The first day at Evolution 2010 has been a great one. The location in Portland is proving to be great in stereotypical ways: great beer from Rogue Ales, conference t-shirts by American Apparel. There's pretty good chatter on Twitter this year under the hashtag #evol2010, and in a first for Evolution meeting coverage, there will be daily wrap-up audiocasts (in which I'll be participating) at the blog Evolution, Development, and Genomics.
Amusingly, we're sharing the Oregon Convention Center with........ Read more »
Feder, J., Chilcote, C., & Bush, G. (1988) Genetic differentiation between sympatric host races of the apple maggot fly Rhagoletis pomonella. Nature, 336(6194), 61-64. DOI: 10.1038/336061a0
Rosenblum, E. (2006) Convergent evolution and divergent selection: lizards at the White Sands ecotone. The American Naturalist, 167(1), 1-15. DOI: 10.1086/498397
Although bacteria are often thought of as invading pathogens, not all bacterial interactions are necessarily to the detriment of the host. Some bacteria are able to establish mutualistic relationships which benefit both the bacteria and the organism in which it lives. An example can be seen in legumes, which have bacteria in specialised root nodules which carry out nitrogen fixation. The plant gains a source of nitrogen while the bacterium gains a safe space to live and a good source of carbohyd........ Read more »
Toft C, & Andersson SG. (2010) Evolutionary microbial genomics: insights into bacterial host adaptation. Nature reviews. Genetics, 11(7), 465-475. PMID: 20517341
One thing that virtually all women share is body image issues. No matter how thin or fat, short or tall, or muscular or slim, women dislike something about their body. According to a new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, even women who are seemingly well-adjusted with no overt body image issues have [...]... Read more »
Annis NM, Cash TF, & Hrabosky JI. (2004) Body image and psychosocial differences among stable average weight, currently overweight, and formerly overweight women: the role of stigmatizing experiences. Body image, 1(2), 155-67. PMID: 18089148
Etu SF, & Gray JJ. (2010) A preliminary investigation of the relationship between induced rumination and state body image dissatisfaction and anxiety. Body image, 7(1), 82-5. PMID: 19837639
Hayes S, & Tantleff-Dunn S. (2010) Am I too fat to be a princess? Examining the effects of popular children's media on young girls' body image. The British journal of developmental psychology, 28(Pt 2), 413-26. PMID: 20481395
Hrabosky JI, Cash TF, Veale D, Neziroglu F, Soll EA, Garner DM, Strachan-Kinser M, Bakke B, Clauss LJ, & Phillips KA. (2009) Multidimensional body image comparisons among patients with eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and clinical controls: a multisite study. Body image, 6(3), 155-63. PMID: 19410528
Owens, T., Allen, M., & Spangler, D. (2010) An fMRI study of self-reflection about body image: Sex differences. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(7), 849-854. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.02.012
The microbial world is full of vicious beasts. Yes, much of microbial life is cute and cuddly in one way or another. But that doesn't stop many of them from making wolverines seem docile by comparison. There is an entire mafia out there built around...organ theft; including some multicellular players as well, in case you thought animals were saintly. Today we'll look at some famous thieving masterminds of the plastid black market, but keep in mind that there are many more fascinating rela........ Read more »
Garcia-Cuetos, L., Moestrup, �., Hansen, P., & Daugbjerg, N. (2010) The toxic dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuminata harbors permanent chloroplasts of cryptomonad origin, not kleptochloroplasts. Harmful Algae, 9(1), 25-38. DOI: 10.1016/j.hal.2009.07.002
Johnson, M. (2010) The acquisition of phototrophy: adaptive strategies of hosting endosymbionts and organelles. Photosynthesis Research. DOI: 10.1007/s11120-010-9546-8
Johnson, M., Oldach, D., Delwiche, C., & Stoecker, D. (2007) Retention of transcriptionally active cryptophyte nuclei by the ciliate Myrionecta rubra. Nature, 445(7126), 426-428. DOI: 10.1038/nature05496
Keeling, P. (2004) Diversity and evolutionary history of plastids and their hosts. American Journal of Botany, 91(10), 1481-1493. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.91.10.1481
OAKLEY, B., & TAYLOR, F. (1978) Evidence for a new type of endosymbiotic organization in a population of the ciliate Mesodinium rubrum from British Columbia. Biosystems, 10(4), 361-369. DOI: 10.1016/0303-2647(78)90019-9
Park, M., Kim, S., Kim, H., Myung, G., Kang, Y., & Yih, W. (2006) First successful culture of the marine dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuminata. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 101-106. DOI: 10.3354/ame045101
TAYLOR, F., BLACKBOURN, D., & BLACKBOURN, J. (1969) Ultrastructure of the Chloroplasts and Associated Structures within the Marine Ciliate Mesodinium rubrum (Lohmann). Nature, 224(5221), 819-821. DOI: 10.1038/224819a0
Wisecaver, J., & Hackett, J. (2010) Transcriptome analysis reveals nuclear-encoded proteins for the maintenance of temporary plastids in the dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuminata. BMC Genomics, 11(1), 366. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-11-366
Blanketing a home garden in pesticides poses a clear risk to the humans and animals who dine on it. But when the garden is compared to a human immune system, another problem becomes apparent: Just like antibiotics, pesticides wipe out the “good bugs” with the bad. These helpful predators and parasitoids are called natural enemies and they help to naturally control pests like aphids and caterpillars. Certain plants attract natural enemies and/or deter pests all together and can be used in pla........ Read more »
Bilu, E., & Coll, M. (2009) Parasitized Aphids Are Inferior Prey for a Coccinellid Predator: Implications for Intraguild Predation. Environmental Entomology, 38(1), 153-158. DOI: 10.1603/022.038.0119
Professor Chris Gore, head of Physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport, has had over 20 years experience in the science of sport at altitude, including the study of the physiological effects of altitude on the body and designing altitude training regimes for athletes.
The effects of altitude have been known for some time, however their effects on sport became prominent during the 1968 Mexico Olympics, which were held at over 2000 metres. At these games, endurance sports suffered w........ Read more »
McSharry, P. (2007) Effect of altitude on physiological performance: a statistical analysis using results of international football games. BMJ, 335(7633), 1278-1281. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.39393.451516.AD
Loland S, & Caplan A. (2008) Ethics of technologically constructed hypoxic environments in sport. Scandinavian journal of medicine , 70-5. PMID: 18665954
Levine BD, & Stray-Gundersen J. (1997) "Living high-training low": effect of moderate-altitude acclimatization with low-altitude training on performance. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 83(1), 102-12. PMID: 9216951
Bärtsch P, Saltin B, Dvorak J, & Federation Internationale de Football Association. (2008) Consensus statement on playing football at different altitude. Scandinavian journal of medicine , 96-9. PMID: 18665957
One of the eerier themes in psychology papers is the extreme susceptibility of people's thoughts and acts to incidental details in their surroundings. For instance, this paper from a recent European Journal of Social Psychology (I was led to it by this recent news story), in which people rated some paragraphs, supposedly from a student essay. Those who used red ink found more errors, and gave lower grades, than those who'd used blue.
Pretty disturbing -- like this Canadian study publis........ Read more »
Rutchick, A., Slepian, M., & Ferris, B. (2010) The pen is mightier than the word: Object priming of evaluative standards. European Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.753
Redelmeier, D., & Baxter, S. (2009) Rainy weather and medical school admission interviews. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 181(12), 933-933. DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.091546
Oliffe et al. (2010) think that suicidal men either choose the path of connection or the path of escape, and if the latter, then that means those men have been adversely affected by masculine ideals.... Read more »
Oliffe, J., Ogrodniczuk, J., Bottorff, J., Johnson, J., & Hoyak, K. (2010) “You feel like you can’t live anymore”: Suicide from the perspectives of men who experience depression. Social Science . DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.03.057
As I mentioned not so long ago, there will most likely prove to be a great many subtle and overlapping genetic variants of human longevity. However, very few of them will be important in the sense that they will lead to ways to significantly increase human life span through new medicine. The effective way to greatly increase human longevity is to learn to repair the biochemical damage of aging, not to tinker with metabolism to slow down the rate at which damage occurs. In any case, here is an ex........ Read more »
Michal Jazwinski S, Kim S, Dai J, Li L, Bi X, Jiang JC, Arnold J, Batzer MA, Walker JA, Welsh DA.... (2010) HRAS1 and LASS1 with APOE are associated with human longevity and healthy aging. Aging cell. PMID: 20569235
Image Credit: NASA / Spitzer / JPL-Caltech
White dwarfs, the slowly cooling remains of stars that have completed their life cycles, often seem to be the zombies of the night sky, devouring anything that happens to stray within their grasp. In an article that will be appearing in an upcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal, astronomers Patrick Dufour, Mukremin Kilic and collaborators discuss a recently-discovered white dwarf that seems to have devoured a dwarf planet. Its name:&........ Read more »
P. Dufour, M. Kilic, G. Fontaine, P. Bergeron, F. -R. Lachapelle, S. J. Kleinman, & S. K. Leggett. (2010) The Discovery of the Most Metal-Rich White Dwarf: Composition of a Tidally Disrupted Extrasolar Dwarf Planet. The Astrophysical Journal. arXiv: 1006.3710v1
I wanted to follow up the piece last week about the oil spill and potential benefits to bacterial populations there to another bacterium that may have a larger role in the normal functioning of our environment then previously suggested. Still, I promise to include a disease this week though. I love it when bacteria appear [...]... Read more »
Zhang, L., Wang, M., Prosser, J., Zheng, Y., & He, J. (2009) Altitude ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in soils of Mount Everest. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 70(2), 208-217. DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2009.00775.x
Morris, C., Sands, D., Vinatzer, B., Glaux, C., Guilbaud, C., Buffière, A., Yan, S., Dominguez, H., & Thompson, B. (2008) The life history of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae is linked to the water cycle. The ISME Journal, 2(3), 321-334. DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2007.113
Christner, B., Cai, R., Morris, C., McCarter, K., Foreman, C., Skidmore, M., Montross, S., & Sands, D. (2008) Geographic, seasonal, and precipitation chemistry influence on the abundance and activity of biological ice nucleators in rain and snow. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(48), 18854-18859. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0809816105
Sigh... It depends on what you mean by "speech perception" (still). I just read, with much anticipation, a paper in the current issue of J. Neuroscience by Pattamadilok et al. titled "How Does Learning to Read Affect Speech Perception?" I was really excited because as I've pointed out before, there is evidence indicating that the ability to perform certain "speech perception" tasks (e.g., syllable discrimination/identification) seems to be dependent on the ability to read. Assuming that illit........ Read more »
Pattamadilok C, Knierim IN, Kawabata Duncan KJ, & Devlin JT. (2010) How does learning to read affect speech perception?. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(25), 8435-44. PMID: 20573891
In previous posts I’ve asked how we know where our hands are and how we combine information from our senses. Today’s paper covers both of these topics, and investigates the deeper question of how we incorporate this information into our representation of the body.Body representation essentially splits into two parts: body image and body schema. Body image is how we think about our body, how we see ourselves; disorders in body image can lead to anorexia or myriad other problems. Body schema, ........ Read more »
Newport, R., Pearce, R., & Preston, C. (2009) Fake hands in action: embodiment and control of supernumerary limbs. Experimental Brain Research. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-009-2104-y
The CopyControl™ Fosmid Library Production Kit has established itself as the molecular tool of choice in studying many facets of environmental metagenomics. Donato et al. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison explored several antibiotic resistance genes from soil microbes in an apple orchard. The study focused on Streptomyces bacteria, long known to be a reservoir of multiple antimicrobial resistance markers. Older techniques, such as cultivation of microbes from soil and determining resista........ Read more »
Donato, J. et al. (2010) Metagenomic Analysis of Apple Orchard Soil Reveals Antibiotic Resistance Genes Encoding Predicted Bifunctional Proteins. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(13), 4396-4401. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01763-09
Sometimes a blog entry writes itself. I mean, potato power? Spud lights? How much fun can we have? Anyway, here's the story: Proffessor Haim Rabinowitch and his colleagues at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have reported a ten-times increase...... Read more »
Golberg, A., Rabinowitch, H., & Rubinsky, B. (2010) Zn/Cu-vegetative batteries, bioelectrical characterizations, and primary cost analyses. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 2(3), 33103. DOI: 10.1063/1.3427222
One of the tastiest things I can think of is Jell-O—and just in time to celebrate the Second Annual Jell-O Mold Competition, comes a bit of research from the ACS journal, Analytical Chemistry. The article, "Using Inexpensive Jell-O Chips for...... Read more »
Yang, C., Ouellet, E., & Lagally, E. (2010) Using Inexpensive Jell-O Chips for Hands-On Microfluidics Education. Analytical Chemistry, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/ac902926x
Dogs that have been trained to detect an invasive weed are better at finding the plants than humans, a new report says.
Invasive plant managers often face the tough task of wiping out an entire species from an area. But small or rare plants can elude notice, thwarting efforts at eradication. To track down those […] Read More »... Read more »
Goodwin, K.M., Engel, R.E., & D.K. Weaver. (2010) Trained dogs outperform human surveyors in the detection of rare spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe). Invasive Plant Science and Management, 3(2), 113-121. DOI: 10.1614/IPSM-D-09-00025.1
In the paper Dark Matter: A Primer Garrett and Dudagives give a nice historical background to the accumulating evidence for dark matter. Lets go through the history they lay out.
1. J. H. Oort: Astronomers have come to tust what is known as the mass to light ratio, M/L, that does a good job telling you what the mass of luminous matter should be based off of the luminosity of that matter.
... Read more »
To some people, a volcanic eruption means “Ahh! Run! Hot Lava!” But to others, it means “SCIENCE!” To those studying hydrothermal vent communities, that is (and a wide berth of geologists). Hydrothermal vents are cracks in the seafloor formed when tectonic plates spread apart, which spew out hot, mineral-rich water from the interior of the [...]... Read more »
Mullineaux, L., Adams, D., Mills, S., & Beaulieu, S. (2010) Larvae from afar colonize deep-sea hydrothermal vents after a catastrophic eruption. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(17), 7829-7834. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913187107
By now, readers of Obesity Panacea have hopefully learned that excess weight is not directly predictive of health risk, and that excess fat mass is not in itself unhealthy. Recall that approximately 30% of individuals who are classified as obese by their body weight turn out to be metabolically healthy, and in fact seem not to get much metabolic benefit (or may even get worse) when they lose weight. Also consider that individuals who have NO fat tissue (e.g. lipodystrophy) have extremely elevat........ Read more »
McLaughlin, T., Liu, T., Yee, G., Abbasi, F., Lamendola, C., Reaven, G., Tsao, P., Cushman, S., & Sherman, A. (2009) Pioglitazone Increases the Proportion of Small Cells in Human Abdominal Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue. Obesity. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2009.380
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