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  • May 10, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Mountains of Pelagic Diversity

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow

If you ever saw the dramatic seamount scene in Blue Planet (and if you haven’t, where ya been??), then you are probably familiar with the idea that submarine mountains can attract lots of animals; as Attenborough puts it, they “create oases where life can flourish in the comparatively empty expanses of the open ocean”.  In that spectacular BBC sequence, jacks and tuna swarm an Eastern Pacific ... Read more »

Morato, T., Hoyle, S., Allain, V., & Nicol, S. (2010) Seamounts are hotspots of pelagic biodiversity in the open ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910290107  

  • May 10, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Assessing the vulnerability of coasts to sea-level rise

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Coastlines around the world will be affected by rising sea level over the next several decades. In some places, the impacts will be severe as flooding, erosion, and storm surge cause damage to coastal towns and transform habitats for coastal species. The big question for resource managers and planners: Where are the most vulnerable places?... Read more »

  • May 10, 2010
  • 12:59 AM

The Incredible Healing Mouse

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

This is one of those things that isn't really related to neuroscience, to weird science, or to any of Sci's normal science. Really, it was just something Sci found (in various places), and thought was really awesome. Cause it is!



For those who know about working with rodents, it looks like a rat, don't it? It's a mouse! But it looks like a rat because these dudes are some big boys. This is an MRL mouse, which stands for 'Murphy Roths Lar........ Read more »

Bedelbaeva K, Snyder A, Gourevitch D, Clark L, Zhang XM, Leferovich J, Cheverud JM, Lieberman P, & Heber-Katz E. (2010) Lack of p21 expression links cell cycle control and appendage regeneration in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(13), 5845-50. PMID: 20231440  

  • May 9, 2010
  • 05:32 PM

The Island Submarine Canyon: Buffet, Biodiversity Hot Spot, and Squirrel Heaven

by Jennifer Frazer in The Artful Amoeba

Have you ever wondered what happens to stuff that falls into the ocean from shore? Where does it go? What happens to it? Well, if it’s plastic or something else floaty, it’ll likely end up in some vast floating garbage vortex, as we apparently have, in our apathy, created in several locations on the planet. [...]... Read more »

  • May 9, 2010
  • 03:40 PM

An Ode to the Nematode

by avi_wener in American Biotechnologist

C. elegans is probably the most versatile nematode’s known to molecular and developmental biotechnologists. It has been in use in laboratories since 1974 and was the first multicellular organism to have its entire genome sequenced. As one of the simplest organisms with a nervous system, it is a favorite research specimen of neurobiologists world-wide. [...]... Read more »

Oren-Suissa M, Hall DH, Treinin M, Shemer G, & Podbilewicz B. (2010) The Fusogen EFF-1 Controls Sculpting of Mechanosensory Dendrites. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 20448153  

  • May 9, 2010
  • 01:23 PM

New insights into sensory representations-Lessons from the auditory cortex

by Varun in Wissenschaft

In the brain, there are highly ordered representations of sensory input. The existence of orientation columns in the visual cortex where columns of neurons situated next to each other respond to slightly different stimulus orientations and the barrel cortex in S1 where each barrel faithfully receives inputs from one whisker are testimony to this. Recently two papers in the same issue of Nature Neuroscience dealt with the fidelity of sensory representations in the auditory cortex. Rothschild et ........ Read more »

Castro JB, & Kandler K. (2010) Changing tune in auditory cortex. Nature neuroscience, 13(3), 271-3. PMID: 20177415  

Bandyopadhyay S, Shamma SA, & Kanold PO. (2010) Dichotomy of functional organization in the mouse auditory cortex. Nature neuroscience, 13(3), 361-8. PMID: 20118924  

  • May 9, 2010
  • 04:03 AM

Neanderthals and humans got fiddly

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

The big news this week in evolution is of course the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome, and the evidence that humans carry some DNA from our extinct cousins. The paper was published in Science yesterday, and has a total of 56 authors, including team leader Svante Pääbo.... Read more »

Green RE, Krause J, Briggs AW, Maricic T, Stenzel U, Kircher M, Patterson N, Li H, Zhai W, Fritz MH.... (2010) A draft sequence of the Neandertal genome. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5979), 710-22. PMID: 20448178  

  • May 8, 2010
  • 07:38 PM

Better the metagenome you know than the metagenome you don't...

by Daemios in Rudimenthos

Morgan, J., Darling, A., & Eisen, J. (2010). Metagenomic Sequencing of an In Vitro-Simulated Microbial Community PLoS ONE, 5 (4) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010209A new era for the design of metagenomic controls starts! Morgan et al. present the benchmarking of metagenomic tools using artificial "microbial communities" mixed up in the lab.The Hook...Metagenomics is a fancy name for what's actually a large and obscure toolbox of molecular biology procedures and computational algorithms that p........ Read more »

  • May 8, 2010
  • 06:53 PM

Motivating a Cumulative Cognitive Neuroscience

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Why are large-scale structured databases and meta-analyses important to advance the field of human brain mapping? One reason is that individual functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies can be notoriously unreliable and underpowered (Bennett & Miller, 2010; Fliessbach et al., 2010; Kriegeskorte et al., 2009; Vul et al., 2009). At the recent CNS 2010 Annual Meeting, symposium organizer Dr. Tal Yarkoni gave the first talk in a session on the value of a cumulative cognitive neurosc........ Read more »

  • May 8, 2010
  • 11:57 AM

Catch-All Solution

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Eliminating fishery bycatch isn’t always a good idea

... Read more »

  • May 8, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

How Far Can a Bird Fly Nonstop During Migration?

by John Beetham in A DC Birding Blog

Bar-tailed Godwits / Image: Phil Battley Recent studies using satellite telemetry or geolocators have shown that some bird species are capable of very long nonstop flight during migration, far longer than previously thought. Some of the longest belong to Bar-tailed Godwits, which have been tracked performing nonstop flights of over 11,000 km (or about 7,000 miles). Ruddy Turnstones perform similarly impressive flights. A new study in PLoS Biology tries to measure whether there are any limits to ........ Read more »

  • May 8, 2010
  • 05:21 AM

sex, drugs, and a clinical case of denial

by Greg Fish in weird things

The plagues of the Dark Ages are often considered to be one of the worst epidemics humans ever faced. With no sanitary practices, germ theory, or scientific medicine to speak of, the diseases were unstoppable and the patients’ survival depended solely on their luck and the strength of their immune systems. Today, we’re better off [...]... Read more »

  • May 7, 2010
  • 06:50 PM

So it turns out that software and living beings are different...

by David Basanta in Cancerevo: Cancer evolution

Mathematical and computational biologists use algorithms to model and understand biological phenomena but as useful as computer systems are to modellers they also represent an example of what biological systems are not: designed. A recent study by researchers in...... Read more »

  • May 7, 2010
  • 05:02 PM

Chemical Espionage, Anti-Aphrodisiacs and Hitchhiking…all in a Day’s Work for a Parasitoid Wasp!

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

Evolution has resulted in a remarkable array of reproductive strategies in the animal kingdom.  After all, if one is unsuccessful in passing on one’s genetic blueprints there was really not much point in being alive in the first place.  Several invertebrate organisms employ a ‘polyandrous’ sexual system, wherein a female mates with several males.  It [...]... Read more »

  • May 7, 2010
  • 03:11 PM

The three layers of the Neandertal cake

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

I assume by now that everyone has read A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome. It’s free to all, so you should. At least look at the figures. Also, if you haven’t at least skimmed the supplement, you should do that as well. It’s nearly 200 pages, and basically feels more like a collection 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  

  • May 7, 2010
  • 11:50 AM

Compensating for alien genes…

by Jim Caryl in mental indigestion

“FROM the perspective of a bacterium, higher eukaryotes are oversexed, unadventurous and reproduce in an inconvenient way.” So says Pål Johnsen and Bruce Levin in their commentary of today’s article for discussion, and nary a truer word said; but in retort one may ask: inconvenient as reproduction may be, bacteria clearly have no sense of [...]

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  • May 7, 2010
  • 10:03 AM

The Dwarf Dinosaurs of Haţeg Island

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

For hundreds of years, people have been finding the remains of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in Romania’s Haţeg basin. The Cretaceous-age deposits are remnants of prehistoric islands that sported their own unique faunas, but in the days before fossils were recognized as being the remains of once-living animals, many considered them to be the [...]... Read more »

  • May 7, 2010
  • 09:02 AM

Shining Light on the Walking Pathway

by Promega Corporation in Promega Connections

Central pattern generators (CPGs) are neural networks in the spinal cord that generate the rhythmic patterns observed in many complex movements like chewing, breathing and walking. Within CPGs excitatory glutamatergic neurons have been implicated in generating these rhythmic patterns, and glutamatergic neurons in the hindbrain region that extend into the spinal cord are thought to [...]... Read more »

  • May 7, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Ancient Sex Scandals: Did We Get It On With Neandertals?

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

This week, Science published two papers about the genetics of Neandertals from a team of scientists based at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology. The first (which is the only one anyone seems to really care about) gives a draft version of the entire Neandertal genome - a whopping 4 billion base pairs of DNA. They use this information to look for genomic regions that may have been affected by positive selection in ancestral modern humans that led to their separation from Neander........ 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  

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