Post List

  • March 8, 2010
  • 03:32 PM

How do researchers use online journals?

by Martin Fenner in Gobbledygook @ Nature Network

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 01:36 PM

Duck to avoid parasites

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 10:08 AM

Brief Review of the P-CAPT Filter

by Brian Appleby in CJD Blogger

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 »

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  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Exercise and Body Weight

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 09:42 AM

Finding the Next Generation of Antibiotics

by Sara Klink in Promega Connections

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 08:53 AM

Non-inherited antibiotic resistance, jumping viruses and more, in my Picks of the Week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to 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 »

Balaban NQ, Merrin J, Chait R, Kowalik L, & Leibler S. (2004) Bacterial persistence as a phenotypic switch. Science (New York, N.Y.), 305(5690), 1622-5. PMID: 15308767  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 08:35 AM

A Review of the Chicxulub impact extinction link

by CM in The Iapetus Beat

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 08:30 AM

A Role for the Host-Microbe Interface in Obesity

by Tim Sampson in The Times Microbial

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  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 08:27 AM

Tumors From Stem Cells?

by Rick Scavetta in DNA Dude

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  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 07:41 AM

When the Sturtian happened

by Callan Bentley in Mountain Beltway

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 »

Macdonald, F., Schmitz, M., Crowley, J., Roots, C., Jones, D., Maloof, A., Strauss, J., Cohen, P., Johnston, D., & Schrag, D. (2010) Calibrating the Cryogenian. Science, 327(5970), 1241-1243. DOI: 10.1126/science.1183325  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 06:20 AM

Child pornography and English language learning

by Kimie Takahashi in Language on the Move

“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:/

  • March 8, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Upper and Lower Trapezius Imbalances May Cause Subacromial Impingement

by Mike Reinold in

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Convicts and soldiers to be force fed Omega 3s?

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 04:00 AM

Protecting Europe's last, old-growth forests

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 02:26 AM

Wolves, Bacteria and Cheaters

by Lucas in thoughtomics

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  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 02:21 AM

Formal, Informal, and Hidden Curricula of a Psychiatry Clerkship

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

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  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 01:20 AM

The Volcano Factor

by teofilo in Gambler's House

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 12:24 AM

We're slower at processing touch-related words than words related to the other senses

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

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 »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 12:04 AM

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) for Fat Loss: "Fallacy and Hazard"

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

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 »

  • March 7, 2010
  • 11:59 PM

Ten Simple Ways to Increase Your Physical Activity

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

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 »

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