For something as widely used for as long as general anesthetics (GAs), one would think that their molecular mechanism of action would have been fairly understood. Far from it. From Linus Pauling's theory of gases like xenon acting at high concentrations by forming clathrates to more recent theories of GA action on lipids and now on proteins, tantalizing clues have emerged, but speculation remains rife. In a recent Acc. Chem. Res. review, a group of researchers explains some recent studies on GA ........ Read more »
Vemparala, S., Domene, C., & Klein, M. (2010) Computational Studies on the Interactions of Inhalational Anesthetics with Proteins. Accounts of Chemical Research, 43(1), 103-110. DOI: 10.1021/ar900149j
tags: evolutionary biology, paleontology, fossils, fossilization, fossil forensics, Taphonomy, taxonomy, zoology, deep time, paleoceanography, amphioxus, Branchiostoma lanceolatum, lamprey, Lampetra fluviatilis, chordates, bpr3.org/?p=52,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper
Three rotting Amphioxus heads.
A sequence of images showing how the characteristic features of the body of amphioxus, a close living relative of vertebrates, change during decay. Colours are caused by interferen........ Read more »
Sansom, R., Gabbott, S., & Purnell, M. (2010) Non-random decay of chordate characters causes bias in fossil interpretation. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08745
Donoghue, P., & Purnell, M. (2009) Distinguishing heat from light in debate over controversial fossils. BioEssays, 31(2), 178-189. DOI: 10.1002/bies.200800128
Here's how children play the Dictator Game when given stickers of different "value"...... Read more »
Peter R. Blake; David G. Randbc. (2009) Currency value moderates equity preference among young children. Evolution and Human Behavior. info:/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.06.012
A striking discovery in medical genetics is that some apparently disparate diseases may have similar underlying genetic dysfunctions.
Take for example, familial dysautonomia (FD), described in Slaugenhaupt et al. (2001):
The loss of neuronal function in FD has many repercussions, with patients displaying gastrointestinal dysfunction, abnormal respiratory responses to hypoxic and hypercarbic states, scoliosis, gastroesophageal reflux, vomiting [...]... Read more »
Nguyen, L., Humbert, S., Saudou, F., & Chariot, A. (2010) Elongator – an emerging role in neurological disorders. Trends in Molecular Medicine, 16(1), 1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.molmed.2009.11.002
Slaugenhaupt SA, Blumenfeld A, Gill SP, Leyne M, Mull J, Cuajungco MP, Liebert CB, Chadwick B, Idelson M, Reznik L.... (2001) Tissue-specific expression of a splicing mutation in the IKBKAP gene causes familial dysautonomia. American journal of human genetics, 68(3), 598-605. PMID: 11179008
While much of the world is just now coming to grips with the demise of the old "superpower" system, a confluence of emerging ideologies and population-influence tactics are waiting eagerly in the wings.Last year, the folks from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia published a report titled "Undermining Democracy: 21st Century Authoritarians," which looked at new ways that totalitarian-like leaders are squelching political freedoms throughout the world through strategic use of medi........ Read more »
Sternberg, E. (2010) Purifying the World: What the New Radical Ideology Stands For. Orbis, 54(1), 61-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.orbis.2009.10.006
Objective diagnosis is in some
ways the holy grail of medicine. It has been maddeningly elusive
in psychiatry. Now comes a paper in which the authors suggest
that they may have found this treasure.
The paper details a method of using magnetoencephalography to assess
human brain function. They claim that, in a select population, it
can correctly identify patients with PTSD with 90% accuracy.
synchronous neural interactions test as a functional neuromarker for
post-t........ Read more »
Georgopoulos, A., Tan, H., Lewis, S., Leuthold, A., Winskowski, A., Lynch, J., & Engdahl, B. (2010) The synchronous neural interactions test as a functional neuromarker for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): a robust classification method based on the bootstrap. Journal of Neural Engineering, 7(1), 16011. DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/7/1/016011
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.This week's ... Read more »
Durrant, J., Amaro, R., Xie, L., Urbaniak, M., Ferguson, M., Haapalainen, A., Chen, Z., Di Guilmi, A., Wunder, F., Bourne, P.... (2010) A Multidimensional Strategy to Detect Polypharmacological Targets in the Absence of Structural and Sequence Homology. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000648
Falkowski PG. (2006) Evolution. Tracing oxygen's imprint on earth's metabolic evolution. Science (New York, N.Y.), 311(5768), 1724-5. PMID: 16556831
Milinkovitch, M., Helaers, R., & Tzika, A. (2009) Historical Constraints on Vertebrate Genome Evolution. Genome Biology and Evolution, 13-18. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evp052
Dickson, S., Wang, K., Krantz, I., Hakonarson, H., & Goldstein, D. (2010) Rare Variants Create Synthetic Genome-Wide Associations. PLoS Biology, 8(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000294
Every so often — not often enough — I run across a paper that’s so ridiculously ingenious that it just makes me laugh with pleasure.
Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause, please, to Shou-Wei Ding, of the Center for Plant Cell Biology at UC Riverside, for his Rube Goldberg-esque brilliant technique for identifying new viruses. [...]... Read more »
Wu, Q., Luo, Y., Lu, R., Lau, N., Lai, E., Li, W., & Ding, S. (2010) Virus discovery by deep sequencing and assembly of virus-derived small silencing RNAs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(4), 1606-1611. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911353107
Kreuze, J., Perez, A., Untiveros, M., Quispe, D., Fuentes, S., Barker, I., & Simon, R. (2009) Complete viral genome sequence and discovery of novel viruses by deep sequencing of small RNAs: A generic method for diagnosis, discovery and sequencing of viruses. Virology, 388(1), 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2009.03.024
A new study published in the journal Biological Conservation illustrates how landscape genetics can be used to discover how wildlife populations respond over time to anthropogenic and natural forest disturbances.
Stephen Spear and Andrew Storfer from Washington State University conducted genetic sampling of Rocky Mountain tailed frogs (Ascaphus montanus) across north-central Idaho at sites that were either subject to timber harvesting or historic wildfires and found that the responses to the ........ Read more »
Spear, S., & Storfer, A. (2010) Anthropogenic and natural disturbance lead to differing patterns of gene flow in the Rocky Mountain tailed frog, Ascaphus montanus. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.12.021
The recent coverage of the devastation and destruction after the earthquake in Haiti has had an unintended consequence; the public is now questioning the legitimacy and ethics of the physicians who masquerade as journalists. For decades, there has been an increased interest in and awareness of the need for physicians and the medical community to work [...]... Read more »
Anthony, S., Lozano-Calderon, S., & Ring, D. (2007) Stigmatization of Repetitive Hand Use in Newspaper Reports of Hand Illness. HAND, 3(1), 30-33. DOI: 10.1007/s11552-007-9052-4
Campbell, N., Heath, J., Bouknight, J., Rudd, K., & Pender, J. (2009) Speaking Out For Mental Health: Collaboration of Future Journalists and Psychiatrists. Academic Psychiatry, 33(2), 166-168. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ap.33.2.166
Catherine, N., Ko, J., & Barr, R. (2008) Getting the Word Out: Advice on Crying and Colic in Popular Parenting Magazines. Journal of Developmental , 29(6), 508-511. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31818d0c0c
(Also the answer to MM12, which nobody got, although I haven't particularly followed up on the hints either...)If you're ever low on ideas for your next taxonomic adventure, Cercozoa is one endlessly fascinating clade that never fails to offer surpises. In fact, the more you explore them, the less familiar they become. Cercozoa (TC-S 1998) can offer pretty much anything -- from photosynthetic amoebae to the utterly bizarre Phaeodaria to beautiful testate Euglyphids (including a case of separate ........ Read more »
Chantangsi, C., Esson, H., & Leander, B. (2008) Morphology and molecular phylogeny of a marine interstitial tetraflagellate with putative endosymbionts: Auranticordis quadriverberis n. gen. et sp. (Cercozoa). BMC Microbiology, 8(1), 123. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-8-123
Did you know there is a sense of humor questionnaire? It’s called the Humor Styles Questionnaire and distinguishes between four styles of humor.
Affiliative, use of humor to amuse others and facilitate relationships
Self enhancing, use of humor to cope with stress and maintain a humorous outlook during times of difficulty
Aggressive, use of sarcastic, manipulative, put-down, or [...]
Related posts:Personality Traits and Political Attitude The relationship between personality and polit........ Read more »
Galloway, G. (2010) Individual differences in personal humor styles: Identification of prominent patterns and their associates. Personality and Individual Differences. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2009.12.007
'I don't tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I'll give them a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it's for the birds. As far as I'm concerned, they're just doing their job.'Mr Pink, Reservoir Dogs.Stats from the USA suggest that $40 billion is spent on tips every year. Yet from the traditional economic perspective, which sees us as rational agents operating in our own interest, tipping waiters, barbers,........ Read more »
Saunders, S., & Lynn, M. (2010) Why tip? An empirical test of motivations for tipping car guards. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(1), 106-113. DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2009.11.007
Seiter, J., & Weger, Jr., H. (2010) The Effect of Generalized Compliments, Sex of Server, and Size of Dining Party on Tipping Behavior in Restaurants. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40(1), 1-12. DOI: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2009.00560.x
White roofs won’t necessarily reduce energy consumption
... Read more »
Oleson, K.W., Bonan, G.B., & Feddema, J. (2010) The effects of white roofs on urban temperature in a global climate model. Geophysical Research Letters. info:/10.1029/2009GL042194
I remember it well. As a young researcher I presented my findings in one of my first talks, at the end of which the chair killed my work with a remark, that made the whole room of scientists laugh, but was really beside the point. My supervisor, a truly original and very wise scientist, suppressed [...]... Read more »
Smith, G. (2003) Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ, 327(7429), 1459-1461. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.327.7429.1459
Sergio Mora published a paper in the Journal of the Geological Society (here subscription is required for full text*). This was published back in December 2009, but it took on new (and rather unfortunate) significance in Haiti recently. It is really an excellent paper, he presented something similar as the keynote speaker at the 1st North American Landslide Conference in Vail, CO 2007. My summary doesn't do the paper justice, so I strongly suggest anyone reading this post find a copy of this art........ Read more »
Mora, S. (2009) Disasters are not natural: risk management, a tool for development. Geological Society, London, Engineering Geology Special Publications, 22(1), 101-112. DOI: 10.1144/EGSP22.7
Mutational robustness does not imply low evolvability.... Read more »
We’ve known for a while that people with chronic back pain move differently. Normally when you are going to wave your arm or leg the deep spinal muscles kick in just beforehand, perhaps to provide stability. In back pain the activity of some of the deep back muscles is delayed in response to spine and [...]... Read more »
Jacobs JV, Henry SM, & Nagle KJ. (2010) Low back pain associates with altered activity of the cerebral cortex prior to arm movements that require postural adjustment. Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. PMID: 20071225
Luigi Dei (University of Florence, Italy) and coworkers have investigated the chemical rationale underlying the degradation of some nineteenth century photographs, relevant towards preserving historically valuable photographs for future generations. This news feature was written on January 31, 2010.... Read more »
Carretti, E., Milano, M., Dei, L., & Baglioni, P. (2009) Noninvasive physicochemical characterization of two 19th century English ferrotypes. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 10(4), 501-508. DOI: 10.1016/j.culher.2009.02.002
"School choice" programs can increase vehicle emissions
... Read more »
Marshall, J. et al. (2010) Vehicle Emissions during Children’s School Commuting: Impacts of Education Policy. Environmental Science , 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/es902932n
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