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  • October 18, 2010
  • 12:23 PM

Internal coarse-graining of molecular systems

by evopapers in evopapers

Feret J, Danos V, Krivine J, Harmer R, & Fontana W (2009). Internal coarse-graining of molecular systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106 (16), 6453-8 PMID: 19346467, PNAS page, Supporting Information.   Models of molecular dynamics suffer from combinatorial explosion: the phenomenon of an exponential number of [...]... Read more »

Feret J, Danos V, Krivine J, Harmer R, & Fontana W. (2009) Internal coarse-graining of molecular systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(16), 6453-8. PMID: 19346467  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 11:33 AM

Pouches, pockets and sacs in the heads, necks and chests of mammals, part III: baleen whales

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

Time to continue in the Tet Zoo series on laryngeal diverticula (and other pouches, pockets and sacs). This time, we look at baleen whales, or mysticetes. Like the primates we looked at previously, mysticetes have enlarged laryngeal ventricles* that (mostly) meet along the ventral midline of the throat and form a single large laryngeal pouch or sac. The presence of a raphe along the sac's ventral midline seems to mark the line of fusion between the two ancestral, bilateral sacs. It's probabl........ Read more »

Mercado E 3rd, Schneider JN, Pack AA, & Herman LM. (2010) Sound production by singing humpback whales. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 127(4), 2678-91. PMID: 20370048  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 10:12 AM

Florida Panthers - Revived, with a Texan Twist

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

Florida panthers are healthier and fitter than they were fifteen years ago. They have higher genetic diversity, better immunity to disease, and fewer genetic abnormalities. They suffer fewer heart defects, enjoy higher fertility and are better able to climb trees. This is wonderful news for a population of panthers that was recently on the brink of extinction.

Like most populations of large carnivores, panther populations are divided between habitat islands and isolated in protected areas such ........ Read more »

Johnson, W., Onorato, D., Roelke, M., Land, E., Cunningham, M., Belden, R., McBride, R., Jansen, D., Lotz, M., Shindle, D.... (2010) Genetic Restoration of the Florida Panther. Science, 329(5999), 1641-1645. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192891  

Packer, C. (2010) A Bit of Texas in Florida. Science, 329(5999), 1606-1607. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196738  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 10:04 AM

Two DonorsChoose projects you must support: Girls are good at math, and Technology tools while pregnant

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

A plea to fund DonorsChoose projects that highlights research on sexism in mathematics instruction.... Read more »

Alessandri SM, & Lewis M. (1993) Parental evaluation and its relation to shame and pride in young children. Sex Roles, 335-343. info:/

Fennema, E., Peterson, P., Carpenter, T., & Lubinski, C. (1990) Teachers attributions and beliefs about girls, boys, and mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 21(1), 55-69. DOI: 10.1007/BF00311015  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 09:46 AM

Tyrannosaurus the Cannibal

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

For a Tyrannosaurus rex, there was nothing more dangerous than another Tyrannosaurus rex. From a relatively young age these dinosaurs tussled by biting each other on the face—possibly spreading parasitic microorganisms as they did so—and a few fossil scraps have suggested that some tyrannosaurs may have killed or eaten members of their own kind. This [...]... Read more »

Longrich, N., Horner, J., Erickson, G., & Currie, P. (2010) Cannibalism in Tyrannosaurus rex. PLoS ONE, 5(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013419  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 08:32 AM

How sperm find their way

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

The life of a sea urchin sperm is a difficult one. Once ejaculated, the cells have to navigate turbulent seas, with their eddies and currents, to fertilise a sea urchin egg. So how do they know where to go? They follow their chemical ‘noses’, so to speak. In a series of recent papers, Adán Guerrero, from [...]... Read more »

Guerrero A, Wood CD, Nishigaki T, Carneiro J, & Darszon A. (2010) Tuning sperm chemotaxis. Biochemical Society transactions, 38(5), 1270-4. PMID: 20863297  

Guerrero A, Nishigaki T, Carneiro J, Yoshiro Tatsu, Wood CD, & Darszon A. (2010) Tuning sperm chemotaxis by calcium burst timing. Developmental biology, 344(1), 52-65. PMID: 20435032  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 07:54 AM

Gimme Shelter

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Gimme shelter. If Africa’s threatened birds could talk, that might be their message in the wake of new study showing that very little of their essential habitat is covered by the continent’s protected areas.
Conservationists say parks, reserves and other kinds of protected areas (PAs) can play a key role in preventing habitat destruction and […] Read More »... Read more »

  • October 18, 2010
  • 05:03 AM

Sex with thee and the last woman

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

A quintessentially sexy topic in biology is the origin of sex. Not only are biologists interested in it, but so is the public. Of Matt Ridley’s older books it is predictable that The Red Queen has the highest rank on Amazon. We humans have a fixation on sex, both in our public norms and our [...]... Read more »

  • October 17, 2010
  • 09:44 PM

Grassland diversity increases stability across multiple functions

by Marc Cadotte in The EEB and flow

As ecological systems are altered with cascading changes in diversity, the oft-asked question is: does diversity matter for ecosystem function? This question has been tested a multitude of times, with the results often supporting the idea that more diverse assemblages provide greater functioning (such as productivity, nutrient cycling, supporting greater pollinator abundance, etc.). Besides greater functioning, scientists have hypothesized that more diverse systems are inherently more stable. Th........ Read more »

Proulx, R., Wirth, C., Voigt, W., Weigelt, A., Roscher, C., Attinger, S., Baade, J., Barnard, R., Buchmann, N., Buscot, F.... (2010) Diversity Promotes Temporal Stability across Levels of Ecosystem Organization in Experimental Grasslands. PLoS ONE, 5(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013382  

  • October 17, 2010
  • 09:15 PM

A cautiously-optimistic call to arms in coral reef science

by Uncharted Atolls in Uncharted Atolls

Coral reef ecosystems are under assault from multiple stressors.  These range from local to global disturbances, some falling into the realm of naturally-induced. Some of these disturbances can be exacerbated through anthropogenic means.  Some of the most insidious threats to these … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 17, 2010
  • 05:04 PM

Of broccoli, butterflies and Arabidopsis

by Thomas Kluyver in Thomas' Plant-Related Blog

Today, I’m venturing into the world of Arabidopsis, a plant I usually leave to the geneticists. More specifically, into it and its relatives’ evolutionary past. DNA sequences can be used to estimate how long ago species separated. Once they separate, they stop interbreeding, and their DNA sequences start to evolve separately. So the more differences [...]... Read more »

Beilstein, M., Nagalingum, N., Clements, M., Manchester, S., & Mathews, S. (2010) Dated molecular phylogenies indicate a Miocene origin for Arabidopsis thaliana. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909766107  

  • October 17, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

New Insights into When and Why Bacteria Assemble into Biofilms

by Michael Long in Phased

Chuanwu Xi and Jianfeng Wu (University of Michigan, United States) have found that pathogenic bacteria form dense protective aggregates (biofilms) in response to a physiological warning of their presence. This news feature was written on October 17, 2010.... Read more »

  • October 17, 2010
  • 04:14 PM

Sugar Baker Procedure: treatment for mesothelioma

by Science Exploiter in Science Exploits

In clinical science, if you ever hear of something with an unusual name, chances are it has something unique about it.  Consider an appendectomy--a boring name for the removal of the appendix, or cholecystectomy--a snooze of a term to describe the removal of the gallbladder; but both names serve a purpose in that they describe the procedure.  Now consider the Sugar Baker procedure.  Based on name alone, you don't have much to go by, unless you incorrectly suspect that it has something to do ........ Read more »

  • October 17, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Red Panda

by beredim in Strange Animals

Thorough information about the red panda (habitat, diet, mating habits etc). Photos and images included... Read more »

Sato JJ, Wolsan M, Minami S, Hosoda T, Sinaga MH, Hiyama K, Yamaguchi Y, & Suzuki H. (2009) Deciphering and dating the red panda's ancestry and early adaptive radiation of Musteloidea. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 53(3), 907-22. PMID: 19699810  

  • October 17, 2010
  • 07:20 AM

settling the black death debate with ancient dna

by Greg Fish in weird things

While for most of us, it tends to be a given that the culprit behind the scourge known as the Black Death was the bubonic plague, a number of historians weren’t so sure. The reports from the time talked about the kinds of symptoms we’d expect from a bizarre hybrid of bubonic and hemorrhagic plagues, [...]... Read more »

Haensch, S., Bianucci, R., Signoli, M., Rajerison, M., Schultz, M., Kacki, S., Vermunt, M., Weston, D., Hurst, D., Achtman, M.... (2010) Distinct Clones of Yersinia pestis Caused the Black Death. PLoS Pathogens, 6(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001134  

  • October 17, 2010
  • 02:00 AM

More aDNA from the Black Death

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

    An international team has confirmed Yersinia pestis biomolecules in Black Death era* ‘plague pits’ (Haensch et al., 2010). Ancient DNA (aDNA) specific for Yersinia pestis and the Yersinial F1 antigen were discovered in skeletons from recognized plague pits in the Netherlands, England, and France. German and Italian skeletons tested positive for Y. pestis [...]... Read more »

Haensch, S., Bianucci, R., Signoli, M., Rajerison, M., Schultz, M., Kacki, S., Vermunt, M., Weston, D., Hurst, D., Achtman, M., Carniel, E., and Bramanti, B. (2010) Distinct clones of Yersinia pestis caused the Black Death. PLoS Pathogens, 6(10). info:/

Pusch CM, Rahalison L, Blin N, Nicholson GJ, & Czarnetzki A. (2004) Yersinial F1 antigen and the cause of Black Death. The Lancet infectious diseases, 4(8), 484-5. PMID: 15288817  

  • October 16, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Risk assessment and mitigation of AquAdvantage salmon

by Anastasia Bodnar in Biofortified

Aqua Bounty Technologies, Inc. has recently applied for deregulation of AquAdvantage salmon — salmon that have been genetically engineered to grow faster than wild-type salmon. These salmon have the potential benefit of providing high-quality animal protein without putting additional pressure on declining wild fish stocks. However, these salmon present some potential risks that warrant examination. First, effects on the health and welfare of the animals must be determined. Second, if genetica........ Read more »

Devlin, R., Yesaki, T., Donaldson, E., Du, S., & Hew, C. (1995) Production of germline transgenic Pacific salmonids with dramatically increased growth performance. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 52(7), 1376-1384. DOI: 10.1139/f95-133  

Sundström LF, Lõhmus M, Tymchuk WE, & Devlin RH. (2007) Gene-environment interactions influence ecological consequences of transgenic animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(10), 3889-94. PMID: 17360448  

Vicini J, Etherton T, Kris-Etherton P, Ballam J, Denham S, Staub R, Goldstein D, Cady R, McGrath M, & Lucy M. (2008) Survey of retail milk composition as affected by label claims regarding farm-management practices. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(7), 1198-203. PMID: 18589029  

Upton Z, Yandell CA, Degger BG, Chan SJ, Moriyama S, Francis GL, & Ballard FJ. (1998) Evolution of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) action: in vitro characterization of vertebrate IGF-I proteins. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part B, Biochemistry , 121(1), 35-41. PMID: 9972282  

Mero A, Kähkönen J, Nykänen T, Parviainen T, Jokinen I, Takala T, Nikula T, Rasi S, & Leppäluoto J. (2002) IGF-I, IgA, and IgG responses to bovine colostrum supplementation during training. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 93(2), 732-9. PMID: 12133885  

Fraser DJ, Houde AL, Debes PV, O'Reilly P, Eddington JD, & Hutchings JA. (2010) Consequences of farmed-wild hybridization across divergent wild populations and multiple traits in salmon. Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, 20(4), 935-53. PMID: 20597281  

  • October 16, 2010
  • 11:26 AM

When Tyrannosauraus rex had for breakfast… another Tyrannosaurus rex

by Rogue in Into Oblivion

(This was first published at The Urban Times) In a study published in the online journal PLoS ONE yesterday, researchers show evidence for cannibalistic behaviour in Tyrannosaurus rex. Indeed, the king of the dinosaurs not only fed on other dinos, but also on fellow T. rex, say the researchers after identifying bite marks on giants’ [...]... Read more »

Longrich, N., Horner, J., Erickson, G., & Currie, P. (2010) Cannibalism in Tyrannosaurus rex. PLoS ONE, 5(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013419  

  • October 15, 2010
  • 10:47 PM

Saving more than species at Nagoya

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

There's been a whole lot of interesting stuff coming out this week related the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) going on in Nagoya, Japan right now.   CBD's goal was to slow the loss of biodiversity loss by 2010, but that goal was not achieved, and nations are hammering out how to revive the CBD with new goals for 2020.
At a prepatory meeting in May, governments agreed on 20 more specific draft targets, which aim to be “SMART” -........ Read more »

Perrings, C., Naeem, S., Ahrestani, F., Bunker, D., Burkill, P., Canziani, G., Elmqvist, T., Ferrati, R., Fuhrman, J., Jaksic, F.... (2010) Ecosystem Services for 2020. Science, 330(6002), 323-324. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196431  

  • October 15, 2010
  • 11:02 AM

Breaking The Chain

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Could be rough times ahead if you are the big fish atop the food chain in your river. A sophisticated new analysis finds that droughts and floods reshuffle river food webs in dramatically different ways – offering a potential preview of how climate change, dams and other forces may affect top predators such as large […] Read More »... Read more »

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