I'm gonna try and be fairly brief in this post on the paper by Valerio Napolioni and colleagues* (open-access) looking at plasma cytokine profiles in cases of autism and their asymptomatic siblings. Brief because (a) the paper is open-access and (b) the participant groups (autism: n=25; sibling controls n=25) were relatively small so one has to be quite careful in extrapolating the findings with any large degree of confidence.Siblings by Paul Klee @ WikiPaintings Just in case you are ........ Read more »
Napolioni V, Ober-Reynolds B, Szelinger S, Corneveaux JJ, Pawlowski T, Ober-Reynolds S, Kirwan J, Persico AM, Melmed RD, Craig DW.... (2013) Plasma cytokine profiling in sibling pairs discordant for autism spectrum disorder. Journal of neuroinflammation, 38. PMID: 23497090
Erin on the side of a river somewhere in western NC, hard at work study obviously.
Erin Abernethy is a Master’s student in the Odum
School of Ecology at the University of Georgia, where she is studying
scavenging ecology in Hawaii. Before coming to Athens, Erin lived in North
Carolina earning her BS in Biology at Appalachian State. For that degree,... Read more »
Guillette Jr., L., Pickford, D., Crain, D., Rooney, A., & Percival, H. (1996) Reduction in Penis Size and Plasma Testosterone Concentrations in Juvenile Alligators Living in a Contaminated Environment. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 101(1), 32-42. DOI: 10.1006/gcen.1996.0005
Is 'cloning' appropriate terminology for somatic cell nuclear transfer derivation of human embryonic stem cells?... Read more »
Tachibana, M., Amato, P., Sparman, M., Gutierrez, N., Tippner-Hedges, R., Ma, H., Kang, E., Fulati, A., Lee, H., Sritanaudomchai, H.... (2013) Human Embryonic Stem Cells Derived by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.006
Synapses, the connections between neurons can strengthen and weaken depending on the specific activity at that synapse. This is called synaptic plasticity, and we've talked about it a lot on this blog (here, here, here and here).the strengthening and weakening of synaptic connections corresponds to the spine growing or shrinking (Matsuzaki 2007)However, there is another kind of plasticity that can occur at synapses. This is called homeostatic plasticity. And instead of the synapse strengthening ........ Read more »
Lee KJ, Queenan BN, Rozeboom AM, Bellmore R, Lim ST, Vicini S, & Pak DT. (2013) Mossy fiber-CA3 synapses mediate homeostatic plasticity in mature hippocampal neurons. Neuron, 77(1), 99-114. PMID: 23312519
The first evidence that climate change has affected fishing catches, revealed by William Cheung from the University of British Columbia and his team, shows tropical countries are set to be hardest hit.... Read more »
Cheung, W., Watson, R., & Pauly, D. (2013) Signature of ocean warming in global fisheries catch. Nature, 497(7449), 365-368. DOI: 10.1038/nature12156
Blue Harvest @ Wikipedia @ Family GuyI need to create a suitable atmosphere for this post, so try this music for size and think Blue Harvest...Right. The wait is over. The discussions / arguments / objections / agreements are all confined to history. Drum roll, spotlight centre-stage... enter DSM-5 and into unknown territory we all go, particularly with autism, sorry.. autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in mind.As you can see from the link above to the new diagnostic guidelines from the Ameri........ Read more »
Lai M-C, Lombardo MV, Chakrabarti B, & Baron-Cohen S. (2013) Subgrouping the Autism “Spectrum": Reflections on DSM-5. PLoS Biology. info:/
by Thomas Shultz in Evolutionary Games Group
Artem Kaznatcheev and I presented a poster on May 4th at the University of British Columbia to a highly interdisciplinary conference on religion. The conference acronym is CERC, which translates as Cultural Evolution of Religion Research Consortium. Most of the 60-some attendees are religion scholars and social scientists from North American and European universities. Many […]... Read more »
Kaznatcheev, Artem, & Shultz, Thomas R. (2011) Ethnocentrism maintains cooperation, but keeping one’s children close fuels it. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 3174-3179. info:/
How do viruses translate their mRNA in the presence of cellular mRNA? Rotavirus finds a way.... Read more »
Rubio, R., Mora, S., Romero, P., Arias, C., & Lopez, S. (2013) Rotavirus Prevents the Expression of Host Responses by Blocking the Nucleocytoplasmic Transport of Polyadenylated mRNAs. Journal of Virology, 87(11), 6336-6345. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00361-13
Piron, M. (1998) Rotavirus RNA-binding protein NSP3 interacts with eIF4GI and evicts the poly(A) binding protein from eIF4F. The EMBO Journal, 17(19), 5811-5821. DOI: 10.1093/emboj/17.19.5811
A new genetic study by Mondol et al. 2013 examines the contemporary and historical genetic diversity of Indian tigers. They have found that the large reduction in the population has also wiped out many of the mitochondrial DNA haplotypes that were historically present, and the remaining populations are becoming more isolated and at greater risk for future extinctions. Mondol et al. 2013 is currently freely available!... Read more »
Mondol S, Bruford MW, & Ramakrishnan U. (2013) Demographic loss, genetic structure and the conservation implications for Indian tigers. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280(1762), 20130496. PMID: 23677341
Photosynthetic oxidation of water is one of the central processes of life on Earth, but it is still not completely understood. Now, a German-American team of scientists has set out to observe the intermediate stages of this complex catalytic reaction using ultrashort snap shots taken at light sources including BESSY II in Berlin and the Linac Coherent Light Source at Stanford.... Read more »
Kern, J., Alonso-Mori, R., Hellmich, J., Tran, R., Hattne, J., Laksmono, H., Glockner, C., Echols, N., Sierra, R., Sellberg, J.... (2012) Room temperature femtosecond X-ray diffraction of photosystem II microcrystals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(25), 9721-9726. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1204598109
This article could use a little more reflection about working alongside potentially dangerous animals and a little less sensationalism. But, it's still an incredible story: I was swallowed by a hippo.
Who knew? Snakes like hot springs too.
The Roundup from a couple weeks ago featured amazing pictures of a pod of Orcas attacking a group of Sperm Whales. This week's unlucky victim is a dolphin.
... Read more »
Wenger SJ, Isaak DJ, Luce CH, Neville HM, Fausch KD, Dunham JB, Dauwalter DC, Young MK, Elsner MM, Rieman BE.... (2011) Flow regime, temperature, and biotic interactions drive differential declines of trout species under climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(34), 14175-80. PMID: 21844354
You probably don’t feel tired when you get a tan.
You probably think your friends feel more or less fatigued depending on whether they are dark skinned or fair skinned (like myself).
We know that differences in colour are important lots of other species besides humans. They can play a big part in an animal’s ability to blend into the surrounding environment, for instance. What might be less appreciated is that being a certain colour might take energy. After all, many colours in animals are........ Read more »
Roff DA, & Fairbairn DJ. (2013) The costs of being dark: the genetic basis of melanism and its association with fitness-related traits in the sand cricket. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12150
We love them and yet we hate them. They get censored, augmented, reduced, replaced, covered, exposed. They get grilled, occasionally, but those are not the ones I'm talking about. We want to see them and yet we pretend we don't. We criticize them and yet we forget what they are made for, the most beautiful thing of all: nourish a new life.Yes, I'm talking about breasts. Angelina Jolie's breasts have been extensively discussed this week, more now that they are reportedly gone than when they were ........ Read more »
Hall, J., Lee, M., Newman, B., Morrow, J., Anderson, L., Huey, B., & King, M. (1990) Linkage of early-onset familial breast cancer to chromosome 17q21. Science, 250(4988), 1684-1689. DOI: 10.1126/science.2270482
Bernstein, L. (2008) Identifying population-based approaches to lower breast cancer risk. Oncogene. DOI: 10.1038/onc.2009.348
A team of Canadian and UK researchers has discovered what may be some of the oldest pockets of water on the planet – and they may contain life.... Read more »
Kim Luke, University of Toronto, Office of Public Relations, McMaster University, Aeron Haworth, The University of Manchester, & Lancaster University, News. (2013) Water's secrets. Tracing Knowledge. info:/
5-methylcytosine (5-mC) and 5-hydroxymethycytosine (5-hmC) are two major epigenetic modifications of DNA. Dynamic changes in 5-mC and 5-hmC levels are tightly regulated and impact neural cell development, differentiation, and other biological functions. Deregulation of 5-mC and 5-hmC has also been implicated in various human diseases. However, whether 5-mC and 5-hmC are involved in aging-related neurodegenerative ...... Read more »
Chouliaras L, Mastroeni D, Delvaux E, Grover A, Kenis G, Hof PR, Steinbusch HW, Coleman PD, Rutten BP, & van den Hove DL. (2013) Consistent decrease in global DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in the hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease patients. Neurobiology of aging. PMID: 23582657
Mastroeni D, McKee A, Grover A, Rogers J, & Coleman PD. (2009) Epigenetic differences in cortical neurons from a pair of monozygotic twins discordant for Alzheimer's disease. PloS one, 4(8). PMID: 19672297
by Patrick Bartosch in Beaker
Sanford-Burnham researchers identified a potential drug target to prevent the hardening of arteries in patients with atherosclerosis. The gene Dkk1 encodes a protein that plays a key role in increasing the population of connective-tissue cells during wound repair, but prolonged Dkk1 signaling in cells lining blood vessels can lead to fibrosis and a stiffening of artery walls.... Read more »
Cheng, S., Shao, J., Behrmann, A., Krchma, K., & Towler, D. (2013) Dkk1 and Msx2-Wnt7b Signaling Reciprocally Regulate the Endothelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Aortic Endothelial Cells. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.300647
It is official, the chytrid Fungi have reached all three of the extant amphibian orders.Chytrid fungi are the cause of global decimation in frogs and toads, as well as newts and salamanders. But, until now, the lesser known caecilians had managed to evade their mycelial grasp. That ends now!Goodbye Mr. Bond CaecilianA recent study released in the journal EcoHealth has found the first cases of chytridiomycosis in the legless amphibians. Unfortunately, EcoHealth is not a free journal so all I can ........ Read more »
Gower, D., Doherty-Bone, T., Loader, S., Wilkinson, M., Kouete, M., Tapley, B., Orton, F., Daniel, O., Wynne, F., Flach, E.... (2013) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection and Lethal Chytridiomycosis in Caecilian Amphibians (Gymnophiona). EcoHealth. DOI: 10.1007/s10393-013-0831-9
"Simple" is often a compliment in the human world, used to describe low-fuss dinners or closet solutions. When scientists use "simple" to describe an animal, they mean something more like, "That sac of goo has no business acting clever." An especially simple creature—a sea slug—recently demonstrated that despite its humble resources, it can learn from experience and form new hunting strategies. Smaller goo sacs, beware.
Despite its squishy stature, the sea slug Pleurobranchaea calif........ Read more »
Noboa, V., & Gillette, R. (2013) Selective prey avoidance learning in the predatory sea-slug Pleurobranchaea californica. Journal of Experimental Biology. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.079384
A few entries ago I uploaded a fragment from a study that discusses an intriguing experiment with three chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) which were trained to tap regularly on a piano keyboard...... Read more »
Hattori, Y., Tomonaga, M., & Matsuzawa, T. (2013) Spontaneous synchronized tapping to an auditory rhythm in a chimpanzee. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep01566
Hasegawa, A., Okanoya, K., Hasegawa, T., & Seki, Y. (2011) Rhythmic synchronization tapping to an audio–visual metronome in budgerigars. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep00120
Honing, H., Merchant, H., Háden, G., Prado, L., & Bartolo, R. (2012) Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta) Detect Rhythmic Groups in Music, but Not the Beat. PLoS ONE, 7(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051369
The breakthrough technique that allowed scientists to obtain one-of-a-kind, colorful images of the myriad connections in the brain and nervous system is about to get a significant upgrade.... Read more »
Peter Reuell. (2013) ‘Brainbow,’ version 2.0. Harvard Gazette. info:/
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