We all know that linear polymers of amino acids (proteins) adopt complex three-dimensional structures when they are dissolved in water. The process of forming these structures is called folding, and it is understood to occur because proteins are amphiphilic. Some parts of a protein chain like to interact with water (hydrophilic), while others are oily and want to get out of water (hydrophobic). Folding of the chain sticks all the oily parts together on the inside of the structure while the parts........ Read more »
The skeleton of the Hundsheim rhinoceros, Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis. From Kahlke and Kaiser, 2010.
In any given environment, it might be expected that a generalized or unspecialized species might be less prone to extinction than one which depends upon a narrow temperature range, a peculiar kind of food, or other aspect of natural history which is key to its survival. An herbivorous mammal which can subsist on a variety of grasses, leaves, and other plant foods, for example, may be more l........ Read more »
Kahlke, R., & Kaiser, T. (2010) Generalism as a subsistence strategy: advantages and limitations of the highly flexible feeding traits of Pleistocene Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis (Rhinocerotidae, Mammalia)☆. Quaternary Science Reviews. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.12.012
What have people been talking about this week in high energy physics, astrophysics, gravitation, general relativity and quantum gravity, and a little bit of quantum mechanics?... Read more »
Lyne, A., Hobbs, G., Kramer, M., Stairs, I., & Stappers, B. (2010) Switched Magnetospheric Regulation of Pulsar Spin-Down. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1186683
H. Rampadarath, M. A. Garrett, G. I. G. Józsa, T. Muxlow, T. A. Oosterloo, Z. Paragi1, R. Beswick, H. van Arkel, W. C. Keel, & K. Schawinski. (2010) Hanny's Voorwerp: Evidence of AGN activity and a nuclear starburst in the central regions of IC 2497. arXiv. arXiv: 1006.4096v1
Norbert Przybilla, Alfred Tillich, Ulrich Heber, & Ralf-Dieter Scholz. (2010) Weighing the Galactic dark matter halo: a lower mass limit from the fastest halo star known. arXiv. arXiv: 1005.5026v1
Andresen, G., Bertsche, W., Bowe, P., Bray, C., Butler, E., Cesar, C., Chapman, S., Charlton, M., Fajans, J., & Fujiwara, M. (2010) Antihydrogen formation dynamics in a multipolar neutral anti-atom trap. Physics Letters B, 685(2-3), 141-145. DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2010.01.066
Shaun A. Thomas, Filipe B. Abdalla, & Ofer Lahav. (2010) Upper bound of 0.28 eV on neutrino masses from the largest photometric redshift survey. |Physical Review Letters. info:/
The CDMS II Collaboration. (2010) Dark Matter Search Results from the CDMS II Experiment. Science, 327(5973), 1619-1621. DOI: 10.1126/science.1186112
Tarun Biswas. (2010) Through the Black Hole -- On Not Breaking Time Reversal Symmetry. arXiv. arXiv: 1006.4185v1
A. Garrett Lisi. (2010) An Explicit Embedding of Gravity and the Standard Model in E8. arXiv. arXiv: 1006.4908v1
Ian D. Leroux, Monika H. Schleier-Smith, & Vladan Vuletić. (2010) Orientation-Dependent Entanglement Lifetime in a Squeezed Atomic Clock. Physical Review Letters. info:/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.250801
Last week, Dmitry Budker's group at Berkeley published a paper in Physical Review Letters (also free on the arxiv) with the somewhat drab title "Spectroscopic Test of Bose-Einsten Statistics for Photons." Honestly, I probably wouldn't've noticed it, even though this is the sort of precision AMO test of physics that I love, had it not been for the awesome press release Berkeley put together, and this image in particular (grabbed with its caption):
This is a nifty paper, and deserves a little e........ Read more »
English, D., Yashchuk, V., & Budker, D. (2010) Spectroscopic Test of Bose-Einstein Statistics for Photons. Physical Review Letters, 104(25). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.253604
A recent paper of mine illustrates the deleterious effects of alcohol on circadian physiology, indicating that disruptions of circadian systems may be an underlying neurobehavioral etiology of alcoholism.... Read more »
Brager AJ, Ruby CL, Prosser RA, & Glass JD. (2010) Chronic Ethanol Disrupts Circadian Photic Entrainment and Daily Locomotor Activity in the Mouse. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research. PMID: 20477766
A million years ago (truly, ask my daughter if I’m that old!) I completed several papers in postgraduate ergonomics, primarily physical and organisational ergonomics rather than cognitive, and for a while there I could recall the NIOSH lifting equation and even discuss biomechanics with some confidence. Sad to say, over the years, my familiarity with … Read more... Read more »
Driessen, M., Proper, K., van Tulder, M., Anema, J., Bongers, P., & van der Beek, A. (2010) The effectiveness of physical and organisational ergonomic interventions on low back pain and neck pain: a systematic review. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 67(4), 277-285. DOI: 10.1136/oem.2009.047548
Circadian clocks control a large number of daily processes in most organisms. These endogenous cellular timekeepers regulate rhythms in gene expression, physiology and behaviour and enable organisms to anticipate predictable environmental variations.
Circadian clocks are composed of a central oscillator and two signaling pathways: input pathways convey external signals to the oscillator, so ... Read more »
Vitalini MW, Morgan LW, March IJ, & Bell-Pedersen D. (2004) A genetic selection for circadian output pathway mutations in Neurospora crassa. Genetics, 167(1), 119-29. PMID: 15166141
The preening oil that wild waterbirds spread over their feathers may be acting as a magnet for avian flu viruses, according to a PLoS ONE study.
Researchers studied 345 mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) in Italy and found that 27 percent of the birds tested positive for avian flu virus on their feathers. When feather tufts or […] Read More »... Read more »
Delogu, M. et al. (2010) Can Preening Contribute to Influenza A Virus Infection in Wild Waterbirds?. PLoS ONE, 5(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011315
by Michael Yarmolinsky in Small Things Considered
by Michael Yarmolinsky
Patrons of upscale seafood restaurants are given the opportunity to see that the unfortunate creatures destined for the lobster pot are waving their antennae about. Savvy customers at downscale seafood markets evaluate questionable claims of freshness by smell. A fastidious bacteriophage would welcome the opportunity to gauge the quality of a potential meal, if only it could make that assessment. I was recently reminded, in the course of disposing of old reprints, that ........ Read more »
Samuel AD, Pitta TP, Ryu WS, Danese PN, Leung EC, & Berg HC. (1999) Flagellar determinants of bacterial sensitivity to chi-phage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 96(17), 9863-6. PMID: 10449785
AstraZeneca's Gefitinib (Iressa) has had a bit of a chequered history since it's fast track approval by the the Japanese Health Authority in 2002 and the FDA in 2003 for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, since the phase III...... Read more »
Maemondo M, Inoue A, Kobayashi K, Sugawara S, Oizumi S, Isobe H, Gemma A, Harada M, Yoshizawa H, Kinoshita I.... (2010) Gefitinib or chemotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer with mutated EGFR. The New England journal of medicine, 362(25), 2380-8. PMID: 20573926
Photoactivation is the property of a molecule of being capable of pronounced changes in its chemical properties in response to irradiation with light of a specific wavelength and intensity. This feature provides unique possibilities for the design of new strategies aimed at the spatio-temporal deciphering of molecular pathwhays occuring in living cells, organelles and intracellular molecules. Here, I spotlight two recent applications: from photoactivable nucleotides to photoactivable proteins.
........ Read more »
Hafner, M., Landthaler, M., Burger, L., Khorshid, M., Hausser, J., Berninger, P., Rothballer, A., Ascano Jr., M., Jungkamp, A., & Munschauer, M. (2010) Transcriptome-wide Identification of RNA-Binding Protein and MicroRNA Target Sites by PAR-CLIP. Cell, 141(1), 129-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.03.009
What does faulting do to a rock 2 miles beneath the Earth's surface? Thanks to the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) project, which retrieved samples across an active segment of the San Andreas Fault from 3000m below the Earth's surface, we can answer this question: it turns it into fragments a little like this:
Polished and striated rock chip from fault zone in SAFOD borehole. Source: Schleicher et al., Fig. 1B.
Anja Schleicher and her co-authors found abundant fragments like ........ Read more »
Schleicher, A., van der Pluijm, B., & Warr, L. (2010) Nanocoatings of clay and creep of the San Andreas fault at Parkfield, California. Geology, 38(7), 667-670. DOI: 10.1130/G31091.1
Over geologic time scales, the Earth naturally captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through weathering of silicate rocks and sequesters it via the production of carbonate rocks. Ultimately, subduction can return these rocks to the Earth’s interior and carbon dioxide is once again emitted into the atmosphere by volcanism. Thus, understanding the history of erosion [...]... Read more »
Willenbring, J., & von Blanckenburg, F. (2010) Long-term stability of global erosion rates and weathering during late-Cenozoic cooling. Nature, 465(7295), 211-214. DOI: 10.1038/nature09044
The photoswitching capability of azobenzenes has recently been used extensively in photoreactive supramolecular materials. One of the most astonishing uses of azonenzene photoswitching is the reversible association of these molecules with certain cyclodextrines. Azobenzenes change their structure reversibly under irradiation. There’s a cis-form and a trans-form, and photoisomerisation happens reliably wavelengths of 350 (trans –> [...]... Read more »
Nalluri, S., & Ravoo, B. (2010) Lichtgesteuerte molekulare Erkennung und Adhäsion von Vesikeln. Angewandte Chemie. DOI: 10.1002/ange.201001442
by Robert Deyes in Promega Connections
The Vuvuzela. What is it? World cup soccer fans know it well and have described it in every way possible, occasionally with words of endearment but more often with an air of disdain. The dictionary defines it as a stadium horn that is approximately 2 feet long and produces a long monotone sound. And boy does that sound [...]... Read more »
Castellano, J., Casamichana, D. (2010) Heart rate and motion analysis by GPS in beach soccer. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 9(1), 98-103. info:/
The current dogma is that our kids are getting bigger because of sedentariness and inactivity. Based on this dogma, attempts at reversing the childhood obesity epidemic focus largely on increasing physical activity -so far with little to show for.
Now, a study by Brad Metcalf and colleagues from Plymouth, UK, published online in the Archives of [...]... Read more »
Metcalf BS, Hosking J, Jeffery AN, Voss LD, Henley W, & Wilkin TJ. (2010) Fatness leads to inactivity, but inactivity does not lead to fatness: a longitudinal study in children (EarlyBird 45). Archives of disease in childhood. PMID: 20573741
Important news from San Francisco neuroscientists Stuber et al: Dopaminergic Terminals in the Nucleus Accumbens But Not the Dorsal Striatum Corelease Glutamate.The finding's right there in the title: dopamine is a neurotransmitter, and so is glutamate. Stuber et al found (in mice) that many of the cells that release dopamine also simultaneously release glutamate - specifically, almost all of the cells that project to the nucleus accumbens, involved in pleasure and motivation, also release glutam........ Read more »
Stuber, G., Hnasko, T., Britt, J., Edwards, R., & Bonci, A. (2010) Dopaminergic Terminals in the Nucleus Accumbens But Not the Dorsal Striatum Corelease Glutamate. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(24), 8229-8233. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1754-10.2010
This is the second instalment of “Proud & Majestic” but another title fit better and it stands proudly and majestically on it’s own. In this post, I want to tell you a story. Indeed, it is one of the best stories because it is true (and artistic licence is obvious and mine and mine alone). [...]... Read more »
Yeakel, J., Patterson, B., Fox-Dobbs, K., Okumura, M., Cerling, T., Moore, J., Koch, P., & Dominy, N. (2009) From the Cover: Cooperation and individuality among man-eating lions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(45), 19040-19043. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905309106
Packer, C., Ikanda, D., Kissui, B., & Kushnir, H. (2005) Conservation biology: Lion attacks on humans in Tanzania. Nature, 436(7053), 927-928. DOI: 10.1038/436927a
Our bodies are made of millions upon millions of tiny cells. One of the biggest challenges for researchers studying cancer is to find out what individual cells are doing as they change from a healthy state to a cancerous one. But many lab techniques only give an overview of a large population of cells, either [...]... Read more »
Connelly, J., Gautrot, J., Trappmann, B., Tan, D., Donati, G., Huck, W., & Watt, F. (2010) Actin and serum response factor transduce physical cues from the microenvironment to regulate epidermal stem cell fate decisions. Nature Cell Biology. DOI: 10.1038/ncb2074
How do evaluate medical students and residents, who are rotating through your Emergency Department? Do you have a structured framework for assessing their competencies?Have you heard of the RIME method of evaluating learners on their clinical rotation? Dr. Lou Pangaro (Vice Chair for Educational Programs in the Dept of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University) published a landmark article in 1999 on his simple yet effective approach in evaluating medical students and residents. I had the pl........ Read more »
Pangaro, L. (1999) A new vocabulary and other innovations for improving descriptive in-training evaluations. Academic Medicine, 74(11), 1203-7. DOI: 10.1097/00001888-199911000-00012
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