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  • August 24, 2010
  • 10:50 PM

Plumes, Microbes, and Hypoxia…Did, Do, or Will They Exist in the Gulf

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

The internets are a buzz with a new paper published in Science. You may recall I covered the new paper by Camilli et al. in Science demonstrating that a deep-water oil plume did exist, conclusively, in Gulf of Mexico at the time the researchers sampled, approximately May-June.  One of the interesting findings was that at the . . . → Read More: Plumes, Microbes, and Hypoxia…Did, Do, or Will They Exist in the Gulf... Read more »

Hazen, T., Dubinsky, E., DeSantis, T., Andersen, G., Piceno, Y., Singh, N., Jansson, J., Probst, A., Borglin, S., Fortney, J.... (2010) Deep-Sea Oil Plume Enriches Indigenous Oil-Degrading Bacteria. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1195979  

  • August 24, 2010
  • 09:35 PM

Big ideas in sleep: Borbély's Two Process Model

by 神経オタク in Cognitive Convolutions

I think I'm sticking with sleep for now. I enjoy it, and I'm familiar with the literature a little better than other sub-fields. I may even try to volunteer in a sleep/circ lab the following semesters(!). In any case, I won't pretend to be an expert either... Definitely not, and I really don't want to step on anyone's toes. But sleep is FUN for me, so that's what I'm doing. For now. Unless I find... Read more »

Borbély, A., & Achermann, P. (1999) Sleep Homeostasis and Models of Sleep Regulation. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 14(6), 559-570. DOI: 10.1177/074873099129000894  

  • August 24, 2010
  • 09:01 PM

What would a Zostera blog be without a Zostera entry?

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

In the most recent issue of Marine Biology, there is a manuscript addressing the issue of 2 introduced species and their interactions with one another. Its an interesting read - one of the species is a commercially important bivalve, the Manila clam, which was introduced in the early 20th century and is now one of the most commercially harvested clams on the west coast of the US. The second is Zostera japonica, dwarf eelgrass, an introduced seagrass species which can establish itself on tidal ........ Read more »

Judge M, Coen L, Heck KL. (1993) Does Mercenaria mercenaria encounter elevated food levels in seagrass beds? Results from a novel technique to collect suspended food resources. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 141-150. info:/

  • August 24, 2010
  • 08:17 PM

Ep 135: Why do I sneeze at the Sun?

by westius in Mr Science Show

Do you sneeze at the Sun?

I do. My brother does. Both my parents do. In fact, we are a family of Photic Sneeze sufferers.

The Photic Sneeze Reflex (PSR), also known rather ridiculously as Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helioophthalmic Outburst (ACHOO) Syndrome (how long do you think it took researchers to figure out that acronym....) is a dominant genetic condition affecting around 10% of the population. When a sufferer moves from a region of darkness to a region of bright light - for instance,........ Read more »

  • August 24, 2010
  • 08:15 PM

Ant Nestmate Recognition is Fast and Dynamic with Minimal Neural Processing

by Michael Long in Phased

Nathalie Stroeymeyt (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and coworkers have shown that ant chemical recognition of nestmates can be fast, is adaptable to evolving conditions, and does not require extensive neural processing. This news feature was written on August 24, 2010.... Read more »

  • August 24, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Are mutualists monogamists, while antagonists play the field?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Two of the most diverse groups of living things on Earth are flowering plants and the insects that make their living from flowering plants. Biologists have long thought that the almost incessant, intimate interactions between plants and plant-eating insects might be the evolutionary cause of each group's spectacular diversity. On a smaller scale, this means that we're interested in the reasons that specific insects and plants interact in the first place—what evolutionary trails leads one insec........ Read more »

  • August 24, 2010
  • 09:03 AM

Flying Blind

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

What you can’t see can kill you. Researchers investigating why some birds are especially prone to hitting power lines have discovered that they literally can’t see where they are flying. That means typical anti-collision efforts, such as hanging warning markers on transmission lines, won’t help fowl that fly blind.
The world’s 65 million kilometers of […] Read More »... Read more »

  • August 24, 2010
  • 06:14 AM

Adenoviruses and the occupied sign

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

“Adenovirus” (by Mapposity) There are two aspects about virology that constantly amaze me: How much we know about viruses, and how little we know about viruses. Adenovirus research offers examples of both. Adenoviruses are probably among the best-studied virus groups.1 We really do know an amazing amount about them. But it was only last year [...]... Read more »

Zhang, Y., Huang, W., Ornelles, D., & Gooding, L. (2010) Modeling Adenovirus Latency in Human Lymphocyte Cell Lines. Journal of Virology, 84(17), 8799-8810. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00562-10  

  • August 24, 2010
  • 06:09 AM

Coiling bacterial DNA

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

A chain of proteins hold bacterial DNA in a compacted spiral.

You and I are eukaryotes. Our cells have nuclei, repositories that contain our DNA and the proteins that read them to produce an RNA copy of them.

In earlier articles, I’ve mentioned in passing how the enormous length of DNA in our cells is fitted into [...]... Read more »

Arold, S., Leonard, P., Parkinson, G., & Ladbury, J. (2010) H-NS forms a superhelical protein scaffold for DNA condensation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1006966107  

Dame, R., Luijsterburg, M., Krin, E., Bertin, P., Wagner, R., & Wuite, G. (2005) DNA Bridging: a Property Shared among H-NS-Like Proteins. Journal of Bacteriology, 187(5), 1845-1848. DOI: 10.1128/JB.187.5.1845-1848.2005  

Thanbichler, M., Wang, S., & Shapiro, L. (2005) The bacterial nucleoid: A highly organized and dynamic structure. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 96(3), 506-521. DOI: 10.1002/jcb.20519  

  • August 24, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

Synthetic ‘cradle’ boosts hope of stem cell therapies

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

Stem cells – with their famed ability to change into any type of cell – hold tremendous promise for medicine, but growing them is a challenging task. “For therapeutics, you need millions and millions of cells,” says Dr Krishanu Saha from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. “If we can make it easier for the cells [...]... Read more »

Mei, Y., Saha, K., Bogatyrev, S., Yang, J., Hook, A., Kalcioglu, Z., Cho, S., Mitalipova, M., Pyzocha, N., Rojas, F.... (2010) Combinatorial development of biomaterials for clonal growth of human pluripotent stem cells. Nature Materials, 768-778. DOI: 10.1038/nmat2812  

  • August 23, 2010
  • 09:05 PM

A Web Server for Identifying the "Hot Spot" of Protein-Protein Interfaces

by Michael Long in Phased

Narcis Fernandez-Fuentes (University of Leeds, United Kingdom) and coworkers' web server will greatly accelerate the development of drugs which target protein-protein interfaces. This news feature was written on August 23, 2010.... Read more »

  • August 23, 2010
  • 05:06 PM

When genome size changes and hybrid vigor?

by James in James and the Giant Corn

A group of researchers at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic study how different members of the same grass species (Festuca pallens) have different total amounts of DNA per cell. have a new paper out in New Phytologist  they found that plants with the most unusual genome sizes (really big or really small) are less [...]... Read more »

  • August 23, 2010
  • 04:00 PM

Why Do Orb-Weaving Spiders Decorate Their Webs?

by Michael Long in Phased

Daiqin Li (National University of Singapore) and coworkers have shown that silk decorations help orb-weaving spiders attract prey, although the jury is still out on the effect of dead plant matter decorations and their effect on predator defense. This news feature was written on August 23, 2010.... Read more »

  • August 23, 2010
  • 03:47 PM

Life History theory and eight stage evo-devo model

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image via Wikipedia I’ve touched upon life history theory earlier, in an oblique fashion, while discussing evolutionary perspectives on personality. Life History theory posits that an individual’s life efforts can be subsumed under two headings- somatic life efforts and reproductive life efforts. The latter relates to selection due to being able to successfully replicate one-self;Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)... Read more »

  • August 23, 2010
  • 01:59 PM

Yawns help cool the brain?

by Arunn in nOnoScience (a.k.a. Unruled Notebook)

Yawning when it is extremely cold may be maladaptive, as this may send unusually cold air to the brain, which may produce a thermal shock."

Shouldn't I yawn anymore in a department meeting conducted in an air conditioned room? ... Read more »

  • August 23, 2010
  • 11:10 AM

Long, deep and broad

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

Thought that would get your attention ;-) “More scientists need to be trained in quantitative synthesis, visualization and other software tools.” D. Peters (2010) In fact, that is part of the title of today’s focus paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution by D. Peters – Accessible ecology: synthesis of the long, deep,and broad. As a [...]... Read more »

  • August 23, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

To Hear A Mockingbird: The Plight of the Iguana

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Predator-prey interactions are often viewed as evolutionary arms races; while predators improve their hunting behaviors and their ability to sneak up on their prey, the prey improve upon their abilities to detect and escape from their predators. The problem, of course, is that there is a trade-off between maintaining vigilance - the attention necessary to be consistently aware of others in the environment takes quite a bit of physical and mental energy - and doing all the other things that an an........ Read more »

Vitousek MN, Adelman JS, Gregory NC, & Clair JJ. (2007) Heterospecific alarm call recognition in a non-vocal reptile. Biology letters, 3(6), 632-4. PMID: 17911047  

  • August 23, 2010
  • 10:12 AM

The dog-human connection in evolution

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

Evolutionary theorists have long recognized that the domestication of animals represented a major change in human life, providing not just a close-at-hand food source, but also non-human muscle power and a host of other advantages. Penn State anthropologist Prof. Pat Shipman argues that animal domestication is one manifestation of a larger distinctive trait of our [...]... Read more »

Bleed, Peter. (2006) Living in the human niche. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 15(1), 8-10. DOI: 10.1002/evan.20084  

Miklósi A, Kubinyi E, Topál J, Gácsi M, Virányi Z, & Csányi V. (2003) A simple reason for a big difference: wolves do not look back at humans, but dogs do. Current biology : CB, 13(9), 763-6. PMID: 12725735  

Paxton, D. (2000) A Case for a Naturalistic Perspective. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 13(1), 5-8. DOI: 10.2752/089279300786999996  

Schleidt, Wolfgang M., & Shalter, Michael D. (2003) Co-evolution of Humans and Canids: An Alternative View of Dog Domestication: Homo Homini Lupus?. Evolution and Cognition, 9(1), 57-72. info:/

Shipman, Pat. (2010) The Animal Connection and Human Evolution. Current Anthropology, 51(4), 519-538. DOI: 10.1086/653816  

  • August 23, 2010
  • 10:10 AM

Nanoparticle drug delivery helps reduce tumour metastasis

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Nanotechnology is a topic that fascinates me, ever since hearing some interesting data in pancreatic cancer at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) meeting last November on Molecular Targets in Boston. Someone kindly sent me a paper from PNAS...... Read more »

Murphy, E., Majeti, B., Barnes, L., Makale, M., Weis, S., Lutu-Fuga, K., Wrasidlo, W., & Cheresh, D. (2008) From the Cover: Nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery to tumor vasculature suppresses metastasis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(27), 9343-9348. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803728105  

Gasparini G, Brooks PC, Biganzoli E, Vermeulen PB, Bonoldi E, Dirix LY, Ranieri G, Miceli R, & Cheresh DA. (1998) Vascular integrin alpha(v)beta3: a new prognostic indicator in breast cancer. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 4(11), 2625-34. PMID: 9829725  

  • August 23, 2010
  • 09:10 AM

Turtles that suck, turtles that blow (matamatas part IV)

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

In the previous Matamata article I discussed the very scary skull and hyoid anatomy of this singular South American turtle. The 'ugly' look of the Matamata is well known, but hopefully you now know that the Matamata should also be famous for its large size, for its massively thick, long neck, for its pivotal historical role in our understanding of pleurodire turtle diversity, and for its freakish, flat-faced skull [illustrations above from Patrick Lemell's website].

As you'll no doubt alr........ Read more »

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