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  • October 8, 2010
  • 12:46 AM
  • 754 views

Measuring resilience to climate-change driven crop failure

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

A number of news outlets have picked up on a new article in Environmental Research Letters by Andy Challinor and a team at the University at Leeds.  The standard headline is "Crop Failures to Increase With Climate Change," but I think the much more interesting part of the research is the author's creation of a vulnerability index based on the historical crop data in China.  Essentially, they looked at periods of drought in the past, and examined how well farmers were able to mitigate t........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 08:02 PM
  • 862 views

More on genetically modified (Bt) corn: Is it an economic boon to all corn farmers?

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture


There’s a new paper in this week’s issue of Science that suggests that growing a landscape mixed with genetically modified (GM) Bt corn and non-GM hybrid varieties of corn can be mutually beneficial to all corn farmers.
Why?  They argue that the populations of GM corn knock down the populations of insect herbivores enough that, on [...]... Read more »

Hutchison, W., Burkness, E., Mitchell, P., Moon, R., Leslie, T., Fleischer, S., Abrahamson, M., Hamilton, K., Steffey, K., Gray, M.... (2010) Areawide Suppression of European Corn Borer with Bt Maize Reaps Savings to Non-Bt Maize Growers. Science, 330(6001), 222-225. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190242  

  • October 7, 2010
  • 06:44 PM
  • 363 views

Walking Bacteria – And some weighty researcher cahones

by Kevin in Food Matters

Now the damn biofilms let the bacteria get up and walk. We're doomed!... Read more »

Gibiansky, M., Conrad, J., Jin, F., Gordon, V., Motto, D., Mathewson, M., Stopka, W., Zelasko, D., Shrout, J., & Wong, G. (2010) Bacteria Use Type IV Pili to Walk Upright and Detach from Surfaces. Science, 330(6001), 197-197. DOI: 10.1126/science.1194238  

  • October 7, 2010
  • 04:29 PM
  • 1,065 views

Examining blocking lesions in ancient DNA

by epibio in EpiCentral

The characteristics of ancient DNA remain poorly understood. This is particularly true for blocking lesions (chemical alterations that cannot be bypassed by DNA polymerases). Blocking lesions prevent amplification and sequencing of affected molecules, thus limiting the analysis of DNA derived from ancient samples. Heyn et al. recently developed a new method--polymerase extension profiling (PEP)--that reveals occurrences of polymerase stalling on DNA templates. This sequencing-based technology al........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 12:35 PM
  • 1,598 views

Novel DNA repair mechanism described

by Rogue in Into Oblivion

DNA repair is a very interesting field to me even if I didn’t go into for my PhD. I’m still following the news from it though. Here is a summary from a study published in Nature several days ago which describes a novel mechanism for DNA repair.... Read more »

Emily H. Rubinson, A. S. Prakasha Gowda, Thomas E. Spratt, Barry Gold . (2010) An unprecedented nucleic acid capture mechanism for excision of DNA damage. Nature. info:/doi:10.1038/nature09428

  • October 7, 2010
  • 12:07 PM
  • 583 views

In honeybee collapse, cure the patient, not just the disease.

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

My first published article examined implications of the massive collapse of honeybee populations on business, so I feel compelled to comment on the latest development in the hunt for the cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD).
There is a new article out on the subject by a team led by University of Montana researchers and the US Army Chemical Biological center.  Using proteomic sequencing, they found two culprits in the bodies of dead bees: invertebrate iridescent virus (IIV), a long-stran........ Read more »

Bromenshenk, J., Henderson, C., Wick, C., Stanford, M., Zulich, A., Jabbour, R., Deshpande, S., McCubbin, P., Seccomb, R., Welch, P.... (2010) Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Decline. PLoS ONE, 5(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013181  

  • October 7, 2010
  • 10:52 AM
  • 991 views

It's a Micro World after all - RB: Waste Not, Want Not.

by Thomas Joseph in It's a Micro World after all (LabSpaces Edition)


Welcome to my first Research Blogging post here at LabSpaces! I'm not sure if this is a first for LabsSpaces, or simply a first for It's a Micro World after all, but regardless ... you're here now and you may as well stay for the fun! I grabbed a paper which caught my eye, and certainly generated a fair amount of buzz in the news, probably because it highl; (read more)

Source: Thomas Joseph - Discipline: Resear........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 09:50 AM
  • 988 views

Around the web: the dark side of behavioral biology

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

A link round-up on evolutionary psychology, rape, infanticide, and other nasty stuff.... Read more »

Thornhill, R, & Thornhill, NW. (1992) The evolutionary psychology of men's coercive sexuality. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 363-421. info:/

  • October 7, 2010
  • 09:00 AM
  • 713 views

Video: Cow Farts

by Torah Kachur, Rheanna Sand and Brit Trogen in Science in Seconds


For iPad/iPod users, click here.

Note:  Adult Language.



Cows are pretty harmless animals - they chew their cud, wait to get slaughtered or tipped and generally are inoffensive creatures. 

Until you smell their farts.

Cow farts are one of the most toxic things on the planet, the amount of methane they produce makes the oil industry look like angels.  So why is that people are flocking to their hybrid cars on the way to the steakhouse?  New research is s........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 06:14 AM
  • 715 views

MHC vs pathogens: Evolution showdown

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

I’m not finding time to give these papers a full post each, so let me pool together several in the same theme: MHC alleles and protection against pathogens. It’s generally accepted that the reason there are so many MHC alleles is related to their ability to protect against pathogens.1 The version is probably the frequency-dependent [...]... Read more »

Koehler, R., Walsh, A., Saathoff, E., Tovanabutra, S., Arroyo, M., Currier, J., Maboko, L., Hoelsher, M., Robb, M., Michael, N.... (2010) Class I HLA‐A*7401 Is Associated with Protection from HIV‐1 Acquisition and Disease Progression in Mbeya, Tanzania. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. DOI: 10.1086/656913  

MacNamara, A., Rowan, A., Hilburn, S., Kadolsky, U., Fujiwara, H., Suemori, K., Yasukawa, M., Taylor, G., Bangham, C., & Asquith, B. (2010) HLA Class I Binding of HBZ Determines Outcome in HTLV-1 Infection. PLoS Pathogens, 6(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001117  

  • October 7, 2010
  • 05:55 AM
  • 2,321 views

Finding platypus venom

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life






Platypuses*1 are one of Australia’s oddest creatures.
They’re furry, mainly nocturnal aquatic creatures that swim with their eyes shut paddling with their webbed front feet and steering (or braking) with their rear feet. Their homes are burrows in the river banks. While not endangered, water pollution is an issue for their survival.*2


Platypuses are monotremes, best known as [...]... Read more »

Whittington, C., Papenfuss, A., Locke, D., Mardis, E., Wilson, R., Abubucker, S., Mitreva, M., Wong, E., Hsu, A., Kuchel, P.... (2010) Novel venom gene discovery in the platypus. Genome Biology, 11(9). DOI: 10.1186/gb-2010-11-9-r95  

Warren WC, Hillier LW, Marshall Graves JA, Birney E, Ponting CP, Grützner F, Belov K, Miller W, Clarke L, Chinwalla AT.... (2008) Genome analysis of the platypus reveals unique signatures of evolution. Nature, 453(7192), 175-83. PMID: 18464734  

  • October 7, 2010
  • 01:00 AM
  • 1,002 views

Featured - RB: Waste Not, Want Not.

by Thomas Joseph in It's a Micro World after all (LabSpaces Edition)


Welcome to my first Research Blogging post here at LabSpaces! I'm not sure if this is a first for LabsSpaces, or simply a first for It's a Micro World after all, but regardless ... you're here now and you may as well stay for the fun! I grabbed a paper which caught my eye, and certainly generated a fair amount of buzz in the news, probably because it highl; (read more)

Source: Thomas Joseph - Discipline: Resear........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 10:43 PM
  • 551 views

Go with the blow: a non-invasive way to sample large whales…

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

A non-invasive strategy for ‘CETACEAN OBSERVATION’ (try to say that 5 times in a row):
Monitoring large populations of free-ranging whales for pathogens is extremely difficult because tissue samples are troublesome to obtain.  First, you’ve got to be close enough to physically remove a chunk of flesh, and second, you’re inflicting damage on the organism as [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 10:00 PM
  • 1,368 views

Sharks and Trophic Cascades: Cut and Dry?

by Chuck in Ya Like Dags?

A recent post over at Chronicles of Zostera referenced a paper that has become a monster in the world of marine ecology and shark conservation.  That paper: Myers et al. (2007).  It’s actually a relatively unassuming paper kind of tucked … Continue reading →... Read more »

Burgess, G., Beerkircher, L., Cailliet, G., Carlson, J., Cortés, E., Goldman, K., Grubbs, R., Musick, J., Musyl, M., & Simpfendorfer, C. (2005) Is the collapse of shark populations in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico real?. Fisheries, 30(10), 19-26. DOI: 10.1577/1548-8446(2005)30[19:ITCOSP]2.0.CO;2  

Ferretti F, Worm B, Britten GL, Heithaus MR, & Lotze HK. (2010) Patterns and ecosystem consequences of shark declines in the ocean. Ecology letters, 13(8), 1055-71. PMID: 20528897  

Myers RA, Baum JK, Shepherd TD, Powers SP, & Peterson CH. (2007) Cascading effects of the loss of apex predatory sharks from a coastal ocean. Science (New York, N.Y.), 315(5820), 1846-50. PMID: 17395829  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:46 PM
  • 630 views

When errors detract from the message, who is to blame?

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow


I am trying to read a paper right now but there are so many mistakes in it that I am really having trouble getting at the science because I am going mad over the errors.  Harikrishnan et al (2010) have written what is otherwise an important review piece about scuticociliatosis, which is a grab-bag name for the disease caused by several types of ciliated protists (single-celled organisms).  Two drugs are misspelled in the abstract (gentamycin as gentamycine and amoxicilin as amoxycilil........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:04 PM
  • 804 views

My IVF story: after conception, being preggers

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

This is the second post of four on my experience with IVF and pregnancy, and my thinking on its broader meaning to the public and to anthropology. Find the first post here.PreggersA few weeks after the positive blood test, I had my ultrasound where we saw a tiny little bean and a beating heart. During this time I was having what felt like bad menstrual cramps. The nurse told me this was quite normal, but I still spent a lot of mental energy fretting over it. The rest of the first trimester was p........ Read more »

Decker, E., Engelmann, G., Findeisen, A., Gerner, P., Laass, M., Ney, D., Posovszky, C., Hoy, L., & Hornef, M. (2010) Cesarean Delivery Is Associated With Celiac Disease but Not Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Children. PEDIATRICS, 125(6). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-2260  

de Groot LC, Boekholt HA, Spaaij CK, van Raaij JM, Drijvers JJ, van der Heijden LJ, van der Heide D, & Hautvast JG. (1994) Energy balances of healthy Dutch women before and during pregnancy: limited scope for metabolic adaptations in pregnancy. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 59(4), 827-32. PMID: 8147326  

Johnstone, F., Prescott, R., Steel, J., Mao, J., Chambers, S., & Muir, N. (1996) Clinical and ultrasound prediction of macrosomia in diabetic pregnancy. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 103(8), 747-754. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1996.tb09868.x  

Roduit, C., Scholtens, S., de Jongste, J., Wijga, A., Gerritsen, J., Postma, D., Brunekreef, B., Hoekstra, M., Aalberse, R., & Smit, H. (2009) Asthma at 8 years of age in children born by caesarean section. Thorax, 64(2), 107-113. DOI: 10.1136/thx.2008.100875  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 04:10 PM
  • 882 views

My IVF story: after conception, being preggers

by Kate Clancy in Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology

This is the second of a four part series on IVF, pregnancy and labor.... Read more »

Decker, E., Engelmann, G., Findeisen, A., Gerner, P., Laass, M., Ney, D., Posovszky, C., Hoy, L., & Hornef, M. (2010) Cesarean Delivery Is Associated With Celiac Disease but Not Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Children. PEDIATRICS, 125(6). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-2260  

de Groot LC, Boekholt HA, Spaaij CK, van Raaij JM, Drijvers JJ, van der Heijden LJ, van der Heide D, & Hautvast JG. (1994) Energy balances of healthy Dutch women before and during pregnancy: limited scope for metabolic adaptations in pregnancy. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 59(4), 827-32. PMID: 8147326  

Johnstone, F., Prescott, R., Steel, J., Mao, J., Chambers, S., & Muir, N. (1996) Clinical and ultrasound prediction of macrosomia in diabetic pregnancy. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 103(8), 747-754. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1996.tb09868.x  

Roduit, C., Scholtens, S., de Jongste, J., Wijga, A., Gerritsen, J., Postma, D., Brunekreef, B., Hoekstra, M., Aalberse, R., & Smit, H. (2009) Asthma at 8 years of age in children born by caesarean section. Thorax, 64(2), 107-113. DOI: 10.1136/thx.2008.100875  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 04:07 PM
  • 976 views

It’s a kangaroo… It’s a llama… No, it’s Palorchestes!

by Laelaps in Laelaps

In his 1931 account of fieldwork in Patagonia, Attending Marvels, the 20th century paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson considered the appropriateness of the phrase “fossil hunting” to his profession:
Fossil hunting is far the most fascinating of all sports. I speak for myself, although I do not see how any true sportsman could fail to agree with [...]... Read more »

Mackness, B.S. (2008) Reconstructing Palorchestes (Marsupialia: Palorchestidae) - from Giant Kangaroo to Marsupial ‘Tapir’. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 21-36. info:/

  • October 6, 2010
  • 03:56 PM
  • 2,341 views

Flying and Biting in the London Underground

by Lucas in thoughtomics






In the early September days of 1941, the German Luftwaffe started a prolonged bombardment of London which would later become known as ‘the Blitz‘. As the bombs continued to drop for months, thousands of Londoners sought refuge in the underground railway system.
During the most intense periods of bombardment, the London [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 03:55 PM
  • 414 views

Is it Easy to be an Urban New York Ant?

by Michael Long in Phased

Marko Pecarevic (Columbia University, United States; and State Institute for Nature Protection, Croatia) and coworkers have found that three ant species overwhelmingly dominate heavily urbanized environments in New York City, with implications in natural adaptation to an increasingly urban world. This news feature was written on October 6, 2010.... Read more »

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