Post List

  • March 29, 2010
  • 04:28 PM

Shrink Shrank Shrunk

by Jan Husdal in

A missed classic? Perhaps, because after reading this article I realized that this in many ways is a seminal paper. Rachel Mason-Jones and Dennis Towill are not unknown to me, and I’ve come across their names time and again, but this is probably the first time I delved more deeply into their research and their [ ... ]... Read more »

Mason-Jones, R., & Towill, D. (1998) Shrinking the supply chain uncertainty circle. IOM Control Magazine, 24(7). info:/

  • March 29, 2010
  • 02:37 PM

The worms go in, the worms go out: The habits of prehistoric, bone-eating worms

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The fail whale comes to rest; the decomposing body of a gray whale is host to a diverse array of scavengers and other deep sea organisms. From Goffredi et al., 2004.

In the deep sea, no carcass goes to waste. Platoons of crabs, fish, and other scavengers make short work of most of the bodies which come to rest on the sea bottom, but every now and then the carrion-eaters are presented with a rotting bonanza; a whale fall. Muscle, viscera, blubber, and bone; it all gets broken down, but it t........ Read more »


  • March 29, 2010
  • 02:35 PM

“You’re just being a hypochondriac” – health anxiety & chronic pain

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I think that label has to be one of the most feared amongst the people I see with chronic pain.  To be judged as being obsessed about nonexistant illnesses when actually having pain every day must be incredibly difficult to cope with.  At the same time, being anxious about health and having mistaken beliefs about [...]... Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Kryptonian Vision

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Jennifer Gutierrez

X-ray vision, once the exclusive domain of Superman and his super hero kin, is now a tool in the biological researchers kit. Granted, not every researcher has access to this superpower; the required synchrotron light sources are found only at large research facilities that happen to have a particle...... Read more »

Giewekemeyer K, Thibault P, Kalbfleisch S, Beerlink A, Kewish CM, Dierolf M, Pfeiffer F, & Salditt T. (2010) Quantitative biological imaging by ptychographic x-ray diffraction microscopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(2), 529-34. PMID: 20018650  

  • March 29, 2010
  • 12:01 PM

How do polydnaviruses work?

by Joe Ballenger in Biofortified

In Polydnaviruses: Nature’s GMOs, I wrote about how wasps use viruses to disable the immune defenses of their hosts. Braconid and ichneumonid wasps use a system that genetically modifies their hosts in order to shut their immune systems down.
So how does this all work?
A good system to use to describe how polydnavirus proteins work is [...]... Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 10:03 AM

How useful is cheminformatics in drug discovery?

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

Just like bioinformatics, cheminformatics has come into its own an independent framework and tool for drug design. As a measure of the field's independence and importance, consider that at least five journals primarily dedicated to it have emerged in the last couple of years, and 15000 articles on it have been published since 2003.But how useful is it in drug discovery? The answer, just like for other approaches and technologies, is that it depends. For calculating and analyzing some properties ........ Read more »

Muchmore, S., Edmunds, J., Stewart, K., & Hajduk, P. (2010) Cheminformatic Tools for Medicinal Chemists. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/jm100164z  

  • March 29, 2010
  • 09:58 AM

A Tyrannosaur From Down Under?

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Almost every tyrannosaur ever discovered, from the feather-covered Dilong to the gargantuan Tyrannosaurus, has come from the northern hemisphere, but a new discovery announced last week in the journal Science suggests that tyrant dinosaurs may have roamed ancient Australia, too.
As reported by paleontologists Roger Benson, Paul Barrett, Tom Rich and Pat Vickers-Rich, a partial hip [...]... Read more »

Benson, R., Barrett, P., Rich, T., & Vickers-Rich, P. (2010) A Southern Tyrant Reptile. Science, 327(5973), 1613-1613. DOI: 10.1126/science.1187456  

  • March 29, 2010
  • 09:47 AM

Made for Each Other: Evolution of Monogamy in Poison Frogs

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

tags: evolution, evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, animal behavior, molecular ecology, parental care, mating systems, monogamy, sexual selection, frogs, poison dart frogs, Dendrobatidae, Ranitomeya,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper, journal club

Peruvian mimic poison frog, Ranitomeya imitator.

Image: Jason Brown [larger view]

To know the breeding system is to know the genetic architecture of a species.
To know the evolution of a breeding system is to kn........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Conservationists underselling the societal benefits of restoration

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Conservationists are underselling the societal benefits from ecological restoration, according to a group of researchers. The problem, they argue, is that practitioners and scientists are failing to make the connection between ecological restoration and the numerous valuable services to society that ecosystems provide...... Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Desperado crickets

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

In Texas field crickets (Gryllus texensis), males come in two types: a flying long-winged form, and a non-flying short-winged form. These crickets’ forms are correlated with their interests in reproduction: short-wingers court females much more than fliers do. In this new paper, Guerra and Pollack predict the different interest of males in reproduction would be reflected in their willingness, and ability, to fight with other males.

Doesn’t that sound like a simple thing to test? You might t........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 05:48 AM

Scary health messages can backfire

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A short while ago there was a shocking advert on British TV that used slow motion to illustrate the bloody, crunching effects of a car crash. The driver had been drinking. Using these kind of scare tactics for anti drink-driving and other health issues makes intuitive sense. The campaigners want to grab your attention and demonstrate the seriousness of the consequences if their message is not heeded. However, a new study makes the surprising finding that for a portion of the population, scare ta........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

When do you call a species "rare"?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Wildlife biologists in Virginia have devised a new method for designating species as common or rare based on quantitative analysis of geographic distribution, abundance, and habitat specificity. The approach is designed to provide a rigorous framework that managers and conservationists can use to define priorities and strategies for protecting imperiled species...... Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 03:30 AM

Monday Pets: Dumb Guinea Pigs?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Domestic animals and their wild counterparts can be different in big ways; there can be differences in morphology (physical characteristics), physiology, and behavior. These changes may depend on spontaneous adaptations to captivity or to artificial selection pressures arising from the motivation for domesticating the animal in the first place. For example, some of the morphological [...]... Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 02:39 AM

Specialty Choice Medical Students: “Get A Life”

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Lifestyle is the most important factor for medical students in their specialty choice. With specialty choice in this research is meant the distinction between person oriented and technique oriented specialty.
person-oriented specialties are considered to be family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychiatry, whereas technique-oriented specialties are anesthesiology, dermatology, [...]

Related posts:Emotional Intellig........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2010
  • 12:33 AM

Inbreeding does matter

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

I’ve been busy with Bill Laurance visiting the University of Adelaide over the last few days, and will be so over the next few as well (and Bill has promised us a guest post shortly), but I wanted to get a post in before the week got away on me.
I’ve come across what is probably [...]... Read more »

  • March 28, 2010
  • 09:45 PM

From the Ground Up

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Carbon dioxide emissions from soil are on the rise

... Read more »

  • March 28, 2010
  • 03:20 PM

Let's make science metrics more scientific

by Martin Fenner in Gobbledygook @ Nature Network

In the March 25 edition of Nature, Julia Lane, Program Director of the Science of Science and Innovation Policy Program at the National Science Foundation, wrote an interesting opinion piece about the assessment of scientific performance. She argues that...... Read more »

  • March 28, 2010
  • 02:55 PM

Journal Club 3: Episode 53

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Also posted over at Paramedicine 101 and at Research Blogging. Go check out the rest of the excellent material at both sites.Of the two podcasts I had the opportunity to be on this week, this one is more to my liking, due to my desire to increase the use of research-based treatments. Having the lead author of one of the studies on the show was another positive. Greg Friese hosts Journal Club 3: Episode 53.There is a much more thorough discussion of these papers on the podcast.The papers covered ........ Read more »

  • March 28, 2010
  • 02:26 PM

Inattentional blindness for sword swallowing

by Daniel Simons in The Invisible Gorilla

A possible example of inattentional blindness... Tourists fail to notice when Ig Nobel winner Dan Meyer swallows a sword in front of the famous Liverpool Cavern Club (where the Beatles played).... Read more »

Witcombe B, & Meyer D. (2006) Sword swallowing and its side effects. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 333(7582), 1285-7. PMID: 17185708  

  • March 28, 2010
  • 01:31 PM

How The Animal Lost Its Sensor

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Two-Component Systems are one of the major sensory systems used by bacteria to detect and respond to changes in both their outside environment, and their internal state. I cover them in more detail here, but just in summary they consist of two proteins,a sensor and a responder. The sensor senses the change, and activates the responder, which binds to the bacterial DNA and leads the production of a protein that will enact a suitable response.Although Two-Component Systems (TCS) are found in all ........ Read more »

Kristin K. Koretke , Andrei N. Lupas , Patrick V. Warren , Martin Rosenberg , and James R. Brown. (2000) Evolution of Two-Component Signal Transduction. Mol Biol Evol, 1956-1970. info:/

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