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  • June 7, 2010
  • 02:17 PM

What in Darwin’s Name Are Chaetognaths?!

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Lynn Margulis classified the Chaetognaths, known as arrow worms, as deuterostomes. Deuterostomy is characterized by  several developmental characteristics including radial, indeterminate cleavage, a posterior position of the blastopore (deuterostomy=”second mouth”), enterocoelous coelom formation and a tripartite adult body plan . . . → Read More: What in Darwin’s Name Are Chaetognaths?!... Read more »

Marlétaz, F., Martin, E., Perez, Y., Papillon, D., Caubit, X., Lowe, C., Freeman, B., Fasano, L., Dossat, C., & Wincker, P. (2006) Chaetognath phylogenomics: a protostome with deuterostome-like development. Current Biology, 16(15). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2006.07.016  

  • June 7, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Ptychozoon: the geckos that glide with flaps and fringes (gekkotans part VIII)

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

In the previous few gekkotan articles we looked at the seriously weird and highly distinctive leaf-tailed geckos of Madagascar. There's another group of especially unusual, highly notable gekkonid gekkotans I want to write about: the flying, gliding or parachute geckos (Ptychozoon) of south-east Asia and India. These geckos are weird: the adjacent pic (widely available online, but only at frustratingly small size; it's credited to Tim Macmillan/John Downer) makes them look like tiny screamin........ Read more »

Brown, R. M., Ferner, J. W., & Diesmos, A. C. (1997) Definition of the Philippine parachute gecko, Ptychozoon intermedium Taylor 1915 (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae): redescription, designation of a neotype, comparisons with related species. Herpetologica, 373-373. info:/

  • June 7, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Priortizing restoration across agricultural landscapes

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new case study presents a planning method for prioritizing ecosystem restoration efforts across an agricultural region. While this type of systematic approach to prioritization has been widely used in land protection, it is much less common in restoration...... Read more »

  • June 6, 2010
  • 07:42 PM

H5N1, the bird flu: the virus

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

In the last text, it was discussed the capacity of H5N1 of infecting a number of hosts and causing very harsh symptoms, causing deaths in over 50% of the recorded human cases. Despite this, its transmission from person to person seems to be well limited. Now we will see its characteristics that contribute to this.
As [...]... Read more »

  • June 6, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

Species area curves & neutral theory

by Thomas Kluyver in Thomas' Plant-Related Blog

How many species are there here? It’s a beguilingly simple question, and a fundamental area of interest. A moments thought shows that the bigger here is, the more species there will be. So, if we start from a little patch of my lawn, and take successively larger heres until we’ve included the whole world, we [...]... Read more »

  • June 6, 2010
  • 05:48 PM

Of Bears, Berries, and Hoofed Invaders

by Anne-Marie Hodge in Endless Forms

There are few images more fearsome than that of an angry bear, with teeth bared and claws flashing. It is intriguing, then, to consider a community in which a population of mighty ursids was driven to extinction by a diminutive...... Read more »

  • June 6, 2010
  • 02:01 PM

RNA Journal Club 5/27/10

by YPAA in You'd Prefer An Argonaute

Most “Dark Matter” Transcripts Are Associated With Known Genes Harm van Bakel, Corey Nislow, Benjamin J. Blencowe, Timothy R. Hughes PLoS Biology, 8 (5): e1000371, 18 May 2010. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000371 This week’s illuminating summary and analysis by Igor Ulitsky. It’s Igor’s second contribution to the blog: The paper is one of at least five interesting RNA-Seq [...]... Read more »

van Bakel H, Nislow C, Blencowe BJ, & Hughes TR. (2010) Most "dark matter" transcripts are associated with known genes. PLoS biology, 8(5). PMID: 20502517  

  • June 6, 2010
  • 05:38 AM

The Ancestry of the Malarial Plasmid Revealed

by Lucas in thoughtomics

Suppose you’re nearing the end of your life. In a strange twist of fate, you won the lottery. You decide to split the jackpot equally between your two children. While one child uses the money to fund a charity dedicated to fighting poverty, the other one uses it to start the crime syndicate he has [...]... Read more »

Janouskovec, J., Horak, A., Obornik, M., Lukes, J., & Keeling, P. (2010) A common red algal origin of the apicomplexan, dinoflagellate, and heterokont plastids. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003335107  

  • June 6, 2010
  • 04:20 AM

Genetics & the Jewish Question

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

The 2,000 year dance between the Jewish people and Western civilization has spawned many questions of scholarly interest. A relatively minor point, though not trivial, has been the issue of the biological relatedness of the Jewish people, and their relatedness to the nations among whom they were resident. This particular point became more starkly relevant [...]... Read more »

  • June 6, 2010
  • 12:20 AM

A Coffee Drinker's Nightmare: Caffeine Loses It's Kick

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

A study shows that frequent consumption habituates the body to caffeine, and it's all downhill from there...... 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 5, 2010
  • 04:13 PM

Monoamine Shock

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a crude but effective treatment for depression. It consists of applying a brief alternating current to the brain in order to induce a generalized seizure, which usually lasts for less than half a minute. It looks nothing like the picture to the left.ECT is typically given three times per week, and a dozen sessions are enough to produce a dramatic improvement in depression in most cases. However, how it works is entirely mysterious. There are plenty of theories......... Read more »

Cassidy, F., Weiner, R., Cooper, T., & Carroll, B. (2010) Combined catecholamine and indoleamine depletion following response to ECT. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 196(6), 493-494. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.070573  

  • June 5, 2010
  • 08:41 AM

Oiled SeaBirds: To Kill Or Not To Kill?

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: ecology, marine biology, conservation biology, endangered species, environmental toxicology, seabirds, marine mammals,,peer-reviewed research, journal club

Bird rescue personnel Danene Birtell (L) and Heather Nevill (R) hold an oiled brown pelican, found on Storm Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, that will be washed at the treatment facility at Fort Jackson, Louisiana, USA. BP has contracted bird rescue groups to rehabilitate wildlife affected by........ Read more »

David A. Jessup, & Jonna A. K. Mazet. (1999) Rehabilitation of Oiled Wildlife: Why Do It?. 1999 International Oil Spill Conference. info:/

Stowe, T. (1982) An oil spillage at a Guillemot colony. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 13(7), 237-239. DOI: 10.1016/0025-326X(82)90346-0  

  • June 4, 2010
  • 05:25 PM

Doing Swimmingly

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Radio tags don't affect humpback whale survival

... Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 05:17 PM

Saliva from moth larva increases potato crop yields in Colombia

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Many farmers throughout Latin America and around the world rely on pesticides to control pest invasions; in the case of Andean potato crops, this method is not only costly but has been shown to cause adverse health effects as well. Due to the risks involved in pesticide usage, and the ever-increasing demand for high-yield crops, new methods of controlling pest invasions are being explored by researchers regularly. And as counterintuitive as these new findings sound, ecological scientists have d........ Read more »

Poveda, K., Gomez Jimenez, M., & Kessler, A. (2010) The enemy as ally: herbivore-induced increase in crop yield. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-1726  

  • June 4, 2010
  • 10:42 AM

Thank the Lord it’s Friday!

by nuin in Blind.Scientist

Image by Getty Images via @daylife I cannot wait until all the omics for all bodily fluids are uncovered: “Saliva Ontology: An ontology-based framework for a Salivaomics Knowledge Base” Ai, J., Smith, B., & Wong, D. (2010). Saliva Ontology: An ontology-based framework for a Salivaomics Knowledge Base BMC Bioinformatics, 11 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-11-302... Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 10:23 AM

Marine ecology affected by the local weather

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

As marine scientists, sometimes we forget or don't even realize how much local baymen and fishermen actually know. Or maybe we don't trust them because they are "lay" persons. But they work the bay, they try to catch many of the species we study (as money is a big driver of research), and they know things. Local baymen who have worked the bay for years suggest that bay scallop recruitment is higher in years after cold/wet winters. Sometimes, we take what they say with a grain of salt. Howev........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Study illustrates impact of adajcent land use on stream water quality

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Understanding public attitudes towards wildlife recovery efforts

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Black bears are returning to their historic ranges in places like southern Wisconsin and Eastern Texas. So how do local residents feel about the returning wildlife and what explains their attitudes?... Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 12:35 AM

Friday Weird Science: The Baby is Due, is it Time to Get It ON?!

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci, like everyone else around here, isn't immune to the sands of time. She's getting older, along with all of her friends, who are pairing up and settling down. This means two things:

1) Sci has been a bridesmaid SIX TIMES and counting so far. The tales she could tell...

2) Sci friends are having BABIES. LOTS AND LOTS OF BABIES. 400 BABIES!

(Sci is often accused of have GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY. Also, she has to wonder if these guys had ever tried the energy gel called "Chocolate ........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2010
  • 10:46 PM

How many species are there?

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

An interesting research note just came out in the American Naturalist by Hamilton and colleagues entitled Quantifying uncertainty in estimation of tropical arthropod species richness. I retweeted a Science Daily twitter feed on this that had a terribly misleading opening line: “New calculations reveal that the number of species on Earth is likely to be [...]... Read more »

Hamilton, A., Basset, Y., Benke, K., Grimbacher, P., Miller, S., Novotný, V., Samuelson, G., Stork, N., Weiblen, G., & Yen, J. (2010) Quantifying uncertainty in estimation of tropical arthropod species richness. The American Naturalist, 176(1), 90-95. DOI: 10.1086/652998  

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