Post List

  • January 10, 2011
  • 05:19 AM

Ancestry in the Americas

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

The populations of the African Diaspora have a particular interest in the new genomics, and its relationship to ancestry. Unlike other post-Columbian Diasporas they have sketchy, at best, knowledge of the regions from which their ancestors arrived. This probably explains the popularity of Roots and Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s various genealogical projects which have utilized [...]... Read more »

Stefflova K, Dulik MC, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Pai AA, & Walker AH. (2011) Dissecting the Within-Africa Ancestry of Populations of African Descent in the Americas. PLoS ONE . info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0014495

  • January 10, 2011
  • 04:51 AM

Three-year-olds show a bias for spotting snakes in a striking posture

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Have we evolved to detect this threat?
We humans seem to have an innate predisposition to fear dangerous animals and other hazards that would have imperilled our ancestors - a phenomenon called 'prepared learning'. For example, when researchers in the 1980s used loud noises to condition people to fear the sight of snakes and guns, they found that people acquired a fear of the snakes much more easily, even though the noises matched the sound made by guns. A new study has built on that classic w........ Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 04:27 AM

Life as a stegosaur: the SJG stegosaur special, part III

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

Time to wrap up on the SJG special - make sure you see part I and part II first. Wow, I never thought I'd end up writing three long articles on this series of papers (hmm, a familiar theme). In the previous articles we looked at stegosaur systematics, and at Heinrich Mallison's work on the ranges of movement and posture of Kentrosaurus. This time round, we look at the papers that discuss preserved soft tissues, the possible role of the plates, and on feeding behaviour. Oh, and we finish up b........ Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 04:13 AM

Change blindness illusion

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

Jordan Suchow has some illustrations of an illusion (here) that accompany the paper whose citation is below. It an excellent demonstration of change blindness. Here is the abstract:
Loud bangs, bright flashes, and intense shocks capture attention, but other changes – even those of similar magnitude – can go unnoticed. Demonstrations of change blindness have shown [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 03:29 AM

Black holes are not fed by colliding galaxies after all

by Kelly Oakes in Basic Space

It’s not a question you’re likely to have ever considered, but the source of “food” for some of the most active black holes has been a longstanding line of inquiry for the astrophysics community. Many thought they had the answer … Continue reading →... Read more »

Cisternas, M., Jahnke, K., Inskip, K., Kartaltepe, J., Koekemoer, A., Lisker, T., Robaina, A., Scodeggio, M., Sheth, K., Trump, J.... (2011) THE BULK OF THE BLACK HOLE GROWTH SINCE z ~ 1 OCCURS IN A SECULAR UNIVERSE: NO MAJOR MERGER-AGN CONNECTION* . The Astrophysical Journal, 726(2), 57. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/726/2/57  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 02:52 AM

The psychology of parapsychology, or why good researchers publishing good articles in good journals can still get it totally wrong

by Tal Yarkoni in citation needed

Unless you’ve been pleasantly napping under a rock for the last couple of months, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about a forthcoming article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP) purporting to provide strong evidence for the existence of some ESP-like phenomenon. (If you’ve been napping, see here, here, here, here, here, [...]... Read more »

Bem, D. J. (2011) Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/

  • January 9, 2011
  • 10:02 PM

It’s really all about the brain

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Neuroscience is such a geeky area to study. And I have to say I didn’t really study the brain all that well in my undergraduate training all those years ago – but oh, how the worm has turned! It’s so exciting to see how basic science directly influences treatments that we can use for people … Read more... Read more »

  • January 9, 2011
  • 06:48 PM

Psycasm - A window into your Genetics and Mate Preference?

by Rift in Psycasm

I have stumbled upon an interesting area of research. It seems that, like some other seemingly arbitrary measures (like digit ratios), that it has the capacity to have modest (if rough) predictive power. It also seems, at first glance, to border on the kooky side of science, and in parts reminds me of old arguments about racial intelligence and head-bumps, cranial capacity, and ol' fashioned ; (read more)

Source: Rift - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »

  • January 9, 2011
  • 04:46 PM

A more prosaic explanation

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

The aftermath of some blogosphere activity about CDF possible finding at Tevatron left no possible satisfactory explanation beyond a massive octet of massive gluons that was already known in the literature and used by people at Fermilab. In the end we need some exceedingly massive gluons to explain this asymmetry. If you look around in [...]... Read more »

Marco Frasca. (2007) Infrared Gluon and Ghost Propagators. Phys.Lett.B670:73-77,2008. arXiv: 0709.2042v6

Marco Frasca. (2009) Mapping a Massless Scalar Field Theory on a Yang-Mills Theory: Classical Case. Mod. Phys. Lett. A 24, 2425-2432 (2009). arXiv: 0903.2357v4

  • January 9, 2011
  • 04:23 PM

Of association & evolution

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Two of the main avenues of research which I track rather closely in this space are genome-wide association studies (GWAS), which attempt to establish a connection between a trait/disease and particular genetic markers, and inquiries into the evolutionary parameters which shape the structure of variation within the human genome. Often with specific relation to a particular [...]... Read more »

Casto AM, & Feldman MW. (2011) Genome-Wide Association Study SNPs in the Human Genome Diversity Project Populations: Does Selection Affect Unlinked SNPs with Shared Trait Associations?. PLoS Genetics. info:/10.1371/journal.pgen.1001266

  • January 9, 2011
  • 02:59 PM

Arsenic life is one month old…

by Rogue in Into Oblivion

(This was first published at the Urban Times) Indeed, long life for a dead-born. Let’s go back to this shameful story. What happened in the beginning? Well, it really began in 2008, not in 2010: Martin Reilly from the New Scientist talked about the arsenic life. As Antoine Danchin writes in his recent paper in [...]... Read more »

Wolfe-Simon F, Blum JS, Kulp TR, Gordon GW, Hoeft SE, Pett-Ridge J, Stolz JF, Webb SM, Weber PK, Davies PC.... (2010) A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 21127214  

Antoine Danchin. (2010) Science and Arsenic Fool's Gold: A Toxic Broth. Journal of Cosmology, 3617-3620. info:/

  • January 9, 2011
  • 02:58 PM

“Is Happiness Contagious Online” Paper presented at #HICSS

by Anatoliy Gruzd in Social Media Lab

This week, I traveled to Hawaii to present a paper entitled “Is Happiness Contagious Online? A Case of Twitter and the 2010 Winter Olympics” (co-authored with Sophie Dorion and Philip Mai) at the 44th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). HICSS is one of the longest-standing continuously running scientific conferences in the world. [...]... Read more »

Gruzd, A., Doiron, S., Mai, P. (2011) Is Happiness Contagious Online? A Case of Twitter and the 2010 Winter Olympics. Proceedings of the 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), January 4-7, Kauai, HI, USA. info:/

  • January 9, 2011
  • 01:18 PM

Glasses tougher than steel

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Glasses are very useful structural materials, because they are strong. You can stand on a glass table without it breaking. But once you put too much stress on a glass it breaks. Steels on the other hand are much tougher — which means that they show a much stronger resistance to fracture: rather than suddenly [...]... Read more »

Demetriou, M., Launey, M., Garrett, G., Schramm, J., Hofmann, D., Johnson, W., & Ritchie, R. (2011) A damage-tolerant glass. Nature Materials. DOI: 10.1038/nmat2930  

  • January 9, 2011
  • 09:18 AM

The nature of our last common ancestor: simple and streamlined or complex and flabby?

by Gemma Atkinson in Protein evolution and other musings

What is the ancestor of all life on Earth? It's one of the biggest questions in Biology... no, in Science... no in Life. I may be biased, being an evolutionary biologist, but I'm pretty sure that along with the origin of the universe, and the nature of consciousness, it's one of the biggies.The name of this legendary ancestral creature is LUCA (I have Suzanne Vega singing in my head now), which stands for the Last Universal Common Ancestor.Bacteria, Archaea or Eukaryote?So what sort of creature ........ Read more »

Kurland, C., Canbäck, B., & Berg, O. (2007) The origins of modern proteomes. Biochimie, 89(12), 1454-1463. DOI: 10.1016/j.biochi.2007.09.004  

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

  • January 9, 2011
  • 06:08 AM

You pay in ribosomes for proteins

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

Everything costs. When cell grows, it needs energy and in needs materials. By the end of the day it comes down to accounting: if you need to make N proteins, you will need X ATPs molecules, Y aminoacids and Z ribosomes to do the job. And of all these ribosomes are the most expensive to make: they are huge, made of RNA and if you want to make proteins fast, you need lots of ribosomes!So research team led by famous systems biologist Uri Alon decided to quantify the cost of making a protein. In ord........ Read more »

Potrykus K, & Cashel M. (2008) (p)ppGpp: still magical?. Annual review of microbiology, 35-51. PMID: 18454629  

  • January 8, 2011
  • 11:01 PM

Some Ammonites Ate Plankton

by Danna Staaf in Squid A Day

Very cool new research on feeding in ancient ammonites! (Thanks to R. Olley for the link.)
Ammonites, though not the direct ancestors of modern-day cephalopods, are their ancient cousins--and they were the most successful cephalopods of all time, in terms of diversity and sheer abundance.
Ammonites from Ernst Haeckel's 1904 Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of Nature).
read more... Read more »

  • January 8, 2011
  • 07:49 PM

I’ve Been Selected for the Open Lab 2010 Anthology of Science Blogging

by Brian Romans in Clastic Detritus

I am pleased to announce that I’ve been selected as one of the 50 finalists for the Open Lab 2010 compendium of science blogging. I’m absolutely thrilled to be included in this group of talented and enthusiastic communicators of science. Below is the post that will appear in the volume (to be published in [...]... Read more »

  • January 8, 2011
  • 06:36 PM

Next Generation Sequencing adds thousands of new genes

by Sandra Porter in Discovering Biology in a Digital World

I had the good fortune on Thursday to hear a fascinating talk on deep transcriptome analysis by Chris Mason, Assistant Professor, at the Institute for Computational Biomedicine at
Cornell University.  Several intriguing observations were presented during the talk.  I'll present the key points first and then discuss the data.Some of the most interesting points from Mason's talk were: A large fraction of the existing genome annotation is wrong.We have far more than 30,000 genes, perhaps........ Read more »

Mason CE, Zumbo P, Sanders S, Folk M, Robinson D, Aydt R, Gollery M, Welsh M, Olson NE, & Smith TM. (2010) Standardizing the next generation of bioinformatics software development with BioHDF (HDF5). Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 693-700. PMID: 20865556  

Mane, S., Evans, C., Cooper, K., Crasta, O., Folkerts, O., Hutchison, S., Harkins, T., Thierry-Mieg, D., Thierry-Mieg, J., & Jensen, R. (2009) Transcriptome sequencing of the Microarray Quality Control (MAQC) RNA reference samples using next generation sequencing. BMC Genomics, 10(1), 264. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-10-264  

Kapranov, P., St. Laurent, G., Raz, T., Ozsolak, F., Reynolds, C., Sorensen, P., Reaman, G., Milos, P., Arceci, R., Thompson, J.... (2010) The majority of total nuclear-encoded non-ribosomal RNA in a human cell is 'dark matter' un-annotated RNA. BMC Biology, 8(1), 149. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-149  

  • January 8, 2011
  • 12:38 PM

Viral nature of the mitochondrial RNA polymerase

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

Mitochondria contain their own genome, and they transcribe it. Since mitochondria are of bacterial origin, one would expect that their polimerase would be similar to that of bacteria. And it is so the case for chloroplasts, which are also of bacterial origin.However, mitochondrial polymerase not homologous to that of bacteria, or, for that matter, to cytosolic eukariotic polymerases. It is homologous to... polymerases of T phages, T3 and T7!However, it is slightly modified. It has an extension ........ Read more »

  • January 8, 2011
  • 11:00 AM

Trends and drivers for cross-border supply chains

by Jan Husdal in

What are the main change and trend drivers for international supply chains? How will future cross-border supply chains look like? This article identifies a set of foreseeable drivers of change and their predicted impact on global supply chain management for the next 20 years. ... Read more »

Hameri, A., & Hintsa, J. (2009) Assessing the drivers of change for cross-border supply chains. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 39(9), 741-761. DOI: 10.1108/09600030911008184  

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