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  • February 2, 2011
  • 08:46 AM
  • 850 views

Putting Hypsipetes in the passerine tree

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology



One of my long-running plans on Tet Zoo has been to review passerine phylogeny. After decades of people saying that oscine passerines are (except larks and corvids) far too alike for anyone to construct a sensible phylogeny, a flurry of (mostly molecular) studies have meant that - as I like to say - the passerine tree is finally coming together. Alas, I'm nowhere near able to review current hypotheses of passerine evolution in depth (and didn't I say something recently about not starting any n........ Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:00 AM
  • 705 views

New Recipe for iPS Cells

by Sanford- Burnham in Beaker

Generating iPS cells can be an arduous task. Reprogramming differentiated adult cells into iPS cells requires so many steps and so much time that the efficiency rate is very low – you might end up with only a few iPS cells even if you started with a million skin cells. So a team set out to improve the process. In a paper published February 1, 2011 in The EMBO Journal, they uncovered microRNAs (miRNAs) that are important during reprogramming and exploited them to make the transition from skin c........ Read more »

Li, Z., Yang, C., Nakashima, K., & Rana, T. (2011) Small RNA-mediated regulation of iPS cell generation. The EMBO Journal. DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2011.2  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 12:59 AM
  • 936 views

The Sophisticated, Imperfect Relationship between miRNAs and their Targets

by Linda Lin in Oz Blog No. 159

Perfect matches aren't always desirable in nature. despite what eharmony & plenty of fish tells you. And you shouldn't hanker for it either. Imperfections are what make matches harmonious..for gene silencing by miRNAs. macroscopic relationships are other people's problems, like...... Read more »

Schwab, R., & Voinnet, O. (2010) RNA silencing amplification in plants: Size matters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(34), 14945-14946. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1009416107  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 12:45 AM
  • 567 views

Oral Contraceptives and Weight Gain: Data and Anecdotes

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

@noahwg linked an article (or a blog post?  It seems more like a blog post) in the NY Times today, on oral contraceptives and weight gain. The post covers a review of various clinical trials (there are only three listed, but that’s because they are using the most stringent measures of three treatment trials per [...]... Read more »

Gallo MF, Lopez LM, Grimes DA, Schulz KF, & Helmerhorst FM. (2008) Combination contraceptives: effects on weight. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 18843652  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 11:12 PM
  • 575 views

Green tea consumption associated with depressive symptoms

by mercurialmind in Mercurialmind Matters

green tea associated with depressive symptoms... Read more »

Niu, K., Hozawa, A., Kuriyama, S., Ebihara, S., Guo, H., Nakaya, N., Ohmori-Matsuda, K., Takahashi, H., Masamune, Y., Asada, M.... (2009) Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(6), 1615-1622. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28216  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 08:44 PM
  • 1,977 views

The Oxygen Rush: late January, all of February and a Day in November

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

I have just returned from British Columbia in Canada. I have to admit that their license plate motto is quite accurate: BC is incredibly beautiful. Another thing that struck me is the provincial flag of BC: the Union Jack at the top (OK, it is British Columbia), there are white and blue horizontal stripes, and [...]... Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 07:08 PM
  • 1,734 views

Red Means Go: Coral, Color, and Climate Change

by Rick MacPherson in Deep Sea News

Acropora millepora aquarium colony grown from fragment, www.reefclub.or.kr
One of the defining decision points of life: Settle-down and make a living close to the familiar particulars of your birthplace or venture out to get a fresh start and be exposed to additional opportunities and experiences that “somewhere else” could open up.
In addition to vexing angsty young . . . → Read More: Red Means Go: Coral, Color, and Climate Change... Read more »

C. D. Kenkel, M. R. Traylor, J. Wiedenmann, A. Salih, M. V. Matz. (2011) Fluorescence of coral larvae predicts their settlement response to crustose coralline algae and reflects stress. . Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. info:/10.1098/rspb.2010.2344

  • February 1, 2011
  • 05:09 PM
  • 1,570 views

SHOAL

by Julia Whitty in Deep Blue Home

(Photo by suneko's wife, at Flickr.)How can so many—fill in the blank—fish, birds, grasshoppers move as one, often at lightning-fast speed, without killing most members in the process? How can they manage to get anything done in the midst of what seems to be barely-controlled chaos?(Photo by Dead Fish, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.) First up: Shoaling is defined as fish hanging out in groups for social reasons—for predator detection, for better foraging, for mate selection, and/or........ Read more »

Ward, A., Herbert-Read, J., Sumpter, D., & Krause, J. (2011) Fast and accurate decisions through collective vigilance in fish shoals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1007102108  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 04:16 PM
  • 1,722 views

Diagnosing schistosomiasis: urine-based tests better than traditional assays?

by geekheartsscience in geek!

Taken from Wikipedia Intestinal schistosomiasis (caused by the parasite Schistosoma mansoni) can be detected easily and accurately by measuring levels of an excreted parasite antigen called circulating cathodic antigen, or CCA, in an individual’s urine, according to new research published … Continue reading →... Read more »

Shane, H., Verani, J., Abudho, B., Montgomery, S., Blackstock, A., Mwinzi, P., Butler, S., Karanja, D., & Secor, W. (2011) Evaluation of Urine CCA Assays for Detection of Schistosoma mansoni Infection in Western Kenya. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000951  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 03:59 PM
  • 938 views

Microbes Make it Snow

by microbialmodus in Microbial Modus

The recent snow and ice, and deeper snow, and even more ice, across much of the U.S. over the past few weeks have finally inspired me to put together my first post for the new year.  You’re probably wondering how on earth microbes have anything to do with the 3 feet of snow you had [...]... Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 02:20 PM
  • 1,211 views

modENCODE: the data bonanza ensues

by Mary in OpenHelix

Another of the “big data” projects that is underway is the ENCODE project, or Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, to provide comprehensive annotation of genomic elements.  Some people are aware of this and are using the data already. If you aren’t, you should check out the online tutorial, freely available because it is sponsored by the UCSC ENCODE Data Coordination Center (DCC) team, for an overview of the organization and availability of the ENCODE mammal data that you can find in........ Read more »

Celniker, S., Dillon, L., Gerstein, M., Gunsalus, K., Henikoff, S., Karpen, G., Kellis, M., Lai, E., Lieb, J., MacAlpine, D.... (2009) Unlocking the secrets of the genome. Nature, 459(7249), 927-930. DOI: 10.1038/459927a  

Gerstein, M., Lu, Z., Van Nostrand, E., Cheng, C., Arshinoff, B., Liu, T., Yip, K., Robilotto, R., Rechtsteiner, A., Ikegami, K.... (2010) Integrative Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans Genome by the modENCODE Project. Science, 330(6012), 1775-1787. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196914  

The modENCODE Consortium., Roy, S., Ernst, J., Kharchenko, P., Kheradpour, P., Negre, N., Eaton, M., Landolin, J., Bristow, C., Ma, L.... (2010) Identification of Functional Elements and Regulatory Circuits by Drosophila modENCODE. Science, 330(6012), 1787-1797. DOI: 10.1126/science.1198374  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 12:37 PM
  • 1,159 views

Oxytocin, ethnocentrism and "hormonal determinism"

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

There is an inordinate readiness, both within scientific circles and in popular scientific understanding, to ascribe direct causation to the actions of hormones, especially when it comes to moods and behaviors. For example, consider how you’d usually interpret the common expression “being hormonal”. I consider the thought that hormones somehow “control” our moods and behaviors a falsehood; a popular misunderstanding or oversimplification that hinders the understanding of what’s actu........ Read more »

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Van Kleef, G., Shalvi, S., & Handgraaf, M. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015316108  

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Handgraaf, M., Shalvi, S., Van Kleef, G., Baas, M., Ten Velden, F., Van Dijk, E., & Feith, S. (2010) The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Regulates Parochial Altruism in Intergroup Conflict Among Humans. Science, 328(5984), 1408-1411. DOI: 10.1126/science.1189047  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 12:02 PM
  • 1,569 views

ppGpp mediates cross-talk between the stringent and acid stress responses

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

We know that stringent response alarmone ppGpp can do about anything, interacting with RNA Polymerase, translational GTPases, polynucleotide phosphorylase, DnaG primase, IMP dehydrogenase and adenylosuccinate synthetase to name a few. In general the result is: production of ribosomes and tRNAs is halted, cell cycle is arrested, and amino acids produced.Well, now one more target was discovered, lysine decarboxylase Ldc1/CadA. Lysine decarboxylase is induced upon acid stress conditions and protect........ Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 10:50 AM
  • 996 views

Footsteps of a Dinosaur Deity

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

In 1999, construction workers creating a highway from Tibet’s Bangda Airport to Changdu County uncovered a set of enormous tracks. They had been left more than 160 million years ago by a large sauropod dinosaur, but the local Tibetan people had other interpretations. Some believed that the tracks had been left by the “Deity of [...]... Read more »

Xing, Li-da; Harris, Jerald; Currie, Philip. (2011) First record of dinosaur trackway from Tibet, China. Geological Bulletin of China, 30(1), 173-178. info:/

  • February 1, 2011
  • 08:34 AM
  • 1,399 views

Self-Help for Seabirds: How to manage your time and outcompete your neighbors for maximum survival

by Hannah Waters in Sleeping with the Fishes

Last night was my first night in NYC and, as such, it was my first experience with modern-day human foraging: the Trader Joes in Chelsea at 7:30 pm.  Despite the many shelves previously stuffed with various types of bagged lettuce, there was NO LETTUCE LEFT.  No granola bars.  The customers were nasty, ramming their carts into me to get to the dried cranberries.  While sometimes I’ve been to groceries that have been out of a particular item I wanted, I have never thought to myself, &#........ Read more »

Masello, J., Mundry, R., Poisbleau, M., Demongin, L., Voigt, C., Wikelski, M., & Quillfeldt, P. (2010) Diving seabirds share foraging space and time within and among species. Ecosphere, 1(6). DOI: 10.1890/ES10-00103.1  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 06:19 AM
  • 1,475 views

The hot and cold of butterfly dancing

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

Hypothesis: environmental temperatures experienced by developing larvae and/or pupae of the butterfly, Bicyclus anynana, controls expression of behaviour and morphology... Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 06:10 AM
  • 1,755 views

Guest post: One cartwheel to rule them all (and in 9-fold symmetry bind them!)

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

Centrioles play a key part in cell division – faults can lead to cancer – yet we know little about how they themselves duplicate. Dr John Vakonakis, a Wellcome Trust Research Development Fellow at the University of Oxford, explains how new research is providing some clues. Every day in our lives millions of cells inside [...]... Read more »

Kitagawa D, Vakonakis I, Olieric N, Hilbert M, Keller D, Olieric V, Bortfeld M, Erat MC, Flückiger I, Gönczy P.... (2011) Structural Basis of the 9-Fold Symmetry of Centrioles. Cell. PMID: 21277013  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 06:06 AM
  • 1,037 views

Can fluorescent-‘labelled’ viruses illuminate their mechanisms of pathogenesis?

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

Have you ever wanted to visualise viral infection? Ever wanted to observe how they enter and spread throughout their host organism? Ever wanted to know how exactly they caused disease – at the cellular and whole-organism level? Well, this may be entirely possible using fluorescent-labeled recombinant viruses infecting a relevant model system. So how does [...]... Read more »

Lemon, K., de Vries, R., Mesman, A., McQuaid, S., van Amerongen, G., Yüksel, S., Ludlow, M., Rennick, L., Kuiken, T., Rima, B.... (2011) Early Target Cells of Measles Virus after Aerosol Infection of Non-Human Primates. PLoS Pathogens, 7(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001263  

Coombes, J., & Robey, E. (2010) Dynamic imaging of host–pathogen interactions in vivo. Nature Reviews Immunology, 10(5), 353-364. DOI: 10.1038/nri2746  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 06:06 AM
  • 3,036 views

Can fluorescent-‘labelled’ viruses illuminate their mechanisms of pathogenesis?

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

Have you ever wanted to visualise viral infection? Ever wanted to observe how they enter and spread throughout their host organism? Ever wanted to know how exactly they caused disease - at the cellular and whole-organism level? Well, this may be entirely possible using fluorescent-labeled recombinant viruses infecting a relevant model system.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="504" caption="GFP-virus infected cells"][/caption]So how does it work?Lemon et al recently report the continued in........ Read more »

Lemon, K., de Vries, R., Mesman, A., McQuaid, S., van Amerongen, G., Yüksel, S., Ludlow, M., Rennick, L., Kuiken, T., Rima, B.... (2011) Early Target Cells of Measles Virus after Aerosol Infection of Non-Human Primates. PLoS Pathogens, 7(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001263  

Coombes, J., & Robey, E. (2010) Dynamic imaging of host–pathogen interactions in vivo. Nature Reviews Immunology, 10(5), 353-364. DOI: 10.1038/nri2746  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 05:35 AM
  • 2,145 views

The hot and cold of butterfly dancing

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

Hypothesis: environmental temperatures experienced by developing larvae and/or pupae of the butterfly, Bicyclus anynana, controls expression of behaviour and morphology ... Read more »

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