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  • August 22, 2010
  • 02:31 PM
  • 1,296 views

Nanofibre paint that kills MRSA

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

MRSA, the antibiotic resistant form of Staphylococcus aureus is a major problem in hospitals. The antibiotic resistance makes it hard to erradicate, not just from patients, but in the surounding environment, on surfaces, on medical equipment, on the walls of the hospital. In order to minimise the numbers of dangerous bacteria found in hospital surroundings, quite a lot of research has gone into creating antibacterial coverings or coatings that would reduce the number of bacteria p. Currently how........ Read more »

Pangule RC, Brooks SJ, Dinu CZ, Bale SS, Salmon SL, Zhu G, Metzger DW, Kane RS, & Dordick JS. (2010) Antistaphylococcal nanocomposite films based on enzyme-nanotube conjugates. ACS nano, 4(7), 3993-4000. PMID: 20604574  

  • August 21, 2010
  • 10:49 PM
  • 613 views

Unraveling the Ocean Methane Paradox

by Sarah in Curious!

Mention methane production, and cows or oil companies usually come to mind. But much of the methane in the atmosphere (1-4%) actually escapes from the oceans, some of it produced by microbes known as methanogens (like Methanosarcina acetivorans, above). Some methanogens live in anaerobic – oxygen-free – sediments on the seafloor. Others make their homes in anaerobic fish intestines, the guts of some plankton, or fish and plankton fecal matter. Methanogens live in anaerobic environments. ........ Read more »

Karl, D., Beversdorf, L., Björkman, K., Church, M., Martinez, A., & Delong, E. (2008) Aerobic production of methane in the sea. Nature Geoscience, 1(7), 473-478. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo234  

Reeburgh, W. (2007) Oceanic Methane Biogeochemistry. Chemical Reviews, 107(2), 486-513. DOI: 10.1021/cr050362v  

  • August 21, 2010
  • 01:20 PM
  • 430 views

Reef Heterogeneity Can Mask No-Take Marine Reserve Efficacy

by Michael Long in Phased

Brittany Huntington (University of Miami, United States) and coworkers have disentangled the complexity underlying a rigorous evaluation of no-take marine reserve efficacy, demonstrating conservation benefits that are commonly overlooked. This news feature was written on August 21, 2010.... Read more »

  • August 21, 2010
  • 12:28 PM
  • 837 views

Putting a number on it: Maned wolf survival rates

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

How can you conserve a large carnivore when you don’t know how many of them exist? It’s a difficult task, and so a few scientists at the Jaguar Conservation Fund opted to put a number on their target population… only it’s not jaguars they were trying to pinpoint, it was the lesser known maned wolf. [...]... Read more »

Sollmann, R., Furtado, M., Jácomo, A., Tôrres, N., & Silveira, L. (2010) Maned wolf survival rate in central Brazil. Journal of Zoology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2010.00727.x  

  • August 21, 2010
  • 09:25 AM
  • 835 views

Dispersants! A multi-part series to enlighten your brains.

by Holly Bik in Deep Sea News

When I don’t know enough about a subject, I tend to Google and data-mine—obsessively.  So it has become with dispersants.  In the wake of oil spill, this word has been thrown around, but often without any corresponding depth of information.  Kind of like that cousin you always see at family parties but never manage to . . . → Read More: Dispersants! A multi-part series to enlighten your brains.... Read more »

Fingas, M.F. (2008) A Review of Literature Related to Oil Spill Dispersants 1997-2008. Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) Report. info:/

  • August 21, 2010
  • 05:39 AM
  • 733 views

Report from Alife XII: life's origin, and its evolution

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

When I say 'artificial life', what do you think of? I think of life-like systems in computers, mainly, but at the Alife 12 conference in Odense, Denmark that I am currently at, a large part of the presentation are really about chemistry. Many people might be surprise if they knew just how many people are working on the problem of getting chemicals to behave like life. That is, work on the origin of life is booming. ... Read more »

Costanzo, M., Baryshnikova, A., Bellay, J., Kim, Y., Spear, E., Sevier, C., Ding, H., Koh, J., Toufighi, K., Mostafavi, S.... (2010) The Genetic Landscape of a Cell. Science, 327(5964), 425-431. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180823  

  • August 21, 2010
  • 04:53 AM
  • 1,920 views

More (you know you wanted it) on fecal transplants and the microbiome

by Jonathan Eisen in The Tree of Life

Image fromI Heart Guts blogThere is an interesting mini review in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology's September issue that may be of interest to some out there. It is entitled "Fecal Bacteriotherapy, Fecal Transplant, and the Microbiome" by Martin Floch and well, the title is indicative of the article.Yes, the fecal transplant meme is here to stay. Sure, the cognoscenti already knew about fecal transplants. Perhaps they had read Tara Smith's discussion of it in her Aetiology blog in 20........ Read more »

  • August 21, 2010
  • 02:13 AM
  • 812 views

From the Literature: Tracking Dragonfly Migrations

by dragonflywoman in The Dragonfly Woman

It’s about the time of year for the dragonflies to start moving south!  I’ve already gotten several reports of big migratory swarms headed south from several locations across the eastern and midwestern U.S. and I expect many more – the … Continue reading →... Read more »

Wikelski M, Moskowitz D, Adelman JS, Cochran J, Wilcove DS, & May ML. (2006) Simple rules guide dragonfly migration. Biology letters, 2(3), 325-9. PMID: 17148394  

  • August 20, 2010
  • 10:30 PM
  • 595 views

Rubella – Discount babies! 50% off! Cataracts included!

by thomastu in Disease Prone

People shouting loudly and angrily against childhood vaccination seem to either evil or ignorant of what the world was like before vaccines were readily available. And Hanlon’s razor tells us “Never attribute to malice what can be blamed on ignorance”. So, as my civic duty, I am starting a series on vaccine preventatble diseases. First [...]... Read more »

  • August 20, 2010
  • 09:34 PM
  • 1,209 views

Evolving Pesticide Resistance

by Matthew DiLeo in The Scientist Gardener

It's been estimated that genetic resistance to every pesticide that will ever be invented already exists in some microbe in some field, somewhere in the world. If you invent an incredible new spray that kills, say, Phytophthora infestans, you'd know that somewhere in the world there is a little P. infestans mycelium or spore that is already resistant. If you start spraying thousands and thousands... Read more »

Zhu, Y., Chen, H., Fan, J., Wang, Y., Li, Y., Chen, J., Fan, J., Yang, S., Hu, L., Leung, H.... (2000) Genetic diversity and disease control in rice. Nature, 406(6797), 718-722. DOI: 10.1038/35021046  

  • August 20, 2010
  • 04:10 PM
  • 943 views

Genome-Scale Epigenetic Marker Detection Across Populations

by Michael Long in Phased

Lior Pachter (University of California at Berkeley, United States) and coworkers have developed MetMap software for uncovering epigenetic data hidden by standard MethylSeq analysis, which will advance our understanding of the role of epigenetics in human health and medicine. This news feature was written on August 20, 2010.... Read more »

Singer, M., Boffelli, D., Dhahbi, J., Schoenhuth, A., Schroth, G. P., Martin, D. I. K., & Pachter, L. (2010) MetMap Enables Genome-Scale Methyltyping for Determining Methylation States in Populations. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000888  

  • August 20, 2010
  • 02:38 PM
  • 872 views

The Scientist and the Anarchist - Part III

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by Deborah Blum at her website Speakeasy Science.When an estimated 1,400 match-girls went on strike in July, 1888 to protest for better working conditions, it started a fire that became known as New Unionism. Soon after came the London dock workers’ strike, and within twelve months the UK’s Trade Union Congress had increased its membership from 670,000 to 1,593,000. [1]For Thomas Henry Huxley and Peter Kropotkin these labor developments were ........ Read more »

Peter Kropotkin. (1902) Mutual Aide: A Factor of Evolution. New York: McClure, Philips . info:/

  • August 20, 2010
  • 02:38 PM
  • 713 views

The Scientist and the Anarchist - Part III

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries in Exile

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by Deborah Blum at her website Speakeasy Science.When an estimated 1,400 match-girls went on strike in July, 1888 to protest for better working conditions, it started a fire that became known as New Unionism. Soon after came the London dock workers’ strike, and within twelve months the UK’s Trade Union Congress had increased its membership from 670,000 to 1,593,000. [1]For Thomas Henry Huxley and Peter Kropotkin these labor developments were ........ Read more »

Peter Kropotkin. (1902) Mutual Aide: A Factor of Evolution. New York: McClure, Philips . info:/

  • August 20, 2010
  • 01:40 PM
  • 2,571 views

Cylons and Smelloscopes: False Positives and False Negatives in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

by The Astronomist in The Astronomist.

Are there planets outside of our solar system? Is there life on other planets? Is life on other planets like life on Earth? These are questions that astronomers, astrobiologists, chemists, and geologists are trying to answer with current experiments. In order to answer these questions we must observe distant planets and we must determine what life on those planets may be like. Detecting extrasolar planets is tricky enough, but imaging what alien life is like may well be stranger than science fic........ Read more »

Beichman, C. A., Woolf, N. J., & Lindensmith, C. A. (1999) The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) : a NASA Origins Program to search for habitable planets. JPL publication. info:/

  • August 20, 2010
  • 12:53 PM
  • 709 views

Frogs, Big Mountains, and Speciation

by Michael Windelspecht in RicochetScience

The formation of new species is always a great way to discuss evolutionary change over time. Most textbooks do an adequate job of providing examples of how geographic isolation contributes to the the process of speciation. However, where many books are lacking is showing how the resulting species then adapt to their new environment following the establishment of the geographic barrier. If you are looking for an interesting way to show the relationship between geographic isolation, adaptation, an........ Read more »

Che, J., Zhou, W., Hu, J., Yan, F., Papenfuss, T., Wake, D., & Zhang, Y. (2010) From the Cover: Spiny frogs (Paini) illuminate the history of the Himalayan region and Southeast Asia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(31), 13765-13770. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008415107  

  • August 20, 2010
  • 10:21 AM
  • 656 views

Prehistoric Poo Linked Dinosaurs to Snails

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

One of the many reasons I love paleontology is that every now and then I stumble across a paper on some aspect of ancient life I had never considered before. There is much more to the science than descriptions of new species, and one of the studies that most recently caught my eye carried the [...]... Read more »

  • August 20, 2010
  • 07:41 AM
  • 774 views

The many (scientific) uses of penguin poop (Part III)

by Sam W in From C to Carnivore

How hard does a penguin push? Remember to read the newest and indeed first edition of the Carnal Carnival featuring many other stories about poop! I’ll admit, I didn’t get the idea to post about penguin poop from the cool and well popularised study on tracking them from space. I got it from a very [...]... Read more »

  • August 20, 2010
  • 06:56 AM
  • 1,037 views

It’s a Rich Man’s World-Or Is It?

by Isobel in Promega Connections

We all know that “Money Can’t Buy You Love” or make you happy. Now comes a piece of research suggesting that having money (or even just looking at money) can actually make normal everyday pleasures less enjoyable. Even worse, this bad feeling can’t be cured by having a piece of chocolate. In the study “Money [...]... Read more »

Quoidbach J, Dunn EW, Petrides KV, & Mikolajczak M. (2010) Money giveth, money taketh away: the dual effect of wealth on happiness. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(6), 759-63. PMID: 20483819  

  • August 20, 2010
  • 06:32 AM
  • 706 views

Superoxides eat your brain

by Becky in It Takes 30

But that’s a good thing.  Well, probably.  Autophagy — cellular-level self-eating — appears to be misregulated in many neurodegenerative diseases.  A new study from Junying Yuan’s group (Lipinski et al. 2010 Genome-wide analysis reveals mechanisms modulating autophagy in normal brain aging and in Alzheimer’s disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107 14164-9 PMID: [...]... Read more »

Lipinski MM, Zheng B, Lu T, Yan Z, Py BF, Ng A, Xavier RJ, Li C, Yankner BA, Scherzer CR.... (2010) Genome-wide analysis reveals mechanisms modulating autophagy in normal brain aging and in Alzheimer's disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(32), 14164-9. PMID: 20660724  

  • August 20, 2010
  • 12:30 AM
  • 792 views

The evolutionary ecology of the genome

by Graves in Down the Cellar

A new paper by Pierre Durand and Richard Michod suggests an interesting line of inquiry in the "post-genomic" era. Instead of focusing on the genome as a mere collection of genes, there is an opportunity to study the selective processes that result in both the origin and subsequent evolution of the genome. This is something we can approach with data now that the genomes of so many organisms are ... Read more »

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