A study published in this month’s issue of Nature Genetics may provide insight into the future techniques of personalized medicine.
The articles deals with technical advancements and a proof-of-principle study in identifying the causes underlying rare Mendelian disorders.
The techniques involved re-sequencing (another name for next-generation sequencing and massively parallel sequencing) of the exome. That is [...]... Read more »
Blogging about one's own research always feels good: the amount of your work has accumulated enough to at least provide sufficient material for a story and some figures. It has passed the first hurdle of scientific scrutiny, peer review. On the other hand, now an exciting time begins: what will the colleagues say? Will people find the one major flaw that neither you, your co-authors, the people who proof-read the drafts before submission nor the reviewers caught? Will the results lead to new, ex........ Read more »
van Swinderen, B., & Brembs, B. (2010) Attention-Like Deficit and Hyperactivity in a Drosophila Memory Mutant. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(3), 1003-1014. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4516-09.2010
Covering over 1 million hectares across the United States, military bases sometimes encompass highly threatened ecosystems. For this reason, conservationists have been giving increased attention to military installations as potential places for conserving native biodiversity.
But with their intensive training exercises often involving explosions and heavy machinery, are military bases actually good for conservation?... Read more »
Rivers, J., Gipson, P., Althoff, D., & Pontius, J. (2010) Long-Term Community Dynamics of Small Landbirds with and Without Exposure to Extensive Disturbance from Military Training Activities. Environmental Management. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-009-9421-6
Imagine there was a nasty disease that affected 1 in 100 people. And imagine that someone invented a drug which treated it reasonably well. Good work, surely.Now imagine that, for some reason, people decided that 10% of the population need to be taking this drug, instead of 1%. So sales of the drug sky-rocket. Eventually some clever person comes along and asks "This is one of the biggest selling drugs in the world - but does it work?" They look into it, and find that it doesn't work very well at........ Read more »
Fournier, J., DeRubeis, R., Hollon, S., Dimidjian, S., Amsterdam, J., Shelton, R., & Fawcett, J. (2010) Antidepressant Drug Effects and Depression Severity: A Patient-Level Meta-analysis. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(1), 47-53. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1943
by whysharksmatter in Southern Fried Science
Any discussion of fisheries policy inevitably comes back to one question: before we can decide how many fish humans can remove from the ocean, we need to know how many fish are there in the first place. This is, without a doubt, an extremely complex problem to solve. In 1969, a Woods Hole scientist named [...]... Read more »
I'd read (somewhere) that bouquets of chemicals you release when you meet 'that someone' become a concoction for hell that loving feeling. (Somewhat reminds me of that wacky Sandra Bullock film Love Potion No. 9). For the first 6 months-year you release endorphins, adrenaline, oxytocin. Subsequently, you might get 'butterflies', the sweats, sleepless nights, loss of appetite etc. etc. What causes that initial attraction anyways? i find it so random. If it was just person........ Read more »
Bernatchez L, & Landry C. (2003) MHC studies in nonmodel vertebrates: what have we learned about natural selection in 15 years?. Journal of evolutionary biology, 16(3), 363-77. PMID: 14635837
SANDROCARVALHOSANTOS, P., AUGUSTOSCHINEMANN, J., GABARDO, J., & DAGRACABICALHO, M. (2005) New evidence that the MHC influences odor perception in humans: a study with 58 Southern Brazilian students. Hormones and Behavior, 47(4), 384-388. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2004.11.005
Lie, H., Simmons, L., & Rhodes, G. (2010) Genetic dissimilarity, genetic diversity, and mate preferences in humans. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(1), 48-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.07.001
Pharmaceutical companies are always on the lookout for secondary drug targets. After all, if you invest billions developing a single drug, you would be more than happy to sell it as a treatment for two, three, or more different ailments. Sildenafil citrate was developed to treat angina and hypertension. During phase I clinical trials, it [...]... Read more »
Durrant, J., Amaro, R., Xie, L., Urbaniak, M., Ferguson, M., Haapalainen, A., Chen, Z., Di Guilmi, A., Wunder, F., Bourne, P.... (2010) A Multidimensional Strategy to Detect Polypharmacological Targets in the Absence of Structural and Sequence Homology. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000648
Somewhere between 700 and 900 AD, the Maya civilisation in Central America seemed to collapse. Why? For some time, the conventional explanation has been deforestation. They were so efficient at chopping down trees for timber and for farmland that they got rid of the forest, and without it, the fertile soil was eroded. It’s not [...]... Read more »
McNeil, C., Burney, D., & Burney, L. (2009) Evidence disputing deforestation as the cause for the collapse of the ancient Maya polity of Copan, Honduras. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(3), 1017-1022. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0904760107
Ford, A., & Nigh, R. (2009) Origins of the Maya Forest Garden: Maya Resource Management. Journal of Ethnobiology, 29(2), 213-236. DOI: 10.2993/0278-0771-29.2.213
Matthew Forister (University of Nevada, Reno) and coworkers have unambiguously investigated the differential effects of climate change and habitat loss on butterfly populations in northern California. This news feature was written on January 23, 2010.... Read more »
Forister, M. L., McCall, A. C., Sanders, N. J., Fordyce, J. A., Thorne, J. H., O'Brien, J., Waetjen, D. P., & Shapiro, A. M. (2010) Compounded effects of climate change and habitat alteration shift patterns of butterfly diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909686107
A new study from researchers at Trinity College has found that the addition of nutrients like nitrogen can homogenize the benthic diversity of lakes...... Read more »
Donohue, I., Jackson, A., Pusch, M., & Irvine, K. (2009) Nutrient enrichment homogenizes lake benthic assemblages at local and regional scales. Ecology, 90(12), 3470-3477. DOI: 10.1890/09-0415.1
Could a drug introduced in the 2010s be able to induce rejuvenation, the repair of age-related damage? To a very limited degree, yes. We would expect some types of drug, early and poor examples of which are presently undergoing investigation in the laboratory, to be able to stimulate the aged body to repair certain types of cellular damage and aggregate buildup that it would otherwise be unable to deal with - in other words to rejuvenate some aspects of cellular biology to their youthful states ........ Read more »
Onken, B., & Driscoll, M. (2010) Metformin Induces a Dietary Restriction–Like State and the Oxidative Stress Response to Extend C. elegans Healthspan via AMPK, LKB1, and SKN-1. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008758_id
You've just finished doing some research using fMRI to measure brain activity. You designed the study, recruited the volunteers, and did all the scans. Phew. Is that it? Can you publish the findings yet?Unfortunately, no. You still need to do the analysis, and this is often the most trickiest stage. The raw data produced during an fMRI experiment are meaningless - in most cases, each scan will give you a few hundred almost-identical grey pictures of the person's brain. Making sense of them requi........ Read more »
Fusar-Poli, P., Bhattacharyya, S., Allen, P., Crippa, J., Borgwardt, S., Martin-Santos, R., Seal, M., O’Carroll, C., Atakan, Z., & Zuardi, A. (2010) Effect of image analysis software on neurofunctional activation during processing of emotional human faces. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1016/j.jocn.2009.06.027
If measles is caused by a virus and it can only be caught once in a life time, why do we catch the flu every year?
When we have the flu, in a few days the body seems to get rid of the virus. The symptoms rarely last for two weeks and, in a higher period; [...]... Read more »
Smith, D. (2004) Mapping the Antigenic and Genetic Evolution of Influenza Virus. Science, 305(5682), 371-376. DOI: 10.1126/science.1097211
I was reading through this study from Ecology yesterday, which tells the interesting story of how coastal dune ecology in northern California was invaded in the 19th century and subsequently disrupted. In order to stabilize the ever-shifting sand dunes, a grass called Ammophila arenaria, the European beachgrass, was planted along the coastline. A. arenaria grows from a strong, thick network of branching rhizomes, allowing it create a fast hold on loose soil and, as the coastal managers intended,........ Read more »
Dangremond, E., Pardini, E., & Knight, T. (2010) Apparent competition with an invasive plant hastens the extinction of an endangered lupine. Ecology, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-0418
In a recent Nature Geoscience study, scientists discovered that soil clings to water from the first rainfall of the summer and holds it so tightly it almost never mixes with other water. This discovery challenges the century-old assumption that rainwater, after it enters the soil through precipitation, displaces leftover water and pushes it deeper into [...]
... Read more »
Renée Brooks, J., Barnard, H., Coulombe, R., & McDonnell, J. (2009) Ecohydrologic separation of water between trees and streams in a Mediterranean climate. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO722
Remember the tale of Nemo (the juvenile clownfish that was fish-napped by a dentist) and Marlin (Nemo’s dad)? Marlin braves the open ocean to find Nemo, meeting a whale-speaking blue tang and a few non-piscivorous sharks along the way. Of course, Marlin and Nemo are reunited (it’s a Disney movie), but could a little clownfish [...]... Read more »
Dixson, D., Munday, P., & Jones, G. (2010) Ocean acidification disrupts the innate ability of fish to detect predator olfactory cues. Ecology Letters, 13(1), 68-75. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01400.x
Biro, P., Beckmann, C., & Stamps, J. (2009) Small within-day increases in temperature affects boldness and alters personality in coral reef fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1678), 71-77. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1346
tags: evolution, evolutionary biology, evolutionary ecology, plumage color,carotenoid-based colour, carotenoids, lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, sperm motility, sperm quality, sperm velocity, birds, ornithology, Great Tit, Parus major, bpr3.org/?p=52,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper
Great Tit, Parus major.
Image: Luc Viatour, Creative Commons/Wikipedia [larger view]
In some species of birds, males are more brightly colored than females. This phenomenon is due to female ........ Read more »
Helfenstein, F., Losdat, S., Møller, A., Blount, J., & Richner, H. (2010) Sperm of colourful males are better protected against oxidative stress. Ecology Letters, 13(2), 213-222. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01419.x
Increasingly, multimedia and video are being used in addition to traditional delivery methods to communicate scientific findings. Journals such as PLoS ONE, Cell, Nature and others often use video to either showcase particular articles, or offer authors the opportunity to include multimedia elements as part of their article. Some subjects lend themselves better to video [...]... Read more »
... Read more »
Isaak, D., Luce, C., Rieman, B., Nagel, D., Peterson, E., Horan, D., Parkes, S., & Chandler, G. (2009) EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND RECENT WILDFIRES ON STREAM TEMPERATURE AND THERMAL HABITAT FOR TWO SALMONIDS IN A MOUNTAIN RIVER NETWORK. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-0822
by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog
For thousands of years, epidemics of contagious diseases were believed to be caused by the wrath of the gods, configuration of stars, or miasma. The association of specific microorganisms with disease came about as a consequence of the work of the German physician Robert Koch. He formulated a set of criteria that could be used [...]... Read more »
Fredericks DN, & Relman DA. (1996) Sequence-based identification of microbial pathogens: a reconsideration of Koch's postulates. Clinical microbiology reviews, 9(1), 18-33. PMID: 8665474
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