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  • August 26, 2010
  • 09:23 AM
  • 1,373 views

New potential targets in ovarian cancer?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Treatment for ovarian cancer hasn't changed much in the last ten years, reflecting the lack of biomarkers and biochemical targets for the disease. Chemotherapy with a platinum (carboplatin or cisplatin) and a taxane (paclitaxel or docetaxel) has therefore formed the...... Read more »

Lu, C., Han, H., Mangala, L., Ali-Fehmi, R., Newton, C., Ozbun, L., Armaiz-Pena, G., Hu, W., Stone, R., & Munkarah, A. (2010) Regulation of Tumor Angiogenesis by EZH2. Cancer Cell, 18(2), 185-197. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2010.06.016  

  • August 26, 2010
  • 08:04 AM
  • 764 views

Synthetic tools for controlling protein expression

by Becky in It Takes 30

A recent paper from Jim Collins’ lab (Callura et al. 2010, Tracking, tuning, and terminating microbial physiology using synthetic riboregulators. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA PMID: 20713708) explores the utility of a translational riboregulator to control protein production in four different settings.  The basic idea is that you set up your gene of interest so [...]... Read more »

Callura JM, Dwyer DJ, Isaacs FJ, Cantor CR, & Collins JJ. (2010) Tracking, tuning, and terminating microbial physiology using synthetic riboregulators. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20713708  

  • August 26, 2010
  • 07:46 AM
  • 489 views

The Usefulness of Dolphin Snot

by Laelaps in Laelaps

For years marine biologists have relied on dart biopsies – small portions of tissue obtained by shooting a dart into an animal – to study the genetics of dolphins in the wild. The trouble is that this method can’t be used on very young animals for fear of harming them, and concerns about injury to [...]... Read more »

Frère, C., Krzyszczyk, E., Patterson, E., Hunter, S., Ginsburg, A., & Mann, J. (2010) Thar She Blows! A Novel Method for DNA Collection from Cetacean Blow. PLoS ONE, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012299  

  • August 25, 2010
  • 10:53 PM
  • 1,101 views

Magic for dogs

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

At the recent International Congress of Neuroethology, one of the keynote talks was by Susana Martinez-Conde about the psychology of magic. She’s written a few article on illusions, and has a book on the subject coming out soon.

It was great, but it was a little unusual for a neuroethology meeting. It was all humans, so there wasn’t much ethology. And there really wasn’t a lot in the way of neurons. I wondered, “Are there magic tricks for animals?”

Maybe there is.


If you’ve playe........ Read more »

Macknik, S., King, M., Randi, J., Robbins, A., Teller, ., Thompson, J., & Martinez-Conde, S. (2008) Attention and awareness in stage magic: turning tricks into research. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(11), 871-879. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2473  

  • August 25, 2010
  • 09:00 PM
  • 1,746 views

Mahjong-Induced Seizures

by Kevin Zelnio in The Online Laboratory of Kevin Zelnio

Mahjong indoctrination starts early in China.
Anyone that knows me outside of the blogosphere, knows I won’t turn down a good game of Mahjong. Part of the  fun is figuring out which scoring system your host is going to use, because I swear to to this day it changes by the minute. “Oh, is that a [...]... Read more »

  • August 25, 2010
  • 08:08 PM
  • 815 views

Zombie cyclophilins catalyze HIV capsid isomerization

by Michael Clarkson in Conformational Flux

If you're going to study the role an enzyme plays in a biological pathway, it's often useful to "kill" it with a mutation. For example, the proline cis-trans isomerase cyclophilin A (CypA) needs a particular arginine residue for its chemistry, so mutations that remove or alter that functional group, like R55K and R55A, should destroy the protein's function and have effects on the related pathways that help illustrate its role. The hydrophobic pocket it uses to bind substrates is made by residues........ Read more »

  • August 25, 2010
  • 06:50 PM
  • 817 views

Correlating Drug Side Effects, Biochemical Pathways, and Diseases

by Michael Long in Phased

The computational model of Izhar Wallach, Navdeep Jaitly, and Ryan Lilien (Unversity of Toronto, Canada) will accelerate drug development, and help scientists understand the origin of adverse drug side effects. This news feature was written on August 25, 2010.... Read more »

  • August 25, 2010
  • 06:07 PM
  • 1,107 views

Inhibition of mutated, activated BRAF in metastatic melanoma

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Hot on the heels of last week's New England Journal of Medicine article on ipilimumab (BMS) comes another article on metastatic melanoma, this time from Keith Flaherty's group in Pennsylvania and Boston on BRAF inhibition with PLX4032, an exciting compound...... Read more »

Flaherty, K., Puzanov, I., Kim, K., Ribas, A., McArthur, G., Sosman, J., O'Dwyer, P., Lee, R., Grippo, J., Nolop, K.... (2010) Inhibition of Mutated, Activated BRAF in Metastatic Melanoma. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(9), 809-819. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1002011  

Heidorn, S., Milagre, C., Whittaker, S., Nourry, A., Niculescu-Duvas, I., Dhomen, N., Hussain, J., Reis-Filho, J., Springer, C., & Pritchard, C. (2010) Kinase-Dead BRAF and Oncogenic RAS Cooperate to Drive Tumor Progression through CRAF. Cell, 140(2), 209-221. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.12.040  

Hatzivassiliou, G., Song, K., Yen, I., Brandhuber, B., Anderson, D., Alvarado, R., Ludlam, M., Stokoe, D., Gloor, S., Vigers, G.... (2010) RAF inhibitors prime wild-type RAF to activate the MAPK pathway and enhance growth. Nature, 464(7287), 431-435. DOI: 10.1038/nature08833  

  • August 25, 2010
  • 01:30 PM
  • 2,285 views

Spitting with a segmented brain

by Lucas in thoughtomics






The darkness is everywhere in this pitch black and humid forest. Unaware of the ancient hunter that is slowly wiggling its way through the undergrowth on its cute stubby legs, you are cleaning yourself after a long and tiring day. Suddenly, you’re stuck in a mass of glue and are no longer able to move. [...]... Read more »

  • August 25, 2010
  • 12:06 PM
  • 1,196 views

More Diagnosis by Whole Genome Resequencing

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

The cost of DNA sequencing continues to plummet, and while insurance companies might not be ready to get on board, another study has demonstrated how individual genome data can be clinically informative. Jonathan Rios and colleagues took on the case of an 11-month-old girl with severe hypercholesterolemia (1023 mg/dl) whose parents were unaffected, which suggested [...]... Read more »

  • August 25, 2010
  • 12:05 PM
  • 1,346 views

NOTCH signaling and brain cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

At the annual American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting earlier this year, Prof Bert Vogelstein presented a fascinating lecture on the critical cancer pathways and how targeting the aberrant signalling may potentially lead to new breakthroughs in treatment....... Read more »

  • August 25, 2010
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,014 views

The history of the Joshua tree, threats new and old

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate

And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city. And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as [...]... Read more »

Cole, K., Ironside, K., Eischeid, J., Garfin, G., Duffy, P., & Toney, C. (2010) Past and ongoing shifts in Joshua tree support future modeled range contraction. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-1800.1  

  • August 25, 2010
  • 09:57 AM
  • 516 views

Porcupine Laundry

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

It’s a longstanding idea: Take pressure off wild animals threatened by overexploitation by encouraging farmers to raise and sell them. A new study from Vietnam, however, suggests that commercial farming is doing more harm than good for a porcupine that’s popular on the dinner plate. That’s partly because some farmers appear to be “laundering” porcupines […] Read More »... Read more »

  • August 25, 2010
  • 09:38 AM
  • 1,664 views

Natural Selection vs. Opportunity in Macroevolutionary Patterning of the Fossil Record

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

I'm going to talk about one or two peer reviewed papers, but in doing so, I'm going to have to say a few words ... and this will not be pretty ... about a certain science writer's report at the BBC.

In an article titled "Space is the final frontier for evolution, study claims" BBC "science writer" Howard Falcon-Lang uses the old, tired, and quite frankly, stupendously unethical tack of making a claim that Darwin has been overthrown by new research. If someone actually overthrows Darwin, then s........ Read more »

  • August 25, 2010
  • 08:16 AM
  • 590 views

Bacterial Fingerprinting: A Microbial Future on CSI?

by A. Goldstein in WiSci

In 1915, detectives dusted for physical fingerprints. In 1990, they started using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to determine DNA fingerprints from bits of hair and skin. In 2020, scientists might be identifying culprits with a whole new type of fingerprint: a bacterial fingerprint. A bacterial fingerprint is a unique mix of microbes by which an [...]... Read more »

Fierer, N., Lauber, C., Zhou, N., McDonald, D., Costello, E., & Knight, R. (2010) From the Cover: Forensic identification using skin bacterial communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(14), 6477-6481. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1000162107  

Tucker JB, & Koblentz GD. (2009) The four faces of microbial forensics. Biosecurity and bioterrorism : biodefense strategy, practice, and science, 7(4), 389-97. PMID: 20028247  

  • August 25, 2010
  • 08:15 AM
  • 664 views

Bacterial Fingerprinting: A Microbial Future on CSI?

by agoldstein in WiSci

In 1915, detectives dusted for physical fingerprints. In 1990, they started using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to extract DNA fingerprints from bits of hair and skin. In 2020, scientists might be identifying culprits with a whole new type of fingerprint: a bacterial fingerprint.... Read more »

Fierer, N., Lauber, C., Zhou, N., McDonald, D., Costello, E., & Knight, R. (2010) From the Cover: Forensic identification using skin bacterial communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(14), 6477-6481. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1000162107  

Tucker JB, & Koblentz GD. (2009) The four faces of microbial forensics. Biosecurity and bioterrorism : biodefense strategy, practice, and science, 7(4), 389-97. PMID: 20028247  

  • August 25, 2010
  • 04:18 AM
  • 886 views

The Amazing World of Hummingbirds (Part II)

by Sam W in From C to Carnivore

The Cost of Sexual Selection Hummingbirds are amazing fliers. They’re fast and agile. Some species have extremely long tails such as the Red-billed Streamertail, Trochilus polytmus(image on left below). In species where females investment into offspring is larger, they choose their mate. Thus in many bird species, males compete with each other to be the [...]... Read more »

Clark CJ, & Dudley R. (2009) Flight costs of long, sexually selected tails in hummingbirds. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 276(1664), 2109-15. PMID: 19324747  

  • August 25, 2010
  • 01:12 AM
  • 1,053 views

Cephalopod Consciousness Part 2: The Case for Animal Consciousness

by Mike Mike in Cephalove

In this second post of the series “Cephalopod Consciousness”, I’ll talk about the methods that scientists have used to attempt to study consciousness in animals. For perhaps the first time in the history of this blog, I’ll write about science without making any specific reference to cephalopods – I’m saving that for part 3. Here [...]... Read more »

Edelman, D., & Seth, A. (2009) Animal consciousness: a synthetic approach. Trends in Neurosciences, 32(9), 476-484. DOI: 10.1016/j.tins.2009.05.008  

Plotnik JM, de Waal FB, & Reiss D. (2006) Self-recognition in an Asian elephant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(45), 17053-7. PMID: 17075063  

Cowey, A., & Stoerig, P. (1995) Blindsight in monkeys. Nature, 373(6511), 247-249. DOI: 10.1038/373247a0  

  • August 24, 2010
  • 10:50 PM
  • 903 views

Plumes, Microbes, and Hypoxia…Did, Do, or Will They Exist in the Gulf

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

The internets are a buzz with a new paper published in Science. You may recall I covered the new paper by Camilli et al. in Science demonstrating that a deep-water oil plume did exist, conclusively, in Gulf of Mexico at the time the researchers sampled, approximately May-June.  One of the interesting findings was that at the . . . → Read More: Plumes, Microbes, and Hypoxia…Did, Do, or Will They Exist in the Gulf... Read more »

Hazen, T., Dubinsky, E., DeSantis, T., Andersen, G., Piceno, Y., Singh, N., Jansson, J., Probst, A., Borglin, S., Fortney, J.... (2010) Deep-Sea Oil Plume Enriches Indigenous Oil-Degrading Bacteria. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1195979  

  • August 24, 2010
  • 09:35 PM
  • 1,459 views

Big ideas in sleep: Borbély's Two Process Model

by 神経オタク in Cognitive Convolutions

I think I'm sticking with sleep for now. I enjoy it, and I'm familiar with the literature a little better than other sub-fields. I may even try to volunteer in a sleep/circ lab the following semesters(!). In any case, I won't pretend to be an expert either... Definitely not, and I really don't want to step on anyone's toes. But sleep is FUN for me, so that's what I'm doing. For now. Unless I find... Read more »

Borbély, A., & Achermann, P. (1999) Sleep Homeostasis and Models of Sleep Regulation. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 14(6), 559-570. DOI: 10.1177/074873099129000894  

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