Post List

  • January 10, 2011
  • 11:05 PM

Chromothripsis: Cratering of Chromosomes

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

A stark frame from Apollo 16 shows a lunar surface remodeled by violent collisions. Even in a single static snapshot hints at the order of events. The large crater near the center of the image was later remodeled by a not small crater breaking the original rim. Careful study of other photographs, especially of the even more chaotic far side of the moon, can piece together the temporal order of events, from such overlaps in craters and their ejecta.The moon has more than a few parallels to the........ Read more »

P.J. Stephens, C.D. Greenstein, B. Fu, F. Yang, G.R. Bignell, L.J. Mudis, E.D. Pleasance, K.W. Lau, D. Beare, L.A. Stebbings.... (2011) Massive Genomic Rearrangement Acquired in a Single Catastrophic Event during Cancer Development. Cell, 144(1), 27-40. info:/10.1016/j.cell.2010.11.055

  • January 10, 2011
  • 10:55 PM

Epistemic opacity in simulations

by Ponder Stibbons in The truth makes me fret.

This post is the result of reading Wittgenstein and the philosophy of simulation literature in close temporal proximity. Here is Paul Humphreys on epistemic opacity in computer simulations: a process is epistemically opaque relative to a cognitive agent X at time t just in case X does not know at t all of the epistemically [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 06:02 PM

What Killed the Hominins of AL 333?

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Over 36 years since its discovery in Ethiopia’s Afar Depression, the 3.2 million year old skeleton of Lucy is still the most famous in all of paleoanthropology. Older fossil humans have been found, as have more complete remains, but none have generated the same swell of interest that has virtually turned these Australopithecus afarensis bones [...]... Read more »

Anna K. Behrensmeyer. (1978) Taphonomic and Ecologic Information from Bone Weathering. Paleobiology, 4(2), 150-162. info:/

Anna K Behrensmeyer. (2008) Paleoenvironmental context of the Pliocene A.L. 333 “First Family” hominin locality, Hadar Formation, Ethiopia. GSA Special Papers, 203-214. info:/10.1130/2008.2446(09)

Kruuk, H. (2009) Surplus killing by carnivores. Journal of Zoology, 166(2), 233-244. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1972.tb04087.x  

Reno, P., McCollum, M., Meindl, R., & Lovejoy, C. (2010) An enlarged postcranial sample confirms Australopithecus afarensis dimorphism was similar to modern humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365(1556), 3355-3363. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0086  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 04:40 PM

Brain training – it happens all the time

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

At the risk of seeming untrendy, the trend to rave on about neuroplasticity can be a bit overdone.  Not, I add quickly, because it doesn’t happen, or it’s not important – in fact, quite the opposite – but because it happens all the time.  And at the back of our minds, I think we’ve known … Read more... Read more »

Iannetti, G., & Mouraux, A. (2010) From the neuromatrix to the pain matrix (and back). Experimental Brain Research, 205(1), 1-12. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-010-2340-1  

Neugebauer, V., Galhardo, V., Maione, S., & Mackey, S. (2009) Forebrain pain mechanisms. Brain Research Reviews, 60(1), 226-242. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2008.12.014  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 03:50 PM

Measles, Papua New Guinea and the brain

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

You may not have realised that – since most people nowadays have been vaccinated against it and have never seen it – but measles is a very serious illness. Generally an acute disease of children, measles is spread by the measles virus where it infects the body via the respiratory route and establishes a systemic [...]... Read more »

Rima, B., & Duprex, W. (2006) Morbilliviruses and human disease. The Journal of Pathology, 208(2), 199-214. DOI: 10.1002/path.1873  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 03:00 PM

The Lone Wolf or the Support Group Enthusiast?

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

What type of person are you?? When tough times come around – whether it is stress at work, a painful injury, or forced participation in Secret Santa – what do you do? Some people, those lone wolf types, find relief in being alone, taking some time to regroup, and dealing with the problem themselves. Others, [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 01:53 PM

Can a Font Make You Smarter?

by Kari Kenefick in Promega Connections

Today is the second Monday of the New Year, January 10, 2011 and we are returning to work, school and normal life, you know, the one without endless shopping, cooking and preparing. Hopefully most of your holiday 2010 remembrances are fond ones…the greetings, baked goods, travel, gifts…all good. Hold on. The greetings; was there was [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 01:43 PM

Crowdsourcing Science with TOPSAN

by Sanford- Burnham in Beaker

New advances in technology are allowing scientists to sequence genomes and determine the structures of the proteins they encode at a faster rate and lower cost than ever before. The NIH’s Protein Structure Initiative centers, such as the Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG), have been instrumental in establishing the structures of hundreds of proteins [...]... Read more »

Ellrott K, Zmasek CM, Weekes D, Sri Krishna S, Bakolitsa C, Godzik A, & Wooley J. (2011) TOPSAN: a dynamic web database for structural genomics. Nucleic acids research, 39(Database issue). PMID: 20961957  

Krishna SS, Weekes D, Bakolitsa C, Elsliger MA, Wilson IA, Godzik A, & Wooley J. (2010) TOPSAN: use of a collaborative environment for annotating, analyzing and disseminating data on JCSG and PSI structures. Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology and crystallization communications, 66(Pt 10), 1143-7. PMID: 20944203  

Weekes D, Krishna SS, Bakolitsa C, Wilson IA, Godzik A, & Wooley J. (2010) TOPSAN: a collaborative annotation environment for structural genomics. BMC bioinformatics, 426. PMID: 20716366  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 01:23 PM

This Week in the Universe: January 4th – January 10th

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

Astrophysics and Gravitation:
Supermassive Black Hole Surprise?
CREDIT: Reines, et al., David Nidever, NRAO/AUI/NSF, NASA
The dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10, seen in visible light by the Hubble Space Telescope. The central, light-pink region shows an area of radio emission, seen with the Very Large Array. This area indicates the presence of a supermassive black hole drawing in material from its surroundings. This also is indicated by strong X-ray emission from this region detected by the Chandra X-Ray........ Read more »

Andreyev, A., Elseviers, J., Huyse, M., Van Duppen, P., Antalic, S., Barzakh, A., Bree, N., Cocolios, T., Comas, V., Diriken, J.... (2010) New Type of Asymmetric Fission in Proton-Rich Nuclei. Physical Review Letters, 105(25). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.252502  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 12:40 PM

Count Your Plaintiffs Before Certification Hatches: Class Size Matters in Some Unexpected Ways

by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - When dealing with the number of plaintiffs in a class action, mass tort, or other large scale litigation, is "Super-Size Me" the plaintiff's best choice? At a legal level, the U.S. Supreme Court will get a chance to weigh in, after the decision last week to determine whether as many as 1.5 million female Wal-Mart workers claiming gender discrimination can be certified as a class (Dukes v. Wal-Mart). The common belief is that a large number of plaintiffs serves to maximiz........ Read more »

Loran F. Nordgren and Mary-Hunter Morris McDonnell. (2010) The Scope-Severity Paradox: Why Doing More Harm Is Judged to be Less Harmful. Social Psychological and. info:/

  • January 10, 2011
  • 12:09 PM

Barnacle Evolution I: Phylogeny Served Without Plates

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Lepas anatifera from Washington state, USA. Photo credit: David Cowles 1997.
Barnacle evolution was recently rewritten by a large effort of Perez-Losada and colleagues in 2008. Using a combination of genes and morphological traits they rejected some of the ideas that were foundational to barnacle biology and taxonomy, while giving new support for other ideas.
Though . . . → Read More: Barnacle Evolution I: Phylogeny Served Without Plates... Read more »

Pérez-Losada M, Harp M, Høeg JT, Achituv Y, Jones D, Watanabe H, & Crandall KA. (2008) The tempo and mode of barnacle evolution. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 46(1), 328-46. PMID: 18032070  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 12:00 PM

Endless Forms Most Viral

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Welkin E. Johnson

Perhaps more than any other biological discipline, the study of animal viruses is confined to the present. Virions are simply not the stuff of which robust fossils are made. Phylogenetic analysis can help by revealing deep relationships between extant viral lineages, yet such reconstructions lack detail (telling us nothing about transitional or extinct viral forms, the movement of viruses between species, or the timing of major events in viral evolution), and molecular cloc........ Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 11:55 AM

Environmentally Friendly Alkyl Halide Synthesis from Alcohols

by Michael Long in Phased

A very common chemical conversion (important to pharmaceutical and other syntheses), which in its most gentle application generates much waste, has now been rendered far more environmentally friendly.... Read more »

Dai, C., Narayanam, J. M. R., & Stephenson, C. R. J. (2011) Visible-light-mediated conversion of alcohols to halides. Nature Chemistry. DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.949  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 11:14 AM

tau zero tries to read kardashev’s tea leaves

by Greg Fish in weird things

According to a study by the founder of the Tau Zero Foundation, a collective of space enthusiasts focused on the potential for interstellar travel, which last year published a paper on what it might take to reach a nearby star, we won’t be ready to launch anything outside the solar system by 2196 or so. [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 11:02 AM

Care and equality in volunteer tourism: the perspective of locals

by Émilie Crossley in Journeys through the psychosocial

Advocates of volunteer tourism are keen to stress that the relationship between hosts and guests it engenders is one of responsibility, equality and reciprocity. It is a model of tourism that supposedly brings benefits to all parties involved, especially to host communities in developing countries, and which stands in firm opposition to the insensitive and [...]... Read more »

Sin, H.L. (2010) Who are we responsible to? Locals’ tales of volunteer tourism. Geoforum, 983-992. info:/

  • January 10, 2011
  • 10:55 AM

Rifaximin in IBS: A Quick Fix?

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

This study published in the NEJM seems to have tackled the really dicey issue of unearthing a pharmacotherapeutic agent to deal with the rather ubiquitous, though poorly understood, and more often than not, even less poorly managed problem of irritable … Continue reading →... Read more »

Pimentel M, Lembo A, Chey WD, Zakko S, Ringel Y, Yu J, Mareya SM, Shaw AL, Bortey E, Forbes WP.... (2011) Rifaximin therapy for patients with irritable bowel syndrome without constipation. The New England journal of medicine, 364(1), 22-32. PMID: 21208106  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 10:55 AM

Learning the passive

by gameswithwords in Games with Words

If Microsoft Word had its way, passive verbs would be excised from the language. That would solve children some problems, because passive verbs are more difficult to learn than one might think, because not all verbs passivize. Consider:

*The bicycle was resembled by John.
*Three bicycles are had by John.
*Many people are escaped by the argument.

The bicycle was resembled by John: A how-to guide.
So children must learn which verbs have passives and which don't. I recently sat down to read........ Read more »

  • January 10, 2011
  • 10:51 AM

The Source of Levodopa’s Unwanted Dance

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease - tremor, inability to initiate movement, rigidity - result from the loss of neurons that secrete the neurotransmitter dopamine. It therefore follows that the best way to treat these symptoms is by replacing a person’s lost dopamine, the strategy behind the drug levodopa. For the first few years, levodopa [...]... Read more »

Ding Y, Won L, Britt JP, Lim SA, McGehee DS, & Kang UJ. (2010) Enhanced striatal cholinergic neuronal activity mediates L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in parkinsonian mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21187382  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 10:42 AM

Managing Supply Chains with multiple Pipelines

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Companies offer a smaller or larger range of products serving different markets, depending on their history and primarily the respective business model.

From a supply chain management point of view this poses the question if it is ok just to use the same supply chain strategy for all those products.

Pipelines vs. Supply Chains
Aitken et al. (2005) make a convincing argument against this approach and instead suggest the "pipeline" to describe the specific operational mechanisms and procedu........ Read more »

Aitken, J., Childerhouse, P., Christopher, M.G., & Towill, D.R. (2005) Designing and Managing multiple Pipelines. Journal of Business Logistics, 26(2), 73-95. info:/

  • January 10, 2011
  • 10:39 AM

Velociraptor Table Scraps

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

What did Velociraptor eat? Despite what the Jurassic Park franchise might suggest, the answer is not “tourists and hapless scientists.” Those were in rather short supply during the Mesozoic. Instead, as reported in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology last year, recently found fossils confirm that this famous, sickle-clawed dinosaur fed upon the horned dinosaur Protoceratops. In 1971, [...]... Read more »

Hone, D., Choiniere, J., Sullivan, C., Xu, X., Pittman, M., & Tan, Q. (2010) New evidence for a trophic relationship between the dinosaurs Velociraptor and Protoceratops. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 291(3-4), 488-492. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.03.028  

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