The DENN protein module contains a longin domain, a DENN domain and a d-DENN domain. Nookala et al. (2012) identified a DENN module in folliculin (FLCN), the Birt-Hogg-Dube tumour suppressor. The DENN module is believed to be a GEF for Rab-GTPases, although FLCN is believed to act as a GAP for RagC (Tsun et al., 2013) as is its yeast homologue, LST7, in interaction with the yeast FNIP homologue Lst4 (Pacitto et al., 2015). A recent bioinformatic study identified DENN domains in several other ........ Read more »
Amick J, Roczniak-Ferguson A, & Ferguson SM. (2016) C9orf72 binds SMCR8, localizes to lysosomes and regulates mTORC1 signaling. Molecular biology of the cell. PMID: 27559131
Long time readers of this blog (hi mom!) know that I am working with many other people in an effort called CAFA: the Critical Assessment of protein Function Annotation. This is a challenge that many research groups participate in, and its goal is to determine how well we can predict a protein function from its amino-acid sequence. The first CAFA challenge (CAFA1) was held in 2010-2011 and published in 2013. We learned several things from CAFA1. First, that the top ranking function prediction pro........ Read more »
Jiang Y, Oron TR, Clark WT, Bankapur AR, D'Andrea D, Lepore R, Funk CS, Kahanda I, Verspoor KM, Ben-Hur A.... (2016) An expanded evaluation of protein function prediction methods shows an improvement in accuracy. Genome biology, 17(1), 184. PMID: 27604469
A recent paper reported on the discovery of a bit of the barley genome where an allele from the wild relative, when homozygous, confers a 30% yield advantage over a popular German variety under saline conditions.1 That of course is very interesting in its own right, but I want here to delve a bit into the methods, rather than the results.... Read more »
Saade, S., Maurer, A., Shahid, M., Oakey, H., Schmöckel, S., Negrão, S., Pillen, K., & Tester, M. (2016) Yield-related salinity tolerance traits identified in a nested association mapping (NAM) population of wild barley. Scientific Reports, 32586. DOI: 10.1038/srep32586
by Piter Kehoma Boll Damselflies are usually delicate versions of dragonflies, but some species challenge their place among the odonates. The most extreme example comes from the moist forests of Central and South America and is known as Megaloprepus caerulatus or … Continue reading →... Read more »
Feindt, W., Fincke, O., & Hadrys, H. (2013) Still a one species genus? Strong genetic diversification in the world’s largest living odonate, the Neotropical damselfly Megaloprepus caerulatus. Conservation Genetics, 15(2), 469-481. DOI: 10.1007/s10592-013-0554-z
"The results suggest that post-exertional malaise [PEM] is composed of two empirically different experiences, one for generalized fatigue and one for muscle-specific fatigue."So said the findings reported by Stephanie McManimen and colleagues  looking at one of the most common and debilitating aspects of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and how rough-and-ready generalised descriptions often do little to reveal the complexities of this particular sympt........ Read more »
McManimen SL, Sunnquist ML, & Jason LA. (2016) Deconstructing post-exertional malaise: An exploratory factor analysis. Journal of health psychology. PMID: 27557649
Most people remember where they were when the twin towers collapsed in New York ... new research reveals why that may be the case. The study has shed new light on the biological mechanisms that drive the process, known as flashbulb memory.
... Read more »
Takeuchi, T., Duszkiewicz, A., Sonneborn, A., Spooner, P., Yamasaki, M., Watanabe, M., Smith, C., Fernández, G., Deisseroth, K., Greene, R.... (2016) Locus coeruleus and dopaminergic consolidation of everyday memory. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature19325
Are fertility campaigns the right way to face an ageing population?... Read more »
Jos G.J. Olivier, Greet Janssens-Maenhout, Jeroen A.H.W. Peters, & Julian Wilson. (2011) Long-term trend in global CO2 emissions: 2011 report. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, . info:other/978-90-78645-68-9
Tinker A. (2002) The social implications of an ageing population. Introduction. Mechanisms of ageing and development, 123(7), 729-35. PMID: 11869730
Hertel, T. (2015) The challenges of sustainably feeding a growing planet. Food Security, 7(2), 185-198. DOI: 10.1007/s12571-015-0440-2
Bloom DE, Chatterji S, Kowal P, Lloyd-Sherlock P, McKee M, Rechel B, Rosenberg L, & Smith JP. (2015) Macroeconomic implications of population ageing and selected policy responses. Lancet (London, England), 385(9968), 649-57. PMID: 25468167
Hamza, N., & Gilroy, R. (2011) The challenge to UK energy policy: An ageing population perspective on energy saving measures and consumption. Energy Policy, 39(2), 782-789. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.10.052
A CRISPR recipe Less than a month ago, the world’s first official CRISPR/Cas9 meal was served. CRISPR/Cas9 is a fairly new technology to edit genomes, and cut and paste genes at will. Well, it’s not exactly that new. It’s actually been around for a long time. CRISPR, or *humhum* Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats […]... Read more »
Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A, & Ricroch AE. (2012) Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 50(3-4), 1134-48. PMID: 22155268
Panchin AY, & Tuzhikov AI. (2016) Published GMO studies find no evidence of harm when corrected for multiple comparisons. Critical reviews in biotechnology, 1-5. PMID: 26767435
"Metformin may be effective in decreasing weight gain associated with atypical antipsychotic use and is well tolerated by children and adolescents with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."So said the paper by Evdokia Anagnostou and colleagues  (open-access) tackling an increasingly important health issue related to the pharmacological 'management' of some aspects of some autism.Metformin is the treatment of choice when it comes to the management of type 2 diabetes (the one where "t........ Read more »
Anagnostou E, Aman MG, Handen BL, Sanders KB, Shui A, Hollway JA, Brian J, Arnold LE, Capano L, Hellings JA.... (2016) Metformin for Treatment of Overweight Induced by Atypical Antipsychotic Medication in Young People With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA psychiatry. PMID: 27556593
The sex of sea turtle offspring is largely dependent on temperature, and global warming could lead to problems where populations are mostly/all female. However, sea turtles have a trick up their sleeve (in their shells?) that may make them more resilient to the effects of global warming than previously thought.... Read more »
Standora, E., & Spotila, J. (1985) Temperature Dependent Sex Determination in Sea Turtles. Copeia, 1985(3), 711. DOI: 10.2307/1444765
Hays, G., Mazaris, A., & Schofield, G. (2014) Different male vs. female breeding periodicity helps mitigate offspring sex ratio skews in sea turtles. Frontiers in Marine Science. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2014.00043
Researchers have found links between the levels of antimicrobial chemicals and antibiotic-resistance genes in the dust of an aging building used for athletics and academics. One of the antimicrobials seen in the study is triclosan, a commonly used antibacterial ingredient in many personal care products.
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Hartmann, E., Hickey, R., Hsu, T., Betancourt Román, C., Chen, J., Schwager, R., Kline, J., Brown, G., Halden, R., Huttenhower, C.... (2016) Antimicrobial Chemicals Are Associated with Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Indoor Dust Microbiome. Environmental Science . DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00262
Earlier this summer I posted a review and commentary on a Duke University study of the outcome of children identified as gifted.You can access this post by clicking HERE.Today in Nature News, Tom Clynes publishes a nice review of the history of this topic.He notes there have several large scale studies to examine prospectively children with high academic potential. The cohorts include:Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth-SMPY (Johns Hopkins)Duke University Talent Identification ProgramMunich........ Read more »
Clynes, T. (2016) How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children. Nature, 537(7619), 152-155. DOI: 10.1038/537152a
Scientists find unanticipated results in a study that compares the clicker to a verbal reward-marker and the use of food alone in dog training.The study, by Cinzia Chiandetti (University of Trieste) et al took 51 pet dogs and trained them on a novel task. 17 dogs were trained using a clicker, 17 using a verbal reward marker (“Bravo”), and 17 with only a reward. Then they tested the dogs to see how well they performed when asked to generalize the training to something similar and someth........ Read more »
Chiandetti, C., Avella, S., Fongaro, E., & Cerri, F. (2016) Can clicker training facilitate conditioning in dogs?. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. DOI: http://dx.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2016.08.006
So you’re telling me that sixteenth century Italian gardeners selected long, thin squashes from among those brought back to Europe from the Americas (actually two different places in the Americas) in conscious imitation of the bottle gourds they had used for centuries? And somehow kept them separate from other cucurbits so that they bred true? […]... Read more »
Lust, T., & Paris, H. (2016) Italian horticultural and culinary records of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae) and emergence of the zucchini in 19th-century Milan. Annals of Botany, 118(1), 53-69. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcw080
'Chemicals banned decades ago linked to increased autism risk today' went the press release attached to the findings reported by Kristen Lyall and colleagues  (open-access).Observing that "higher levels of some organochlorine compounds during pregnancy are associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and ID [intellectual disability]" the Lyall results once again push environmental factors back into the research spotlight. Indeed, environmental factors that were bann........ Read more »
Lyall K, Croen LA, Sjödin A, Yoshida CK, Zerbo O, Kharrazi M, & Windham GC. (2016) Polychlorinated Biphenyl and Organochlorine Pesticide Concentrations in Maternal Mid-Pregnancy Serum Samples: Association with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. Environmental health perspectives. PMID: 27548254
Electronics integrated into textiles are gaining in popularity: Systems like smartphone displays in a sleeve or sensors to detect physical performance in athletic wear have already been produced. The main problem with these systems tends to be the lack of a comfortable, equally wearable source of power. Chinese scientists are now aiming to obtain the necessary energy from body heat by introducing a flexible, wearable thermocell based on two different gel electrolytes.
... Read more »
Yang, P., Liu, K., Chen, Q., Mo, X., Zhou, Y., Li, S., Feng, G., & Zhou, J. (2016) Wearable Thermocells Based on Gel Electrolytes for the Utilization of Body Heat. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201606314
The solar corona is a well known site for particle acceleration – examples range from spectacular large flares to the hard-to-observe nanoflares that are now a leading candidate for coronal heating.... Read more »
Prasad Subramanian and Claude Mercier. (2016) High resolution observations of radio noise storms in the solar corona . Astronomy . info:/
Weight loss and maintenance of weight loss is difficult if not nearly impossible for most people.A registry of individuals who have lost 30 pounds or more and maintained their weight loss over a year exists in the U.S. This research effort is known as the National Weight Control Registry. It currently has over 10,000.I was looking at some of the published research results from this study. A paper published in 2012 used cluster analysis to identify sub-types of individuals with successful long-te........ Read more »
Ogden, L., Stroebele, N., Wyatt, H., Catenacci, V., Peters, J., Stuht, J., Wing, R., & Hill, J. (2012) Cluster Analysis of the National Weight Control Registry to Identify Distinct Subgroups Maintaining Successful Weight Loss. Obesity, 20(10), 2039-2047. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2012.79
Free beer, made right inside your stomach! This rare condition converts your gut into a brewery, and it is more of a nightmare than a dream come true.
... Read more »
Cordell, B., & McCarthy, J. (2013) A Case Study of Gut Fermentation Syndrome (Auto-Brewery) with Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the Causative Organism. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 04(07), 309-312. DOI: 10.4236/ijcm.2013.47054
Logan BK, & Jones AW. (2000) Endogenous ethanol 'auto-brewery syndrome' as a drunk-driving defence challenge. Medicine, science, and the law, 40(3), 206-15. PMID: 10976182
Electrocardiographic screening is more accurate than patient history or physical examination to screen for potentially fatal cardiac abnormalities among collegiate athletes. ... Read more »
Drezner, J., Owens, D., Prutkin, J., Salerno, J., Harmon, K., Prosise, S., Clark, A., & Asif, I. (2016) Electrocardiographic Screening in National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletes. The American Journal of Cardiology, 118(5), 754-759. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.06.004
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