In light of the lack of effective communication between scientists (and science generally) and the public, I posed a challenge to the graduate students in my department: write a story about your research. It seemed a simple task, but there was one catch - the story had to be a fictional tale about their actual work.Can science be artistic? Is it only a chosen few who can turn science into the kind of thing that people on the street (or in the pub) find interesting; people like Carl Sagan, Brian ........ Read more »
Researchers have discovered a mutation encoding for memory formation in Drosophila (radish) that elicits attention-like deficit symptoms which can subsequently be treated with Ritalin... Read more »
van Swinderen B, & Brembs B. (2010) Attention-like deficit and hyperactivity in a Drosophila memory mutant. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(3), 1003-14. PMID: 20089909
Shaw, P. (2000) Correlates of Sleep and Waking in Drosophila melanogaster. Science, 287(5459), 1834-1837. DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5459.1834
"WHEN a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour," said Albert Einstein, "it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute, and it's longer than any hour." Einstein was describing one of the most profound insights of his Theory of General Relativity - that the perception of time is subjective. This is something we all know from experience: time flies when we are enjoying ourselves, but seems to drag on when we are doing something tedious.
The subjective experience of time can ........ Read more »
Wittmann, M., et al. (2010) The neural substrates of subjective time dilation . Front. Hum. Neurosci. info:/
Could a drug introduced in the 2010s be able to induce rejuvenation, the repair of age-related damage? To a very limited degree, yes. We would expect some types of drug, early and poor examples of which are presently undergoing investigation in the laboratory, to be able to stimulate the aged body to repair certain types of cellular damage and aggregate buildup that it would otherwise be unable to deal with - in other words to rejuvenate some aspects of cellular biology to their youthful states ........ Read more »
Onken, B., & Driscoll, M. (2010) Metformin Induces a Dietary Restriction–Like State and the Oxidative Stress Response to Extend C. elegans Healthspan via AMPK, LKB1, and SKN-1. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008758_id
Since it seems to be Linguistics Week here at Gambler’s House, here’s another post on Jane Hill’s theory that the spread of agriculture into the Southwest was associated with a migration of speakers of Proto-Northern-Uto-Aztecan (PNUA) from somewhere in Mexico. Previously I discussed an article of hers from 2001 in which she tried to show [...]... Read more »
Hill, J. (2008) Northern Uto‐Aztecan and Kiowa‐Tanoan: Evidence of Contact between the Proto‐Languages?. International Journal of American Linguistics, 74(2), 155-188. DOI: 10.1086/587703
You've just finished doing some research using fMRI to measure brain activity. You designed the study, recruited the volunteers, and did all the scans. Phew. Is that it? Can you publish the findings yet?Unfortunately, no. You still need to do the analysis, and this is often the most trickiest stage. The raw data produced during an fMRI experiment are meaningless - in most cases, each scan will give you a few hundred almost-identical grey pictures of the person's brain. Making sense of them requi........ Read more »
Fusar-Poli, P., Bhattacharyya, S., Allen, P., Crippa, J., Borgwardt, S., Martin-Santos, R., Seal, M., O’Carroll, C., Atakan, Z., & Zuardi, A. (2010) Effect of image analysis software on neurofunctional activation during processing of emotional human faces. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1016/j.jocn.2009.06.027
If measles is caused by a virus and it can only be caught once in a life time, why do we catch the flu every year?
When we have the flu, in a few days the body seems to get rid of the virus. The symptoms rarely last for two weeks and, in a higher period; [...]... Read more »
Smith, D. (2004) Mapping the Antigenic and Genetic Evolution of Influenza Virus. Science, 305(5682), 371-376. DOI: 10.1126/science.1097211
I was reading through this study from Ecology yesterday, which tells the interesting story of how coastal dune ecology in northern California was invaded in the 19th century and subsequently disrupted. In order to stabilize the ever-shifting sand dunes, a grass called Ammophila arenaria, the European beachgrass, was planted along the coastline. A. arenaria grows from a strong, thick network of branching rhizomes, allowing it create a fast hold on loose soil and, as the coastal managers intended,........ Read more »
Dangremond, E., Pardini, E., & Knight, T. (2010) Apparent competition with an invasive plant hastens the extinction of an endangered lupine. Ecology, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-0418
In a recent Nature Geoscience study, scientists discovered that soil clings to water from the first rainfall of the summer and holds it so tightly it almost never mixes with other water. This discovery challenges the century-old assumption that rainwater, after it enters the soil through precipitation, displaces leftover water and pushes it deeper into [...]
... Read more »
Renée Brooks, J., Barnard, H., Coulombe, R., & McDonnell, J. (2009) Ecohydrologic separation of water between trees and streams in a Mediterranean climate. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO722
Well, what do you know... it looks as though Neanderthals in Mediterranean Spain were up to all sorts of interesting stuff ca. 55-50kya! Hot on the heels of the news that ornaments and coloring materials were found in Mousterian deposits at Cueva Anton and Cueva de los Aviones, we get news that Neanderthals at Abric Romaní (Spain, near Barcelona) appear to have had well defined sleeping areas that bear striking resemblance to those found in rockshelters used by extant hunter-gatherers (Vallverd........ Read more »
Vallverdú, J., Vaquero, M., Cáceres, I., Allué, E., Rosell, J., Saladié, P., Chacón, G., Ollé, A., Canals, A., Sala, R.... (2010) Sleeping Activity Area within the Site Structure of Archaic Human Groups. Current Anthropology, 51(1), 137-145. DOI: 10.1086/649499
How things have changed. Once information was a precious commodity, jealously guarded by the elite who deliberately withheld it from the masses in order to keep them in their place. Now information is everywhere, available to everybody, all of the time. While the democratization of information is undoubtedly a force for good, is there such [...]... Read more »
Clauson, K., Polen, H., Boulos, M., & Dzenowagis, J. (2008) Scope, Completeness, and Accuracy of Drug Information in Wikipedia. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 42(12), 1814-1821. DOI: 10.1345/aph.1L474
Remember the tale of Nemo (the juvenile clownfish that was fish-napped by a dentist) and Marlin (Nemo’s dad)? Marlin braves the open ocean to find Nemo, meeting a whale-speaking blue tang and a few non-piscivorous sharks along the way. Of course, Marlin and Nemo are reunited (it’s a Disney movie), but could a little clownfish [...]... Read more »
Dixson, D., Munday, P., & Jones, G. (2010) Ocean acidification disrupts the innate ability of fish to detect predator olfactory cues. Ecology Letters, 13(1), 68-75. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01400.x
Biro, P., Beckmann, C., & Stamps, J. (2009) Small within-day increases in temperature affects boldness and alters personality in coral reef fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1678), 71-77. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1346
tags: evolution, evolutionary biology, evolutionary ecology, plumage color,carotenoid-based colour, carotenoids, lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, sperm motility, sperm quality, sperm velocity, birds, ornithology, Great Tit, Parus major, bpr3.org/?p=52,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper
Great Tit, Parus major.
Image: Luc Viatour, Creative Commons/Wikipedia [larger view]
In some species of birds, males are more brightly colored than females. This phenomenon is due to female ........ Read more »
Helfenstein, F., Losdat, S., Møller, A., Blount, J., & Richner, H. (2010) Sperm of colourful males are better protected against oxidative stress. Ecology Letters, 13(2), 213-222. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01419.x
Cancer and AIDS – two of the most powerful and emotive words in the English language, and two diseases that touch the lives of millions of people across the world. Many researchers dedicate their lives to studying them.
Cancer Research UK is working tirelessly towards beating cancer. And thanks to our pioneering work, countless lives have [...]... Read more »
BERAL, V. (1990) Kaposi's sarcoma among persons with AIDS: a sexually transmitted infection?. The Lancet, 335(8682), 123-128. DOI: 10.1016/0140-6736(90)90001-L
Increasingly, multimedia and video are being used in addition to traditional delivery methods to communicate scientific findings. Journals such as PLoS ONE, Cell, Nature and others often use video to either showcase particular articles, or offer authors the opportunity to include multimedia elements as part of their article. Some subjects lend themselves better to video [...]... Read more »
... Read more »
Isaak, D., Luce, C., Rieman, B., Nagel, D., Peterson, E., Horan, D., Parkes, S., & Chandler, G. (2009) EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND RECENT WILDFIRES ON STREAM TEMPERATURE AND THERMAL HABITAT FOR TWO SALMONIDS IN A MOUNTAIN RIVER NETWORK. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-0822
by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog
For thousands of years, epidemics of contagious diseases were believed to be caused by the wrath of the gods, configuration of stars, or miasma. The association of specific microorganisms with disease came about as a consequence of the work of the German physician Robert Koch. He formulated a set of criteria that could be used [...]... Read more »
Fredericks DN, & Relman DA. (1996) Sequence-based identification of microbial pathogens: a reconsideration of Koch's postulates. Clinical microbiology reviews, 9(1), 18-33. PMID: 8665474
The outer solar system is a strange place. It’s a realm of frozen gas giants surrounded by icy moons and yet, it’s actually home to one of the most promising destinations for alien hunters in the solar system, offering an even more convincing argument for an alien biosphere than Mars to some. We’re talking about [...]... Read more »
Tyler, R. (2008) Strong ocean tidal flow and heating on moons of the outer planets. Nature, 456(7223), 770-772. DOI: 10.1038/nature07571
Eggert, J., Hicks, D., Celliers, P., Bradley, D., McWilliams, R., Jeanloz, R., Miller, J., Boehly, T., & Collins, G. (2009) Melting temperature of diamond at ultrahigh pressure. Nature Physics, 6(1), 40-43. DOI: 10.1038/nphys1438
“Untitled (Green Silver)” – Jackson Pollock
In the past few weeks not only did I post a short update on the DRiPs hypothesis here, but coincidentally a bunch of papers on DRiPs have also been published. I’ll probably cover some of these in more detail at some point, but here are some of the recent papers [...]... Read more »
Cardinaud, S., Starck, S., Chandra, P., & Shastri, N. (2010) The Synthesis of Truncated Polypeptides for Immune Surveillance and Viral Evasion. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008692
Berger, C., Carlson, J., Brumme, C., Hartman, K., Brumme, Z., Henry, L., Rosato, P., Piechocka-Trocha, A., Brockman, M., Harrigan, P.... (2010) Viral adaptation to immune selection pressure by HLA class I-restricted CTL responses targeting epitopes in HIV frameshift sequences. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 207(1), 61-75. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20091808
Bansal, A., Carlson, J., Yan, J., Akinsiku, O., Schaefer, M., Sabbaj, S., Bet, A., Levy, D., Heath, S., Tang, J.... (2010) CD8 T cell response and evolutionary pressure to HIV-1 cryptic epitopes derived from antisense transcription. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 207(1), 51-59. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20092060
Casartelli, N., Guivel-Benhassine, F., Bouziat, R., Brandler, S., Schwartz, O., & Moris, A. (2009) The antiviral factor APOBEC3G improves CTL recognition of cultured HIV-infected T cells. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 207(1), 39-49. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20091933
We interview Dr. Eugene Turner, a leading wetland scientist at Louisiana State University. He argues that restoration practitioners need to abandon a knowledge-based world view and start embracing ignorance...... Read more »
Turner, R. (2009) Doubt and the Values of an Ignorance-Based World View for Restoration: Coastal Louisiana Wetlands. Estuaries and Coasts, 32(6), 1054-1068. DOI: 10.1007/s12237-009-9214-4
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