Evolutionary Anthropology has a nice paper summarizing the history of domestic cattle, based on the latest molecular marker data. Unusually, the authors at least attempt a flowing account of the origin and spread of a domesticated species, and even more unusually actually achieve it in places. Alas, the details of haplogroups and mtDNA vs Y-chromosome [...]... Read more »
Ajmone-Marsan, P., Garcia, J., & Lenstra, J. (2010) On the origin of cattle: How aurochs became cattle and colonized the world. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 19(4), 148-157. DOI: 10.1002/evan.20267
Reading the following passage might lead you to exclaim: “What an incredible storyteller J.R.R. Tolkien was!” or more likely, “What a visionary evolutionary biologist J.R.R. Tolkien was!” depending on how you interpret it of course. “He was Gollum—as dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes in his thin face. He had a [...]... Read more »
Yoshizawa M, Gorički S, Soares D, & Jeffery WR. (2010) Evolution of a Behavioral Shift Mediated by Superficial Neuromasts Helps Cavefish Find Food in Darkness. Current biology : CB. PMID: 20705469
It was a rare bit of good news. India’s Forest Ministry recently announced that the nation’s forests had expanded by nearly 5% over the last decade – an impressive gain in a country that had lost 80% of its native trees. But three researchers are now challenging that survey, saying it masked continuing forest losses […] Read More »... Read more »
Puyravaud, J., Davidar, P., & Laurance, W. (2010) POLICY PERSPECTIVE: Cryptic destruction of India's native forests. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2010.00141.x
A new study identifies a likely cause of rapid degeneration in some Alzheimer's patients. The results of this study may lead to improved treatment.
But first, let's look at the method used in this study, because that may be almost as important as a development. And for this, we will use a sports analogy. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Cruchaga, Carlos, Kauwe, John, Mayo, Kevin, Spiegel, Noah, Bertelsen, Sarah, & Et.Al. (2010) SNPs Associated with Cerebrospinal Fluid Phospho-Tau Levels Influence Rate of Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease . PLoS Genetics, 6(9). info:/
The tumor suppressor p53 is one of the cell’s very best friends. Just how good a friend it is becomes apparent when, just like in other relationships, this particular relationship turns sour. p53 is the “master guardian angel” of the genome and constitutes the most frequent genetic alteration in cancer. More than 50% of human tumors contain a mutation in the p53 gene. With this kind of glowing track record, p53 would be a prime target for drugs.It turns out that discovering drugs for p53 i........ Read more »
Basse, N., Kaar, J., Settanni, G., Joerger, A., Rutherford, T., & Fersht, A. (2010) Toward the Rational Design of p53-Stabilizing Drugs: Probing the Surface of the Oncogenic Y220C Mutant. Chemistry , 17(1), 46-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2009.12.011
Objective 1: Develop the least publicly accessible title for a blog post about seadragons, mate selection, and evolution
Objective 1 Status: complete
Objective 2: Draw in whatever readers push passed the unwieldy title with an unconventional narrative structure.
Objective 2 Status: complete
Objective 3: Hook the reader with a fascinating, though brief, background on seahorses, seadragons, and pipefish.
Female [...]... Read more »
Wilson, N., & Rouse, G. (2010) Convergent camouflage and the non-monophyly of ‘seadragons’ (Syngnathidae: Teleostei): suggestions for a revised taxonomy of syngnathids. Zoologica Scripta. DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2010.00449.x
I found a new paper in my reader this morning from the crew who published the first description and taxonomic statements about Darwinius massillae, Phillip Gingerich and his colleagues. This paper is a reply to Williams et al. (2010), which … Continue reading →... Read more »
Gingerich, P., Franzen, J., Habersetzer, J., Hurum, J., & Smith, B. (2010) Darwinius masillae is a Haplorhine — Reply to Williams et al. (2010). Journal of Human Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.07.013
Williams, B., Kay, R., Christopher Kirk, E., & Ross, C. (2010) Darwinius masillae is a strepsirrhine—a reply to Franzen et al. (2009). Journal of Human Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.01.003
Seiffert, E., Perry, J., Simons, E., & Boyer, D. (2009) Convergent evolution of anthropoid-like adaptations in Eocene adapiform primates. Nature, 461(7267), 1118-1121. DOI: 10.1038/nature08429
by Mary in OpenHelix
This week I was working on finishing up some training materials on the ENCODE data. We’ve talked about this before, and we’ve had some materials out already to support the ENCODE project, since we have a contract with the folks at UCSC to do some training on it. (The new materials should be out later [...]... Read more »
Schnoes, A., Brown, S., Dodevski, I., & Babbitt, P. (2009) Annotation Error in Public Databases: Misannotation of Molecular Function in Enzyme Superfamilies. PLoS Computational Biology, 5(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000605
Rosenbloom, K., Dreszer, T., Pheasant, M., Barber, G., Meyer, L., Pohl, A., Raney, B., Wang, T., Hinrichs, A., Zweig, A.... (2009) ENCODE whole-genome data in the UCSC Genome Browser. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp961
Just before the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting last December, I posted an overview of the JAK2 pathway and pipeline inhibitors in development. Things have changed a bit since then, with TargeGen's inhibitor, TG101348, being licensed by sanofi-aventis and...... Read more »
Vannucchi, A. (2010) From Palliation to Targeted Therapy in Myelofibrosis. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(12), 1180-1182. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1005856
Verstovsek, S., Kantarjian, H., Mesa, R., Pardanani, A., Cortes-Franco, J., Thomas, D., Estrov, Z., Fridman, J., Bradley, E., Erickson-Viitanen, S.... (2010) Safety and Efficacy of INCB018424, a JAK1 and JAK2 Inhibitor, in Myelofibrosis. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(12), 1117-1127. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1002028
Today is our last paper on high throughput screening (HTS) techniques. We’re back to discovering drugs on this one but the premise is quite different for this particular screen. Whereas other papers we’ve done so far have involved finding novel … Continue reading →... Read more »
Bachovchin, D., Brown, S., Rosen, H., & Cravatt, B. (2009) Identification of selective inhibitors of uncharacterized enzymes by high-throughput screening with fluorescent activity-based probes. Nature biotechnology, 27(4), 387-394. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1531
Since the early days of paleontology, the posture of dinosaurs and the range of motion they were capable of have been contentious subjects for paleontologists. During the 19th century, especially, the general view of what dinosaurs would have looked like changed no less than three times, and investigations into how these animals moved continue to [...]... Read more »
Mallison, H. (2010) CAD assessment of the posture and range of motion of Kentrosaurus aethiopicus Hennig 1915. Swiss Journal of Geosciences. DOI: 10.1007/s00015-010-0024-2
First, there was plain and simple creationism, a Christian idea that, in an ideal Christian world, would be taught as part of any science dealing with the past, including biology (evolution), geology, and presumably history.
But the constitution stood in the way of implementing basic Christian teachings in public schools in the United States, though that battle took decades. Just as creationists were being driven off he landscape, a sort of Battle of the Bulge occurred, in the form of Intellig........ Read more »
Rosenau, Joshua. (2010) Leap of Faith: Intelligent Design's Trajectory after Dover. UNIV. OF ST. THOMAS JOURNAL OF LAW . info:/
Despite all the overhyped nonsense which surrounded the debut of the 47-million-year-old primate Darwinius masillae (“Ida” to her fans) last year, I have to admit that the first-described specimen was a gorgeous fossil. It was a paleontologist’s dream – a complete, articulated skeleton with traces of hair and even intact gut contents. Never before had [...]... Read more »
Gregory, W.K. (1920) On the structure and relations of Notharctus, an American Eocene primate. Memoirs of the AMNH, 3(2), 49-243. info:/
A report of the use of the OMX microscope in high-speed live-cell imaging just came out in PNAS (Carlton et al. 2010 Fast live simultaneous multiwavelength four-dimensional optical microscopy. Proc. Natl. Acad Sci. USA 107 16016-16022 PMID: 20705899). In an accompanying commentary, Jason Swedlow offers the opinion that the field of live cell imaging will [...]... Read more »
Carlton PM, Boulanger J, Kervrann C, Sibarita JB, Salamero J, Gordon-Messer S, Bressan D, Haber JE, Haase S, Shao L.... (2010) Inaugural Article: Fast live simultaneous multiwavelength four-dimensional optical microscopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20705899
Natural selection happens. It was hypothesized in copious detail by Charles Darwin, and has been confirmed in the laboratory, through observation, and also by inference via the methods of modern genomics. But science is more than broad brushes. We need to drill-down to a more fine-grained level to understand the dynamics with precision and detail, [...]... Read more »
Burke, Molly K., Dunham, Joseph P., Shahrestani, Parvin, Thornton, Kevin R., Rose, Michael R., & Long, Anthony D. (2010) Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila. Nature. info:/10.1038/nature09352
The lac operon is such a useful learning tool in cell and molecular biology that I would be greatly surprised to find a respectable biology department that doesn't cover it in at least two courses. That being said, we have by no means exhausted this model system of all it has to offer the science community, as demonstrated by Reddy et al. (2008) This letter to Nature, from a couple years ago, not only served to uniquely implement our mastery of the lac operon, but also to illustrate a prim........ Read more »
Reddy, K., Zullo, J., Bertolino, E., & Singh, H. (2008) Transcriptional repression mediated by repositioning of genes to the nuclear lamina. Nature, 452(7184), 243-247. DOI: 10.1038/nature06727
Antioxidant compounds can extend life in mice provided they are localized to the mitochondria - which doesn't happen for anything you can presently buy in a bottle. Near all antioxidants that can be ingested, injected, or otherwise introduced into the body do nothing of any great significance to healthy life span, and may even be detrimental by interfering in the processes of hormesis that help to maintain and improve health. As I'm sure you know by now, mitochondria are the cell's powerplants, ........ Read more »
Galley HF. (2010) Bench-to-bedside review: Targeting antioxidants to mitochondria in sepsis. Critical care (London, England), 14(4), 230. PMID: 20804578
Demianenko IA, Vasilieva TV, Domnina LV, Dugina VB, Egorov MV, Ivanova OY, Ilinskaya OP, Pletjushkina OY, Popova EN, Sakharov IY.... (2010) Novel mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, "Skulachev-ion" derivatives, accelerate dermal wound healing in animals. Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 75(3), 274-80. PMID: 20370605
Sometimes you have to think small to think big. Focusing tiger conservation efforts on just 6% of the big cats’ remaining range could pull the species back from the brink of extinction, according to a new analysis by a group of leading tiger experts. They are urging global leaders to adopt the “6% solution” at […] Read More »... Read more »
Walston, J., Robinson, J., Bennett, E., Breitenmoser, U., da Fonseca, G., Goodrich, J., Gumal, M., Hunter, L., Johnson, A., Karanth, K.... (2010) Bringing the Tiger Back from the Brink—The Six Percent Solution. PLoS Biology, 8(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000485
Autism is probably one of the best known neurological disorders, in part due to promotion in Hollywood movies such as Rain Man. It is described in the On-line Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database as being
“characterized by a triad of limited or absent verbal communication, a lack of reciprocal social interaction or responsiveness, and restricted, [...]... Read more »
Fradin, D., Cheslack-Postava, K., Ladd-Acosta, C., Newschaffer, C., Chakravarti, A., Arking, D., Feinberg, A., & Fallin, M. (2010) Parent-Of-Origin Effects in Autism Identified through Genome-Wide Linkage Analysis of 16,000 SNPs. PLoS ONE, 5(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012513
Almost a month ago I told you I'd have more to say [...]... Read more »
Novacek, M. (2001) The current biodiversity extinction event: Scenarios for mitigation and recovery. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(10), 5466-5470. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.091093698
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