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  • September 16, 2010
  • 01:55 PM

Drugging the cell's best friend

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

The tumor suppressor p53 is one of the cell’s very best friends. Just how good a friend it is becomes apparent when, just like in other relationships, this particular relationship turns sour. p53 is the “master guardian angel” of the genome and constitutes the most frequent genetic alteration in cancer. More than 50% of human tumors contain a mutation in the p53 gene. With this kind of glowing track record, p53 would be a prime target for drugs.It turns out that discovering drugs for p53 i........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Non-Monophyly within Syngnathidae

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

Objective 1: Develop the least publicly accessible title for a blog post about seadragons, mate selection, and evolution
Objective 1 Status: complete
Objective 2: Draw in whatever readers push passed the unwieldy title with an unconventional narrative structure.
Objective 2 Status: complete
Objective 3: Hook the reader with a fascinating, though brief, background on seahorses, seadragons, and pipefish.

Female [...]... Read more »

  • September 16, 2010
  • 12:52 PM

Darwinius massillae, continued…

by zinjanthropus in A Primate of Modern Aspect

I found a new paper in my reader this morning from the crew who published the first description and taxonomic statements about Darwinius massillae, Phillip Gingerich and his colleagues.  This paper is a reply to Williams et al. (2010), which … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 16, 2010
  • 12:37 PM

The data isn’t in the papers anymore, you know.

by Mary in OpenHelix

This week I was working on finishing up some training materials on the ENCODE data. We’ve talked about this before, and we’ve had some materials out already to support the ENCODE project, since we have a contract with the folks at UCSC to do some training on it. (The new materials should be out later [...]... Read more »

Rosenbloom, K., Dreszer, T., Pheasant, M., Barber, G., Meyer, L., Pohl, A., Raney, B., Wang, T., Hinrichs, A., Zweig, A.... (2009) ENCODE whole-genome data in the UCSC Genome Browser. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp961  

Hudson (Chairperson), T., Anderson, W., Aretz, A., Barker, A., Bell, C., Bernabé, R., Bhan, M., Calvo, F., Eerola, I., Gerhard, D.... (2010) International network of cancer genome projects. Nature, 464(7291), 993-998. DOI: 10.1038/nature08987  

  • September 16, 2010
  • 11:38 AM

Incyte's INCB018424 looks promising in myelofibrosis

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Just before the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting last December, I posted an overview of the JAK2 pathway and pipeline inhibitors in development. Things have changed a bit since then, with TargeGen's inhibitor, TG101348, being licensed by sanofi-aventis and...... Read more »

Vannucchi, A. (2010) From Palliation to Targeted Therapy in Myelofibrosis. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(12), 1180-1182. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1005856  

Verstovsek, S., Kantarjian, H., Mesa, R., Pardanani, A., Cortes-Franco, J., Thomas, D., Estrov, Z., Fridman, J., Bradley, E., Erickson-Viitanen, S.... (2010) Safety and Efficacy of INCB018424, a JAK1 and JAK2 Inhibitor, in Myelofibrosis. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(12), 1117-1127. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1002028  

  • September 16, 2010
  • 10:29 AM

Identifying novel inhibitors for uncharacterized enzymes, Pharm 551A: Bachovchin et al., 2009


Today is our last paper on high throughput screening (HTS) techniques. We’re back to discovering drugs on this one but the premise is quite different for this particular screen. Whereas other papers we’ve done so far have involved finding novel … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 16, 2010
  • 09:59 AM

Stegosaurus Week: The Many Postures of Kentrosaurus

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Since the early days of paleontology, the posture of dinosaurs and the range of motion they were capable of have been contentious subjects for paleontologists. During the 19th century, especially, the general view of what dinosaurs would have looked like changed no less than three times, and investigations into how these animals moved continue to [...]... Read more »

  • September 16, 2010
  • 08:54 AM

Intelligent Design's Legal Status after Dover

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

First, there was plain and simple creationism, a Christian idea that, in an ideal Christian world, would be taught as part of any science dealing with the past, including biology (evolution), geology, and presumably history.

But the constitution stood in the way of implementing basic Christian teachings in public schools in the United States, though that battle took decades. Just as creationists were being driven off he landscape, a sort of Battle of the Bulge occurred, in the form of Intellig........ Read more »

Rosenau, Joshua. (2010) Leap of Faith: Intelligent Design's Trajectory after Dover. UNIV. OF ST. THOMAS JOURNAL OF LAW . info:/

  • September 16, 2010
  • 08:38 AM

Tracking Notharctus, Wyoming’s Prehistoric “Lemur”

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Despite all the overhyped nonsense which surrounded the debut of the 47-million-year-old primate Darwinius masillae (“Ida” to her fans) last year, I have to admit that the first-described specimen was a gorgeous fossil. It was a paleontologist’s dream – a complete, articulated skeleton with traces of hair and even intact gut contents. Never before had [...]... Read more »

Gregory, W.K. (1920) On the structure and relations of Notharctus, an American Eocene primate. Memoirs of the AMNH, 3(2), 49-243. info:/

  • September 16, 2010
  • 07:15 AM

The field will never be the same

by Becky in It Takes 30

A report of the use of the OMX microscope in high-speed live-cell imaging just came out in PNAS (Carlton et al. 2010 Fast live simultaneous multiwavelength four-dimensional optical microscopy.  Proc. Natl. Acad Sci. USA 107 16016-16022 PMID: 20705899).  In an accompanying commentary, Jason Swedlow offers the opinion that the field of live cell imaging will [...]... Read more »

Carlton PM, Boulanger J, Kervrann C, Sibarita JB, Salamero J, Gordon-Messer S, Bressan D, Haber JE, Haase S, Shao L.... (2010) Inaugural Article: Fast live simultaneous multiwavelength four-dimensional optical microscopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20705899  

  • September 16, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

A fly’s life: adventures in experimental evolution

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Natural selection happens. It was hypothesized in copious detail by Charles Darwin, and has been confirmed in the laboratory, through observation, and also by inference via the methods of modern genomics. But science is more than broad brushes. We need to drill-down to a more fine-grained level to understand the dynamics with precision and detail, [...]... Read more »

Burke, Molly K., Dunham, Joseph P., Shahrestani, Parvin, Thornton, Kevin R., Rose, Michael R., & Long, Anthony D. (2010) Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila. Nature. info:/10.1038/nature09352

  • September 16, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Steric Transcriptional Regulation: Implementing the lac operon model

by Levi Simonson in Learnest Scribbler

The lac operon is such a useful learning tool in cell and molecular biology that I would be greatly surprised to find a respectable biology department that doesn't cover it in at least two courses.  That being said, we have by no means exhausted this model system of all it has to offer the science community, as demonstrated by Reddy et al. (2008) This letter to Nature, from a couple years ago, not only served to uniquely implement our mastery of the lac operon, but also to illustrate a prim........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2010
  • 11:03 PM

Paths to the Development of Mitochondrially Targeted Antioxidants

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Antioxidant compounds can extend life in mice provided they are localized to the mitochondria - which doesn't happen for anything you can presently buy in a bottle. Near all antioxidants that can be ingested, injected, or otherwise introduced into the body do nothing of any great significance to healthy life span, and may even be detrimental by interfering in the processes of hormesis that help to maintain and improve health. As I'm sure you know by now, mitochondria are the cell's powerplants, ........ Read more »

Demianenko IA, Vasilieva TV, Domnina LV, Dugina VB, Egorov MV, Ivanova OY, Ilinskaya OP, Pletjushkina OY, Popova EN, Sakharov IY.... (2010) Novel mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, "Skulachev-ion" derivatives, accelerate dermal wound healing in animals. Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 75(3), 274-80. PMID: 20370605  

  • September 15, 2010
  • 11:01 PM

The 6% Solution

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Sometimes you have to think small to think big. Focusing tiger conservation efforts on just 6% of the big cats’ remaining range could pull the species back from the brink of extinction, according to a new analysis by a group of leading tiger experts. They are urging global leaders to adopt the “6% solution” at […] Read More »... Read more »

Walston, J., Robinson, J., Bennett, E., Breitenmoser, U., da Fonseca, G., Goodrich, J., Gumal, M., Hunter, L., Johnson, A., Karanth, K.... (2010) Bringing the Tiger Back from the Brink—The Six Percent Solution. PLoS Biology, 8(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000485  

  • September 15, 2010
  • 09:13 PM

Autism – looking for parent-of-origin effects

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

Autism is probably one of the best known neurological disorders, in part due to promotion in Hollywood movies such as Rain Man. It is described in the On-line Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database as being

“characterized by a triad of limited or absent verbal communication, a lack of reciprocal social interaction or responsiveness, and restricted, [...]... Read more »

Fradin, D., Cheslack-Postava, K., Ladd-Acosta, C., Newschaffer, C., Chakravarti, A., Arking, D., Feinberg, A., & Fallin, M. (2010) Parent-Of-Origin Effects in Autism Identified through Genome-Wide Linkage Analysis of 16,000 SNPs. PLoS ONE, 5(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012513  

  • September 15, 2010
  • 10:24 AM

Why this extinction isn’t like the others

by sarcozona in gravity's rainbow

Almost a month ago I told you I'd have more to say [...]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2010
  • 09:51 AM

Stegosaurus Week: Tracking Cryptic Stegosaurs

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

The first trace of the plated, spiky stegosaurian dinosaurs was found in Early Cretaceous rock near Grahamstown, South Africa. Uncovered by W. G. Atherstone and A. G. Bain in 1845, the dinosaur was represented by a partial skull and several limb bones. The naturalists felt unqualified to study them and sent the fossils to [...]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Tip of the Week: CircuitsDB for TF/miRNA/gene Regulation Networks

by Jennifer in OpenHelix

In this week’s tip I’d like to introduce you to CircuitsDB, which describes itself as:
“…a database where transcriptional and post-transcriptional (miRNA mediated) network information is fused together in order to propose and recognize non trivial regulatory combinations. “
I found out about the database from the BioMed Central article “CircuitsDB: a database of mixed microRNA/transcription factor feed-forward regulatory circuits in human and mouse“, wh........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2010
  • 07:13 AM

To help or not to help?

by Becky in It Takes 30

The theory of kin selection — the notion that cooperative behavior in animals evolved because cooperation to enhance the survival of your kin also enhances the survival of your own genes — has been a dominant and widely-discussed idea for decades. Though it has recently been challenged, the response from the community has been vigorous.  [...]... Read more »

Cornwallis CK, West SA, Davis KE, & Griffin AS. (2010) Promiscuity and the evolutionary transition to complex societies. Nature, 466(7309), 969-72. PMID: 20725039  

  • September 15, 2010
  • 07:04 AM

Going green… literally

by Brian Lambson in Berkeley Science Review Blog

While impressive, the last few decades of human achievement in photovoltaics pale in comparison to nature’s equivalent technology: photosynthesis. Just look at the numbers—every year photosynthesis produces about 3,000 exajoules (EJ) of chemical energy, or 7 x 1017 kilocalories, which equates to about half the total energy stored in the world’s petroleum reserves (and approximately the average daily caloric intake of eating champ Joey Chestnut). Compare this to the 0.1 EJ of electrical en........ Read more »

Sarovar, M., Ishizaki, A., Fleming, G., & Whaley, K. (2010) Quantum entanglement in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes. Nature Physics, 6(6), 462-467. DOI: 10.1038/nphys1652  

Ham, M.-H., Choi, J. H., Boghossian, A. A., Jeng, E. S., Graff, R. A., Heller, D. A., Chang, A. C., Mattis, A., Bayburt, T. H., Grinkova, Y. V.... (2010) Photoelectrochemical complexes for solar energy conversion that chemically and autonomously regenerate. Nature Chemistry. info:/10.1038/nchem.822

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