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  • April 13, 2011
  • 11:12 PM

How to Not Catch Dogfish

by Chuck in Ya Like Dags?

Even the biggest fan of spiny dogfish can’t deny that these little sharks sure are great at choking up entire nets.  This is especially problematic for commercial fishermen who are trying to catch anything other than dogfish, and particularly for … Continue reading →... Read more »

David M. Chosid, Michael Pol, Mark Szymanski, Frank Mirarchi, & Andrew Mirarchi. (2011) Development and observations of a spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias reduction device in a raised footrope silver hake Merluccius bilinearis trawl. Fisheries Resarch. info:/10.1016/j.fishres.2011.03.007

  • April 13, 2011
  • 09:57 PM

The hidden beauty of insect wings

by Michael Bok in Arthropoda

Arthropods possess a diversity of sophisticated color vision systems: From tetrachromacy (having three color channels, like us), to the pentachromacy of butterflies, and the seemingly-absurd dodecachromacy of mantis shrimp. They are capable of perceiving the vibrant variety of the world’s light. Unsurprisingly, arthropods use their color vision for a wide range of tasks, including communication [...]... Read more »

Shevtsova, E., Hansson, C., Janzen, D., & Kjaerandsen, J. (2011) From the Cover: Stable structural color patterns displayed on transparent insect wings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(2), 668-673. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1017393108  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 04:02 PM

Anecdotes, Data, Case Reports, and Sex

by Alan Dove in alandove

Last week, I blogged briefly about a report of an unusual cluster of Zika virus infections. Like a lot of scientists, I got a good chuckle out of Martin Enserink’s reporting on the story for Science, and figured that if … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 13, 2011
  • 02:01 PM

The press concludes that arboviruses can be sexually transmitted

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

What would you conclude if you read the following headlines: Man sexually transmits insect-borne disease to wife (Fox News); Zika virus: First insect borne STD? (HuffPo); Scientist gives insect-borne disease to wife during sex (New York Magazine), and A scientist contracts a mosquito-borne virus and gives it to his wife as std (Time). What would [...]... Read more »

Foy, B.D., Kobylinski, K.C., Foy, J.L.C., Blitvich, B.J., da Rosa, A.T., Haddow, A.D., Lanciotti, R.S., & Tesh, R.B. (2011) Probable non–vector-borne transmission of Zika virus, Colorado, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases. info:/10.3201/eid1705.101939

Hayes, E. (2009) Zika Virus Outside Africa. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 1347-1350. DOI: 10.3201/eid1509.090442  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 01:49 PM

Who Gets Autism?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

According to a major new report from Australia, social and family factors associated with autism are associated with a lower risk of intellectual disability - and vice versa. But why?The paper is from Leonard et al and it's published in PLoS ONE, so it's open access if you want to take a peek. The authors used a database system in the state of Western Australia which allowed them to find out what happened to all of the babies born between 1984 and 1999 who were still alive as of 2005. There were........ Read more »

Leonard H, Glasson E, Nassar N, Whitehouse A, Bebbington A, Bourke J, Jacoby P, Dixon G, Malacova E, Bower C.... (2011) Autism and intellectual disability are differentially related to sociodemographic background at birth. PloS one, 6(3). PMID: 21479223  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 01:30 PM

Getting conservation stakeholders involved

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

Here’s another guest post from another switched-on Queensland student, Duan Biggs. Duan, originally from Namibia and South Africa, is doing his PhD at the ARC Centre for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland. His PhD is investigating the resilience of nature-based tourism to climate change. I’ve met Duan a few times, and [...]... Read more »

  • April 13, 2011
  • 12:37 PM

Insect Symbiosis - SGM series

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

This is the second post from my latest SGM series.It's a pretty well known fact now that the human body contains lots of bacteria. Bacteria live on your skin and in your throat and gut, for the most part completely harmlessly, protecting your body from more dangerous invaders.But something that doesn't get mentioned quite so often is that humans are not the only animals with a corresponding posse of bacteria. Other animals have them as well, including insects. From a bacterial point of view both........ Read more »

Schoenian I, Spiteller M, Ghaste M, Wirth R, Herz H, & Spiteller D. (2011) Chemical basis of the synergism and antagonism in microbial communities in the nests of leaf-cutting ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(5), 1955-60. PMID: 21245311  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 12:14 PM

Hepatitis C: The understate invader & destroyer

by Brooke N in Smaller Questions

Insights into new drug development for inhibitors of HCV & review of paper covering viral variants specifically produced to evade cytotoxic T cell killing & the dynamic persistence of HCV.... Read more »

Uebelhoer L, Han JH, Callendret B, Mateu G, Shoukry NH, Hanson HL, Rice CM, Walker CM, & Grakoui A. (2008) Stable cytotoxic T cell escape mutation in hepatitis C virus is linked to maintenance of viral fitness. PLoS pathogens, 4(9). PMID: 18773115  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 10:55 AM

Enhancing Mood and Performance with Distraction

by Kari Kenefick in Promega Connections

To begin, a reminder that I do not sign your timesheet, nor am I responsible for your pay or promotion. So you may want to discuss these research findings with your supervisor before hitting the play button. That said, have you seen any funny videos lately? Like the “OK, Go” on treadmills video?  Or maybe you have [...]... Read more »

Nadler RT, Rabi R, & Minda JP. (2010) Better mood and better performance. Learning rule-described categories is enhanced by positive mood. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(12), 1770-6. PMID: 20974709  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 10:24 AM

GWAS and breast cancer metastases

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Breast cancer isn’t a topic I cover very often on this blog, mainly because there is so much written about it elsewhere, but I confess to being fascinated by the ongoing work on cancer cell seeding and metastases from Joan … Continue reading →
... Read more »

Fang, F., Turcan, S., Rimner, A., Kaufman, A., Giri, D., Morris, L., Shen, R., Seshan, V., Mo, Q., Heguy, A.... (2011) Breast Cancer Methylomes Establish an Epigenomic Foundation for Metastasis. Science Translational Medicine, 3(75), 75-75. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001875  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 10:07 AM

Daemonosaurus Shakes Up the Early History of Dinosaurs

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Evolution is not a constant march of onward-and-upward progress. Any organism is a mosaic of the ancient and the modern—old features can be modified and put to new uses over time—and the mechanism of natural selection accounts for both an apparent lack of change and dramatic evolutionary transformations. There is no driving force towards perfection, [...]... Read more »

Sues, H.; Nesbitt, S.; Berman, D.; Henrici, A. (2011) A late-surviving basal theropod dinosaur from the latest Triassic of North America. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 1-6. info:/10.1098/rspb.2011.0410

  • April 13, 2011
  • 09:58 AM

Biodegradable nanoparticles may be a new treatment to combat MRSA infections

by Pieter Droppert in Biotech Strategy Blog

Nanotechnology is leading to innovation in drug delivery, and new ways to treat diseases. In an April 3, 2011 online article in Nature Chemistry, researchers from the IBM Almaden Research Center, Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore and Zhejiang University … Continue reading →... Read more »

Nederberg, F., Zhang, Y., Tan, J., Xu, K., Wang, H., Yang, C., Gao, S., Guo, X., Fukushima, K., Li, L.... (2011) Biodegradable nanostructures with selective lysis of microbial membranes. Nature Chemistry. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1012  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 09:53 AM

Nycticein bats: apparently, a nice example of how assorted distant relatives can be mistakenly considered close allies on the basis of one or two characters (vesper bats part XIII)

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

A group of serotine-like bats that occur in North America, Cuba, tropical Africa, Asia and Australasia have often been grouped together in a 'tribe' called Nycticeini (or Nycticeiini: both spellings are used in the bat literature and I'm unsure which has proper precedence). Tate (1942) used this name for an assemblage of species grouped together due to the absence of the second upper incisor. Nycticeins also tend to have a near-horizontal dorsal border to the naked muzzle and a slow, steady ........ Read more »

Roehrs, Z. P., Lack, J. B., & Van Den Bussche, R. A. (2010) Tribal phylogenetic relationships within Vespertilioninae (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data. Journal of Mammalogy, 1073-1092. info:/

  • April 13, 2011
  • 09:16 AM

Tip of the week: VirusMINT

by Jennifer in OpenHelix

In this week’s tip I’d like to introduce you to VirusMINT. We found VirusMINT during our ‘regularly scheduled’ update of our Introductory tutorial on MINT, or the Molecular INTeraction database. We really like MINT for all the great interaction information they provide on a wide variety of species. When we saw they had a ‘virally focused’ database, we had to check it out.
It turns out that VirusMINT is really unique in that it shows interactions BETWEEN human........ Read more »

Chatr-aryamontri, A., Ceol, A., Peluso, D., Nardozza, A., Panni, S., Sacco, F., Tinti, M., Smolyar, A., Castagnoli, L., Vidal, M.... (2009) VirusMINT: a viral protein interaction database. Nucleic Acids Research, 37(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkn739  

Chatr-aryamontri, A., Ceol, A., Palazzi, L., Nardelli, G., Schneider, M., Castagnoli, L., & Cesareni, G. (2007) MINT: the Molecular INTeraction database. Nucleic Acids Research, 35(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkl950  

Ceol, A., Chatr Aryamontri, A., Licata, L., Peluso, D., Briganti, L., Perfetto, L., Castagnoli, L., & Cesareni, G. (2009) MINT, the molecular interaction database: 2009 update. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp983  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Hiding the doomsday device: camouflage and venom in stonefish

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

It’s ugly as sin and poisonous as hell.

This is a stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa). There are several species in the genus, and they all look like algae covered rocks. They also have one of the most dangerous venoms known to science.

If you go look for stonefish in Google Scholar, you will find a bucketload of papers on stonefish venom. You find research on molecules that have been isolated from the venom, clinical cases of poisoning, development of antivenoms, and more molecules extracted f........ Read more »

  • April 12, 2011
  • 04:43 PM

When Inhibiting Brain Function is a Good Thing

by Sanford- Burnham in Beaker

Researchers in Dr. Gregg Duester’s lab study retinoic acid, an active form of vitamin A. They want to know how retinoic acid tells the right body parts to form in the right places at the right time in a developing embryo. To figure out retinoic acid’s role, they compare mice with and without the ability [...]... Read more »

  • April 12, 2011
  • 04:00 PM

Establishing a niche

by Erin Campbell in the Node

If there is hope to fully understand stem cells, then the environment surrounding those stem cells must be understood too.  A recent Development paper describes important results on niche establishment in Drosophila. Stem cell niches play an important role in regulating stem cell self-renewal and differentiation.  The Drosophila testis has two populations of stem cells [...]... Read more »

  • April 12, 2011
  • 03:42 PM

miRNA Elevation

by Linda Lin in Oz Blog No. 159

Been reading up a lot lately on miRNA over-expression in plants. The science (or art) of elevating miRNA levels by 100x. If you fuse any plant gene to a cauliflower mosaic virus promoter (called a 35S promoter), its mRNA transcript...... Read more »

  • April 12, 2011
  • 01:51 PM

Dual role of TLR8 during the engulfment of Lyme disease spirochetes by human monocytes

by Microbe Fan in Spirochetes Unwound

For the first time scientists have shown that Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8), a microbial RNA sensor located inside phagocytes, detects what is primarily an extracellular pathogen, the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.1  As one may expect, the phagocytes secreted a mixture of inflammatory cytokines in response to the spirochete.  But they also expressed at least one of the type I interferons (IFNs), which until recent years were thought to be produced only in response to viral........ Read more »

Mancuso G, Midiri A, Biondo C, Beninati C, Zummo S, Galbo R, Tomasello F, Gambuzza M, Macrì G, Ruggeri A.... (2007) Type I IFN signaling is crucial for host resistance against different species of pathogenic bacteria. Journal of Immunology, 178(5), 3126-3133. PMID: 17312160  

Miller JC, Ma Y, Bian J, Sheehan KC, Zachary JF, Weis JH, Schreiber RD, & Weis JJ. (2008) A critical role for type I IFN in arthritis development following Borrelia burgdorferi infection of mice. Journal of Immunology, 181(12), 8492-8503. PMID: 19050267  

  • April 12, 2011
  • 01:32 PM

The Deep History of Dinosaur Lice

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Hunting dinosaurs is a dangerous business. Scores of fictional, time-traveling hunters have learned this lesson the hard way, but arguably the most unfortunate was the protagonist of Brian Aldiss’ short story “Poor Little Warrior.” All Claude Ford wanted to do was get away from his disappointing life and unhappy marriage by gunning down prehistoric monsters. [...]... Read more »

DALGLEISH, R., PALMA, R., PRICE, R., & SMITH, V. (2006) Fossil lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) reconsidered. Systematic Entomology, 31(4), 648-651. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2006.00342.x  

Smith, V., Ford, T., Johnson, K., Johnson, P., Yoshizawa, K., & Light, J. (2011) Multiple lineages of lice pass through the K-Pg boundary. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0105  

Wappler, T., Smith, V., & Dalgleish, R. (2004) Scratching an ancient itch: an Eocene bird louse fossil. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 271(Suppl_5). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2003.0158  

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