Our bodies have multiple fronts for battling viruses, and it’s impressive that any of those suckers manage to invade our bodies at all. When virus particles do make their way into a cell, it’s important for biologists to understand their pathway through a cell in order to create drug therapies and vaccines. Today’s image is from a paper describing the use of high resolution imaging to understand this process.The polarized cells that line our digestive and respiratory tracts for........ Read more »
Boulant, S., Stanifer, M., Kural, C., Cureton, D., Massol, R., Nibert, M., & Kirchhausen, T. (2013) Similar uptake but different trafficking and escape routes of reovirus virions and infectious subvirion particles imaged in polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 24(8), 1196-1207. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E12-12-0852
A few days ago, researchers at the University of Edinburgh announced that they have made a "fundamental" discovery on how embryonic stem cells replicate and differentiate.Read More... Read more »
Karwacki-Neisius, V., Göke, J., Osorno, R., Halbritter, F., Ng, J., Weiße, A., Wong, F., Gagliardi, A., Mullin, N., Festuccia, N.... (2013) Reduced Oct4 Expression Directs a Robust Pluripotent State with Distinct Signaling Activity and Increased Enhancer Occupancy by Oct4 and Nanog. Cell Stem Cell, 12(5), 531-545. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2013.04.023
Dravet syndrome (DS), also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy, is a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that affects about 1 in every 30,000 infants. Unfortunately, research on DS is severely hampered by its extreme rareness. However, new findings by a team of researchers at the Fukuoka University, Japan not only shed new light into the condition, but may also help to increase our current understanding of other rare genetic disorders.Read More... Read more »
Higurashi, N., Uchida, T., Christoph, L., Misumi, Y., Okada, Y., Akamatsu, W., Imaizumi, Y., Zhang, B., Nabeshima, K., Mori, M.... (2013) A human Dravet syndrome model from patient induced pluripotent stem cells. Molecular Brain, 6(1), 19. DOI: 10.1186/1756-6606-6-19
Kind of a morbid question, but apparently one that is on many people’s minds. Suicide by drowning is definitely not impossible, although it is not the easiest method. Due to the body’s natural tendency to come up for air, drowning attempts are most likely to succeed in deep waters.... Read more »
Like Charlie Bucket looking through the sweet shop window at the delicious chocolates produced by the workforce of a certain Mr Willy Wonka (the candyman no less), I am always quite interested in the goings-on at the IMFAR autism research conference. The candyman can... @ Wikipedia This year (2013) proved to be a bit of a vintage, as once again the great and the good presented their Wonka bars of autism research; thus hinting at the direction of future autism research and what y........ Read more »
Höglund Carlsson, L., Norrelgen, F., Kjellmer, L., Westerlund, J., Gillberg, C., & Fernell, E. (2013) Coexisting Disorders and Problems in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Scientific World Journal, 1-6. DOI: 10.1155/2013/213979
In 2004, in Silicon Valley, Google posted a huge billboard ad featuring a mathematical problem. The answer led to a web address with yet another puzzle to crack. People who successfully followed this intellectual treasure hunt ended up being invited in for a job interview.This is an extreme example of a recruitment principle spelled out in a new article by psychologists in Belgium. They say that distinctive recruitment procedures are the secret to attracting more and better job appli........ Read more »
Cromheecke, S., Van Hoye, G., & Lievens, F. (2013) Changing things up in recruitment: Effects of a ‘strange’ recruitment medium on applicant pool quantity and quality. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/joop.12018
Researchers have found a group of proteins, BAF complexes that are mutated in nearly 20% of the cancer cases in human beings. They are think that such protein complexes can play an important role in preventing many forms of cancer.
Researchers worked on the complex, called BAF, also known as chromatin-regulatory complexes. Role of these complexes is in the condensation of the DNA while allowing the replication temporarily a........ Read more »
Kadoch, C., Hargreaves, D., Hodges, C., Elias, L., Ho, L., Ranish, J., & Crabtree, G. (2013) Proteomic and bioinformatic analysis of mammalian SWI/SNF complexes identifies extensive roles in human malignancy. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.2628
Take Home Message: Achilles tendon pathology is associated with variation within a gene (TIMP2) responsible for inhibiting enzymes responsible for collagen degradation. Genetic pre-screening of at-risk individuals may help guide individualized treatment strategies.
Genetic risk factors have recently been identified for Achilles tendon pathology, which may allow for genetic screening and identification of at-risk patients and could help guide clinical management of this injury. Specifically, p........ Read more »
El Khoury L, Posthumus M, Collins M, Handley CJ, Cook J, & Raleigh SM. (2013) Polymorphic variation within the ADAMTS2, ADAMTS14, ADAMTS5, ADAM12 and TIMP2 genes and the risk of Achilles tendon pathology: A genetic association study. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. PMID: 23491141
Last week, my father sent me a link to the 100 top-ranked specialties in the sciences and social sciences. The Web of Knowledge report considered 10 broad areas of natural and social science, and for each one listed 10 research fronts that they consider as the key fields to watch in 2013 and are “hot [...]... Read more »
Rendell L, Boyd R, Cownden D, Enquist M, Eriksson K, Feldman MW, Fogarty L, Ghirlanda S, Lillicrap T, & Laland KN. (2010) Why copy others? Insights from the social learning strategies tournament. Science, 328(5975), 208-213. PMID: 20378813
Accountability is all the rage these days, whether it’s with regard to schools, hospitals, government agencies, or the local Geico car insurance branch. But not all accountability is the same, and a thought-provoking new study led by Penn’s Philip Tetlock examines how political ideology and trust can influence support for various accountability systems. The study [...]... Read more »
Tetlock, P., Vieider, F., Patil, S., & Grant, A. (2013) Accountability and ideology: When left looks right and right looks left. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 122(1), 22-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2013.03.007
In my last post I discussed a bioengineered E. coli strain capable of producing an engine compatible biofuel. I hailed the finding as more efficient than ordinary biofuels because this technique has less environmental impact than biofuels from crops, for example, or cellulose, which instead use great amounts of water and forest land. I did some more reading on the topic and found out that, surprise surprise, there are some costs in harvesting biofuels from bacteria as well, so my discussion was ........ Read more »
Dunlop, M., Dossani, Z., Szmidt, H., Chu, H., Lee, T., Keasling, J., Hadi, M., & Mukhopadhyay, A. (2011) Engineering microbial biofuel tolerance and export using efflux pumps. Molecular Systems Biology. DOI: 10.1038/msb.2011.21
We have differentiated between chromosomal versus hormonal influences on normal sleep and sleep rebounds in hermaphroditic mice. The neural mechanisms are TBD, however. ... Read more »
Ehlen, J., Hesse, S., Pinckney, L., & Paul, K. (2013) Sex Chromosomes Regulate Nighttime Sleep Propensity during Recovery from Sleep Loss in Mice. PLoS ONE, 8(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062205
Researchers reported, last year, that the topical use of calcipotriol, a synthetic derivative of vitamin D, could help in significant recovery from a condition of inflammatory hair loss known as Alopecia areata.
Annals of Dermatology
Vitamin D is important in immune modulation in the skin while working on calcium regulation and bone metabolism. Alopecia areata has commonly been reported in the patients of vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D-res........ Read more »
Kim, D., Lee, J., Kim, I., Choi, S., Lim, Y., Kim, H., Kim, B., & Kim, M. (2012) Successful Treatment of Alopecia Areata with Topical Calcipotriol. Annals of Dermatology, 24(3), 341. DOI: 10.5021/ad.2012.24.3.341
Nobel laureates rarely publish articles in journals within the supply chain arena. Vernon L. Smith was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences “for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms”. In its recent issue, the Journal of Business Logistics had [...]... Read more »
Deck, C., & Smith, V. (2013) Using Laboratory Experiments in Logistics and Supply Chain Research. Journal of Business Logistics, 34(1), 6-14. DOI: 10.1111/jbl.12006
I was recently addressing some common folk linguistic myths about English, especially the English used as a lingua franca (ELF) between its non-native speakers. One of these myths concerns “color”, or more often than not, “colour”, since it seems the British “owners” of English are the ones most preoccupied with this trait. More specifically, you [...]... Read more »
Franceschi, V. (2013) Figurative language and ELF: idiomaticity in cross-cultural interaction in university settings. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 2(1). DOI: 10.1515/jelf-2013-0004
A follow-up on Carl Zimmer's post in "Phenomena" (National Geographic) on 'Bugs as Drugs'.... Read more »
Hyman P, Atterbury R, & Barrow P. (2013) Fleas and smaller fleas: virotherapy for parasite infections. Trends in microbiology. PMID: 23540830
van Nood E, Vrieze A, Nieuwdorp M, Fuentes S, Zoetendal EG, de Vos WM, Visser CE, Kuijper EJ, Bartelsman JF, Tijssen JG.... (2013) Duodenal infusion of donor feces for recurrent Clostridium difficile. The New England journal of medicine, 368(5), 407-15. PMID: 23323867
Ecology is a rapidly changing, dynamic field of research. In recent decades, there’s been a major shift from considering ecosystems as stable and poised to seeing them as systems that are in constant flux. At least, that’s what ecologists want (us) to believe. But how much of this claimed change has been able to seep [...]... Read more »
Carmel, Y., Kent, R., Bar-Massada, A., Blank, L., Liberzon, J., Nezer, O., Sapir, G., & Federman, R. (2013) Trends in Ecological Research during the Last Three Decades – A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE, 8(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059813
IntroductionThe European Space Agency’s Venus Express (VEX) is the only active spacecraft mission at the planet Venus. It carries a number of instruments: A magnetometer, a wide-angle CCD camera, a space plasma detector, a Fourier spectrometer, a thermal spectrometer, a radio science package, and a cluster of spectrometers specifically designed to study the Venusian atmosphere: SPICAV (Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus). This package conta........ Read more »
Bertaux, J., Nevejans, D., Korablev, O., Villard, E., Quémerais, E., Neefs, E., Montmessin, F., Leblanc, F., Dubois, J., Dimarellis, E.... (2007) SPICAV on Venus Express: Three spectrometers to study the global structure and composition of the Venus atmosphere. Planetary and Space Science, 55(12), 1673-1700. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2007.01.016
An atmospheric study using the SPICAV-UV instrument recently came to my attention where researchers (Montmessin, et al. 2011) used the data archive to identify (for the first time) a layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere of Venus (previously, ozone had only been identified in the atmospheres of Mars and Earth).The team analyzed the complete SPICAV dataset, and determined that UV absorption by O3 was observed during a stellar occultation run on the night side of Venus during orbit #348. Th........ Read more »
Montmessin, F., Bertaux, J., Lefèvre, F., Marcq, E., Belyaev, D., Gérard, J., Korablev, O., Fedorova, A., Sarago, V., & Vandaele, A. (2011) A layer of ozone detected in the nightside upper atmosphere of Venus. Icarus, 216(1), 82-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2011.08.010
Gray hair comes as a result of hydrogen peroxide accumulation in the hair follicles and the newly reported topical UVB-activated, pseudocatalase (PC-KUS) can help against the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide at the root level.
The FASEB Journal
"To date, it is beyond any doubt that the sudden loss of the inherited skin and localized hair color can affect those individuals in many fundamental ways," Karin U. Schallreuter, M.D., s........ Read more »
Schallreuter, K., Salem, M., Holtz, S., & Panske, A. (2013) Basic evidence for epidermal H2O2/ONOO--mediated oxidation/nitration in segmental vitiligo is supported by repigmentation of skin and eyelashes after reduction of epidermal H2O2 with topical NB-UVB-activated pseudocatalase PC-KUS. The FASEB Journal. DOI: 10.1096/fj.12-226779
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