Late last week, I received emails from two journals (The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) and PLoS ONE) indicating that they are now incorporating interactive 3D images of molecular structures in their papers. The atomic coordinates of all published biomolecular structures have been available for some time at the Protein Data Bank. However, making sense of something as complex as a protein structure can require quite a bit of analysis. So, scientists go through great pains to represent impo........ Read more »
Kumar, P., Vahedi-Faridi, A., Saenger, W., Merino, E., Lopez de Castro, J., Uchanska-Ziegler, B., & Ziegler, A. (2009) Structural Basis for T Cell Alloreactivity among Three HLA-B14 and HLA-B27 Antigens. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284(43), 29784-29797. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M109.038497
Raush, E., Totrov, M., Marsden, B., & Abagyan, R. (2009) A New Method for Publishing Three-Dimensional Content. PLoS ONE, 4(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007394
Scientists love to group things. We also like to name things. We also like to plot data on bivariate graphs. On really crazy nights, we let our hair down, well not me per se but other scientists with hair, and do all three. 90% of science is grouping, naming, and plotting.
If you don’t know already [...]... Read more »
Tyler, P., Marsh, L., Baco-Taylor, A., & Smith, C. (2009) Protandric hermaphroditism in the whale-fall bivalve mollusc Idas washingtonia. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 56(19-20), 1689-1699. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2009.05.014
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the herpesvirus group, viruses that are extremely hard or impossible for the body to clear. They lurk and return time after time. CMV doesn't cause immediate issues in healthy people, but over time it becomes one of the principle causes of the characteristic failure of the immune system with aging: Your immune system is capped in its use of resources; it can only have a set number of T cells in operation at one time. ... chronic infections by the likes of cytomega........ Read more »
Duan QJ, Tao R, Hu MF, & Shang SQ. (2009) Efficient inhibition of human cytomegalovirus UL122 gene expression in cell by small interfering RNAs. Journal of basic microbiology. PMID: 19810036
Crudely speaking, our actions can be divided into those that are automatic and driven by the environment and those that are initiated volitionally, as an act of will. In an intriguing new study, Todd Horowitz and colleagues claim to have recorded the relatively sluggish time taken for free will to be enacted. Their finding could help explain our natural tendency to search visual scenes via apparently random, haphazard attentional shifts, rather than using our conscious will to search more strat........ Read more »
by Rita Tojeiro in we are all in the gutter
In our first post exploring galaxy evolution, we saw how observing galaxies at different distances from us is crucial for our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve. It also naturally follows that the larger the range of distances we can study, the better we can constrain our theories. So it’s only natural that astronomers [...]... Read more »
M. Bradač, T. Treu, D. Applegate, A. H. Gonzalez, D. Clowe, W. Forman, C. Jones, P. Marshall, P. Schneider, & D. Zaritsky. (2009) Focusing Cosmic Telescopes: Exploring Redshift z~5-6 Galaxies with the Bullet Cluster 1E0657-56. Accepted for publication in ApJL. arXiv: 0910.2708v1
P. A. Oesch, R. J. Bouwens, G. D. Illingworth, C. M. Carollo, M. Franx, I. Labbe, D. Magee, M. Stiavelli, M. Trenti, & P. G. van Dokkum. (2009) z~7 Galaxies in the HUDF: First Epoch WFC3/IR Results. submitted to ApJL. arXiv: 0909.1806v1
Andrew Bunker, Stephen Wilkins, Richard Ellis, Daniel Stark, Silvio Lorenzoni, Kuenley Chiu, Mark Lacy, Matt Jarvis, & Samantha Hickey. (2009) The Contribution of High Redshift Galaxies to Cosmic Reionization: New Results from Deep WFC3 Imaging of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Submitted to MNRAS. arXiv: 0909.2255v2
Sexual activities at work have become a modern taboo. Everything from sexual jokes and innuendo to overt touching and sex acts have become absolutely forbidden in the workplace. Some sexual behaviors (jokes, banter, flirting) might be seen as innocent and a natural part of being human, but the current trend is one of zero tolerance [...]... Read more »
Dysphagia among stroke patients is suggested by the following test:
First check the patient for “swallowing complaints, abnormalities of voice quality, facial asymmetry, or either expressive or receptive aphasia.” If none is detected then go to step 2.
Have the patient drink 10 mL of water from a cup without a straw while seated upright [...]... Read more »
Turner-Lawrence DE, Peebles M, Price MF, Singh SJ, & Asimos AW. (2009) A feasibility study of the sensitivity of emergency physician Dysphagia screening in acute stroke patients. Annals of emergency medicine, 54(3), 344. PMID: 19362752
Everyday in the news we see stories decrying the use of cell phones while driving. Research reports aplenty have been released estimating the percentage of one’s attention siphoned by mobile jabber and how little is left to focus on the highway.
This is great and I’m glad the discussion is happening, but it might be useful to ask whether cell phone use in other (non-driving) venues has a similar effect on attention. What better way to make the point that cell phone use is danger........ Read more »
Hyman, I., Boss, S., Wise, B., McKenzie, K., & Caggiano, J. (2009) Did you see the unicycling clown? Inattentional blindness while walking and talking on a cell phone. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1638
The preferred locations for testing according to this systematic review are filled green in the image. As the independent addition of the monofilament to visually inspecting for deformities, pressure marks, cracked skin, infected nails, evidence of prior ulcers, and other findings is not clear in the major trial of screening (http://pubmed.gov/8498761), it seems we [...]... Read more »
Feng Y, Schlösser FJ, & Sumpio BE. (2009) The Semmes Weinstein monofilament examination as a screening tool for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Journal of vascular surgery : official publication, the Society for Vascular Surgery [and] International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter, 50(3), 675. PMID: 19595541
I am not a philosopher. Neither am I very conversant in the arguments around consciousness. But working in pain management means the mind-body debate is something I run into now and again. Is pain all about the body? Is pain all about the mind? Or is it both? Which influences the other?
This debate can often [...]... Read more »
Rebecca Skloot, journalist, University of Memphis writing professor, and author of the upcoming book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (pre-order here), just brought to my attention this commentary by Dr Pieter Cohen in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled, "American Roulette -- Contaminated Dietary Supplements."
In the commentary, Dr Cohen remarks upon the epidemic of adulteration of herbal and non-herbal dietary supplements with undeclared prescription drugs or unapproved drugs:
I........ Read more »
Cohen, P. (2009) American Roulette -- Contaminated Dietary Supplements. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(16), 1523-1525. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp0904768
Antidepressant sales are rising in most Western countries, and they have been for at least a decade. Recently, we learned that the proportion of Americans taking antidepressants in any given year nearly doubled from 1996 to 2005.The situation has been thought to be similar in the UK. But a hot-off-the-press paper in the British Medical Journal reveals some surprising facts about the issue: Explaining the rise in antidepressant prescribing.The authors examined medical records from 1.7 million Bri........ Read more »
Moore M, Yuen HM, Dunn N, Mullee MA, Maskell J, & Kendrick T. (2009) Explaining the rise in antidepressant prescribing: a descriptive study using the general practice research database. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 19833707
In social insects, colonies of hundreds or thousands of workers and soldiers forgo reproduction to support one or a few "reproductives" -- drones and a queen. In most cases, this isn't as selfless as it might seem. Because the workers in a colony are all offspring of the queen, they're really reproducing through her -- because the queen shares genes with the workers, when she reproduces it contributes to their evolutionary fitness.
This is called kin selection, and in many cases it's a good exp........ Read more »
Johns, P., Howard, K., Breisch, N., Rivera, A., & Thorne, B. (2009) Nonrelatives inherit colony resources in a primitive termite. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 106(41), 17452-6. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0907961106
Many people with cancer have fatigue. Fatigue is tiredness that doesn’t get better when you rest. Fatigue is a very difficult thing to study, it may be caused by having cancer (e.g. the cancer itself might disrupt your normal biological process and that makes you feel fatigued) or it may also be caused by cancer [...]... Read more »
Adamsen L, Quist M, Andersen C, Møller T, Herrstedt J, Kronborg D, Baadsgaard MT, Vistisen K, Midtgaard J, Christiansen B.... (2009) Effect of a multimodal high intensity exercise intervention in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: randomised controlled trial. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 19826172
TRegs in normal skin
Tumors are supposed to be destroyed by our immune system. So how come we still see tumors?
A big part of the answer is probably that our immune system is very good at destroying proto-tumors, but is not so good at handling those that manage to sneak through and grow to the [...]... Read more »
Zimring, J., & Kapp, J. (2004) Identification and Characterization of CD8 Suppressor T Cells. Immunologic Research, 29(1-3), 303-312. DOI: 10.1385/IR:29:1-3:303
Shafer-Weaver, K., Anderson, M., Stagliano, K., Malyguine, A., Greenberg, N., & Hurwitz, A. (2009) Cutting Edge: Tumor-Specific CD8 T Cells Infiltrating Prostatic Tumors Are Induced to Become Suppressor Cells. The Journal of Immunology, 183(8), 4848-4852. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900848
Anderson MJ, Shafer-Weaver K, Greenberg NM, & Hurwitz AA. (2007) Tolerization of tumor-specific T cells despite efficient initial priming in a primary murine model of prostate cancer. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 178(3), 1268-76. PMID: 17237372
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
A recent article in the Journal of child Psychology and Psychiatry examined the long term course of ADHD and co-morbid diagnoses among boys and girls as they transitioned from childhood into adolescence. The vast majority of research on ADHD has been done with boys, mostly due to the sex difference in the rates of ADHD. [...]... Read more »
Monuteaux, M., Mick, E., Faraone, S., & Biederman, J. (2009) The influence of sex on the course and psychiatric correlates of ADHD from childhood to adolescence: A longitudinal study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2009.02152.x
Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »
Aquino, V., Amarilla, A., Alfonso, H., Batista, W., & Figueiredo, L. (2009) New Genotype of Dengue Type 3 Virus Circulating in Brazil and Colombia Showed a Close Relationship to Old Asian Viruses. PLoS ONE, 4(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007299
Lieberman-Aiden, E., van Berkum, N., Williams, L., Imakaev, M., Ragoczy, T., Telling, A., Amit, I., Lajoie, B., Sabo, P., Dorschner, M.... (2009) Comprehensive Mapping of Long-Range Interactions Reveals Folding Principles of the Human Genome. Science, 326(5950), 289-293. DOI: 10.1126/science.1181369
Grand evolutionary dramas about human origins capture our imagination and the stories provide context as to how we view ourselves. They are the scientific version of creation myths. However, unlike Adam and Eve being fashioned in the garden or humanity being vomited up by the giant Mbombo (as the Bakuba people of Congo believed), scientific origin stories are rigorously critiqued based on the best available evidence.
Friedrich Engels, a sociologist and future collaborator with Karl Marx, wrot........ Read more »
Lovejoy, C. (2009) Reexamining Human Origins in Light of Ardipithecus ramidus. Science, 326(5949), 74-74. DOI: 10.1126/science.1175834
A solution to an abnormal neurological movement problem can perhaps be abnormal as well. The irregular wiring of the brain may actually eliminate dystonia — repetitive movements and atypical postures. According to the Journal of Neuroscience, changes in brain pathways may actually counteract the genetic mutations for the movement disorder. This idea can explain why [...]... Read more »
Johnson MD, Miocinovic S, McIntyre CC, & Vitek JL. (2008) Mechanisms and targets of deep brain stimulation in movement disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 5(2), 294-308. PMID: 18394571
Since Heterocephalus glaber are naked mole rats, they shouldn’t mind anyone looking at their sex organs, right? I mean, they’re naked, so it’s not like they’re ashamed or anything.Seney and colleagues noticed that male and female naked mole rats had very similar looking sex organs. Naked mole rats happen to be famous for having a social system that is very much like social insects, with normally a single reproductive adult female and non-reproductive workers. They wondered if this unsual........ Read more »
Seney, M., Kelly, D., Goldman, B., Šumbera, R., & Forger, N. (2009) Social Structure Predicts Genital Morphology in African Mole-Rats. PLoS ONE, 4(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007477
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