Photoactivation is the property of a molecule of being capable of pronounced changes in its chemical properties in response to irradiation with light of a specific wavelength and intensity. This feature provides unique possibilities for the design of new strategies aimed at the spatio-temporal deciphering of molecular pathwhays occuring in living cells, organelles and intracellular molecules. Here, I spotlight two recent applications: from photoactivable nucleotides to photoactivable proteins.
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Hafner, M., Landthaler, M., Burger, L., Khorshid, M., Hausser, J., Berninger, P., Rothballer, A., Ascano Jr., M., Jungkamp, A., & Munschauer, M. (2010) Transcriptome-wide Identification of RNA-Binding Protein and MicroRNA Target Sites by PAR-CLIP. Cell, 141(1), 129-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.03.009
What does faulting do to a rock 2 miles beneath the Earth's surface? Thanks to the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) project, which retrieved samples across an active segment of the San Andreas Fault from 3000m below the Earth's surface, we can answer this question: it turns it into fragments a little like this:
Polished and striated rock chip from fault zone in SAFOD borehole. Source: Schleicher et al., Fig. 1B.
Anja Schleicher and her co-authors found abundant fragments like ........ Read more »
Schleicher, A., van der Pluijm, B., & Warr, L. (2010) Nanocoatings of clay and creep of the San Andreas fault at Parkfield, California. Geology, 38(7), 667-670. DOI: 10.1130/G31091.1
Over geologic time scales, the Earth naturally captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through weathering of silicate rocks and sequesters it via the production of carbonate rocks. Ultimately, subduction can return these rocks to the Earth’s interior and carbon dioxide is once again emitted into the atmosphere by volcanism. Thus, understanding the history of erosion [...]... Read more »
Willenbring, J., & von Blanckenburg, F. (2010) Long-term stability of global erosion rates and weathering during late-Cenozoic cooling. Nature, 465(7295), 211-214. DOI: 10.1038/nature09044
The photoswitching capability of azobenzenes has recently been used extensively in photoreactive supramolecular materials. One of the most astonishing uses of azonenzene photoswitching is the reversible association of these molecules with certain cyclodextrines. Azobenzenes change their structure reversibly under irradiation. There’s a cis-form and a trans-form, and photoisomerisation happens reliably wavelengths of 350 (trans –> [...]... Read more »
Nalluri, S., & Ravoo, B. (2010) Lichtgesteuerte molekulare Erkennung und Adhäsion von Vesikeln. Angewandte Chemie. DOI: 10.1002/ange.201001442
by Robert Deyes in Promega Connections
The Vuvuzela. What is it? World cup soccer fans know it well and have described it in every way possible, occasionally with words of endearment but more often with an air of disdain. The dictionary defines it as a stadium horn that is approximately 2 feet long and produces a long monotone sound. And boy does that sound [...]... Read more »
Castellano, J., Casamichana, D. (2010) Heart rate and motion analysis by GPS in beach soccer. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 9(1), 98-103. info:/
The current dogma is that our kids are getting bigger because of sedentariness and inactivity. Based on this dogma, attempts at reversing the childhood obesity epidemic focus largely on increasing physical activity -so far with little to show for.
Now, a study by Brad Metcalf and colleagues from Plymouth, UK, published online in the Archives of [...]... Read more »
Metcalf BS, Hosking J, Jeffery AN, Voss LD, Henley W, & Wilkin TJ. (2010) Fatness leads to inactivity, but inactivity does not lead to fatness: a longitudinal study in children (EarlyBird 45). Archives of disease in childhood. PMID: 20573741
Important news from San Francisco neuroscientists Stuber et al: Dopaminergic Terminals in the Nucleus Accumbens But Not the Dorsal Striatum Corelease Glutamate.The finding's right there in the title: dopamine is a neurotransmitter, and so is glutamate. Stuber et al found (in mice) that many of the cells that release dopamine also simultaneously release glutamate - specifically, almost all of the cells that project to the nucleus accumbens, involved in pleasure and motivation, also release glutam........ Read more »
Stuber, G., Hnasko, T., Britt, J., Edwards, R., & Bonci, A. (2010) Dopaminergic Terminals in the Nucleus Accumbens But Not the Dorsal Striatum Corelease Glutamate. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(24), 8229-8233. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1754-10.2010
This is the second instalment of “Proud & Majestic” but another title fit better and it stands proudly and majestically on it’s own. In this post, I want to tell you a story. Indeed, it is one of the best stories because it is true (and artistic licence is obvious and mine and mine alone). [...]... Read more »
Yeakel, J., Patterson, B., Fox-Dobbs, K., Okumura, M., Cerling, T., Moore, J., Koch, P., & Dominy, N. (2009) From the Cover: Cooperation and individuality among man-eating lions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(45), 19040-19043. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905309106
Packer, C., Ikanda, D., Kissui, B., & Kushnir, H. (2005) Conservation biology: Lion attacks on humans in Tanzania. Nature, 436(7053), 927-928. DOI: 10.1038/436927a
Our bodies are made of millions upon millions of tiny cells. One of the biggest challenges for researchers studying cancer is to find out what individual cells are doing as they change from a healthy state to a cancerous one. But many lab techniques only give an overview of a large population of cells, either [...]... Read more »
Connelly, J., Gautrot, J., Trappmann, B., Tan, D., Donati, G., Huck, W., & Watt, F. (2010) Actin and serum response factor transduce physical cues from the microenvironment to regulate epidermal stem cell fate decisions. Nature Cell Biology. DOI: 10.1038/ncb2074
How do evaluate medical students and residents, who are rotating through your Emergency Department? Do you have a structured framework for assessing their competencies?Have you heard of the RIME method of evaluating learners on their clinical rotation? Dr. Lou Pangaro (Vice Chair for Educational Programs in the Dept of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University) published a landmark article in 1999 on his simple yet effective approach in evaluating medical students and residents. I had the pl........ Read more »
Pangaro, L. (1999) A new vocabulary and other innovations for improving descriptive in-training evaluations. Academic Medicine, 74(11), 1203-7. DOI: 10.1097/00001888-199911000-00012
I would have had the headline read, "Exercising exercise's confirmation bias" but figured that wouldn't be as grabby.From the only publishable because the world has such a huge crush on exercise impacting on weight file comes the, Effect of change in physical activity on body fatness over a 10-y period in the Doetinchem Cohort Study published ahead of print in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.The study is just one of many in a long string of studies that fail to show any dramatic benef........ Read more »
May, A., Bueno-de-Mesquita, H., Boshuizen, H., Spijkerman, A., Peeters, P., & Verschuren, W. (2010) Effect of change in physical activity on body fatness over a 10-y period in the Doetinchem Cohort Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29404
The hungrier an animal becomes, the more risks it's prepared to take in the search for food. Now, for the first time, Mkael Symmonds and colleagues have shown that our animal instinct to maintain a balanced metabolic state influences our decision-making in other contexts, including finance.
Nineteen male participants performed the same gambling task on three occasions, a week apart: either after a fourteen hour fast; immediately after eating a standard two-thousand calorie meal; or one hour aft........ Read more »
Symmonds, M., Emmanuel, J., Drew, M., Batterham, R., & Dolan, R. (2010) Metabolic State Alters Economic Decision Making under Risk in Humans. PLoS ONE, 5(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011090
Translation: A Mediterranean-style dietary pattern protected against onset of metabolic syndrome (as defined by National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III) in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort. Made you look! Don’t you just love acronyms? Lately it seems you gotta have a clever acronym for your scientific study or it won’t get published or remembered. [...]... Read more »
Rumawas, M., Meigs, J., Dwyer, J., McKeown, N., & Jacques, P. (2009) Mediterranean-style dietary pattern, reduced risk of metabolic syndrome traits, and incidence in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(6), 1608-1614. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27908
Here’s a mini run-down of the woo-logic that is to follow, straight from the self-proclaimed soyologist, Jim Rutz:
Soy is very popular today.
When soy is consumed, estrogen rises within your system.
Elevated estrogen levels feminize you.
Gay men are feminine.
Pregnant women who eat a surplus of soy are feminizing their male fetuses.
Male babies who admit to being gay later in life that are born from soy-eating mamas need to realize that it was from the soy.
The rise of homosexuality is du........ Read more »
Brodie HK, Gartrell N, Doering C, & Rhue T. (1974) Plasma testosterone levels in heterosexual and homosexual men. The American journal of psychiatry, 131(1), 82-3. PMID: 4808435
Outreach and education are two areas that stand to gain from developments in semantic astronomy and an increased scientific presence on the web. Big changes have already taken place, driven by a community eager to connect and communicate about the research we do every day. As part of a panel at the AstroInformatics 2010 conference [...]... Read more »
Victoria Stodden. (2010) Open science: policy implications for the evolving phenomenon of user-led scientific innovation. JCOM, 9(1). info:/
In day two, Evolution 2010 is already feeling a mite overwhelming. I started the morning in the SSE symposium on speciation and the origin of dimorphism, then spent the rest of the day bouncing from talk to talk and preparing for my own presentation, which is tomorrow at 9:30. I'm going to bed early tonight, I think.
There's a new daily wrap-up podcast over at Evolution, Development, and Genomics, and, if you haven't been following the conference on Twitter, check hashtag #evol2010 or this list........ Read more »
Butler, M., & King, A. (2004) Phylogenetic comparative analysis: a modeling approach for adaptive evolution. The American Naturalist, 164(6), 683-95. DOI: 10.1086/426002
A new paper published online this week in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism this week discusses the infamous problem of circular analysis in fMRI research. The paper is aptly titled “Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask,” and is authored by several well-known biostatisticians and [...]... Read more »
Kriegeskorte N, Lindquist MA, Nichols TE, Poldrack RA, & Vul E. (2010) Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. PMID: 20571517
This is a paper in which Sci has a certain amount of personal investment. You see, Sci has a family member who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. And when I say suffer, I mean she suffers terribly. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where you own body attacks the lining of the membranes between your joints. The result is painful swelling and stiffness (arthritis) which usually affects the smaller joints first (like your fingers) and which can severely impair your quality of life. ........ Read more »
Kimio Nasu, Hitoshi Kohsaka, Yoshinori Nonomura, Yoshio Terada, Hiroshi Ito, Katsuiku Hirokawa, and Nobuyuki Miyasaka. (2000) Adenoviral Transfer of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor Genes Suppresses Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Mice. Journal of Immunology, 7246-7252. info:/
The association between creativity and mental illness is sort of a cliché – but that doesn't mean there's nothing to it. Standard examples given include Vincent van Gogh, Robert Lowell, and John Nash.There has been a rather large amount of research into the connection, and a large number of biographical accounts of famous creative people who also suffered from mental illness. But the neurobiological details are emerging only slowly. After all, our understanding of the biological roo........ Read more »
de Manzano, �., Cervenka, S., Karabanov, A., Farde, L., & Ullén, F. (2010) Thinking Outside a Less Intact Box: Thalamic Dopamine D2 Receptor Densities Are Negatively Related to Psychometric Creativity in Healthy Individuals. PLoS ONE, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010670
Hard, empirical, irrefutable evidence compiled via biopsies, genetic and molecular tests are beginning to show that offshore stem cell "clinics" are delivering anything but cures in people.... Read more »
Thirabanjasak, D., Tantiwongse, K., & Thorner, P. (2010) Angiomyeloproliferative Lesions Following Autologous Stem Cell Therapy. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 21(7), 1218-1222. DOI: 10.1681/ASN.2009111156
Amariglio N, Hirshberg A, Scheithauer BW, Cohen Y, Loewenthal R, Trakhtenbrot L, Paz N, Koren-Michowitz M, Waldman D, Leider-Trejo L.... (2009) Donor-derived brain tumor following neural stem cell transplantation in an ataxia telangiectasia patient. PLoS medicine, 6(2). PMID: 19226183
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