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  • February 14, 2011
  • 10:07 AM

How Parasaurolophus Set the Mood

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

It’s Valentine’s Day, and that means that millions of people will be riffling through their record and CD collections to find the right music to set the proper mood with their special someone. Seventy five million years ago, though, there was no Barry White, and so some deep-voiced dinosaurs made beautiful music together in their [...]... Read more »

Hopson, J.A. (1975) The Evolution of Cranial Display Structures in Hadrosaurian Dinosaurs. Paleobiology, 1(1), 21-43. info:/

  • February 14, 2011
  • 09:14 AM

Was Dr. Crippen Innocent After All? New Forensic Evidence 100 Years After his Execution

by Terri Sundquist in Promega Connections

The past few decades have seen amazing advances in forensic science that are instrumental in analyzing DNA evidence to put perpetrators of crimes behind bars and exonerate people convicted of crimes that they did not commit. [Read William Dillon's story of wrongful conviction]. Unfortunately for some people, these techniques were developed too late. One of [...]... Read more »

Foran DR, Wills BE, Kiley BM, Jackson CB, & Trestrail JH 3rd. (2011) The conviction of Dr. Crippen: new forensic findings in a century-old murder. Journal of forensic sciences, 56(1), 233-40. PMID: 20735704  

  • February 14, 2011
  • 09:10 AM

The snood of the turkey, the wires and rackets of the motmot, the face of the rook

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

I love turkeys, and here I specifically mean the so-called Wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo and its domestic variants, not the Ocellated turkey M. ocellata (though - don't get me wrong, Ocellated turkeys are great too). Herewith a brief excursion into the world of turkeys (part of it recycled from Tet Zoo ver 1)... and with an excursion on motmots and rooks. I was going to finish up on the whole pterosaur reproduction thing, but I can't. I'll explain why soon enough. [Composite below incorporat........ Read more »

  • February 14, 2011
  • 08:09 AM

Sexual selection on the American frontier

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

It seems obvious that having multiple wives is a good thing for the fitness of a man. Similarly, having the women in a population monopolised by a small number of men is not good for the fitness of those men who miss out on a mate. In such a society, the large difference in fitness [...]... Read more »

  • February 14, 2011
  • 07:54 AM

(un)Happy Valentines day in space

by Stuart Lynn in we are all in the gutter

Its the 14th of February, or at least thats what the calendar on the wall says, you have been out in deep space heading towards that new colony for so long each day pretty much blurs in to the next. Despite how cold it is outside (and believe me its cold), today is a day [...]... Read more »

Tore Straume, Steve Blattnig, & Cary Zeitlin. (210) Radiation Hazards and the Colonization of Mars: Brain, Body, Pregnancy, In-Utero Development, Cardio, Cancer, Degeneration. Journal of Cosmology, 3992-4033. info:/

  • February 14, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

February 14, 2011

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

Cancer cells are smart little guys, unfortunately. Many cancer therapies target a specific type of cancer cell migration, but many cancer cells are able to switch to a different mode of migration and evade the attack. Today’s image is from a paper looking at these two modes of migration by using 3D cultures of malignant breast cancer cells.Malignant cancer cells are able to spread beyond the initial tumor, and their migration can occur from using either of two types of cancer cell migration........ Read more »

  • February 14, 2011
  • 06:47 AM

How structural biology solved a 110-year immunological mystery

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

  In December last year, a new research paper revealed how a protein called perforin – the ‘bullet’ of the immune system – kills rogue cells in our body. How these immune pore-forming proteins function has been a key question since the discovery of “haemolytic complement proteins” in the 1890s by the Nobel laureate Jules [...]... Read more »

Law RH, Lukoyanova N, Voskoboinik I, Caradoc-Davies TT, Baran K, Dunstone MA, D'Angelo ME, Orlova EV, Coulibaly F, Verschoor S.... (2010) The structural basis for membrane binding and pore formation by lymphocyte perforin. Nature, 468(7322), 447-51. PMID: 21037563  

  • February 13, 2011
  • 11:30 PM

Classics: Shifting baselines

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

The Conservation Classics series will soon be collated and published in a special chapter for the book ‘Biodiversity’ to be published later this year by InTech. The chapter is co-authored by Barry Brook, Navjot Sodhi, Bill Laurance and me. This is a snippet of one ‘classic’ I haven’t yet really covered extensively on – [...]... Read more »

  • February 13, 2011
  • 02:33 PM

The Mystery of Stiff Person Syndrome

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

"Stiff Person Syndrome" (SPS) is a rare neurological disease with a silly name but serious symptoms.Not in fact a disorder caused by an overdose of Viagra, the defining feature of SPS is uncontrollable muscle rigidity, which comes and goes in bouts, but generally gets worse over time. However, other symptoms are seen including depression, anxiety, and other neurological features such as cerebellar ataxia.What causes SPS? Well, it's been known for over 20 years that most SPS patients have antibod........ Read more »

Geis, C., Weishaupt, A., Grünewald, B., Wultsch, T., Reif, A., Gerlach, M., Dirkx, R., Solimena, M., Perani, D., Heckmann, M.... (2011) Human Stiff-Person Syndrome IgG Induces Anxious Behavior in Rats. PLoS ONE, 6(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016775  

  • February 12, 2011
  • 05:08 PM

Fightin’ mad: a story of squid, sex, and proteins

by Mike Mike in Cephalove

A story about squid has been making the rounds in news sources and blogs this weekend. Just two days ago, a paper came out showing that male squid (loligo peleii) react with extreme agression to a certain protein found on the surface of squid eggs. The paper was written by a group of researchers (including [...]... Read more »

Scott F. Cummins, Jean G. Boal, Kendra C. Buresch,, Chitraporn Kuanpradit, Prasert Sobhon,, Johanna B. Holm, Bernard M. Degnan, Gregg T. Nagle,, & and Roger T. Hanlon. (2011) Extreme Aggression in Male Squid Induced by a b-MSP-like Pheromone. Current Biology. info:/10.1016/j.cub.2011.01.038

Anahí Franchi N, Avendaño C, Molina RI, Tissera AD, Maldonado CA, Oehninger S, & Coronel CE. (2008) beta-Microseminoprotein in human spermatozoa and its potential role in male fertility. Reproduction (Cambridge, England), 136(2), 157-66. PMID: 18469041  

  • February 12, 2011
  • 05:05 PM

Terror Birds Ain’t What They Used to Be – A Titanis Take-Down

by Laelaps in Laelaps

You know a novel is going to be bad when the main endorsement on the jacket comes from the movie producer who is trying to turn the mass of pulp into a film. It’s the literary equivalent of saying “Well, my mom thinks I’m handsome.” All the same, I just couldn’t resist picking up James [...]... Read more »

Blanco, R., & Jones, W. (2005) Terror birds on the run: a mechanical model to estimate its maximum running speed. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 272(1574), 1769-1773. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3133  

Pierce Brodkorb. (1963) A Giant Flightless Bird from the Pleistocene of Florida. The AUk, 80(2), 111-115. info:/

  • February 12, 2011
  • 09:17 AM

Music is pleasure

by Hel in Substantia Innominata

We all have a system called pleasure and reward circuitry inside our brain. Thanks to this system we feel pleasure when we eat, have sex, drink beer, win something etc. It is also this circuitry which is affected by all kind of drugs. One of the neurotransmitter involved in this pleasure is Dopamine. Globally this [...]... Read more »

  • February 12, 2011
  • 03:00 AM

Crime and selection of aggressive males

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

As I posted a couple of months ago, a higher level of violence in a society may lead women to prefer more masculine appearing men. In such an environment, picking the healthiest appearing male is more important than the level of parental care the woman expects the man to give. The latest issue of Evolution [...]... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 09:00 PM

Belyaev’s Fox Experiment – Changes – Part II

by Leema in Some Thoughts About Dogs

Description of the changes observed in Belyaev's fox experiment.... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 01:11 PM

How the seahorse got its shape

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

Hypothesis: form and function evolve hand-in-hand: compared to their close relatives, the straight-bodied pipefishes, seahorses' unique curved shape provides them with increased feeding efficiency... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 12:34 PM

How the seahorse got its shape

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

Hypothesis: form and function evolve hand-in-hand: compared to their close relatives, the straight-bodied pipefishes, seahorses' unique curved shape provides them with increased feeding efficiency ... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 12:29 PM

The woods that were

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Half a block from my childhood home is a park in which I spent countless hours. But it isn’t your ordinary city park. Within the confines of its unusually large 14 acres lie three distinct forests, each a snapshot of a period in time for America’s eastern hardwood forests. At the time, the smallest was [...]... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 11:39 AM

Regulation of mitochondrial protein transport

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

Mitochondria have their own genome, own translational machinery, own ribosomes, but still, most of the proteins they import from the cytosole. And this they do using two protein complexes in the outer and inner membranes: TOM (Transporter Outer Membrane) and TIM (Transporter Inner Membrane). TOM itself consists of several subunits: Tom40 forms a pore through which proteins get transported, Tom20 and Tom70 work as receptors recognizing the mitochondrial proteins in the cytoplasm, and several........ Read more »

Chacinska A, Koehler CM, Milenkovic D, Lithgow T, & Pfanner N. (2009) Importing mitochondrial proteins: machineries and mechanisms. Cell, 138(4), 628-44. PMID: 19703392  

Schmidt O, Harbauer AB, Rao S, Eyrich B, Zahedi RP, Stojanovski D, Schönfisch B, Guiard B, Sickmann A, Pfanner N.... (2011) Regulation of mitochondrial protein import by cytosolic kinases. Cell, 144(2), 227-39. PMID: 21215441  

  • February 11, 2011
  • 10:46 AM

Scientists Uncover One of the Smallest Dinosaurs Ever

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Another month, another alvarezsaur. In January, paleontologists announced the discovery of a small, one-fingered dinosaur from Inner Mongolia named Linhenykus, and another team of paleontologists has just published the description of a related, slightly older creature in the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. They named it Albinykus baatar, and it was one of the smallest [...]... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 10:05 AM

HIV & Measles – double hit pathogenesis?

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

Despite ongoing worldwide eradication efforts, measles infection still results in significant morbidity and mortality. Although, throughout most of the developed world measles infection has been considerably reduced there still exists massive (and deadly) outbreaks in areas such as Africa and South-East Asia. Investigation of the reasons why this disparity occurs therefore  is of major medical, [...]... Read more »

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