) Visual pigment in the lens eyes of the box jellyfish Chiropsella bronzie. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2248
Release 66 of Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI) is now available, containing 534,521 total entities, of which 20,151 are annotated entities and 698 were submitted via the ChEBI submission tool. This months entity of the month is Viagra, also known as Sildenafil citrate: (Text below reproduced from ChEBI website)
Few chemical compounds are better known [...]... Read more »
Dunn, P. (2005) Synthesis of Commercial Phosphodiesterase(V) Inhibitors. Organic Process Research , 9(1), 88-97. DOI: 10.1021/op040019c
Webb DJ, Freestone S, Allen MJ, & Muirhead GJ. (1999) Sildenafil citrate and blood-pressure-lowering drugs: results of drug interaction studies with an organic nitrate and a calcium antagonist. The American journal of cardiology, 83(5A). PMID: 10078539
Richalet, J. (2004) Sildenafil Inhibits Altitude-induced Hypoxemia and Pulmonary Hypertension. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 171(3), 275-281. DOI: 10.1164/rccm.200406-804OC
Agostino, P., Plano, S., & Golombek, D. (2007) Sildenafil accelerates reentrainment of circadian rhythms after advancing light schedules. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(23), 9834-9839. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0703388104
Our cells die all the time, in vast numbers. Cells are programmed to die when all kinds of things happen: They may have reached the end of their productive life (as with cells of the gut or skin); they may detect damage to their DNA (as in cancer); or they may have detected viral infection. [...]... Read more »
Bhola, P., Mattheyses, A., & Simon, S. (2009) Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Mitochondrial Membrane Permeability Waves during Apoptosis. Biophysical Journal, 97(8), 2222-2231. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.07.056
It’s not that Mars is hostile to life as we know it, it’s just that even the toughest terrestrial microorganisms able to survive a big gamma ray burst from a nearby nuclear reactor die within ten minutes of exposure to a close simulation to the conditions on the red planet’s surface. That seems to be [...]... Read more »
Zhong et al. (Yale University)* developed an experimental pipeline in C. elegans to identify transcription factor binding sites, using chromatin-immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing (ChIP-Seq).... Read more »
Zhong M, & et al. (2010) Genome-wide identification of binding sites defines distinct functions for Caenorhabditis elegans PHA-4/FOXA in development and environmental response. PLoS genetics, 6(2). PMID: 20174564
In just fifteen years, have been discovered around stars other than the Sun using a variety of techniques. Even without the ability to directly image these other worlds, some of their properties can be determined. Most extra solar planets found so far are massive orbiting close to their parent stars, since these are the types of planets that the detection methods are most sensitive to. As develop and improve, astronomers are finding out more and more about these other worlds, including the co........ Read more »
Swain, M., Deroo, P., Griffith, C., Tinetti, G., Thatte, A., Vasisht, G., Chen, P., Bouwman, J., Crossfield, I., Angerhausen, D.... (2010) A ground-based near-infrared emission spectrum of the exoplanet HD 189733b. Nature, 463(7281), 637-639. DOI: 10.1038/nature08775
A long-standing question in the study of is whether the process was more efficient in the early universe than it is today. Stars form through the collapse of clouds of cold gas. As the collapse progresses, the of the cloud gets denser and hotter until begins and a star is born. In the local universe, however, cold molecular gas is relatively rare so star formation occurs slowly; the Milky Way forms new stars at a rate of only a few per year. More distant galaxies formed stars at a much higher........ Read more »
Tacconi, L., Genzel, R., Neri, R., Cox, P., Cooper, M., Shapiro, K., Bolatto, A., Bouché, N., Bournaud, F., Burkert, A.... (2010) High molecular gas fractions in normal massive star-forming galaxies in the young Universe. Nature, 463(7282), 781-784. DOI: 10.1038/nature08773
Supernova explosions are initially by the chemical signatures in their optical spectra. While some are caused by the catastrophic collapse of stars more than eight times as massive as the Sun, others are thought to be caused by , stars like the Sun which have already evolved off the main sequence and shrunk in size. Called Type Ia supernovae, such explosions are thought to have a fixed brightness, allowing them to be used as to measure distances to galaxies and test cosmological models of the ........ Read more »
Gilfanov, M., & Bogdán, A. (2010) An upper limit on the contribution of accreting white dwarfs to the type Ia supernova rate. Nature, 463(7283), 924-925. DOI: 10.1038/nature08685
A latest paper in BMC Bioinformatics describes a Microsoft Word Add-in for ontology recognition. Tool is freely available from Codeplex portal and as prerequisite you will need Microsoft Word 2007. This add-in enables the annotation of scientific documents based on terms that appear in ontologies and controlled vocabularies. I am sure this tool is going to fuel the debate on the article of the future as like everyone else I think that the next generation of scientific articles will be semantic r........ Read more »
Fink, J., Fernicola, P., Chandran, R., Parastitidas, S., Wade, A., Naim, O., Quinn, G., & Bourne, P. (2010) Word add-in for ontology recognition: semantic enrichment of scientific literature. BMC Bioinformatics, 11(1), 103. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-11-103
I am finally back, repairing some of the damages in our labs. The situation in Chile is not good. The deaths are raising slowly, but continoulsy, over 800 people now. Also, some data regarding thousands of missing people is also of great concern.
Regarding to science, several laboratories have reported serious damages, including lost of data, [...]... Read more »
Ruegg, J., Rudloff, A., Vigny, C., Madariaga, R., de Chabalier, J., Campos, J., Kausel, E., Barrientos, S., & Dimitrov, D. (2009) Interseismic strain accumulation measured by GPS in the seismic gap between Constitución and Concepción in Chile. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 175(1-2), 78-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.pepi.2008.02.015
Richard A. Kerr. (2010) Did Darwin Help Predict Chilean Quake?. Science Now. info:/
In an ideal world, we’d be able to study maturational brain changes by scanning a group of adults, a group of children, and comparing the brain images. Unfortunately, there are complications.
One complication is that these studies usually require doing some kind of task in the scanner, and children usually have lower accuracy and longer reaction times on this task. These differences,
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Schlaggar BL, Brown TT, Lugar HM, Visscher KM, Miezin FM, & Petersen SE. (2002) Functional neuroanatomical differences between adults and school-age children in the processing of single words. Science (New York, N.Y.), 296(5572), 1476-9. PMID: 12029136
This week in Neuro Journal Club, I discussed a recent Journal of Neuroscience publication finding high activation of attentional and premotor planning areas of the brain during the recall of basketball game plays in avid Duke and UNC fans. The Duke fans had faster recall vs. the UNC fans, despite no differences in activation intensity within these brain areas.
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Botzung, A., Rubin, D., Miles, A., Cabeza, R., & LaBar, K. (2010) Mental Hoop Diaries: Emotional Memories of a College Basketball Game in Rival Fans. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(6), 2130-2137. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2481-09.2010
The Johari window was first developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham and it is now often quoted in medical education when considering learning needs. Most GPs live in fear of the unknown unknowns it describes in that bottom right corner. I know the areas I am weak on and I have learned to live [...]... Read more »
Glasier, A., Cameron, S., Fine, P., Logan, S., Casale, W., Van Horn, J., Sogor, L., Blithe, D., Scherrer, B., & Mathe, H. (2010) Ulipristal acetate versus levonorgestrel for emergency contraception: a randomised non-inferiority trial and meta-analysis. The Lancet, 375(9714), 555-562. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60101-8
Artist rendering of Darwinius. Image: Julius T. CsotonyiLast year's publication of the fossil primate Darwinius masillae claimed it to be the oldest haplorhine primate ever discovered and a multimedia blitz campaign touted the find as the ultimate "missing link" (an erroneous term that should forthwith be forbidden to all science journalists). Brian Switek at Laelaps (who has an excellent review of this paper) m........ Read more »
Williams, B., Kay, R., Christopher Kirk, E., & Ross, C. (2010) Darwinius masillae is a strepsirrhine—a reply to Franzen et al. (2009). Journal of Human Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.01.003
Pesticide reverses sex of some male frogs
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Hayes, T.B. et al. (2010) Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909519107
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