Post List

  • July 29, 2010
  • 09:05 AM
  • 542 views

Global warming roundup: There's bad news, and weird news, but no really good news

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Regardless of what James Inhofe thinks, global climate change is going to dramatically reshape the natural systems our civilization depends upon. Unfortunately, even as we embark on the radical experiment of turning our planet's temperature up to 11, we're just figuring out what results to expect. A whole series of papers released in the last week exemplify this point, showing that living communities' response to the changing planet may often be counter-intuitive.

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  • July 29, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,485 views

Will Eating Blueberries Reduce Risk For Heart Disease?

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

Eating more fruit and vegetables is a common recommendation in dietary guidelines to prevent everything from obesity and heart disease to premature aging and cancer.
In this context, berries are of particular interest, as they are particularly rich in anti-oxidants and a variety of phytochemicals like polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, flavonols, and tannins that have demonstrated [...]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 07:56 AM
  • 565 views

Petro-cology

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

If you thought the environmental problems associated with our dependence on oil were bad enough, just wait – the end of cheap oil could bring new and even more vexing ecological threats. That’s the message from three scholars making a provocative new call for ecologists to get more active in studying the implications of tightening […] Read More »... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 07:28 AM
  • 1,193 views

Dendreon's sipuleucel-T data from the IMPACT trial shows no surprises

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Yesterday was a travel day but thanks to gippy wifi and a packed day, I didn't have the opportunity to post about some interesting articles on prostate cancer published in the NEJM, which I read and digested on the train...... Read more »

Kantoff, P., Higano, C., Shore, N., Berger, E., Small, E., Penson, D., Redfern, C., Ferrari, A., Dreicer, R., Sims, R.... (2010) Sipuleucel-T Immunotherapy for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(5), 411-422. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1001294  

  • July 29, 2010
  • 06:44 AM
  • 595 views

how a little green ball of cells controls where it's going

by alison in bioblog

In one of our first-year biology labs the students spend a bit of time looking down the microscope at various algae & protozoa. Some of their samples come from a container of interestingly weedy water from my fishpond. Not only is...... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 06:13 AM
  • 616 views

Genetic ironies: Retrovirus version

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

I’ve mentioned the APOBEC family before (for example, here and here). They’re a group of mammalian genes that (among other things) protect against retrovirus infection. DIfferent strains of mice have different resistance to retrovirus infection. Some strains are highly resistant, others quite susceptible. At least some of this difference in susceptibility comes down to different [...]... Read more »

  • July 28, 2010
  • 09:42 PM
  • 1,179 views

The First New Zealanders and their rats

by David in The Atavism

Crispin Jago has made a very cool thing, a periodic table of irrational nonsense. Rolling my eyes over the groups, wondering how people can believe some of these things, made me think about New Zealand's unique ecosystem of kooky ideas. We don't have to suffer creationists in any organised sense and I don't think anyone is too into ear candelling, but those TV psychics have found themselves a niche to exploit and most people seem think chiropratric and homeopathy are normal parts ........ Read more »

Holdaway, R. (1996) Arrival of rats in New Zealand. Nature, 384(6606), 225-226. DOI: 10.1038/384225b0  

  • July 28, 2010
  • 08:18 PM
  • 1,123 views

Hormonal Manipulation of Olfactory Cues, or How to Lose a Guy in 10 days

by Aurametrix team in Olfactics and Diagnostics

Body odors are important cues used for social and sexual discrimination. As was shown many times, animals can easily smell age-, health- and genetics-related  differences.  Recent study of our large-eyed relatives, ring-tailed lemurs, demonstrate that drugs can alter body scents and change behavior. Researchers examined changes in endocrine and  semiochemical profiles of sexually mature female lemurs treated with hormonal contraceptives during their breeding season. Genetic diversity and kin........ Read more »

Jeremy Chase Crawford,Marylène Boulet and Christine M. Drea1. (2010) Smelling wrong: hormonal contraception in lemurs alters critical female odour cues. Proceedings B . info:/

  • July 28, 2010
  • 06:02 PM
  • 947 views

New crops: perennial grains?

by Thomas Kluyver in Thomas' Plant-Related Blog

Most of our staple crops are annuals—plants that grow from seed, produce the next generation of seeds and then die, all in one year. In particular, the ‘big three’ crops, rice, wheat and maize, are all annuals. What would life be like if we instead grew perennials—plants that last more than one year? No more [...]... Read more »

Glover, J., Reganold, J., Bell, L., Borevitz, J., Brummer, E., Buckler, E., Cox, C., Cox, T., Crews, T., Culman, S.... (2010) Increased Food and Ecosystem Security via Perennial Grains. Science, 328(5986), 1638-1639. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188761  

  • July 28, 2010
  • 04:13 PM
  • 1,310 views

If I had my way, we’d just sequence everything

by Holly Bik in Deep Sea News

Transcriptomics of any variety is the study of RNA molecules (messenger RNAs, ribosomal RNAs, transcript RNAs and non-coding RNAs) present in a cell at any given time. By sequencing RNA molecules, we can get a snapshot of the genes being expressed in a cell, tissue, organism, or even whole community of organisms at a given place and time. These type of studies used to be carried out in a limited fashion using quantitative PCR (qPCR) or microarrays, but new sequencing technologies (454, Illumin........ Read more »

Hewson, I., Poretsky, R., Beinart, R., White, A., Shi, T., Bench, S., Moisander, P., Paerl, R., Tripp, H., Montoya, J.... (2009) In situ transcriptomic analysis of the globally important keystone N2-fixing taxon Crocosphaera watsonii. The ISME Journal, 3(5), 618-631. DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2009.8  

Moran, M.A. (2009) Metatranscriptomics: Eavesdropping on complex microbial communities. Microbe, 4(7), 329-335. info:/

  • July 28, 2010
  • 03:34 PM
  • 298 views

Running Improves Memory: Steps to a Better Brain

by A. Goldstein in WiSci

Running is good for your heart, lungs, and legs. Now research shows that it might improve your brain, too. According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1, voluntary running can improve synaptic plasticity and, as a result, spatial memory. Neuroscientists at Cambridge University separated mice into two groups: one group [...]... Read more »

Creer, D., Romberg, C., Saksida, L., van Praag, H., & Bussey, T. (2010) Running enhances spatial pattern separation in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(5), 2367-2372. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911725107  

Stroth, S., Hille, K., Spitzer, M., & Reinhardt, R. (2008) Aerobic endurance exercise benefits memory and affect in young adults. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 19(2), 223-243. DOI: 10.1080/09602010802091183  

Kannangara, T., Lucero, M., Gil-Mohapel, J., Drapala, R., Simpson, J., Christie, B., & van Praag, H. (2010) Running reduces stress and enhances cell genesis in aged mice. Neurobiology of Aging. DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2009.12.025  

  • July 28, 2010
  • 03:33 PM
  • 490 views

Running Improves Memory: Steps to a Better Brain

by agoldstein in WiSci

Running is good for your heart, lungs, and legs. Now research shows that it might improve your brain, too.... Read more »

Creer, D., Romberg, C., Saksida, L., van Praag, H., & Bussey, T. (2010) Running enhances spatial pattern separation in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(5), 2367-2372. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911725107  

Stroth, S., Hille, K., Spitzer, M., & Reinhardt, R. (2008) Aerobic endurance exercise benefits memory and affect in young adults. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 19(2), 223-243. DOI: 10.1080/09602010802091183  

Kannangara, T., Lucero, M., Gil-Mohapel, J., Drapala, R., Simpson, J., Christie, B., & van Praag, H. (2010) Running reduces stress and enhances cell genesis in aged mice. Neurobiology of Aging. DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2009.12.025  

  • July 28, 2010
  • 03:33 PM
  • 1,963 views

Fisheries Collapse: When Predator Becomes Prey

by Daniel Bassett in Chew the Fat

In marine ecosystems overfishing of top predators has led to major changes in ecosystem properties at the most basic level. This is likely to be because a change in the food web directly changes the feedback mechanisms that are inherent within any ecosystem. In marine ecosystems a typical pattern occurs after overfishing, which includes a low abundance of predatory fish and a high abundance of small, pelagic, forage fish. These small fish are themselves predators of the eggs and larvae of marine........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2010
  • 03:29 PM
  • 669 views

What do we do about placebo?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Body in Mind recently featured a piece on the ‘Moral Dilemma of Offering a Known Placebo’ in which Neil O’Connell talks about how the ‘placebo effect … in part rests on the effects of expectation, belief in the treatment and possibly a re-evaluation by the patient of their symptoms’. He was referring to treatments like … Read more... Read more »

  • July 28, 2010
  • 03:21 PM
  • 2,244 views

Climate and the Lion's Magnificent Mane

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

A lion's mane is more than just a bushy bunch of fur framing its face. It's a declaration of a lion's vitality, fighting prowess and dominance as well as an acknowledgement of the climate in which the lion lives. This is the conclusion made by scientists who studied nearly 300 lions in Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.

Only male lions (Panthera leo) grow manes—females lack the long fur around their face and neck. This difference in appearance between the sexes mean........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2010
  • 02:46 PM
  • 785 views

Models for the evolution of bacterial resistance

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

I wrote about Quorum Sensing recently, the ability of bacteria to communicate with each other via small molecules which they can both excrete and sense. A lot of the research done on quorum sensing aims to find ways to block the system, as it is one of the main communication methods used to switch on virulence genes, and other genes which make the bacteria more infectious, and more likely to cause harm.Blocking quorum sensing would not in theory kill the bacteria, but it would give more time for........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2010
  • 02:08 PM
  • 1,121 views

Flaws in a Living Donor Advocacy Program (and Study)

by Cristy at Living Donor 101 in Living Donors Are People Too

96% of living organ donors in the US are kidney donors, yet the death and complication rate of living liver donors has gotten much more media and public attention (not to mention high profile lawsuits). Consequently, centers have been much more apt to implement safeguards for liver programs, or even forced to by their state legislators (NY and NC). This particular article describes the advocacy program at University of Illinois Medical Center. In using a living organ donor, we put an otherwise h........ Read more »

Anderson-Shaw L, Schmidt ML, Elkin J, Chamberlin W, Benedetti E, & Testa G. (2005) Evolution of a living donor liver transplantation advocacy program. The Journal of clinical ethics, 16(1), 46-57. PMID: 15915845  

  • July 28, 2010
  • 01:03 PM
  • 577 views

Plankton Doom?

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Climate change may be taking the bloom off the plankton. Researchers say they’ve found “unequivocal” evidence of long-term declines in the ocean’s teeming populations of microscropic algae, which form the base of the marine food web. Warming surface waters appear to be a main culprit, the researchers report in today’s Nature.

Scientists have long studied […] Read More »... Read more »

Boyce, D., Lewis, M., & Worm, B. (2010) Global phytoplankton decline over the past century. Nature, 466(7306), 591-596. DOI: 10.1038/nature09268  

  • July 28, 2010
  • 12:32 PM
  • 1,363 views

Paleo Diet and Diabetes: Improved Cardiovascular Risk Factors

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog

Compared to a standard diabetic diet, a Paleolithic diet improves cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetics, according to investigators at Lund University in Sweden. Researchers compared the effects of a Paleo and a modern diabetic diet in 13 type 2 diabetic adults (10 men) with average hemoglobin A1c’s of 6.6% (under good control, then).  Most [...]... Read more »

  • July 28, 2010
  • 11:54 AM
  • 1,240 views

Existential thoughts

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

Can a model of a four-roomed apartment give insights into the existential process of career change?... Read more »

Cohen, B.N. (2003) Applying existential theory and intervention to career decision-making. Journal of Career Development, 29(3), 195-209. info:/10.1177/089484530302900306

Schultze, G., & Miller, C. (2004) The search for meaning and career development. Career Development International, 9(2), 142-152. DOI: 10.1108/13620430410526184  

Hind, P. (2005) Making room for career change. Career Development International, 10(4), 268-274. DOI: 10.1108/13620430510609118  

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