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  • September 26, 2010
  • 10:06 AM
  • 948 views

Shadows on the wall: « Truth never triumphs, but its opponents eventually die »

by Rogue in Into Oblivion

Gregory Petsko wrote a small comment in the very last Genome Biology titled Shadows on the wall. A very angry but still contained one, nicely written and important to think about. Here is some of my thoughts about. Gregory Petsko discusses a question related to what people call « paradigms » and innovation. Paradigm is a word [...]... Read more »

Petsko GA. (2010) Shadows on the wall. Genome biology, 11(9), 136. PMID: 20863416  

  • September 26, 2010
  • 07:28 AM
  • 725 views

Big Pharma Explain How To Pick Cherries

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Here at Neuroskeptic, we see a lot of bad science. Maybe, over the years (all 2 of them) that I've been writing this blog, I've become a bit jaded. Maybe I'm less distressed by it than I used to be. Cynical, even.But this one really takes the biscuit. And then it takes the tin. And relieves itself in it: A New Population-Enrichment Strategy to Improve Efficiency of Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials of Antidepressant Drugs.Don't worry - it's from a big pharmaceutical company (GlaxoSmithKline), s........ Read more »

  • September 25, 2010
  • 01:25 PM
  • 973 views

Kinetic Traps of Single Biomolecule Refolding

by Michael Long in Phased

David Rueda (Wayne State University, United States) and coworkers have quantitated kinetic barriers to refolding in DNA and RNA, uncovering rare and transient events only addressable on the single molecule level. This news feature was written on September 25, 2010.... Read more »

Zhao, R., Marshall, M., Alemán, E. A., Lamichhane, R., Feig, A., & Rueda, D. (2010) Laser-Assisted Single-Molecule Refolding (LASR). Biophysical Journal, 99(6), 1925-1931. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.07.019  

  • September 25, 2010
  • 09:13 AM
  • 1,258 views

The Structural Basis of Peptide-Protein Binding Strategies

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

How can peptides overcome the entropic cost involved in switching from an unstructured, flexible peptide to a rigid, well-defined bound structure? What are the strategies used by peptides in order to bind their protein receptor? How is this different than protein-protein interactions? In this work we performed A structure-based analysis of peptide-protein interactions to try and answer these questions.



... Read more »

London N, Movshovitz-Attias D, & Schueler-Furman O. (2010) The structural basis of peptide-protein binding strategies. Structure (London, England : 1993), 18(2), 188-99. PMID: 20159464  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 06:50 PM
  • 784 views

How vaccines work Pt.2

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

ResearchBlogging.org

In my last post I spoke about how vaccines work from the point of view of the person receiving the jab or pill. In that case we were talking about immunological memory but vaccines also work in another very important way from the point of view of the community and it is referred to as ‘herd immunity’.... Read more »

Fung KS, Yeung WL, Wong TW, So KW, & Cheng AF. (2004) Pertussis--a re-emerging infection?. The Journal of infection, 48(2), 145-8. PMID: 14720490  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 06:41 PM
  • 466 views

How Vaccines Work Pt.2

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

In my last post I spoke about how vaccines work from the point of view of the person receiving the jab or pill. In that case we were talking about immunological memory but vaccines also work in another very important way from the point of view of the community and it is referred to as [...]... Read more »

Fung KS, Yeung WL, Wong TW, So KW, & Cheng AF. (2004) Pertussis--a re-emerging infection?. The Journal of infection, 48(2), 145-8. PMID: 14720490  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 11:23 AM
  • 602 views

Risk, Insurance, LUST, and Fish

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

Two papers crossed my desk yesterday highlighting the role insurance can play in mitigating environmental risk.  The first, by Yin et. al. in Risk Analysis, discusses three appoaches to mitigating the risk of leaking underground storage tanks (a problem with the fantastic acronym LUST).  
Large fines for spills, as it turns out, are not a particularly efficient enforcement tool, as most LUSTs are owned by small businesses like gas stations that would likely go bankrupt before payi........ Read more »

Holland, D.S. (2010) Markets, pooling and insurance for managing bycatch in fisherie. Ecological Economics. info:/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.08.015

  • September 24, 2010
  • 11:15 AM
  • 3,080 views

What species of skate is for dinner? New research challenges elasmobranch fisheries policy

by WhySharksMatter in Southern Fried Science


I write a lot about shark conservation issues, but I rarely focus on their fellow elasmobranchs. Rays and skates have similar life history strategies as sharks, and many species are similarly overfished.  A friend just sent me a cool paper about the conservation of skates, which provides an excellent opportunity to remedy this oversight.
A major issue [...]... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 10:32 AM
  • 1,254 views

What Killed Europe’s Hyenas?

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Mass extinctions are often typified by the catastrophic loss of charismatic animals. Even though ammonites, pterosaurs, many forms of marine reptiles, and even some lineages of mammals all succumbed during the great dying at the end of the Cretaceous, that event will always be cast as the unexpected curtain-fall on the Age of the Dinosaurs. [...]... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 08:46 AM
  • 1,694 views

Symbiotic Foreclosure: coral bleaching predictions and a potential acclimation mechanism

by Uncharted Atolls in Uncharted Atolls

NOAA—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—issued a press release on September 22nd declaring coral bleaching likely in the Caribbean.  NOAA reports that: With temperatures above-average all year, NOAA’s models show a strong potential for bleaching in the southern and southeastern … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 08:38 AM
  • 1,382 views

Introducing Peptide-Protein Interactions

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

Peptide-protein interactions are gaining much interest of late. The Furman group have recently published a series of papers on the subject of peptide-protein interactions (disclaimer - these were partly authored by yours truly). In this post I will introduce the subject and the motivation to investigate these interactions and in later posts of this 'mini-series' I will get into more details on this on-going research.



... Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 07:37 AM
  • 983 views

Condors and vultures: their postures, their 'bald heads' and their sheer ecological importance

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology



For no particular reason, here are some interesting raptor photos. Birds of many kinds often sit around with their wings only partially folded, partly hanging down at their sides; one reason for this is that they're sun-bathing and are using their wings to soak up heat. Among raptors, this behaviour is well known for Turkey vultures Cathartes aura in particular. But many others do it, and here's another New World vulture (cathartid), an Andean condor Vultur gryphus, doing the same thing [photo........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2010
  • 07:35 AM
  • 636 views

Physical modeling of clot formation

by Becky in It Takes 30

Jeremy Gunawardena pointed me to a pair of papers documenting an impressive effort in multiscale modeling, aimed at connecting biochemical events with events that happen on the cellular and super-cellular scales (Xu et al. 2010. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2009.12.4331; Xu et al. 2008  doi: 10.1098/​rsif.2007.1202; full references below).  These papers are fascinating for many reasons: first, they describe [...]... Read more »

Xu Z, Chen N, Kamocka MM, Rosen ED, & Alber M. (2008) A multiscale model of thrombus development. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society, 5(24), 705-22. PMID: 17925274  

  • September 24, 2010
  • 03:09 AM
  • 563 views

The city that kills you makes you strong!

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Over the past day I’ve seen reports in the media of a new paper which claims that long-term urbanization in a region is strongly correlated with genetic variants for disease resistance. I managed to find the paper on Evolution’s website as an accepted manuscript, ANCIENT URBANISATION PREDICTS GENETIC RESISTANCE TO TUBERCULOSIS:
A link between urban living [...]... Read more »

Barnes, I., Duda, A., Pybus, O., & Thomas, M. G. (2010) ANCIENT URBANISATION PREDICTS GENETIC RESISTANCE TO TUBERCULOSI. Evolution. info:/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01132.x

  • September 23, 2010
  • 11:58 PM
  • 849 views

Gelatinous zoop!

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

There is an interesting blog over on discovermagazine.com about the way sea walnuts (or ctenophores, or Mnemiopsis leidyi) feed (in addition to a cool video, which is posted below).  Apparently, these organisms use their cilia to create almost undetectable currents, and they are then capable of catching unsuspecting prey with great efficiency.  Due to their incredible ability to feed stealthily and efficiently, they have been particularly devastating invaders in European water bodies......... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 11:05 PM
  • 850 views

Tide Pool: Cool Seeps, Parasitic Nematodes, and Magnetic Sea Animals

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

An occasional series where we briefly report 3 new studies and tell you why they are cool!
Olu et al. in PLoS One examine the potential exchanges of species in cold methane seeps across the Atlantic Ocean from the Congo to the Gulf of Mexico. By culling data from the literature, the authors demonstrate, despite great distance, . . . → Read More: Tide Pool: Cool Seeps, Parasitic Nematodes, and Magnetic Sea Animals... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 11:05 PM
  • 1,078 views

Tide Pool: Cool Seeps, Parasitic Nematodes, and Magnetic Sea Animals

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter


An occasional series where we briefly report 3 new studies and tell you why they are cool!
Olu et al. in PLoS One examine the potential exchanges of species in cold methane seeps across the Atlantic Ocean from the Congo to the Gulf of Mexico. By culling data from the literature, the authors demonstrate, despite great distance, . . . → Read More: Tide Pool: Cool Seeps, Parasitic Nematodes, and Magnetic Sea Animals... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 10:09 PM
  • 1,462 views

A new type of enveloped virus?

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

All known virus particles can be placed into one of two general categories: enveloped or non-enveloped. Viruses that fall into the former category are characterized by a lipid membrane derived from the host cell, and one or more nuclecapsid proteins that interact with the viral genome. A virus that infects an archaeal host may constitute [...]... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 08:05 PM
  • 828 views

Simple rules for inclusive fitness

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

With the recent huge furor over the utility of kin selection I’ve been keeping a closer eye on the literature on inclusive fitness. The reason W. D. Hamilton’s original papers in The Journal of Theoretical Biology are highly cited is not some conspiracy, rather, they’re a powerful framework in which one can understand the evolution [...]... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 06:16 PM
  • 1,124 views

Holy Mola Batman!

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Who needs a research question when you’ve got a super-sexy beast to play with??


Upon perusal of the recent offerings of one of my favorite journals, an article immediately caught my eye: Satellite tracking of giant sunfish! I read the abstract, and despite the fact that the research didn’t appear to have any clear biological [...]... Read more »

Dewar, H., Thys, T., Teo, S., Farwell, C., O'Sullivan, J., Tobayama, T., Soichi, M., Nakatsubo, T., Kondo, Y., & Okada, Y. (2010) Satellite tracking the world's largest jelly predator, the ocean sunfish, Mola mola, in the Western Pacific. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 393(1-2), 32-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2010.06.023  

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