Post List

  • August 2, 2010
  • 03:15 PM

Monday Pets: How Anteaters Decide

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

"But wait," you say. "Anteaters aren't pets!" Well, I didn't think so either. But Salvador Dali had a pet anteater. And that's good enough for me.

Figure 1: Salvador Dali taking his pet anteater for a stroll. (Source)

The Giant Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, only eats ants and termites, making it a myrmecophage. (Hey, Alex Wild, now I get what Myrmecos means!) In 1984, a researcher named Kent Redford was interested in the foraging behaviors of the giant anteater, and the relationship betw........ Read more »

KENT H. REDFORD. (1985) Feeding and food preference in captive and wild Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla). Journal of Zoology, 559-572. info:/

  • August 2, 2010
  • 02:36 PM

You can get by with a little help from your friends…

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

New research contends that our social relationships- or lack thereof- should be considered just as dangerous to our health as smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise.... Read more »

  • August 2, 2010
  • 02:25 PM

The MolBio Carnival: the first edition

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

I’m pleased to host the very first edition of the MolBio Carnival, your monthly roundup of interesting posts in molecular biology from the science blogosphere. There has been a great response to this initiative and I had a great time reviewing submissions and writing this post.
You can read all about this Carnival here (submission guidelines, scope, etc), but right now, let’s get down to ... Read more »

  • August 2, 2010
  • 02:07 PM

Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures: 2010

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The Alzheimer's Association sponsors a journal titled Alzheimer's & Dementia.  In the March 2010 issue, they provide a report on facts and figures related to Alzheimer's disease (AD).  The manuscript is free and can be accessed by clicking on the citation at the end of this article.  It is long and detailed with 36 pages of information.  I'm a sucker for data so I spent some time going through the manuscript and here are some of the things that stood out to me:Ninety (90)........ Read more »

Alzheimer's Association. (2010) 2010 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures. Alzheimer's , 6(2), 158-94. PMID: 20298981  

  • August 2, 2010
  • 01:15 PM

This Week in the Universe: July 27th – August 2nd

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

What have people been talking about this week in high energy physics, astrophysics, gravitation, general relativity and quantum gravity?... Read more »

A. Kappes for the IceCube Collaboration. (2010) IceCube: Neutrino Messages from GRBs. Proceedings: Deciphering the Ancient Universe with Gamma-Ray Bursts. arXiv: 1007.4629v1

Adam Moss, James P. Zibin, & Douglas Scott. (2010) Precision Cosmology Defeats Void Models for Acceleration. arXiv. arXiv: 1007.3725v1

Stephen D. H. Hsu. (2010) White holes and eternal black holes. arXiv. arXiv: 1007.2934v1

  • August 2, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

An Inactive Mine Provides Active Opportunities

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Elio

Metagenomics is a fine tool indeed for surveying a microbial community in concert, treating both the cultured and uncultured equally. When the sample studied is rich in microbial variety, as often is the case, the pieces of genomes can be reluctant to reveal the genetic heritage of whole microbes. But there are a few particular environments that are dominated by a handful of species at most, and here this approach allows the reconstruction of complete genomes. That is the case with t........ Read more »

Baker BJ, Comolli LR, Dick GJ, Hauser LJ, Hyatt D, Dill BD, Land ML, Verberkmoes NC, Hettich RL, & Banfield JF. (2010) Enigmatic, ultrasmall, uncultivated Archaea. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(19), 8806-11. PMID: 20421484  

  • August 2, 2010
  • 10:51 AM

How Bacteria Help Create Dinosaur Fossils

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

As stated in many popular-audience books and documentaries, the fossilization of a skeleton involves the gradual transformation of bone into stone, often by way of mineral-rich groundwater percolating through bones over a long period of time. Yet things are not that simple. Thanks to recent discoveries, we know that remnants of soft tissues and even [...]... Read more »


  • August 2, 2010
  • 10:44 AM

A new modern mammal for Madagascar

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

The fact that new, modern-day mammal species are discovered on a fairly regular basis should most definitely not be a surprise to the average Tet Zoo reader. These are not all 'cryptic species' distinguishable only on the basis of DNA: many are morphologically distinctive, honest-to-goodness new animals discovered either in the field or in museum collections. And they're not all bats and rodents: new monkeys, lemurs, sloths and hoofed mammals (peccaries, deer and bovids) have been named in rec........ Read more »

Yoder AD, Burns MM, Zehr S, Delefosse T, Veron G, Goodman SM, & Flynn JJ. (2003) Single origin of Malagasy Carnivora from an African ancestor. Nature, 421(6924), 734-7. PMID: 12610623  

  • August 2, 2010
  • 10:24 AM

Epigenetics and 3-D gene structure

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

DNA methylation controls the binding of proteins that control the 3-D structure of genes.
This is a lightly edited version of an article I wrote as a guest on Alison’s blog over a year ago, looking back a couple of years to show something of what epigenetics was bringing to genome biology. The science has advanced [...]... Read more »

  • August 2, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The Bariatric Food Pyramid

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

The key to long-term success with bariatric surgery is certainly life-long dietary modification.
While most guidelines focus on the immediate needs of patients undergoing bariatric surgery, long term nutrition continues to be an important issue, even in weight-stable patients.
As people with bariatric surgery tend to eat far fewer calories than before and (depending on the type [...]... Read more »

Moizé VL, Pi-Sunyer X, Mochari H, & Vidal J. (2010) Nutritional Pyramid for Post-gastric Bypass Patients. Obesity surgery, 20(8), 1133-41. PMID: 20401543  

  • August 2, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Pushing towards acknowledging sex differences in physiology and treatment efficacy

by EcoPhysioMichelle in C6-H12-O6

It is no surprise to many people that men and women are sometimes more susceptible to certain diseases than the other. By virtue of having differing anatomy, physiology, and gender expectations, we are going to be prone to different types of diseases, injuries, syndromes, and whatever-you-call-its. That being said, the majority of pathologies affect both men and women relatively equally. Despite that fact, rarely do clinical trials explore the difference in response to treatments based on sex. I........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2010
  • 07:06 AM

If you can’t grow it, sequence it

by Becky in It Takes 30

Bacteria live almost everywhere, and use a staggering variety of strategies to get the energy they need to grow.  In the process, they make and recycle all kinds of globally important materials; and we often don’t understand how, biochemically, they do this.  One reason — apart from the sheer overwhelming number of different types of [...]... Read more »

Lücker S, Wagner M, Maixner F, Pelletier E, Koch H, Vacherie B, Rattei T, Damsté JS, Spieck E, Le Paslier D.... (2010) A Nitrospira metagenome illuminates the physiology and evolution of globally important nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20624973  

  • August 2, 2010
  • 06:02 AM

Massive star formation not so different after all?

by sarah in One Small Step

In my previous post on the Zooniverse Project IX I’m involved in, I talked about the importance of star formation in the Universe and some of the difficulties we face in studying it. Some big unanswered question particularly remain in our understanding of how massive stars form. Fittingly, the latest edition of Nature has a [...]... Read more »

Kraus S, Hofmann KH, Menten KM, Schertl D, Weigelt G, Wyrowski F, Meilland A, Perraut K, Petrov R, Robbe-Dubois S.... (2010) A hot compact dust disk around a massive young stellar object. Nature, 466(7304), 339-42. PMID: 20631793  

  • August 2, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

How much for that tiger skin?: Modeling illegal wildlife trade markets

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

While a lot of attention is paid to reporting on human warfare across the globe, the illegal war on wildlife that is carried out through trafficking, poaching, and bush meat trades is often given comparatively less coverage. (At least in U.S. mainstream media, to which I refer here.) I’ve been starting to pay more attention [...]... Read more »

  • August 2, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Article Review: Formative experiences during medical school

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

What were your most impactful experiences during medical school?This study surveyed 216 medical students from Johns Hopkins about a wide spectrum of formative experiences and the impact on their lives. The goal of this study was to determine which experiences are the most commonly shared and most impactful. Because these experiences contribute to each student's emotional development and early professional competence, faculty mentors should be cognizant of these events when advising medical stude........ Read more »

Murinson BB, Klick B, Haythornthwaite JA, Shochet R, Levine RB, & Wright SM. (2010) Formative Experiences of Emerging Physicians: Gauging the Impact of Events That Occur During Medical School. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(8), 1331-1337. PMID: 20671460  

  • August 2, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Consumers ignore the fine print when considering the health risks of fortified foods.

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

While this was far from an easy paper to read, its results are important nonetheless.Researchers in France set out to determine the impact on purchasing behaviour that health claims, health risks and scientific uncertainty had when posted on yogurts (the study was funded by Danone).The study used Danacol, a Danone yogurt that's enriched with plant sterols and marketed as a means to help lower cholesterol.The subjects included folks with and without cholesterol problems and they were asked t........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2010
  • 05:09 AM

Learning from the Military how to handle Disruptions

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Disruptions are a fact of life not only since the Supply Chain literature gained awareness of it. So some institutions in fact specialized on handling disruptions as their core competency.
The article "Responding to Disruptions in the Supply Network - from Dormant to Action" tries to transfer the knowledge and best practices present at the military and humanitarian organizations to Supply Chain Management.

The authors (Kovács and Tatham) are using case research and a resource ........ Read more »

Gyöngyi Kovács, & Peter Tatham. (2009) Responding to Disruptions in the Supply Network from dormant to action. Journal of Business Logistics, 30(2), 215-229. info:/

  • August 2, 2010
  • 05:08 AM

…Who awards the ‘No Duh’s'?

by Rift in Psycasm

A few moons ago I participated in some research for (then) PhD student Richard Ronay. Soon afterwards, I appeared as a student in a filmed report documenting some of his research for the science-themed news programme – Catalyst. I post about it here and here. At the time of filming I was fairly unimpressed with [...]... Read more »

  • August 2, 2010
  • 04:49 AM

That's not a poker face, this is a poker face

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

What does your poker face look like? If it's the traditional, stern, emotionless expression, you may want to consider practising a new one. Erik Schlicht and colleagues report that a friendly, trustworthy face is more likely to influence your opponents, leading them to think that you've got a good hand - that you're not bluffing.

Schlicht's team had 14 relative novices play hundreds of one-shot rounds of a simplified version of Texas Hold'em poker against hundreds of different 'opponents'. Each........ Read more »

Schlicht EJ, Shimojo S, Camerer CF, Battaglia P, & Nakayama K. (2010) Human wagering behavior depends on opponents' faces. PloS one, 5(7). PMID: 20657772  

  • August 2, 2010
  • 04:25 AM

Measuring the total impact of a health condition

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

When I think of the ‘cost’ of having a disability, I have to say I usually think about the effect of the disorder alone on the ability to do valued activities – I haven’t usually thought about the impact of the treatment itself on how people live their lives. I came across this paper by … Read more... Read more »

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