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  • April 18, 2011
  • 09:58 AM
  • 1,324 views

COT drives resistance to PLX4032 through MAPK reactivation

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

At the recent annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting,  Keith Flaherty from Mass General Hospital discussed the latest developments in metastatic melanoma in a plenary session. Much of the talk focused on progress to date with existing therapies, … Continue reading →
... Read more »

Johannessen, C., Boehm, J., Kim, S., Thomas, S., Wardwell, L., Johnson, L., Emery, C., Stransky, N., Cogdill, A., Barretina, J.... (2010) COT drives resistance to RAF inhibition through MAP kinase pathway reactivation. Nature, 468(7326), 968-972. DOI: 10.1038/nature09627  

  • April 18, 2011
  • 09:12 AM
  • 1,486 views

A question for psych/neuro/gastro friends: walking, anxiety, and emesis.

by EcoPhysioMichelle in C6-H12-O6

I may or may not have mentioned before on this blog that I have a specific phobia of vomiting. If I haven't, now you know. I don't like to talk about it in my online life because it is a major source of stress in my offline life (it is the root of the agoraphobia that I know I have mentioned), but I bring it up today because I have some unanswered questions that I'd like to put out into the blogosphere.

For those of you who are not familiar, I will try to outline the nature of emetophobia, at l........ Read more »

  • April 18, 2011
  • 08:59 AM
  • 1,997 views

Can we prevent gorilla extinction with vaccination?

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix



Western Lowland gorilla
Gorillas, Gorilla spp. are found only throughout central African rainforest where there are in total over 200,000 individuals living in the wild. Two gorilla species are recognised, split between east and west Africa with at least two sub-species recognized in both. Their numbers are rapidly decreasing with problems such as habitat loss, poaching and human war contributing  greatly to a rapid reduction in their numbers. Sadly, one other factor on top of these in w........ Read more »

Le Gouar PJ, Vallet D, David L, Bermejo M, Gatti S, Levréro F, Petit EJ, & Ménard N. (2009) How Ebola impacts genetics of Western lowland gorilla populations. PloS one, 4(12). PMID: 20020045  

Richardson JS, Dekker JD, Croyle MA, & Kobinger GP. (2010) Recent advances in Ebolavirus vaccine development. Human vaccines, 6(6), 439-49. PMID: 20671437  

  • April 18, 2011
  • 07:21 AM
  • 2,056 views

Smoking makes impulsive teen rats even more impulsive

by dj in Neuropoly

It’s one of the truisms of human life that teenagers often do silly, stupid and/or dangerous things. We certainly don’t need science to tell us that. One reason this seems to be the case is that, on average, teens have trouble optimally weighing risk vs. reward. I’m not excluding myself from this characterization. In fact, [...]... Read more »

Counotte DS, Goriounova NA, Li KW, Loos M, van der Schors RC, Schetters D, Schoffelmeer AN, Smit AB, Mansvelder HD, Pattij T.... (2011) Lasting synaptic changes underlie attention deficits caused by nicotine exposure during adolescence. Nature neuroscience, 14(4), 417-9. PMID: 21336271  

  • April 18, 2011
  • 07:00 AM
  • 946 views

April 18, 2011

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

It’s no secret, but I’ll say it anyway…I love microtubules. Really, several qualities of microtubules are ones we all inspire to have ourselves…dynamic, elegant, organized, photogenic, and essential. The image above is from a recent paper discussing how different tubulin isotypes may play bigger roles in microtubule behavior than once believed.Microtubules are hollow tubes of linear protofilaments that are composed of α- and β-tubulin heterodimers. Most organisms have multiple isoty........ Read more »

  • April 18, 2011
  • 03:22 AM
  • 1,396 views

Evolution in higher dimensions

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression


Ornithomimosaurian dinosaur and ostrich, image credit Nobu Tamura & James G. Howes

Imagine if you will a portal to another universe which you have access to. By fiat let’s give you a “pod” which allows you to move freely throughout this universe, and also let’s assume that you can travel fast enough to go from planet to planet. What if you see that on all the planets there’s a sludgy living “goo” of some sort? To complexify the issue imagine that ........ Read more »

Salverda ML, Dellus E, Gorter FA, Debets AJ, van der Oost J, Hoekstra RF, Tawfik DS, & de Visser JA. (2011) Initial mutations direct alternative pathways of protein evolution. PLoS genetics, 7(3). PMID: 21408208  

  • April 18, 2011
  • 01:00 AM
  • 1,981 views

Rediscovery of Cicindela scabrosa floridana

by Ted MacRae in Beetles in the Bush

In refreshing contrast to the more usually heard reports of declining and extinct species, a new paper by Dave Brzoska, Barry Knisley, and Jeffrey Slotten (Brzoska et al. 2011) announces the rediscovery of a tiger beetle previously regarded as probably extinct.  Cicindela scabrosa floridana was described from a series of unusually greenish specimens collected in Miami, Florida in 1934; however, no additional specimens [...]... Read more »

Brzoska, D., C. B. Knisley, and J. Slotten. (2011) Rediscovery of Cicindela scabrosa floridana Cartwright (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) and its elevation to species level. Insecta Mundi, 1-7. info:/

  • April 17, 2011
  • 07:59 PM
  • 1,117 views

Using flies to sniff out a new theory of smell

by aatishb in Empirical Zeal

Our sense of smell is really quite incredible. Every time we take in a breath or taste food, countless molecules swarm into our nasal passages. As they move up the nasal tract, these visitors arrive at a patch of cells on which there are over 10,000 different kinds of docking stations. These cells are odor receptors, and each of them can register a different odor. Together they make up a chemical detector that is much more sensitive and versatile that anything we can come close to building.

I........ Read more »

Franco MI, Turin L, Mershin A, & Skoulakis EM. (2011) Molecular vibration-sensing component in Drosophila melanogaster olfaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(9), 3797-802. PMID: 21321219  

  • April 17, 2011
  • 06:46 PM
  • 1,129 views

Why Do Leafcutter Bees Cut Leafs?

by KerstinH in The Viable Blog

Because pollen sucks. It does! But if you prefer the smart word: it’s hygroscopic. It attracts water. And where is water, there is rot. Which is a problem when you are an insect that relies on pollen to feed its brood and therefore needs to store pollen for weeks, if not months. You may be [...]... Read more »

Litman JR, Danforth BN, Eardley CD, & Praz CJ. (2011) Why do leafcutter bees cut leaves? New insights into the early evolution of bees. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 21490010  

  • April 17, 2011
  • 04:38 PM
  • 1,435 views

Dropping aphids and their alarm pheromones

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

Fortunately for the organic gardener, aphids have many predators: hoverfly larvae, lacewings, ladybirds, shield bugs and spiders eat them in numbers. Although aphids appear defenceless against their predators, they have evolved a suite of antipredator responses. Some aphids have warning coloration and sequester chemicals from their feeding plants that are distasteful or toxic to their predators, other release toxic chemicals or waxes and a few have a hard-skinned soldier caste to defend the colo........ Read more »

  • April 16, 2011
  • 09:18 PM
  • 2,070 views

Pokéwalker more accurate than other pedometers on a treadmill (study)

by Stephen Yang in ExerGame Lab

Study Finds Pokéwalker More Accurate Than Other Pedometers: "
Nintendo’s  HeartGold and SoulSilver Pokémon Pokéwalker, is a more accurate pedometer than regular pedometers, according to Lorraine Lanningham-Foster (Iowa State University). 

Image via WikipediaAt the 2011 Experimental Biology conference in DC, she presented the accuracies of several pedometers of children and adults while walking on a treadmill at four different speeds.   
Kotaku points out that the research isn........ Read more »

Lanningham-Foster, L, Foster, R, Barnes, M, Kracke, E, Kling, S, & Vik, M. (2011) Step counts from two new systems during treadmill walking in children and adults. The FASEB Journal, 25(April), 606. info:/

  • April 16, 2011
  • 08:36 PM
  • 1,687 views

Evolution may explain why baby comes early

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression


Image credit

The Pith: In this post I review a paper which covers the evolutionary dimension of human childbirth. Specifically, the traits and tendencies peculiar to our species, the genes which may underpin those traits and tendencies, and how that may relate to broader public health considerations.
Human babies are special. Unlike the offspring of organisms such as lizards or snakes human babies are exceedingly helpless, and exhibit an incredible amount of neoteny in relation to adults. This........ Read more »

Plunkett J, Doniger S, Orabona G, Morgan T, Haataja R, & et al. (2011) An Evolutionary Genomic Approach to Identify Genes Involved in Human Birth Timing. PLoS Genetics. info:/10.1371/journal.pgen.1001365

  • April 16, 2011
  • 02:51 PM
  • 1,859 views

Tricksters, Selfishness & Altruism

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

In evolutionary biology, few issues have caused more debate than altruism or what appears to be altruism. It is generally accepted that selection operates on individual organisms and that these organisms are selfishly interested in their own survival and reproduction. Another way of stating this is that individual organisms are interested solely in passing along [...]... Read more »

  • April 16, 2011
  • 09:54 AM
  • 1,922 views

PI(3)P and Exocytosis

by Dave Bridges in Dave's Blog



The classic opinion regarding PI(3)P’s role in intracellular trafficking is that it is synthesized and functions primarily on early endosomes. Several recent publications have highlighted a potential second role for this lipid in exocytosis. Extending previous work by this group and others on the positive role of PI3K-C2a in neurosecretory pathways (1,2) and GLUT4 exoctyosis (3,4) this paper from Tania Maffucci's group interrogates the role of this lipid kinase in insulin secretion in INS1........ Read more »

Dominguez, V., Raimondi, C., Somanath, S., Bugliani, M., Loder, M., Edling, C., Divecha, N., da Silva-Xavier, G., Marselli, L., Persaud, S.... (2010) Class II Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase Regulates Exocytosis of Insulin Granules in Pancreatic   Cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286(6), 4216-4225. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.200295  

  • April 16, 2011
  • 09:45 AM
  • 770 views

What the EHEC is that diagram of ?

by db in Defectivebrain @ FOS

 The history of science is peppered with great moments where people have gone above and beyond the call of duty in order to present their work in an accessible way. Think Florence Nightingale, and how she drew attention to the abominable conditions in hospitals through the use of a simple chart.  Or perhaps Vesalius, and his intricate and detailed diagrams of the human anatomy. The following paper deserves it's place among the greats, as it too has taken the graphical representati........ Read more »

  • April 16, 2011
  • 09:45 AM
  • 1,379 views

What the EHEC is that diagram of ?

by DefectiveBrayne in The Defective Brain

 The history of science is peppered with great moments where people have gone above and beyond the call of duty in order to present their work in an accessible way. Think Florence Nightingale, and how she drew attention to the abominable conditions in hospitals through the use of a simple chart.  Or perhaps Vesalius, and his intricate and detailed diagrams of the human anatomy. The following ... Read more »

  • April 16, 2011
  • 07:06 AM
  • 1,384 views

A list of enigmas: bamboo bats, frogs-head flyers, Rohu's bat and the false serotines (vesper bats part XVI)

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology



By now (if, that is, you've been following this thrilling, roller-coaster ride of a series) we've gotten through the better part of vesper bat phylogeny: we've climbed 'up' the vesper bat cladogram and are now within the youngest major section of the group. Recent phylogenetic studies have recognised a serotine clade (Eptesicini or Nycticeiini), a hypsugine clade (including Savi's bat and a load of relatives), and a clade that includes pipistrelles and noctules (Vespertilionini).



Seemingly........ Read more »

  • April 16, 2011
  • 12:02 AM
  • 1,698 views

Citing versioned papers, robots and reviewers?

by Daniel Mietchen in Research Cycle Research

Established scholarly citation practices are tailored towards static documents. With the use of versioned documents spreading, citation formats have to follow suit. This requires to balance the need for proper identification of the source of a claim with the demands for cited information being up to date. Getting this right is particularly important in naturally versioned environments like wikis or GitHub. Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 15, 2011
  • 02:21 PM
  • 1,682 views

The Allure of Gay Cavemen

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by Neuron Culture at Wired:In 1993 the reputable German weekly Der Spiegel reported a rumor that Otzi, the 5,300-year-old frozen mummy discovered in the Otztal Alps two years earlier, contained evidence of the world's earliest known homosexual act. "In Otzi's Hintern," wrote the editors, referring to the Iceman's hinterland, "Spermien gefunden worden." (If you require a translation, chances are you didn't want to know anyway.) The rumor quickly s........ Read more »

Will Roscoe. (2000) Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America. Macmillan. info:/

  • April 15, 2011
  • 02:21 PM
  • 1,401 views

The Allure of Gay Cavemen

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries in Exile

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by Neuron Culture at Wired:In 1993 the reputable German weekly Der Spiegel reported a rumor that Otzi, the 5,300-year-old frozen mummy discovered in the Otztal Alps two years earlier, contained evidence of the world's earliest known homosexual act. "In Otzi's Hintern," wrote the editors, referring to the Iceman's hinterland, "Spermien gefunden worden." (If you require a translation, chances are you didn't want to know anyway.) The rumor quickly s........ Read more »

Will Roscoe. (2000) Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America. Macmillan. info:/

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