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  • April 1, 2015
  • 03:14 PM
  • 6 views

Sleep may be critical to avoid miscarriage

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you are trying to have a baby, a good night’s sleep is more important than ever. A recently published research report shows that the womb has its own “body clock” that needs to synchronize with the mother’s body clock to ensure optimal conditions for fetal growth and development. The inability of a mother’s body clock to synchronize with the womb’s clock may be at least part of the reason why some women have difficulty carrying a pregnancy to full term.... Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 09:39 AM
  • 13 views

Video Tip of the Week: The New OpenHelix Interface

by Mary in OpenHelix

Generally we like to highlight new features and new tools from bioinformatics software providers. But this week we wanted to introduce some new features of our own OpenHelix site. If you’ve been using the site for a while, you will have noticed that recently we rolled out some changes. All the same tutorial materials and […]... Read more »

Williams J. M., M. E. Mangan, C. Perreault-Micale, S. Lathe, N. Sirohi, & W. C. Lathe. (2010) OpenHelix: bioinformatics education outside of a different box. Briefings in Bioinformatics, 11(6), 598-609. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbq026  

  • April 1, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 12 views

The Bird Jaws Of Life

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Do birds have teeth? No, but they did once, and sometimes a throwback mutation can create a chick with a full set of chompers. That’s weird, but bird mouths get weirder. Birds can open their upper jaw, not just their lower. And some birds take being weird even farther. The crossbill has a mouth where the upper and lower beaks scissor past one another while the wrybill has a beak that always turns right. ... Read more »

Meredith, R., Zhang, G., Gilbert, M., Jarvis, E., & Springer, M. (2014) Evidence for a single loss of mineralized teeth in the common avian ancestor. Science, 346(6215), 1254390-1254390. DOI: 10.1126/science.1254390  

Smith, J., Sjoberg, S., Mueller, M., & Benkman, C. (2012) Assortative flocking in crossbills and implications for ecological speciation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1745), 4223-4229. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1500  

Benkman, C., Parchman, T., & Mezquida, E. (2010) Patterns of coevolution in the adaptive radiation of crossbills. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1206(1), 1-16. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05702.x  

SNOWBERG, L., & BENKMAN, C. (2009) Mate choice based on a key ecological performance trait. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22(4), 762-769. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01699.x  

  • April 1, 2015
  • 05:52 AM
  • 26 views

Blocking Serotonin Could Cure Obesity

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Blocking serotonin boosts the metabolism, inhibits fat storage and wards off obesity.... Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 05:37 AM
  • 18 views

Gulf War agents and delayed onset of symptoms in mice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was recently intrigued by the findings reported by Zuchra Zakirova and colleagues [1] (open-access) on what happened to mice following 'acute' exposure to pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and the pesticide permethrin (PER) in the context of these compounds being "key contributors to the etiology of GWI [Gulf War Illness] post deployment to the Persian GW [Gulf War]."I've covered the topic of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) before on this blog (see here) and how, foll........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 11:45 PM
  • 29 views

Operationalizing the local environment for replicator dynamics

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Recently, Jake Taylor-King arrived in Tampa and last week we were brainstorming some projects to work on together. In the process, I dug up an old idea I’ve been playing with as my understanding of the Ohtsuki-Nowak transform matured. The basic goal is to work towards an operational account of spatial structure without having to […]... Read more »

Ohtsuki, H., & Nowak, M. (2006) The replicator equation on graphs. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 243(1), 86-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.06.004  

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:58 PM
  • 25 views

An apple a day may keep the children away: Pesticides and sperm count

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever hear that old saying an apple a day keeps the Doctor away? Well it might have the right idea, just the wrong person. New research investigating the relationship between eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues and the quality of men’s semen has shown a link with lower sperm counts and percentages of normally-formed sperm. So for people wanting children it may be time to rethink that produce.... Read more »

Y.H. Chiu et al. (2015) Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev064

Hagai Levine, & Shanna H. Swan. (2015) Is dietary pesticide exposure related to semen quality? Positive evidence from men attending a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev065

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:23 PM
  • 31 views

Ovulation changes women’s desire for variety in products

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We know that hormones affect who we are, even when we aren’t aware of it. In the past scientists have found that people who are hungry tend to buy more things, no surprise for those of us who have shopped hungry. However, new research shows that women seek a greater variety of products and services, specifically when they are ovulating.... Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:19 PM
  • 26 views

Viruses and the Nucleolus: Coronavirus N, Cytokinesis and Autophagy

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

The nucleolus is a subnuclear structure not surrounded by a membrane, which is disassembled during mitosis and reformed during late telophase via the interaction of nucleolar proteins with loci of ribosomal DNA. At this point, the inhibition of CDK1 leads to the resumption of RNA Polymerase I (RNA Pol I) dependent transcription of rDNA, resulting in the expression of the pre-rRNA (18S, 5.8S, and 28S, with internal and external transcribed spacers) and the recruitment of the processing machinery,........ Read more »

Olson MO, Hingorani K, & Szebeni A. (2002) Conventional and nonconventional roles of the nucleolus. International review of cytology, 199-266. PMID: 12211630  

Leung, A., & Lamond, A. (2003) The Dynamics of the Nucleolus. Critical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression, 13(1), 39-54. DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.v13.i1.40  

Shaw P, & Brown J. (2012) Nucleoli: composition, function, and dynamics. Plant physiology, 158(1), 44-51. PMID: 22082506  

Salvetti A, & Greco A. (2014) Viruses and the nucleolus: the fatal attraction. Biochimica et biophysica acta, 1842(6), 840-7. PMID: 24378568  

Hiscox JA. (2007) RNA viruses: hijacking the dynamic nucleolus. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 5(2), 119-27. PMID: 17224921  

Lochmann TL, Bann DV, Ryan EP, Beyer AR, Mao A, Cochrane A, & Parent LJ. (2013) NC-mediated nucleolar localization of retroviral gag proteins. Virus research, 171(2), 304-18. PMID: 23036987  

Haupt S, Stroganova T, Ryabov E, Kim SH, Fraser G, Duncan G, Mayo MA, Barker H, & Taliansky M. (2005) Nucleolar localization of potato leafroll virus capsid proteins. The Journal of general virology, 86(Pt 10), 2891-6. PMID: 16186245  

González I, Martínez L, Rakitina DV, Lewsey MG, Atencio FA, Llave C, Kalinina NO, Carr JP, Palukaitis P, & Canto T. (2010) Cucumber mosaic virus 2b protein subcellular targets and interactions: their significance to RNA silencing suppressor activity. Molecular plant-microbe interactions : MPMI, 23(3), 294-303. PMID: 20121451  

Boyne JR, & Whitehouse A. (2006) Nucleolar trafficking is essential for nuclear export of intronless herpesvirus mRNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(41), 15190-5. PMID: 17005724  

Callé A, Ugrinova I, Epstein AL, Bouvet P, Diaz JJ, & Greco A. (2008) Nucleolin is required for an efficient herpes simplex virus type 1 infection. Journal of virology, 82(10), 4762-73. PMID: 18321972  

Hiscox JA, Wurm T, Wilson L, Britton P, Cavanagh D, & Brooks G. (2001) The coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus nucleoprotein localizes to the nucleolus. Journal of virology, 75(1), 506-12. PMID: 11119619  

Kim JS, Ro SH, Kim M, Park HW, Semple IA, Park H, Cho US, Wang W, Guan KL, Karin M.... (2015) Sestrin2 inhibits mTORC1 through modulation of GATOR complexes. Scientific reports, 9502. PMID: 25819761  

Belaid A, Cerezo M, Chargui A, Corcelle-Termeau E, Pedeutour F, Giuliano S, Ilie M, Rubera I, Tauc M, Barale S.... (2013) Autophagy plays a critical role in the degradation of active RHOA, the control of cell cytokinesis, and genomic stability. Cancer research, 73(14), 4311-22. PMID: 23704209  

Zhang H, Shi X, Paddon H, Hampong M, Dai W, & Pelech S. (2004) B23/nucleophosmin serine 4 phosphorylation mediates mitotic functions of polo-like kinase 1. The Journal of biological chemistry, 279(34), 35726-34. PMID: 15190079  

Zhu Y, Zhao L, Liu L, Gao P, Tian W, Wang X, Jin H, Xu H, & Chen Q. (2010) Beclin 1 cleavage by caspase-3 inactivates autophagy and promotes apoptosis. Protein , 1(5), 468-77. PMID: 21203962  

  • March 31, 2015
  • 11:01 AM
  • 29 views

Moths Fondly Remember Plant Species Where They Lost Their Virginity

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Think real estate decisions are hard for humans? Imagine if the house you lived in were also your singles bar, your babies' nursery, and your shelter from large animals trying to eat you. And, while you were growing up, your food source, as you nibbled away its floors and shingles.

Moths face all these pressures each time they settle down on a plant. That may be why at least one type of moth uses pleasant associations to help with its choices. The plant species where an individual loses........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 05:23 AM
  • 22 views

Fixing 'leaky' blood vessels to combat severe respiratory ailments and, perhaps, Ebola

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

When you get an infection, your immune system responds with an influx of inflammatory cells that target the underlying bacteria or viruses. These immune cells migrate from your blood into the infected tissue in order to release a cocktail of pro-inflammatory proteins and help eliminate the infectious threat. During this inflammatory response, the blood vessel barrier becomes “leaky.” This allows for an even more rapid influx of additional immune cells. Once the infection resolves, th........ Read more »

Gong, H., Rehman, J., Tang, H., Wary, K., Mittal, M., Chatturvedi, P., Zhao, Y., Komorova, Y., Vogel, S., & Malik, A. (2015) HIF2α signaling inhibits adherens junctional disruption in acute lung injury. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 125(2), 652-664. DOI: 10.1172/JCI77701  

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:35 AM
  • 24 views

Is anhedonia a key component of depression comorbid to autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Anhedonia: the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable.Although by no means an expert on anhedonia (or much else), I believe that it is a concept quite important when it comes to making a diagnosis of depression although the precise hows and whys of connecting anhedonia to other symptoms are still the source of some discussion [1].The paper from Vicki Bitsika & Christopher Sharpley [2] brings the concepts of anhedonia and depression into v........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 08:27 PM
  • 34 views

Florida researchers find one in five college students may have misophonia – a hypersensitivity to sounds like lip smacking and pen clicking

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

Almost one in five college students are so sensitive to common, annoying sounds like lip smacking and pen clicking that they may have misophonia—a little-understood condition where people overreact to irritating noises. The results come from a University of South … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 05:42 PM
  • 32 views

Welcome to the wikipedia for neurons

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While the brain might not have more connections than stars in the universe (sorry guys), it is still complex. In fact, someone I respect defined a neuroscientist as “someone who knows how little we know about the brain.” Despite the decades worth of data that has been collected about the billions of neurons in the brain, we still don’t know much. So to help scientists make sense of the vast amount of information we already collected, researchers used data mining to create neuroelectro.org,........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:32 AM
  • 41 views

Gut Feelings

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This boy may be influencing who he will marry when he grows up. Photo by Orrling at Wikimedia Commons.Animals (including humans) are swarming with microorganisms both on and in our bodies. Humans harbor so many different microorganisms that we have over 150 times more microbial genes than mammalian genes, and it is reasonable to suspect that this scenario is similar for most animals. But before you run to soak in a tub of hand sanitizer, you should realize that many of these microorganisms are a........ Read more »

Ezenwa, V., Gerardo, N., Inouye, D., Medina, M., & Xavier, J. (2012) Animal Behavior and the Microbiome. Science, 338(6104), 198-199. DOI: 10.1126/science.1227412  

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:00 AM
  • 29 views

Human Evolution

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Evolution: How we became human. An Infographic by Yisela A. Trentini.... Read more »

W. Howard Levie, & Richard Lentz. (1982) Effects of text illustrations: A review of research. Educational Technology Research , 30(4), 195-232. info:/10.1007/BF02765184

  • March 30, 2015
  • 03:20 AM
  • 40 views

Asthma and ADHD (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Asthmatic children had a higher risk of also having ADHD."That was the conclusion reached by Kirsten Holmberg and colleagues [1] based on their analysis of rates of ADHD, and other variables found "through the Swedish Twin Register, linked to the Swedish Medical Birth Register, the National Patient Register and the Prescribed Drug Register." Said data came from over 20,000 twins who's parents were questioned when children were aged 9 or 12 years.For those unfamiliar with the proposed conne........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2015
  • 08:05 PM
  • 42 views

UK Researchers find parental perception of child’s weight is skewed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Childhood obesity affects more than double the amount of children it did 30 years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). To figure out why the rate is increasing researchers studied the relationship between parents and their obese children to determine how to improve pediatric health. The study actually reveals how poorly parents rate their own child’s weight issues — at least until they reach extreme levels of obesity.... Read more »

Black et al. (2015) Child obesity cut-offs as derived from parental perceptions: cross-sectional questionnaire. British Journal of General Practice. info:/10.3399/bjgp15X684385

  • March 29, 2015
  • 05:45 PM
  • 37 views

A novel method makes gene therapy safer

by Valerie Ashton in The Molecular Scribe

An international team of researchers have validated a method for identifying human insulator genes that dampen the over-activity of therapeutic genes delivered during gene therapy.... Read more »

Liu M, Maurano MT, Wang H, Qi H, Song CZ, Navas PA, Emery DW, Stamatoyannopoulos JA, & Stamatoyannopoulos G. (2015) Genomic discovery of potent chromatin insulators for human gene therapy. Nature biotechnology, 33(2), 198-203. PMID: 25580597  

  • March 29, 2015
  • 08:17 AM
  • 55 views

Modeling Life On Titan

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Lifeforms that live off methane instead of water are possible on Titan’s surface.... Read more »

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