Post List

  • January 15, 2010
  • 09:29 AM

I’ll see your bornaviruses, and raise with a poxvirus

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

There’s been recent excitement over the discovery of bornaviruses fixed in the human genome1, 2.  Exciting and unexpected as that is, as usual, the insects are way ahead of us.  The genome of a parasitoid wasp has poxvirus sequences in it!

Detecting ancient lateral transfers is more problematic. By examining protein domain arrangements in Nasonia relative [...]... Read more »

, ., Werren, J., Richards, S., Desjardins, C., Niehuis, O., Gadau, J., Colbourne, J., Beukeboom, L., Desplan, C., Elsik, C.... (2010) Functional and Evolutionary Insights from the Genomes of Three Parasitoid Nasonia Species. Science, 327(5963), 343-348. DOI: 10.1126/science.1178028  

  • January 15, 2010
  • 08:11 AM

Bio2RDF: Large Scale, Distributed Biological Knowledge Discovery

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Michel Dumontier was visiting the EBI this week, here’s the details of his seminar Bio2RDF and Beyond! Large Scale, Distributed Biological Knowledge Discovery (slides embedded below) for anyone interested who missed it:
Abstract: The [1] project aims to transform silos of bioinformatics data into a distributed platform for biological knowledge discovery. Initial work focused on [...]... Read more »

BELLEAU, F., NOLIN, M., TOURIGNY, N., RIGAULT, P., & MORISSETTE, J. (2008) Bio2RDF: Towards a mashup to build bioinformatics knowledge systems. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 41(5), 706-716. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbi.2008.03.004  

  • January 15, 2010
  • 08:09 AM

Your microbiome and you (part II): Skin

by Jim Caryl in mental indigestion

THIS is the second of two posts featuring studies on the human microbiome. In part I we looked at your gut, the relative merits of probiotics, and several studies from the lab of Jeffrey Gordon looking at how the gut microbiome changes in obesity. In this post I will look at some very recent studies [...]... Read more »

  • January 15, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Alcoholic drug discovery truths

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

As with much of medical science, the appearance of a fascinating research paper and an accompanying press release do not usually mean that a new pharmaceutical intervention, a medicine, is ready to be prescribed to patients on the very day that the paper appears. The drug discovery, research, and testing processes are much more long-winded [...]Alcoholic drug discovery truths is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

  • January 15, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

Care for Some Sexy Toilet Paper? - Sex in Advertising

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

Sex doesn't always sell, and there are gender differences to when it does...... Read more »

  • January 15, 2010
  • 04:29 AM

Psychology researchers aren't paying enough attention to debriefing their participants

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Deception was a fundamental part of some of the most famous experiments in psychology - just think of Milgram's obedience studies, in which participants thought they were administering an electric shock, or Asch's conformity research, during which participants were tricked into believing everyone else in the room thought a line was a different length than it was. Although ethical standards have been tightened, deception is still used widely in psychology. It's not uncommon for even the most seda........ Read more »

  • January 14, 2010
  • 10:28 PM

Plant genotypic diversity supports pollinator diversity

by Marc Cadotte in The EEB and flow

Research over the past 20 years has shown that plant communities with greater diversity maintain higher productivity, greater stability and support more diverse arthropod assemblages. More recently, several experiments have shown that interspecific diversity (namely genotypic differences) also affects community functioning. Pollination is often considered an essential function, and does plant genotypic diversity affect pollinator diversity and frequency?In a recent paper in PLoS ONE, Genung and ........ Read more »

Genung, M., Lessard, J., Brown, C., Bunn, W., Cregger, M., Reynolds, W., Felker-Quinn, E., Stevenson, M., Hartley, A., Crutsinger, G.... (2010) Non-Additive Effects of Genotypic Diversity Increase Floral Abundance and Abundance of Floral Visitors. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008711  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 10:18 PM

Anti-CRO sentiments: Outsourcing any knowledge-based element in drug discovery process can be a risky endeavour?

by Abhishek Tiwari in Fisheye Perspective

In a recent article in Drug Discovery Today Paul Branthwaite writesOutsourcing any knowledge-based element, large or small, on grounds of cost, without fully understanding what that actually means when you hand influence on critical issues over to an outside organization can be a risky endeavour. Drug development strategy, design and decision-making require disease area knowledge, experience, judgement and ‘feel’. When you put that in context of whole development programmes, multiplied by th........ Read more »

  • January 14, 2010
  • 09:14 PM

Genetic modification of plant cell wall may scale-up biofuel production

by Abhishek Tiwari in Fisheye Perspective

Drive for creating synthetic biofuels is gaining momenta. In fact synthetic biology community is trying to use bacteria and yeast as platform to creat biofuels. To this end microbes can convert the simple fermentable sugar into ethanol or other products. Plants are naturally abundant source of renewable biofuel and as matter of fact most of fossil fuel such as oil and gas have been formed from the anaerobic decomposition of prehistoric plants and animals. Formation of fossil fuel is a very sl........ Read more »

Lionetti, V., Francocci, F., Ferrari, S., Volpi, C., Bellincampi, D., Galletti, R., D'Ovidio, R., De Lorenzo, G., & Cervone, F. (2009) Engineering the cell wall by reducing de-methyl-esterified homogalacturonan improves saccharification of plant tissues for bioconversion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(2), 616-621. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0907549107  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 08:27 PM

It Wasn't Me, It Was Someone Else: Agency Error and Alien Hand

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

A sense of agency is the feeling that you're initiating and controlling your own movements. This can go awry in schizophrenia, when individuals can experience delusions of control (Lafargue & Franck, 2009). In this state, the patient feels as if external forces are performing actions against his will. Loss of agency also occurs in alien hand syndrome, a rare and unusual neurological disorder in which the affected patient loses volitional control of one hand, which develops "a mind of its own........ Read more »

Yomogida, Y., Sugiura, M., Sassa, Y., Wakusawa, K., Sekiguchi, A., Fukushima, A., Takeuchi, H., Horie, K., Sato, S., & Kawashima, R. (2009) The neural basis of agency: An fMRI study. NeuroImage. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.12.054  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 08:22 PM

The why of the Y-Chromosome's amazing evolutionary rate

by David in The Atavism

There is something faintly pathetic about the Y-chromosome when its lined up with its peers in a karyotype. Each of the 22 numbered chromosomes pair off with a near identical partner just their size while the Y has to shape up to the X which has more than twice as much DNA and 25 times as many functional genes.

The puny Y-chromosome only looks worse when you realise that mammalian sex chromosomes weren't always so mismatched. 160 million years ago the X and Y were just another pair of chro........ Read more »

Hughes, J., Skaletsky, H., Pyntikova, T., Graves, T., van Daalen, S., Minx, P., Fulton, R., McGrath, S., Locke, D., Friedman, C.... (2010) Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08700  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 06:53 PM

The Krill Surplus Hypothesis and the Power of Data

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

Almost a year ago, we discussed briefly the Krill Surplus Hypothesis. In this model, the removal of large baleen whales created a competitive release for Minke whales, Balaenoptera bonaerensis, exponentially increasing their food supply and and allowing their population to boom. By removing all other krill eating whale from the Antarctic, Minke whales were allowed [...]... Read more »

RUEGG, K., ANDERSON, E., SCOTT BAKER, C., VANT, M., JACKSON, J., & PALUMBI, S. (2010) Are Antarctic minke whales unusually abundant because of 20th century whaling?. Molecular Ecology, 19(2), 281-291. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04447.x  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 02:46 PM

Exploring protein interactions: yeast two hybrid systems

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Proteins are one of the key molecules inside cells; involved in signalling, intracellular transport, metabolism and gene control. They rarely work alone, most of the proteins in the cell are part of large complex networks consisting of many interacting proteins. Various techniques exist in order to find these interactions, and one of the most common is the use of yeast two hybrid systems.Yeast is apparently quite a nice organism to work with (I've never worked with it myself, I must say, apart ........ Read more »

Brückner A, Polge C, Lentze N, Auerbach D, & Schlattner U. (2009) Yeast two-hybrid, a powerful tool for systems biology. International journal of molecular sciences, 10(6), 2763-88. PMID: 19582228  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 01:45 PM

Inhibiting and Reversing Muscle Cell Differentiation

by Michael Long in Phased

Young-Tae Chang (National University of Singapore) and coworkers have synthesized a molecule which will be very useful for probing mitochondrial dysfunction, implicated as a factor in neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, diabetes, and other serious medical conditions. This news feature was written on January 14, 2010.... Read more »

Kim, Y. K., Ha, H.-H., Lee, J.-S., Bi, X., Ahn, Y.-H., Hajar, S., Lee, J.-J., & Chang, Y.-T. (2010) Control of Muscle Differentiation by a Mitochondria-Targeted Fluorophore. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132(2), 576-579. DOI: 10.1021/ja906862g  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Quantum Chemistry FTW!

by Lars Fischer in EuCheMS 2010 Blog

There have been many new developments in quantum computing during the last few years, but last Sunday a paper appeared in Nature Chemistry that shows how far the area really has come. It seems that now things are getting really interesting: American and Australian scientists just built a quantum circuit that calculated the energy Eigenvalues [...]... Read more »

Lanyon, B., Whitfield, J., Gillett, G., Goggin, M., Almeida, M., Kassal, I., Biamonte, J., Mohseni, M., Powell, B., Barbieri, M.... (2010) Towards quantum chemistry on a quantum computer. Nature Chemistry, 2(2), 106-111. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.483  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 12:06 PM

Irreplaceable natural services: A look at the plight of the Chihuahuan grasslands and the black-tailed prairie dog

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate

This article from PLoS ONE, provides a very clear, apt example of just how delicate this biome can be, and illustrates the services that native animals can provide in an ecosystem that would cost considerable sums to replace.... Read more »

Ceballos, G., Davidson, A., List, R., Pacheco, J., Manzano-Fischer, P., Santos-Barrera, G., & Cruzado, J. (2010) Rapid Decline of a Grassland System and Its Ecological and Conservation Implications. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008562  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 12:05 PM

Synesthesia and the McGurk effect

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

We've discussed synesthesia many times before on Cognitive Daily -- it's the seemingly bizarre phenomenon when one stimulus (e.g. a sight or a sound) is experienced in multiple modalities (e.g. taste, vision, or colors). For example, a person might experience a particular smell whenever a given word or letter is seen or heard. Sometimes particular faces are associated with specific colors or auras. Synesthesia is relatively rare, but the people who experience it are genuine: their perceptions ar........ Read more »

Bargary G, Barnett KJ, Mitchell KJ, & Newell FN. (2009) Colored-speech synaesthesia is triggered by multisensory, not unisensory, perception. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 20(5), 529-33. PMID: 19476587  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Is Childhood Obesity The Parent's Fault?

by Christie Wilcox in Nutrition Wonderland

Childhood obesity is becoming a hot topic in health circles, even to the point of being called an epidemic. Experts estimate that 20% of children between the ages of 6 and 17 are overweight, predisposing them to terrible diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Why have the world’s children ballooned over the past hundred years?... Read more »

  • January 14, 2010
  • 11:35 AM

A Previously Unknown Toxin in Treated Water

by Michael Long in Phased

Xing-Fang Li (University of Alberta, Canada) and coworkers have added to concerns that unknown carcinogens may be lurking in treated water. This news feature was written on January 14, 2010.... Read more »

  • January 14, 2010
  • 11:12 AM

Fitter healthier

by Richard Grant in Faculty of 1000

The necessary length of time from an initial scientific breakthrough to a tried and tested application, clinical or otherwise, can often tarnish the initial thrill of that first result, or even make you forget about it altogether. I have a photograph of my then three year old daughter sitting on the breakfast bar in the [...]... Read more »

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