Angry by Choice

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Discussions on the interface between Science and Society, Politics, Religion, Life, and whatever else I decide to write about.

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  • March 25, 2011
  • 12:53 AM

Does size matter...or shape..Yes we're talking about the penis

by Lorax in Angry by Choice

An older study brought to my attention recently (subscription required, though I also found this link).

This is strictly to avoid a dong
being the lead in picture on FoS

The authors want to test some ideas regarding behaviors and adaptations human males may have to ensure paternity. As I heard about this research, my skeptic meter went off and I whipped out my critical thinking tool box to look at this problem and research more closely. The colleague telling me about this research see........ Read more »

  • March 22, 2011
  • 11:48 PM

Cells that vomit fungus and other issues of science papers

by Lorax in Angry by Choice

This weeks journal club was on Cryptococcus neoformans and an odd way it may get of out macrophage some of the time, at least in vitro, maybe. The paper in question is: 

The Human Fungal Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans Escapes Macrophages by a Phagosome Emptying Mechanism That Is Inhibited by Arp2/3 Complex-Mediated Actin Polymerisation by Simon A. Johnston, Robin C. May. PLoS Pathogens 6(8) e1001041.

This work follows up a really cool observation published by t........ Read more »

  • March 13, 2011
  • 12:32 AM

How Bacteria Swim in Your Stomach

by Lorax in Angry by Choice

We started our Microbiology Journal Club of the new year, technically a new decade. We started off with a bang, well a bang from a physics perspective, more of a whimper from a microbiology perspective.

The paper under discussion was:

Helicobacter pylori moves through mucus by reducing mucin viscoelasticity. by Celli JP et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Aug 25;106(34):14321-6.

The basic premise is that H. pylori, a spiral shaped bacteria is thought to burrow its wa........ Read more »

Celli, J., Turner, B., Afdhal, N., Keates, S., Ghiran, I., Kelly, C., Ewoldt, R., McKinley, G., So, P., Erramilli, S.... (2009) Helicobacter pylori moves through mucus by reducing mucin viscoelasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(34), 14321-14326. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903438106  

  • January 29, 2011
  • 10:54 AM

Kids vs Psychiatrists: Final score 1-0

by Lorax in Angry by Choice

By now many have heard about the recent study published in Pediatrics which, of course, shows a clear link between extensive video game playing and depression in teenagers. You may have also heard about another recent publication of a study conducted by 8-10 year olds.

"How are these studies related?" You may ask.

"They are not." I may respond. Actually I will respond. These studies have nothing to do with each other. However, they are related from the perspective that they are BIG news!

In t........ Read more »

Blackawton PS, Airzee S, Allen A, Baker S, Berrow A, Blair C, Churchill M, Coles J, Cumming RF, Fraquelli L.... (2010) Blackawton bees. Biology letters. PMID: 21177694  

  • January 19, 2011
  • 12:09 AM

New Thoughts on How Plasmodium Changes its Spots

by Lorax in Angry by Choice

Plasmodium falciparum is the leading cause of malaria in people, although there are Plasmodium species, spp., that infect virtually all the tetrapods (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians). As most people know, malaria is acquired from mosquito bites (Anopheles mosquitoes to be specific), because Plasmodium spp. have complex life cycles that require both an insect (mosquito) and a tetrapod host. Importantly, there is essentially no overlap between the Plasmodium spp. that cause fr........ Read more »

  • October 22, 2010
  • 11:48 PM

Fungus vs. Hymenoptera (the honey bee edition)

by Lorax in Angry by Choice

A honeybee colony. Photograph: Haraz N Ghanbari/AP
from  The Guardian
I have already expounded on the awesome power of fungi against mammals (bats), amphibians (frogs), and nematodes (worm), now it is time for the insects to go down...well, maybe. Over the last five or so years, honeybee colonies have been dying off at a dramatic rate, this is referred to as colony collapse disorder (CCD). Basically the bees in a colony go all Roanoke and it is unclear why.

Several studies of CCD have re........ Read more »

Bromenshenk, J., Henderson, C., Wick, C., Stanford, M., Zulich, A., Jabbour, R., Deshpande, S., McCubbin, P., Seccomb, R., Welch, P.... (2010) Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Decline. PLoS ONE, 5(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013181  

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