Post List

  • January 26, 2010
  • 09:59 PM

Taking Fish and Leaving Trash

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

Monofilament fishing line is not what you expect to see on the deep ocean floor.  What would your response be if I told that enough occurs at depths over 1000 feet you can tally it?  And what if I told you it occurs frequently even in marine sanctuaries?  What if I told you it is [...]... Read more »

Watters, D., Yoklavich, M., Love, M., & Schroeder, D. (2010) Assessing marine debris in deep seafloor habitats off California. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60(1), 131-138. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.08.019  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 09:42 PM

A Little More Heat Shock Protein Manipulation Work

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Last week, I posted on the topic of calorie restriction mimetics, with a focus on enhancement of autophagy and the operation of heat shock proteins as a path to extended longevity - or at least some repair of age-related cellular damage. Both autophagy and heat shock proteins contribute to cleaning up damage and dysfunctional molecular machinery in our cells, and are strongly implicated in the benefits to health and longevity provided by exercise and calorie restriction. As an addendum to that p........ Read more »

  • January 26, 2010
  • 08:30 PM

Evolution: The Curious Case of Dogs

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Man's best friend is much more than a household companion - for about two centuries, artificial selection in dogs has made them prime examples of the possibilities of evolution. While humans have been breeding dogs for over ten thousand years, it was until recently that strict breeds and the emphasis on "purebreds" has led to over 400 different breeds that are some of the best examples of the power of selection. Those that doubt that small variations in traits can lead to large levels of diversi........ Read more »

Akey, J., Ruhe, A., Akey, D., Wong, A., Connelly, C., Madeoy, J., Nicholas, T., & Neff, M. (2010) Tracking footprints of artificial selection in the dog genome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(3), 1160-1165. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909918107  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 07:33 PM

Host factors help influenza virus replication

by geekheartsscience in geek!

German researchers have identified hundreds of host cell genes that affect influenza A virus replication. The work by Alexander Karlas and colleagues and published online in the journal Nature could help identify new drug targets which could be useful against a broad range of influenza viruses.
Influenza A viruses are a global public health threat that [...]... Read more »

Karlas, A., Machuy, N., Shin, Y., Pleissner, K., Artarini, A., Heuer, D., Becker, D., Khalil, H., Ogilvie, L., Hess, S.... (2010) Genome-wide RNAi screen identifies human host factors crucial for influenza virus replication. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08760  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 06:29 PM

Wanted:Feedback on Importance of Finishing (Microbial) Genomes

by Jonathan Eisen in The Tree of Life

To allI am writing because I am working on a project to evaluate the importance of finishing microbial genomes. I know there has been lots of talk about this out there on the web and in papers, etc but I think a fresh discussion is useful. To get people up to speed below is a summary of the issue as I see it.Shotgun sequencing: Genome sequencing relies generally on the shotgun method at the beginning of a project where DNA fragments from an organism of interest are sequenced in a highly random........ Read more »

Blakesley, R., Hansen, N., Gupta, J., McDowell, J., Maskeri, B., Barnabas, B., Brooks, S., Coleman, H., Haghighi, P., Ho, S.... (2010) Effort required to finish shotgun-generated genome sequences differs significantly among vertebrates. BMC Genomics, 11(1), 21. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-11-21  

Fraser, C., Eisen, J., Nelson, K., Paulsen, I., & Salzberg, S. (2002) The Value of Complete Microbial Genome Sequencing (You Get What You Pay For). Journal of Bacteriology, 184(23), 6403-6405. DOI: 10.1128/JB.184.23.6403-6405.2002  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 06:21 PM

Learning to Teach

by Anne Welsh in Library Marginalia

Summary of Kate marek's article on the support required for LIS faculty in order to create and teach online courses... Read more »

Kate Marek. (2009) Learning to teach online: creating a culture of support for faculty. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 50(4), 275-292. info:/

  • January 26, 2010
  • 05:31 PM

Path Integration in the Desert Ant

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

As promised, here is the beginning of a series of posts on path integration. Let’s start with one of my mostest favorite sets of studies, concerning the humble desert ant, Cataglyphis fortis.

Path integration is the name given to the process thought to be used by animals (human and non-human alike) for dead reckoning. So, let’s [...]... Read more »

  • January 26, 2010
  • 05:29 PM

Herbicide resistant weeds in a GM field

by Thomas Kluyver in Thomas' Plant-Related Blog

Not the way that you might think or fear, though.
Genetically modified crops face public resentment, especially in Europe, perhaps simply as a figurehead of big corporate agriculture. One concern that often comes up is the possibility that the foreign genes will escape, to non-GM crops nearby or to weed populations. It’s not as unlikely as [...]... Read more »

Gaines, T., Zhang, W., Wang, D., Bukun, B., Chisholm, S., Shaner, D., Nissen, S., Patzoldt, W., Tranel, P., Culpepper, A.... (2009) Gene amplification confers glyphosate resistance in Amaranthus palmeri. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(3), 1029-1034. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906649107  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 05:13 PM

Be religious and live forever!

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

OK, so the headline's a touch optimistic. Sadly we are all going to die some day, believers and non-believers alike. But, if you have the right kind of beliefs about god, you might at least be able to persuade yourself that you're not going to die.And those beliefs are? Fatalistic ones. In a survey of some 300 elderly Philadelphians, Laraine Winter and colleagues found that a high level of deference to God's will were linked to preferences for heroic medical interventions in hopeless cases.So, f........ Read more »

  • January 26, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

The paracetamol passion (aka the ‘acetaminophen affair’)

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Paracetamol, or as you Americans call it acetaminophen, is, it seems, back in the headlines, amid concerns about new guidelines.I have a couple of thoughts on this that are vaguely connected to the story in Nature Medicine, which you can read here.  First, we tend to forget how good a drug paracetamol is – Lewis [...]... Read more »

Lorimer Moseley. (2010) The paracetamol passion (aka the 'acetaminophen affair'). BodyinMind. info:/

  • January 26, 2010
  • 04:34 PM

Intelligible speech and hierarchical organization of auditory cortex

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

It has been suggested that auditory cortex is hierarchically organized with the highest levels of this hierarchy, for speech processing anyway, located in left anterior temporal cortex (Rauschecker & Scott, 2009; Scott et al., 2000). Evidence for this view comes from PET and fMRI studies which contrast intelligible speech with unintelligible speech and find a prominent focus of activity in the left anterior temporal lobe (Scott et al., 2000). Intelligible speech (typically sentences) has inclu........ Read more »

  • January 26, 2010
  • 04:30 PM

E. coli do the wave

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

Now someone just has to engineer them to shout WOOOOOOOOAAAAH! Being able to predict recurring phenomena in the environment in order to adapt to them better offers an immense advantage to an organism. That's why pretty much all living things have an internal molecular clock that quite literally "ticks", it oscillates back and forth and allows the organism to tell what time it is. This probably arose in unicellular organisms to protect the delicate DNA molecule from the danger of UV light from th........ Read more »

Danino, T., Mondragón-Palomino, O., Tsimring, L., & Hasty, J. (2010) A synchronized quorum of genetic clocks. Nature, 463(7279), 326-330. DOI: 10.1038/nature08753  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 03:00 PM

The Mozart Effect Revisited

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Preterm infants who listened to Mozart or other Western classical music had improved weight gain. ... Read more »

Lubetzky, R., Mimouni, F., Dollberg, S., Reifen, R., Ashbel, G., & Mandel, D. (2009) Effect of Music by Mozart on Energy Expenditure in Growing Preterm Infants. PEDIATRICS, 125(1). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-0990  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 02:53 PM

Mind the Gap

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Closing ozone hole may heat up southern hemisphere

... Read more »

Korhonen, H. et al. (2010) Aerosol climate feedback due to decadal increases in southern hemisphere wind speeds. Geophysical Research Letters. info:/10.1029/2009GL041320

  • January 26, 2010
  • 01:40 PM

Cancer biology is becoming very complex #AACR

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

As we learn more about the biology of cancer, I'm finding that rather becoming simpler, it actually seems much more complex and sophisticated than we may have first realised. Sometimes, we don't know what we don't know. Take for example,...... Read more »

Pàez-Ribes, M., Allen, E., Hudock, J., Takeda, T., Okuyama, H., Viñals, F., Inoue, M., Bergers, G., Hanahan, D., & Casanovas, O. (2009) Antiangiogenic Therapy Elicits Malignant Progression of Tumors to Increased Local Invasion and Distant Metastasis. Cancer Cell, 15(3), 220-231. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2009.01.027  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Two Component Systems

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

For free-living (especially free-moving) organisms, the ability to sense and respond to the outside environment is crucial for survival. Eukaryotes, such as animals and plants, often have highly complex network systems in place to monitor their surroundings and respond effectively, but bacteria have developed a remarkably simple system. It's called the 'Two component system' because it literally relies on just two components; a sensor and a responder. The sensor picks up the signal, communicates........ Read more »

  • January 26, 2010
  • 12:32 PM

Cool paper, & winner of "worst new omics word award": Predatosome

by Jonathan Eisen in The Tree of Life

And the bad new omics words keep streaming in. Today's winner of the "Worst New Omics Word Award" is going to Carey Lambert, Chien-Yi Chang, Michael J. Capeness and R. Elizabeth Sockett from Nottingham for their use/ invention of "Predatosome". They use this term in the title of their new PLoS One paper: The First Bite— Profiling the Predatosome in the Bacterial Pathogen Bdellovibrio. Here is the very long sentence where the define it:The gene products required for the initial invasive predat........ Read more »

  • January 26, 2010
  • 10:39 AM

The Smart Ones are Living Longer

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A child with a high IQ is more likely to get good grades, be accepted to a prestigious college, accrue successes in life and career, and make healthy lifestyle choices compared to lower-IQ peers. Now, a Swedish study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) concludes that children with a high IQ also have a [...]... Read more »

Aberg, M., Pedersen, N., Toren, K., Svartengren, M., Backstrand, B., Johnsson, T., Cooper-Kuhn, C., Aberg, N., Nilsson, M., & Kuhn, H. (2009) Cardiovascular fitness is associated with cognition in young adulthood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(49), 20906-20911. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905307106  

Batty, G., Wennerstad, K., Smith, G., Gunnell, D., Deary, I., Tynelius, P., & Rasmussen, F. (2009) IQ in Early Adulthood and Mortality By Middle Age. Epidemiology, 20(1), 100-109. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31818ba076  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 09:15 AM

The Grid in Your Head

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

According to a lovely new Nature paper combining fMRI imaging with animal experiments, the human brain encodes spatial information in the form of of a hexagonal grid - Evidence for grid cells in a human memory network.If you've ever played Chinese checkers, you'll know what a hex grid is. It's already known that in rats, the entorhinal cortex of the brain contains "grid cells", each of which fires according to where in a certain place the rat is. The diagram above left shows how one example gri........ Read more »

  • January 26, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Dunlin Lose Weight to Avoid Peregrines

by John Beetham in A DC Birding Blog

Dunlin at Surf Beach in California / Photo by Alan VernonA new paper based on studies from the Fraser River estuary in British Columbia finds that hunting pressure from Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) is changing the behavior of Pacific Dunlin (Calidris alpina pacifica). The peregrine population crashed forty years ago, primarily thanks to pesticides, and has since rebounded. All of those new falcons need to eat, and shorebirds are suitable prey because of their size, numbers, and penchant ........ Read more »

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