Why don’t animal’s use wheels in locomotion? Why aren’t blue whales bigger? Why are there no freshwater starfish? Why are there no tree dwelling cephalopods? Why can’t my dog make a decent cocktail? These are the kinds of questions that intrigue me. Apparently I am not alone.
Geerat Vermeij’s new paper “Sound reasons for . . . → Read More: If Molluscs Could Communicate What Would They Say?... Read more »
Christopher L. Kitting. (1979) The use of feeding noises to determine the algal foods being consumed by individual intertidal molluscs. Oecologia, 1-17. DOI: 10.1007/BF00388806
GEERAT J. VERMEIJ. (2010) Sound reasons for silence: why do molluscs not communicate acoustically?. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 485-493. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2010.01443.x
Recently a paper in Science caught my attention since its title combines the words mitotic recombination with patients and Ichthyosis. Having worked with Drosophila during my PhD and now being in a vertebrate lab, I’m well aware of the existence of tools to induce mitotic recombination to generate somatic clones of mutant cells in certain tissues. So I had a closer look at the paper to understand more about the spontaneous occurrence of mitotic recombination in humans.... Read more »
Choate KA, Lu Y, Zhou J, Choi M, Elias PM, Farhi A, Nelson-Williams C, Crumrine D, Williams ML, Nopper AJ.... (2010) Mitotic Recombination in Patients with Ichthyosis Causes Reversion of Dominant Mutations in KRT10. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 20798280
Remember Dr. M’s recent disturbing post about the quelling of independent science in the Gulf? I can now officially announce that my lab was one of the recipients of the rapid response research grants awarded by the National Science Foundation—hurrah! I’m the postdoc assigned to this project, which aims to characterize pre-spill meiofaunal community structure in . . . → Read More: Follow Dr. Bik to the Gulf!... Read more »
De Troch, M.D., et al. (2006) Resource availability and meiofauna in sediment of tropical seagrass beds: Local versus global trends. Marine Environmental Research, 61(1), 59-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2005.05.003
Welcome everybody! I’m glad you found us here at the second stop of the traveling MolBio carnival. If you’ve got an eye for the small and tiny you have arrived at the right address, as our rides and bazaars are specialized in molecular and cellular biology! I’ll be happy guide you along the carnival [...]... Read more »
Arold ST, Leonard PG, Parkinson GN, & Ladbury JE. (2010) H-NS forms a superhelical protein scaffold for DNA condensation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20798056
Bosco DA, Eisenmesser EZ, Clarkson MW, Wolf-Watz M, Labeikovsky W, Millet O, & Kern D. (2010) Dissecting the Microscopic Steps of the Cyclophilin A Enzymatic Cycle on the Biological Substrate HIV Capsid by NMR. Journal of molecular biology. PMID: 20708627
Goentoro L, & Kirschner MW. (2009) Evidence that fold-change, and not absolute level, of beta-catenin dictates Wnt signaling. Molecular cell, 36(5), 872-84. PMID: 20005849
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
During infection, host and parasite carry out repeated and intense conversations that often rise to the level of shouting matches. The language they use is chemical, the words and sentences eloquent and forceful. Eavesdropping on the conversation between Listeria monocytogenes LINK 5 and immune cells of its host, Portnoy and colleagues LINK 1 discovered an intriguing linguistic use for a novel “second messenger,” cyclic-di-AMP (c-di-AMP).
It has been known that Listeria, like man........ Read more »
Woodward JJ, Iavarone AT, & Portnoy DA. (2010) c-di-AMP secreted by intracellular Listeria monocytogenes activates a host type I interferon response. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5986), 1703-5. PMID: 20508090
Over the last few weeks I've received quite a few questions relating to castration resistance and how it happens. After all, while we have several therapies now approved once androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) fails, if we could keep men hormone...... Read more »
Yamaoka M, Hara T, & Kusaka M. (2010) Overcoming persistent dependency on androgen signaling after progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 16(17), 4319-24. PMID: 20647476
Harris, William P, Mostaghel, Elahe A, Nelson, Peter S, & Montgomery, Bruce. (2009) Androgen deprivation therapy: progress in understanding mechanisms of resistance and optimizing androgen depletion. nature clinical practice UROLOGY, 6(2), 76-85. DOI: 10.1038/ncpuro1296
Tomlins, SA, Rhodes, DR, & Perner, S. (2005) Recurrent fusion of TMPRSS2 and ETS transcription factor genes in prostate cancer. Science, 644-648. DOI: 10.1126/science.1117679
Wandering through the grocery store the other day, I noticed something strange in the fish bin. Now, in general I’m pretty conscious of where my fish comes from, how it was caught, whether the fishery as a whole or the specific population is sustainable. I pay attention to those details and I can usually tell [...]... Read more »
Clark, M. (2001) Are deepwater fisheries sustainable? — the example of orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) in New Zealand. Fisheries Research, 51(2-3), 123-135. DOI: 10.1016/S0165-7836(01)00240-5
I hope everyone has been enjoying my write-ups of Inside Nature's Giants (ING), series 2 (for comments on episode 1 go here, and for thoughts on episode 2 go here). Time to look at ep 3: the big cat one.
Given that big cats are more popular (among the general populace) than are either sharks or snakes, it's predictable that this was the most discussed, most anticipated episode. Like the others, it was excellent [adjacent image © Windfall Films/Channel 4].
And let me say again how good th........ Read more »
The sea is a dark and often mysterious place, and it's no wonder that the fear and fascination with the marine world has led to more than a few inaccurate claims. The crew over at Southern Fried Science have decided that this week is all about busting pseudoscience and the myths that surround our ocean realm. As it turns out, I'd posted about one of these before. So here, in honor of Ocean of Pseudoscience week, is a repost busting the myth that sharks don't get cancer.
There are a lot of myths........ Read more »
Brem H, & Folkman J. (1975) Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis mediated by cartilage. . J Exp Med, 427-439. DOI: 10.1084/jem.141.2.427
Langer R, & et al. (1976) Isolations of a cartilage factor that inhibits tumor neovascularization. Science, 70-72. DOI: 10.1126/science.935859
Lee A, & Langer R. (1983) Shark cartilage contains inhibitors of tumor angiogenesis. Science, 1185-1187. DOI: 10.1126/science.6193581
Luer CA, & Luer WH. (1982) Acute and chronic exposure of nurse sharks to aflatoxin B1. Federal Proceedings, 925. info:/
Horsman MR, Alsner J, & Overgaard J. (1998) The effect of shark cartilage extracts on the growth and metastatic spread of the SCCVII carcinoma. Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden), 37(5), 441-5. PMID: 9831372
Miller DR, Anderson GT, Stark JJ, Granick JL, & Richardson D. (1998) Phase I/II trial of the safety and efficacy of shark cartilage in the treatment of advanced cancer. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 16(11), 3649-55. PMID: 9817287
Loprinzi CL, Levitt R, Barton DL, Sloan JA, Atherton PJ, Smith DJ, Dakhil SR, Moore DF Jr, Krook JE, Rowland KM Jr.... (2005) Evaluation of shark cartilage in patients with advanced cancer: a North Central Cancer Treatment Group trial. Cancer, 104(1), 176-82. PMID: 15912493
Lu C, Lee JJ, Komaki R, Herbst RS, Feng L, Evans WK, Choy H, Desjardins P, Esparaz BT, Truong MT.... (2010) Chemoradiotherapy with or without AE-941 in stage III non-small cell lung cancer: a randomized phase III trial. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 102(12), 859-65. PMID: 20505152
Vickers, A. (2004) Alternative cancer cures: "unproven" or "disproven"?. CA: A Cancer Journal For Clinicians, 110-118. DOI: 10.3322/canjclin.54.2.110
Ostrander GK, Cheng KC, Wolf JC, & Wolfe MJ. (2004) Shark cartilage, cancer and the growing threat of pseudoscience. Cancer research, 64(23), 8485-91. PMID: 15574750
Even the most obtuse, right-wing, head-in-the-sand, consumption-driven, anti-environment yob would at least admit that they’ve heard of forest conservation, the plight of whales (more on that little waste of conservation resources later) and climate change. Whether or not they believe these issues are important (or even occurring) is beside the point – the fact that [...]... Read more »
M.L. Thieme, B. Lehner, R. Abell, & J. Matthews. (2010) Exposure of Africa's freshwater biodiversity to a changing climate. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2010.00120.x
James Collins (Boston University, United States) and coworkers have investigated the basis of antibiotic resistance from a communal perspective. This news feature was written on September 5, 2010.... Read more »
Lee H. H., Molla M. N., Cantor C. R., & Collins J. J. (2010) Bacterial charity work leads to population-wide resistance. Nature, 467(7311), 82-5. PMID: 20811456
Beginning in 2005, reports by Prof. Üner Tan of Cukurova University in Turkey alerted the world to a number of families in which some members walked quadrupedally. This is the second part of a (so far) two-part post on Uner Tan Syndrome. Although you’re welcome to read the first part, I’ll give you the one sentence summary if you just want to push on and a piece of video clip on the cases. I should warn you though, before you read the first part, that the whole thing is sort of like the........ Read more »
Dietz V, & Michel J. (2009) Human bipeds use quadrupedal coordination during locomotion. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 97-103. PMID: 19645886
Hall, Brian K. (1984) Developmental mechanisms underlying the formation of atavisms. . Biological Reviews, 89-124. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.1984.tb00402.x
Lovejoy CO, Suwa G, Simpson SW, Matternes JH, & White TD. (2009) The great divides: Ardipithecus ramidus reveals the postcrania of our last common ancestors with African apes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 326(5949), 100-6. PMID: 19810199
Tayfun Ozcelik, Nurten Akarsu, Elif Uz, Safak Caglayan, Suleyman Gulsuner, Onur Emre Onat, Meliha Tan, & Uner Tan. (2008) Mutations in the very low-density lipoprotein receptor VLDLR cause cerebellar hypoplasia and quadrupedal locomotion in humans. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(11), 4232-4236. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0710010105
Ozcelik, Tayfun,, Nurten Akarsu,, Elif Uz,, Safak Caglayan,, Suleyman Gulsuner,, Onur Emre Onat,, Meliha Tan,, & Uner Tan. (2008) Reply to Herz et al. and Humphrey et al.: Genetic heterogeneity of cerebellar hypoplasia with quadrupedal locomotion. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(23). DOI: 10.1073 pnas.0804078105
Stanford CB. (2006) Arboreal bipedalism in wild chimpanzees: implications for the evolution of hominid posture and locomotion. American journal of physical anthropology, 129(2), 225-31. PMID: 16288480
Tan, Meliha, Sibel Karaca, and Uner Tan. (2010) A New Case of Uner Tan Syndrome—with Late Childhood Quadrupedalism. Movement Disorders, 25(5), 652-653. DOI: 10.1002/mds.22951
Tan, Uner. (2007) A Wrist-Walker Exhibiting No “Uner Tan Sydnrome”: A Theory for Possible Mechanisms of Human Devolution Toward the Atavistic Walking Patterns. International Journal of Neuroscience , 117(1), 147-156. DOI: 10.1080/00207450600936866
Uner Tan, Sadrettin Penccedile, Mustafa Yilmaz, Ayhan Oumlzkur, Sibel Karaca, Meliha Tan, & Mehmet Karatascedil. (2008) “Unertan Syndrome” in two Turkish Families in Relation to Devolution and Emergence of Homo Erectus: Neurological Examination, MRI, and pet Scans. International Journal of Neuroscience, 313-336. DOI: 10.1080/00207450701667766
Tan, Uner, & Meliha Tan. (2009) Unertan Syndrome: A New Variant of Unertan Syndrome: Running on All Fours in Two Upright-Walking Children. International Journal of Neuroscience, 119(7), 909-918. DOI: 10.1080/00207450902828050
Thelen, E.,, & Ulrich, B. D. (1991) Hidden skills: A dynamic systems analysis of treadmill stepping during the first year. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 56(1), 1-98. DOI: 10.2307/1166099
Thorpe, S. K. S.,, R. L. Holder,, & R. H. Crompton. (2007) Origin of Human Bipedalism As an Adaptation for Locomotion on Flexible Branches. Science, 316(5829), 1328. DOI: 10.1126/science.1140799
Trommsdorff M, Gotthardt M, Hiesberger T, Shelton J, Stockinger W, Nimpf J, Hammer RE, Richardson JA, & Herz J. (1999) Reeler/Disabled-like disruption of neuronal migration in knockout mice lacking the VLDL receptor and ApoE receptor 2. Cell, 97(6), 689-701. PMID: 10380922
S Türkmen,, K Hoffmann,, Osman Demirhan,, Defne Aruoba,, N Humphrey,, & S Mundlos. (2008) Cerebellar hypoplasia, with quadrupedal locomotion, caused by mutations in the very low-density lipoprotein receptor gene. European Journal of Human Genetics, 1070-1074. DOI: 10.1038/ejhg.2008.73
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the yeast used in baking bread and brewing beer, has a long history as a useful eukaryotic model organism. Yeast reproduce by budding, but sometimes haploid cells sexually reproduce by secreting pheromones and fusing into one diploid cell, which can then undergo meiosis to create four spores. Lately, this facultative sexual reproduction has been targeted by evolutionary ... Read more »
As my interest in prairie insects has increased over the past few years, so has my interest in their conservation. Many insects are restricted to prairies through dependence upon prairie plants or their unique physical and trophic characteristics. Thus, preservation of not only prairie plants but their insect associates as well is a major goal [...]... Read more »
Scott R. Swengel • Dennis Schlicht •, & Frank Olsen • Ann B. Swengel. (2010) Declines of prairie butterflies in the midwestern USA. Journal of Insect Conservation. info:/10.1007/s10841-010-9323-1
What, exactly, is tone deafness? We've all known someone who claimed he or she was tone deaf or "couldn't carry a tune." However, congenital amusia, which seems to be true "deafness" to tone, affects only about 4% of the general population - that is, 4% of the almost exclusively Western populations that have been studied.
Congenital amusia is one of several different types of music perception impairments. A person with the disorder is born with a variety of symptoms, including an inability to re........ Read more »
Nan Y, Sun Y, & Peretz I. (2010) Congenital amusia in speakers of a tone language: association with lexical tone agnosia. Brain : a journal of neurology, 133(9), 2635-42. PMID: 20685803
Andy Maloney in our lab has been studying solvent (water) isotope effects on kinesin and microtubules in the gliding motility assay. He has data showing a speed slow down from both heavy-hydrogen water (D2O; deuterium oxide) and heavy-oxygen water (H218O; oxygen-18 water). The preliminary results are very exciting to me, because I think varying the water isotopes may be a useful new knob for studying kinesin, molecular motors, and other biomolecular systems such as protein-DNA complexes. ........ Read more »
Gilbert N. Lewis. (1933) THE BIOCHEMISTRY OF WATER CONTAINING HYDROGEN ISOTOPE. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 55(8), 3503-3504. DOI: 10.1021/ja01335a509
Metformin is one of the known calorie restriction mimetics amongst drugs presently in use by the medical establishment. A calorie restriction mimetic is a drug that can reproduce some of the beneficial changes to metabolism exhibited during the practice of calorie restriction, which hopefully in turn leads to improved health and extended healthy life span. Metformin has been shown to modestly increase maximum life span in mice, though by much less than is possible through calorie restriction: ch........ Read more »
Kane DA, Anderson EJ, Price JW 3rd, Woodlief TL, Lin CT, Bikman BT, Cortright RN, & Neufer PD. (2010) Metformin selectively attenuates mitochondrial H2O2 emission without affecting respiratory capacity in skeletal muscle of obese rats. Free radical biology , 49(6), 1082-7. PMID: 20600832
by thomastu in Disease Prone
Some people have commented to me in person (and online) that I was a little brash in calling those violently opposed vaccinations as evil or ignorant. Also, that I might be completely shutting off dialogue and having people immediately list me as one of those pro-vaccination whores. I thought about this for a long time [...]... Read more »
Greenberg SB. (2000) 'Bacilli and bullets': William Osler and the antivaccination movement. Southern medical journal, 93(8), 763-7. PMID: 10963505
Last week, the American Society for Microbiology posted a story that caught my eye which highlighted the most recent work of Kim Lewis and his collaborators published in Chemistry and Biology in March (see citation below). It caught my eye due to the term “siderophores” in the title. You may be wondering why a strange [...]... Read more »
D'Onofrio A, Crawford JM, Stewart EJ, Witt K, Gavrish E, Epstein S, Clardy J, & Lewis K. (2010) Siderophores from neighboring organisms promote the growth of uncultured bacteria. Chemistry , 17(3), 254-64. PMID: 20338517
Episode 2 of series 2 of Inside Nature's Giants was devoted to pythons (for an article reviewing ep 1, go here). Specifically, to Burmese pythons Python molurus. And, quite right too. Snakes are among the weirdest and most phenomenally modified of tetrapods: in contrast to we boring tetrapodal tetrapods with our big limb girdles, long limbs and less than 100 vertebrae, we're talking about tubular reptiles with a few hundred vertebrae, stretched organs, distensible jaws and total or virtual a........ Read more »
Cohn MJ, & Tickle C. (1999) Developmental basis of limblessness and axial patterning in snakes. Nature, 399(6735), 474-9. PMID: 10365960
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