A new paper, published online in Nature this week, aims to resolve long-standing disputes within Arthropod phylogenetics. This work offers strong evidence for, and opens new, perplexing questions about, the deep evolutionary history of arthropods.
The phylum Arthropoda consists of four major subphyla:
Chelicerata – Arachnids, horseshoe crabs, sea spiders.
Myriapoda – Centipedes, millipedes.
Crustacea [...]... Read more »
Regier, J., Shultz, J., Zwick, A., Hussey, A., Ball, B., Wetzer, R., Martin, J., & Cunningham, C. (2010) Arthropod relationships revealed by phylogenomic analysis of nuclear protein-coding sequences. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08742
Thanks to Jezebel via Emily, here's a brilliant take on Beyonce's "Single Ladies": "Scholar Ladies". The geek in me approves! "If you learned it then you should have got an A on it." On a related note (as if you needed any more convincing to do your homework), let's bring up a discussion of girls and math performance. Did you know that the gender gap in mathematics is linked tomore general national rates of gender equality? In Iceland, girls outperform guys at math. Here's more:Hyde, J., & Mertz........ Read more »
we may be able to use heart rate variability (HRV) to help detect and so address depression - another stressor. A 2009 study has shown promising results in terms of using HRV to detect if someone is still suffering from the effects of depression. The study looked at folks who were returning to work after being off for depression, and having been cleared to come back to work.... Read more »
Takada, M., Ebara, T., & Kamijima, M. (2009) Heart rate variability assessment in Japanese workers recovered from depressive disorders resulting from job stress: measurements in the workplace. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. DOI: 10.1007/s00420-009-0499-1
It’s snowing like crazy here in New Jersey right now. Rutgers canceled all classes today and morning classes tomorrow, so I’ve got a lot of unexpected time off. Seeing all this snow is reminding me, as always, of Navajo linguistics. Words for “snow” play a disproportionately important role in understanding the history and dialectology of [...]... Read more »
Sapir, E. (1936) Internal Linguistic Evidence Suggestive of the Northern Origin of the Navaho. American Anthropologist, 38(2), 224-235. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1936.38.2.02a00040
Pregnant Mom Alert #523: Clear out your cosmetics. Ditch the deodorant. Trash your toiletries. Contact your Congressperson.Phthalates, again! In your beauty regime. Seems they harm your unborn baby's developing brain eventually turning them into aggressive, surly kids, maybe even criminals. So says a Mount Sinai study published online in this month's Environmental Health Perspectives, sure to alarm even the more placid of pregnant folk. After measuring phthalates in the urine of pregn........ Read more »
Engel, S., Miodovnik, A., Canfield, R., Zhu, C., Silva, M., Calafat, A., & Wolff, M. (2010) Prenatal Phthalate Exposure is Associated with Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901470
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
Today the American Psychiatric Association released a draft of the major changes that are expected in the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder – 5th Edition (DSM-V). While most people in the field will be underwhelmed by the relatively minor changes, there are a few areas where the DSM-V will [...]... Read more »
Brotman MA, Schmajuk M, Rich BA, Dickstein DP, Guyer AE, Costello EJ, Egger HL, Angold A, Pine DS, & Leibenluft E. (2006) Prevalence, clinical correlates, and longitudinal course of severe mood dysregulation in children. Biological psychiatry, 60(9), 991-7. PMID: 17056393
Detlev Arendt's lab at EMBL looks at the evolution of the central nervous system in Bilateria. A brand new letter in Nature, Ancient animal microRNAs and the evolution of tissue identity, explores the link between the birth of ancient microRNAs and body plan evolution.... Read more »
Christodoulou F, Raible F, Tomer R, Simakov O, Trachana K, Klaus S, Snyman H, Hannon GJ, Bork P, & Arendt D. (2010) Ancient animal microRNAs and the evolution of tissue identity. Nature. PMID: 20118916
Figure 1: Two models of Newton's universe. Newtonian gravity predicts that stars were packed together tightly in the beginning, and expanded out into space. Over time, the stars either would collapse back together or expand forever. (Source: John D. Norton)...... Read more »
Hubble, E. (1929) A Relation between Distance and Radial Velocity among Extra-Galactic Nebulae. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 15(3), 168-173. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.15.3.168
Every so often this cocaine vaccine issue rears its head again. I saw it again just the other day. The problem is, of course, the tendency of the media (ain't it always the media) to say something like "OMG THIS IS TEH CURE FOR EVERYTHING!" in response to one small study. And who knows, the cocaine vaccine may indeed be the cure for everything, but Sci needs to see some big trials before she gets her hopes up. As it is, the studies I have seen provide some interesting clues, but also provide........ Read more »
Haney, M., Gunderson, E., Jiang, H., Collins, E., & Foltin, R. (2010) Cocaine-Specific Antibodies Blunt the Subjective Effects of Smoked Cocaine in Humans. Biological Psychiatry, 67(1), 59-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.08.031
In the movie Roxanne, Steve Martin’s Cyrano-esque character has a scene where he’s supposed to drink from a small fluted wine glass, but his character’s large schnoz makes it impossible. That’s sort of the task faced by several birds species with large, lengthy bills.
Feeding is no small task for birds. Keep in mind that birds have no hands to manipulate their food, and a bird’s bill is completely inflexible. Imagine trying to eat without moving your lips.
Hornbills (like Aceros cass........ Read more »
Baussart, S., & Bels, V. (2010) Tropical hornbills (Aceros cassidix, Aceros undulatus, and Buceros hydrocorax) use ballistic transport to feed with their large beaks . Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology. DOI: 10.1002/jez.590
Turkeys have long been an important foodstuff in many parts of the world. In the U.S., not only has our post-colonial society been fueled by this fowl; historically, turkey meat, feathers, and bones have provided important uses for pre-contact Native Americans. But where did these birds come from? By examining the remains of turkeys from [...]... Read more »
Speller, C., Kemp, B., Wyatt, S., Monroe, C., Lipe, W., Arndt, U., & Yang, D. (2010) Ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals complexity of indigenous North American turkey domestication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909724107
A recent study in the American Academy of Neurology found that people with Alzheimer’s disease have a significantly reduced risk of being hospitalized for cancer.... Read more »
Roe CM, Fitzpatrick AL, Xiong C, Sieh W, Kuller L, Miller JP, Williams MM, Kopan R, Behrens MI, & Morris JC. (2010) Cancer linked to Alzheimer disease but not vascular dementia. Neurology, 74(2), 106-12. PMID: 20032288
This week, the headlines have made bold claims about a possible link between drinking too many fizzy drinks and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
The claims were based on a new study, led by Mark Pereira from the University of Minnesota and colleagues in Singapore. It was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and [...]... Read more »
Mueller, N., Odegaard, A., Anderson, K., Yuan, J., Gross, M., Koh, W., & Pereira, M. (2010) Soft Drink and Juice Consumption and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: The Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers , 19(2), 447-455. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0862
Predators lag prey in climate change adaptations
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Thackeray, S.J. et al. (2010) Trophic level asynchrony in rates of phenological change for marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02165.x
For anyone who has spent any time around a gym or even around fervent gym goers, you have probably heard the adage that chocolate milk is the ideal drink of choice post exercise to aid in recovery. In fact, dairy companies have put out commercials advertising the purported athletic benefits of drinking chocolate milk post exercise. I must admit that I personally love a 500ml carton of chocolate milk after my workouts. But is there any evidence to support all the hype?
Now, before I go any fur........ Read more »
... Read more »
SUTELA, T., & VEHANEN, T. (2009) Responses of fluvial fish assemblages to agriculture within the boreal zone. Fisheries Management and Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2400.2009.00711.x
[This post is based a question I got in response to a previous post but thought it deserved a short post on its own as there's a few interesting points.]
There’s been a lot of bad press recently for climate science but a lot of has focused on very minor issues. For example, most of [...]... Read more »
A recent blog post at National Public Radio’s “Cosmos And Culture” by astrophysicist Adam Frank has raised my hackles. The post, titled “The Evolution Debate Is Over; It's Time To Move Forward,” argues that “it's time to put the prejudices that drag down discussion between science and the domains of human spiritual endeavor aside.”
... Read more »
Sopona, the Yoruba god of smallpox
A while ago I listed a number of reasons why smallpox was eradicated, whereas other diseases haven’t been (yet). One of the reasons was that the vaccine against smallpox1 is so effective. Vaccinia immunization induces immunity for an extraordinarily long time — memory immune responses have been shown for [...]... Read more »
Liu, L., Zhong, Q., Tian, T., Dubin, K., Athale, S., & Kupper, T. (2010) Epidermal injury and infection during poxvirus immunization is crucial for the generation of highly protective T cell–mediated immunity. Nature Medicine, 16(2), 224-227. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2078
MAHNKE, K., JOHNSON, T., RING, S., & ENK, A. (2007) Tolerogenic dendritic cells and regulatory T cells: A two-way relationship. Journal of Dermatological Science, 46(3), 159-167. DOI: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2007.03.002
Roukens, A., Vossen, A., Bredenbeek, P., van Dissel, J., & Visser, L. (2008) Intradermally Administered Yellow Fever Vaccine at Reduced Dose Induces a Protective Immune Response: A Randomized Controlled Non-Inferiority Trial. PLoS ONE, 3(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001993
Scientists have examined how well our planet's biodiversity and carbon stocks overlap. The findings from their study could have major implications for the future of global conservation work...... Read more »
Strassburg, B., Kelly, A., Balmford, A., Davies, R., Gibbs, H., Lovett, A., Miles, L., Orme, C., Price, J., Turner, R.... (2010) Global congruence of carbon storage and biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2009.00092.x
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