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  • June 5, 2010
  • 04:13 PM

Monoamine Shock

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a crude but effective treatment for depression. It consists of applying a brief alternating current to the brain in order to induce a generalized seizure, which usually lasts for less than half a minute. It looks nothing like the picture to the left.ECT is typically given three times per week, and a dozen sessions are enough to produce a dramatic improvement in depression in most cases. However, how it works is entirely mysterious. There are plenty of theories......... Read more »

Cassidy, F., Weiner, R., Cooper, T., & Carroll, B. (2010) Combined catecholamine and indoleamine depletion following response to ECT. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 196(6), 493-494. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.070573  

  • June 5, 2010
  • 08:41 AM

Oiled SeaBirds: To Kill Or Not To Kill?

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: ecology, marine biology, conservation biology, endangered species, environmental toxicology, seabirds, marine mammals,,peer-reviewed research, journal club

Bird rescue personnel Danene Birtell (L) and Heather Nevill (R) hold an oiled brown pelican, found on Storm Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, that will be washed at the treatment facility at Fort Jackson, Louisiana, USA. BP has contracted bird rescue groups to rehabilitate wildlife affected by........ Read more »

David A. Jessup, & Jonna A. K. Mazet. (1999) Rehabilitation of Oiled Wildlife: Why Do It?. 1999 International Oil Spill Conference. info:/

Stowe, T. (1982) An oil spillage at a Guillemot colony. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 13(7), 237-239. DOI: 10.1016/0025-326X(82)90346-0  

  • June 4, 2010
  • 05:25 PM

Doing Swimmingly

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Radio tags don't affect humpback whale survival

... Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 05:17 PM

Saliva from moth larva increases potato crop yields in Colombia

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Many farmers throughout Latin America and around the world rely on pesticides to control pest invasions; in the case of Andean potato crops, this method is not only costly but has been shown to cause adverse health effects as well. Due to the risks involved in pesticide usage, and the ever-increasing demand for high-yield crops, new methods of controlling pest invasions are being explored by researchers regularly. And as counterintuitive as these new findings sound, ecological scientists have d........ Read more »

Poveda, K., Gomez Jimenez, M., & Kessler, A. (2010) The enemy as ally: herbivore-induced increase in crop yield. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-1726  

  • June 4, 2010
  • 10:42 AM

Thank the Lord it’s Friday!

by nuin in Blind.Scientist

Image by Getty Images via @daylife I cannot wait until all the omics for all bodily fluids are uncovered: “Saliva Ontology: An ontology-based framework for a Salivaomics Knowledge Base” Ai, J., Smith, B., & Wong, D. (2010). Saliva Ontology: An ontology-based framework for a Salivaomics Knowledge Base BMC Bioinformatics, 11 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-11-302... Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 10:23 AM

Marine ecology affected by the local weather

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

As marine scientists, sometimes we forget or don't even realize how much local baymen and fishermen actually know. Or maybe we don't trust them because they are "lay" persons. But they work the bay, they try to catch many of the species we study (as money is a big driver of research), and they know things. Local baymen who have worked the bay for years suggest that bay scallop recruitment is higher in years after cold/wet winters. Sometimes, we take what they say with a grain of salt. Howev........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Study illustrates impact of adajcent land use on stream water quality

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Understanding public attitudes towards wildlife recovery efforts

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Black bears are returning to their historic ranges in places like southern Wisconsin and Eastern Texas. So how do local residents feel about the returning wildlife and what explains their attitudes?... Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 12:35 AM

Friday Weird Science: The Baby is Due, is it Time to Get It ON?!

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci, like everyone else around here, isn't immune to the sands of time. She's getting older, along with all of her friends, who are pairing up and settling down. This means two things:

1) Sci has been a bridesmaid SIX TIMES and counting so far. The tales she could tell...

2) Sci friends are having BABIES. LOTS AND LOTS OF BABIES. 400 BABIES!

(Sci is often accused of have GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY. Also, she has to wonder if these guys had ever tried the energy gel called "Chocolate ........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2010
  • 10:46 PM

How many species are there?

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

An interesting research note just came out in the American Naturalist by Hamilton and colleagues entitled Quantifying uncertainty in estimation of tropical arthropod species richness. I retweeted a Science Daily twitter feed on this that had a terribly misleading opening line: “New calculations reveal that the number of species on Earth is likely to be [...]... Read more »

Hamilton, A., Basset, Y., Benke, K., Grimbacher, P., Miller, S., Novotný, V., Samuelson, G., Stork, N., Weiblen, G., & Yen, J. (2010) Quantifying uncertainty in estimation of tropical arthropod species richness. The American Naturalist, 176(1), 90-95. DOI: 10.1086/652998  

  • June 3, 2010
  • 10:20 PM

Rapid Reversal of Dementia in a Down Syndrome Mouse Model

by Michael Long in Phased

William Netzer (Rockefeller University, United States) and coworkers have worked towards treating the cognitive decline often seen in Down syndrome. This news feature was written on June 3, 2010.... Read more »

Netzer, W. J, Powell, C., Nong, Y., Blundell, J., Wong, L., Duff, K., Flajolet, M., & Greengard, P. (2010) Lowering β-Amyloid Levels Rescues Learning and Memory in a Down Syndrome Mouse Model. PLoS ONE, 5(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010943  

  • June 3, 2010
  • 06:45 PM

The all-seeing eye gazes upon the land of crickets

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

It’s good to be omniscient.

Only a few natural studies have been able to approach that level of knowledge. Peter and Rosemary Grant come fairly close in some seasons studying finches on the smaller Galapagos Islands. A new paper must must surely be a contender for god-like knowledge of a population of animals.

Rodríguez-Muñoz and colleagues basically became all-seeing and all-knowing to figure out what evolutionary pressures were being brought to bear on a population of crickets (Gryllus c........ Read more »

Rodriguez-Munoz, R., Bretman, A., Slate, J., Walling, C., & Tregenza, T. (2010) Natural and sexual selection in a wild insect population. Science, 328(5983), 1269-1272. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188102  

  • June 3, 2010
  • 05:35 PM

Repost: The Skull-Crushing Hyenas of Dragon Bone Hill

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The skull of a spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), photographed at the AMNH's "Extreme Mammals" exhibit.

There was something strange about the assemblage of Homo erectus fossils found at Zhoukoudian - the famous 750,000 - 200,000 year old site in China popularly known as Dragon Bone Hill. Despite the abundance of skulls and teeth, there were hardly any remains of the hominins from below the neck. Where were the bodies?

The majority of Homo erectus fossils from Zhoukoudian were discovered and s........ Read more »

Noel T. Boaz, Russell Ciochon, Xu Qinqi, and Liu Jinyi. (2000) Large Mammalian Carnivores as a Taphonomic Factor in the Bone Accumulation at Zhoukoudian. Acta Anthropologica Sinica, 224-234. info:/

  • June 3, 2010
  • 02:58 PM

Antibiotics and Synthetic Biology

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

The model for bacterial death by antibiotics was fairly simply until recently. Antibiotics work by targeting a certain area of the bacteria; beta-lactams target the cell wall, Rifamycins target RNA synthesis, tetracyclins inhibit protein synthesis etc. The theory was that by inhibiting these processes, a certain vital function within the bacteria would be stopped, leading to its death.However due to research done by Kohanski (references below) the story is looking a bit more complicated. Looking........ Read more »

Kohanski MA, Dwyer DJ, Hayete B, Lawrence CA, & Collins JJ. (2007) A common mechanism of cellular death induced by bactericidal antibiotics. Cell, 130(5), 797-810. PMID: 17803904  

Kohanski MA, Dwyer DJ, & Collins JJ. (2010) How antibiotics kill bacteria: from targets to networks. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 8(6), 423-35. PMID: 20440275  

  • June 3, 2010
  • 02:10 PM

Playing the Fish Market

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Diverse salmon populations make fishery returns more stable

... Read more »

  • June 3, 2010
  • 10:49 AM

RNA Journal Club 5/6/10

by YPAA in You'd Prefer An Argonaute

A dicer-independent miRNA biogenesis pathway that requires Ago catalysis Sihem Cheloufi, Camila O. Dos Santos, Mark M. W. Chong   &  Gregory J. Hannon Nature, 465: 584–589, 3 June 2010. Nature AOP, 27 April 2010. doi:10.1038/nature09092 This week’s summary and ruminative analysis by Vikram Agarwal. It’s Vikram’s second contribution to the blog: In this article, [...]... Read more »

  • June 3, 2010
  • 08:51 AM

Organic Food Isn’t For The Birds

by Christie Wilcox in Nutrition Wonderland

It turns out birds aren't bird brains when it comes to what they eat. A number of species of birds have been shown to choose foods that contain higher levels of healthy things like protein and antioxidants and lower levels of not-so-healthy things like heavy metals and pesticides. Since they're suck finicky eaters, scientists figured to let them choose between conventionally and organically grown food, and see which they deemed better for them. The vote was unanimous: birds prefer non-organic.... Read more »

McKenzie, A., & Whittingham, M. (2010) Birds select conventional over organic wheat when given free choice. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.4025  

  • June 3, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Improving the effectivness of endangered species recovery efforts

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

Bolten, A., Crowder, L., Dodd, M., MacPherson, S., Musick, J., Schroeder, B., Witherington, B., Long, K., & Snover, M. (2010) Quantifying multiple threats to endangered species: an example from loggerhead sea turtles. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/090126  

  • June 3, 2010
  • 05:03 AM

On coupling

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

No, not that sort of coupling. I was writing up today's Faculty Dailies, catching up on (yet) another paper about how ribosomes control the rate of transcription. As has been known for decades, bacterial transcription and translation are tightly coupled....... Read more »

  • June 3, 2010
  • 04:39 AM

Where in the world is the Yellow-billed Magpie? Help us find out this weekend!

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

See and download the full gallery on posterous

What a handsome corvid, the Yellow-billed Magpie. How curiously restricted, its global range:


This lovely bird is another one I consider...

... Read more »

Reynolds, M. (1995) Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli). The Birds of North America Online. DOI: 10.2173/bna.180  

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