Post List

  • September 3, 2010
  • 09:22 AM

How bacteria die - SGM series

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

This is the second post of my SGM conference series and the topic is Microbial Death. I was very interested in this one as a topic, because the mechanisms that lead to bacterial death aren't something I've covered so much. It's generally assumed that antibiotics screw up whatever they target such that the bacteria can no longer survive, and when they aren't around the bacteria just keep dividing.There were two talks concerning antibiotics in bacterial death, the first addressing a theory that's ........ Read more »

Kohanski MA, Dwyer DJ, Hayete B, Lawrence CA, & Collins JJ. (2007) A common mechanism of cellular death induced by bactericidal antibiotics. Cell, 130(5), 797-810. PMID: 17803904  

Ivana Bjedov, Olivier Tenaillon, Bénédicte Gérard, Valeria Souza, Erick Denamur, Miroslav Radman, François Taddei, Ivan Matic. (2003) Stress-Induced Mutagenesis in Bacteria. Science, 1404-1409. DOI: 10.1126/science.1082240  

  • September 3, 2010
  • 09:17 AM

Dirty Browsers – Determining a menu for North America’s fossil camels

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Even with the young politician Jefferson Davis behind their adoption by the military, camels were a hard sell to the U.S. government. Along with other military men, Davis was convinced that camels could replace horses as the standard beasts of burden used by cavalry on the ever-expanding western frontier, but most congressmen and senators balked [...]... Read more »

  • September 3, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Six Sigma Cola

by David Bradley in SciScoop Science Forum

A management strategy developed by electronics giant Motorola in the 1980s could help Coca Cola reduce the amount of water it uses to make its products, cut overall energy demands and trim its carbon footprint, according to a study published in the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage. Numerous companies, including Volvo, Nokia [...]... Read more »

Tarek Sadraoui, Ayadi Afef, & Jallouli Fayza. (2010) Six Sigma: a new practice for reducing water consumption within Coca Cola industry. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 6(1/2), 53-76. DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2010.034856  

  • September 3, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

European man, Y chromosomes & tea leaves

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Sometimes in applied fields artistic license is constrained by the necessity of function to particular creative channels. Architecture comes to mind, at least before innovative technologies produced lighter and stronger materials, freeing up form from its straight-jacket (whether this was a positive development is a matter of taste). But there’s only so much you can [...]... Read more »

Myres NM, Rootsi S, Lin AA, Järve M, King RJ, Kutuev I, Cabrera VM, Khusnutdinova EK, Pshenichnov A, Yunusbayev B.... (2010) A major Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b Holocene era founder effect in Central and Western Europe. European journal of human genetics : EJHG. PMID: 20736979  

  • September 3, 2010
  • 06:36 AM

Using models to link different varieties of data

by Becky in It Takes 30

One of the fundamental problems in systems biology is that many important decisions get made at the level of individual cells, but most of the measurement techniques we have (mass spectroscopy, Western blots…) report data on the behavior of populations.  And much of the time it’s hard to relate what you see on the single-cell [...]... Read more »

Pfeifer AC, Kaschek D, Bachmann J, Klingmüller U, & Timmer J. (2010) Model-based extension of high-throughput to high-content data. BMC systems biology, 4(1), 106. PMID: 20687942  

  • September 3, 2010
  • 06:25 AM

What happens when you teach monkeys to use money?

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Freakonomics and its successor Superfreakonomics are two books by the economist Steven Levitt and his partner in crime Stephen Dubner that have a common theme running through them (quote): “People respond to incentives, although not necessarily in ways that are predictable and manifest. Therefore, one of the most powerful laws in the universe is the [...]... Read more »

Lakshminaryanan, V., Chen, M., & Santos, L. (2008) Endowment effect in capuchin monkeys. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1511), 3837-3844. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0149  

  • September 3, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Paucis Verbis card: Pertussis

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

Bordetella pertussisIs your Emergency Department administering Tdap immunization boosters instead of dT boosters? Patients with wounds are getting updated not only for tetanus and diphtheria, but also now for pertussis. Apparently there has been sharp rise in the national incidence of pertussis in 2010. The infection has been documented in both infants (underimmunized less than 3 months old) and adolescents/adults (loss of immunity after 10 years). In fact, the CDC has issued an epidemic warning........ Read more »

Cornia PB, Hersh AL, Lipsky BA, Newman TB, & Gonzales R. (2010) Does this coughing adolescent or adult patient have pertussis?. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 304(8), 890-6. PMID: 20736473  

  • September 3, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Plague among the nuts

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

David Woods was looking at the early Irish chronicles and he noticed something very odd. There are clusters of entries recording large mast crops. Mast? In Ireland, that would be mostly acorns..  In these sparse annals that normally only record battles, deaths,  and other major events, why record large acorn falls? The only typical use [...]... Read more »

David Woods. (2003) Acorns, the Plague, and the 'Iona Chronicle'. Peritia, 495-502. info:/

  • September 3, 2010
  • 12:28 AM

Interesting bits: starving to stay awake, and an LCA on Li-Ion

by aimee in misc.ience

I have seen many interesting sciencey things this week.  Which makes sense, given that a large part of my job is to track new research.  Sadly, and for the sake of brevity, I’ve had to pick but two for this post.

Starving to stay awake?
Another interesting factoid related to, well, taking in less calories than one [...]

[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »

Matthew S. Thimgan, Yasuko Suzuki, Laurent Seugnet, Laura Gottschalk, Paul J. Shaw. (2010) The Perilipin Homologue, Lipid Storage Droplet 2, Regulates Sleep Homeostasis and Prevents Learning Impairments Following Sleep Loss. PLoS Biology. info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000466

Notter DA, Gauch M, Widmer R, Wäger P, Stamp A, Zah R, & Althaus HJ. (2010) Contribution of li-ion batteries to the environmental impact of electric vehicles. Environmental science , 44(17), 6550-6. PMID: 20695466  

  • September 3, 2010
  • 12:26 AM

Friday Weird Science: Beery Bladders

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

First off, Sci is sorry for two things: 1) Comments on this post are still disabled due to server issues. If you email me with something particularly witty and clever, perhaps I can tweet it. Or edit it on to the post. Or something. 2) Sci has a migraine of rather titanic proportions right now [...]... Read more »

Mulholland JH, & Townsend FJ. (1984) Bladder beer--a new clinical observation. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, 34-9. PMID: 6382745  

  • September 2, 2010
  • 09:50 PM

Shore Crab, Sea Squirts, and Alzheimer's Disease

by Joris van Alphen in Joris van Alphen Photography Blog

(...) Although these adult sea squirts, or tunicates, don't consist of much more than translucent sacks with intestines, their larval "tadpole" stage exhibits all characteristics of the chordates. This means that they are actually more closely related to us chordate humans than this crab is!

In fact, transparent sea squirts are so similar to us that they may prove to be important for the development of more effective treatments for Alzheimer's disease.... Read more »

  • September 2, 2010
  • 08:00 PM

Neury Thursday: Further Evidence that BNDF Gates Drug Abuse

by Allison in Dormivigilia

In this week's Journal of Neuroscience, researchers have shown that BDNF gates cocaine self-administration in rodents. These findings are comparable to those found with alcohol intake in rodents. Perhaps a BDNF pharmaceutical is the future, more efficacious therapeutic for the treatment of alcoholism... Read more »

Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili,1 Vidhya Kumaresan,2 Heath D. Schmidt,3 Katie R. Famous,2 Prianka Chawla,2 Fair M. Vassoler,3, & Ryan P. Overland,1 Eva Xia,1 Caroline E. Bass,4 Ernest F. Terwilliger,5 R. Christopher Pierce,3 and Jang-Ho J. Cha1. (2010) Cocaine-Induced Chromatin Remodeling Increases Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Transcription in the Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex, Which Alters the Reinforcing Efficacy of Cocaine. Journal of Neuroscience. info:/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2328-10.2010

Jerome Jeanblanc,1 Dao-Yao He,1 Sebastien Carnicella,1 Viktor Kharazia,1 Patricia H. Janak,1,2,3,4* and Dorit Ron1,2,3,4. (2009) Endogenous BDNF in the Dorsolateral Striatum Gates Alcohol Drinking. Journal of Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2243-09.2009  


  • September 2, 2010
  • 07:49 PM

But Science Doesn’t Work That Way : Miller and Chomsky (1963)

by melodye in Child's Play

In this post, our heroine — spurred on by her godly pursuit of science and a bevy of caffeinated drinks — compares the standard approach to language to intelligent design.  It might get noodly. Pick one : Does language “emerge” full-blown in children, guided by a hierarchy of inbuilt grammatical rules for sentence formation and comprehension? Or [...]... Read more »

Bannard C, Lieven E, & Tomasello M. (2009) Modeling children's early grammatical knowledge. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(41), 17284-9. PMID: 19805057  

Ramscar, M., Yarlett, D., Dye, M., Denny, K., & Thorpe, K. (2010) The Effects of Feature-Label-Order and their Implications for Symbolic Learning. Cognitive Science, 34(7), 909-957. info:/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01092.x

Scholz, B., & Pullum, G. (2006) Irrational Nativist Exuberance. Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science, 59-80. info:/

  • September 2, 2010
  • 07:25 PM

Spider chat up lines

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

In summer and autumn, spiders become more noticeable. The tiny spiderlings born in the spring have now become adults and males are wandering in search of females. One of the most common spider species in the UK is the elegantly marked Linyphia triangularis (female above). This spider makes a sheet web with criss-crossing silk lines over it in low bushes and trees. The spider hangs belly up from the underneath the sheet. Flying insects colliding with the transversal lines  fall onto the........ Read more »

Nielsen, N and Toft, S. (1990) Alternative male mating strategies in Linyphia triangularis (Araneae, Linyphiidae). Acta Zoologica Fennica. info:/

  • September 2, 2010
  • 06:26 PM

…give a dog a bad name, and shoot him

by Rift in Psycasm

[Wherein our hero - having gone AWOL - is posting old thoughts that might still be relevant. They're interesting, at the very least.... one hopes] As I’ve mentioned previously I’ve already attained a degree. I mention this because the body of this post represents the strangest assignment I’ve received in a full 6 years of [...]... Read more »

  • September 2, 2010
  • 06:20 PM

Probing the atmospheres of extrasolar planets

by Emma in we are all in the gutter

Ok, so you’re young, you’re surprisingly dusty, and you don’t match the models. No, not a picture of my geeky childhood, but the extrasolar planet HR 8799b. It orbits the star HR 8799 and, along with its two companions, is one of the two extrasolar planetary systems to be directly imaged, as shown above. Unsurprisingly [...]... Read more »

Brendan P. Bowler, Michael C. Liu, Trent J. Dupuy, Michael C. Cushing. (2010) Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of the Extrasolar Planet HR 8799 b. accepted by ApJ. info:/1008.4582

Knicole D. Colon, Eric B. Ford, Seth Redfield, Jonathan J. Fortney, Megan Shabram, Hans J. Deeg, & Suvrath Mahadevan. (2010) Probing potassium in the atmosphere of HD 80606b with tunable filter transit spectrophotometry from the Gran Telescopio Canarias. submitted to MNRAS. arXiv: 1008.4800v1

D. K. Sing, J.-M. Desert, J. J. Fortney, A. Lecavelier des Etangs, G. E. Ballester, J. Cepa, D. Ehrenreich, M. Lopez-Morales, F. Pont, M. Shabram, A. Vidal-Madjar. (2010) GTC OSIRIS Transiting Exoplanet Atmospheric Survey: Detection of potassium in XO-2b from spectrophotometry. submitted to A. info:/1008.4795

  • September 2, 2010
  • 05:51 PM

The difference between being religous and being a believer

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

One of the big news stories from last year was the revelation that Americans are leaving their churches and religious institutions in droves. They are becoming "unaffiliated", although there was a lot of debate over what that meant. Are Americans losing religion, or is it simply that they are disillusioned with what they're being offered?

A new analysis, using data collected over the last three decades by the General Social Survey, sheds some light on this - and also tells us more about just wh........ Read more »

  • September 2, 2010
  • 04:35 PM

HPV prevalence in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

by epibio in EpiCentral

Esophageal cancer is currently the eighth most common human cancer, with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) being the most common subtype. Tobacco and alcohol use are the most prevalent causes of ESCC; however, limited evidence suggests that infectious agents--in particular, human papillomavirus (HPV)--are linked to ESCC. Antonsson et al. recently analyzed HPV prevalence and lifestyle factors in ESCC patients. Archived tumor samples from a nationwide cohort of 222 ESCC patients in Austral........ Read more »

  • September 2, 2010
  • 04:33 PM

Free Kick Physics, Roberto Carlos Style

by Michael Gutbrod in A Scientific Nature

For all you soccer/football/fútbol/calcio fans out there, you may have been watching the 1997 Confederations Cup match between Brazil and France when Roberto Carlos lined up for a 35 meter (115 ft.), relatively long, free kick.  Then you either screamed in unbridled joy or a crying disgust as Carlos appeared to botch the free kick [...]... Read more »

Guillaume Dupeux, Anne Le Goff, David Quéré and Christophe Clanet. (2010) The spinning ball spiral. New Journal of Physics. info:/

  • September 2, 2010
  • 04:23 PM

Baseball Fans Behaving Badly

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

So it's done. I've accepted it. There will be no playoff entry for the Mets this year—something that was evident earlier in the year, but the motto of this team is "Ya gotta believe." So you know, I had to believe. Am I disappointed? Yes. What fan wouldn't be? Am I surprised? No. What Mets fan would be? Does it mean that I won't be there come spring anxiously awaiting the crack of the bat?

... Read more »

Brearley M. (2000) Teams: lessons from the world of sport. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 321(7269), 1141-3. PMID: 11061741  

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