Post List

  • January 14, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

The ecological benefits of reduced stream flows

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

In the conservation world, conventional wisdom holds that restricting the hydrology of a stream is a bad thing. However, a new article in the journal BioSciences provides a contrarian perspective...... Read more »

  • January 14, 2010
  • 05:45 AM

Migraines and Depression, or, How to Uncover Genetic Links Without Using DNA

by Rick Scavetta in DNA Dude

The first step in understanding a genetic disease is learning to which extent genetics play a role in it’s development, i.e. Is is really a genetic disease? For many illnesses, it’s not entirely clear what role genetics versus environment play, or how complex their interaction is. There are several tests geneticists can use to uncover [...]... Read more »

Stam, A., de Vries, B., Janssens, A., Vanmolkot, K., Aulchenko, Y., Henneman, P., Oostra, B., Frants, R., van den Maagdenberg, A., Ferrari, M.... (2010) Shared genetic factors in migraine and depression. Evidence from a genetic isolate. Neurology. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181cbcd19  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 11:40 PM

Can Religion Explain Prosociality and Can Science Explain Religion?

by Alexander in The Astronomist.

Today, a philosophical diversion on the evolution of religion. Specifically I was thinking about the metaphorical evolution of religion and the Darwinian evolution of the human mind with a predisposition to the mystical. I was reminded about this topic and a Science article from some time ago when I saw a review for The Evolution of God a new book by Robert Right. My thesis on the topic is that as long as religion infers a survival advantage upon a group then evolution will select individuals wh........ Read more »

Norenzayan A, & Shariff AF. (2008) The origin and evolution of religious prosociality. Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5898), 58-62. PMID: 18832637  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 10:44 PM

Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres: ALT 101

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Telomeres are the protective caps of material at the ends of your chromosomes. As normal somatic cells divide, telomeres become shorter and shorter until the lack of telomere length halts the cell division process - in effect this limits normal cellular replication. But stem cells, the source of our tissues during growth and maintainers of adult tissue, use the enzyme telomerase to keep their telomeres long, enabling them to divide long past the point at which somatic cells would halt. In additi........ Read more »

  • January 13, 2010
  • 08:48 PM

Are Redheads Bleeders?

by sandnsurf in Life in the Fast Lane

I first became aware that redheads were treated differently in medicine when I started hanging around anaesthetists. Most anaesthetists i know tend to get slightly more uptight when they see the phaeomelanin-laden locks of a freckled UV-sensitive patient. Especially in obstetrics. Why is this you ask?... Read more »

Liem EB, Lin CM, Suleman MI, Doufas AG, Gregg RG, Veauthier JM, Loyd G, & Sessler DI. (2004) Anesthetic requirement is increased in redheads. Anesthesiology, 101(2), 279-83. PMID: 15277908  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 06:11 PM

Open Lab 2009!

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

It's finally here! We have a list of elite blog posts chosen by the best of the best to publish in this year's Open Laboratory.

Yours truly got the double honor - I got to help judge the entries and, by some miracle, one of mine made the cut!

I display these proudly:

Anyhow, go check out all the winners and congrats to all who made it!

... Read more »

  • January 13, 2010
  • 06:10 PM

EXTassays, toward maturity of RNA reporters

by 96well in Reportergene

I read with some interest a recent Nature Methods paper appeared this January. Anna Botvinnik and colleagues from Max Planck Institute, conceived a new reporter system able to measure receptor activation (receptor dimerization), downstream signaling (adapter recruitment) and subsequnent cis-regulatory responsive elements transactivation efficacies by..., you don't need a 64-milion new-generation machine, you need Trizol!

As I reviewed in my first 2010 post, there is a trend to develop mu........ Read more »

  • January 13, 2010
  • 05:17 PM

Farm Fugitives Feasting On Fiji's Fish?

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Tilapia has quickly risen the ranks as an important aquaculture fish. It's third in production behind carps and salmon, with over 1,500,000 metric tons produced every year. They're ideal fish farm species because they're omnivorous, fairly big, quick-growing, tolerate high densities quite well and are mighty tasty. More than anything else, tilapia are hailed as one of aquaculture's greatest successes. Cheap and easy, they breed well and are considered far more environmentally friendly than other........ Read more »

  • January 13, 2010
  • 04:55 PM

Fly Me to the Moon: The Incredible Migratory Journey of the Arctic Tern

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, migration, microtechnology, geolocator, natural history, biological hotspots, longest migration, seabirds, Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper

Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea, Iceland.

Image: Arthur Morris, Birds as Art, 2007 [larger view].

Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens (handheld) with the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 200. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. Manual ........ Read more »

Egevang, C., Stenhouse, I., Phillips, R., Petersen, A., Fox, J., & Silk, J. (2010) Tracking of Arctic terns Sterna paradisaea reveals longest animal migration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909493107  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 03:56 PM

#AACR lung cancer meeting report: ELM4-ALK inhibitors

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

At the AACR meeting on the molecular origins of lung cancer yesterday, Dr Roy Herbst, head of thoracic medical oncology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston opened the press briefing with a brief summary...... Read more »

Soda, M., Choi, Y., Enomoto, M., Takada, S., Yamashita, Y., Ishikawa, S., Fujiwara, S., Watanabe, H., Kurashina, K., Hatanaka, H.... (2007) Identification of the transforming EML4–ALK fusion gene in non-small-cell lung cancer. Nature, 448(7153), 561-566. DOI: 10.1038/nature05945  

Shaw, A., Yeap, B., Mino-Kenudson, M., Digumarthy, S., Costa, D., Heist, R., Solomon, B., Stubbs, H., Admane, S., McDermott, U.... (2009) Clinical Features and Outcome of Patients With Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Who Harbor EML4-ALK. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 27(26), 4247-4253. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2009.22.6993  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 03:36 PM

Fourth time is the charm: the quest for the final plasmid

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

In a previous post, I highlighted the wonders of using yeast recombinational cloning (YRC) as an alternative to “classic” cloning, particularly when under a high-throughput approach [See An alternative cloning strategy: yeast recombinational cloning].Just to refresh your memory, and in a nutshell, the idea is to co-transform the DNA segment to be cloned into yeast along with the linearized target... Read more »

  • January 13, 2010
  • 02:36 PM

Do people use the same ways of coping over the lifetime of their pain?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

This is a bit of an unanswered question – do people use the same coping strategies at the beginning of their experience with chronic pain, or are there shifts in coping as time goes on?
I’ve been pondering, as I do when writing my PhD, about the ways we have studied ‘coping’ in chronic pain.  It’s [...]... Read more »

Van Damme, S., Crombez, G., & Eccleston, C. (2008) Coping with pain: A motivational perspective. Pain, 139(1), 1-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2008.07.022  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 02:04 PM

Science in a Snap

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Public cameras capture valuable data on plant growth

... Read more »

  • January 13, 2010
  • 01:30 PM

Predicting the Time and Place of Violent Crime

by Michael Long in Phased

Michael Cusimano (University of Toronto) and coworkers' study of the spatial and temporal distribution of violent assaults in Toronto will be useful for public officials who need to prepare in advance for such emergencies. This news feature was written on January 13, 2010.... Read more »

Cusimano, M., Marshall, S., Rinner, C., Jiang, D., & Chipman, M. (2010) Patterns of Urban Violent Injury: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008669  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 01:05 PM

Why make your own food when it doesn't pay?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

We humans like to think we're pretty complex – what with having invented the wheel, wars, New York, and so on – so we tend to forget that evolution doesn't care about complexity. All that matters to natural selection is who makes the most babies, and sometimes complex adaptations can get in the way of that criterion. A study recently published on the always open-access PLoS ONE provides a good example of this principle in action – given the right selective pressures, photosynthetic organis........ Read more »

Hansen, B., P. K. Bjornsen, & P. J. Hansen. (1994) The size ratio between planktonic predators and their prey. . Limnology and Oceanography, 395-403. info:/

McFadden, G. (2001) Chloroplast Origin and Integration. Plant Physiology, 125(1), 50-3. DOI: 10.1104/pp.125.1.50  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 11:45 AM

Worried Well on the Web

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Eight out of every ten Americans have searched for medical information online. Three-quarters of these searchers do not scrutinize the quality, validity, or date of the information. With the overabundance of healthcare information available on the World Wide Web, people looking for quality medical information could easily be led astray. The unnecessary escalation of health [...]... Read more »

  • January 13, 2010
  • 11:40 AM

Viewing headless bodies causes face adaptation

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

VIEWING a stimulus for a prolonged period of time results in a bias in the perception of a stimulus viewed afterwards. For example, after looking at a moving stimulus for some time, a stationary stimulus that is viewed subsequently appears to drift in the opposite direction. These after-effects reveal to us the properties of our perceptual system. They occur because the neurons which are sensitive to the initial stimulus re-calibrate their responses; they adapt to compensate for the earlier endu........ Read more »

Ghuman, A., McDaniel, J., & Martin, A. (2010) Face Adaptation without a Face. Current Biology, 20(1), 32-36. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.077  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 10:22 AM

Bornavirus DNA in the mammalian genome

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The chromosomal DNA of several mammals has been found to contain sequences related to the nucleoprotein (N) gene of bornaviruses, enveloped viruses with a negative-strand RNA genome. I am amazed by this finding. How did bornaviral DNA get in our chromosomes, and what is it doing there?
A search of the human genome sequence revealed DNA copies [...]... Read more »

Horie, M., Honda, T., Suzuki, Y., Kobayashi, Y., Daito, T., Oshida, T., Ikuta, K., Jern, P., Gojobori, T., Coffin, J.... (2010) Endogenous non-retroviral RNA virus elements in mammalian genomes. Nature, 463(7277), 84-87. DOI: 10.1038/nature08695  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 09:38 AM

Early intervention for ADHD: More thoughts on our definitions of psychiatric disorders

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

In an article soon to be published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry I, with a colleague at the University of Pittsburgh, discuss the need for a new approach to the development of early therapeutic interventions for child depression, as current interventions are, sadly, barely effective (see this article for a more extensive discussion on [...]... Read more »

Edmund J.S. Sonuga-Barke, & Jeffrey M. Halperin. (2010) Developmental phenotypes and causal pathways in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: potential targets for early intervention?. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. info:/

  • January 13, 2010
  • 09:20 AM

Diagenetic History Of The Great Barrier Reef Of Australia

by Suvrat Kher in Rapid Uplift

That giant organism is slowly giving up its deepest secrets.

From the November 2009 issue of Sedimentology : The Great Barrier Reef: a 700 000 year diagenetic history - Colin J. R. Braithwaite and Lucien F. Montaggioni

Most people rightly tend to think of the Great Barrier Reef as a living wonder. But the current living ecosystem, the coral communities and associated faunal and floral assemblages have been built on a foundation of a community of dead corals. And that ancient community when........ Read more »

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