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  • June 14, 2010
  • 11:47 AM

Primed to Explode: The Psychiatry of a Bad Temper

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Everyone gets angry from time to time. But there’s angry, and there’s angry - wall-punching, object-throwing, call-the-police angry. The latter type of tantrum, if it’s a recurrent problem, could be a symptom of a psychiatric condition currently known as intermittent explosive disorder, or IED. Though it has appeared in every edition of the Diagnostic and [...]... Read more »

McCloskey MS, Kleabir K, Berman ME, Chen EY, & Coccaro EF. (2010) Unhealthy aggression: intermittent explosive disorder and adverse physical health outcomes. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 29(3), 324-32. PMID: 20496987  

  • June 14, 2010
  • 11:05 AM

New Study Probes the Details of Dinosaur Bites

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

On a very superficial level, the skulls of the carnivorous theropod dinosaurs might look very much the same from species to species—big jaws filled with lots of pointy teeth. If they are examined in even a little bit of detail, however, it is quickly apparent that meat-eating dinosaurs were diverse in head shape and skull [...]... Read more »

  • June 14, 2010
  • 10:22 AM

Urban streams with green walls

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

Note: This post is a collaborative effort by Anne and guest blogger Will Dalen Rice, a graduate student in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at UNC Charlotte. He had the misfortune of taking a couple of courses from Anne this semester and has become a certified stream junkie, going out on rainy nights to see how high Charlotte's urban streams are running.

Most cities were started around the idea of available surface water resources. Development and misuse of our streams (ex: "di........ Read more »

  • June 14, 2010
  • 10:03 AM

Hold the Expresso! Coffee Might Not Keep You Alert Afterall

by Kelly Grooms in Promega Connections

Despite what many of us may believe we learned cramming for finals in college, a study published in Neuropsychopharmacology (1) suggests that your morning cup of coffee might not help you stay alert through that early morning meeting. In a study of 379 coffee drinkers, researchers found that frequent coffee drinkers developed a tolerance to both the anxiety-producing [...]... Read more »

Rogers PJ, Hohoff C, Heatherley SV, Mullings EL, Maxfield PJ, Evershed RP, Deckert J, & Nutt DJ. (2010) Association of the Anxiogenic and Alerting Effects of Caffeine with ADORA2A and ADORA1 Polymorphisms and Habitual Level of Caffeine Consumption. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 20520601  

  • June 14, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Protected areas change fish behavior, study suggests

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Credit, Fir0002/Flagstaffotos. Image released under the GFDL License.... Read more »

  • June 14, 2010
  • 07:37 AM

Monday Pets: The Russian Fox Study

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

I've decided I want to cover some recent research on social cognition in domesticated dogs. But first, we need some background. So here's a repost from the old blog.

Today I want to tell you about one of my most favorite studies, ever, of animals. Are you ready? It's a FIFTY YEAR LONG longitudinal study of captive silver foxes in Russia. Gather around, pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, get comfortable, and enjoy storytime.

In 1948, Soviet scientist Dmitri Belyaev lost his job at t........ Read more »

Belyaev, DK. (1969) Domestication of animals. Science, 5(1), 47-52. info:/

  • June 14, 2010
  • 06:39 AM

The Face of a Mouse in Pain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Have you ever wanted to know whether a mouse is in pain?Of course you have. And now you can, thanks to Langford et al's paper Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse.It turns out that mice, just like people, display a distinctive "Ouch!" facial expression when they're suffering acute pain. It consists of narrowing of the eyes, bulging nose and cheeks, ears pulled back, and whiskers either pulled back or forwards.With the help of a high-definition video camera and a little tr........ Read more »

Langford, D., Bailey, A., Chanda, M., Clarke, S., Drummond, T., Echols, S., Glick, S., Ingrao, J., Klassen-Ross, T., LaCroix-Fralish, M.... (2010) Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse. Nature Methods, 7(6), 447-449. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1455  

  • June 14, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

The genetics of autism

by David Gorski in Science-Based Medicine

Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) actually represent a rather large continuum of conditions that range from very severe neurodevelopmental delay and abnormalities to the relatively mild. In severe cases, the child is nonverbal and displays a fairly well-characterized set of behaviors, including repetitive behaviors such as “stimming” (for example, hand flapping, making sounds, head [...]... Read more »

Pinto, D., Pagnamenta, A., Klei, L., Anney, R., Merico, D., Regan, R., Conroy, J., Magalhaes, T., Correia, C., Abrahams, B.... (2010) Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09146  

  • June 14, 2010
  • 05:36 AM

Living fossils don’t exist…

by Lucas in thoughtomics

… except in Hollywood movies.

Let’s make this clear from the start, I don’t like the term “living fossils” at all. It’s as if we decided that certain species are second class organisms that should have gone extinct a long time ago. Unfortunately for me, the term regularly crops up in the popular scientific press. Especially [...]... Read more »

Amemiya, C., Powers, T., Prohaska, S., Grimwood, J., Schmutz, J., Dickson, M., Miyake, T., Schoenborn, M., Myers, R., Ruddle, F.... (2010) Complete HOX cluster characterization of the coelacanth provides further evidence for slow evolution of its genome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(8), 3622-3627. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914312107  

  • June 14, 2010
  • 04:13 AM

The return of ex situ

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Although some have emphasized the need to breed crops for future climatic conditions, much of the world’s farming population relies on landrace populations, not formal breeding networks.
Undeniable, of course, and a good reason to not forget landraces, or farmers’ local varieties, when thinking about how agriculture will (or will not) adapt to climate change. And [...]... Read more »

  • June 14, 2010
  • 01:22 AM

Dopamine and Reward Prediction: What your brain looks like on Rickroll

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Today Sci is going to blog a paper that she has been meaning to blog for a long time. It's one of those papers that people who do certain kinds of science snuggle with when they go to sleep at night.

(Sci and this paper)

But the real reason that Sci loves this paper is that it's the neurobiological equivilant of a RickRoll.

And the question behind this paper is: what is the mechanism behind reward prediction?

Schultz, Dayan, and Montague. "A neural substrate of prediction and reward" ........ Read more »

  • June 14, 2010
  • 01:12 AM

New possibilities for drought tolerance

by Anastasia Bodnar in Biofortified

An Arabidopsis stomate showing two guard cells exhibiting green fluorescent protein and native chloroplast (red) fluorescence. via Wikipedia. This image is an extreme closeup of a stomate (singular, the plural form is stomata). These two cells, called guard cells, control the plant’s respiration: how much carbon dioxide gets in and how much oxygen and water vapor gets out. The control isn’t very good, though. Most plants just have their stomata open all day Continue reading...... Read more »

Hu H, Boisson-Dernier A, Israelsson-Nordström M, Böhmer M, Xue S, Ries A, Godoski J, Kuhn JM, & Schroeder JI. (2010) Carbonic anhydrases are upstream regulators of CO2-controlled stomatal movements in guard cells. Nature cell biology, 12(1), 87. PMID: 20010812  

  • June 13, 2010
  • 07:45 PM

A universal flu vaccine

by Atila Iamarino in Influenza A (H1N1) Blog – English

Will we have a universal Influenza vaccine someday? Will we find something that eliminates the need of developing a new vaccine every year and ensuring that great part of the population receives it?

The annual development of flu vaccines is a very expensive way of avoiding this disease even if it is the most efficient way. [...]... Read more »

Sui, J., Hwang, W., Perez, S., Wei, G., Aird, D., Chen, L., Santelli, E., Stec, B., Cadwell, G., Ali, M.... (2009) Structural and functional bases for broad-spectrum neutralization of avian and human influenza A viruses. Nature Structural , 16(3), 265-273. DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1566  

  • June 13, 2010
  • 06:33 AM

The long road to perennial cereals

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Why are there no perennial grain crops? That’s the provocative question posed by a recent paper in Evolutionary Applications written by three scientists working at The Land Institute. Whose institutional mission, of course, is to breed just this sort of crop, on the assumption that they “could reduce soil erosion while maintaining production of food [...]... Read more »

  • June 13, 2010
  • 12:00 AM

New ways of hitting cancer: peptide rockets and nanobombs

by lifeandtechie in Matters of Life and Tech

An analysis of two recent publications describing two different systems that can penetrate solid tumors and deliver/distribute anti-cancer therapeutics throughout the tumor tissue, thereby improving treatment efficacy.... Read more »

Sugahara, K., Teesalu, T., Karmali, P., Kotamraju, V., Agemy, L., Greenwald, D., & Ruoslahti, E. (2010) Coadministration of a Tumor-Penetrating Peptide Enhances the Efficacy of Cancer Drugs. Science, 328(5981), 1031-1035. DOI: 10.1126/science.1183057  

Davis, M., Zuckerman, J., Choi, C., Seligson, D., Tolcher, A., Alabi, C., Yen, Y., Heidel, J., & Ribas, A. (2010) Evidence of RNAi in humans from systemically administered siRNA via targeted nanoparticles. Nature, 464(7291), 1067-1070. DOI: 10.1038/nature08956  

  • June 12, 2010
  • 09:47 PM

Protein function, promiscuity, moonlighting and philosophy

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

I recently received an email from a graduate student in Philosophy regarding protein function. Not sure if that person wants his name advertised, so I will keep it to myself.
I am a fan of your blog, and interested in the philosophy of biology. One particularly interesting question is what makes something have a function; when [...]... Read more »

Khersonsky O, Roodveldt C, & Tawfik DS. (2006) Enzyme promiscuity: evolutionary and mechanistic aspects. Current opinion in chemical biology, 10(5), 498-508. PMID: 16939713  

  • June 12, 2010
  • 10:48 AM

Bacterial Compasses

by Lucas in thoughtomics

I’m happy and proud to tell you that Lab Rat was kind enough to write today’s blogpost. She brings you a fascinating story about little magnetic particles found in some bacteria, that may help them find their way like compasses do. Normally she writes great posts on bacteria on her own blog, which [...]... Read more »

  • June 12, 2010
  • 03:33 AM

Methods of sampling and analysis and our concepts of ocean dynamics

by Sam in Oceanographer's Choice

I read a paper today (actually, more like an essay) by Peter Wangersky, a longtime chemical oceanographer. Titled “Methods of sampling and analysis and our concepts of ocean dynamics,” it is essentially a personable ramble through six decades of marine science, reflecting on the technical capabilities and sampling methods over time and the [...]... Read more »

Peter J. Wangersky. (2005) Methods of sampling and analysis and our concepts of ocean dynamics. Scientia Marina, 69(S1), 75-84. info:/10.3989/scimar.2005.69s175

  • June 12, 2010
  • 12:26 AM

Structural Causes of Increasing Life Expectancy

by Reason in Fight Aging!

As I'm sure you're all aware by now, human life expectancy for both young and old in the most developed regions of the world is slowly increasing, and this has been the case for some time. As medical technology advances and our wealth grows, we benefit in ways that lead to less biochemical damage to the complex machinery of our body accumulated over the course of a lifetime - and thus a greater likelihood of living longer. That the medical and research establishments have achieved this ongoing b........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2010
  • 11:13 AM

Research on DNA ends could lead to a blood test to monitor leukaemia

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Our cells are dividing all the time – replacing worn-out cells and healing injuries. But cell division can be a tricky business – every time a cell divides, each one of its 46 chromosomes, and the DNA they are made of, must be copied perfectly. Time and time again the cells in our bodies divide [...]... Read more »

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