Post List

  • January 11, 2011
  • 09:26 AM

Arrested Development in miRNA Mutants

by Linda in the Node

Animals and Plants have hundreds of miRNAs with diverse roles in gene regulation. In humans, each miRNA family can control up to several hundred genes (or 500 to be exact, in humans). A loss of function in one, can lead to array of developmental defects. Similarly in plants, an miRNA mutant can have a variety of phenotypes. However, interestingly, many miRNAs only have one target, which is frequently a transcription factor that in turn, controls many genes itself. It's really like a house of car........ Read more »

  • January 11, 2011
  • 09:05 AM

Gardening ants grow their own treetop nests

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

If you were to combine ants' dispersal of seeds and plant protection interactions, and maybe squint a little, you might see something like epiphitic ant gardens. Ant gardens form when tree-nesting ants collect the seeds of some epiphytes—plants evolved to grow in the branches of trees—and the collected seeds sprout. The nests provide congenial conditions for the plants, since gardening ants frequently use dung as a building material. The roots running through the nest help stabilize its stru........ Read more »

  • January 11, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

The Pedagogy of Obesity Reality Shows

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

One of the consequences of the obesity epidemic is the proliferation of “reality based” media aiming to lay bare and expose the unhealthy behaviours that lead to obesity and tout “solutions” primarily aimed at changing individual lifestyles.
Notable examples of this ‘”entertainment” genre include television programmes such as Jamie’s School Dinners and Jamie’s Ministry of Food, [...]... Read more »

  • January 11, 2011
  • 07:23 AM

A Vampire Flying Frog by any other name…

by Captain Skellett in A Schooner of Science

Actually, it’s not QUITE as cool as it sounds. This new frog species, the Vampire Flying Frog, was discovered in Vietnam by scientists from the Australian Museum. Rhacophorus vampyrus was a latecomer to the International Year of Biodiversity, which yielded a wealth of newly discovered creatures. But the name. The name. To be honest, it [...]... Read more »

Rowley, J. et al. (2010) A new tree frog of the genus Rhacophorus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from southern Vietnam. Zootaxa. info:/

  • January 11, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Authonomy Points the Way to Open Peer Reviewing

by Simon Harper in Thinking Out Loud

Authonomy is a unique online community that connects readers, writers and publishing professionals. It was conceived and built by editors at HarperCollins Publishers. They are in 'beta' at the moment, so they’re still developing and perfecting the site.... Read more »

Alison McCook. (2006) Is Peer Review Broken?. The Scientist, 20(2), 26-26. info:other/23061/#ixzz16smQbXG3

  • January 11, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

What music do you listen to when you’re feeling sad?

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

They tell you when you’re feeling blue to put on a sad song. But, new research published in the International Journal of Arts and Technology suggests that the music we choose to listen to is guided more by familiarity than whether we are in a happy or sad mood and whether or not a particular [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkWhat music do you listen to when you’re feeling sad?
... Read more »

Jiyoun Kim. (2011) Affective states, familiarity and music selection: power of familiarity. Int. J. Arts and Technology, 4(1), 74-89. info:/

  • January 11, 2011
  • 06:22 AM

Colonoscopy in prevention of colorectal carcinoma

by Debajyoti Datta in Medicine...Life

Continuing from my previous post on colorectal carcinoma, I just came across a study by Hermann Brenner et al. showing the effectiveness of colonoscopy in preventing colorectal carcinoma. They had conducted a population based case-control study in Germany to quantify the effectiveness of colonoscopy. 1688 cases and 1932 controls aged over 50 years participated in the study. ... Read more »

Brenner H, Chang-Claude J, Seiler CM, Rickert A, & Hoffmeister M. (2011) Protection from colorectal cancer after colonoscopy: a population-based, case-control study. Annals of internal medicine, 154(1), 22-30. PMID: 21200035  

  • January 11, 2011
  • 05:21 AM

There's No Prospective Information About Friction, or, Why I Fell Over on the Ice

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

In which I justify why I, a healthy perceiver-actor, slipped and fell on a clearly visible icy patch, breaking my wrist for the second time, using SCIENCE.

It's been a cold, icy winter here this year, and 6 weeks ago I slipped on a patch of ice and fell entirely on my (previously broken) wrist. The ensuing physics did enough damage that I needed surgery to set the wrist with two pins, and I am only today out of the cast. These kinds of falls and injuries are very common; half of all falls  i........ Read more »

Joh AS, Adolph KE, Campbell MR, & Eppler MA. (2006) Why walkers slip: shine is not a reliable cue for slippery ground. Perception , 68(3), 339-52. PMID: 16900828  

Joh AS, Adolph KE, Narayanan PJ, & Dietz VA. (2007) Gauging possibilities for action based on friction underfoot. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance, 33(5), 1145-57. PMID: 17924813  

  • January 11, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

Introducing the ‘gay gene’: media and scientific representations

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

From Public Understanding of Science  There is an established link between genetics and male homosexuality, popularly dubbed the ‘gay gene’. This article examines the reporting of the ‘gay gene’ in the British press compared with scientific journals to illustrate the conflicts between science and the media, it attempts to suggest steps to improve the relationship [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 11:05 PM

Chromothripsis: Cratering of Chromosomes

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

A stark frame from Apollo 16 shows a lunar surface remodeled by violent collisions. Even in a single static snapshot hints at the order of events. The large crater near the center of the image was later remodeled by a not small crater breaking the original rim. Careful study of other photographs, especially of the even more chaotic far side of the moon, can piece together the temporal order of events, from such overlaps in craters and their ejecta.The moon has more than a few parallels to the........ Read more »

P.J. Stephens, C.D. Greenstein, B. Fu, F. Yang, G.R. Bignell, L.J. Mudis, E.D. Pleasance, K.W. Lau, D. Beare, L.A. Stebbings.... (2011) Massive Genomic Rearrangement Acquired in a Single Catastrophic Event during Cancer Development. Cell, 144(1), 27-40. info:/10.1016/j.cell.2010.11.055

  • January 10, 2011
  • 10:55 PM

Epistemic opacity in simulations

by Ponder Stibbons in The truth makes me fret.

This post is the result of reading Wittgenstein and the philosophy of simulation literature in close temporal proximity. Here is Paul Humphreys on epistemic opacity in computer simulations: a process is epistemically opaque relative to a cognitive agent X at time t just in case X does not know at t all of the epistemically [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 06:02 PM

What Killed the Hominins of AL 333?

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Over 36 years since its discovery in Ethiopia’s Afar Depression, the 3.2 million year old skeleton of Lucy is still the most famous in all of paleoanthropology. Older fossil humans have been found, as have more complete remains, but none have generated the same swell of interest that has virtually turned these Australopithecus afarensis bones [...]... Read more »

Anna K. Behrensmeyer. (1978) Taphonomic and Ecologic Information from Bone Weathering. Paleobiology, 4(2), 150-162. info:/

Anna K Behrensmeyer. (2008) Paleoenvironmental context of the Pliocene A.L. 333 “First Family” hominin locality, Hadar Formation, Ethiopia. GSA Special Papers, 203-214. info:/10.1130/2008.2446(09)

Kruuk, H. (2009) Surplus killing by carnivores. Journal of Zoology, 166(2), 233-244. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1972.tb04087.x  

Reno, P., McCollum, M., Meindl, R., & Lovejoy, C. (2010) An enlarged postcranial sample confirms Australopithecus afarensis dimorphism was similar to modern humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365(1556), 3355-3363. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0086  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 04:40 PM

Brain training – it happens all the time

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

At the risk of seeming untrendy, the trend to rave on about neuroplasticity can be a bit overdone.  Not, I add quickly, because it doesn’t happen, or it’s not important – in fact, quite the opposite – but because it happens all the time.  And at the back of our minds, I think we’ve known … Read more... Read more »

Iannetti, G., & Mouraux, A. (2010) From the neuromatrix to the pain matrix (and back). Experimental Brain Research, 205(1), 1-12. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-010-2340-1  

Neugebauer, V., Galhardo, V., Maione, S., & Mackey, S. (2009) Forebrain pain mechanisms. Brain Research Reviews, 60(1), 226-242. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2008.12.014  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 03:50 PM

Measles, Papua New Guinea and the brain

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

You may not have realised that – since most people nowadays have been vaccinated against it and have never seen it – but measles is a very serious illness. Generally an acute disease of children, measles is spread by the measles virus where it infects the body via the respiratory route and establishes a systemic [...]... Read more »

Rima, B., & Duprex, W. (2006) Morbilliviruses and human disease. The Journal of Pathology, 208(2), 199-214. DOI: 10.1002/path.1873  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 03:00 PM

The Lone Wolf or the Support Group Enthusiast?

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

What type of person are you?? When tough times come around – whether it is stress at work, a painful injury, or forced participation in Secret Santa – what do you do? Some people, those lone wolf types, find relief in being alone, taking some time to regroup, and dealing with the problem themselves. Others, [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 01:53 PM

Can a Font Make You Smarter?

by Kari Kenefick in Promega Connections

Today is the second Monday of the New Year, January 10, 2011 and we are returning to work, school and normal life, you know, the one without endless shopping, cooking and preparing. Hopefully most of your holiday 2010 remembrances are fond ones…the greetings, baked goods, travel, gifts…all good. Hold on. The greetings; was there was [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 01:43 PM

Crowdsourcing Science with TOPSAN

by Sanford- Burnham in Beaker

New advances in technology are allowing scientists to sequence genomes and determine the structures of the proteins they encode at a faster rate and lower cost than ever before. The NIH’s Protein Structure Initiative centers, such as the Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG), have been instrumental in establishing the structures of hundreds of proteins [...]... Read more »

Ellrott K, Zmasek CM, Weekes D, Sri Krishna S, Bakolitsa C, Godzik A, & Wooley J. (2011) TOPSAN: a dynamic web database for structural genomics. Nucleic acids research, 39(Database issue). PMID: 20961957  

Krishna SS, Weekes D, Bakolitsa C, Elsliger MA, Wilson IA, Godzik A, & Wooley J. (2010) TOPSAN: use of a collaborative environment for annotating, analyzing and disseminating data on JCSG and PSI structures. Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology and crystallization communications, 66(Pt 10), 1143-7. PMID: 20944203  

Weekes D, Krishna SS, Bakolitsa C, Wilson IA, Godzik A, & Wooley J. (2010) TOPSAN: a collaborative annotation environment for structural genomics. BMC bioinformatics, 426. PMID: 20716366  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 01:23 PM

This Week in the Universe: January 4th – January 10th

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

Astrophysics and Gravitation:
Supermassive Black Hole Surprise?
CREDIT: Reines, et al., David Nidever, NRAO/AUI/NSF, NASA
The dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10, seen in visible light by the Hubble Space Telescope. The central, light-pink region shows an area of radio emission, seen with the Very Large Array. This area indicates the presence of a supermassive black hole drawing in material from its surroundings. This also is indicated by strong X-ray emission from this region detected by the Chandra X-Ray........ Read more »

Andreyev, A., Elseviers, J., Huyse, M., Van Duppen, P., Antalic, S., Barzakh, A., Bree, N., Cocolios, T., Comas, V., Diriken, J.... (2010) New Type of Asymmetric Fission in Proton-Rich Nuclei. Physical Review Letters, 105(25). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.252502  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 12:40 PM

Count Your Plaintiffs Before Certification Hatches: Class Size Matters in Some Unexpected Ways

by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - When dealing with the number of plaintiffs in a class action, mass tort, or other large scale litigation, is "Super-Size Me" the plaintiff's best choice? At a legal level, the U.S. Supreme Court will get a chance to weigh in, after the decision last week to determine whether as many as 1.5 million female Wal-Mart workers claiming gender discrimination can be certified as a class (Dukes v. Wal-Mart). The common belief is that a large number of plaintiffs serves to maximiz........ Read more »

Loran F. Nordgren and Mary-Hunter Morris McDonnell. (2010) The Scope-Severity Paradox: Why Doing More Harm Is Judged to be Less Harmful. Social Psychological and. info:/

  • January 10, 2011
  • 12:09 PM

Barnacle Evolution I: Phylogeny Served Without Plates

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Lepas anatifera from Washington state, USA. Photo credit: David Cowles 1997.
Barnacle evolution was recently rewritten by a large effort of Perez-Losada and colleagues in 2008. Using a combination of genes and morphological traits they rejected some of the ideas that were foundational to barnacle biology and taxonomy, while giving new support for other ideas.
Though . . . → Read More: Barnacle Evolution I: Phylogeny Served Without Plates... Read more »

Pérez-Losada M, Harp M, Høeg JT, Achituv Y, Jones D, Watanabe H, & Crandall KA. (2008) The tempo and mode of barnacle evolution. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 46(1), 328-46. PMID: 18032070  

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