Post List

  • September 24, 2010
  • 06:50 PM

How vaccines work Pt.2

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

In my last post I spoke about how vaccines work from the point of view of the person receiving the jab or pill. In that case we were talking about immunological memory but vaccines also work in another very important way from the point of view of the community and it is referred to as ‘herd immunity’.... Read more »

Fung KS, Yeung WL, Wong TW, So KW, & Cheng AF. (2004) Pertussis--a re-emerging infection?. The Journal of infection, 48(2), 145-8. PMID: 14720490  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 06:41 PM

How Vaccines Work Pt.2

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

In my last post I spoke about how vaccines work from the point of view of the person receiving the jab or pill. In that case we were talking about immunological memory but vaccines also work in another very important way from the point of view of the community and it is referred to as [...]... Read more »

Fung KS, Yeung WL, Wong TW, So KW, & Cheng AF. (2004) Pertussis--a re-emerging infection?. The Journal of infection, 48(2), 145-8. PMID: 14720490  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 11:23 AM

Risk, Insurance, LUST, and Fish

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

Two papers crossed my desk yesterday highlighting the role insurance can play in mitigating environmental risk.  The first, by Yin et. al. in Risk Analysis, discusses three appoaches to mitigating the risk of leaking underground storage tanks (a problem with the fantastic acronym LUST).  
Large fines for spills, as it turns out, are not a particularly efficient enforcement tool, as most LUSTs are owned by small businesses like gas stations that would likely go bankrupt before payi........ Read more »

Holland, D.S. (2010) Markets, pooling and insurance for managing bycatch in fisherie. Ecological Economics. info:/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.08.015

  • September 24, 2010
  • 11:15 AM

What species of skate is for dinner? New research challenges elasmobranch fisheries policy

by WhySharksMatter in Southern Fried Science

I write a lot about shark conservation issues, but I rarely focus on their fellow elasmobranchs. Rays and skates have similar life history strategies as sharks, and many species are similarly overfished.  A friend just sent me a cool paper about the conservation of skates, which provides an excellent opportunity to remedy this oversight.
A major issue [...]... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 11:02 AM

Is weight loss associated with increased risk of early mortality?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

The current recommendations from major health organizations stipulate that if an individual has a BMI in the obese range (>30 kg/m2), they should be counseled to lose at least 5-10% of their body weight. This advice appears to make some sense given that increasing body weight is generally associated with heightened risk of various diseases, and that reduction of body weight usually improves levels of risk factors for disease (e.g blood pressure, triglycerides, etc). However, the literature ha........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 10:32 AM

What Killed Europe’s Hyenas?

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Mass extinctions are often typified by the catastrophic loss of charismatic animals. Even though ammonites, pterosaurs, many forms of marine reptiles, and even some lineages of mammals all succumbed during the great dying at the end of the Cretaceous, that event will always be cast as the unexpected curtain-fall on the Age of the Dinosaurs. [...]... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 09:44 AM

Nikita Malavia: From Mumbai to MIT

by Susan Steinhardt in The PostDoc Forum

PostDoc Nikita Malavia is our featured scientist of the month. Follow Nikita on LinkedIn and Twitter.
How did you first become interested in the science field?
For me it started in high school back home in Mumbai, India. I was always interested and good in math and science especially chemistry and biology. Doing well in [...]... Read more »

Malavia NK, Mih JD, Raub CB, Dinh BT, & George SC. (2008) IL-13 induces a bronchial epithelial phenotype that is profibrotic. Respiratory research, 27. PMID: 18348727  

Malavia NK, Raub CB, Mahon SB, Brenner M, Panettieri RA Jr, & George SC. (2009) Airway epithelium stimulates smooth muscle proliferation. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology, 41(3), 297-304. PMID: 19151317  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 08:46 AM

Symbiotic Foreclosure: coral bleaching predictions and a potential acclimation mechanism

by Uncharted Atolls in Uncharted Atolls

NOAA—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—issued a press release on September 22nd declaring coral bleaching likely in the Caribbean.  NOAA reports that: With temperatures above-average all year, NOAA’s models show a strong potential for bleaching in the southern and southeastern … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 08:38 AM

Introducing Peptide-Protein Interactions

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

Peptide-protein interactions are gaining much interest of late. The Furman group have recently published a series of papers on the subject of peptide-protein interactions (disclaimer - these were partly authored by yours truly). In this post I will introduce the subject and the motivation to investigate these interactions and in later posts of this 'mini-series' I will get into more details on this on-going research.

... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 08:30 AM

Goodbye, milk—hello, added sugar!

by Melinda Moyer in Body Politic

As usual, my readers are raising interesting questions in the comments section (thanks, guys! You’re awesome). In response to my post yesterday highlighting how our food portions have changed (as in, exploded) over the past 20 years, commenter AEK said, “It would be interesting to note how much added sugar was in the foods at both measurement periods.” It’s a point I’ve frequently considered myself, so I decided to do some digging.
As it turns out—and you might g........ Read more »

Ock K. Chun, Chin E. Chung , Ying Wang, Andrea Padgitt, Won O. Song. (2010) Changes in Intakes of Total and Added Sugar and their Contribution to Energy Intake in the U.S. Nutrients, 834-854. info:/10.3390/nu2080834

  • September 24, 2010
  • 08:22 AM

Language, Thought, and Space (V): Comparing Different Species

by Michael in A Replicated Typo 2.0

As I’ve talked about in my last posts (see I, II, III, and IV) different cultures employ different coordinate systems or Frames of References (FoR) when talking about space.  FoRs
“serve to specify the directional relationships between objects in space, in reference to a shared referential anchor” (Haun et al. 2006: 17568)
As shown in my last post . . . → Read More: Language, Thought, and Space (V): Comparing Different Species... Read more »

Haun DB, Rapold CJ, Call J, Janzen G, & Levinson SC. (2006) Cognitive cladistics and cultural override in Hominid spatial cognition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(46), 17568-73. PMID: 17079489  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

RAS, Low-Carb Diets and NEAT

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

This morning, on the last day of the 2010 EASD in Stockholm, I co-chaired the Michael Berger debate on whether or not blocking the renin-angiotensin system is the be all and end all of organ protection. The debaters were Bo Feld-Rasmussen from the University of Copenhagen and Andrea Natali form the University of Pisa, Italy.
As is [...]... Read more »

Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, Shahar DR, Witkow S, Greenberg I, Golan R, Fraser D, Bolotin A, Vardi H.... (2008) Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet. The New England journal of medicine, 359(3), 229-41. PMID: 18635428  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 07:39 AM

Alcohol Consumption affects Morphological Complexity

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Recent research suggests that language adapts to the balance between declarative and procedural memory users. Since alcohol consumption affects procedural but not declarative memory (Smith & Smith, 2003), we might expect to see communities that have a high alcohol consumption using less complex morphology...... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 07:37 AM

Condors and vultures: their postures, their 'bald heads' and their sheer ecological importance

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

For no particular reason, here are some interesting raptor photos. Birds of many kinds often sit around with their wings only partially folded, partly hanging down at their sides; one reason for this is that they're sun-bathing and are using their wings to soak up heat. Among raptors, this behaviour is well known for Turkey vultures Cathartes aura in particular. But many others do it, and here's another New World vulture (cathartid), an Andean condor Vultur gryphus, doing the same thing [photo........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 07:35 AM

Physical modeling of clot formation

by Becky in It Takes 30

Jeremy Gunawardena pointed me to a pair of papers documenting an impressive effort in multiscale modeling, aimed at connecting biochemical events with events that happen on the cellular and super-cellular scales (Xu et al. 2010. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2009.12.4331; Xu et al. 2008  doi: 10.1098/​rsif.2007.1202; full references below).  These papers are fascinating for many reasons: first, they describe [...]... Read more »

Xu Z, Chen N, Kamocka MM, Rosen ED, & Alber M. (2008) A multiscale model of thrombus development. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society, 5(24), 705-22. PMID: 17925274  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 03:23 AM

Open Access Journals

by Bernt Lindtjorn in International Health Research

About 10 years ago, some scientists started an ‘open access’ campaign for free journals funded by author fees. A reason to start the open access journals was to make scientific publications available for researchers in developing countries. Can we after 10 years say that researchers in the poorer countries have benefited from this exercise? The [...]... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 03:09 AM

Relaxing times for scanning tunnelling microscopes

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Scanning tunnelling microscopes (STM) are a wonderful instruments that can not only image but also manipulate individual atoms on a surface. Developed by Gerd Binning and Heinrich Rohrer in 1981, STM and their derivatives revolutionized our understanding of what happens on the surface of materials. Expanding on Binning and Rohrer’s work at IBM in Zurich, Don Eigler at [...]... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 03:09 AM

The city that kills you makes you strong!

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Over the past day I’ve seen reports in the media of a new paper which claims that long-term urbanization in a region is strongly correlated with genetic variants for disease resistance. I managed to find the paper on Evolution’s website as an accepted manuscript, ANCIENT URBANISATION PREDICTS GENETIC RESISTANCE TO TUBERCULOSIS:
A link between urban living [...]... Read more »

Barnes, I., Duda, A., Pybus, O., & Thomas, M. G. (2010) ANCIENT URBANISATION PREDICTS GENETIC RESISTANCE TO TUBERCULOSI. Evolution. info:/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01132.x

  • September 23, 2010
  • 11:58 PM

Gelatinous zoop!

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

There is an interesting blog over on about the way sea walnuts (or ctenophores, or Mnemiopsis leidyi) feed (in addition to a cool video, which is posted below).  Apparently, these organisms use their cilia to create almost undetectable currents, and they are then capable of catching unsuspecting prey with great efficiency.  Due to their incredible ability to feed stealthily and efficiently, they have been particularly devastating invaders in European water bodies......... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 11:05 PM

Tide Pool: Cool Seeps, Parasitic Nematodes, and Magnetic Sea Animals

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

An occasional series where we briefly report 3 new studies and tell you why they are cool!
Olu et al. in PLoS One examine the potential exchanges of species in cold methane seeps across the Atlantic Ocean from the Congo to the Gulf of Mexico. By culling data from the literature, the authors demonstrate, despite great distance, . . . → Read More: Tide Pool: Cool Seeps, Parasitic Nematodes, and Magnetic Sea Animals... Read more »

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