Post List

  • December 23, 2009
  • 10:05 AM

Why aren't there more sickle-cell anemics in the Mediterranean?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

The story of sickle-cell anemia and its malaria-protective effects is a textbook case how environmental context determines the fitness of a given genetic profile. However, the evolution of human blood disorders in response to selection from malaria parasites might be more complicated than that textbook story.

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Malaria-cau........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2009
  • 08:11 AM

bacteria towing santa's wagon?

by 96well in Reportergene

Bacteria swim in water solution with a random movement resembling brownian motion. Imagine they while impacting randomly on a micro-gear. They will transfer some energy to the gear, but due to random movements the resultant will not provide any directed motion. However, you should remember from physics101 that a principle for the conservation of the force does NOT exist: imagine each tooth of the gear as a lever arm, and do design gears with asymmetric teeth. In this way, bacteria impacting on o........ Read more »

Sokolov, A., Apodaca, M., Grzybowski, B., & Aranson, I. (2009) Swimming bacteria power microscopic gears. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913015107  

  • December 23, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Reef aquariums may cause collapse of marine invertebrate fishery

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • December 23, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Insulin resistance as a protective mechanism, a paradigm shift?

by Colby in

Oxidative stress has been implicated implicated in insulin resistance, and a new study by Hoehn et al. (1) adds some convincing evidence that one specific radical, superoxide generated in the mitochondria, may be a unifying cause.  But the findings suggest that we may need to reconsider how we treat it.

The authors begin by suggesting that [...]... Read more »

Hoehn KL, Salmon AB, Hohnen-Behrens C, Turner N, Hoy AJ, Maghzal GJ, Stocker R, Van Remmen H, Kraegen EW, Cooney GJ.... (2009) Insulin resistance is a cellular antioxidant defense mechanism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(42), 17787-92. PMID: 19805130  

  • December 23, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Five-step plan for green design

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

I recently saw a research paper discussing the lack of tools for designers hoping to make their products greener, more environmentally benign, sustainable even. The paper focused more on the likes of coming up with a green espresso machine and offered a five-step scheme for getting the green credentials booked into a the design and [...]Five-step plan for green design is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Dominique Millet, Nicolas Tchertchian, & Daniel Brissaud. (2009) How to identify the most promising areas of environmental improvement at the early stages of the design process?. Int. J. Design Engineering, 2(3), 299-319. info:/

  • December 23, 2009
  • 04:53 AM

In which I serve up a big fattie for my self-perceived critics

by DrugMonkey in DrugMonkey

There is an interesting paper that I just ran across which will possibly please a certain segment of my audience. You see, it provides a bit of a test of the hypothesis frequently bandied by my commenters that anti-drug messages backfire. That if you tell adolescents all sorts of bad things are going to happen to them if they try an illicit drug once, and it doesn't happen, somehow you are actually encouraging them to try the drug again. This general area is an occasional interest of mine and yo........ Read more »

Skenderian, J., Siegel, J., Crano, W., Alvaro, E., & Lac, A. (2008) Expectancy change and adolescents' intentions to use marijuana. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 22(4), 563-569. DOI: 10.1037/a0013020  

  • December 23, 2009
  • 02:30 AM

Deep Brain Stimulation for Schizophrenia?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

In short, a recent article proposed to do deep brain stimulation for schizophenia. Schizophrenia has positive-, negative- and cognitive symptoms (see the figure above). The authors propose the DBS for positive symptoms. Their approach is based on current models of the neurocircuitry of psychosis .
They hypothesize:
that chronic, high frequency electrical stimulation (HFS) of [...]

Related posts:New Innovations in Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery A great step forward, patients don’t hav........ Read more »

Bakay, R. (2009) Deep Brain Stimulation for Schizophrenia. Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, 87(4), 266-266. DOI: 10.1159/000225980  

  • December 22, 2009
  • 11:10 PM

The ecosystem services balancing act

by Paul Spraycar in Beyond Climate Change

A recent paper in Ecology Letters, “Understanding relationships among multiple ecosystem services,” addresses the relationship among multiple ecosystem services at a single site, addressing in particular one consequence of maximizing one ecosystem service: other services often decline substantially.

Despite growing interest in ecosystem services, the authors contend that much of the research literature is limited by only considering a single ecosystem service, or at most two service........ Read more »

  • December 22, 2009
  • 10:00 PM

Switchable DNA nanostructures for Energy and Data Storage

by Olexandr Isayev in

The Brookhaven team, has been refining techniques to use strands of artificial DNA as a highly specific kind of Velcro or glue to link up nanoparticles. Such DNA-based self-assembly holds promise for the rational design of a range of new materials for applications in molecular separation, electronics, energy conversion, and other fields. But none of these structures has had the ability to change in a programmable manner in response to molecular stimuli — until now. “Now we’re u........ Read more »

  • December 22, 2009
  • 05:00 PM

The Brain in CRPS-More Barriers or New Opportunities

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

From a biological perspective, I find CRPS very perplexing. So do many other people—the community of scientists that are pursuing better treatments, through a better understanding of the basic mechanisms, or by developing better animal models of CRPS, or by undertaking clinical investigations and clinical trials, stretches across many countries and many scientific and clinical disciplines. With all of those supposedly clever people working on it, one might expect that by now [........ Read more »

Lorimer Moseley. (2009) The Brain in CRPS-More Barriers or New Opportunities. info:/

  • December 22, 2009
  • 02:46 PM

The extended twilight of the mammoths

by Laelaps in Laelaps

One of Charles R. Knight's wonderful paintings of woolly mammoths walking through the snow of ancient Europe. On display at the Field Museum in Chicago.

When did the last woolly mammoths die?

There is no easy answer to the question. In its heyday the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was distributed across much of the northern hemisphere, from southern Spain to the eastern United States, and the entire species did not simply lay down and die at one particular moment. Some populations........ Read more »

Haile, J., Froese, D., MacPhee, R., Roberts, R., Arnold, L., Reyes, A., Rasmussen, M., Nielsen, R., Brook, B., Robinson, S.... (2009) Ancient DNA reveals late survival of mammoth and horse in interior Alaska. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0912510106  

  • December 22, 2009
  • 02:15 PM

Steady As She Goes

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Fisheries with catch-share programs are more stable

... Read more »

Essington, T. (2009) Ecological indicators display reduced variation in North American catch share fisheries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.0907252107

  • December 22, 2009
  • 12:40 PM

Revisiting the Cause of the Black Death

by Michael Long in Phased

Mark Welford and Brian Bossak (Georgia Southern University) shed doubt on the long-held conclusion that the Black Death was caused by bubonic and pneumonic plague. This news feature was written on December 22, 2009.... Read more »

  • December 22, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

The Truth About Organic Farming

by Christie Wilcox in Nutrition Wonderland

In the past year or two, certified organic sales have jumped around 30% to about $52 billion (2008 dollars) worldwide despite the fact that organic foods cost up to three times as much as those produced by conventional methods. More and more, people are shelling out their hard-earned cash for Certified Organic. Imagine, people say: you can improve your nutrition while helping save the planet from the evils of conventional agriculture – a complete win-win. And who wouldn’t buy organic........ Read more »

  • December 22, 2009
  • 11:53 AM

Turn Up the Volume

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Acidified oceans will transmit more sound

... Read more »

  • December 22, 2009
  • 11:42 AM

Adult neurogenesis modulates the hippocampus-dependent period of associative fear memory

by Jason Snyder in Functional Neurogenesis

A review of the Cell paper by Kitamura, Inokuchi and colleagues on the role of adult-born neurons in systems consolidation of memory.... Read more »

Kitamura T, Saitoh Y, Takashima N, Murayama A, Niibori Y, Ageta H, Sekiguchi M, Sugiyama H, & Inokuchi K. (2009) Adult neurogenesis modulates the hippocampus-dependent period of associative fear memory. Cell, 139(4), 814-27. PMID: 19914173  

  • December 22, 2009
  • 11:34 AM

Smallpox in New York City, 1947

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Millions of New Yorkers were immunized against smallpox within a few weeks in April 1947. The stimulus for this mass immunization was the importation of smallpox by a businessman who had acquired the disease during his travels. While we are in the middle of a massive influenza immunization campaign, it is useful to review the [...]... Read more »

  • December 22, 2009
  • 11:29 AM

A closer look at the new CDC autism prevalence rates

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

By now most people interested in autism have read the CDC report, or at least read the news, regarding the new estimated prevalence rates of autism in the United States. Today I finally was able to read the full original report and have some brief general thoughts.
The report is based on the findings by the [...]... Read more »

Kogan, M., Blumberg, S., Schieve, L., Boyle, C., Perrin, J., Ghandour, R., Singh, G., Strickland, B., Trevathan, E., & van Dyck, P. (2009) Prevalence of Parent-Reported Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children in the US, 2007. PEDIATRICS, 124(5), 1395-1403. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1522  

  • December 22, 2009
  • 10:55 AM

Rapid Detection of Lanthanide Ions

by Michael Long in Phased

Carmen Lisowski and James Hutchison (University of Oregon) have developed a color-based assay for a versatile, widely-utilized class of ions that are increasingly becoming a pollution concern. This news feature was written on December 22, 2009.... Read more »

  • December 22, 2009
  • 10:07 AM

2009 review – a year of progress

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

We’ll be taking a break from blogging over the festive period, but we’ll be back in January with more top science, myth-busting and podcasts.  In the meantime, here’s a quick run-down of some of the biggest stories that we’ve covered on the blog this year.
Going all the way back to January, our researchers discovered how [...]... Read more »

Chisholm, E., Vassaux, G., Martin-Duque, P., Chevre, R., Lambert, O., Pitard, B., Merron, A., Weeks, M., Burnet, J., Peerlinck, I.... (2009) Cancer-Specific Transgene Expression Mediated by Systemic Injection of Nanoparticles. Cancer Research, 69(6), 2655-2662. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-2657  

Eeles, R., Kote-Jarai, Z., Al Olama, A., Giles, G., Guy, M., Severi, G., Muir, K., Hopper, J., Henderson, B., Haiman, C.... (2009) Identification of seven new prostate cancer susceptibility loci through a genome-wide association study. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.450  

Al Olama, A., Kote-Jarai, Z., Giles, G., Guy, M., Morrison, J., Severi, G., Leongamornlert, D., Tymrakiewicz, M., Jhavar, S., Saunders, E.... (2009) Multiple loci on 8q24 associated with prostate cancer susceptibility. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.452  

Pleasance, E., Cheetham, R., Stephens, P., McBride, D., Humphray, S., Greenman, C., Varela, I., Lin, M., Ordóñez, G., Bignell, G.... (2009) A comprehensive catalogue of somatic mutations from a human cancer genome. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08658  

Pleasance, E., Stephens, P., O’Meara, S., McBride, D., Meynert, A., Jones, D., Lin, M., Beare, D., Lau, K., Greenman, C.... (2009) A small-cell lung cancer genome with complex signatures of tobacco exposure. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08629  

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