Post List

  • June 28, 2010
  • 08:26 PM

Can oil and water mix?

by Michael Clarkson in Conformational Flux

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 »

Underwood, R., Tomlinson-Phillips, J., & Ben-Amotz, D. (2010) Are Long-Chain Alkanes Hydrophilic?. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/jp912089q  

  • June 28, 2010
  • 07:27 PM

The Extinction of the Hundsheim Rhino - Being a Generalist Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

by Laelaps in Laelaps

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 06:18 PM

This Week in the Universe: June 22nd – June 28th

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

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:/

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

Schultze, M., Fiess, M., Karpowicz, N., Gagnon, J., Korbman, M., Hofstetter, M., Neppl, S., Cavalieri, A., Komninos, Y., Mercouris, T.... (2010) Delay in Photoemission. Science, 328(5986), 1658-1662. DOI: 10.1126/science.1189401  

  • June 28, 2010
  • 05:29 PM

Photons: Still Bosons

by Chad Orzel in Uncertain Principles

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 04:00 PM

First, First Author Publication! Chronic Alcohol Effects on Murine Photic Entrainment

by Allison in Dormivigilia

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 03:43 PM

Physical and Organisational Ergonomic Interventions: so far not effective

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 02:32 PM

A clever genetic strategy for the study of circadian output pathways

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 02:19 PM

Duck, Duck, Groom

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

A Fastidious Bacteriophage

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  

  • June 28, 2010
  • 12:31 PM

Gefitinib or Chemotherapy for Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer with Mutated EGFR

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

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  

  • June 28, 2010
  • 12:26 PM

Photoactivation through the central dogma of molecular biology

by 96well in Reportergene

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  

  • June 28, 2010
  • 12:25 PM

Creeping fault segments are showing their age

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Using sedimentation rates to infer long-term global climate change

by Brian Romans in Clastic Detritus

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 11:40 AM

Azobenzene photoswitching in vesicles

by Lars Fischer in EuCheMS 2010 Blog

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 10:38 AM

‘The Heavens Declare The Story They Trod’: Tracking Sports Teams Using Advanced Satellite Monitoring

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:/

  • June 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Fatness Leads to Inactivity in Kids?

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

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 07:50 AM

When One Neurotransmitter Is Not Enough

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 07:05 AM

Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson, the Lunatic Line and the Lions

by Sam W in From C to Carnivore

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  

  • June 28, 2010
  • 06:21 AM

Sticky spots and Big Brother – Studying skin cells in the lab

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

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 »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Article Review: Evaluating students using RIME method

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

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 »

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