Post List

  • February 1, 2010
  • 01:25 PM

Simulations long enough to...put you to sleep

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 01:19 PM

Fetid Fish Revise Understanding of Fossil Formation

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

tags: evolutionary biology, paleontology, fossils, fossilization, fossil forensics, Taphonomy, taxonomy, zoology, deep time, paleoceanography, amphioxus, Branchiostoma lanceolatum, lamprey, Lampetra fluviatilis, chordates,,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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 12:20 PM

Sharing Among Children - The Effect of "Currency"

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

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

  • February 1, 2010
  • 12:01 PM

Elongator: Insights into Neurological Disorders

by Rick Scavetta in DNA Dude

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  

  • February 1, 2010
  • 10:53 AM

Authoritarianism, Totalitarianism, and Anti-Capitalism: Strange Bedfellows?

by Randy Borum in Science of Global Security & Armed Conflict

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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 09:08 AM

Objective Diagnosis Of PTSD Using Magnetoencephalography

by j7uy5 in The Corpus Callosum

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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 08:18 AM

GWAS under attack?, historical evolutionary constraints, and a lot more, in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to 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  

KEELING, P., BURGER, G., DURNFORD, D., LANG, B., LEE, R., PEARLMAN, R., ROGER, A., & GRAY, M. (2005) The tree of eukaryotes. Trends in Ecology , 20(12), 670-676. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2005.09.005  

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  

  • February 1, 2010
  • 07:34 AM

Virus discovery by jigsaw puzzle

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

How do frogs respond to forest disturbance? Follow the gene flow...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Crossing the Line from Physician to Journalist

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 03:49 AM

Sunday Protist -- Auranticordis: "Orange Heart"

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

(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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 02:33 AM

What Humor Style Do You Have?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 12:54 AM

Why we tip and how to get a bigger tip

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

'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 »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 12:50 AM

Beyond the Pale

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

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

  • January 31, 2010
  • 09:28 PM

#NotSoFunny – Ridiculing RCTs and EBM

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

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 »

  • January 31, 2010
  • 08:55 PM

Un-Natural Disasters

by Bryan in In Terra Veritas

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  

  • January 31, 2010
  • 08:15 PM

Both robust and evolvable

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

Mutational robustness does not imply low evolvability.... Read more »

Draghi JA, Parsons TL, Wagner GP, & Plotkin JB. (2010) Mutational robustness can facilitate adaptation. Nature, 463(7279), 353-5. PMID: 20090752  

  • January 31, 2010
  • 04:30 PM

Back pain- Neil OConnell on local muscles going global

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

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 »

  • January 31, 2010
  • 03:59 PM

Nondestructive Chemical Analysis of 19th Century Ferrotype Photographs

by Michael Long in Phased

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 »

  • January 31, 2010
  • 02:40 PM

Commuter Kids

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

"School choice" programs can increase vehicle emissions

... Read more »

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