A couple of days ago, Elizabeth Grice (my research advisor) and I had a review published in this month's issue of Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine...... Read more »
Hannigan GD, Grice EA. (2013) Microbial Ecology of the Skin in the Era of Metagenomics and Molecular Microbiology. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. DOI: 10.1101/cshperspect.a015362
As winter sets in, small, resident insectivorous birds including Long-tailed tits, Great Tits and Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Goldcrests and Treecreepers join in loose, vocal mixed-species flocks that travel and forage together. Why do they eschew from following the saying 'birds of a feather flock together'? Well, first, their small bodies lose heat easily and the days are short, so they need to obtain as much food as possible. On the other hand, the leafless trees makes them more exposed to predatio........ Read more »
J. E. Arévalo and A. G. Gosler. (1994) The behaviour of Treecreepers Certhia familiaris in mixed-species flocks in winter. Bird Study, 41(1), 1-6. info:/10.1080/00063659409477190
Fats are bothersome to most us, but essential to life. Lipodystrophies are dysfunctions in fat storage, including lipoatrophies where fat is lost from a specific part of the body. In HIV, there is lipoatrophy in the face, but deposition of fat around the visceral organs. A new study shows tracked different markers in each location and found that mitochondrial changes were the same in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subdermal adipose tissue (SAT). But the signals to build fat decreased only in ........ Read more »
Gallego-Escuredo JM, Villarroya J, Domingo P, Targarona EM, Alegre M, Domingo JC, Villarroya F, & Giralt M. (2013) Differentially Altered Molecular Signature of Visceral Adipose Tissue in HIV-1-Associated Lipodystrophy. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 64(2), 142-8. PMID: 23714743
Xu S, Liu Z, & Liu P. (2013) HDL cholesterol in cardiovascular diseases: The good, the bad, and the ugly?. International journal of cardiology, 168(4), 3157-9. PMID: 23962777
Barter, P. (2005) The role of HDL-cholesterol in preventing atherosclerotic disease. , 7(Suppl F), F4-F8. European heart Journal. DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/sui036
“One of the fundamental questions of evolutionary biology is how vertebrates with all the same genes display such vastly different characteristics. The Burmese python is a great way to study that because it is so extreme,” Castoe, who began working on the python project as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the laboratory of associate professor and paper corresponding author David D. Pollock.
Castoe said: “We’d like to know how th........ Read more »
Todd A. Castoe et.al. (2013) The Burmese python genome reveals the molecular basis for extreme adaptation in snakes. PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314475110
Freek J. Vonk et.al. (2013) The king cobra genome reveals dynamic gene evolution and adaptation in the snake venom system. PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314702110
Scientists finally reveal the Law of Urination, giving us vast insight into why most mammals take the same amount of time to relieve themselves.... Read more »
Patricia J. Yang, Jonathan C. Pham, Jerome Choo, & David L. Hu. (2013) Law of Urination: all mammals empty their bladders over the same duration. eprint arXiv:1310.3737. arXiv: 1310.3737v2
If turtles had realtors, their motto would also be "Location, location, location!"—but not because they care about a scenic vista. The spot a mother turtle chooses to dig her nest determines whether her young will be males or females. This might even be the most important factor in her decision.A female painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) is not an over-involved parent. She digs a hole in the dirt, lays a batch of eggs there, and buries them. Then she returns to her freshwater life without giving........ Read more »
Timothy S. Mitchell, Jessica A. Maciel, & Fredric J. Janzen. (2013) Does sex-ratio selection influence nest-site choice in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2460
Some observations come before you realize how important they are. Only later do you slap your forehead and realize that you should have taken more detailed notes, because the likelihood of you seeing such a thing again is slim. This is why I encourage everybody interested in wildlife to take down field notes.
When I was in high school, every afternoon when I got home I would take a ... Read more »
S. P. Graham. (2013) How frequently do Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) bask in trees?. Journal of Herpetology, 428-431. DOI: 10.1670/12-082
Climate change and the future of terrestrial invertebrates What will happen to terrestrial invertebrate animals as the world climate changes? Who will survive? Who will change? A recent study tries to give some hints... Read more »
Schilthuizen M., Kellermann V. (2013) Contemporary climate change and terrestrial invertebrates: evolutionary versus plastic changes. Evolutionary Applications. DOI: 10.1111/eva.12116
No, that wasn’t a typo. Today I came across this petition for rulemaking to FSIS from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
First off: PCRM has some great programs that promote research, animal welfare, and better medicine. The overall merit of their organization cannot be judged by a single program or campaign they have in place.
Now let’s tear this petition apart, because I actually had to check their website to make sure it was real, and not an over-the-top sati........ Read more »
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. (2013) Re: Fecal Contamination of Poultry and Meat. USDA Petition for Rulemaking. info:/
Staphylococcus aureus, or “Staph” as I’m going to call it, is a spherical bacterium that grows in grape-like bunches. It is mainly found in the nose and skin of humans and for most of the time is completely harmless there. Staph can cause many infections if it gains access to areas of the body that it’s not normally in, like a cut in the skin. From abscesses to boils and full on systemic infections (that’s infecting all of the major organs and blood), it’s a ........ Read more »
Thammavongsa V, Missiakas DM, & Schneewind O. (2013) Staphylococcus aureus degrades neutrophil extracellular traps to promote immune cell death. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6160), 863-6. PMID: 24233725
Brinkmann V, & Zychlinsky A. (2012) Neutrophil extracellular traps: is immunity the second function of chromatin?. The Journal of cell biology, 198(5), 773-83. PMID: 22945932
Despite more than a decade’s worth of research, many aspects of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD) still remain a mystery. This fatal neurodegenerative disease of the brain is often referred to as the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), known … Continue reading →... Read more »
Brown KL, & Mabbott NA. (2013) Evidence of sub-clinical prion disease in aged mice following exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The Journal of General Virology. DOI: 10.1099/vir.0.058958-0
Valleron AJ, Boelle PY, Will R, & Cesbron JY. (2001) Estimation of epidemic size and incubation time based on age characteristics of vCJD in the United Kingdom. Science, 294(5547), 1726-8. info:/10.1126/science.1066838
Boëlle PY, Cesbron JY, & Valleron AJ. (2004) Epidemiological evidence of higher susceptibility to vCJD in the young. BMC infectious diseases, 26-32. info:/10.1186/1471-2334-4-26
Gill ON, Spencer Y, Richard-Loendt A, Kelly C, Dabaghian R, Boyes L, Linehan J, Simmons M, Webb P, Bellerby P.... (2013) Prevalent abnormal prion protein in human appendixes after bovine spongiform encephalopathy epizootic: large scale survey. BMJ. info:/10.1136/bmj.f5675
I've taken my time in posting this entry specifically dedicated to the paper by Virginia Chaidez and colleagues* which "puts to rest the idea that gastrointestinal problems among children with autism spectrum disorder are just an accumulation of case reports" according to one of the paper authors (see here). It's not that I don't see these findings to be absolutely fascinating, but rather that I wanted the research dust to settle a little before I added my [inflation adjusted] 10 ........ Read more »
Chaidez V, Hansen RL, & Hertz-Picciotto I. (2013) Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism, Developmental Delays or Typical Development. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 24193577
This week a widely-criticised paper claiming negative effects of Roundup and Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize on rats was retracted by the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. The author, Professor Seralini, stands by the results, but received a letter from the journal stating that “The panel had many concerns about the quality of the data, and ultimately recommended that the article should be withdrawn.”
Criticisms included inadequate numbers of rats to draw conclusions........ Read more »
Seralini, GE. (2013) Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology. DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005
Homocysteine - the big H - really should have its own Twitter hashtag... #thebigH.Not only because of the range of health-related conditions which seem to be correlated with particular levels of this amino acid - think coronary heart disease and elevated homocysteine for example* or more recently cerebrovascular disease** - but also because of the body of work linking elevated homocysteine levels to diagnoses like autism and schizophrenia. (Yes, I know correlation does not equal causation).The B........ Read more »
Geller V, Friger M, Sela BA, & Levine J. (2013) Elevated homocysteine level in siblings of patients with schizophrenia. Psychiatry research. PMID: 24051177
To celebrate caturday today, we check in with a baby pincushion, erm, porcupine, and her apple.... Read more »
Cho W. K., Ankrum J. A., Guo D., Chester S. A., Yang S. Y., Kashyap A., Campbell G. A., Wood R. J., Rijal R. K., & Karnik R. (2012) Microstructured barbs on the North American porcupine quill enable easy tissue penetration and difficult removal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(52), 21289-21294. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1216441109
We all injure ourselves often- a cut finger when doing the washing up, that scab we can’t resist picking. We don’t usually think much of it, maybe a quick curse, but the wound stops bleeding, stops hurting and heals. But what would happen if scabs didn’t form and if small cuts didn’t stop bleeding? Well for some people this is the case. Haemophilia A, a haemorrhagic disorder, is generally an X-linked recessive trait and effects 1 in 10000 males. It involves defects of p........ Read more »
Du LM, Nurden P, Nurden AT, Nichols TC, Bellinger DA, Jensen ES, Haberichter SL, Merricks E, Raymer RA, Fang J.... (2013) Platelet-targeted gene therapy with human factor VIII establishes haemostasis in dogs with haemophilia A. Nature communications, 2773. PMID: 24253479
Last week, the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases was launched by the Department of Health, which sets out targets to improve and standardise care for rare disease patients across the UK. The strategy concentrates on five main areas: empowering patients; … Continue reading →... Read more »
The discovery and characterization of microbial species continues to be a long and painstaking process. Scientists have spent decades (well... really centuries) carefully studying the distinct properties of different microbes, examining the evolutionary relationships between different microbes, and organizing microbes into taxonomic groups based on various commonalities.... Read more »
Kang, Ilnam; Oh, Hyun-Myung M; Kang, Dongmin; Cho, Jang-Cheon C. (2013) Genome of a SAR116 bacteriophage shows the prevalence of this phage type in the oceans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1219930110
New research contradicts the idea that the first farmers were responsible for domesticating dogs. It turns out that dogs became our faithful companions even before the appearance of the first settlements. The appeal presented by hunter-gatherers was enough to arouse the wolf’s curiosity and approach humans.... Read more »
Thalmann O, Shapiro B, Cui P, Schuenemann VJ, Sawyer SK, Greenfield DL, Germonpré MB, Sablin MV, López-Giráldez F, Domingo-Roura X.... (2013) Complete mitochondrial genomes of ancient canids suggest a European origin of domestic dogs. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6160), 871-4. PMID: 24233726
Larson G, Karlsson EK, Perri A, Webster MT, Ho SY, Peters J, Stahl PW, Piper PJ, Lingaas F, Fredholm M.... (2012) Rethinking dog domestication by integrating genetics, archeology, and biogeography. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(23), 8878-83. PMID: 22615366
Vilà C, Savolainen P, Maldonado JE, Amorim IR, Rice JE, Honeycutt RL, Crandall KA, Lundeberg J, & Wayne RK. (1997) Multiple and ancient origins of the domestic dog. Science (New York, N.Y.), 276(5319), 1687-9. PMID: 9180076
Thalmann O, Shapiro B, Cui P, Schuenemann VJ, Sawyer SK, Greenfield DL, Germonpré MB, Sablin MV, López-Giráldez F, Domingo-Roura X, Napierala H,Uerpmann HP, Loponte DM, Acosta AA, Giemsch L, Schmitz RW, Worthington B, Buikstra JE, Druzhkova A, Graphoda. (2013) Fossil dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in Belgium, the Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA and stable isotopes. Science . DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.033
Ovodov ND, Crockford SJ, Kuzmin YV, Higham TF, Hodgins GW, & van der Plicht J. (2011) A 33,000-year-old incipient dog from the Altai Mountains of Siberia: evidence of the earliest domestication disrupted by the Last Glacial Maximum. PloS one, 6(7). PMID: 21829526
Pang JF, Kluetsch C, Zou XJ, Zhang AB, Luo LY, Angleby H, Ardalan A, Ekström C, Sköllermo A, Lundeberg J.... (2009) mtDNA data indicate a single origin for dogs south of Yangtze River, less than 16,300 years ago, from numerous wolves. Molecular biology and evolution, 26(12), 2849-64. PMID: 19723671
A brief look into the fascinating and puzzling world of prion proteins in disease. Endogenous cellular proteins capable of self-replicating and mediating neurodegeneration. ... Read more »
Acquatella-Tran Van Ba I, Imberdis T, & Perrier V. (2013) From Prion Diseases to Prion-Like Propagation Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases. International journal of cell biology, 975832. PMID: 24222767
Lee S, Antony L, Hartmann R, Knaus KJ, Surewicz K, Surewicz WK, & Yee VC. (2010) Conformational diversity in prion protein variants influences intermolecular beta-sheet formation. The EMBO journal, 29(1), 251-62. PMID: 19927125
Wasmer C, Lange A, Van Melckebeke H, Siemer AB, Riek R, & Meier BH. (2008) Amyloid fibrils of the HET-s(218-289) prion form a beta solenoid with a triangular hydrophobic core. Science (New York, N.Y.), 319(5869), 1523-6. PMID: 18339938
Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.
If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.
Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.
To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.