Post List

  • November 6, 2009
  • 10:29 PM

The Search For Genetic Polymorphisms of Human Longevity

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Some people have better genes than other people; such is the luck of the draw. The effects of most genetic differences on human longevity appear to be small in comparison to the effects produced by lifestyle choices, however. You are still the master of your own destiny in that regard. Time wasted in wishing you had a better variant of FOXO3A would be better spent exercising. A great deal of modern life science research is focused on deciphering the operation of our genes and metabolism. Along t........ Read more »

  • November 6, 2009
  • 09:00 PM

Cancer Research Blog Carnival #27

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

We are honored to have been invited to host this month’s Cancer Research Blog Carnival (CRBC), your monthly roundup of posts from the cancer blogosphere. This marks the 27th Edition of this successful Carnival and we are excited to be a part of it.

In this edition, and in agreement with the spirit of our blog, MolBio Research Highlights, we’ve favored posts with a molecular biology/genetics orientation.... Read more »

Yeager, M., Chatterjee, N., Ciampa, J., Jacobs, K., Gonzalez-Bosquet, J., Hayes, R., Kraft, P., Wacholder, S., Orr, N., Berndt, S.... (2009) Identification of a new prostate cancer susceptibility locus on chromosome 8q24. Nature Genetics, 41(10), 1055-1057. DOI: 10.1038/ng.444  

Shay, J., & Keith, W. (2008) Targeting telomerase for cancer therapeutics. British Journal of Cancer, 98(4), 677-683. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604209  

  • November 6, 2009
  • 02:57 PM

charles darwin and otto hahn’s alien fossils

by Greg Fish in weird things

Just because Darwin wouldn’t discuss the origin of life in his work, doesn’t mean he didn’t have an opinion on the matter. And that opinion is actually pretty close to modern scientific thinking, that living things are products of chemistry rather than something requiring divine intervention. A recent paper cataloguing Darwin’s notes on the subject [...]... Read more »

Peretó, J., Bada, J., & Lazcano, A. (2009) Charles Darwin and the Origin of Life. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 39(5), 395-406. DOI: 10.1007/s11084-009-9172-7  

  • November 6, 2009
  • 12:56 PM

Baby it hurts: birth practices and postpartum pain

by Amy Romano in Science & Sensibility

Ask a bunch of expectant women what worries them about labor, and chances are many of them will say, “the pain.”  Much is made about pain in labor. Women prepare for it, nurses constantly assess it, anesthesiology departments exist to eliminate it, and so on. But while there are many experiences of labor pain, just [...]... Read more »

  • November 6, 2009
  • 12:50 PM

The illusion of time: Perceiving the effect before the cause

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

A novel temporal illusion, in which the cause of an event is perceived to occur after the event itself, provides some insight into the brain mechanisms underlying conscious perception. The illusion, described in the journal Current Biology by a team of researchers from France, suggests that the unconscious representation of a visual object is processed for around one tenth of a second before it enters conscious awareness.

Chien-Te Wu and his colleagues at the Brain and Cognition Research Centre........ Read more »

Wu, C.-T., et al. (2009) The Temporal Interplay between Conscious and Unconscious Perceptual Streams. Curr. Biol. . info:/10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.017

  • November 6, 2009
  • 11:16 AM

Obesity as a Disorder of Neural Function

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

One of the most interesting (and most complicated) things about obesity is its very strong neural component. Now of course at its most basic level, body weight comes down to the balance of energy intake versus energy expenditure. Unfortunately, many aspects of this energy balance equation are outside the influence of conscious control. The brain is constantly sensing nutrients like glucose, and hormones like leptin and insulin in order to determine current energy stores, and using this inform........ Read more »

  • November 6, 2009
  • 08:11 AM

Earthquakes within plates: we don't know when, and we may not know where

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

Ed has already given the lowdown on a new study in Nature which might lead to a rethink on earthquake hazards in the continental interior. Plate tectonics treats plates as entirely rigid entities, but continental crust is too weak, and too riddled with faults left over from when it was close to a plate boundary, for it to entirely hold up when subjected to the stresses of plate motion. So although a very large proportion of the Earth's earthquakes occur at plate boundaries, there is also some ........ Read more »

  • November 6, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

The fate of tall grass prairie remnants in North America...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

North American tall grass prairie holds an unfortunate distinction of having faced one of the highest conversion rates of any ecosystem in the world. In Manitoba, 99% of the historic tall grass prairie has been lost, mostly to agriculture.

So if 99% is gone, how is the remaining 1% making out?... Read more »

Koper, N., et al. (2009) Recent declines in northern tall-grass prairies and effects of patch structure on community persistence . Biological Conservation. info:/

  • November 6, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Is yearly influenza vaccination of children a bad idea?

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The suggestion that yearly immunization against influenza might make children more susceptible to serious disease during a pandemic has generated some controversy. Does this idea have merit?... Read more »

Bodewes R, Kreijtz JH, & Rimmelzwaan GF. (2009) Yearly influenza vaccinations: a double-edged sword?. The Lancet infectious diseases. PMID: 19879807  

Heikkinen T, & Peltola V. (2009) Influenza vaccination of children. The Lancet infectious diseases. PMID: 19879806  

  • November 6, 2009
  • 07:20 AM

Gene therapy can work!

by Heather Etchevers in A Developing Passion

I am basking in the reflected glory of working at an institution that has more or less successfully applied gene therapy to alleviate the suffering of children with incurable genetic diseases. And they’re fighting the good fight, because sometimes, they win. Here, I discuss how they did it, and why.... Read more »

Cartier, N., Hacein-Bey-Abina, S., Bartholomae, C., Veres, G., Schmidt, M., Kutschera, I., Vidaud, M., Abel, U., Dal-Cortivo, L., Caccavelli, L.... (2009) Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Therapy with a Lentiviral Vector in X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy. Science, 326(5954), 818-823. DOI: 10.1126/science.1171242  

  • November 6, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

A Small Sip from the Fountain of Youth

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The search for eternal youth is as old as time itself. The theme of immortality winds its way through religion, mythology, poetry, fiction, and modern movies. Usually, stories of those who have achieved immortality expose the curse of eternal life, rather than the blessing of perpetual youth. While living forever may never be possible, life [...]... Read more »

Christensen, K., Doblhammer, G., Rau, R., & Vaupel, J. (2009) Ageing populations: the challenges ahead. The Lancet, 374(9696), 1196-1208. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61460-4  

Selman, C., Tullet, J., Wieser, D., Irvine, E., Lingard, S., Choudhury, A., Claret, M., Al-Qassab, H., Carmignac, D., Ramadani, F.... (2009) Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinase 1 Signaling Regulates Mammalian Life Span. Science, 326(5949), 140-144. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177221  

  • November 6, 2009
  • 04:42 AM

No Beer Today

by Jan Husdal in

I’m not in the habit of making Friday a day for funny blog posts, but today’s article highlights a very interesting issue: Beer distribution is a sector that will be highly affected by a supply chain distribution. You could even say that beer distribution is part of our critical infrastructure.
... Read more »

McKinnon, Alan. (2006) Life Without Trucks: The Impact of a Temporary Disruption of Road Freight Transport on a National Economy. Journal of Business Logistics, 27(2), 227-250. info:other/1199682841

  • November 6, 2009
  • 02:27 AM

Blog writing for professionalism in medical education

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Had an idea to use writing of a blog for a minor in medical education. The idea was sacrificed for other options for minors. Seems that blogs in medical education can promote reflection and professionalism. Professionalism being one of the CanMed competences used in medical education and one of the most important ones not easily [...]

Related posts:Gender and Medical Education Time for a round up of some posts around...Medical Education Evaluated With Twitter The course in their third year ........ Read more »

  • November 6, 2009
  • 01:25 AM

Lost apples found

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

It is an incontestable fact that of 7100 named varieties of apples grown in the United States in the 1800s, 6800 are extinct, “no longer to be seen again” according to Cary Fowler.
Or, maybe not.
A press release gives an insight into a study on the Identification of Historic Apple Trees in the Southwestern United [...]... Read more »

Kanin J. Routson, Ann A. Reilley, Adam D. Henk, & Gayle M. Volk. (2009) Identification of Historic Apple Trees in the Southwestern United States and Implications for Conservation. Horticultural Science, 589-594. info:/

  • November 6, 2009
  • 12:15 AM

Friday Weird Science: The Stuttering Priapism

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Who would have thought Sci would be running a normal pub-med search, for something COMPLETELY not weird science material, and come across...this? Truly, it was meant to be!

This case report is probably one of the weirdest things I've seen all week, and kept Sci scratching her head as to the possible mechanism. Also, it is, without a doubt, one of the most incredibly embarrassing thing to ever happen to a 15-year-old. And you thought YOUR teenage stories were bad...

Scwartz and Rushton. "St........ Read more »

  • November 5, 2009
  • 10:10 PM

Antivirals and resistance: Adamantanes

by Atila Iamarino in Influenza A (H1N1) Blog – English

In the case of a pandemic, and during the seasonal epidemics, once a person has already contracted the influenza, we can do little, other than monitor and treat him with antivirals. However, they are not always a guarantee of success, especially in the case of resistant viruses.
Amantadine and rimantadine are the first drugs used against [...]... Read more »

Davies, W., Grunert, R., Haff, R., McGahen, J., Neumayer, E., Paulshock, M., Watts, J., Wood, T., Hermann, E., & Hoffmann, C. (1964) Antiviral Activity of 1-Adamantanamine (Amantadine). Science, 144(3620), 862-863. DOI: 10.1126/science.144.3620.862  

Pielak, R., Schnell, J., & Chou, J. (2009) Mechanism of drug inhibition and drug resistance of influenza A M2 channel. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(18), 7379-7384. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0902548106  

Weinstock, D. (2006) Adamantane Resistance in Influenza A. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. DOI: 10.1001/jama.295.8.jed60009  

  • November 5, 2009
  • 09:39 PM

It’s Not Just Carbon

by teofilo in Follow the Energy

Most of the discussion of climate change and options for mitigating it has focused on carbon dioxide emissions and the potential for reducing them.  This is reasonable enough, since carbon dioxide is by far the most abundant greenhouse gas, and it’s fiendishly difficult to do anything about once it’s emitted.  It stays in the atmosphere [...]... Read more »

VANVUUREN, D., WEYANT, J., & DELACHESNAYE, F. (2006) Multi-gas scenarios to stabilize radiative forcing. Energy Economics, 28(1), 102-120. DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2005.10.003  

  • November 5, 2009
  • 08:32 PM

Why "where" cannot be a sensory processing stream

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

There is debate about the nature of the dorsal auditory processing stream. Some folks, Josef Rauschecker in particular, argue for a dorsal "where" stream, whereas others, Hickok & Poeppel and Warren et al., argue for a sensory-motor integration (sometimes called "how") stream. Here's why the "where" hypothesis can't, in principle, be right. Spatial information associated with an auditory signal is a stimulus feature much like pitch. We don't talk about a "pitch stream" however. Why not? Beca........ Read more »

  • November 5, 2009
  • 07:29 PM

The Politics of Psychopharmacology

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

It's always nice when a local boy makes good in the big wide world. Many British neuroscientists and psychiatrists have been feeling rather proud this week following the enormous amount of attention given to Professor David Nutt, formerly the British government's chief adviser on illegal drugs.Formerly being the key word. Nutt was sacked (...write your own "nutsack" pun if you must) last Friday, prompting a remarkable amount of condemnation. Critics included the rest of his former organisation, ........ Read more »

Nature. (2009) A drug-induced low. Nature, 462(7269), 11-12. DOI: 10.1038/462011b  

Daniel Cressey. (2009) Sacked science adviser speaks out. Nature. info:/

  • November 5, 2009
  • 07:19 PM

The Genomic Ark: 10,000 vertebrate genomes

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

The first bioinformatics meeting I went to was in 1996 at the  Nachsholim resort,  north of Tel Aviv. I received a fellowship for the duration, and shared a room with the brilliant Golan Yona, then a grad student at the Hebrew University. I was doing biochemistry at the time and knew next to nothing about [...]... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit