Post List

  • March 30, 2010
  • 11:28 PM

Fear of morphine persists in around the globe

by Suzana Makowski MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

Last summer I had the distinct pleasure of hosting three medical students from Tongji University Medical School, Shanghai for a month elective in palliative care. The three students voraciously absorbed information about tending to patients with life-limiting illness - including communicating difficult news, negotiating goals of care, basic and complex symptom management. We reflected on the differences in practice and in palliative care medical education between UMass and Tongji U in Shangha........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 08:58 PM

Palaeontologists find early example of asexual reproduction

by Ian Randall in The Palaeo Pad

A new species from the terminal Ediacaran, Cloudina carinata, has been discovered in Spain. The tubular fossil, described in a recent issue of the journal Precambrian Research, lived between 550 and 543 million years ago and was one of the first animals to leave behind evidence of reproduction.... Read more »

Cortijo, I., Martí Mus, M., Jensen, S., & Palacios, T. (2010) A new species of Cloudina from the terminal Ediacaran of Spain. Precambrian Research, 176(1-4), 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.precamres.2009.10.010  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 08:02 PM

PI3 Kinase and the Prospect of Reversing Memory Loss in Alzheimer's

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Like many proteins of interest to modern life scientists, PI3 kinases (or PI3K) are involved in a whole slew of important metabolic processes. Evolved biology is big on feedback loops and promiscuous reuse of existing components in new mechanisms. So the core controls of metabolism in most species are a rat's nest of connections - proteins and genes with only a single function are a rare breed indeed: Cancer, diabetes, and aging are related by their use of the PI3K-PTEN-Akt-TOR signaling pathway........ Read more »

Chiang, H., Wang, L., Xie, Z., Yau, A., & Zhong, Y. (2010) PI3 kinase signaling is involved in A -induced memory loss in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909314107  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 06:47 PM

Biodiversity Bust

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

'Wildlife-friendly' oil palm plantations aren’t so friendly

... Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 05:56 PM

Mickey Feels Your Pain (In His Brain)

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Figure 1: Does Mickey feel empathy?

It probably depends on how you define empathy. Empathy, by any definition, implies emotional sensitivity to the affective state of another. Sometimes the empathy response is automatic or reflexive, like when babies start to cry upon hearing another baby crying. Sometimes a strong cognitive component is required, such as for [...]... Read more »

Jeon D, Kim S, Chetana M, Jo D, Ruley HE, Lin SY, Rabah D, Kinet JP, & Shin HS. (2010) Observational fear learning involves affective pain system and Ca(v)1.2 Ca(2 ) channels in ACC. Nature neuroscience, 13(4), 482-8. PMID: 20190743  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 05:30 PM

Get this paragraph into your noggin….

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Lorimer just wrote this opening paragraph for a book chapter.  Heidi said “Stick that up as a blog post”. Lorimer said “OK”. The rest is history……
Biological organisms are proficient at protecting themselves from threat.  Seminal work more than a century ago clearly demonstrated that even unicellular organisms can propel themselves away from physical threat[1]. The [...]... Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 03:57 PM

Magnetic manipulation of the sense of morality

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

WHEN making moral judgements, we rely on our ability to make inferences about the beliefs and intentions of others. With this so-called "theory of mind", we can meaningfully interpret their behaviour, and decide whether it is right or wrong. The legal system also places great emphasis on one's intentions: a "guilty act" only produces criminal liability when it is proven to have been performed in combination with a "guilty mind", and this, too, depends on the ability to make reasoned moral judgem........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 03:52 PM

toward a better drug classification

by 96well in Reportergene

Just a bit of self-promotion about my last paper. Despite the superiority of longitudinal vs cross-sectional studies, the dynamics of drug action are poorly explored in pre-clinical studies. Little is known about how drugs affect the activity of their intended target over time. Here, we used a longitudinal imaging approach to accurately follow the state of transcriptional activity of one drug target (the estrogen receptor) in 8 anatomical areas of living ERE-luc reporter mice over 21 consecutive........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 02:51 PM

UV, You See? Black Light Reveals Secrets in Fossils

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

tags: evolution, evolutionary biology, UV light, flight, dinosaur, dromaeosaur, theropods, Microraptor gui, paleontology, fossils, birds,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper, journal club

Figure 1. The holotype of Microraptor gui, IVPP V 13352 under normal light. This shows the preserved feathers (white arrow) and the 'halo' around the specimen where they appear to be absent (black arrows). Scale bar at 5 cm. [larger view]
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009223

It has l........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 02:23 PM

Peruvian boobies have the advantage as solitary hunters

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Just off the coast of Peru, the Humboldt Current produces one of the most productive marine ecosystems on the planet. Humans and animals alike have based their livelihood on the abundance of marine life that results from the deep, nutrient-rich waters of this coastal upwelling. Seabirds, which gather in massive groups off the coast to prey on schools of fish, have been completely sustained, until recently: Anchovy decline from overfishing and El Nino’s warmer waters have led to a major drop in........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 01:52 PM

Chilly Chameleons Don't Miss Meals

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

For cold-blooded animals, the colder it gets—the harder life gets. As temperatures fall, lizards sprint slower, fish swim slower, and frogs jump shorter distances. Life-sustaining skills such as outrunning predators and foraging for food become insurmountable challenges. So it's not surprising that most cold-blooded animals, also known as ectotherms, remain inactive during the cooler parts of the day or avoid frosty habitats altogether. Most cold-blooded animals that is, except for ch........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 12:42 PM

Sex Differences in Cooperative Behavior - Depends on Who's Watching

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

The willingness to cooperate in a prisoner's dilemma has long been thought the same for men and women. Adding an audience to the classic prisoner's dilemma experiment, however, paints a far more nuanced picture...... Read more »

Gary Charland and Aldo Rustichini. (2009) Gender differences in cooperation with group membership. N/A. info:/

  • March 30, 2010
  • 12:30 PM

Bottom-Up Assembly of Artificial Tissue

by Michael Long in Phased

John Koh (University of Delaware, United States) and coworkers have fabricated primitive "artificial tissue," which will help shed light on the biochemical consequences of cellular arrangement into defined patterns for tissue and organ assembly. This news feature was written on March 30, 2010.... Read more »

Sauers, D. J., Temburni, M. K., Biggins, J. B., Ceo, L. M., Galileo, D. S., & Koh, J. T. (2010) Light-Activated Gene Expression Directs Segregation of Co-cultured Cells . ACS Chemical Biology, 5(3), 313-320. DOI: 10.1021/cb9002305  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Ocean Conveyor running AMOC

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow

If you've ever seen the disaster movie "The Day After Tomorrow", then you've been introduced to the idea that one day the global ocean conveyor might stop.  Its a pity (or perhaps not) that the movie was such a sensational introduction to the concept, because its a pretty serious possibility.  By way of short explanation: one of the things that makes life possible on this rock is that the ... Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 11:50 AM

Are Probiotics the Cure for Abdominal Obesity?

by Peter Janiszewski, PhD in Obesity Panacea

Nope, not even close, although I doubt it will stop big food from marketing Activia yogurt and others as a solution for expanded waistlines.... Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 11:20 AM

Up in the Air, Stressing Out

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Jet lag is the perennial unwelcome companion of the air traveler, an experience that can make one’s mind feel like it was left back at the airport. That powerful disorientation has made jet lag a topic of interest for scientists, who have looked at changes to a person’s  brain chemistry and physiology after lengthy, intercontinental [...]... Read more »

Doane, L., Kremen, W., Eaves, L., Eisen, S., Hauger, R., Hellhammer, D., Levine, S., Lupien, S., Lyons, M., Mendoza, S.... (2010) Associations between jet lag and cortisol diurnal rhythms after domestic travel. Health Psychology, 29(2), 117-123. DOI: 10.1037/a0017865  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 11:18 AM

Could a ‘Bacterial Thali’ Resolve Inflammation? – A Novel Strategy

by Michael Ash in Nutri-Link Ltd - Clinical Education

Michael Ash BSc(Hons) DO, ND, DipION reviews the possibility that strategically selected foods and food concentrates represent a valid therapy for inflammatory illnesses.... Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 11:17 AM

Synesthesia: crossed wires or free association?

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

For millennia, philosophers have mused over the nature of perception, how closely it mirrors “reality” and whether different people might, quite without knowing it, subjectively perceive the world in very different ways.  We might agree that an apple is “red”, but is the quality of your experience of its redness the same as mine?  This has seemed an almost impossible nut to crack, but the fascinating condition of synesthesia provides a stark example where the quality of subjective expe........ Read more »

Bargary G, & Mitchell KJ. (2008) Synaesthesia and cortical connectivity. Trends in neurosciences, 31(7), 335-42. PMID: 18550184  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 11:04 AM

A hyena's LOL contains important information about itself

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Spotted hyenas giggling over an antelope spine. Courtesy BMC Ecology.

For spotted hyenas, a laugh can speak volumes about an individual.

Despite being portrayed as stupid scavengers who rely on the leftovers of lion prides, hyenas are highly intelligent and social predators. They communicate with each other through an array of whoops, yowls, grunts, screams, and giggles, and by using these calls an individual can call in help to run lions off a carcass or signal that it's time to beat a ........ Read more »

Nicolas Mathevon1, Aaron Koralek, Mary Weldele, Stephen E Glickman, Frédéric Theunissen. (2010) What the hyena's laugh tells: Sex, age, dominance and individual signature in the giggling call of Crocuta crocuta. BMC Ecology, 10(9). info:/10.1186/1472-6785-10-9

  • March 30, 2010
  • 08:10 AM

The Views of Biology Teachers towards Teaching Evolution

by Johnny in Ecographica

The National Association of Biology Teachers has recently published the results of a survey which focused on the attitudes held by Florida’s biology teachers towards the teaching of evolution.... Read more »

FOWLER and MEISELS. (2010) Florida Teachers’ Attitudes about Teaching Evolution. The American Biology Teacher, 72(2), 96-99. info:/10.1525/abt.2010.72.2.8

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