Post List

  • July 15, 2010
  • 09:49 AM

More Fecal Findings!

by avi_wener in American Biotechnologist

At the risk of developing a complex that all I talk about is fecal matter, for the second time this week I would like to bring your attention to another study that focuses on the gut and its microbial habitat. A couple of days ago I discussed the challenge of identifying the huge number of [...]... Read more »

Alejandro Reyes, Matthew Haynes, Nicole Hanson, Florent E. Angly, Andrew C. Heath, Forest Rohwer, & Jeffrey I. Gordon. (2010) Viruses in the faecal microbiota of monozygotic twins and their mothers. Nature, 334-338. info:/10.1038/nature09199

  • July 15, 2010
  • 09:41 AM

Researchers create 'lesbian' mice by deleting a single gene

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

DELETION of a single gene switches the sexual orientation of female mice, causing them to engage in sexual behaviour that is typical of males. Korean researchers found that deleting the FucM gene, which encodes an enzyme called fucose mutarotase, causes masculinization of the mouse brain, so that female mice lacking the gene avoid the advances of males and try to mate with other females instead. The findings probably have little relavence to human sexual orientation, however.

FucM is one of a f........ Read more »

  • July 15, 2010
  • 09:10 AM

Tarbosaurus: A Predator and a Scavenger With a Delicate Bite

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Back in the 1990s, paleontologist Jack Horner proposed that Tyrannosaurus rex—popularly cast as the most fearsome predator of all time—was really a giant-sized scavenger. With its small arms, a large part of its brain devoted to analyzing smells, and a mouth full of rail-spike-sized teeth, the tyrant dinosaur seemed to be better-suited to processing the [...]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2010
  • 08:37 AM

The crisis: put down the pruning shears

by sarcozona in gravity's rainbow

Part of applying to graduate school is figuring out who I want to work with and what questions I want to try to answer.  To do this, I’m reading a lot of papers.  I’d hate for all this paper reading to keep me from blogging, so I’ve decided to share some of the more interesting [...]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Not exactly breaking news: sex reduces anxiety!

by EcoPhysioMichelle in C6-H12-O6 (old)

Despite causing elevated levels of corticosteroids, physical activity results in an increase in mental health and brain function for most people. This phenomenon has recently been linked to the idea that exercise is mentally linked to personal reward.... Read more »

  • July 15, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

How many journal articles have been published (ever)?

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Earlier this year, the scientific journal PLoS ONE published their 10,000th article. Ten thousand articles is a lot of papers especially when you consider that PLoS ONE only started publishing four short years ago in 2006. But scientists have been publishing in journals for at least 350 years [1] so it might make you wonder, how many articles have been published in scientific and learned journals since time began?... Read more »

Oldenburg, H. (1665) Epistle Dedicatory. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1(1-22). DOI: 10.1098/rstl.1665.0001  

Jacsó, P. (2010) Metadata mega mess in Google Scholar. Online Information Review, 34(1), 175-191. DOI: 10.1108/14684521011024191  

  • July 15, 2010
  • 06:08 AM

Detoxifying cassava

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Strategies that minimize one risk…may augment another risk… Peasant farmers are perfectly conversant with such linkages. The neglect of peasant agriculture by both donors and governments is among the deeper causes of current crises, along with the increasing inequality that deprives them of secure tenure to land and other resources, reducing benefits they can expect [...]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2010
  • 05:26 AM

Men Order Big Steaks to Avoid Cupcake Outing

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Who would have thought that men put so much thought into not ordering fish but steak, bangers and mash but not strawberries and cream? Gal and Wilkie (2010) say more please and many men end up with perpetual tummy ache.... Read more »

  • July 15, 2010
  • 04:41 AM

Really fine grained genetic maps of Europe

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

A few years ago you started seeing the crest of studies which basically took several hundred individuals (or thousands) from a range of locations, and then extracted out the two largest components of genetic variation from the hundreds of thousands of  variants. The clusters which fell out of the genetic data, with each point being [...]... Read more »

O'Dushlaine, C., McQuillan, R., Weale, M., Crouch, D., Johansson, �., Aulchenko, Y., Franklin, C., Polašek, O., Fuchsberger, C., Corvin, A.... (2010) Genes predict village of origin in rural Europe. European Journal of Human Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ejhg.2010.92  

  • July 15, 2010
  • 03:10 AM

Gold catalysed Sonogashira?

by Rik in NNNS chemistry blog

A year ago Buchwald and Bolm investigated some alleged iron-catalysed coupling reactions and found that copper present in minute quantities as a contaminant was the true catalyst. In a similar case, Lauterbach et al. in a new publication argue that several gold-catalyzed coupling reactions reported in the recent literature are in fact co-catalyzed by hidden palladium. Gold just cannot do it on its own.
... Read more »

Lauterbach, T., Livendahl, M., Rosellón, A., Espinet, P., & Echavarren, A. (2010) Unlikeliness of Pd-Free Gold(I)-Catalyzed Sonogashira Coupling Reactions. Organic Letters, 12(13), 3006-3009. DOI: 10.1021/ol101012n  

  • July 15, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

The Sound of the Sea

by The Twenty-first floor in The Twenty-first floor

Far from being "The Silent World", the oceans are alive with sound. Marine biologist Andrew Guerin discusses how sound is important to marine animals and what effect noise pollution from human endeavours may have on ocean ecosystems.... Read more »

Slabbekoorn, H., Bouton, N., van Opzeeland, I., Coers, A., ten Cate, C., & Popper, A. (2010) A noisy spring: the impact of globally rising underwater sound levels on fish. Trends in Ecology , 25(7), 419-427. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.04.005  

  • July 14, 2010
  • 08:37 PM

Can individuals perceive and understand speech without the ability to produce it?

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

"Yes" is the correct answer. Here's the background to the question:I finally mustered the courage (i.e., sufficient control over my blood pressure) to read Pulvermuller & Fadiga's recent (2010) review paper in Nature Reviews Neuroscience. But I don't want to talk about their paper -- yet. I want to discuss a paper they cite. Here is the context in which they cite it: P & F are, of course, arguing for the importance of the motor system in receptive language. After arguing correctly that sens........ Read more »

  • July 14, 2010
  • 08:00 PM

Sit less, Move more

by Aurametrix team in Health Technologies

I am typing this standing in front of my computer. My tall chair is aside.  About a year ago I discovered that life is better if I stand while working some of the time. Then I found out that other people discovered it too, and more keep discovering. We hear it often: eat less and exercise. But this may not be enough. As shown in a recent study, exercise does not counteract the ill effects of sedentary lives, we should keep moving throughout the day too.  New York Times article about th........ Read more »

Dunstan, D., Barr, E., Healy, G., Salmon, J., Shaw, J., Balkau, B., Magliano, D., Cameron, A., Zimmet, P., & Owen, N. (2010) Television Viewing Time and Mortality: The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Circulation, 121(3), 384-391. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.894824  

Katzmarzyk PT, Church TS, Craig CL, & Bouchard C. (2009) Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 41(5), 998-1005. PMID: 19346988  

  • July 14, 2010
  • 06:05 PM

Fosmid cloning: Alive and kicking

by epibio in EpiCentral

Although advances in next-generation sequencing technology have replaced the need for clone libraries in many laboratories, fosmid libraries are still useful in a variety of functional genomics studies.

Xu et al.1 present the first report of a host-specific restriction system associated with S-modification of DNA (phosphorothioation), instead of methylation. The authors observed that the enteropathogenic Salmonella enterica serovar Cerro 87, which possesses S-modified DNA, restricts DNA isolate........ Read more »

  • July 14, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

Bad science journalism the fault of chickens or eggs?

by Lucas in thoughtomics

News sites left and right are picking up a story that “Scientists solved the chicken or egg problem”. Google News aggregated 164 news articles at the time of writing, with more being added every minute. The typical introduction runs like this:
It is the age-old question that has stumped the finest minds for thousands of years. [...]... Read more »

Freeman, C., Harding, J., Quigley, D., & Rodger, P. (2010) Structural Control of Crystal Nuclei by an Eggshell Protein. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 49(30), 5135-5137. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201000679  

  • July 14, 2010
  • 05:04 PM

Designer Genes

by Jessica Harvey in Berkeley Science Review Blog

Synthetic biology is a promising field of research that aims, in part, to engineer organisms to produce medicines and biofuels. Its allure lies in using biological building blocks and pathways, already exquisitely designed by nature, to produce essential materials for human use (instead of trying to re-invent everything ourselves from scratch). Continue reading →... 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, 329(5987), 52-56. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719  

  • July 14, 2010
  • 04:21 PM

Scientists closely examine causes of frog abnormalities

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

urrently, research on the possible causes of limb deformities in amphibians is expansive, with evidence supporting parasite infection, chemical contaminants, UVB radiation and amputation as possible factors. However, as Mari Reeves from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and colleagues explained in an article in the August issue of Ecological Monographs, the most likely cause of amphibian abnormalities is a combination of several stressors.

... Read more »

Reeves, M., Jensen, P., Dolph, C., Holyoak, M., & Trust, K. (2010) Multiple stressors and the cause of amphibian abnormalities. Ecological Monographs, 80(3), 423-440. DOI: 10.1890/09-0879.1  

  • July 14, 2010
  • 03:52 PM

Words as alleles: A null-model for language evolution?

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo

For me, recent computational accounts of language evolution provide a compelling rationale that cultural, as opposed to biological, evolution is fundamental in understanding the design features of language. The basis for this rests on the simple notion of language being not only a conveyor of cultural information, but also a socially learned and culturally transmitted [...]... Read more »

  • July 14, 2010
  • 03:52 PM

Words as alleles: A null-model for language evolution?

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0

For me, recent computational accounts of language evolution provide a compelling rationale that cultural, as opposed to biological, evolution is fundamental in understanding the design features of language. The basis for this rests on the simple notion of language being not only a conveyor of cultural information, . . . → Read More: Words as alleles: A null-model for language evolution?... Read more »

  • July 14, 2010
  • 03:43 PM

Online self management: works for some

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Given that you’re reading this, I suspect that the thought of an on-line approach to managing pain wouldn’t take a terrible stretch of the imagination. The idea is certainly appealing – after all, there are many, many people with chronic low back pain in the community, and not nearly so many clinicians specialised (or even … Read more... Read more »

Chiauzzi E, Pujol LA, Wood M, Bond K, Black R, Yiu E, & Zacharoff K. (2010) painACTION-Back Pain: A Self-Management Website for People with Chronic Back Pain. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.). PMID: 20545873  

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