Post List

  • March 4, 2010
  • 03:44 AM

cold? what cold? it’s the uv rays that’ll kill you

by Greg Fish in weird things

It’s not that Mars is hostile to life as we know it, it’s just that even the toughest terrestrial microorganisms able to survive a big gamma ray burst from a nearby nuclear reactor die within ten minutes of exposure to a close simulation to the conditions on the red planet’s surface. That seems to be [...]... Read more »

Giuseppe Galletta; Giulio Bertoloni; Maurizio D'Alessandro. (2010) Bacterial survival in Martian conditions. Planetary and Space Science . arXiv: 1002.4077v1

  • March 4, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

ChIP-Seq used to examine diverse roles of transcription factors

by epibio in EpiCentral

Zhong et al. (Yale University)* developed an experimental pipeline in C. elegans to identify transcription factor binding sites, using chromatin-immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing (ChIP-Seq).... Read more »

  • March 4, 2010
  • 02:31 AM

In the News this month: emission from methane in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet

by Megan in Rigel

In just fifteen years, have been discovered around stars other than the Sun using a variety of techniques. Even without the ability to directly image these other worlds, some of their properties can be determined. Most extra solar planets found so far are massive orbiting close to their parent stars, since these are the types of planets that the detection methods are most sensitive to. As develop and improve, astronomers are finding out more and more about these other worlds, including the co........ Read more »

Swain, M., Deroo, P., Griffith, C., Tinetti, G., Thatte, A., Vasisht, G., Chen, P., Bouwman, J., Crossfield, I., Angerhausen, D.... (2010) A ground-based near-infrared emission spectrum of the exoplanet HD 189733b. Nature, 463(7281), 637-639. DOI: 10.1038/nature08775  

  • March 4, 2010
  • 01:58 AM

In the News this month: the molecular content of early galaxies

by Megan in Rigel

A long-standing question in the study of is whether the process was more efficient in the early universe than it is today. Stars form through the collapse of clouds of cold gas. As the collapse progresses, the of the cloud gets denser and hotter until begins and a star is born. In the local universe, however, cold molecular gas is relatively rare so star formation occurs slowly; the Milky Way forms new stars at a rate of only a few per year. More distant galaxies formed stars at a much higher........ Read more »

Tacconi, L., Genzel, R., Neri, R., Cox, P., Cooper, M., Shapiro, K., Bolatto, A., Bouché, N., Bournaud, F., Burkert, A.... (2010) High molecular gas fractions in normal massive star-forming galaxies in the young Universe. Nature, 463(7282), 781-784. DOI: 10.1038/nature08773  

  • March 4, 2010
  • 01:16 AM

In the News this month: the explosion mechanism behind type Ia supernovae

by Megan in Rigel

Supernova explosions are initially by the chemical signatures in their optical spectra. While some are caused by the catastrophic collapse of stars more than eight times as massive as the Sun, others are thought to be caused by , stars like the Sun which have already evolved off the main sequence and shrunk in size. Called Type Ia supernovae, such explosions are thought to have a fixed brightness, allowing them to be used as to measure distances to galaxies and test cosmological models of the ........ Read more »

  • March 4, 2010
  • 12:13 AM

Bio-ontologies for everyone with new Microsoft Word Add-in

by Abhishek Tiwari in Fisheye Perspective

A latest paper in BMC Bioinformatics describes a Microsoft Word Add-in for ontology recognition. Tool is freely available from Codeplex portal and as prerequisite you will need Microsoft Word 2007. This add-in enables the annotation of scientific documents based on terms that appear in ontologies and controlled vocabularies. I am sure this tool is going to fuel the debate on the article of the future as like everyone else I think that the next generation of scientific articles will be semantic r........ Read more »

Fink, J., Fernicola, P., Chandran, R., Parastitidas, S., Wade, A., Naim, O., Quinn, G., & Bourne, P. (2010) Word add-in for ontology recognition: semantic enrichment of scientific literature. BMC Bioinformatics, 11(1), 103. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-11-103  

  • March 3, 2010
  • 11:38 PM

Science predicted the Chile’s Earthquake

by Pablo Astudillo in astu's science blog

I am finally back, repairing some of the damages in our labs. The situation in Chile is not good. The deaths are raising slowly, but continoulsy, over 800 people now. Also, some data regarding thousands of missing people is also of great concern.
Regarding to science, several laboratories have reported serious damages, including lost of data, [...]... Read more »

Ruegg, J., Rudloff, A., Vigny, C., Madariaga, R., de Chabalier, J., Campos, J., Kausel, E., Barrientos, S., & Dimitrov, D. (2009) Interseismic strain accumulation measured by GPS in the seismic gap between Constitución and Concepción in Chile. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 175(1-2), 78-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.pepi.2008.02.015  

Richard A. Kerr. (2010) Did Darwin Help Predict Chilean Quake?. Science Now. info:/

  • March 3, 2010
  • 06:24 PM

Comparing Child and Adult Brains: How to Account for Performance Differences?

by Livia in Reading and Word Recognition Research

In an ideal world, we’d be able to study maturational brain changes by scanning a group of adults, a group of children, and comparing the brain images. Unfortunately, there are complications.

One complication is that these studies usually require doing some kind of task in the scanner, and children usually have lower accuracy and longer reaction times on this task. These differences,

... Read more »

  • March 3, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

March Madness Preview: Neuroscience Edition

by Allison in Dormivigilia

This week in Neuro Journal Club, I discussed a recent Journal of Neuroscience publication finding high activation of attentional and premotor planning areas of the brain during the recall of basketball game plays in avid Duke and UNC fans. The Duke fans had faster recall vs. the UNC fans, despite no differences in activation intensity within these brain areas.
... Read more »

  • March 3, 2010
  • 04:00 PM

Peering into my Johari window

by Euan in Dr Euan Lawson| Doctor Writer

The Johari window was first developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham and it is now often quoted in medical education when considering learning needs. Most GPs live in fear of the unknown unknowns it describes in that bottom right corner. I know the areas I am weak on and I have learned to live [...]... Read more »

  • March 3, 2010
  • 03:15 PM

Darwinius Is Not a Human Ancestor

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

      Artist rendering of Darwinius.        Image: Julius T. CsotonyiLast year's publication of the fossil primate Darwinius masillae claimed it to be the oldest haplorhine primate ever discovered and a multimedia blitz campaign touted the find as the ultimate "missing link" (an erroneous term that should forthwith be forbidden to all science journalists). Brian Switek at Laelaps (who has an excellent review of this paper) m........ Read more »

  • March 3, 2010
  • 02:11 PM

He Said, She Said

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Pesticide reverses sex of some male frogs

... Read more »

  • March 3, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

How do taxonomic preferences shape conservation and science?

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate analysis of the frequency and depth of research based on the mammal, reptile, amphibian and bird species in southern Africa. The study questions scientific priorities, highlighting the massive inequality of attention received by differing groups of organisms.... Read more »

TRIMBLE, M., & VAN AARDE, R. (2010) Species Inequality in Scientific Study. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01453.x  

  • March 3, 2010
  • 12:42 PM

Porn is good for you

by Bryan in Imaging Geek

Science has some good news for any pornhounds that may be out there. Porn may be good for you.Its long been though that porn is associated with a range of negative social attitudes; including promoting sexual violence and negative attitudes towards women. Turns out that, at least in the case of these two issues, this doesn't appear to be the case.In a finding sure to piss off some feminists:Now let’s look at attitudes towards women. Studies of men who had seen X-rated movies found that they ........ Read more »

  • March 3, 2010
  • 12:15 PM

The ability to recognize faces is inherited

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

THE perception and recognition of faces is crucial for the social situations we encounter every day. From the moment we are born, we prefer looking at faces than at inanimate objects, because the brain is geared to perceive them, and has specialized mechanisms for doing so. Such is the importance of the face to everyday life, that we see faces everywhere, even when they are not there.We know that the ability to recognize faces varies among individuals. Some people are born with prosopagnosia, th........ Read more »

Wilmer, J., Germine, L., Chabris, C., Chatterjee, G., Williams, M., Loken, E., Nakayama, K., & Duchaine, B. (2010) Human face recognition ability is specific and highly heritable. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913053107  

Zhu, Q., Song, Y., Hu, S., Li, X., Tian, M., Zhen, Z., Dong, Q., Kanwisher, N., & Liu, J. (2010) Heritability of the Specific Cognitive Ability of Face Perception. Current Biology, 20(2), 137-142. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.11.067  

  • March 3, 2010
  • 12:14 PM

Porn is Good For You

by Bryan in Imaging Geek

Its long been though that porn is associated with a range of negative social attitudes; including promoting sexual violence and negative attitudes towards women. Turns out that, at least in the case of these two issues, this doesn't appear to be the case.... Read more »

  • March 3, 2010
  • 10:55 AM

Radar Deterrents Save Bats

by Anne-Marie Hodge in Endless Forms

Harvesting wind power is a fast-growing form of alternative energy technology, and U.S. interest in the wind industry is growing, as we work towards diversifying our energy grid. New turbines are being erected across the nation, and the prospects for...... Read more »

  • March 3, 2010
  • 10:51 AM


by Erika Cule in Blogging the PhD

In February of this year, my supervisor at the time circulated to the members of his group Professor David Nutt's article (*pdf*) Equasy - An overlooked addiction with implications for the current debate on drug harms [1]. At the time,...... Read more »

Nutt D. (2009) Estimating drug harms: a risky business?. Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. info:other/

  • March 3, 2010
  • 10:07 AM

“Bird” Wrists Evolved Among Dinosaurs

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

If there is one persistent gripe that paleontologists have with dinosaurs on screen, it is that their hands are usually wrong. From Tyrannosaurus to Velociraptor, predatory dinosaurs are time and again shown with their hands in a palms-down position, something that would have been anatomically impossible (at least without moving the arms to which those [...]... Read more »

Corwin Sullivan, David W. E. Hone, Xing Xu and Fucheng Zhang. (2010) The asymmetry of the carpal joint and the evolution of wing folding in maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. info:/10.1098/rspb.2009.2281

  • March 3, 2010
  • 08:45 AM

Tip of the Week: Caleydo for gene expression and pathway visualization

by Mary in OpenHelix

Recently while watching the #bioinformatics tag on Twitter I saw Khader Shameer mention Caleydo.  I was instantly hooked at the very clever visualization strategy that they are using to provide more surface area for examining the data you are interested in viewing.  Their specific topics are pathways and gene expression, but it got me thinking about various data types that I would like to see connected in this way.
To skip right over to Caleydo and start trying it out, go here: http://www.cale........ Read more »

Streit, M., Lex, A., Kalkusch, M., Zatloukal, K., & Schmalstieg, D. (2009) Caleydo: connecting pathways and gene expression. Bioinformatics, 25(20), 2760-2761. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btp432  

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