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  • February 27, 2011
  • 03:28 PM

Omics approach shows fewer changes from GE than breeding and environment

by David Tribe in Biofortified

From GMO Pundit. Ricroch AE, Bergé JB, & Kuntz M (2011). Evaluation of genetically engineered crops using transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic profiling techniques. Plant physiology PMID: 21350035 The authors conducted a literature survey on 44 recent “omic” comparisons between GE and non-GE crop lines. Those profiling techniques (transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) have been increasingly applied to the analysis of genetically engineered (GE) crop plants with regard to t........ Read more »

  • February 27, 2011
  • 09:56 AM

Deprived, Deranged and Disrupted

by perishedcore in Changing Heart and Mind

Research about sleep inevitably leads to circadian rhythms and CLOCK genes. One group of researchers goes farther and suggests that 24 hour exposure to light beyond that produced by the denizens of space and the moon and demands which interfere or replace traditional sleep wake cycles may be doing damage beyond imagination. Circadian (daily) rhythms [...]... Read more »

Karatsoreos IN, Bhagat S, Bloss EB, Morrison JH, & McEwen BS. (2011) Disruption of circadian clocks has ramifications for metabolism, brain, and behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(4), 1657-62. PMID: 21220317  

  • February 27, 2011
  • 07:43 AM

Patients, pathogens, ecosystems

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

“A terrified man realizing he has just contracted the plague, surrounded by a group of people.” By E.M. Ward, 1848. Even the most lethal pathogens we know of don’t kill every single infected individual.1. Sometimes this is because the pathogen that infects the person is relatively weak. Sometimes it’s because the dose was low. And [...]... Read more »

  • February 27, 2011
  • 12:59 AM

Genomic Imprinting VI: Hemimethylation

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, last time, we discussed the fact that the expression differences associated with genomic imprinting rely on the existence of epigenetic differences, such as DNA methylation. We also mentioned that those differences are established separately in the male and female germ lines. That is, one methylation pattern is established in the female germ line during oogenesis (egg formation), while a different pattern is established in the male germ line during spermatogenesis (sperm formation).

It is s........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2011
  • 09:23 PM

Lunar cycles and reproduction in the deep sea

by Uncharted Atolls in Uncharted Atolls

Some biological patterns in marine species, particularly concerning reproduction, are related to the moon.  Shallow-ocean corals, for example, undergo mass spawning events (the synchronous release of eggs and sperm into the water column to combine), the timing of which, are set to the lunar clock.  Reef fishes, shallow-ocean echinoderms, mollusks and more, also time spawning [...]... Read more »

Ramirez-Llodra E, et al. (2010) Deep, diverse and definitely different: unique attributes of the world’s largest ecosystem. Biogeosciences, 7(9), 2851-2899. info:/10.5194/bgd-7-2361-2010

  • February 26, 2011
  • 04:23 PM

Striped Bass Eat Too Much

by Chuck in Ya Like Dags?

Ah, the majestic striped bass. It’s been called the “perfect fish” by enthusiastic anglers, and represents one of the greatest successes of fisheries management in North America. It fights like a demon when hooked and is delicious when baked. Anglers … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 25, 2011
  • 10:43 AM

The many magnificent subspecies of Argali

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

Back in May 2007 I wrote a few articles about the world's wild sheep (Welcome.... to the world of sheep and Return.... to the world of sheep). If you're here for the dinosaurs, pterosaurs, pygmy mammoths and lake monster photos, you might regard wild sheep as pretty boring animals. But they're clearly not - they're incredible and spectacular in appearance, often surprisingly large, and they live wild lives in beautiful, wild locations. And they're highly popular, and the source of great fascin........ Read more »

  • February 25, 2011
  • 10:36 AM

Flowers, Pine Cones and Dinosaurs

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

When we think about the Mesozoic world, dinosaurs often dominate our attention. They are the stars of countless museum displays and restorations, and everything else about their world just seems like window dressing. When visitors to Yale’s Peabody Museum look at Rudolph Zallinger’s beautiful (if outdated) “Age of Reptiles” mural, their attention is drawn to [...]... Read more »

  • February 25, 2011
  • 08:24 AM

So, how do you know when a vaccine is safe?

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

How can you tell how safe a vaccine is?

Mumps, a highly infectious viral disease, has been largely eradicated in the developed world following the introduction of a highly effective live-attenuated vaccine. Highlighted by well-publicized outbreaks in the U.S and U.K, the number of cases, however, has risen causing worldwide alarm. The reasons for this re-emergence have yet to be fully elucidated but most likely are due to a number of factors, including waning immunity and poor vaccine cover........ Read more »

  • February 25, 2011
  • 05:30 AM

The cycle that ends the cycle

by Becky in It Takes 30

Senescence is the sign of a cell that’s given up.  Cells that have reached the “Hayflick Limit” — usually 40-60 divisions for non-transformed cells in cell culture — can no longer divide; this observation, which was a surprise at the time, led to the coining of the term cellular senescence. One reason that cells become [...]... Read more »

Passos JF, Nelson G, Wang C, Richter T, Simillion C, Proctor CJ, Miwa S, Olijslagers S, Hallinan J, Wipat A.... (2010) Feedback between p21 and reactive oxygen production is necessary for cell senescence. Molecular systems biology, 347. PMID: 20160708  

  • February 25, 2011
  • 01:35 AM

Testosterone and Estrogen Have Opposite Effects on a Gene Thought to be Underexpressed in Autism

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

Describes the regulation by steroid hormones of a hormone-dependent transcription factor, ROR-alpha, that enhances transcription of several key genes involved in lipid metabolism, brain development and regulating cell division. This gene is thought to be underexpressed in autistic people, based on two studies that I also discuss in the post.... Read more »

  • February 25, 2011
  • 01:19 AM

Friday Weird Science: Killin’ Prey With My Super Scary…Glue Gun!

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Today is my second synchro-blogging of the week! When Laelaps showed me the video that went with this paper, and explained the concept…I was HOOKED. We had to blog it. It’s too good. It’s too GROSS. Just you wait.  So we HAVE blogged it, and when you’re done reading this, go over to Laelaps and [...]... Read more »

Haritos, V., Niranjane, A., Weisman, S., Trueman, H., Sriskantha, A., & Sutherland, T. (2010) Harnessing disorder: onychophorans use highly unstructured proteins, not silks, for prey capture. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1698), 3255-3263. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0604  

  • February 25, 2011
  • 01:19 AM

A Promising New Drug for Cystic Fibrosis

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Today I got a call from a patient with cystic fibrosis, asking if I knew much about a specific mutation called 2184-del-A. It was a striking conversation, particularly because I tend to envision about infants and young children when I think about CF, and this woman was clearly an adult, a working professional, who had [...]... Read more »

  • February 25, 2011
  • 12:49 AM

In the Web of the Velvet Worm

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Author’s Note: This post is a bit of synchroblogging with Scicurious. Check out Neurotic Physiology for her excellent post on the same study.
I used to think that velvet worms were kind of cute. Living members of a very old lineage of multi-legged invertebrates – the Onychophora, which stretches back over 505 million years ago to [...]... Read more »

  • February 24, 2011
  • 11:20 PM

Papaya sex chromosomes

by theshortearedowl in theshortearedowl

Papaya was an early success story of transgenics research, to prevent a nasty disease called papaya ringspot virus wiping out the industry on Hawaii (and elsewhere – but Hawaii is where they got the funding and did the work). Resistant transgenic varieties were developed in the early 1990s. Substantial genetic data was generated, eventually leading [...]... Read more »

Yu Q, Hou S, Hobza R, Feltus FA, Wang X, Jin W, Skelton RL, Blas A, Lemke C, Saw JH.... (2007) Chromosomal location and gene paucity of the male specific region on papaya Y chromosome. Molecular genetics and genomics : MGG, 278(2), 177-85. PMID: 17520292  

  • February 24, 2011
  • 05:36 PM

Synophalos and the Cambrian Conga Lines

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Compared to other creatures of the Cambrian seas, Synophalos xynos seems rather plain. It was not a living pincushion like Wiwaxia, its body did not resemble a walking cactus like Diania, and it wasn’t a five-eyed, schnozzle-faced enigma like Opabinia. Next to these fantastic forms, Synophalos looks like little more than a peeled shrimp, but [...]... Read more »

Hou, X., Siveter, D., Aldridge, R., & Siveter, D. (2008) Collective Behavior in an Early Cambrian Arthropod. Science, 322(5899), 224-224. DOI: 10.1126/science.1162794  

ANDRZEJ RADWAŃSKI, ADRIAN KIN, AND URSZULA RADWAŃSKA. (2009) Queues of blind phacopid trilobites Trimerocephalus: A case of frozen behaviour of Early Famennian age from the Holy Cross Mountains, Central Poland. Acta Geologica Polonica, 59(4), 459-481. info:/

  • February 24, 2011
  • 12:08 PM

Hibernation: News from the Bear’s Den

by Jim Ryan in Wild Mammals

True hibernation is particularly well understood in small mammals (i.e. ground squirrels), where core body temperatures drop to near freezing for several days or weeks during profound hibernation. Metabolic activity also declines precipitously during hibernation to roughly 5% of their non-hibernating basal metabolic rate (BMR).

...In contrast, bears hibernate for up to 7 months continuously without eating, drinking or excreting wastes (Figure 1). Unlike smaller mammalian hibernators, core ........ Read more »

Øivind Tøien1, John Blake, Dale M. Edgar, Dennis A. Grahn, H. Craig Heller, & Brian M. Barnes. (2011) Hibernation in Black Bears: Independence of Metabolic Suppression from Body Temperature. Science, 906-909. info:/10.1126/science.1199435

  • February 24, 2011
  • 10:11 AM

Curing Cancer with Dwarfism, Down syndrome, and Vegetables

by A. Goldstein in WiSci

With the world abuzz about dwarfism preventing cancer, we wondered: what other sorts of genetic tinkering can, unexpectedly, prevent or cure cancer? Dwarfism Laron syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes dwarfism. Individuals with Laron syndrome possess a mutation on the GHR gene, rendering the gene defective and body insensitive to human growth hormone—hence stunted [...]... Read more »

Guevara-Aguirre, J., Balasubramanian, P., Guevara-Aguirre, M., Wei, M., Madia, F., Cheng, C., Hwang, D., Martin-Montalvo, A., Saavedra, J., Ingles, S.... (2011) Growth Hormone Receptor Deficiency Is Associated with a Major Reduction in Pro-Aging Signaling, Cancer, and Diabetes in Humans. Science Translational Medicine, 3(70), 70-70. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001845  

Baek, K., Zaslavsky, A., Lynch, R., Britt, C., Okada, Y., Siarey, R., Lensch, M., Park, I., Yoon, S., Minami, T.... (2009) Down's syndrome suppression of tumour growth and the role of the calcineurin inhibitor DSCR1. Nature, 459(7250), 1126-1130. DOI: 10.1038/nature08062  

Wang, X., Di Pasqua, A., Govind, S., McCracken, E., Hong, C., Mi, L., Mao, Y., Wu, J., Tomita, Y., Woodrick, J.... (2011) Selective Depletion of Mutant p53 by Cancer Chemopreventive Isothiocyanates and Their Structure−Activity Relationships. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 54(3), 809-816. DOI: 10.1021/jm101199t  

  • February 24, 2011
  • 09:55 AM

Hadrosaurus Was Real, After All

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Described in 1858, the partial skeleton of Hadrosaurus foulkii was one of the most important dinosaur discoveries ever made. At that time, the few known dinosaurs were represented by a collection of scraps—paltry fragments that allowed paleontologists to reconstruct them first as giant lizards, and then as strange quadrupedal beasts. The elements of Hadrosaurus caused [...]... Read more »

Albert Prieto-Márquez. (2011) Revised diagnoses of Hadrosaurus foulkii Leidy, 1858 (the type genus and species of Hadrosauridae Cope, 1869) and Claosaurus agilis Marsh, 1872 (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Late Cretaceous of North America. Zootaxa, 61-68. info:/

  • February 24, 2011
  • 07:15 AM

The ‘interactome’ of a host/pathogen triad

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

In order to survive and replicate within their hosts, viruses must manipulate those pathways and systems in which their host relies upon for its own survival. However, this model gets more complicated with those viruses successfully infecting multiple host species. For example, Dengue virus (DENV) – an emerging pathogen which causes over 50 million cases a year of a mild to deadly disease – infects both humans and mosquito species of the Aedes genus. Thus to accomplish survival, DENV must i........ Read more »

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