So, our next scientific Egypt Week post concerns a paper just published in last week's issue of Nature, where the authors describe novel behavioral effects of the imprinted gene Grb10 in the mouse.
If you're not familiar, genomic imprinting is the phenomenon where the expression pattern of a gene depends on its parental origin. So, most of your genes come in two copies, one of which came from your mom, and one of which came from your dad. For most genes, the function of the allele, or gene copy........ Read more »
Garfield AS, Cowley M, Smith FM, Moorwood K, Stewart-Cox JE, Gilroy K, Baker S, Xia J, Dalley JW, Hurst LD.... (2011) Distinct physiological and behavioural functions for parental alleles of imprinted Grb10. Nature, 469(7331), 534-8. PMID: 21270893
A few weeks ago I was interviewed on Channel 10 (Adelaide) about some new research coming out of the University of Western Australia regarding shark colour vision. I’ve received permission from Channel 1o to reproduce the news snippet here. The first bloke interviewed is Associate Professor Nathan Hart, the study‘s lead author. I’m the bald [...]... Read more »
Hart, N., Theiss, S., Harahush, B., & Collin, S. (2011) Microspectrophotometric evidence for cone monochromacy in sharks. Naturwissenschaften. DOI: 10.1007/s00114-010-0758-8
If you find yourself rioting in Egypt in the near future, allow me to make a suggestion: please don't smash the mummies.
First, you run the risk of unleashing an evil curse that will haunt you for centuries. But more importantly, you're robbing the scientific community of an incredibly important resource. ... Read more »
Donoghue, H., Lee, O., Minnikin, D., Besra, G., Taylor, J., & Spigelman, M. (2009) Tuberculosis in Dr Granville's mummy: a molecular re-examination of the earliest known Egyptian mummy to be scientifically examined and given a medical diagnosis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1678), 51-56. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1484
Hawass, Z., Gad, Y., Ismail, S., Khairat, R., Fathalla, D., Hasan, N., Ahmed, A., Elleithy, H., Ball, M., Gaballah, F.... (2010) Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun's Family. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(7), 638-647. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.121
by Alex in ionpsych
Last week marked the 25th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle explosion, a tragedy that took 7 lives and is a landmark moment for many people. Yahoo! asked readers to send in their memories of that day, and many were … Continue reading →... Read more »
A group of English mandrill monkeys has started doing facepalms. The monkeys live in a zoo in Colchester, England, and eight of them frequently raise one or both of their hands to cover their eyes. They might be the only ones in the world who perform this distinctive gesture. Liz Butcher, a former keeper at [...]... Read more »
Laidre, M. (2011) Meaningful Gesture in Monkeys? Investigating whether Mandrills Create Social Culture. PLoS ONE, 6(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014610
A recent report published in The Lancet claims that at least 75mg of aspirin every day can also reduce the risk of developing many different types of cancers.... Read more »
Rothwell PM, Fowkes FG, Belch JF, Ogawa H, Warlow CP, & Meade TW. (2011) Effect of daily aspirin on long-term risk of death due to cancer: analysis of individual patient data from randomised trials. Lancet, 377(9759), 31-41. PMID: 21144578
Finding those Eureka moments that allow us to solve difficult problems can be an electrifying experience, but rarely like this. Richard Chi and Allan Snyder managed to trigger moments of insight in volunteers, by using focused electric pulses to block the activity in a small part of their brains. After the pulses, people were better [...]... Read more »
Chi, R., & Snyder, A. (2011) Facilitate Insight by Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation. PLoS ONE, 6(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016655
Genetic Future will be back to more regular posting next week, when I get back from holiday. In the meantime I asked the one and only Misha Angrist – Assistant Professor, blogger, tweeter, fellow genomic exhibitionist, and author of the excellent new book Here is a Human Being – if he’d be willing to contribute [...]... Read more »
Bredenoord AL, Kroes HY, Cuppen E, Parker M, & van Delden JJ. (2011) Disclosure of individual genetic data to research participants: the debate reconsidered. Trends in Genetics, 27(2), 41-7. PMID: 21190750
A now-common finding in the functional imaging literature on speech perception is that Broca's area is active during the perception of speech. The activation magnitude is sometimes not as strong or consistent as one finds in auditory cortex, but it is there and so requires some explanation. There are a few possibilities. (I'm talking about Broca's area as if it were one functional region, which it isn't, but we'll gloss over that for now.)1. Broca's area drives the analysis of speech sounds (........ Read more »
Vaden, K., Piquado, T., & Hickok, G. (2011) Sublexical Properties of Spoken Words Modulate Activity in Broca's Area but Not Superior Temporal Cortex: Implications for Models of Speech Recognition. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 1-10. DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2011.21620
Yesterday's occurrence of thundersnow in Chicago had me looking for explanations. Wiki gave a lightweight summary, with just enough technical jargon to make it hard for a typical reader. Subsequent searching lead me to a bunch of good peer-reviewed data on the electrification of thunderstorms, but little of use understanding thundersnow.   I finally found a very recent survey by David M. Schultz and R. James Vavrek, which while somewhat technical, gave me the insight I was looki........ Read more »
Acetylcholine (ACH) is a key neurotransmitter involved in modulating a variety of central and peripheral nervous systems. ACH acts on two types of receptors-nicotinic receptors and muscarinic receptors. There are at least 5 submits of the muscarinic receptor (M1 through M5). Each receptor appears to have specific functions.Knockout mice (mice with absence of a specific gene) can provide some insight into the function of individual neurotransmitter receptors. But translati........ Read more »
Pomper JK, Wilhelm H, Tayebati SK, Asmus F, Schüle R, Sievert KD, Haensch CA, Melms A, & Haarmeier T. (2011) A novel clinical syndrome revealing a deficiency of the muscarinic M3 receptor. Neurology, 76(5), 451-5. PMID: 21282591
Killing a glyptodont was no easy task. Prehistoric, bad-ass cousins of modern armadillos, these large mammals were protected by bony shielding on almost every part of their body. Some, such as Hoplophorus, even had modified tail clubs tipped with mace-like arrangements of spikes. Saber-toothed cats like Smilodon were surely formidable predators, but even they would [...]... Read more »
Zurita, A., Soibelzon, L., Soibelzon, E., Gasparini, G., Cenizo, M., & Arzani, H. (2010) Accessory protection structures in Glyptodon Owen (Xenarthra, Cingulata, Glyptodontidae). Annales de Paléontologie, 96(1), 1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.annpal.2010.01.001
Gillette, D., and Ray, Clayton. (1981) Glyptodonts of North America. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, 1-255. info:/
Blanco, R., Jones, W., & Rinderknecht, A. (2009) The sweet spot of a biological hammer: the centre of percussion of glyptodont (Mammalia: Xenarthra) tail clubs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276(1675), 3971-3978. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1144
by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator
By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - One stereotype of the litigious American society suggests that jurors are willing to hold manufacturers and sellers responsible for even the most obvious product dangers: a ladder that allows its user to fall, or a cup of coffee that turns out to be hot. While anecdotes abound -- some true, and some false -- our experience is that product danger alone rarely drives a verdict. Instead, jurors need to see something else in order to generate sufficient anger to delivery any........ Read more »
Klesges RC, Sherrill-Mittleman DA, Debon M, Talcott GW, & Vanecek RJ. (2009) Do we believe the tobacco industry lied to us? Association with smoking behavior in a military population. Health education research, 24(6), 909-21. PMID: 19528314
Mazanov, Jason . (2007) Changes in adolescent smoking behaviour and knowledge of health consequences of smoking. Australian Journal of Psychology, 59(3), 176-180. info:/
When you go to the doctor for an x-ray, the nurse or doctor briefly disappear behind a screen, presses a button for a brief moment, and you’re all set. It seems an x-ray takes about a second but the actual exposure times is much faster. Milliseconds more likely. Such speeds seem like almost an eternity [...]... Read more »
Seibert, M., Ekeberg, T., Maia, F., Svenda, M., Andreasson, J., Jönsson, O., Odić, D., Iwan, B., Rocker, A., Westphal, D.... (2011) Single mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser. Nature, 470(7332), 78-81. DOI: 10.1038/nature09748
Researchers at Cambridge have discovered a non-transcriptional clock in the human red blood cell, raising questions about the precise definition of a circadian clock... Read more »
I didn't want to risk making my previous post too long, and I wanted to keep it focused on "hormonal determinism", so I set aside a whole branch of my commentary on the link between the hormone oxytocin and ethnocentrism for another post. The findings I comment on were presented by De Dreu and co-workers in the latest edition of PNAS (see reference below).
So, today I want to talk briefly about bad evolutionary arguments.Continue after the jump »
... Read more »
Whether you’re young or post-young, there’s no time like the present to get into an exercise routine. Besides helping with weight loss and improving cardiovascular fitness, more and more evidence suggests that aerobic exercise can delay – and even reverse … Continue reading →... Read more »
Erickson, K., Voss, M., Prakash, R., Basak, C., Szabo, A., Chaddock, L., Kim, J., Heo, S., Alves, H., White, S.... (2011) Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015950108
Can we predict cancer metastasis and spread using a biomarker? In Loh's research, CPE-ΔN tended to be present and have high levels in tumours that have metastasised. Continue reading →
... Read more »
Lee, T., Murthy, S., Cawley, N., Dhanvantari, S., Hewitt, S., Lou, H., Lau, T., Ma, S., Huynh, T., Wesley, R.... (2011) An N-terminal truncated carboxypeptidase E splice isoform induces tumor growth and is a biomarker for predicting future metastasis in human cancers. Journal of Clinical Investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI40433
In today’s tip I will feature the data distribution summaries and their drill down features which you can see from many RCSB PDB searches. We are in the process of updating our full tutorial sponsored by the RCSB PDB team, and as part of that effort I’ve gotten to know and appreciate this new data presentation format. Over the last five years the RCSB PDB has really been working hard at redesigning their resource to be more easily accessed by a wide variety of users. Below you will ........ Read more »
Rose, P., Beran, B., Bi, C., Bluhm, W., Dimitropoulos, D., Goodsell, D., Prlic, A., Quesada, M., Quinn, G., Westbrook, J.... (2010) The RCSB Protein Data Bank: redesigned web site and web services. Nucleic Acids Research, 39(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq1021
As anyone who's trying to sell you probiotic yogurt will tell you, what you can eat often depends on what's living in your gut. For many animals, symbiotic bacterial communities help break down foods that would otherwise be indigestible. Perhaps most famously, termites would be unable to eat wood without specialized microbes in their guts [$a], but many other animals host bacteria that break down cellulose, the tough structural sugar of plant tissue, or to supply nutrients lacking in their diet......... Read more »
Kaltenpoth, M. (2011) Honeybees and bumblebees share similar bacterial symbionts. Molecular Ecology, 20(3), 439-40. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04960.x
Martinson, V. G., B. N. Danforth, R. L. Minckley, O. Rueppell, S. Tingek, & N. A. Moran. (2011) A simple and distinctive microbiota associated with honey bees and bumble bees. Molecular Ecology, 20(3), 619-28. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04959.x
Ikeda-Ohtsubo, W., & A. Brune. (2009) Cospeciation of termite gut flagellates and their bacterial endosymbionts: Trichonympha species and ‘Candidatus Endomicrobium trichonymphae’. Molecular Ecology, 18(2), 332-42. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.04029.x
Russell, J., Moreau, C., Goldman-Huertas, B., Fujiwara, M., Lohman, D., & Pierce, N. (2009) Bacterial gut symbionts are tightly linked with the evolution of herbivory in ants. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 106(50), 21236-41. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0907926106
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