Post List

Biology posts

(Modify Search »)

  • August 31, 2010
  • 08:50 PM

Seabird Bycatch via Deep Sea Longlines is Vastly Understated

by Michael Long in Phased

Eric Gilman (Hawaii Pacific University, United States) and coworkers' 15-year study strongly suggests that deep sea longlines understate seabird bycatch by approximately 50%, reinforcing the serious threat to birds posed by longline fisheries. This news feature was written on August 31, 2010.... Read more »

Brothers, N., Duckworth, A. R., Safina, C., & Gilman, E. L. (2010) Seabird Bycatch in Pelagic Longline Fisheries Is Grossly Underestimated when Using Only Haul Data. PLoS ONE, 5(8). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0012491

  • August 31, 2010
  • 08:33 PM

The Wednesday Post (1/9/10)

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

Enough of vaccines for a moment. I want to talk about frogs, frogs and antimicrobial agents. Normally I find it hard to remain interested in anything with a central nervous system but recently two frog related stories have caught my eye. First was this little dude. Are you kidding me, that thing is tiny. Sometimes [...]... Read more »

  • August 31, 2010
  • 05:33 PM

Monkeypox infections on the increase in Africa

by geekheartsscience in geek!

The incidence of a smallpox-like disease—caused by the monkeypox virus—has increased 20-fold in the Demoncratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the past 30 years, according to new research published online in the journal PNAS. The findings suggest that, as smallpox vaccination programmes ceased in the DRC in 1980, people are now immunologically ‘naïve’ to orthopoxviruses [...]... Read more »

Anne W. Rimoin, Prime M. Mulembakani, Sara C. Johnston, James O. Lloyd Smith, Neville K. Kisalu, Timothee L. Kinkela, Seth Blumberg, Henri A. Thomassen, Brian L. Pike, Joseph N. Fair, Nathan D. Wolfe, Robert L. Shongo, Barney S. Graham, Pierre Formenty, E, & Major. (2010) Major increase in human monkeypox incidence 30 years after smallpox vaccination campaigns cease in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1005769107  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 03:32 PM

A Finch’s Ways to Find a Mate: 1) Peacock It Out, 1a) Meet as Many Friends as You Can

by Michael Gutbrod in A Scientific Nature

For those of you out there moping over how your disadvantageous (you might call it unlucky) genetic makeup has led to your not so attractive (others might call it ugly) appearance, there may be hope for you yet!  In the animal world, scientists Kevin P. Oh and Alexander V. Badyaev have found that more social [...]... Read more »

  • August 31, 2010
  • 02:58 PM

Unsafe Haven

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Being big and hairy is looking scary. The number of large mammals living in nearly 80 African reserves has dropped by more than half since the 1970s, according to a new study. Some reserves, however, appear to be helping big mammals hang on.
Protected areas (PAs) have become a major focus of conservation efforts around […] Read More »... Read more »

Craigie, I., Baillie, J., Balmford, A., Carbone, C., Collen, B., Green, R., & Hutton, J. (2010) Large mammal population declines in Africa’s protected areas. Biological Conservation, 143(9), 2221-2228. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.06.007  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 02:09 PM

Getting OMPs to the membrane - SGM series

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

This is the first post of my SGM conference series: I'm going to try and write about seven topics from the Society for General Microbiology September conference over the course of two weeks. The first topic I'm looking at is Protein Folding and Misfolding which consisted of thirteen presentations covering various aspects of protein folding in bacteria, fungi and yeast. As a quick background: when proteins are synthesized they are constructed as long chains of amino-acids which then need to fold........ Read more »

Johnson, A., & Jensen, R. (2004) Barreling through the membrane. Nature Structural , 11(2), 113-114. DOI: 10.1038/nsmb0204-113  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 01:47 PM

Adolescent Menstrual Variation and Oral Contraceptives

by Kate Clancy in Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology

This post reviews current knowledge about adolescent menstrual cycling and oral contraceptive use, making recommendations for future research.... Read more »

American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Adolescent Health Care, Diaz A, Laufer MR, & Breech LL. (2006) Menstruation in girls and adolescents: using the menstrual cycle as a vital sign. Pediatrics, 118(5), 2245-50. PMID: 17079600  

Andrist LC, Arias RD, Nucatola D, Kaunitz AM, Musselman BL, Reiter S, Boulanger J, Dominguez L, & Emmert S. (2004) Women's and providers' attitudes toward menstrual suppression with extended use of oral contraceptives. Contraception, 70(5), 359-63. PMID: 15504373  

APTER, D. (1997) Development of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 816(1 Adolescent Gy), 9-21. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb52125.x  

Morimatsu, Y., Matsubara, S., Watanabe, T., Hashimoto, Y., Matsui, T., Asada, K., & Suzuki, M. (2009) Future recovery of the normal menstrual cycle in adolescent patients with secondary amenorrhea. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, 35(3), 545-550. DOI: 10.1111/j.1447-0756.2009.01014.x  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 01:01 PM

Parasitic Editors Win the Genome

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

In biology, fitness can be crudely measured by a simple method: counting. If a particular species is well represented in a particular ecosystem, one can conclude that evolution has treated them well, with circumstances allowing them to thrive. It’s a bit simplistic to declare evolutionary winners or losers, but a species that over-populates an island [...]... Read more »

Aziz RK, Breitbart M, & Edwards RA. (2010) Transposases are the most abundant, most ubiquitous genes in nature. Nucleic acids research, 38(13), 4207-17. PMID: 20215432  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 12:30 PM

Genomic analysis can be powerful – in the right hands

by Rachel Bernstein in Berkeley Science Review Blog

You may have heard about the controversial genetics study connecting a set of 150 genetic markers to “exceptional longevity” (people living past 100). Everybody’s interested in living longer, so it’s not surprising that the work, published by Boston University researchers in July in the journal Science, was covered with much fanfare in many main-stream news outlets (for example, in the NY Times and Scientific American). Science even hosted a media teleconference to promote the story. Con........ Read more »

Teslovich TM, Musunuru K, Smith AV, Edmondson AC, Stylianou IM, Koseki M, Pirruccello JP, Ripatti S, Chasman DI, Willer CJ.... (2010) Biological, clinical and population relevance of 95 loci for blood lipids. Nature, 466(7307), 707-13. PMID: 20686565  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 12:17 PM

Wolves Are Smart, but Dogs Look Back

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Dogs are pretty smart. They can have huge vocabularies, they can infer meaning in the growls of other dogs, and they can effortlessly figure out if other dogs want to play or fight with them. But their intelligence might be limited to the social domain; indeed, while they outperform chimpanzees in social tasks, chimpanzees outperform them in many other tasks. And they might have developed their impressive social skills as merely an accident of natural and artificial selection.

Previous resear........ Read more »

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  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 11:56 AM

Balaur bondoc: A Raptor Unlike Any You Have Ever Seen

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Thanks to their prominent appearances in museum displays and the Jurassic Park film franchise, many people are very familiar with what dromaeosaurid dinosaurs looked like. Relatively small and lightly-built, these predators had long, grasping hands and a hyperextendable second toe on each foot tipped in a large sickle-shaped claw. But a newly-discovered “raptor” from the [...]... Read more »

  • August 31, 2010
  • 11:02 AM

The Price of Sequencing Versus the Cost

by Mike in Mike the Mad Biologist

So, Nature Reviews Genetics has an article, "Computational solutions to large-scale data management and analysis", which claims the following in the abstract (italics mine):

Today we can generate hundreds of gigabases of DNA and RNA sequencing data in a week for less than US$5,000. The astonishing rate of data generation by these low-cost, high-throughput technologies in genomics is being matched by that of other technologies, such as real-time imaging and mass spectrometry-based flow cytomet........ Read more »

Schadt EE, Linderman MD, Sorenson J, Lee L, & Nolan GP. (2010) Computational solutions to large-scale data management and analysis. Nature reviews. Genetics, 11(9), 647-57. PMID: 20717155  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 10:44 AM

Rapid Human Adaptation to High Altitudes

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Two studies in the journal Science demonstrated that genes in the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) oxygen signaling pathway have undergone strong, recent positive selection in Tibetan highlanders. One study was a genome-wide scan using SNP arrays; the other a large-scale exome sequencing effort. The exome study was particularly interesting; using the Nimblegen 2.1M exon capture array [...]... Read more »

Storz, J. (2010) Genes for High Altitudes. Science, 329(5987), 40-41. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192481  

Simonson TS, Yang Y, Huff CD, Yun H, Qin G, Witherspoon DJ, Bai Z, Lorenzo FR, Xing J, Jorde LB.... (2010) Genetic evidence for high-altitude adaptation in Tibet. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5987), 72-5. PMID: 20466884  

Yi X, Liang Y, & Huerta-Sanchez E. (2010) Sequencing of 50 human exomes reveals adaptation to high altitude. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5987), 75-8. PMID: 20595611  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 10:34 AM

What causes resistance to BRAF inhibition in melanoma?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Last week there was lot of excitement and interest surrounding the blog post on Roche/Plexxikon's data on PLX4032 in metastatic melanoma published in the New England Journal of Medicine. A number of the discussions on Twitter and email centred around...... Read more »

Crouthamel, M., Kahana, J., Korenchuk, S., Zhang, S., Sundaresan, G., Eberwein, D., Brown, K., & Kumar, R. (2009) Mechanism and Management of AKT Inhibitor-Induced Hyperglycemia. Clinical Cancer Research, 15(1), 217-225. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-1253  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Neurons in the wild

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Anyone who’s thought about science knows the promise and perils of simplification. People joke about physicists who begin working on an applied problem by saying, “Assume the cow is a perfect sphere...”

Working on an animal in a lab is a little like assuming a cow is a perfect sphere. You can get a pretty long way by simplifying the situation. But as I’ve talked about before, you often get many unexpected and delightful findings when you let an animal be an animal, in the environment an........ Read more »

  • August 31, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Chemistry of the Great Big Blue: Metals

by Bluegrass Blue Crab in Southern Fried Science

The ocean is full of metals and minerals that naturally occur such as zinc, copper, and cobalt and many marine organisms therefore depend upon access to those metals in small concentrations. However, inshore marine systems receive inputs from industrial, mining, and stormwater runoff that far exceed what these organisms can use. So what’s the effect?  [...]... Read more »

M. Mayer-Pinto, A.J. Underwood, T. Tolhurst, R.A. Coleman. (2010) Effects of metals on aquatic assemblages: What do we really know?. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 1-9. info:/

  • August 31, 2010
  • 05:45 AM

caterpillar drool enhances plants' calls for help

by alison in bioblog

A while ago now I discussed how some plants are able to warn others when they're under attack by grazing animals. Now it seems that these responses and interactions are even more subtle - a new paper describes how signalling...... Read more »

  • August 30, 2010
  • 11:07 PM

Thyroid Function and Inherited Human Longevity

by Reason in Fight Aging!

There is good reason to believe that levels of thyroid hormones, and the changes in thyroid function they represent, influence human longevity. These are amongst a number of hormones in the human body that touch on almost everything you would expect to influence life span over time: metabolic rate, cell growth, use and processing of food, and so forth. You might recall studies on the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine, or T3, for example: The hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid axis has been widely impl........ Read more »

Rozing MP, Houwing-Duistermaat JJ, Slagboom PE, Beekman M, Frölich M, de Craen AJ, Westendorp RG, & van Heemst D. (2010) Familial Longevity Is Associated with Decreased Thyroid Function. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. PMID: 20739380  

  • August 30, 2010
  • 05:38 PM

Assessing computationally designed enzymes

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

One of the most promising recent developments in computational biochemistry is the development of potential capability to design entirely new enzymes that can perform reactions inaccessible to naturally occurring proteins. Such enzymes can be of great utility as novel biofuels, synthetic reagents and new drugs. A particularly noteworthy set of publications in this regard were from David Baker’s and Ken Houk’s groups in Seattle and Los Angeles. In 2008, the groups designed an enzyme for perfo........ Read more »

Kiss, G., Röthlisberger, D., Baker, D., & Houk, K. (2010) Evaluation and ranking of enzyme designs. Protein Science. DOI: 10.1002/pro.462  

  • August 30, 2010
  • 03:30 PM

Yicaris – Progenitor of the Crustacea

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Finding any new fossil is rare. Finding invertebrate fossils is made even more rare because of the squishy nature of most invertebrates. Sometimes the wandering paleontologist, toiling away with utmost care through dust and debris, can find parts of squishy invertebrates like scolodonts (polychaete jaws), coral rubble, carbonate shell cement, or maybe sea star or sponge . . . → Read More: Yicaris – Progenitor of the Crustacea... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit