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  • January 6, 2016
  • 08:55 AM
  • 1,055 views

It’s An Exercise Resolution

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

More exercise is a good New Year’s resolution, but do you know why it is good for you? Sure, you strengthen your heart and may lose some weight, but exercise affects your brain most of all. Exercise releases helps your mood releasing a chemical in your brain just like the active ingredient in marijuana.... Read more »

Galdino G, Romero TR, Silva JF, Aguiar DC, de Paula AM, Cruz JS, Parrella C, Piscitelli F, Duarte ID, Di Marzo V.... (2013) The endocannabinoid system mediates aerobic exercise-induced antinociception in rats. Neuropharmacology, 313-324. PMID: 24148812  

  • December 16, 2015
  • 08:50 AM
  • 940 views

A Gift Worth Its Weight In Gold

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Gold is not considered a dietary micronutrient, and is the one of the most inert metals. But this is not to say it has no role in living systems; in fact, this metal is a veritable gold mine of biology. New research has led to a greater understanding of how gold can down-regulate inflammatory processes and gold complexes are being used in cancer and infectious disease treatments.... Read more »

  • December 9, 2015
  • 08:05 AM
  • 1,306 views

Snow Saves Lives

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

It may be warm for December, but the snow is coming. Recent studies are showing the unique ways that organisms depend on and use snow in order to survive. An antifreeze protein from snow fleas may lengthen the time that organs can be stored for transplant. More amazing, reindeer use the UV rays that bounce of the snow to see predators – they are the only mammals that can see in the UV range.... Read more »

Hogg C, Neveu M, Stokkan KA, Folkow L, Cottrill P, Douglas R, Hunt DM, & Jeffery G. (2011) Arctic reindeer extend their visual range into the ultraviolet. The Journal of experimental biology, 214(Pt 12), 2014-9. PMID: 21613517  

Kondo H, Hanada Y, Sugimoto H, Hoshino T, Garnham CP, Davies PL, & Tsuda S. (2012) Ice-binding site of snow mold fungus antifreeze protein deviates from structural regularity and high conservation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(24), 9360-5. PMID: 22645341  

  • December 8, 2015
  • 02:35 PM
  • 720 views

My First Citation, Due To A Couple Of Hybridizing Scaups

by Jente Ottenburghs in Evolutionary Stories

The story of my first citation, and the birth of my H-index...... Read more »

Lavretsky, P., Peters, J., Winker, K., Bahn, V., Kulikova, I., Zhuravlev, Y., Wilson, R., Barger, C., Gurney, K., & Mccracken, K. (2015) Becoming pure: identifying generational classes of admixed individuals within lesser and greater scaup populations. Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.13487  

  • November 25, 2015
  • 09:50 AM
  • 586 views

Video Tip of the Week: iDigBio for access to historical specimens and more

by Mary in OpenHelix

Usually for Thanksgiving week posting is light. In the past, we’ve all done turkey breeding and genomics, cranberry genome, and some people have included apples, potatoes, and more. But another key aspect of the holiday is to remember the past and thank those who came before. And as I was watching this video that crossed my […]... Read more »

Nelson, G., Sweeney, P., Wallace, L., Rabeler, R., Allard, D., Brown, H., Carter, J., Denslow, M., Ellwood, E., Germain-Aubrey, C.... (2015) Digitization Workflows for Flat Sheets and Packets of Plants, Algae, and Fungi. Applications in Plant Sciences, 3(9), 1500065. DOI: 10.3732/apps.1500065  

Jolley-Rogers, G., Varghese, T., Harvey, P., dos Remedios, N., & Miller, J. (2014) PhyloJIVE: Integrating biodiversity data with the Tree of Life. Bioinformatics, 30(9), 1308-1309. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu024  

  • November 25, 2015
  • 04:41 AM
  • 664 views

Data Diving for Genomics Treasure

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

This is a post written jointly by Nelson Lau from Brandeis and me, Björn Brembs. In contrast to Nelson’s guest post, which focused on the open data aspect of our collaboration, this one describes the science behind our paper and […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...... Read more »

Rahman R, Chirn GW, Kanodia A, Sytnikova YA, Brembs B, Bergman CM, & Lau NC. (2015) Unique transposon landscapes are pervasive across Drosophila melanogaster genomes. Nucleic acids research. PMID: 26578579  

Chirn, G., Rahman, R., Sytnikova, Y., Matts, J., Zeng, M., Gerlach, D., Yu, M., Berger, B., Naramura, M., Kile, B.... (2015) Conserved piRNA Expression from a Distinct Set of piRNA Cluster Loci in Eutherian Mammals. PLOS Genetics, 11(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005652  

  • November 10, 2015
  • 03:54 PM
  • 911 views

Projects, papers and other pleasures

by Jente Ottenburghs in Evolutionary Stories

An overview of my PhD so far...... Read more »

  • November 5, 2015
  • 07:47 PM
  • 1,004 views

Baby Giant Squids

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

We know almost nothing about Giant Squids with mantles lengths less than 1000 mm  (~40 inches).  Very young squids are even more enigmatic than adults.  A recent study reports the collection of three very young Giant Squids off the Japanese coast.  The three young measured 140.8, 332, and 332 mm (5.5 and 13 inches). The heaviest of […]... Read more »

  • November 3, 2015
  • 04:20 PM
  • 1,319 views

I Pity the Species That Doesn’t Decorate

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

Mr. T made mohawks and fool pitying a life goal for many.   Another life goal for many, thanks to first name Mr, middle name period, last name T, was decorating themselves with enough gold chains to crash a third-world economy.   Although humans are the only species where decoration functions strongly in social interactions (see Beyonce), […]... Read more »

Ruxton, G., & Stevens, M. (2015) The evolutionary ecology of decorating behaviour. Biology Letters, 11(6), 20150325. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0325  

  • October 28, 2015
  • 08:29 AM
  • 1,030 views

It’s All in the Numbers - Sizes in Nature

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Sizes in nature are hard to compare. Can you believe that there are 200 million insects for every human on Earth? And it’s an unimaginably bigger difference when you compare bacteria number to humans. Sizes vary as well, but why? Why do bacteria have to be so small? It’s about moving molecules through a cell - diffusion.... Read more »

Schulz, H., & Jørgensen, B. (2001) Big Bacteria. Annual Review of Microbiology, 55(1), 105-137. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.micro.55.1.105  

  • October 28, 2015
  • 01:25 AM
  • 1,095 views

First field observations of one of the world’s rarest whales:

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Scientists have made the first ever field observations of the Omura's whale -- the least known species of whales in the world. The results are published in the open-access Royal Society Open Science journal.... Read more »

Cerchio, S., Andrianantenaina, B., Lindsay, A., Rekdahl, M., Andrianarivelo, N., & Rasoloarijao, T. (2015) Omura’s whales (Balaenoptera omurai) off northwest Madagascar: ecology, behaviour and conservation needs . Royal Society Open Science, 2(10), 150301. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150301  

  • October 22, 2015
  • 11:34 AM
  • 877 views

Thiaminases poison animals by destroying an essential vitamin

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

A fundamental part of being alive is continually building up and breaking down organic molecules. Some molecules can only be constructed or torn down by a select group of living things, which can make it interesting for everyone else. For example, only bacteria and archaea can synthesize vitamin B12, so we have to get it through our diet or by having it administered as a drug.... Read more »

Moyo A, Bimbo F, Adeyoyin K, Nnaemeka A, Oluwatoyin G, & Oladeji A. (2014) Seasonal ataxia: A case report of a disappearing disease. African Health Sciences, 14(3), 769. DOI: 10.4314/ahs.v14i3.38  

Ringe H, Schuelke M, Weber S, Dorner BG, Kirchner S, & Dorner MB. (2014) Infant botulism: Is there an association with thiamine deficiency?. Pediatrics, 134(5). PMID: 25311602  

  • October 14, 2015
  • 08:10 AM
  • 993 views

Blood --- Not Just For Vampires Anymore

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Halloween brings talk of vampires, but is consuming blood what makes a person a vampire? If so, almost everyone is a vampire. The vampire bat is an amazing biological exception, and it’s biology saves lives and has inspired a new drone. But not ever person who looks like a vampire sucks blood; several diseases mimic vampirism.... Read more »

  • October 7, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,225 views

Twin Sons Of Different Mothers…… Or Fathers

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Can a pregnant woman get pregnant? Sounds like a riddle, but really it is superfetation. Getting pregnant in two successive cycles and having twins with different fathers really creates a problem in defining what twins actually are. Twins don’t have to be conceived at the same time, born at the same time, have the same father, or even be of the same “race.”... Read more »

Claas, M., Timmermans, A., & Bruinse, H. (2010) Case report: a black and white twin. Journal of Perinatology, 30(6), 434-436. DOI: 10.1038/jp.2009.156  

  • September 30, 2015
  • 07:55 AM
  • 1,008 views

Twins of Different Seasons

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Twins are born near the same time, that’s one of the things that makes them twins. But do they have to be born close to one another? The record is twins born 104 days apart. The key is to get the twins past 25 weeks so the lungs will be mature enough, but if one twin is delivered, the second might be subjected to delayed interval delivery to give the lungs longer to grow.... Read more »

Reinhard, J., Reichenbach, L., Ernst, T., Reitter, A., Antwerpen, I., Herrmann, E., Schlösser, R., & Louwen, F. (2012) Delayed interval delivery in twin and triplet pregnancies: 6 years of experience in one perinatal center. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 40(5). DOI: 10.1515/jpm-2011-0267  

Padilla-Iserte, P., Vila-Vives, J., Ferri, B., Gómez-Portero, R., Diago, V., & Perales-Marín, A. (2014) Delayed Interval Delivery of the Second Twin: Obstetric Management, Neonatal Outcomes, and 2-Year Follow-Up. The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India, 64(5), 344-348. DOI: 10.1007/s13224-014-0544-1  

Lewi, L., Devlieger, R., De Catte, L., & Deprest, J. (2014) Growth discordance. Best Practice , 28(2), 295-303. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2013.12.003  

  • September 23, 2015
  • 08:10 AM
  • 1,254 views

Twins Versus Siblings, Where’s The Line?

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

What makes two babies twins? Do they have to look similar; be born at the same time; be conceived at the same time? Twins of different races give us idea just how genetics can play out in siblings and how complex the control of skin pigmentation, hair and eye color and hair texture can be.... Read more »

Duffy DL, Montgomery GW, Chen W, Zhao ZZ, Le L, James MR, Hayward NK, Martin NG, & Sturm RA. (2007) A three-single-nucleotide polymorphism haplotype in intron 1 of OCA2 explains most human eye-color variation. American journal of human genetics, 80(2), 241-52. PMID: 17236130  

Maroñas, O., Phillips, C., Söchtig, J., Gomez-Tato, A., Cruz, R., Alvarez-Dios, J., de Cal, M., Ruiz, Y., Fondevila, M., Carracedo, �.... (2014) Development of a forensic skin colour predictive test. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 34-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2014.06.017  

  • September 16, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,074 views

You And Mom Are Never Apart

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

You have more in common with your mom than you might think. Microchimerism means that an individual has cells with two different genetic profiles; some are yours and some are your mom’s. They live in your body for more than 40 years and can affect your health. Some of your cells moved into mom too – and they may help her live longer and avoid breast cancer.... Read more »

Cirello V, Rizzo R, Crippa M, Campi I, Bortolotti D, Bolzani S, Colombo C, Vannucchi G, Maffini MA, de Liso F.... (2015) Fetal cell microchimerism: a protective role in autoimmune thyroid diseases. European journal of endocrinology / European Federation of Endocrine Societies, 173(1), 111-8. PMID: 25916393  

Kamper-Jorgensen, M., Hjalgrim, H., Andersen, A., Gadi, V., & Tjonneland, A. (2013) Male microchimerism and survival among women. International Journal of Epidemiology, 43(1), 168-173. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyt230  

Eun, J., Guthrie, K., Zirpoli, G., & Gadi, V. (2013) In Situ Breast Cancer and Microchimerism. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep02192  

  • September 9, 2015
  • 08:15 AM
  • 1,457 views

When You’re Not Just Yourself

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

How would you react if you were told that the DNA testing shows that you are not your child’s parent or your parents’ child? Demand another test? – you bet. But wait, you or your parent might be a tetragametic chimeric, carrying around DNA from another person in your body. You might have had a dizygotic twin that you didn’t know about!... Read more »

Yu, N., Kruskall, M., Yunis, J., Knoll, J., Uhl, L., Alosco, S., Ohashi, M., Clavijo, O., Husain, Z., Yunis, E.... (2002) Disputed Maternity Leading to Identification of Tetragametic Chimerism. New England Journal of Medicine, 346(20), 1545-1552. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa013452  

Lee, H., Yoon, S., Ko, J., Seong, M., Park, S., Choi, J., & Oh, S. (2014) Monochorionic dizygotic twins with discordant sex and confined blood chimerism. European Journal of Pediatrics, 173(9), 1249-1252. DOI: 10.1007/s00431-014-2312-8  

  • September 2, 2015
  • 08:15 AM
  • 926 views

Don’t Disrespect The Dizygotic

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Spies try to look boring, but in reality they are much more interesting than the average Joe. So it is with dizygotic twins; monozygotic twins (“identical”) get all the glory, but they’re just a split egg, any female can do it. But dizygotic twins – certain families have more, Nigerian women have more, older women have more, taller women and overweight women have more. Now there’s something that looks boring but must be interesting.... Read more »

Simpson, C., Robertson, D., Al-Musawi, S., Heath, D., McNatty, K., Ritter, L., Mottershead, D., Gilchrist, R., Harrison, C., & Stanton, P. (2014) Aberrant GDF9 Expression and Activation Are Associated With Common Human Ovarian Disorders. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology , 99(4). DOI: 10.1210/jc.2013-3949  

Palmer, J., Zhao, Z., Hoekstra, C., Hayward, N., Webb, P., Whiteman, D., Martin, N., Boomsma, D., Duffy, D., & Montgomery, G. (2006) Novel Variants in Growth Differentiation Factor 9 in Mothers of Dizygotic Twins. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology , 91(11), 4713-4716. DOI: 10.1210/jc.2006-0970  

Hoekstra, C., Willemsen, G., van Beijsterveldt, C., Lambalk, C., Montgomery, G., & Boomsma, D. (2010) Body composition, smoking, and spontaneous dizygotic twinning. Fertility and Sterility, 93(3), 885-893. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.10.012  

Groeneveld, E., Lambers, M., Stakelbeek, M., Mooij, T., van den Belt-Dusebout, A., Heymans, M., Schats, R., Hompes, P., Hoek, A., Burger, C.... (2012) Factors associated with dizygotic twinning after IVF treatment with double embryo transfer. Human Reproduction, 27(10), 2966-2970. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/des258  

  • August 26, 2015
  • 08:45 AM
  • 1,130 views

Twins That Share More Than Clothes

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Not every pair of monozygotic twins have the same chromosomes. Mosaic twins can be boy and girl, yet both babies come from a single zygote. The strange part is that the tests we run to prevent IVF problems may actually contribute to mosaic twinning. And have you heard of polar body twins? They’re ½ identical twins!... Read more »

Souter, V., Parisi, M., Nyholt, D., Kapur, R., Henders, A., Opheim, K., Gunther, D., Mitchell, M., Glass, I., & Montgomery, G. (2006) A case of true hermaphroditism reveals an unusual mechanism of twinning. Human Genetics, 121(2), 179-185. DOI: 10.1007/s00439-006-0279-x  

Tachon, G., Lefort, G., Puechberty, J., Schneider, A., Jeandel, C., Boulot, P., Prodhomme, O., Meyer, P., Taviaux, S., Touitou, I.... (2014) Discordant sex in monozygotic XXY/XX twins: a case report. Human Reproduction, 29(12), 2814-2820. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/deu275  

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