Post List

  • January 23, 2015
  • 10:43 AM

Dung DNA Gives Clues to the Shy Okapi's Lifestyle

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Try to read up on the okapi and you won't find much. This African mammal is most often seen next to the adjective "elusive." But even if we can't find any okapi, we can learn about their lifestyle through their DNA—and we can find their DNA in their feces.

The okapi is an ungulate, like a cow. Or really like a giraffe, its closest relative. It has an elegant face, a long bluish tongue, and a zebra-striped rear end. It lives in the dense rainforest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, che........ Read more »

  • January 23, 2015
  • 09:00 AM

Fnip1 regulates skeletal muscle fibre type specification, fatigue resistance, and susceptibility to muscular dystrophy

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

Summary of recent paper into the role of Fnip1 in skeletal muscle development.... Read more »

Reyes NL, Banks GB, Tsang M, Margineantu D, Gu H, Djukovic D, Chan J, Torres M, Liggitt HD, Hirenallur-S DK.... (2015) Fnip1 regulates skeletal muscle fiber type specification, fatigue resistance, and susceptibility to muscular dystrophy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(2), 424-9. PMID: 25548157  

  • January 23, 2015
  • 06:30 AM

NAC risperidone = decreased irritability in autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It's been a while since I talked about NAC - N-acetylcysteine - on this blog with either autism or schizophrenia in mind (see here and see here respectively). Today I'm going to remedy that situation by bringing the paper by Nikoo and colleagues [1] to your attention, and their observation: "N-acetylcysteine can be considered as an adjuvant therapy for ADs [autistic disorders] with beneficial therapeutic outcomes." Adjuvant therapy by the way, refers to a sort of add-on therapy.We have........ Read more »

  • January 23, 2015
  • 03:00 AM
  • 1 view

Fnip1 regulates skeletal muscle fibre type specification, fatigue resistance, and susceptibility to muscular dystrophy

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

Folliculin (FLCN) and the associated folliculin-interacting proteins FNIP1 and FNIP2 have been shown to play a role in cell metabolism through regulation of the AMPK-mTOR pathways. Previously Hasumi et al. (2012) reported that selective deletion of Flcn in mouse skeletal … Continue reading →... Read more »

Reyes NL, Banks GB, Tsang M, Margineantu D, Gu H, Djukovic D, Chan J, Torres M, Liggitt HD, Hirenallur-S DK.... (2015) Fnip1 regulates skeletal muscle fiber type specification, fatigue resistance, and susceptibility to muscular dystrophy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(2), 424-9. PMID: 25548157  

  • January 22, 2015
  • 05:50 PM

Belief’s effect on biochemistry in cases of addiction

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever wonder what makes people susceptible to addiction? Think about it, some people can stop addictive painkillers without a problem and others, well others are not so lucky. So the big question is are there more than biophysical factors at play in addiction? A new study shows that cognitive beliefs play a significant role in a person’s neurological response to an addictive substance and that belief can diminish the neurological effects of an addictive drug.... Read more »

Gu, X., Lohrenz, T., Salas, R., Baldwin, P., Soltani, A., Kirk, U., Cinciripini, P., & Montague, P. (2015) Belief about nicotine selectively modulates value and reward prediction error signals in smokers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201416639. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1416639112  

  • January 22, 2015
  • 04:46 PM

Stem cells…now showing in 3D

by Christele Gonneau in the Node

    Growing organs in vitro is one of the ultimate dreams of any stem cell biologist. As such, it seems obvious that some of these organs will need to be grown in 3D. This is why stem cell 3D culture systems are very fashionable among scientists. They are increasingly successful and a fair amount […]... Read more »

Meinhardt, A., Eberle, D., Tazaki, A., Ranga, A., Niesche, M., Wilsch-Bräuninger, M., Stec, A., Schackert, G., Lutolf, M., & Tanaka, E. (2014) 3D Reconstitution of the Patterned Neural Tube from Embryonic Stem Cells. Stem Cell Reports, 3(6), 987-999. DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.09.020  

  • January 22, 2015
  • 02:06 PM

Black Tar Heroin: Lower HIV Transmission vs Higher Bacterial Infections?

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

The rise of street-cut, unsanitary preparations of Black Tar Heroin has allegedly reduced HIV transmission but at the cost of higher numbers of fatal, bacterial infections, notably botulism, clusters of which have been regularly identified in California.... Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 01:58 PM

Magnetic domains get a DUI for driving under the influence of DMI

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

This Week’s Pick of the Past article took a retrospective look at the excitement that magnetic bubble memory caused in the 1970s.  The basic principle...
The post Magnetic domains get a DUI for driving under the influence of DMI appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 01:45 PM

Modeling an epidemic to help guide public health policies (Ebola, West Africa)

by Aurelie in Coffee break Science

By mid-December 2014, about 18,000 individuals had been reported to be infected by the Ebola virus currently causing an epidemic in West Africa. On January 12, 2015, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest report stated an updated total of more … Continue reading →... Read more »

Drake JM, Kaul RB, Alexander LW, O'Regan SM, Kramer AM, Pulliam JT, Ferrari MJ, & Park AW. (2015) Ebola cases and health system demand in liberia. PLoS biology, 13(1). PMID: 25585384  

  • January 22, 2015
  • 01:27 PM

What determines survival of Barents Sea cod during early life?

by sceintists from the Marine group at CEES in Marine Science blog

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the Norwegian oceanographer and biologist
Johan Hjort’s ground-breaking work,

Fluctuations in the great fisheries of northern Europe
, viewed in the light of biological research. This anniversary was commemorated with a special issue of
ICES Journal of Marine Science.

... Read more »

Johan Hjort. (1914) Fluctuations in the great fisheries of Northern Europe viewed in the light of biological research. Rapports et Procès-Verbaux des Réunions, 1-228. info:/

Ottersen, G., Bogstad, B., Yaragina, N., Stige, L., Vikebo, F., & Dalpadado, P. (2014) A review of early life history dynamics of Barents Sea cod (Gadus morhua). ICES Journal of Marine Science, 71(8), 2064-2087. DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsu037  

  • January 22, 2015
  • 12:45 PM

Double public goods games and acid-mediated tumor invasion

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Although I’ve spent more time thinking about pairwise games, I’ve recently expanded my horizons to more serious considerations of public-goods games. They crop up frequently when we are modeling agents at the cellular level, since interacts are often indirect through production of some sort of common extra-cellular signal. Unlike the trivial to characterize two strategy […]... Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 11:52 AM

A case of magnetic attraction: sea turtles use magnetic coordinates to navigate to their nesting sites

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

What do salmon, sea turtles and songbirds have in common? They are all excellent navigators capable of finding their way home after a long journey. These animals use a process called natal homing to make their way back to their birthplace to reproduce. Every two or three years, female sea turtles return to nest on the same beach where they first emerged as hatchlings. New research has shown that these turtles use the Earth’s magnetic field to guide them back home.... Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 11:32 AM

Fertilizers and aphid growth

by Mauro Mandrioli in The aphid room

Plant vigour, health and growth rate are intensively managed by farmers to maximize production through the application of nitrogen fertilizers that also influence the growth of phytophagous insect populations because nitrogen is a macronutrient known to be limiting for them. The effects of fertilizers reported in literature are quite controversial since fertilizers can make faster […]... Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 09:00 AM

Mornings are only moral for morning people

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

I am not a morning person. I can force myself into a morning schedule when I have to teach classes at 8 a.m., but left to its own devices my body would remain alert and active well into the evening, and then sleep through noon. I have done some of my best writing – include my master’s thesis – in the red-eye hours, and I would much prefer to see sunrise as the last vision before sleep than the first sight upon waking. I am undoubtedly a “night owl”, the poetic name ........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 07:36 AM

Wolf to dog

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Why were dogs domesticated so early? How was it done? A recent paper (citation below) looks at how much of dog behaviour might have been already in the wolf with no effort needed to produce it in the dog. All that may have been needed was to have the wolf lose its fear of man […]... Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 06:29 AM

A Tribute to Neuroscience Luminary Dr. Allison Doupe

by Sick Papes in Sick Papes

We were devastated by the news that Dr. Allison Doupe, a much-loved neuroscientist at UCSF, passed away late last year, following a long battle with cancer, a struggle that she refused to let mitigate the exuberance and overflowing passion with which she carried out her research. A symposium in Allison’s honor is being held tomorrow as an opportunity to reflect upon her intellectual and personal life.... Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 06:22 AM

At-risk kids avoiding an autism diagnosis?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper from Jonathan Green and colleagues [1] (open-access) discussing results based on a "two-site, two-arm assessor-blinded randomised controlled trial of families with an infant at familial high risk of autism aged 7–10 months, testing the adapted Video Interaction to Promote Positive Parenting (iBASIS-VIPP) versus no intervention" caught quite a few eyes recently. With accompanying media headlines such as 'Parents May Be Able to Lower Kids’ Autism Risk' you can imagine the interest cr........ Read more »

Jonathan Green, Tony Charman, Andrew Pickles, Ming W Wan, Mayada Elsabbagh, Vicky Slonims, Carol Taylor, Janet McNally, Rhonda Booth, Teodora Gliga.... (2015) Parent-mediated intervention versus no intervention for infants at high risk of autism: a parallel, single-blind, randomised trial. The Lancet Psychiatry. info:/

  • January 22, 2015
  • 05:52 AM

Testing the American Dream - can the right mix of personality and IQ compensate for poverty?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

We know that possessing certain personal traits can help people do better in life – by knuckling down, making the right connections or having the best ideas. A new study goes further and asks whether a person’s traits and their background interact, with personal qualities being more important for people of lower socio-economic status. If true, this would provide intellectual support for the “American Dream” – being smart or diligent might make some difference for the rich, but for the ........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 04:45 AM

Experts and autism screening triage

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Whilst hopefully using the word 'triage' in the right way in the title of this post, I want to briefly talk today about the paper by Terisa Gabrielsen and colleagues [1] (full-text version here) and their observation that when it came to "brief but highly focused observations", a group of psychologists (well, two of them) "with toddler and autism expertise" missed over a third of cases of children who required additional examination/screening for autism or autistic traits.I am Meredith........ Read more »

Terisa P. Gabrielsen, Megan Farley, Leslie Speer, Michele Villalobos, Courtney N. Baker, & Judith Miller. (2015) Identifying Autism in a Brief Observation. Pediatrics. info:/10.1542/peds.2014-1428

  • January 21, 2015
  • 04:21 PM

Not So Simple: Social Evolution in Silk-Weaving Ants

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

Silk weaving ants. That in and of itself is really neat. Then you see this picture of Polyrhachis shattuck...I mean, look at her! How many cool points can one animal rack up? A new study in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology takes a look at these arboreal nesting and silk-weaving ants.Let's begin with sociality. It is one of those subjects in biology that is considered its own discipline. When you think of social animals you probably think of herds of mammals or maybe schools of ........ Read more »

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