Post List

  • May 26, 2010
  • 01:20 PM

Graffiti and Poetry in a Synthetic Genome

by Lucas in thoughtomics

Last week, the world learned of the first living organism that carries a synthetic genome. That that same genome contains the nucleic equivalents of both graffiti and poetry is less known…
Unless you’ve been avoiding all science news since last week, you’ve been bombarded by news of the creation of the first ’synthetic cell’ by scientists [...]... Read more »

Gibson, D., Glass, J., Lartigue, C., Noskov, V., Chuang, R., Algire, M., Benders, G., Montague, M., Ma, L., Moodie, M.... (2010) Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719  

  • May 26, 2010
  • 12:16 PM

The Promise of a Near-Miss

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

A critical step in the design of any clinical trial is picking the right primary endpoint, the result that will usually make or break the study. That’s more difficult than it sounds - one’s hope is to cure a disease or relieve a patient’s symptoms, but choosing the best specific measure for those goals is [...]... Read more »

  • May 26, 2010
  • 12:08 PM

Autism and white Matter/Myelination: the opposite of creativty/psychosis phenotype?

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image via Wikipedia

A new paper by Ben Bashat et al extends their earlier findings that had found that there was accelerated maturation of white matter in children with Autism. In this new paper they use Tract Based Spatial statistics (TBSS) to determine the white matter integrity of children (age around 3 years) with Autism as More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Creativity-psychosis linkage via reduced white matter /myelination I have been following........ Read more »

Weinstein, M., Ben-Sira, L., Levy, Y., Zachor, D., Itzhak, E., Artzi, M., Tarrasch, R., Eksteine, P., Hendler, T., & Bashat, D. (2010) Abnormal white matter integrity in young children with autism. Human Brain Mapping. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.21042  

Ben Bashat, D., Kronfeld-Duenias, V., Zachor, D., Ekstein, P., Hendler, T., Tarrasch, R., Even, A., Levy, Y., & Ben Sira, L. (2007) Accelerated maturation of white matter in young children with autism: A high b value DWI study. NeuroImage, 37(1), 40-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.04.060  

  • May 26, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Fish was fossil frog's last meal

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The skeleton of Palaeobatrachus from Lake Enspel, Germany. From Wuttke and Poschmann, 2010.

In On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin said of the fossil record:

For my part, following out Lyell's metaphor, I look at the natural geological record, as a history of the world imperfectly kept, and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; an........ Read more »

  • May 26, 2010
  • 11:52 AM

The Forest Gives Back

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Protected areas can improve local economies

... Read more »

  • May 26, 2010
  • 09:57 AM

Can Men's Risk-Taking Behaviours be called 'Health Promotion'?

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Soffer (2010) thinks that men do 'type 1' health-promoting behaviours (exercise, diet and not snacking) better than women, although he claims that women are better at 'type 2' health-promoting behaviours (not smoking or drinking, sleeping well and eating breakfast) than men. But who gets stressed more?... Read more »

  • May 26, 2010
  • 09:46 AM

Ballistics experts of the bug world

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Meet the ballistics experts of the bug world: A quick draw beetle that fires volatile liquids with the pulse of a Tommy Gun, aphids that self-combust at the threat of a predator and a double-pistoled worm that sprays its victim with streams of goo. Of course, these insects are not the only invertebrates carrying chemical artillery—bees are maybe the most famous projectile-launching bugs around. The below insects, however, give a unique look into chemical warfare on a small scale.

... Read more »

Eisner, T. (1999) Spray aiming in the bombardier beetle: Photographic evidence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 96(17), 9705-9709. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.96.17.9705  

Kazana, E., Pope, T., Tibbles, L., Bridges, M., Pickett, J., Bones, A., Powell, G., & Rossiter, J. (2007) The cabbage aphid: a walking mustard oil bomb. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 274(1623), 2271-2277. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.0237  

Benkendorff, K., Beardmore, K., Gooley, A., Packer, N., & Tait, N. (1999) Characterisation of the slime gland secretion from the peripatus, Euperipatoides kanangrensis (Onychophora: Peripatopsidae). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 124(4), 457-465. DOI: 10.1016/S0305-0491(99)00145-5  

  • May 26, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Bioavailability & pharmacokinetics of anthocyanins from cranberry juice

by Colby in

Recently, I wrote why “super” fruits are no better than regular fruit.  Among those reasons, is because constituents in fruit have other discovered roles beside functioning as antioxidants, and in vitro antioxidant activity does not measure these.  I do not think antioxidant activity is a major reason why fruits are good for us.
A recent study [...]... Read more »

  • May 26, 2010
  • 08:34 AM

Tip of the Week: The Cancer Genome Workbench

by Jennifer in OpenHelix

In today’s tip I’d like to introduce you to the Cancer Genome Workbench, or CGWB. The workbench gathers cancer information from a wide variety of projects including Johns Hopkins University and GlaxoSmithKline Cancer Cell Line Genomic Profiling Data, NCI’s Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatment (TARGET), NHGRI’s Tumor Sequencing Project (TSP), The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and the Sanger Center’s COSMIC initiative and presents the cum........ Read more »

Zhang, J., Finney, R., Rowe, W., Edmonson, M., Yang, S., Dracheva, T., Jen, J., Struewing, J., & Buetow, K. (2007) Systematic analysis of genetic alterations in tumors using Cancer Genome WorkBench (CGWB). Genome Research, 17(7), 1111-1117. DOI: 10.1101/gr.5963407  

  • May 26, 2010
  • 08:20 AM

To Improve Girls' Science Scores, Show Them Women Scientists

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Standardized tests are supposed to measure innate abilities. The subject of your last conversation, the lead story on the news last night, the pictures on the wall at the test site—this trivia is presumed to have zero impact on your score in geometry or chemistry. Trouble is, it's increasingly clear that this presumption is simply false. Case in point: This study, published in last month's Journal of Social Psychology, which erased the usual gender gap in high-school chemistry ........ Read more »

  • May 26, 2010
  • 08:15 AM

Whales, Dolphins, and Human Rights

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

The perspective that whales, dolphins, and other such marine mammals should be afforded "human rights" has surfaced again.

I thought I'd revisit a post I wrote about this several months ago, from the archives, when this first hit the news after the AAAS conference in San Diego. So here's a modified, updated version of the original post.

The blogosphere is all a-twitter with talk of the recent commentary in Science that dolphins should be considered people. Well, sort of people. Non-human peopl........ Read more »

Grimm, D. (2010) Is a Dolphin a Person?. Science, 327(5969), 1070-1071. DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5969.1070-c  

Marino, L. (2004) Dolphin cognition. Current Biology, 14(21). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2004.10.010  

  • May 26, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

An index for assessing the ecological effects of altered river flow

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Canadian scientists have developed an index for assessing rivers' ecological health after dams or other human impacts have altered flow patterns. The index is based on the sensitivity of macroinvertebrates to river flow...... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 10:02 PM

Mindreading by looking at the eyes: do we improve as we age?

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

Do you think you’re good at understanding people by looking them in the eye? This skill is not only important for making money playing poker but for social situations, relationships and everyday professional interactions.Recently, scientific interest in mindreading by looking others in the eye has increased, mainly within the context of ‘theory of mind’ – the general capacity to understand one’s own and other people’s mental states (e.g. emotions, desires, beliefs). A test that is co........ Read more »

Castelli I, Baglio F, Blasi V, Alberoni M, Falini A, Liverta-Sempio O, Nemni R, & Marchetti A. (2010) Effects of aging on mindreading ability through the eyes: An fMRI study. Neuropsychologia. PMID: 20457166  

  • May 25, 2010
  • 07:00 PM

Homeopathic “Training” Scrapped at Gartnavel

by The Twenty-first floor in The Twenty-first floor

Encouraging signs that the funding of homeopathy by the NHS in Scotland may be coming to an end? Best sign the petition just to make sure!... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 05:20 PM

The leaf-cutters are back

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

A male leaf-cutter has been patrolling in the garden the last few days, when the weather has been quite hot. The male has been circling around the broom and other flowers, in a regular path, landing to bask for no more than two shots in a sunny leaf or flower. Occasionally, he stopped to feed on some bluebells.They are Megachile willughbiella (thank you to eucera from WAB for confirming the ID). The males bear white and golden 'boxing gloves' on their forelegs, which are enla........ Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

A 3D Digital Atlas of the Honeybee Head-Neck System

by Michael Long in Phased

Richard Berry and Michael Ibbotson (Australian National University) have produced a three-dimensional digital atlas of the honeybee head-neck system, which will facilitate studies aimed at unraveling muscle function in flying insects. This news feature was written on May 25, 2010.... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 04:55 PM

Science can't prove that! How rejecting evolution leads to rejecting science

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Recent studies have shown that, at least in the USA, science and religion don't really mix. Religious people tend to have worse understanding of science, and scientists are, of course, far less religious that the general population (probably because they start out that way, before they ever get to university).

We also know that religious people are much more likely to reject evolution. You think there's a connection here? Well, no doubt. But new research suggests that the connection runs deeper........ Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 04:26 PM

Scientific Impotence: How to Reject Belief-Challenging Research

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

There are several ways of responding to belief-threatening information. Discounting the ability of science to inform a particular domain of knowledge seems to be one that is used in the light of belief-threatening scientific evidence. Sadly, using the scientific impotence excuse in one domain seems to also increase the likelihood of applying it to science in general...... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 03:34 PM

Evolution of Darwin: Hollywood Style

by avi_wener in American Biotechnologist

According to popular thought, Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species was heavily influenced by his grandfather Erasmus Darwin (1). The impact that a grandparent can have upon an impressionable child should never be underestimated. To what extent do you think that Dana Carvey was influenced by his grandfather?

Dana Carvey is “DARWIN” – watch more funny [...]... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 01:37 PM

Quetzalcoatlus: the evil, pin-headed, toothy nightmare monster that wants to eat your soul

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

By now, it's reasonably well known to interested people what azhdarchid pterosaurs looked like when alive. The answer: sort of like a cross between a giraffe and a stork, though with all of this being over-ridden by uniquely pterosaurian weirdness; membranous wings supported by giant fingers, a large cranial crest, plantigrade feet, and so on. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

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