by Merry Youle in Small Things Considered
Is there such a thing as an obligatorily multicellular prokaryote? We presented a case for their existence before, one that fueled our evolutionary imaginations. Unlike the myxobacteria, for example, which have both unicellular and multicellular stages, some magnetotactic bacteria appeared to be multicellular throughout their lives. Their multicellular coordination is apparent from their complex swimming behavior, their...... Read more »
Lefevre, C., Abreu, F., Lins, U., & Bazylinski, D. (2010) Nonmagnetotactic Multicellular Prokaryotes from Low-Saline, Nonmarine Aquatic Environments and Their Unusual Negative Phototactic Behavior. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(10), 3220-3227. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00408-10
Pigot AL, Owens IP, & Orme CD (2010). The environmental limits to geographic range expansion in birds. Ecology letters PMID: 20412281Or, what prevents that species from expanding further? Generally, we assume that the environment has something to do with controlling a species' distribution. But, our understanding of this topic is surprisingly limited, given centuries of scientists prodding the question. Part of the problem has been:a limited number of species analyzed with smal........ Read more »
Pigot AL, Owens IP, & Orme CD. (2010) The environmental limits to geographic range expansion in birds. Ecology letters. PMID: 20412281
Many dinosaurs were adorned with spikes, horns and plates, but it was the ankylosaurs that took armor to the extreme. These dinosaurs were covered in bony armor from snout to tail-tip, yet, as a new study suggests, there may have been more to some of these structures than just attack and defense.
As reviewed by paleontologists [...]... Read more »
Mammal hairs preserved in amber specimen ARC2-A1-3. a - First fragment; b - Line drawing of first fragment; c - Second fragment; d - Line drawing of second fragment; e - Close-up of second fragment to show the cuticular surface.
About 100 million years ago, in a coastal forest located in what is today southwestern France, a small mammal skittered up the trunk of a conifer tree. As it did so it lost a few of its hairs, and this minor event would have been entirely unremarkable if two of tho........ Read more »
... Read more »
Godoy, N., Gelcich, S., Vasquez, J., & Castilla, J. (2010) Spearfishing to depletion: Evidence from temperate reef fishes in Chile. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-1806
Being overweight or obese has been associated with a poor body image and a lower quality of life specially in females, but the impact on males is less clear.
This relationship was now examined by Saloumi and Plourde from McGill University, Montreal, in a paper just published in Psychology, Health & Medicine.
The analysis was based on [...]... Read more »
Saloumi C, & Plourde H. (2010) Differences in psychological correlates of excess weight between adolescents and young adults in Canada. Psychology, health , 15(3), 314-25. PMID: 20480435
Many people have fabulous relationships with their psychologists. They feel supported, understood, well-liked. But there are also those who feel a little uneasy. Research by Lynn Servais and Stephen Saunders of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin may have unearthed one of the reasons why.
Some psychologists have a hard time connecting with people with mental illness, [...]... Read more »
Servais, L., & Saunders, S. (2007) Clinical psychologists' perceptions of persons with mental illness. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38(2), 214-219. DOI: 10.1037/0735-7028.38.2.214
Sleep is so important. Sleepiness during the day may likewise be a really critical health marker. Sleepiness itself is usually taken as a sign that we just didn't get enough kip. Sometimes figuring out why is easy, and we can fix it; sometimes figuring out why is a little more elusive, and getting some knowledgable help is a great idea. But no matter what, we know chronic sleepiness"older adults"... Read more »
Newman AB, Spiekerman CF, Enright P, Lefkowitz D, Manolio T, Reynolds CF, & Robbins J. (2000) Daytime sleepiness predicts mortality and cardiovascular disease in older adults. The Cardiovascular Health Study Research Group. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 48(2), 115-23. PMID: 10682939
Baldwin CM, Ervin AM, Mays MZ, Robbins J, Shafazand S, Walsleben J, & Weaver T. (2010) Sleep disturbances, quality of life, and ethnicity: the Sleep Heart Health Study. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 6(2), 176-83. PMID: 20411696
Boulos MI, & Murray BJ. (2010) Current evaluation and management of excessive daytime sleepiness. The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques, 37(2), 167-76. PMID: 20437926
[Below is a longer, less edited version of an article I wrote for my department newsletter this month.]
Is science blogging something that belongs to Science or to Journalism? Clearly more and more scientists are communicating online. In a time when mainstream media are obliterating their science departments, science blogging is growing, and the few science journalists left are increasingly turning to science blogs for story ideas. And so is the general public. A recent press release from Scien........ Read more »
WILKINS, J. (2008) The roles, reasons and restrictions of science blogs. Trends in Ecology , 23(8), 411-413. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2008.05.004
Last week, researchers announced that they’d homed in on five more variations in our genetic code that are linked to a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. Cancer Research UK, together with the Wellcome Trust, funded the study, which was published in Nature Genetics. And, despite the post-election negotiations dominating the news, the study was [...]... Read more »
Turnbull, C., Ahmed, S., Morrison, J., Pernet, D., Renwick, A., Maranian, M., Seal, S., Ghoussaini, M., Hines, S., Healey, C.... (2010) Genome-wide association study identifies five new breast cancer susceptibility loci. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.586
We know that we need to make new vaccines against influenza each year, because new flu strains arise and spread each year and the previous year’s vaccines don’t give protection against the new strains. Of course, there’s intense research toward developing cross-protective vaccines. Ideally, flu vaccines would work like measles vaccines — get a shot [...]... Read more »
Skowronski, D., De Serres, G., Crowcroft, N., Janjua, N., Boulianne, N., Hottes, T., Rosella, L., Dickinson, J., Gilca, R., Sethi, P.... (2010) Association between the 2008–09 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine and Pandemic H1N1 Illness during Spring–Summer 2009: Four Observational Studies from Canada. PLoS Medicine, 7(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000258
Viboud, C., & Simonsen, L. (2010) Does Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Increase the Risk of Illness with the 2009 A/H1N1 Pandemic Virus?. PLoS Medicine, 7(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000259
Johns, M., Eick, A., Blazes, D., Lee, S., Perdue, C., Lipnick, R., Vest, K., Russell, K., DeFraites, R., & Sanchez, J. (2010) Seasonal Influenza Vaccine and Protection against Pandemic (H1N1) 2009-Associated Illness among US Military Personnel. PLoS ONE, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010722
Given the flaws and limitations of MBTI, is it possible to use it safely and effectively in career coaching or guidance? If you're careful, maybe.... Read more »
Mischel, W., & Shoda, Y. (1998) RECONCILING PROCESSING DYNAMICS AND PERSONALITY DISPOSITIONS. Annual Review of Psychology, 49(1), 229-258. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.49.1.229
Michael, J. (2003) Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a Tool for Leadership Development? Apply With Caution. Journal of Leadership , 10(1), 68-81. DOI: 10.1177/107179190301000106
So, you've had an introduction to the incredible leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus). In view of their bizarre appearance, it's perhaps not so surprising that leaf-tailed geckos have commanded attention for a long time and there's a large historical literature on these animals (see Bauer & Russell (1989) for review) [U. fimbriatus shown here; image by J. W. Connelly, from wikipedia]. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Russell, A., & Bauer, A. (1988) An early description of a member of the genus Phelsuma (Reptilia: Gekkonidae), with comments on names erroneously applied to Uroplatus fimbriatus. Amphibia-Reptilia, 9(2), 107-115. DOI: 10.1163/156853888X00521
A look at this week's environmental news.... Read more »
Artham, T., & Doble, M. (2010) Biodegradation of Physicochemically Treated Polycarbonate by Fungi. Biomacromolecules, 11(1), 20-28. DOI: 10.1021/bm9008099
Most of our analyses of climate change have focused on the atmosphere and mostly over land and, therefore, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. This is simply because that is where our best data comes from. This is starting to change though. A paper published in Nature this week uses relatively new ocean data to show [...]... Read more »
Researchers interested in metabolic manipulation as a path to extended healthy longevity continue to identify potential compounds to feed into the long drug development process. Many such compounds begin with worm or fly life span studies, as the major known genes associated with metabolism and life span are conserved between species - all the way from worms up to we humans. If a compound can make a fly live longer and can be shown to act on genes and mechanisms already associated with calorie r........ Read more »
Honda Y, Tanaka M, & Honda S. (2010) Trehalose extends longevity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Aging cell. PMID: 20477758
Victoria Horner (Emory University, United States) and coworkers have shown that prestige influences the transmission of cultural innovations among chimpanzees. This news feature was written on May 20, 2010.... Read more »
By: Rosemary Stephen PMed, (cert) EOH, IPM, Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence
There is a segment of the general population who cannot live close to wind turbines; if such turbines are installed, they complain that their quality of life is greatly affected. Are these people really experiencing symptoms or [...]... Read more »
Rosemary Stephen PMed, (cert) EOH, IPM. (2010) Wind Turbine Syndrome, Part II. Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence. info:/
New research shows that the novel cytokine interleukin (IL)-33 reduces sepsis and has “therapeutic potential” to treat this often fatal inflammatory condition. According to the study published this week in Nature Medicine, IL-33 promotes neutrophil recruitment to the site of infection, which is a critical host defence response, and the levels of the decoy IL-33 [...]... Read more »
Alves-Filho, J., Sônego, F., Souto, F., Freitas, A., Verri, W., Auxiliadora-Martins, M., Basile-Filho, A., McKenzie, A., Xu, D., Cunha, F.... (2010) Interleukin-33 attenuates sepsis by enhancing neutrophil influx to the site of infection. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2156
A recent article in Psychological Science investigates the use of violent video games by people to experience catharsis - a "release" associated with pent-up aggressive energy. They found that when angered, people are more likely to seek violent video games for an emotional release, despite the fact that playing violent video games does not seem to actually provide that release. ... Read more »
Bushman, Brad J. . (2010) Like a magnet: Catharsis beliefs attract angry people to violent video games. Psychological Science, 1. info:/10.1177/0956797610369494
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