Research has shown that marine protected areas (MPAs)—areas where fishing and other potentially destructive activities are regulated—are benefitting, not just the fish habitats they are known to aid, but nearby coral reefs as well. MPAs may benefit corals by restoring reef-based food webs and protecting damage from anchors and nutrient runoff...
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Selig, E., & Bruno, J. (2010) A Global Analysis of the Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in Preventing Coral Loss. PLoS ONE, 5(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009278
For invasive plants, flowering time is a trait that may often be under selection during colonization—when a plant flowers determines its climatic tolerances, its vulnerability to herbivores, and its compatibility with the local pollinator community. In a study just released online at Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Colautti and coauthors examined the evolution of this trait in a plant that has swept across eastern North America since its introduction from Europe: purple loosestrife, and fo........ Read more »
Colautti, R., Eckert, C., & Barrett, S. (2010) Evolutionary constraints on adaptive evolution during range expansion in an invasive plant. Proc. R. Soc. B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2231
Phillips, B., & Shine, R. (2006) An invasive species induces rapid adaptive change in a native predator: cane toads and black snakes in Australia. Proc. R. Soc. B, 273(1593), 1545-50. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3479
Vellend, M., Harmon, L., Lockwood, J., Mayfield, M., Hughes, A., Wares, J., & Sax, D. (2007) Effects of exotic species on evolutionary diversification. Trends in Ecology , 22(9), 481-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2007.02.017
Social factors affect success of marine reserves
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Pollnac, R. et al. (2010) Marine reserves as linked social-ecological systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908266107
The cod stock in the Baltic Sea collapsed in the 1990s because of overfishing and climate change, and this once-valuable fishery has not yet recovered. Could intensified harvesting of sprat—a small fish that eats cod eggs and competes with young cod for planktonic food—be the solution to restore cod, as some people suggest? ... Read more »
Lindegren, M., Möllmann, C., & Hansson, L. (2010) Biomanipulation - a tool in Marine Ecosystem Management and Restoration?. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-0754
The coast of present-day Massachusetts was inhabited by several Native American tribes in the early 17th century. Fishermen, traders, and explorers from the Old World encountered the Indians during their occasional travel through the area. However by the time the Mayflower landed in Plymouth in 1620 to establish a colony, a mysterious epidemic had ravaged coastal New England, killing up to 90% of the indigenous population during the years 1616 through 1619. Experts have yet to ........ Read more »
Marr, J.S., & Cathey, J.T. (2010) New Hypothesis for Cause of Epidemic among Native Americans, New England, 1616–1619. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 16(2), 281-286. DOI: 10.3201/eid1602.090276
A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois has looked at wetland restoration projects across the state and found that successional trends vary substantially from one site to another. The study findings have implications for the Clean Water Act and its ability to meet its mandate of enforcing no net-loss of wetland area or function in the United States...... Read more »
Matthews, J., & Endress, A. (2010) Rate of succession in restored wetlands and the role of site context. Applied Vegetation Science. DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-109X.2010.01076.x
Juvenile fish are highly abundant in mangrove habitats. This study shows whether these juveniles act as a source or sink to their adult coral reef populations. ... Read more »
Jones, D., Walter, J., Brooks, E., & Serafy, J. (2010) Connectivity through ontogeny: fish population linkages among mangrove and coral reef habitats. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 245-258. DOI: 10.3354/meps08404
Although we are acquainted with the influenza A (H1N1) and types such as H5N1 or H3N2, there are other influenza variants that infect humans and cause us concern.
The influenza H7 comprises various lineages, H7N7, H7N3 and H7N2 are those who knowingly infect humans. Some lineages are not very pathogenic (LPAI) and others highly pathogenic (HPAI), [...]... Read more »
Butt, K., Smith, G., Chen, H., Zhang, L., Leung, Y., Xu, K., Lim, W., Webster, R., Yuen, K., Peiris, J.... (2005) Human Infection with an Avian H9N2 Influenza A Virus in Hong Kong in 2003. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 43(11), 5760-5767. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.43.11.5760-5767.2005
Wang M, Fu CX, & Zheng BJ. (2009) Antibodies against H5 and H9 avian influenza among poultry workers in China. The New England journal of medicine, 360(24), 2583-4. PMID: 19516044
Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited form of slow degenerative blindness, in which essential retinal cells accumulate defects due to one or more mutated genes. Generating replacement, properly formed retinal cells to treat this condition is one of the longer-running initiatives in the stem cell research community; if you look back in the Longevity Meme archives, you'll see it mentioned in 2004, for example. It appears that researchers have now succeeded in restoring sight in mice: An internation........ Read more »
Wang, Nan-Kai, Tosi, Joaquin, Kasanuki, Jennifer Mie, Chou, Chai Lin, Kong, Jian, Parmalee, Nancy, Wert, Katherine J., Allikmets, Rando, Lai, Chi-Chun, Chien, Chung-Liang.... (2010) Transplantation of Reprogrammed Embryonic Stem Cells Improves Visual Function in a Mouse Model for Retinitis Pigmentosa. Transplantation, 89(5). info:/10.1097/TP.0b013e3181d45a61
A Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer), photographed at the National Zoo.
No one knew what happened to William Olson. At about three in the afternoon on April 13, 1966 he had been swimming with his friends from the Peace Corps in the part of the Baro river that ran through Gambela, Ethiopia when he suddenly disappeared. The last person to remember seeing him was hunter Karl Luthy. One moment Olson was standing in the river, pressing his body against the current, and the next he was gone......... Read more »
Brochu, C., Njau, J., Blumenschine, R., & Densmore, L. (2010) A New Horned Crocodile from the Plio-Pleistocene Hominid Sites at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. PLoS ONE, 5(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009333
Therapeutic hypothermia reduces risk of death and disability in infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, according to a new study by David Edwards and colleagues published in the British Medical Journal.
Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (damage to cells in the brain and spinal cord because of lack of oxygen) is a major cause of death and disability worldwide but there [...]... Read more »
Edwards, A., Brocklehurst, P., Gunn, A., Halliday, H., Juszczak, E., Levene, M., Strohm, B., Thoresen, M., Whitelaw, A., & Azzopardi, D. (2010) Neurological outcomes at 18 months of age after moderate hypothermia for perinatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy: synthesis and meta-analysis of trial data. BMJ, 340(feb09 3). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c363
I’ve become increasingly interested in the practice of paleoecology of late, trying to find and gather bits and pieces when I have time. This study from Molecular Ecology came to me, which, based on the probability that you can assign probabilities to cosmic events, I’m going to carefully and tentatively (and gentlemanly) attribute to Providence, or Wiley Interscience press releases.In the Yukon, there are several distinct caribou herds that inhabit and move within certain, definable regions........ Read more »
KUHN, T., MCFARLANE, K., GROVES, P., MOOERS, A., & SHAPIRO, B. (2010) Modern and ancient DNA reveal recent partial replacement of caribou in the southwest Yukon. Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04565.x
In the latest issue of J. Med. Chem., researchers from Roche in Basel have a nice analysis of intramolecular hydrogen bonds in druglike molecules. An internal hydrogen bond can intuitively confer an important property on a drug; it can make the drug more lipophilic by shielding the hydrogen bonding groups from solvent and render it more lipophilic. Thus, intramolecular h-bonding has emerged as a useful strategy in improving membrane permeability.The authors look at both the CSD and the PDB and d........ Read more »
Kuhn, B., Mohr, P., & Stahl, M. (2010) Intramolecular Hydrogen Bonding in Medicinal Chemistry. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/jm100087s
Scientists have provided a rather grim prognosis for global health: the recent increase in nutrient enrichment due to human activities, such as nitrogen pollution through fossil fuel combustion, is likely contributing to several varieties of infectious diseases in humans and wildlife.
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Johnson, P., Townsend, A., Cleveland, C., Glibert, P., Howarth, R., McKenzie, V., Rejmankova, E., & Ward, M. (2010) Linking environmental nutrient enrichment and disease emergence in humans and wildlife. Ecological Applications, 20(1), 16-29. DOI: 10.1890/08-0633.1
A new study wades into the contentious debate about whether land protection negatively affects the housing supply for local communities.
Pro-development advocates have argued that land conservation removes properties from the pool of potential residential housing and therefore drives up home prices. Some studies have found empirical support for this argument.
However new research from scientists at Stanford University and the Nature Conservancy finds that conservation efforts in the suburb........ Read more »
Denning, C., Mcdonald, R., & Christensen, J. (2010) Did land protection in Silicon Valley reduce the housing stock?. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.01.025
Over the past few years, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a promising treatment for severe psychiatric disorders that haven't responded to conventional approaches. A new paper from the University of Florida reports on a trial of DBS in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and unlike most DBS studies, it was placebo-controlled: Deep Brain Stimulation for Intractable Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.Six patients were implanted with electrodes in the "ventral capsule/ventral striatum" (VC/V........ Read more »
Goodman, W., Foote, K., Greenberg, B., Ricciuti, N., Bauer, R., Ward, H., Shapira, N., Wu, S., Hill, C., & Rasmussen, S. (2010) Deep Brain Stimulation for Intractable Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Pilot Study Using a Blinded, Staggered-Onset Design. Biological Psychiatry, 67(6), 535-542. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.11.028
Most of us don’t think much about yellow fever nowadays. There are still a couple hundred thousand cases, and some 30,000 deaths, each year, but almost none are in the first world. Out of sight, out of mind.
But this indifference is new. Until the beginning of the 20th century, yellow fever ran rampant, and [...]... Read more »
C. Finlay. (1881) El mosquito hipoteticamente considerado como agente de trasmislon de la flebre amarllla. An. de la Real Academia de ciencias med. de la Habana, 147-169. info:/
What should we do when perfectly good habitat exists but certain species of wildlife decide to avoid it anyway? Researchers from the University of Oklahoma grapple with this potential mismatch between wildlife perception and habitat quality - a phenomenon they call the "Perceptual Trap."... Read more »
One of the causes of age-related degeneration and disease is the buildup of amyloid clumps and other forms of aggregated metabolic byproducts. A brief outline: As we get older, many different types of errant and unwanted proteins, the chemical byproducts of metabolism, build up and accumulate between our cells. Collectively these are known as forms of amyloid, a term that might be familiar to you in connection with Alzheimer's disease, but there are many other types of amyloid beyond that implic........ Read more »
Murray AN, Solomon JP, Balch WE, & Kelly JW. (2010) Discovery and characterization of a mammalian amyloid disaggregation activity. Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society. PMID: 20162625
by Cody Cobb in Biofortified
As a molecular biologist, most of my work is done on a bench at or below room temperature. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to a research field because I have more than two fingers. I’ve never taken a course in ecology, and I’ve rarely dealt with full, intact [...]... Read more »
Snow, A., Pilson, D., Rieseberg, L., Paulsen, M., Pleskac, N., Reagon, M., Wolf, D., & Selbo, S. (2003) A Bt TRANSGENE REDUCES HERBIVORY AND ENHANCES FECUNDITY IN WILD SUNFLOWERS. Ecological Applications, 13(2), 279-286. DOI: 10.1890/1051-0761(2003)013[0279:ABTRHA]2.0.CO;2
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