Post List

  • May 22, 2010
  • 07:52 AM

What is the synthetic cell?

by Captain Skellett in A Schooner of Science

Two days ago scientists at J. Craig Venter announced the creation of the first self-replicating synthetic cell, a bacteria with DNA made in a lab. How did they do it, and what does it mean for us in the future?
First up, the scientists didn’t make life out of nothing, and they didn’t make a new [...]... Read more »

  • May 22, 2010
  • 07:45 AM

Men Prefer Breadwinning to Housework

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Oh, the eternal angst of working out why men get home from a hard day at the office and promptly plunk themselves firmly on the sofa! Thebaud(2010) reckons it might be because to the man whose brain has been infiltrated by hegemonic masculinity, breadwinning out there is the only sort of bread that should ever be made.... Read more »

  • May 22, 2010
  • 07:10 AM

Research: Shade coffee conserves bee diversity

by Julie Craves in Coffee & Conservation

Coffee farmers don't need to rely just on the presence of landscape-level forests to provide pollinator resources. Their own farm management can have strong impacts on local bee abundance and diversity.

... Read more »

  • May 22, 2010
  • 05:06 AM

craig venter’s giant leap for biology

by Greg Fish in weird things

Here’s something those of you with billions of dollars and a team of experts in cellular and molecular biology on speed dial can try at home. Take the cell of a dead microorganism and a breakdown of another bacteria’s genome. Then, have your DNA assembling machine string together about a million nucleobases with several markers [...]... Read more »

Gibson, D., Glass, J., Lartigue, C., Noskov, V., Chuang, R., Algire, M., Benders, G., Montague, M., Ma, L., Moodie, M.... (2010) Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719  

  • May 22, 2010
  • 01:37 AM

The f-word on the move

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Installment #7 in the mini-series on multilingual signage
When I lived in Basel in Switzerland, my then-preschool child was just learning to make sense of the alphabet and to sound out words – a development I obviously encouraged as much as I could by seizing every literacy opportunity. Generally speaking, pretty much everything can be a [...]... Read more »

Jørgensen, J. (2008) Urban Wall Languaging. International Journal of Multilingualism, 5(3), 237-252. DOI: 10.1080/14790710802390186  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 05:59 PM

Twist it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby!

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

You are brightly colored - enough to be considered charismatic even by humans who like to keep you as a pet! You can make fairly loud calls. So how do you communicate with each other? Especially in...

... Read more »

  • May 21, 2010
  • 05:37 PM

Hunters and the Hunted

by Laelaps in Laelaps

A Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer), photographed at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Outside of the trash-grubbing black bears I occasionally come across when driving to hikes in northern New Jersey, I never encounter large predators near my home. The imposing carnivores which once roamed the "garden state" were extirpated long ago. This is a very unusual thing. For the majority of the past six million years or so hominins have lived alongside, and have regularly been hunted by, ........ Read more »

  • May 21, 2010
  • 02:30 PM

Dear Fuzzies, Why So Green?

by sarah in One Small Step

Amongst all the excitement over the first results from Herschel, it’s easy to forget about its comparatively tiny American cousin Spitzer. Launched in 2003 with its  3 instruments IRAC, IRS and MIPS, Spitzer covers the infrared wavelengths from around 3 to 150 microns – a region that from Earth is either totally inaccessible or severely [...]... Read more »

James M. De Buizer, & William D. Vacca. (2010) Direct Spectroscopic Identification of the Origin of 'Green Fuzzy' Emission in Star Forming Regions. accepted in ApJ. arXiv: 1005.2209v1

C. J. Cyganowski, B. A. Whitney, E. Holden, E. Braden, C. L. Brogan, E. Churchwell, R. Indebetouw, D. F. Watson, B. L. Babler, R. Benjamin.... (2008) A Catalog of Extended Green Objects (EGOs) in the GLIMPSE Survey: A new sample of massive young stellar object outflow candidates. Astronomical Journal, 136(6), 2391-2412. arXiv: 0810.0530v1

  • May 21, 2010
  • 01:51 PM

Dissociation of mirror system activity and action understanding: Evidence from sign language

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

Sign language is arguably an ideal system to study in the context of the mirror neuron theory of action understanding, particularly its relation to language: you've got overt manual gestures, not those pesky obscured gestures associated with speech, and you have the ability to study the relation between action understanding in linguistic (pantomime) and nonlinguistic (sign language) domains. The latter is particularly interesting given recent claims that speech evolved from a manual gesture syst........ Read more »

  • May 21, 2010
  • 12:09 PM

A non-post about Craig Venter’s new bug

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

In case you have been vacationing in a parallel universe in the past two days, you should have heard about the new synthetic bacterium created at the J Craig Venter Institute. In a nutshell, the scientific team synthesized an artificial chromosome of the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides and transferred it to another bacterium, Mycoplasma capricolum. The [...]... Read more »

Gibson, D., Glass, J., Lartigue, C., Noskov, V., Chuang, R., Algire, M., Benders, G., Montague, M., Ma, L., Moodie, M.... (2010) Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 11:28 AM

myExperiment: The Videos

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

myExperiment is a research project that is exploring models, techniques and infrastructure for sharing digital items associated with  research , especially scientific workflows. The project is funded by the Joint Information Standards Committee (JISC) as part of a series of projects building Virtual Research Environments (VRE’s) and is run by Dave De Roure and Carole [...]... Read more »

David De Roure, Carole Goble, & Robert Stevens. (2007) Designing the myExperiment Virtual Research Environment for the Social Sharing of Workflows. IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing, 603-610. DOI: 10.1109/E-SCIENCE.2007.29  

David De Roure, Carole Goble, Jiten Bhagat, Don Cruickshank, Antoon Goderis, Danius Michaelides, & David Newman. (2008) myExperiment: Defining the Social Virtual Research Environment. IEEE Fourth International Conference on eScience, 2008. eScience '08., 182-189. DOI: 10.1109/eScience.2008.86  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 10:52 AM

Inner Life of Mesoorganisms

by Arunn in nOnoScience (a.k.a. Unruled Notebook)

The title of both this note and the paper it discusses is inspired by a 1970s classic paper by Nobel Laureate Edward Purcell on Life at low Reynolds number. With simple physics, that paper gave insights about micro-organisms (bacteria, sperms … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 21, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

Physical Features in Autism

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Social and language issues dominate most of the discussion about the features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A neglected area of study are the physical feature characteristics that have been known to be associated with ASD. Unlike some of the diagnostic physical changes in disorders such as Down Syndrome, physical features found in ASD are often subtle and missed by most clinicians.Ozgen and colleagues from the Netherlands, UCLA and the UK recently published a case-control study of physica........ Read more »

Ozgen, H., Hellemann, G., Stellato, R., Lahuis, B., Daalen, E., Staal, W., Rozendal, M., Hennekam, R., Beemer, F., & Engeland, H. (2010) Morphological Features in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Matched Case–Control Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-1018-7  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 10:28 AM

On synthesis

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

Oh my God, we're all going to die, exclaimed the Daily Mail today. Well, we are all going to die some day, but not because of the paper from the J. Craig Venter Institute, published in Science. I'm having a...... Read more »

Gibson, D., Glass, J., Lartigue, C., Noskov, V., Chuang, R., Algire, M., Benders, G., Montague, M., Ma, L., Moodie, M.... (2010) Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 10:18 AM

Azendohsaurus, the Dinosaur That Wasn’t

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Parsing the origins and early history of dinosaurs is a challenging task. A number of prehistoric creatures were a lot like some of the earliest dinosaurs, and sometimes evolutionary cousins of early dinosaurs have been mistaken for dinosaurs on the basis of fragmentary material. As a study published in Palaeontology now shows, this was the [...]... Read more »

  • May 21, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

Proteomics Refined

by avi_wener in American Biotechnologist

As a proteomics fan in general and a 2D Gel Electrophoresis fan specifically, I have been following the Ludesi Blog which I have found to be a resource rich in 2D information including a knowledgebase, webinars and an great tool that pulls together all proteomics related tweets from twitter. For those of you who [...]... Read more »

  • May 21, 2010
  • 09:24 AM

Pulling the Wool Back: Studying the Biochemical Properties of Mammoth Hemoglobin

by Kelly Grooms in Promega Connections

What do you do with the DNA sequence of an animal that has been extinct for tens of thousands of years? Well, if you are on the team of Professor Kevin Campbell (University of Manitoba, Canada), you go for the blood; specifically, the hemoglobin. In a study published in Nature Genetics (1), Professor Campbell’s team reports [...]... Read more »

Campbell KL, Roberts JE, Watson LN, Stetefeld J, Sloan AM, Signore AV, Howatt JW, Tame JR, Rohland N, Shen TJ.... (2010) Substitutions in woolly mammoth hemoglobin confer biochemical properties adaptive for cold tolerance. Nature genetics. PMID: 20436470  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 09:22 AM

Tomatoes On My Mind

by Jennifer in OpenHelix

I’ve got tomatoes on my mind, so summer must be coming. It seems every where I turn, I’m being reminded of tomatoes. Not the grocery store/hot house kind, but the fresh farmer’s market/back yard-grown kind with juice and flavor so plentiful that it runs down your arms and onto the sunny porch floor where [...]... Read more »

Ruzicka, D., Barrios-Masias, F., Hausmann, N., Jackson, L., & Schachtman, D. (2010) Tomato root transcriptome response to a nitrogen-enriched soil patch. BMC Plant Biology, 10(1), 75. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-10-75  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

On the recent systematic food allergy review

by Colby in

All over the media last week were reports that the prevalence of food allergies is grossly overestimated.  That is indeed good news, let’s have a quick look at the systematic review that led to these statements (1).
The review focused on foods which account for over 50% of food allergies: cow’s milk, hen’s egg, peanut, tree [...]... Read more »

Chafen, J., Newberry, S., Riedl, M., Bravata, D., Maglione, M., Suttorp, M., Sundaram, V., Paige, N., Towfigh, A., Hulley, B.... (2010) Diagnosing and Managing Common Food Allergies: A Systematic Review. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(18), 1848-1856. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.582  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 07:20 AM

Can we predict small-molecules binding affinities?

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

In a recent post, Derek Lowe, from "In The Pipeline", asks his readership "If we could just walk right up and calculate the free energies of binding events reliably, what would you most want such calculations to be able to do for you? What would convince you that they're actually believable? And how close to you think that we actually are to that?" We tried tobriefly answer some of these questions. How close are we to predict small molecules binding free energy?

... Read more »

Gilson, M., & Zhou, H. (2007) Calculation of Protein-Ligand Binding Affinities . Annual Review of Biophysics and Biomolecular Structure, 36(1), 21-42. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.biophys.36.040306.132550  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit