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
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 »
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 »
Tsai, C., Yang, S., Trimble, A., & Ruesink, J. (2010) Interactions between two introduced species: Zostera japonica (dwarf eelgrass) facilitates itself and reduces condition of Ruditapes philippinarum (Manila clam) on intertidal flats. Marine Biology, 157(9), 1929-1936. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-010-1462-0
Irlandi, E., & Peterson, C. (1991) Modification of animal habitat by large plants: mechanisms by which seagrasses influence clam growth. Oecologia, 87(3), 307-318. DOI: 10.1007/BF00634584
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:/
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 »
Langer N, Beeli G, & Jäncke L. (2010) When the sun prickles your nose: an EEG study identifying neural bases of photic sneezing. PloS one, 5(2). PMID: 20169159
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 »
Stroeymeyt, N., Guerrieri, F. J., van Zweden, J. S., & d'Ettorre, P. (2010) Rapid Decision-Making with Side-Specific Perceptual Discrimination in Ants. PLoS ONE, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012377
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 »
Drummond, C., Xue, H., Yoder, J., & Pellmyr, O. (2009) Host-associated divergence and incipient speciation in the yucca moth Prodoxus coloradensis (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae) on three species of host plants. Heredity, 105(2), 183-96. DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2009.154
Kawakita, A., & Kato, M. (2006) Assessment of the diversity and species specificity of the mutualistic association between Epicephala moths and Glochidion trees. Molecular Ecology, 15(12), 3567-81. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.03037.x
Kawakita, A., Okamoto, T., Goto, R., & Kato, M. (2010) Mutualism favours higher host specificity than does antagonism in plant-herbivore interaction. Proc. Royal Soc. B, 277(1695), 2765-74. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0355
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 »
Martin, G., & Shaw, J. (2010) Bird collisions with power lines: Failing to see the way ahead?. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.07.014
“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
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
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
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 »
Segura Mora, J. S., Assi, S. A., & Fernandez-Fuentes, N. (2010) Presaging Critical Residues in Protein interfaces-Web Server (PCRPi-W): A Web Server to Chart Hot Spots in Protein Interfaces. PLoS ONE, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012352
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 »
Šmarda, P., Horová, L., Bureš, P., Hralová, I., & Marková, M. (2010) Stabilizing selection on genome size in a population of Festuca pallens under conditions of intensive intraspecific competition. New Phytologist, 187(4), 1195-1204. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03335.x
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 »
Tan, E. J., Seah, S. W. H., Yap, L.-M. Y. L, Goh, P. M., Gan, W., Liu, F., & Li, D. (2010) Why do orb-weaving spiders (Cyclosa ginnaga) decorate their webs with silk spirals and plant detritus?. Animal Behaviour, 79(1), 179-186. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.10.025
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 »
Graf, M., Cellerino, A., & Englert, C. (2010) Gender Separation Increases Somatic Growth in Females but Does Not Affect Lifespan in Nothobranchius furzeri. PLoS ONE, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011958
FIGUEREDO, A., VASQUEZ, G., BRUMBACH, B., SCHNEIDER, S., SEFCEK, J., TAL, I., HILL, D., WENNER, C., & JACOBS, W. (2006) Consilience and Life History Theory: From genes to brain to reproductive strategy. Developmental Review, 26(2), 243-275. DOI: 10.1016/j.dr.2006.02.002
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 »
GALLUP, A., MILLER, M., & CLARK, A. (2009) Yawning and thermoregulation in budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus. Animal Behaviour, 77(1), 109-113. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.09.014
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 »
Peters, D. (2010) Accessible ecology: synthesis of the long, deep, and broad. Trends in Ecology . DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.07.005
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
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 »
FLINN, M., GEARY, D., & WARD, C. (2005) Ecological dominance, social competition, and coalitionary arms racesWhy humans evolved extraordinary intelligence. Evolution and Human Behavior, 26(1), 10-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.08.005
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
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:/
Willerslev, R. (2004) NOT ANIMAL, NOT NOT-ANIMAL: HUNTING, IMITATION AND EMPATHETIC KNOWLEDGE AMONG THE SIBERIAN YUKAGHIRS. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 10(3), 629-652. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2004.00205.x
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
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 »
Holmstrom, W. (1978) Preliminary Observations on Prey Herding in the Matamata Turtle, Chelus fimbriatus (Reptilia, Testudines, Chelidae). Journal of Herpetology, 12(4), 573. DOI: 10.2307/1563365
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