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  • May 7, 2010
  • 12:42 AM

Friday Weird Science: Orgiastic Loss of Consciousness

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

This is actually a repost. But it's still hilarious. Sci DID have something good all lined up, but then she went out for this DINNER. And it was a REALLY good dinner, and now I'm really full and it's late and Sci is SO FULL AND SLEEPY AND (kind of inebriated...). So, repost. And next week will be a hilarious weird science that's going to blow your mind.

I have to say, for this Weird Science Friday, it was a tough call between this one and the other paper I found about the effects of Proza........ Read more »

Needles, W. (1953) A note of orgiastic loss of consciousness. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 22(4). info:/

  • May 6, 2010
  • 11:19 PM

There is a little bit of Neanderthal in many of us

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Big party at Science journal today, with the publication of a comprehensive draft Neanderthal genome. (Free access, nice going Science). Actually, it is a partially assembled draft of 60% of the total genome, but 60% of the genome from a human that was last seen on Earth 28,000 years ago is quite an achievement. The [...]... Read more »

Green, R., Krause, J., Briggs, A., Maricic, T., Stenzel, U., Kircher, M., Patterson, N., Li, H., Zhai, W., Fritz, M.... (2010) A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome. Science, 328(5979), 710-722. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188021  

  • May 6, 2010
  • 06:13 PM

Mice That Fight for Their Rights

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Israeli biologists Feder et al report on Selective breeding for dominant and submissive behavior in Sabra mice.Mice are social animals and like many species, they show dominance hierarchies. When they first meet, they'll often fight each other. The winner gets to be Mr (or Mrs) Big, and they enjoy first pick of the food, mating opportunities, etc - for as long as they can remain dominant.But what determines which mice become top dog... ? Feder et al show that it's partially under genetic control........ Read more »

Feder, Y., Nesher, E., Ogran, A., Kreinin, A., Malatynska, E., Yadid, G., & Pinhasov, A. (2010) Selective breeding for dominant and submissive behavior in Sabra mice. Journal of Affective Disorders. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.03.018  

  • May 6, 2010
  • 05:19 PM

A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome

by Olexandr Isayev in

After extracting ancient DNA from the 40,000-year-old bones of Neanderthals, scientists have obtained a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome, yielding important new insights into the evolution of modern humans.[1] Among the findings, published in the May 7 issue of Science, is evidence that shortly after early modern humans migrated out of Africa, some of [...]... Read more »

Green, R., Krause, J., Briggs, A., Maricic, T., Stenzel, U., Kircher, M., Patterson, N., Li, H., Zhai, W., Fritz, M.... (2010) A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome. Science, 328(5979), 710-722. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188021  

Burbano, H., Hodges, E., Green, R., Briggs, A., Krause, J., Meyer, M., Good, J., Maricic, T., Johnson, P., Xuan, Z.... (2010) Targeted Investigation of the Neandertal Genome by Array-Based Sequence Capture. Science, 328(5979), 723-725. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188046  

  • May 6, 2010
  • 03:41 PM

A moment frozen in time - fossil fish trace solves paleontological puzzle

by Laelaps in Laelaps

One of the fossil fish I found in the Green River Formation of Wyoming.

I had my doubts about whether we were going to reach the quarry. The Toyota Yaris my wife and I had rented for our excursion through Utah and Wyoming was not designed to handle the rough dirt roads which wound their way through the grassy hills of the Equality State, but eventually the outcrop of grey-and-yellow rocks came into view. It was part of the famous Green River Formation, an approximately 42-53 million year ........ Read more »

  • May 6, 2010
  • 02:21 PM

Making research in biodiversity hotspots free

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

"Most species live in the tropics, but most field biologists study temperate ecosystems." This is the central dilemma that has spurred Nigel Pitman from Duke University to call for making research in biodiversity hotspots free...... Read more »

  • May 6, 2010
  • 09:41 AM

Yeast 4.0 released!

by admin in U+003F

One goal of integrative systems biology is the accurate representation of metabolite and protein interaction networks. To this end, several groups independently defined the metabolic network of baker’s yeast from available genomic and literature data [1,2]. These models differed considerably, so a “Jamboree” was held in Manchester in April 2007, bringing together experts from various [...]... Read more »

  • May 6, 2010
  • 08:03 AM

Passing cars throwing off breeding bird counts, study finds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • May 5, 2010
  • 08:47 PM

Grow Fat and Suffer the Consequences

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Excess visceral fat tissue and other side-effects of the sort of high-calorie, low-exercise lifestyle required to pack on the fat will do you great harm in the long term. Getting fat is a choice is for the vast majority of people, a choice made again and again day after day by deciding to eat more calories and skip exercise in favor of other activities. For 99.9% of the audience here: you're not special, and there's nothing in your genes that's making it noticeably easier to gain weight or harde........ Read more »

Ginter E, & Simko V. (2010) Diabetes type 2 pandemic in 21st century. Bratislavske lekarske listy, 111(3), 134-7. PMID: 20437822  

  • May 5, 2010
  • 08:22 PM

Eavesdropping lions zero-in on African wild dog calls

by Laelaps in Laelaps

African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), photographed at the Bronx Zoo.

African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) don't have it easy. Their taste for large mammalian prey puts them in competition with lions and spotted hyenas for both prey and living space, meaning that wild dogs regularly have their kills stolen or are even killed by other predators. In fact, the dogs may even be unintentionally attracting the attention of these other hunters.

Like other social carnivores, African wild dogs communicat........ Read more »

  • May 5, 2010
  • 08:19 PM


by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Invasive plants don’t have stronger chemical defenses than natives

... Read more »

  • May 5, 2010
  • 06:31 PM

Scientists find protein involved in OCD development

by geekheartsscience in geek!

The protein Slitrk5—which is specific to neurons—is involved in the pathogenesis of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and loss of this protein leads to OCD-like behaviour in mice. The study, published in Nature Medicine, demonstrates that Slitrk5-knockout mice can be used as model of OCD and could help elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underlie this condition. OCD [...]... Read more »

Shmelkov, S., Hormigo, A., Jing, D., Proenca, C., Bath, K., Milde, T., Shmelkov, E., Kushner, J., Baljevic, M., Dincheva, I.... (2010) Slitrk5 deficiency impairs corticostriatal circuitry and leads to obsessive-compulsive–like behaviors in mice. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2125  

  • May 5, 2010
  • 01:43 PM

Genetic variation among African Americans

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

There’s new paper in Genome Biology (tip: Dienekes) which doesn’t present too much in terms of new results, Characterizing the admixed African ancestry of African Americans, but has really, really, good visualization of the data:
From cluster analysis, we found that all the African Americans are admixed in their African components of ancestry, with the majority [...]... Read more »

Zakharia F, Basu A, Absher D, Assimes TL, Go AS, Hlatky MA, Iribarren C, Knowles JW, Li J, Narasimhan B.... (2009) Characterizing the admixed African ancestry of African Americans. Genome biology, 10(12). PMID: 20025784  

  • May 5, 2010
  • 12:32 PM

Lamellae, scansor pads, setae and adhesion... and the secondary loss of all of these things (gekkotans part IV)

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

The fingers and toes of geckos are surprisingly complex.... Read more »

Hansen WR, & Autumn K. (2005) Evidence for self-cleaning in gecko setae. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(2), 385-9. PMID: 15630086  

  • May 5, 2010
  • 12:25 PM

History Lesson

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

19th-century records reveal plunge in U.K. fish stocks

... Read more »

  • May 5, 2010
  • 12:10 PM

Ain’t it fun?

by Richard Grant in Naturally Selected

Crystal ball
I’m a sucker for pretty things, and structural biology is all about pretty things. And the structure of the entire damn apoptosome at 3.55 Å resolution is a real humdinger. The apoptosome, as you might imagine from the name, is the molecular complex that mediates programmed cell death, or apoptosis (and please, can I [...]... Read more »

Bongard, S., & Nieder, A. (2010) Basic mathematical rules are encoded by primate prefrontal cortex neurons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(5), 2277-2282. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909180107  

Bölinger, D., Sułkowska, J., Hsu, H., Mirny, L., Kardar, M., Onuchic, J., & Virnau, P. (2010) A Stevedore's Protein Knot. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000731  

  • May 5, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Back to basics: The "Big Four"

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

The nice thing about a field season away from all regular internet access is that it gives you a real sabbatical of a sort—a chance to reassess plans and set new goals. One of the new goals I set myself this last field season was to introduce a new kind of topic here at Denim and Tweed.

Most of my writing about science at D&T focuses on recently published discoveries in evolution and ecology. It's fun writing, and it coincides neatly with my regular journal reading, and I intend to keep doing........ Read more »

Drake JW, Charlesworth B, Charlesworth D, & Crow JF. (1998) Rates of spontaneous mutation. Genetics, 148(4), 1667-86. PMID: 9560386  

Kingsolver, J., Hoekstra, H., Hoekstra, J., Berrigan, D., Vignieri, S., Hill, C., Hoang, A., Gibert, P., & Beerli, P. (2001) The strength of phenotypic selection in natural populations. The American Naturalist, 157(3), 245-61. DOI: 10.1086/319193  

Wright S. (1931) Evolution in Mendelian populations. Genetics, 16(2), 97-159. PMID: 17246615  

  • May 5, 2010
  • 09:27 AM

Pandemics and publishing (and blogs?)

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

A majority of the epidemiological articles on SARS were submitted after the epidemic had ended, although the corresponding studies had relevance to public health authorities during the epidemic.  … although the academic response to the SARS epidemic was rapid, most articles on the epidemiology of SARS were published after the epidemic was over even though [...]... Read more »

  • May 5, 2010
  • 08:06 AM

Uncovering beauty in proteins to fight the pneumococcal fratricides

by Cesar Sanchez in Twisted Bacteria

This post is about pneumonia and pneumococci, fratricide at the cellular level, and a pretty protein. And there's a video too!First things first. Pneumonia is a common disease characterized by inflammation of the lungs that can be deadly: 4 million people in the world die from it every year. Half of them are children under 5 years of age -- in fact, no other illness causes more deaths of children under age 5 worldwide. However, this is a preventable and treatable disease in most cases.Many organ........ Read more »

Pérez-Dorado, I., González, A., Morales, M., Sanles, R., Striker, W., Vollmer, W., Mobashery, S., García, J., Martínez-Ripoll, M., García, P.... (2010) Insights into pneumococcal fratricide from the crystal structures of the modular killing factor LytC. Nature Structural . DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1817  

  • May 5, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Can modified solar panels disarm an ecological trap?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

On the heels of increasing evidence that wind energy and ethanol can cause serious ecological impacts, a new study in Conservation Biology raises concerns over “polarized light pollution” from polarizing photovoltaic solar panels.

The study, led by Hungarian researcher Gábor Horváth, shows that solar panels can act as ecological traps for aquatic insects potentially leading to population decline or even local extinction.

The good news is that the study also showed that modifications ........ Read more »

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