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  • November 17, 2010
  • 09:06 AM

Brilliant Bacteria

by avi_wener in The European Biotechnologist

Over the last couple of days my respect for unicellular organisms in general and for E. coli in particular has greatly increased. I used to believe that E. coli was a simple prokaryotic bacteria whose greatest accomplishment was its status as one of the first genomes to be sequenced (the first was that of Haemophilus [...]... Read more »

Mitchell, A., Romano, G., Groisman, B., Yona, A., Dekel, E., Kupiec, M., Dahan, O., & Pilpel, Y. (2009) Adaptive prediction of environmental changes by microorganisms. Nature, 460(7252), 220-224. DOI: 10.1038/nature08112  

  • November 17, 2010
  • 08:48 AM

Cure your Aging Synapses with this New Diet and Exercise Regimen!

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

The title for this one comes from those stupid “1 tip for a flat belly!” and “The thing moms know about whitening teeth!” ads that keep popping up for me. You know the ones. Well, now, screw that. WHAT’S more important than getting a flat belly or whitening your teeth?! CURING YOUR AGING NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTIONS!!! [...]... Read more »

Valdez G, Tapia JC, Kang H, Clemenson GD Jr, Gage FH, Lichtman JW, & Sanes JR. (2010) Attenuation of age-related changes in mouse neuromuscular synapses by caloric restriction and exercise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(33), 14863-8. PMID: 20679195  

  • November 17, 2010
  • 08:24 AM

Pollution Ecology

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Fewer. Smaller. And things could get worse in a warmer climate. Those are just a few of the conclusions reached by a massive new study that tries to tease out the fundamental effects that industrial air pollution has on organisms and ecosystems – and some recommendations for better focusing future research.
For decades, ecologists have […] Read More »... Read more »

  • November 17, 2010
  • 05:50 AM

Homozygosity runs in the family (or not)

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

The number 1 gets a lot more press than -1, and the concept of heterozygosity gets more attention than homozygosity. Concretely the difference between the latter two is rather straightforward. In diploid organisms the genes come in duplicates. If the alleles are the same, then they’re homozygous. If they’re different, then they’re heterozygous. Sex chromosomes [...]... Read more »

Mirna Kirin, Ruth McQuillan, Christopher S. Franklin, Harry Campbell, Paul M. McKeigue, & James F. Wilson. (2010) Genomic Runs of Homozygosity Record Population History and Consanguinity. PLoS ONE. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0013996

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:53 PM

The Wednesday Post (17/11/2010)

by thomastu in Disease Prone

Staying with the non-diseasey theme… Love intestines, but hate the smell of poop? Add coriander! People eat some strange things. Pigs’ large intestines in the form of the soul food “chitterlings” is one of them. Unsurprisingly the cooking of faeces-containing … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:53 PM

The Wednesday Post (17/11/2010)

by Thomas Tu in Disease of the week!

Staying with the non-diseasey theme… Love intestines, but hate the smell of poop? Add coriander! People eat some strange things. Pigs’ large intestines in the form of the soul food “chitterlings” is one of them. Unsurprisingly the cooking of faeces-containing … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:39 PM

A Brush with Madness

by Kristopher Hite in Tom Paine's Ghost

I'm giving myself ten minutes to do this. To write whatever storms into my mind then hit post.

I think the archaic revival might run into some barriers. Like starvation, no communication, and other electrical difficulties if it embraces the Abbey-esque Luddite philosophy entirely.

As much as I want to get onto that other boat I think I will just slip between the hulls and end up swimming by myself among the sea-monsters, bullets whizzing past my head with bubbles trailing behind in dark ........ Read more »

Sedel F, Baumann N, Turpin JC, Lyon-Caen O, Saudubray JM, & Cohen D. (2007) Psychiatric manifestations revealing inborn errors of metabolism in adolescents and adults. Journal of inherited metabolic disease, 30(5), 631-41. PMID: 17694356  

Rose FC. (2006) Van Gogh's madness. International review of neurobiology, 253-69. PMID: 16730519  

Altintoprak AE, Ersel M, & Bayrakci A. (2009) An unusual suicide attempt: a case with psychosis during an acute porphyric attack. European journal of emergency medicine : official journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine, 16(2), 106-8. PMID: 19262206  

Mandoki MW, & Sumner GS. (1994) Psychiatric manifestations of hereditary coproporphyria in a child. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 182(2), 117-8. PMID: 8308532  

  • November 16, 2010
  • 08:25 PM

Monkeys and Uncles

by Laelaps in Laelaps

During the long wind-up to this autumn’s congressional elections, hardly a week went by without a gaffe by Delaware tea partier and Sarah Palin-wannabe Christine O’Donnell. The sharp-tongued political commentator Bill Maher seemed to have an entire stockpile of embarrassing clips from when O’Donnell – then president of the conservative advocacy group the Savior’s Alliance [...]... Read more »

Meikle, W., & Scott, E. (2010) Why Are There Still Monkeys?. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 3(4), 573-575. DOI: 10.1007/s12052-010-0293-2  

Zalmout, I., Sanders, W., MacLatchy, L., Gunnell, G., Al-Mufarreh, Y., Ali, M., Nasser, A., Al-Masari, A., Al-Sobhi, S., Nadhra, A.... (2010) New Oligocene primate from Saudi Arabia and the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Nature, 466(7304), 360-364. DOI: 10.1038/nature09094  

  • November 16, 2010
  • 07:09 PM

This is no Picnic – Seasonal Migration of American Black Bears is a Complicated Business

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Organisms in search of favourable conditions commonly undertake long-distance migrations.  Birds, whales and sea turtles come to mind as typical species that spend a good deal of time on the move; however, there are many animals that undertake seasonal movements to a lesser extent.  Black bears (Ursus americanus) are not recognized as typical ‘round-trip’ migrators, [...]... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 05:03 PM

Winter active bumblebees

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

We had our first frost yesterday, and it was also a frosty morning today. But coming back home this afternoon, with the light already going weaker, I came across a Tree Bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum feeding on a large Mahonia bush. I have posted before on this bumblebee, a recent natural colonist in the U.K. In the last two decades, reports of winter active bumblebees - mostly Bombus terrestris - have steadily been accumulating, especially in the south of Britain. Queen bumblebe........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 02:47 PM

Storing DNA

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

DNA is one of the most important components of the cell. In eukaryote cells (i.e the cells of humans and plants) it is stored inside a nucleus that keeps it safe and away from dangerous things like free radicals produced by the metabolic reactions of the cell. In bacterial cells the DNA isn't nearly as well protected, but the main bulk of the bacterial chromosome (excluding the little floating plasmids) is all kept together in a bundle usually referred to as a nucleoid. However the DNA in cells ........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 01:45 PM

Prokaryotes considered

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

As a college biology major during the 1970s I was taught that cells in which the genetic material is separated from the cytoplasm by a nuclear membrane – such as those of animals, fungi, plants, and protists – are called eukaryotes. In contrast, the DNA of bacteria is not bounded by such a structure, and [...]... Read more »

Prangishvili, D., Forterre, P., & Garrett, R. (2006) Viruses of the Archaea: a unifying view. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 4(11), 837-848. DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro1527  

  • November 16, 2010
  • 10:58 AM

Tyrannosaurus Had Extra Junk in the Trunk

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Almost everyone has a pretty good idea of what Tyrannosaurus rex looked like. The massive head, scrawny arms, and the bird-like posture are all iconic parts of prehistory’s most famous dinosaur, but its tail would probably be tacked on as an afterthought. You can’t have a good Tyrannosaurus without a tail, but our focus has [...]... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 10:58 AM

A Tadpole Taste Test with Students as “Mock Predators”

by Emily Anthes in Wonderland

Why would a researcher ask his grad students to eat tadpoles?... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 10:50 AM

Sometimes in cancer research there really is hope

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

It’s easy to forget that oncologists (whether medical, radiation or surgical) and hematologists deal with death and dying every single day, it’s sadly an integral part of the daily job.  Sometimes though, something comes along that offers hope or perhaps … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:07 AM

Guest Post: iRefWeb — Andrei Turinsky

by Mary in OpenHelix

This next post in our continuing semi-regular Guest Post series is from Andrei Turinsky, one of the developers of iRefWeb. If you are a provider of a free, publicly available genomics tool, database or resource and would like to convey something to users on our guest post feature, please feel free to contact us at wlathe AT openhelix DOT com or the contact form (write ‘guest post’ as subject heading). We welcome introductions to your resource, information on updates, highlights of li........ Read more »

Brian Turner, Sabry Razick, Andrei L. Turinsky, James Vlasblom, Edgard K. Crowdy, Emerson Cho, Kyle Morrison, Ian M. Donaldson, & Shoshana J. Wodak. (2010) iRefWeb: interactive analysis of consolidated protein interaction data and their supporting evidence. Database. info:/10.1093/database/baq023

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Is female orgasm adaptive? Let's ask the clitoris.

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Whether or not a trait is an adaptation, shaped by natural selection for a specific function, can be a surprisingly contentious question in evolutionary biology. When the trait in question belongs to human beings, though, "contentious" reaches a whole new level—because when evolutionary biologists consider humans, their conclusions get personal.
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  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:04 AM

The Case of the Phantom Music

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

Imagine a peaceful night of relaxation at home, you curled up in a favorite leather armchair with a novel downloaded on your Nook. Suddenly, you hear music, (whether it is the soaring refrains of Mozart’s Requiem or the building power-chords of Boston’s More than a Feelin’ is up to you), and you spring from your chair. Is it the neighbors? What could be causing this phenomenon? And why present this spooky imagined scenario twelve days after Halloween has ended?... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 06:59 AM

Redefining optimal

by Becky in It Takes 30

When you’re trying to use models to probe the behavior of a complex biological system, there usually comes a point where you have to “fit parameters”.  This happens because the model is trying to build up a macroscopic picture from underlying features that may be impossible to measure.  For example, in the case of tumor [...]... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 12:00 AM

Excretion in birds - why IISc's roads are coated white

by Croor Singh in Learning to be Terse

A study that shows that some frugivorous birds can be facultatively ammonotelic. The study proposes that this ammonotely is apparent, and also proposes two mechanisms for the apparent ammonotely.... Read more »

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