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  • April 7, 2011
  • 08:30 PM

Sex and mosquitoes – transmitting the Zika virus

by Captain Skellett in A Schooner of Science

When Brian Foy returned home to America from a field trip in Senegal, Africa, he didn’t know he was infected with the mosquito spread Zika virus. But just a few days later he was sick with extreme fatigue and joint pain, and so was his wife Chilson. A new study coauthored by the pair and [...]... Read more »

  • April 7, 2011
  • 03:45 PM

Beyond the Bacterial Microcompartment

by Merry Youle in Small Things Considered

Bacterial microcompartments were a great innovation. As Alan Derman explained, these protein-bounded structures assist with diverse metabolic processes by housing the requisite enzymes along with their substrates, sequestering potentially toxic intermediates, and allowing the products to exit. But the story does not end there. Enter the nanocompartment.

These are the simplest variation known so far on the theme of bacterial compartments. Like the micro version, these nano structures are thin........ Read more »

Sutter M, Boehringer D, Gutmann S, Günther S, Prangishvili D, Loessner MJ, Stetter KO, Weber-Ban E, & Ban N. (2008) Structural basis of enzyme encapsulation into a bacterial nanocompartment. Nature structural , 15(9), 939-47. PMID: 19172747  

  • April 7, 2011
  • 10:01 AM

Re-Defining Science Communication: Emerging Best Practices that Empower the Public

by Matthew C. Nisbet in Matthew Nisbet

Over the past few years, scholars and scientists have been re-examining both the goals and the nature of science communication initiatives.  In a guest post today, Melanie Gade reviews much of this recent discussion and innovation.  Gade is a graduate student in this semesters course on "Science ...Read More... Read more »

Nisbet, M., Hixon, M., Moore, K., & Nelson, M. (2010) Four cultures: new synergies for engaging society on climate change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(6), 329-331. DOI: 10.1890/1540-9295-8.6.329  

Groffman, P., Stylinski, C., Nisbet, M., Duarte, C., Jordan, R., Burgin, A., Previtali, M., & Coloso, J. (2010) Restarting the conversation: challenges at the interface between ecology and society. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(6), 284-291. DOI: 10.1890/090160  

  • April 7, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

April 7, 2011

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

What do you have in common with a worm? A lot, and you should be thankful! The worm C. elegans is used as a model system that allows researchers to learn an amazing amount about the genetic pathways and development in many systems, including our own. Thankfully for HighMag, the worms are quite photogenic too. Our germ line is the line of cells that are responsible for passing on our genetic material to the next generation. The germline is composed of gametes (eggs and sperm), as well as the........ Read more »

Updike, D., Hachey, S., Kreher, J., & Strome, S. (2011) P granules extend the nuclear pore complex environment in the C. elegans germ line. originally published in The Journal of Cell Biology, 192(6), 939-948. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201010104  

  • April 7, 2011
  • 06:40 AM

A new view on eye development

by Eva Amsen in the Node

How do you make an eye? In the developing embryo, this process begins with the formation of the optic vesicle from the neural tube. This optic vesicle then invaginates to form an optic cup, which in turn develops into the outer pigmented layer of the retina and the inner neurosensory layer. Normally, this all takes [...]... Read more »

Eiraku, M., Takata, N., Ishibashi, H., Kawada, M., Sakakura, E., Okuda, S., Sekiguchi, K., Adachi, T., & Sasai, Y. (2011) Self-organizing optic-cup morphogenesis in three-dimensional culture. Nature, 472(7341), 51-56. DOI: 10.1038/nature09941  

  • April 6, 2011
  • 09:55 PM

When girls are better (only sometimes)

by Neil Losin in Day's Edge

Remember the Gouldian Finch? I wrote about it a few months ago. Sarah Pryke, a behavioral ecologist at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia has conducted some amazing research showing that female Gouldian Finches can control the sex ratio of their broods. Now, there’s no denying that Gouldian finches are weird; males and females come in [...]... Read more »

  • April 6, 2011
  • 06:41 PM

Robust jaws and a (sometimes) 'greenish' pelt: house bats (vesper bats part IX)

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

Hey, if anyone out there is bored with the bats, just gimme a shout. If you're loving it, say so, and urge me to post more - there's still a lot to come! Yes, welcome once again to the vesper bat series: for previous installments see the list of links at the bottom of this article. We continue our trek through vesper bat diversity with another of the clades often regarded as a 'tribe' within the vesper bat 'subfamily' Vespertilioninae: the house bats or yellow bats, conventionally grouped to........ Read more »

  • April 6, 2011
  • 06:16 PM

Fascinating jumping spiders

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

We had a very warm day today - for April - the sun hit the brick walls and this is something that brings jumping spiders out. I spot one on the wall, quite high up, she moves in a typical jerkily fashion on to a wooden plank and I take a few shots with my arms outstretched and a poor view of the LCD display, but I am happy when manage a few focused front shots (above). I think this is Salticus cingulatus, a close relative of the zebra jumping spider, Salticus scenicus. Jumping spiders, or saltic........ Read more »

Richman, David B., & Jackson, Robert R. (1992) A review of the ethology of jumping spiders. Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, 9(2), 33-37. info:/

Meehan CJ, Olson EJ, Reudink MW, Kyser TK, & Curry RL. (2009) Herbivory in a spider through exploitation of an ant-plant mutualism. Current biology : CB, 19(19). PMID: 19825348  

  • April 6, 2011
  • 02:12 PM

She’s having a baby! I think?! A promising new technique for pregnancy sampling in wild cetaceans…

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

Assessment of the reproductive status of wild cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises) is difficult and therefore not often practiced or accomplished.  Fecal and/or blood samples are effective techniques for use with captive and stranded individuals; however, these kinds of fluids aren’t so easy to obtain from specimens in their natural habitat.  Researchers primarily rely on [...]... Read more »

Pérez, S., García-López, �., Stephanis, R., Giménez, J., García-Tiscar, S., Verborgh, P., Mancera, J., & Martínez-Rodriguez, G. (2011) Use of blubber levels of progesterone to determine pregnancy in free-ranging live cetaceans. Marine Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-011-1676-9  

  • April 6, 2011
  • 12:26 PM

Q&A: Dr Beau Lotto – Making anyone part of scientific discovery

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

Dr Beau Lotto   Dr Beau Lotto is a neuroscientist on a mission: to get us to understand that we are each makers of how we see and understand the world. In a recent project he worked with primary school children to help them become the first in the world to plan, perform and publish [...]... Read more »

Blackawton PS, Airzee S, Allen A, Baker S, Berrow A, Blair C, Churchill M, Coles J, Cumming RF, Fraquelli L.... (2011) Blackawton bees. Biology letters, 7(2), 168-72. PMID: 21177694  

Maloney LT, & Hempel de Ibarra N. (2011) Blackawton bees: commentary on Blackawton, P. S. et al. Biology letters, 7(2), 166-7. PMID: 21177691  

  • April 6, 2011
  • 12:00 PM

If I objectify you, will it make you feel bad enough to objectify yourself? On shopping, sexiness and hormones.

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

This post critiques recent work on "sexy" shopping behavior during high and low fertility periods in the menstrual cycle.... Read more »

Durante, KM, Griskevicius, V, Hill, SE, Perilloux, C, & Li, NP. (2011) Ovulation, female competition, and product choice: hormonal influences on consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(6), 921-934. info:/

Fehring, R., Schneider, M., & Raviele, K. (2006) Variability in the Phases of the Menstrual Cycle. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, Neonatal Nursing, 35(3), 376-384. DOI: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2006.00051.x  

  • April 6, 2011
  • 07:05 AM

Without plaits there is an explosion

by Marisa Alonso Nuñez in Science Box

As I've mentioned in my previous post Why using yeast for research?  one of  the applications of yeast for research is in the field of discovering new antifungal drugs. In order to do this the studies are focused on  the yeast cell wall. This cell wall is present in yeast and fungi but not in human cells.So, to continue with my posts about basic research with yeast, today I'm going to write about a study done by some scientists I used to work with during my PhD in Salamanca.This study is abou........ Read more »

  • April 5, 2011
  • 08:03 PM

Electrifying deterrents: wolves and fladry

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

Fladry has proved to be an interesting and rather low-tech tool to ward wolves away from domestic livestock in certain conditions. It consists of red flags or pennants attached to a piece of twine or thin rope at regular intervals (about 18 inches or so) and strung around a livestock corral or pen. Like all [...]... Read more »

N. J. Lance, S. W. Breck, C. Sime, P. Callahan and J. A. Shivik. (2010) Biological, technical, and social aspects of applying electrified fladry for livestock protection from wolves (Canis lupus). Wildlife Research, 708-714. info:/

  • April 5, 2011
  • 05:53 PM

Tawny mining bee nesting aggregations

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

I have been posting on the Tawny Mining Bees, Andrena fulva, recently. I have been watching suitable nesting sites for signs of activity and today I came across many nests located in groups in several grassy areas. It was a bit windy and the female bees often missed their nests when landing. Instead of walking the short distance, they would fly again, carry out what looked like a positioning flight, and landed on top of their nest mound and got inside. Some females seemed to be looking for ........ Read more »

Michener, Charles D. (1974) The social behavior of the bees: a comparative study. Harvard University Press. info:other/ISBN-13: 978-0674811751

Rosenheim, Jay A. (1990) Density dependent parasitism and evolution of aggregated nesting in the solitary Hymenoptera. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 83(3), 277-286. info:other/

  • April 5, 2011
  • 05:52 PM

Scale up diarrhoea prevention to save lives

by geekheartsscience in geek!

A widespread scale up of existing low-cost and effective tools to prevent and treat diarrhoea could substantially reduce diarrhoeal deaths and could be a major step towards achieving the Millenium Development Goal 4 of reducing child mortality by 2015, according … Continue reading →... Read more »

Walker, C., Friberg, I., Binkin, N., Young, M., Walker, N., Fontaine, O., Weissman, E., Gupta, A., & Black, R. (2011) Scaling Up Diarrhea Prevention and Treatment Interventions: A Lives Saved Tool Analysis. PLoS Medicine, 8(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000428  

  • April 5, 2011
  • 05:14 PM

The Last Resting Place of Decuriasuchus

by Laelaps in Laelaps

While making the rounds promoting his new book Boneheads, art dealer and author Richard Polsky stopped by NPR last Sunday to talk about his personal quest to find a Tyrannosaurus rex. The romance of what paleontologist Bob Bakker has called “the big game hunt in Deep Time” drew him in. Having a pet Tyrannosaurus is [...]... Read more »

Brusatte, S.; Benton, M.; Desojo, J.; Langer, M. (2010) The higher-level phylogeny of Archosauria (Tetrapoda: Diapsida) . Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 8(1), 3-47. info:/10.1080/14772010903537732

  • April 5, 2011
  • 03:20 PM

Single Virus Genomics - the future of virus research?

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

Bacteriophage Lambda particles - like those used in this study
Viruses are the most common organisms on this planet and also most likely the most diverse. It is therefore unsurprising how ecologically important they are in particular environments and indeed global ecological processes. Just look at the amount of papers published on the subject recently. What is preventing us from extending these studies to more environments and preventing us having a closer look at what viruses are present is ........ Read more »

Allen LZ, Ishoey T, Novotny MA, McLean JS, Lasken RS, & Williamson SJ. (2011) Single virus genomics: a new tool for virus discovery. PloS one, 6(3). PMID: 21436882  

  • April 5, 2011
  • 11:00 AM

Book Review: A year at Lazy Point

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

I adored Song for the Blue Ocean. The first time I read it was a formative moment in my development as a young marine biologist and conservationist. When I picked up Eye of the Albatross and, later, Voyage of the Turtle, I expected that same magic, but could not find it. Safina’s subsequent books [...]... Read more »

Saraux C, Le Bohec C, Durant JM, Viblanc VA, Gauthier-Clerc M, Beaune D, Park YH, Yoccoz NG, Stenseth NC, & Le Maho Y. (2011) Reliability of flipper-banded penguins as indicators of climate change. Nature, 469(7329), 203-6. PMID: 21228875  

  • April 5, 2011
  • 09:05 AM

How can you tell if a plant is carnivorous? Feed it!

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

.flickr-photo { }.flickr-framewide { float: right; text-align: left; margin-left: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; width:100%;}.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; } A Venus flytrap closes on an unfortunate spider. Photo by cheesy42.Plants that eat animals offend our trophic sensibilities. Those of us who can move independently are supposed to eat those of us who can make sugar from sunlight—that's just the way the food chain works, right?

Well, not really. From a certain perspectiv........ Read more »

  • April 5, 2011
  • 08:47 AM

World’s 2nd deadliest poison, in an aquarium store near you

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

In 2007, a man from Woodbridge, Virginia was rushed into hospital after inhaling an aerosolised version of one of the deadliest poisons on the planet. He was not the victim of a terrorist attack. He wasn’t working in a biohazard laboratory. He was trying to clean out his fish tank.
The man, who posts on the Reef Central Forums as Steveoutlaw, was trying to get rid of a colony of zoanthids – a relative of corals and sea anemones – that was infesting his aquarium rocks. He had heard that boi........ Read more »

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