I love B-grade monster movies, and one of my all time favorites is the 1980 creature feature Alligator. As its title suggests, the film’s protagonist is a 40-foot-long alligator, literally pumped up on steroids from consuming the bodies of medical research lab animals which had been dumped in the sewers under Chicago, and it spends [...]... Read more »
Héctor E. RIVERA-SYLVA, Eberhard FREY, José Rubén GUZMÁN-GUTIÉRREZ. (2009) Evidence of predation on the vertebra of a hadrosaurid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) of Coahuila, Mexico. Notebooks on Geology, 1-6. info:/
by TimThe Mycobacteria are quite the unique genus; not quite Gram-positive due to their waxy mycolic acids on their outer surface, but certainly not Gram-negative as they do not have an outer lipid bilayer. (Although, there are some interesting micrographs showing a structural feature that does look a lot like a typical Gram-negative outer membrane on the surface of Mycobacteria.) Much slower growing than the average bacteria studied in the lab and not so easily manipulated genetically (though s........ Read more »
Ghosh, J., Larsson, P., Singh, B., Pettersson, B., Islam, N., Sarkar, S., Dasgupta, S., & Kirsebom, L. (2009) Sporulation in mycobacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(26), 10781-10786. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0904104106
Most studies on turbidity investigate freshwater ecosystems and few studies have focused on the impacts of turbidity on marine ecosystems. Eianne et al. (1999) showed that invertebrate planktivores (jellyfish) replaced planktivorous fish within Norwegian turbid fiords. This was likely to be because increased turbidity levels reduced the possibility of foraging in visually oriented fish, while tactile feeding in jellyfish allowed them to continue to feed under light-limited conditions.... Read more »
Eiane, K., Aksnes, D.L., Bagoien, E., & Kaartvedt, S. (1999) Fish or jellies - a question of visibility?. Limnology and Oceangraphy, 44(5), 1352-1357. info:/
On Monday I wrote about one of those frustrating papers that asks an interesting question, but the more you look at it, the less sure you are of the results. In this case they might be right, but I...... Read more »
Venditti, C., Meade, A., & Pagel, M. (2009) Phylogenies reveal new interpretation of speciation and the Red Queen. Nature, 463(7279), 349-352. DOI: 10.1038/nature08630
... Read more »
Bartzen, B., Dufour, K., Clark, R., & Caswell, F. (2010) Trends in agricultural impact and recovery of wetlands in prairie Canada. Ecological Applications, 20(2), 525-538. DOI: 10.1890/08-1650.1
Mammalian cell penetration, siRNA transfection, and DNA transfection by supercharged proteins
Brian R. McNaughton, James J. Cronican, David B. Thompson and David R. Liu
PNAS 106 (15): 6111-6116, 14 April 2009.
This week’s shrewd summary/analysis–impressively his third contribution to this blog–by David Weinberg:
In their 2009 PNAS paper, David Liu and colleagues demonstrate that a green fluorescent protein [...]... Read more »
McNaughton BR, Cronican JJ, Thompson DB, & Liu DR. (2009) Mammalian cell penetration, siRNA transfection, and DNA transfection by supercharged proteins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(15), 6111-6. PMID: 19307578
I do so love it when people make accessibly, entertaining, highly educational science stuff.
In the latest of such moves, researchers from EMBL and the Mitocheck Consortium (both in Europe) have built up a library of movies showing what happens to a human cell when a particular gene is switched off. One at a time.
This is [...]
[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »
Neumann, B., Walter, T., Hériché, J., Bulkescher, J., Erfle, H., Conrad, C., Rogers, P., Poser, I., Held, M., Liebel, U.... (2010) Phenotypic profiling of the human genome by time-lapse microscopy reveals cell division genes. Nature, 464(7289), 721-727. DOI: 10.1038/nature08869
Do changes in nuclear DNA significantly affect the course of aging? A good question, one that is still open and energetically debated in the scientific community. How about epigenetic changes, mechanisms that alter the process of producing proteins from genetic blueprints without changing the genes themselves, such as those involving DNA methylation? Insofar as degenerative aging is concerned, are epigenetic changes cause, consequence of other, more fundamental changes, or a mix of both? Also go........ Read more »
The widespread problems associated with cultural eutrophication are well-known. Essentially, humans dump a lot of biotically important elements into water, and the resulting algal and bacterial dynamics render those waters pretty unfavorable for native species and desirable species (i.e., you get a lot of fish kills and stinky water).
A big source of those nutrients is agriculture. Row-crop ... Read more »
Arbuckle, K.E., & Downing, J.A. (2001) The influence of watershed land use on lake N: P in a predominantly agricultural landscape. Limnology and Oceanography, 46(4), 970-975. info:/
We’re trying something new this week. Each week, in addition to all the great written blogs you can find on ResearchBlogging.org, we’re posting a podcast about science.
Each week, Research Bloggers Kevin Zelnio, Razib Khan, and I will choose a journal article to discuss in podcast form. We’ll make sure it’s an article that we or [...]... Read more »
Brown, J., Morales, V., & Summers, K. (2010) A Key Ecological Trait Drove the Evolution of Biparental Care and Monogamy in an Amphibian. The American Naturalist, 175(4), 436-446. DOI: 10.1086/650727
by Merry Youle in Small Things Considered
Morphologically speaking, the viruses of mesophilic and moderately thermophilic bacteria and archaea are a dull bunch. Of 5,100 surveyed, 97% are ho-hum head-and-tail phages—icosahedral heads with helical tails. The remainder were tailless icosahedra or filaments, except for two spindle-shaped oddballs. If you'd like more structural excitement, best to go virus hunting in geothermally-heated aquatic environments above 80 ºC—the hot springs, mud holes, and deep-sea hydrothermal vents—and b........ Read more »
Häring M, Vestergaard G, Rachel R, Chen L, Garrett RA, & Prangishvili D. (2005) Virology: independent virus development outside a host. Nature, 436(7054), 1101-2. PMID: 16121167
Prangishvili D, Vestergaard G, Häring M, Aramayo R, Basta T, Rachel R, & Garrett RA. (2006) Structural and genomic properties of the hyperthermophilic archaeal virus ATV with an extracellular stage of the reproductive cycle. Journal of molecular biology, 359(5), 1203-16. PMID: 16677670
by gkobs in Promega Connections
One of the approaches to identify proteins by mass spectrometry includes the separation of proteins by gel electrophoresis or liquid chromatography. Subsequently the proteins are cleaved with sequence-specific endoproteases. Following digestion the generated peptides are investigated by determination of molecular masses or specific sequence. For protein identification the experimentally obtained masses/sequences are compared with theoretical [...]... Read more »
Swaney DL, Wenger CD, & Coon JJ. (2010) Value of using multiple proteases for large-scale mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Journal of proteome research, 9(3), 1323-9. PMID: 20113005
by Robert Deyes in Promega Connections
The plans had been made, details finalized and all expenses paid. I was to travel to the south coast of England to complete my training for the British Sub-Aqua Club Sports Diver certificate. I boarded a train from London’s Waterloo station down to the quiet seaside resort of Bournemouth where I was received [...]... Read more »
Russell DW. (1996) UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3): reliability, validity, and factor structure. Journal of personality assessment, 66(1), 20-40. PMID: 8576833
Cole SW, Hawkley LC, Arevalo JM, Sung CY, Rose RM, & Cacioppo JT. (2007) Social regulation of gene expression in human leukocytes. Genome biology, 8(9). PMID: 17854483
Eisenberger NI, Lieberman MD, & Williams KD. (2003) Does rejection hurt? An FMRI study of social exclusion. Science (New York, N.Y.), 302(5643), 290-2. PMID: 14551436
Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »
Craddock, N., Hurles, M., Cardin, N., Pearson, R., Plagnol, V., Robson, S., Vukcevic, D., Barnes, C., Conrad, D., Giannoulatou, E.... (2010) Genome-wide association study of CNVs in 16,000 cases of eight common diseases and 3,000 shared controls. Nature, 464(7289), 713-720. DOI: 10.1038/nature08979
Cleveland, L., & Grimstone, A. (1964) The Fine Structure of the Flagellate Mixotricha paradoxa and Its Associated Micro-Organisms. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences (1934-1990), 159(977), 668-686. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1964.0025
Zhang, Q., Raoof, M., Chen, Y., Sumi, Y., Sursal, T., Junger, W., Brohi, K., Itagaki, K., & Hauser, C. (2010) Circulating mitochondrial DAMPs cause inflammatory responses to injury. Nature, 464(7285), 104-107. DOI: 10.1038/nature08780
Kilian, K., Bugarija, B., Lahn, B., & Mrksich, M. (2010) Geometric cues for directing the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(11), 4872-4877. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903269107
... Read more »
Hare, J., Alexander, M., Fogarty, M., Williams, E., & Scott, J. (2010) Forecasting the dynamics of a coastal fishery species using a coupled climate–population model. Ecological Applications, 20(2), 452-464. DOI: 10.1890/08-1863.1
About five years ago Kari Stefansson published an interesting paper, A common inversion under selection in Europeans. The basic thrust of the results was that a particular genomic region in Europeans exhibited a pattern of variation whereby there was one variant which was inverted in relation to the modal type. They labelled them “H2″ and [...]... Read more »
Donnelly, M., Paschou, P., Grigorenko, E., Gurwitz, D., Mehdi, S., Kajuna, S., Barta, C., Kungulilo, S., Karoma, N., & Lu, R. (2010) The Distribution and Most Recent Common Ancestor of the 17q21 Inversion in Humans. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 86(2), 161-171. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.01.007
So I’m in Las Vegas, gambling capital of the world. And I was reminded of the Kenny Rogers song, The Gambler. And of this video of Kenny Rogers singing The Gambler with the muppets. Because the muppets make everything better.
Figure 1: Isn’t the whole guy dying and turning into a ghost thing a little much [...]... Read more »
Lee, S., & Wolpoff, M. (2003). The pattern of evolution in Pleistocene human brain size Paleobiology, 29 (2), 186-196 DOI: 10.1666/0094-8373(2003)0292.0.CO;2
There has been a bit of debate around the biology blogoverse recently about the evolution of human brain size. It started off as an “idle speculation” type argument, but then took a satisfying swerve into [...]... Read more »
Lee, S., & Wolpoff, M. (2003) The pattern of evolution in Pleistocene human brain size. Paleobiology, 29(2), 186-196. DOI: 10.1666/0094-8373(2003)0292.0.CO;2
When two of the leading experts in genomics published their thoughts about the future of genetics in Nature’s retrospective on the Human Genome Project, one of them didn’t devote significant parts of his editorial to a simple laundry list of goals and challenges in his field. Instead, J. Craig Venter called on a seemingly unlikely [...]... Read more »
An article from the Duke University media outlet reminds us of the bigger historical picture of human life expectancy: continual incremental improvement ever since the Industrial Revolution. It's also a good example of how to write a decent popular science press piece, one that adds context to the research it references, rather than dumbing it down or papering it over. From the perspective of the reliability theory of aging and longevity, the historical increase in life expectancy has occurred b........ Read more »
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