Post List

  • December 17, 2010
  • 11:16 AM
  • 3,293 views

How did Mozart die? In 140 ways!

by Debajyoti Datta in Medicine...Life

I was going through an article published in the BMJ by Karhausen LR where he describes the different hypotheses put forward to explain the death of Mozart. Karhausen has listed 140 causes proposed to explain the death of Mozart even though he died only once.... Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 11:02 AM
  • 1,569 views

Parasitic worms paint warning colours on their hosts using glowing bacteria

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science


A robin flying over a field sees a juicy caterpillar on a leaf. It dives in for a closer look but it notices something strange: this larva is bright red and glowing slightly. Red means danger – this caterpillar is probably toxic and is best avoided. The robin leaves; the caterpillar apparently lives. But this [...]... Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 10:49 AM
  • 881 views

The Kids Are Alright: New Genes Can Be Essential

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

When it comes to genes, evolutionary biologists have traditionally favored seniority. Genes thought to be most essential to life must be ancient and conserved, the assumption goes, handed down from species to species as the basic instructions of life. That sharing is evident in early developmental stages, which 19th-century biologist Ernst Haeckel observed to be [...]... Read more »

Chen, S., Zhang, Y., & Long, M. (2010) New Genes in Drosophila Quickly Become Essential. Science, 330(6011), 1682-1685. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196380  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 10:44 AM
  • 730 views

Juravenator: Germany’s Other Feathered Dinosaur

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

In 1861, as debates about evolution were brewing among naturalists, two important skeletons were discovered from the Late Jurassic limestone quarries of Germany. Both would be relevant to ideas about how birds evolved. Although not recognized as such until the late 20th century, Archaeopteryx was the first feathered dinosaur ever discovered and was a confirmation [...]... Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:54 AM
  • 1,837 views

Rosetta Web Servers

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

The Rosetta macromolecular modeling suite has a very wide range of applications, and although installing and running Rosetta, becomes increasingly easier over the years, some non-experts would still prefer to run it over a comfortable to use web-server. We have assembled here the list of Rosetta applications for which such a web-server exists. Bookmark for future modeling tasks.



... Read more »

Liu, Y., & Kuhlman, B. (2006) RosettaDesign server for protein design. Nucleic Acids Research, 34(Web Server). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkl163  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:41 AM
  • 945 views

Envy Makes Us Better People?

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Success is sweet, but it can also make you wary of people who might be jealous or you and who could even try to bring you down. New research in ... Read more »

van de Ven, N., Zeelenberg, M., & Pieter,s R. (2010) Warding off the evil eye: when the fear of being envied increases prosocial behavior. Psychological Science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS, 21(11). PMID: 20889930  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:37 AM
  • 1,913 views

Get those computers spinning

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

This week’s issue of the magazine Science has no less than three papers on a single topic, namely new ways of computing using the quantum mechanical property of spin. Taken together, these provide a brief glimpse into the different ways researchers have progressed in incorporating spin into electronic devices. The fundamental element of a computer [...]... Read more »

Costache, M., & Valenzuela, S. (2010) Experimental Spin Ratchet. Science, 330(6011), 1645-1648. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196228  

Jonietz, F., Muhlbauer, S., Pfleiderer, C., Neubauer, A., Munzer, W., Bauer, A., Adams, T., Georgii, R., Boni, P., Duine, R.... (2010) Spin Transfer Torques in MnSi at Ultralow Current Densities. Science, 330(6011), 1648-1651. DOI: 10.1126/science.1195709  

Bozin, E., Malliakas, C., Souvatzis, P., Proffen, T., Spaldin, N., Kanatzidis, M., & Billinge, S. (2010) Entropically Stabilized Local Dipole Formation in Lead Chalcogenides. Science, 330(6011), 1660-1663. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192759  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:17 AM
  • 1,354 views

Analyzing DNA to Determine a Person’s Age

by Terri Sundquist in Promega Connections

People have employed many methods to disguise their age: eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, exercising regularly, protecting their skin from the sun and, if all else fails, undergoing plastic surgery. However, a recent Current Biology paper may make it harder for us to hide our true age. The authors describe a real-time PCR [...]... Read more »

Zubakov D, Liu F, van Zelm MC, Vermeulen J, Oostra BA, van Duijn CM, Driessen GJ, van Dongen JJ, Kayser M, & Langerak AW. (2010) Estimating human age from T-cell DNA rearrangements. Current Biology : CB, 20(22). PMID: 21093786  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 09:06 AM
  • 2,155 views

Doctors happier to prescribe sex drugs than smart drugs

by Caspar Addyman in Your Brain on Drugs

A new survey of family doctors in North America has found that they are more comfortable prescribing viagra than modafinil or ritalin. The new study in PLoS ONE was conducted by Opeyemi Banjo, Roland Nadler and Peter Reiner, three neuroethicists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. They were interested in doctor’s attitudes to pharmacological cognitive enhancers (or smart drugs as we stupid people call them)... Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 08:47 AM
  • 683 views

Guest post: A new link between ontogeny and phylogeny

by Becky in It Takes 30

Jeremy Purvis writes: I once had an English professor in college who began class by writing the phrase “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” on the blackboard. He then began to explain—in English-professor terms—how embryos pass through stages of development that closely resemble successive stages in their own evolution. Though I can’t remember exactly, I believe this introduction [...]... Read more »

Kalinka AT, Varga KM, Gerrard DT, Preibisch S, Corcoran DL, Jarrells J, Ohler U, Bergman CM, & Tomancak P. (2010) Gene expression divergence recapitulates the developmental hourglass model. Nature, 468(7325), 811-4. PMID: 21150996  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 08:25 AM
  • 1,223 views

FGFR as a target in lung cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Here’s an interesting paper in a new journal I recently signed up for, Science and Translational Medicine.  The journal provides little snapshots of how research can potentially be applied to real life disease.  Here’s a snippet from this particular abstract: … Continue reading →... Read more »

Weiss, J., Sos, M., Seidel, D., Peifer, M., Zander, T., Heuckmann, J., Ullrich, R., Menon, R., Maier, S., Soltermann, A.... (2010) Frequent and Focal FGFR1 Amplification Associates with Therapeutically Tractable FGFR1 Dependency in Squamous Cell Lung Cancer. Science Translational Medicine, 2(62), 62-62. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001451  

Pardo, O., Latigo, J., Jeffery, R., Nye, E., Poulsom, R., Spencer-Dene, B., Lemoine, N., Stamp, G., Aboagye, E., & Seckl, M. (2009) The Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitor PD173074 Blocks Small Cell Lung Cancer Growth In vitro and In vivo. Cancer Research, 69(22), 8645-8651. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1576  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 07:07 AM
  • 1,861 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Use Christian religious concepts to increase racial prejudice

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a lot about racial biases in the courtroom.  As regular readers of this blog know, we look for ways to mitigate the impact of racial biases. We believe in social justice. We also know (although we don’t like it much) that there are times when in the interests of advocacy, it is important [...]


Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: When to talk about racial bias and when to stay quiet
Simple Jury Persuasion: Countering jury decision-making biases
Simple Jury Persuasion: You l........ Read more »

Johnson, MK, Rowatt, WC, & LaBouff, J. (2010) Priming Christian religious concepts increases racial prejudice. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1(2). info:/

  • December 17, 2010
  • 05:39 AM
  • 1,446 views

Harder-to-read fonts boost student learning

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Making learning materials more difficult to read can significantly improve student performance. Yes, you read that correctly. Connor Diemand-Yauman and his colleagues think the effect occurs because fonts that are more awkward to read encourage deeper processing of the to-be-learned material.

Diemand-Yauman first tested this principal in the lab with 28 participants (aged 18 to 40) who spent 90 seconds learning the seven features associated with three alien species. Half the students learned fr........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 04:16 AM
  • 752 views

Single PSA test at age 60 provides an indication of future prostate cancer risk

by crabsallover in Science of Healthy Long Life

reposted from: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/archive/cancernews/2010-09-16-Single-PSA-test-at-age-60-provides-an-indication-of-future-prostate-cancer-risk-?rss=trueThursday 16 September 2010A one-off prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level test at age 60 appears to provide an indication of a man's lifetime risk of being diagnosed and dying from prostate cancer, US scientists have found.The majority of clinical trials conducted to date have concluded that routine population-w........ Read more »

Vickers, A., Cronin, A., Bjork, T., Manjer, J., Nilsson, P., Dahlin, A., Bjartell, A., Scardino, P., Ulmert, D., & Lilja, H. (2010) Prostate specific antigen concentration at age 60 and death or metastasis from prostate cancer: case-control study. BMJ, 341(sep14 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c4521  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 04:15 AM
  • 598 views

Low-dose aspirin may reduce bowel cancer risk

by crabsallover in Science of Healthy Long Life

reposted from http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/archive/cancernews/2010-09-16-Low-dose-aspirin-may-reduce-bowel-cancer-risk-?rss=trueThursday 16 September 2010Even low doses of aspirin may help to prevent bowel cancer, a new study from the University of Edinburgh suggests.Previous research has shown that people who regularly take aspirin may be less likely to develop bowel cancer, but scientists are still trying to determine the most effective dose.The treatment is also n........ Read more »

Din, F., Theodoratou, E., Farrington, S., Tenesa, A., Barnetson, R., Cetnarskyj, R., Stark, L., Porteous, M., Campbell, H., & Dunlop, M. (2010) Effect of aspirin and NSAIDs on risk and survival from colorectal cancer. Gut. DOI: 10.1136/gut.2009.203000  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 03:55 AM
  • 621 views

Passive smoking 'causes one in 100 deaths worldwide'

by crabsallover in Science of Healthy Long Life

reposted from: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/archive/cancernews/2010-11-29-Passive-smoking-causes-one-in-100-deaths-worldwide-?rss=trueMonday 29 November 2010Around 603,000 people, including 165,000 children, die each year worldwide as a result of passive smoking, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) scientists.The figures suggest that passive smoking is behind around one in 100 deaths and highlight the important role that public smoking bans can play in reduc........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2010
  • 02:56 AM
  • 899 views

In the news this (last) month: massive neutron star

by Megan in Rigel

Left over from the explosions of massive stars, are incredibly dense and compact objects, but very little is known about their internal structure. , spinning neutron stars with powerful jets of radio emission which act something like cosmic lighthouses, are useful probes of extreme physics such as and forms of matter so dense that investigating them in laboratories on the Earth is extremely difficult.Various models of the internal structure of a neutron star have been proposed, including vari........ Read more »

Demorest, P., Pennucci, T., Ransom, S., Roberts, M., & Hessels, J. (2010) A two-solar-mass neutron star measured using Shapiro delay. Nature, 467(7319), 1081-1083. DOI: 10.1038/nature09466  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 01:40 AM
  • 1,628 views

Move Over Boneworm, the Bone Snail is Taking Over

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

You’ve all heard about the bone-eating zombie worm from hell. Yeah it was like OK, but whatever. It had its day like, you know, way back in the 2000s. Now though, all the rage is the BONE SNAIL! Yeah, that’s right the BoNe SnAiL!!! Its cooler than cool, just trust me. The Bone Snail is to . . . → Read More: Move Over Boneworm, the Bone Snail is Taking Over... Read more »

Johnson SB, Warén A, Lee RW, Kano Y, Kaim A, Davis A, Strong EE, & Vrijenhoek RC. (2010) Rubyspira, new genus and two new species of bone-eating deep-sea snails with ancient habits. The Biological bulletin, 219(2), 166-77. PMID: 20972261  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 01:40 AM
  • 1,287 views

Friday Weird Science: Feeling the Vaginal Pressure, the idea of “insuck”

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

You know you’ve blogged too much when you have to search yourself to check whether you’ve written something up before. I cannot BELIEVE I haven’t done this one yet! I always wonder about laboratories that study orgasm and human sexual behavior. Do people stand around looking all official at lab meetings and talk with very [...]... Read more »

  • December 16, 2010
  • 08:56 PM
  • 2,938 views

Supermassive Black Holes

by The Astronomist in The Astronomist.

A black hole is a massive object with such powerful gravity that not even light may escape from it. Black holes only have three unique properties which are mass, charge, and spin. At one time black holes were a speculative phenomena, but astronomers now understand that black holes are a relatively common and important occurrence in our Universe, unfortunately the public and science fiction still seems to be in dark. There are a lot of misconceptions about black holes:If the Sun was replaced........ Read more »

Gebhardt, K., Bender, R., Bower, G., Dressler, A., Faber, S., Filippenko, A., Green, R., Grillmair, C., Ho, L., Kormendy, J.... (2000) A Relationship between Nuclear Black Hole Mass and Galaxy Velocity Dispersion. The Astrophysical Journal, 539(1). DOI: 10.1086/312840  

Genzel, R., Schödel, R., Ott, T., Eckart, A., Alexander, T., Lacombe, F., Rouan, D., & Aschenbach, B. (2003) Near-infrared flares from accreting gas around the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre. Nature, 425(6961), 934-937. DOI: 10.1038/nature02065  

Ghez, A., Salim, S., Weinberg, N., Lu, J., Do, T., Dunn, J., Matthews, K., Morris, M., Yelda, S., Becklin, E.... (2008) Measuring Distance and Properties of the Milky Way’s Central Supermassive Black Hole with Stellar Orbits. The Astrophysical Journal, 689(2), 1044-1062. DOI: 10.1086/592738  

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