Post List

  • March 30, 2010
  • 06:47 AM

MM17 Answer - Spironucleus: double cells with twisted nuclei

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Really need to take care of the long lineup of overdue Mystery Micrographs. And clean up a bit of this huge drafts pile that has accumulated lately. Because I'm lazy, let's do Spironucleus first, from MM17. It goes well with laziness as not very much is known about it, which means there isn't too much to write about it. Shit, now you know why I blog about obscure organisms like those various secret is out!SEMs of diplomonad fish parasite Spironucleus vortens. cr - compound lateral ........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Constructing wetlands to sanitize rivers and produce green energy

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study from researchers in the Netherlands demonstrates that wetlands can be constructed in strategic locations to clean up rivers while producing enough biomass to serve as a clean energy source...... Read more »

Meerburg, B., Vereijken, P., Visser, W., Verhagen, J., Korevaar, H., Querner, E., Blaeij, A., & Werf, A. (2010) Surface water sanitation and biomass production in a large constructed wetland in the Netherlands. Wetlands Ecology and Management. DOI: 10.1007/s11273-010-9179-x  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 04:22 AM

Chocolate as Antihypertensive Drug?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

From a systematic review of 10 randomized clinical trials: chocolate has blood pressure lowering capacity. Dark chocolate has a high content of flavanols. Flavonoids are the part of chocolate important for health benefits. They can also be found in high concentrations in certain fruits and vegetables. In the context of human nutrition, certain teas, grape [...]

Related posts:Have Your Dark Chocolate with Green Tea
How Much Chocolate is good for your Health?
A Chocolate Bar A Day Keeps the Doc........ Read more »

Desch, S., Schmidt, J., Kobler, D., Sonnabend, M., Eitel, I., Sareban, M., Rahimi, K., Schuler, G., & Thiele, H. (2009) Effect of Cocoa Products on Blood Pressure: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Hypertension, 23(1), 97-103. DOI: 10.1038/ajh.2009.213  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 03:59 AM

How forming new memories help retain older ones

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Try to remember this visual paired associate (AB):Now recall visual paired associate AB:Next, I'm going to have you remember another visual paired associate (AC):Now recall visual paired associate AC:Can you still remember the first visual paired associate (AB)?What if I were to pay you ten cents to remember? How about a hundred bucks? Would your memory performance increase? Stay the same? Most of your would probably infer the former. More money = more motivation to memorize.That's what Kuhl and........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 01:30 AM

Dopamine and Obesity: The Food Addiction?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci picked this paper today partially because it was handed to her on a platter by the fantastic Dr. Pal, and partially because today she is SO HUNGRY. She's had a TON of food already today, and is still entirely ravenous. Maybe it was looking at this paper too long.

(Cereal break)


As I'm sure most of y'all out there are aware, obesity is a problem in the US. No one is sure whether it's due to increased portion size, increased availability, decreased physical activity, changes in g........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 11:39 PM

Climate change and philosophy of science: Does climate science aim at truth?

by Michael Slezak in Good, Bad, and Bogus

A couple of weeks ago there was an interesting exchange in The Guardian between George Monbiot and Nicholas Maxwell, a philosopher of science from University College London. In his piece, Monbiot presents an excellent, if overly pessimistic, analysis of the psychology behind climate change denial. In his response, Maxwell draws on some interesting results from the philosophy [...]... Read more »

Cartwright, Nancy. (2004) Do the laws of physics state the facts?. Readings on the Laws of Nature. info:/

Kitcher, P. (1981) Explanatory Unification. Philosophy of Science, 48(4), 507. DOI: 10.1086/289019  

  • March 29, 2010
  • 11:11 PM

a new hominin from siberia?

by alison in bioblog

The latest edition of Nature carries an item that raises the possibility of another new - & recent - new hominin species, this time from Siberia (Krasuse et al., 2010). A few years ago, when the story about Homo floresiensis first broke, I...... Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 08:28 PM

New ostracod species discovered with soft body preserved

by Ian Randall in The Palaeo Pad

Researchers have unearthed a 425 million year old ostracod – with the soft body preserved within its outer shell. The study of the water flea like creature, which belongs to the animal group Crustacea, is published in the latest issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, as well as in the online journal of the Natural Environment Research Council, Planet Earth.... Read more »

Siveter, D., Briggs, D., Siveter, D., & Sutton, M. (2010) An exceptionally preserved myodocopid ostracod from the Silurian of Herefordshire, UK. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2122  

  • March 29, 2010
  • 07:39 PM

What causes scientifc misconduct?

by Janet D. Stemwedel in Adventures in Ethics and Science (Sb)

In the last post, we looked at a piece of research on how easy it is to clean up the scientific literature in the wake of retractions or corrections prompted by researcher misconduct in published articles. Not surprisingly, in the comments on that post there was some speculation about what prompts researchers to commit scientific misconduct in the first place.

As it happens, I've been reading a paper by Mark S. Davis, Michelle Riske-Morris, and Sebastian R. Diaz, titled "Causal Factors ........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 04:59 PM

After the Storm

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Dolphin reproduction in Mississippi Sound spiked after Hurricane Katrina

... Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 04:40 PM

Photosynthesis in frog foam

by Thomas Kluyver in Thomas' Plant-Related Blog

Although Brazil’s been making biofuels for decades, the rest of the world has quickly got interested over the last few years, due to concerns about climate change, as well as the rising price of oil. Unfortunately, it’s none too easy: plants tend to store a lot of the energy in molecules that are hard to [...]... Read more »

Wendell, D., Todd, J., & Montemagno, C. (2010) Artificial Photosynthesis in Ranaspumin-2 Based Foam. Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/nl100550k  

  • March 29, 2010
  • 04:28 PM

Shrink Shrank Shrunk

by Jan Husdal in

A missed classic? Perhaps, because after reading this article I realized that this in many ways is a seminal paper. Rachel Mason-Jones and Dennis Towill are not unknown to me, and I’ve come across their names time and again, but this is probably the first time I delved more deeply into their research and their [ ... ]... Read more »

Mason-Jones, R., & Towill, D. (1998) Shrinking the supply chain uncertainty circle. IOM Control Magazine, 24(7). info:/

  • March 29, 2010
  • 02:37 PM

The worms go in, the worms go out: The habits of prehistoric, bone-eating worms

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The fail whale comes to rest; the decomposing body of a gray whale is host to a diverse array of scavengers and other deep sea organisms. From Goffredi et al., 2004.

In the deep sea, no carcass goes to waste. Platoons of crabs, fish, and other scavengers make short work of most of the bodies which come to rest on the sea bottom, but every now and then the carrion-eaters are presented with a rotting bonanza; a whale fall. Muscle, viscera, blubber, and bone; it all gets broken down, but it t........ Read more »


  • March 29, 2010
  • 02:35 PM

“You’re just being a hypochondriac” – health anxiety & chronic pain

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I think that label has to be one of the most feared amongst the people I see with chronic pain.  To be judged as being obsessed about nonexistant illnesses when actually having pain every day must be incredibly difficult to cope with.  At the same time, being anxious about health and having mistaken beliefs about [...]... Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Kryptonian Vision

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Jennifer Gutierrez

X-ray vision, once the exclusive domain of Superman and his super hero kin, is now a tool in the biological researchers kit. Granted, not every researcher has access to this superpower; the required synchrotron light sources are found only at large research facilities that happen to have a particle...... Read more »

Giewekemeyer K, Thibault P, Kalbfleisch S, Beerlink A, Kewish CM, Dierolf M, Pfeiffer F, & Salditt T. (2010) Quantitative biological imaging by ptychographic x-ray diffraction microscopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(2), 529-34. PMID: 20018650  

  • March 29, 2010
  • 12:01 PM

How do polydnaviruses work?

by Joe Ballenger in Biofortified

In Polydnaviruses: Nature’s GMOs, I wrote about how wasps use viruses to disable the immune defenses of their hosts. Braconid and ichneumonid wasps use a system that genetically modifies their hosts in order to shut their immune systems down.
So how does this all work?
A good system to use to describe how polydnavirus proteins work is [...]... Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 10:03 AM

How useful is cheminformatics in drug discovery?

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

Just like bioinformatics, cheminformatics has come into its own an independent framework and tool for drug design. As a measure of the field's independence and importance, consider that at least five journals primarily dedicated to it have emerged in the last couple of years, and 15000 articles on it have been published since 2003.But how useful is it in drug discovery? The answer, just like for other approaches and technologies, is that it depends. For calculating and analyzing some properties ........ Read more »

Muchmore, S., Edmunds, J., Stewart, K., & Hajduk, P. (2010) Cheminformatic Tools for Medicinal Chemists. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/jm100164z  

  • March 29, 2010
  • 09:58 AM

A Tyrannosaur From Down Under?

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Almost every tyrannosaur ever discovered, from the feather-covered Dilong to the gargantuan Tyrannosaurus, has come from the northern hemisphere, but a new discovery announced last week in the journal Science suggests that tyrant dinosaurs may have roamed ancient Australia, too.
As reported by paleontologists Roger Benson, Paul Barrett, Tom Rich and Pat Vickers-Rich, a partial hip [...]... Read more »

Benson, R., Barrett, P., Rich, T., & Vickers-Rich, P. (2010) A Southern Tyrant Reptile. Science, 327(5973), 1613-1613. DOI: 10.1126/science.1187456  

  • March 29, 2010
  • 09:47 AM

Made for Each Other: Evolution of Monogamy in Poison Frogs

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: evolution, evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, animal behavior, molecular ecology, parental care, mating systems, monogamy, sexual selection, frogs, poison dart frogs, Dendrobatidae, Ranitomeya,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper, journal club

Peruvian mimic poison frog, Ranitomeya imitator.

Image: Jason Brown [larger view]

To know the breeding system is to know the genetic architecture of a species.
To know the evolution of a breeding system is to kn........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Conservationists underselling the societal benefits of restoration

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Conservationists are underselling the societal benefits from ecological restoration, according to a group of researchers. The problem, they argue, is that practitioners and scientists are failing to make the connection between ecological restoration and the numerous valuable services to society that ecosystems provide...... Read more »

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