Post List

  • December 30, 2010
  • 04:20 PM

Burrowing Owls Embark on Cross-Continent Migration

by Scott A. in JournOwl

I’ve definitely been neglecting my journal reading over the last few months, and if I want to be honest it’s probably more like a 6 month hiatus.  As I returned from a field visit in Winters, California, I got the itch to see what’s up with the latest in raptor research.  And the little voice [...]... Read more »

Holroyd, G., Trefry, H., & Duxbury, J. (2010) Winter Destinations and Habitats of Canadian Burrowing Owls. Journal of Raptor Research, 44(4), 294-299. DOI: 10.3356/JRR-09-87.1  

  • December 30, 2010
  • 04:20 PM

Pocket guide to GPCR structures still valid

by Peter Nollert in Emerald BioStructures Blog

In 2008 the guidelines for crystallographic GPCR structure determination were a just a trend (N=3), now at the end of 2010 with 2 more GPCR structures in our pocket, both of which follow these guidelines, this pocket guide is starting to look like a rule book.... Read more »

Hodges, M. (2008) A pocket guide to GPCRs. PSI Structural Genomics Knowledgebase. DOI: 10.1038/fa_psisgkb.2008.16  

  • December 30, 2010
  • 03:50 PM

Fetal Testosterone and Autistic Traits - Part V(a): More About Visuospatial Abilities

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

Part of an ongoing series evaluating the evidence for Simon Baron-Cohen's "extreme male brain" theory of autism... Read more »

Auyeung, B., Baron-Cohen, S., Ashwin, E., Knickmeyer, R., Taylor, K., & Hackett, G. (2009) Fetal testosterone and autistic traits. British Journal of Psychology, 100(1), 1-22. DOI: 10.1348/000712608X311731  

Dawson, M., Soulieres, I., Ann Gernsbacher, M., & Mottron, L. (2007) The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence. Psychological Science, 18(8), 657-662. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01954.x  

  • December 30, 2010
  • 01:28 PM

Playing with Google “Experiments”

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

I’ve just been playing with... Read more »

Michel JB, Shen YK, Aiden AP, Veres A, Gray MK, The Google Books Team, Pickett JP, Hoiberg D, Clancy D, Norvig P.... (2010) Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 21163965  

  • December 30, 2010
  • 12:12 PM

The Connectome: TED Talk Summary of Sebastian Seung

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Here are my notes from the TED talk of Dr. Sebastian Seung from MIT.   I recommend viewing the presentation--although about 17 minutes long it is entertaining as well as showing some great graphics of the imaging and technologyYour genome--your entire sequence of your DNASmall differences in genome make us who we areAre we more than our genes?  I would like to think so.Well what am I then?   I am my connectomeC elegant was the worm that had the first mapping of all neuron connecti........ Read more »

  • December 30, 2010
  • 12:11 PM

The Effects Of Special Relativity On Planetary Orbits.

by Joseph Smidt in The Eternal Universe

General relativity affects the orbits of planets in ways Newtonian gravity cannot account for. Interestingly, Lemmon and Mondragon explore if special relativity can account for the same behavior predicted by general relativity.   They find that qualitatively it can, but quantitatively it comes up a little short and so the full general relativistic treatment is still needed.

First a reminder: 

... Read more »

Tyler J. Lemmon, & Antonio R. Mondragon. (2010) First-Order Special Relativistic Corrections to Kepler's Orbits. Submitted to American Journal of Physics. arXiv: 1012.5438v1

  • December 30, 2010
  • 11:19 AM

specific inhibition of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay by small molecule

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

The last step of protein synthesis is called translation termination. During this step the stop codon is recognized by the protein factor called "release factor" and finished protein is cleaved off the tRNA. Mutations which cause premature termination (nonsense mutations) lead to shortened protein which is usually defective, and in order to avoid accumulation of these proteins such mRNA are recognized by nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD) machinery and degraded.This is usually a good thing, but ........ Read more »

Welch EM, Barton ER, Zhuo J, Tomizawa Y, Friesen WJ, Trifillis P, Paushkin S, Patel M, Trotta CR, Hwang S.... (2007) PTC124 targets genetic disorders caused by nonsense mutations. Nature, 447(7140), 87-91. PMID: 17450125  

  • December 30, 2010
  • 10:43 AM

Finding the Silver Lining

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

“Life is not fair, get used to it.” Bill Gates may be right—seeing bad things happen in the world is scary, confusing and all too common. When tragedy strikes, one ... Read more »

  • December 30, 2010
  • 09:25 AM

How Much Pain is Our Kid Feeling? Well, How Much Can We Afford?

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

When a sick kid is too young to speak, doctors naturally ask a parent or other caretaker how much it hurts. Only half of the answer, according to this study in this month's Journal of Pain, is based on symptoms. The rest arises from the adult's own life experience, including social class: Given a ...Read More
... Read more »

  • December 30, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

The Power of One

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

This month, United States Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin released her first report on the effects of tobacco smoke. (This is Dr. Benjamin’s first such report, but it is the 30th in a series of similar reports since 1964.) The 700-page report outlines, in much detail, the effects that cigarettes and smoking have on a [...]... Read more »

Vrieling A, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Boshuizen HC, Michaud DS, Severinsen MT, Overvad K, Olsen A, Tjønneland A, Clavel-Chapelon F, Boutron-Ruault MC.... (2010) Cigarette smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure and pancreatic cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer, 126(10), 2394-403. PMID: 19790196  

  • December 29, 2010
  • 09:40 PM

Bacterial Biofilms that Broadly Resist Liquids and Gases

by Michael Long in Phased

Adhered aggregates of bacterial cells can be far more resistant to chemical attack than is commonly appreciated, exceeding the resistance of any other known natural material.... Read more »

Epstein, A. K., Pokroya, B., Seminara, A., & Aizenberg, J. (2010) Bacterial biofilm shows persistent resistance to liquid wetting and gas penetration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1011033108

  • December 29, 2010
  • 07:35 PM

The geography of Food vs. Forests

by Paul Spraycar in Beyond Climate Change

To answer the question of how to meet the food and fuel needs of a growing, increasingly prosperous human population without cutting down the world’s forests in the process, a research team literally drew a map of carbon stocks and crop yields for the entire globe. Based on the “strong differences in the carbon-crop tradeoff among regions,” increasing yield on existing tropical croplands is preferable to clearing new land. The authors used maps of crop distribution and average yields, toge........ Read more »

  • December 29, 2010
  • 06:16 PM

The Paper That Finally Changed The Law on Drugs?

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

Sweeping changes to UK law removing the requirement for any consultation of scientists is due to come in to effect in the new year. Is this a result of recent research condemning drug policy?... Read more »

Rolles S. (2010) An alternative to the war on drugs. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 20627976  

  • December 29, 2010
  • 05:48 PM

Fluoride and IQ

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

One effect that has been claimed for fluoridation of drinking water that I didn’t really examine in my previous examination of fluoride toxicity is reduced IQ. The major regulatory reviews have previously concluded there is no evidence for any such link at relevant concentrations, but a new study published ahead of print in Environmental Health [...]... Read more »

  • December 29, 2010
  • 05:36 PM

Pleiotropy is 100 years old

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

This year, the term pleiotropy was defined 100 years ago, and Frank Stearns, graduate student at the University of Maryland biology graduate program has written a perspective in Genetics, which I highly recommend.... Read more »

  • December 29, 2010
  • 04:03 PM

Using Google to Tell Real Science from Fads

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Most hot ideas and discoveries fade with time. But some scientific papers are genuine breakthroughs, whose importance only increases as the decades pass. This one, published in Science last week, which describes a database of words from millions of books digitized by Google—4 percent of all books ...Read More
... Read more »

  • December 29, 2010
  • 01:20 PM

Energy Scales

by Kevin Bonham in Food Matters

Bacteria are tiny. Compared to our cells, they can seem insignificant. There are about ten times more bacteria cells in your gut *right now* than there are human cells in your entire body, but they only make up about 5% of your mass. They're tiny, but they're successful - they live in places we can't, they can metabolize things we can't, and they're everywhere. Despite this success, there's some things they don't do, like multicellularity, but why?

PZ has a great review of a recent paper in Nat........ Read more »

Lane N, & Martin W. (2010) The energetics of genome complexity. Nature, 467(7318), 929-34. PMID: 20962839  

  • December 29, 2010
  • 12:38 PM

First week recap

by Bradley Voytek in brainSCANr

Wow, it's only been a week, but brainSCANr has been quite successful!We don't have a mailing list yet, so if you'd like to keep updated in the meantime, subscribe to our RSS feed or follow Brad on Twitter. You can see what people are saying about our site at the bottom of this post.And if you haven't seen it yet, Brad's been quoted in a recent New York Times article on the human connectome.So far we've had just shy of 10,000 pageviews from 75 countries including Kenya and Iran. The top 5 countr........ Read more »

Bickart KC, Wright CI, Dautoff RJ, Dickerson BC, & Barrett LF. (2010) Amygdala volume and social network size in humans. Nature Neuroscience. PMID: 21186358  

Feinstein JS, Adolphs R, Damasio A, & Tranel D. (2010) The Human Amygdala and the Induction and Experience of Fear. Current Biology. PMID: 21167712  

  • December 29, 2010
  • 12:11 PM

Belgian Blue: The super cow

by Beredim in Strange Animals

If Arnold Schwarzenegger had a pet cow, it would most probably be Belgian Blue. These cows are incredibly muscled, toned and have very little fat. Interestingly, the breed has been created using the genetic power of selective breeding. No steroids or anabolics. Only natural bodybuilding here :P... Read more »

  • December 29, 2010
  • 11:03 AM

Iron Chef: Middle Paleolithic

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

New evidence suggests Neandertals ate cooked foods, and plants at that.
Amanda Henry and colleagues (in press) extracted phytoliths - small mineralized parts from plants - and starch grains from dental calculus found on 2 Belgian (Spy) and 1 Iraqi (Shanidar) Neandertal fossils. I've never seen a study look at this kind of evidence before, I have to say it's pretty neat. Calculus, not just a badass type of mathematics, is mineralized plaque that can build up on teeth. As the Neandertals chewed th........ Read more »

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