Post List

  • October 19, 2010
  • 12:29 AM

Paging Dr. Monarch Mom

by Michael Gutbrod in A Scientific Nature

New research has shown that the ability to medicate exists outside of the realm of humanity.  There goes that God complex.  In the kingdom of life, there are few examples of behavior specifically directed at treating a disease or infection outside of the scribbling your doctor calls a prescription.  However, a new study out of [...]... Read more »

Lefèvre, T., Oliver, L., Hunter, M., & De Roode, J. (2010) Evidence for trans-generational medication in nature. Ecology Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01537.x  

  • October 19, 2010
  • 12:19 AM

population genetics, evolution, and ocean ecosystems

by HeathO in Food Matters

I was trained as an Environmental Scientist long before I was at all interested in Microbes. So, I get excited when I come across microbial studies that are environmentally relevant. I get particularly nerd-cited when these studies take place in the ocean. A paper published in PNAS last week describes identifies what may be the [...]... Read more »

Coleman ML, & Chisholm SW. (2010) Ecosystem-specific selection pressures revealed through comparative population genomics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20937887  

  • October 19, 2010
  • 12:17 AM

Critiquing LaPlant et al, in Nature Neuroscience, Part 2: The sensitization

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Last week I began a breakdown of this paper. It’s a much more complicated paper than I usually cover round here, and I will also be covering it in more depth than usual, because I think there are a lot of things about it that are worth discussion, and I think that even this kind [...]... Read more »

LaPlant Q, Vialou V, Covington HE 3rd, Dumitriu D, Feng J, Warren BL, Maze I, Dietz DM, Watts EL, Iñiguez SD.... (2010) Dnmt3a regulates emotional behavior and spine plasticity in the nucleus accumbens. Nature neuroscience, 13(9), 1137-43. PMID: 20729844  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 08:21 PM

Smoking bans are good for barkeeps

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

Barkeep and blogger Scribbler has a piece up giving one bartender’s view of New York’s smoking ban.  Since I like Scribbler, I wondered what the data say about the effect of smoking bans on his health.  Cigarette smoke has many harmful physiologic effects, and the data are pretty clear that you don’t have to be [...]... Read more »

Eisner MD, Smith AK, & Blanc PD. (1998) Bartenders' respiratory health after establishment of smoke-free bars and taverns. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 280(22), 1909-14. PMID: 9851475  

Menzies D, Nair A, Williamson PA, Schembri S, Al-Khairalla MZ, Barnes M, Fardon TC, McFarlane L, Magee GJ, & Lipworth BJ. (2006) Respiratory symptoms, pulmonary function, and markers of inflammation among bar workers before and after a legislative ban on smoking in public places. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 296(14), 1742-8. PMID: 17032987  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 06:52 PM

The Curious Tale of a Far-Flung Whale

by Laelaps in Laelaps

When marine biologists first spotted the humpback whale AHWC no. 1363, there did not appear to be anything remarkable about her at all. Seen with another female on the Abrolhos Bank off the coast of Brazil on August 7th, 1999, the whale simply stuck around long enough for the scientists to snap a few photographs [...]... Read more »

  • October 18, 2010
  • 05:21 PM

New in PLoS ONE: Citation rates of self-selected vs. mandated Open Access

by Martin Fenner in Gobbledygook

PLoS ONE today published a paper very relevant to Open Access Week (which started today):
Gargouri Y, Hajjem C, Larivière V, Gingras Y, Carr L, Brody T, Harnad S. Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research. PLoS ONE. 2010;5(10):e13636+. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013636.
The paper studied the citation rates of papers from four institutions with the longest-standing self-archiving mandate: Southampton University, CERN, Queensland University of Tec........ Read more »

  • October 18, 2010
  • 04:53 PM

Spreading Salmonella—hyper-replicating bacteria act as a reservoir for dissemination

by geekheartsscience in geek!

New research reveals how Salmonella enterica spread in the gut and gallbladder—a subpopulation of Salmonella primed for invasion rapidly replicate in the host cell cytosol such that bacteria-laden cells are extruded out of the epithelial-cell layer releasing invasive Salmonella into the gastrointestinal and biliary lumen. Leigh Knodler and colleagues write that other mucosal-dwelling pathogens could [...]... Read more »

Knodler, L., Vallance, B., Celli, J., Winfree, S., Hansen, B., Montero, M., & Steele-Mortimer, O. (2010) Dissemination of invasive Salmonella via bacterial-induced extrusion of mucosal epithelia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(41), 17733-17738. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1006098107  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 02:45 PM

Crabs expose colliding continents

by Lucas in thoughtomics

Every high school student now learns that plate tectonics slowly drive our continents in different directions. Since only the most uncontroversial scientific knowledge finds its way to high school text books, it’s hard to imagine that when the theory of continental drift was proposed by Alfred Wegener in 1912, it was firmly rejected by [...]... Read more »

  • October 18, 2010
  • 02:37 PM

Working and chronic pain

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

If there is one aspect of chronic pain management that has received more attention than returning to work, I don’t know it! In 1995 when I started working at my current workplace, work was almost a dirty word. I was accused at one time of being a ‘Siberian workcamp’ Commandante because some people thought it … Read more... Read more »

Costa-Black, K., Loisel, P., Anema, J., & Pransky, G. (2010) Back pain and work. Best Practice , 24(2), 227-240. DOI: 10.1016/j.berh.2009.11.007  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 02:34 PM

There are more things in heaven and earth, cobber, than are dreamt of in your philosophy

by Alun in AlunSalt

Studying astronomy in culture should be simple. There’s only so much that is visible by the naked eye, and it follows predictable patterns. Modern astronomy means that we can reconstruct what was visible anywhere in the world in human history, within certain boundaries for errors. If we know what happens when, then studying a culture... Read more »

Clarke, P.A. (2007) An Overview of Australian Aboriginal Ethnoastronomy. Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture, 39-58. info:/

  • October 18, 2010
  • 01:19 PM

Chopping bits out of the genome

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Generally bacteria genomes tend to be fairly minimal in the amount you can remove from them. Unlike eukaryotes, which can have whole swathes of genome that codes for very little, bacteria, with their limited space for a chromosome, need every gene they can get. They just don't have the space for unnecessary genes.Streptomyces bacteria, however, have bigger genomes and the luxary to invest in genes which are not strictly necessary for bacterial survival. These are called Secondary metabolite gene........ Read more »

Komatsu M, Uchiyama T, Omura S, Cane DE, & Ikeda H. (2010) Genome-minimized Streptomyces host for the heterologous expression of secondary metabolism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(6), 2646-51. PMID: 20133795  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Riding the Spore Wind

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

Sooner or later, but usually sooner, anyone dealing with fungi will have to deal with the issue of spore dispersal. Many fungi, mushrooms included, are a spore’s way of spreading spores through the environment. They do this in varied and universally ingenious ways. Spores, like mammalian sperm, are made in excess, which enhances the chances of some “making it.” Anybody who has made the spore print from a mushroom can attest to the large number of spores produced. This is true not only for ........ Read more »

Roper M, Seminara A, Bandi MM, Cobb A, Dillard HR, & Pringle A. (2010) Dispersal of fungal spores on a cooperatively generated wind. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20880834  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 12:23 PM

Internal coarse-graining of molecular systems

by evopapers in evopapers

Feret J, Danos V, Krivine J, Harmer R, & Fontana W (2009). Internal coarse-graining of molecular systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106 (16), 6453-8 PMID: 19346467, PNAS page, Supporting Information.   Models of molecular dynamics suffer from combinatorial explosion: the phenomenon of an exponential number of [...]... Read more »

Feret J, Danos V, Krivine J, Harmer R, & Fontana W. (2009) Internal coarse-graining of molecular systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(16), 6453-8. PMID: 19346467  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Guest Post: The fine-structure constant is probably constant by Sean Carroll

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

This is the first guest post on The Language of Bad Physics by Cosmic Variance‘s Sean Carroll.  This post is cross-posted on Cosmic Variance.
A few weeks ago there was a bit of media excitement about a somewhat surprising experimental result. Observations of quasar spectra indicated that the fine structure constant, the parameter in physics that describes the strength of electromagnetism, seems to be slightly different on one side of the universe than on the other. The preprint is here......... Read more »

J. K. Webb, J. A. King, M. T. Murphy, V. V. Flambaum, R. F. Carswell, & M. B. Bainbridge. (2010) Evidence for spatial varia. arXiv. arXiv: 1008.3907v1

  • October 18, 2010
  • 11:39 AM

Seeking Depression Information on the Internet

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The internet has grown as a source of health information for both clinicians and their patients.  Patients with mental disorders may be particularly drawn to using the internet for information due to the stigma associated with these disorders.  This makes it important for health educators to understand the demographic pattern of searches for health information including depression and other mental disorders.  A recent research study of those seeking information about depression pr........ Read more »

  • October 18, 2010
  • 11:33 AM

Pouches, pockets and sacs in the heads, necks and chests of mammals, part III: baleen whales

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

Time to continue in the Tet Zoo series on laryngeal diverticula (and other pouches, pockets and sacs). This time, we look at baleen whales, or mysticetes. Like the primates we looked at previously, mysticetes have enlarged laryngeal ventricles* that (mostly) meet along the ventral midline of the throat and form a single large laryngeal pouch or sac. The presence of a raphe along the sac's ventral midline seems to mark the line of fusion between the two ancestral, bilateral sacs. It's probabl........ Read more »

Mercado E 3rd, Schneider JN, Pack AA, & Herman LM. (2010) Sound production by singing humpback whales. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 127(4), 2678-91. PMID: 20370048  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 11:30 AM

Ed Tronick and the "Still Face Experiment"

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

In 1975, Edward Tronick and colleagues first presented the "still face experiment" to colleagues at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development. He described a phenomenon in which an infant, after three minutes of "interaction" with a non-responsive expressionless mother, "rapidly sobers and grows wary. He makes repeated attempts to get the interaction into its usual reciprocal pattern. When these attempts fail, the infant withdraws [and] orients his face and body awa........ Read more »

  • October 18, 2010
  • 10:12 AM

Florida Panthers - Revived, with a Texan Twist

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

Florida panthers are healthier and fitter than they were fifteen years ago. They have higher genetic diversity, better immunity to disease, and fewer genetic abnormalities. They suffer fewer heart defects, enjoy higher fertility and are better able to climb trees. This is wonderful news for a population of panthers that was recently on the brink of extinction.

Like most populations of large carnivores, panther populations are divided between habitat islands and isolated in protected areas such ........ Read more »

Johnson, W., Onorato, D., Roelke, M., Land, E., Cunningham, M., Belden, R., McBride, R., Jansen, D., Lotz, M., Shindle, D.... (2010) Genetic Restoration of the Florida Panther. Science, 329(5999), 1641-1645. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192891  

Packer, C. (2010) A Bit of Texas in Florida. Science, 329(5999), 1606-1607. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196738  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 10:04 AM

Two DonorsChoose projects you must support: Girls are good at math, and Technology tools while pregnant

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

A plea to fund DonorsChoose projects that highlights research on sexism in mathematics instruction.... Read more »

Alessandri SM, & Lewis M. (1993) Parental evaluation and its relation to shame and pride in young children. Sex Roles, 335-343. info:/

Fennema, E., Peterson, P., Carpenter, T., & Lubinski, C. (1990) Teachers attributions and beliefs about girls, boys, and mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 21(1), 55-69. DOI: 10.1007/BF00311015  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 09:49 AM

Alienated Youth More Likely to Lash Out

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Being rejected by their peers hurts all kids, but they vary in the way they react. Some kids deal with rejection by lashing out, which, taken to the extreme, can ... Read more »

Reijntjes, A., Thomaes, S., Bushman, B.J., Boelen, P.A., de Castro, B.O., & Telch, M.J. (2010) The outcast-lash-out effect in youth: alienation increases aggression following peer rejection. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 20739674  

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