Last Monday I was listening to a very interesting presentation by Ian Rowlands, reader in scholarly communication in the Department of Information Studies at University College London. He and his colleagues are interested in how researchers find and use information, and how this has changed with the internet, especially for the Google Generation.... Read more »
Nicholas, D., Clark, D., Rowlands, I., & Jamali, H. (2009) Online use and information seeking behaviour: institutional and subject comparisons of UK researchers. Journal of Information Science, 35(6), 660-676. DOI: 10.1177/0165551509338341
During the summer, strange formations can be found on some species of Goldenrod. The stems become enlarged and form a hardened golf-ball like object called a gall. Cut into this weird sphere and you'll quickly find what causes the plant to create such a strange object: the larvae of the Goldenrod Gall Fly. The Goldenrod Gall Fly (Eurosta solidaginis) is a parasite which uses the Goldenrod for protection and nutrition for a whole year while it grows and pupates. When it does, it can seriously dam........ Read more »
Wise, M., Abrahamson, W., & Cole, J. (2010) The role of nodding stems in the goldenrod-gall-fly interaction: A test of the "ducking" hypothesis. American Journal of Botany, 97(3), 525-529. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.0900227
Following my last post regarding prion blood filtration, I was asked to cover the P-CAPT filter. Because leukoreduction only reduced prion infectivity by 72%, there is a need to develop other ways of eliminating prion infectivity in blood products. The P-CAPT Prion Capture Filter originated from a collaboration with Prometic, the American Red Cross, and several researchers. The majority of the initial research was performed by Luisa Gregori and colleagues in Bob Rohwer's lab, located at the Ve........ Read more »
Gregori, L., Lambert, B., Gurgel, P., Gheorghiu, L., Edwardson, P., Lathrop, J., MacAuley, C., Carbonell, R., Burton, S., Hammond, D.... (2006) Reduction of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy infectivity from human red blood cells with prion protein affinity ligands. Transfusion, 46(7), 1152-1161. DOI: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2006.00865.x
Gregori L, Gurgel PV, Lathrop JT, Edwardson P, Lambert BC, Carbonell RG, Burton SJ, Hammond DJ, & Rohwer RG. (2006) Reduction in infectivity of endogenous transmissible spongiform encephalopathies present in blood by adsorption to selective affinity resins. Lancet, 368(9554), 2226-30. PMID: 17189034
Murphy CV, Eakins E, Fagan J, Croxon H, & Murphy WG. (2009) In vitro assessment of red-cell concentrates in SAG-M filtered through the MacoPharma P-CAPT prion-reduction filter. Transfusion medicine (Oxford, England), 19(3), 109-16. PMID: 19566667
Wiltshire, M., Thomas, S., Scott, J., Hicks, V., Haines, M., Cookson, P., Garwood, M., & Cardigan, R. (2009) Prion reduction of red blood cells: impact on component quality. Transfusion. DOI: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02500.x
Image by atomicjeep
I came across a very interesting article in the Ottawa Citizen this weekend, unpleasantly titled "For Canada's obese, exercise alone isn't going to cut it". The crux of the article is this - exercise will not help you lose weight. Every few months it seems that this issue pops up, including a cover article in TIME magazine last year, which Peter has previously dissected. This is a complicated issue, and given the sensational title, I wasn't expecting much from the Cit........ Read more »
Church, T., Earnest, C., Skinner, J., & Blair, S. (2007) Effects of Different Doses of Physical Activity on Cardiorespiratory Fitness Among Sedentary, Overweight or Obese Postmenopausal Women With Elevated Blood Pressure: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 297(19), 2081-2091. DOI: 10.1001/jama.297.19.2081
Ross R, Dagnone D, Jones PJ, Smith H, Paddags A, Hudson R, & Janssen I. (2000) Reduction in obesity and related comorbid conditions after diet-induced weight loss or exercise-induced weight loss in men. A randomized, controlled trial. Annals of internal medicine, 133(2), 92-103. PMID: 10896648
Mention the word penicillin and it conjures up images of mold growing on bacterial culture plates and Dr. Alexander Fleming observing that the mold had killed the surrounding bacteria, ushering in the age of antibiotics. Bacterial infections could easily be treated with penicillin or any one of the bewildering array of new antibiotics continually being [...]... Read more »
Lincke T, Behnken S, Ishida K, Roth M, & Hertweck C. (2010) Closthioamide: An Unprecedented Polythioamide Antibiotic from the Strictly Anaerobic Bacterium Clostridium cellulolyticum. Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English), 49(11), 2011-2013. PMID: 20157900
Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »
Jancovich, J., Bremont, M., Touchman, J., & Jacobs, B. (2009) Evidence for Multiple Recent Host Species Shifts among the Ranaviruses (Family Iridoviridae). Journal of Virology, 84(6), 2636-2647. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01991-09
Gross J, & Bhattacharya D. (2009) Revaluating the evolution of the Toc and Tic protein translocons. Trends in plant science, 14(1), 13-20. PMID: 19042148
There's a new Science paper by Schulte and others espousing the link between the Chicxulub impact event and the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous (K), ~65.5 million years ago, and it has received significant media attention. The forty-one (!) pro-bolide scientists review the theory and evidence that has accumulated since the seminal Alvarez paper in 1980 which proposed a link between an extraterrestrial impact and the extinction and the Hildebrand et alia (1991) study which reporte........ Read more »
Alvarez, L., Alvarez, W., Asaro, F., & Michel, H. (1980) Extraterrestrial Cause for the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction. Science, 208(4448), 1095-1108. DOI: 10.1126/science.208.4448.1095
Bralower, T., Eccles, L., Kutz, J., Yancey, T., Schueth, J., Arthur, M., & Bice, D. (2010) Grain size of Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary sediments from Chicxulub to the open ocean: Implications for interpretation of the mass extinction event. Geology, 38(3), 199-202. DOI: 10.1130/G30513.1
Schulte, P., Alegret, L., Arenillas, I., Arz, J., Barton, P., Bown, P., Bralower, T., Christeson, G., Claeys, P., Cockell, C.... (2010) The Chicxulub Asteroid Impact and Mass Extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary. Science, 327(5970), 1214-1218. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177265
by TimOur bodies are home to 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. With such sheer numbers, we have developed an intricate balance with the mutualists living on our skin and in our guts. Their mere presence is vital for protection from pathogenic species; but at the same time, our immune system must keep their numbers in check to prevent overgrowth. Those bacteria within our guts perform important roles in fermenting carbohydrates and producing essential nutrients like vitamin K and bi........ Read more »
Vijay-Kumar, M., Aitken, J., Carvalho, F., Cullender, T., Mwangi, S., Srinivasan, S., Sitaraman, S., Knight, R., Ley, R., & Gewirtz, A. (2010) Metabolic Syndrome and Altered Gut Microbiota in Mice Lacking Toll-Like Receptor 5. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1179721
One of the most striking features about tumors is that they have many, many mutations, all over the genome. To make things more complicated, not every cell in a tumor will have the same set of mutations. A tumor is a very heterogeneous (mixed) bunch of cells.
The presence of so many mutations led researchers to [...]... Read more »
KLONISCH, T., WIECHEC, E., HOMBACHKLONISCH, S., ANDE, S., WESSELBORG, S., SCHULZEOSTHOFF, K., & LOS, M. (2008) Cancer stem cell markers in common cancers – therapeutic implications. Trends in Molecular Medicine, 14(10), 450-460. DOI: 10.1016/j.molmed.2008.08.003
Last Friday, I spent the evening riding up to New York on a bus. To pass the time, I had my iPod and a new paper by Francis Macdonald and colleagues in Science. The paper examines the timing of one of the episodes of “Snowball Earth” glaciation. There’s some important new data in this paper, [...]... Read more »
“Child pornography and English language learning”?! Could there be a connection?! Difficult to believe but true – I’m referring to a best selling English phrase book for Japanese high school students, Moetan: English phrase book.
Moetan’s storyline involves a smart high school girl, Inku, who has a crush on her classmate, Nao, an underachiever. To [...]... Read more »
Ingrid Piller . (2010) At the intersection of gender, language and transnationalism. In Nikolas Coupland. Ed. . Handbook of Language and Globalisation. Malden, MA: Blackwell. . info:/
A new journal article in Physical Therapy in Sport (the journal I recently reviewed) discusses imbalance between upper and lower trapezius muscle activity and the association of subacromial impingement.
The authors studied the EMG activity of the upper and lower trapezius in subjects with and without subacromial impingement. Results show that subjects with impingement had a greater ratio of upper to trapezius to lower trapezius than the...
... Read more »
Smith, M., Sparkes, V., Busse, M., & Enright, S. (2009) Upper and lower trapezius muscle activity in subjects with subacromial impingement symptoms: Is there imbalance and can taping change it?. Physical Therapy in Sport, 10(2), 45-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2008.12.002
As usual there are lots of news stories about Omega 3s (including last week's that some omega 3 supplements may contain high levels of PCBs) but two really caught my eye.The first detailed a hypothetical plan to force feed convicts omega 3 supplements as a means to reduce violent and aggressive episodes. That plan is being born out of the results of a recent study titled, "Effects of nutritional supplements on aggression, rule-breaking, and psychopathology among young adult prisoners".The study........ Read more »
Zaalberg, A., Nijman, H., Bulten, E., Stroosma, L., & van der Staak, C. (2009) Effects of nutritional supplements on aggression, rule-breaking, and psychopathology among young adult prisoners. Aggressive Behavior. DOI: 10.1002/ab.20335
Whenever I think of old-growth forests, I envision the redwoods of Northern California or the Amazon region of South America - not the continent of Europe where forest destruction and intensive management have been widespread for millennia. However, in parts of Europe, areas of virgin forest still exist - mostly in Russia, but also in other countries, as well.
A new study in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation reflects a growing effort to identify and protect these remnant old-growth fo........ Read more »
Veen, P., Fanta, J., Raev, I., Biriş, I., Smidt, J., & Maes, B. (2010) Virgin forests in Romania and Bulgaria: results of two national inventory projects and their implications for protection. Biodiversity and Conservation. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-010-9804-2
Throughout the natural world species have discovered the benefits of cooperating to achieve common goals. Wolves hunt together in packs, many birds seasonally migrate in flocks and no bee will hesitate to work or give its life for the colony. But when cooperation becomes the norm, cheating can become a fruitful strategy on [...]... Read more »
JIRICNY, N., DIGGLE, S., WEST, S., EVANS, B., BALLANTYNE, G., ROSS-GILLESPIE, A., & GRIFFIN, A. (2010) Fitness correlates with the extent of cheating in a bacterium. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.01939.x
Both the hidden and informal curriculum take place after or next to the theoretical teaching, the formal teaching and has an important part in the shaping of the medical students’ professionalism and professional values. Moreover, these forms of the curriculum have a major impact on the learning potential of med students. Yet little is known [...]
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Wear D, & Skillicorn J. (2009) Hidden in plain sight: the formal, informal, and hidden curricula of a psychiatry clerkship. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 84(4), 451-8. PMID: 19318777
I’ve written a lot here recently about the Athapaskan migration(s) into the Southwest. It’s a very interesting topic in a lot of ways. I find it especially fascinating because although the evidence that it happened is very strong, nothing else about it can be easily determined. We know that at least one migration of Athapaskan-speakers [...]... Read more »
Moodie, D., Catchpole, A., & Abel, K. (1992) Northern Athapaskan Oral Traditions and the White River Volcano. Ethnohistory, 39(2), 148. DOI: 10.2307/482391
People are slower at responding to tactile stimuli than to input from the other senses. It's not immediately obvious why this should be. It's unlikely to be for mechanical reasons: the retina in the eye is slower at converting input into a neural signal than is the skin. Psychologists think the answer may have to with attention. Perhaps we're not so good at keeping our attention focused on the tactile modality compared with the others. Now Louise Connell and Dermot Lynott have added to the pictu........ Read more »
Connell L, & Lynott D. (2010) Look but don't touch: Tactile disadvantage in processing modality-specific words. Cognition, 115(1), 1-9. PMID: 19903564
Photo by Todd Huffman.
One of the great things about this site is that people often bring products or research to our attention that we otherwise might have missed. This occurred yesterday in the comments section of Peter's recent post on Acai berry scams, when one of our readers brought up the use of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity. The website that we were provided smacks of weight loss gimmickry - notably the promise of an obesity "cure" and "near 100% ........ Read more »
Lijesen GK, Theeuwen I, Assendelft WJ, & Van Der Wal G. (1995) The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 40(3), 237-43. PMID: 8527285
Photo by pugetsoundphotowalks.
Regardless of your shape or size, physical activity has been shown to add years to your life, and life to your years. But believe it or not, the benefits of physical activity are not restricted to exercise performed in the gym. In fact, one of the easiest ways to improve your health may be through increasing the amount of low intensity physical activity you perform throughout the day. For example, simply increasing the number of steps that you take each day is ........ Read more »
Ekelund, U., Brage, S., Froberg, K., Harro, M., Anderssen, S., Sardinha, L., Riddoch, C., & Andersen, L. (2006) TV Viewing and Physical Activity Are Independently Associated with Metabolic Risk in Children: The European Youth Heart Study. PLoS Medicine, 3(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030488
Lachapelle, U., & Frank, L. (2009) Transit and Health: Mode of Transport, Employer-Sponsored Public Transit Pass Programs, and Physical Activity. Journal of Public Health Policy. DOI: 10.1057/jphp.2008.52
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