Post List

  • September 9, 2011
  • 04:00 AM

Lab-profile: Dr Ravi Nookala – University of Cambridge, UK

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

In this month’s lab profile we highlight the work of Dr Ravi Nookala, a structural biologist working in the lab of Professor Sir Tom Blundell in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. Dr Nookala is working on … Continue reading →... Read more »

Nookala RK, Hussain S, & Pellegrini L. (2007) Insights into Fanconi Anaemia from the structure of human FANCE. Nucleic acids research, 35(5), 1638-48. PMID: 17308347  

  • September 9, 2011
  • 01:51 AM

Acinetobacter baumannii the most opportunisitic-ist pathogen you know

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

A. baumannii does not mess around. As opportunistic pathogens go it’s pretty out there. An aerobic, gram negative, almost entirely antibiotic resistant (largely through passive mechanisms) bacterium that’s developing such a terrible reputation that it has picked up the nickname ‘Iraqibacter’, but that’s mostly because of the high proportion of A. baumannii infections in returned American troops.... Read more »

Mussi, M., Gaddy, J., Cabruja, M., Arivett, B., Viale, A., Rasia, R., & Actis, L. (2010) The Opportunistic Human Pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii Senses and Responds to Light. Journal of Bacteriology, 192(24), 6336-6345. DOI: 10.1128/JB.00917-10  

McBride, M. (2010) Shining a Light on an Opportunistic Pathogen. Journal of Bacteriology, 192(24), 6325-6326. DOI: 10.1128/JB.01141-10  

Reddy, T., Chopra, T., Marchaim, D., Pogue, J., Alangaden, G., Salimnia, H., Boikov, D., Navon-Venezia, S., Akins, R., Selman, P.... (2010) Trends in Antimicrobial Resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates from a Metropolitan Detroit Health System. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 54(5), 2235-2238. DOI: 10.1128/AAC.01665-09  

  • September 9, 2011
  • 01:09 AM

Coming to terms with the female orgasm

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

I think I know why science does not understand the female orgasm. It is because science excels when it breaks free of context, history, human complexities and anthropology, but when a topic requires one to grasp context, history, human complexities and anthropology, then science, especially the hard sciences, can fall short. Also, the nature of the female orgasm is a comparative question, but human sexuality is highly (but not entirely) derived; It is difficult to make a sensible graph or tabl........ Read more »

  • September 9, 2011
  • 01:00 AM

Histones Signal Other Proteins Too

by Chris Womack in E3 Engaging Epigenetics Experts

Here’s an epigenetics first.

It turns out that intermolecular signaling in epigenetics — all that ubiquination, methylation, and so forth — doesn’t always end at DNA or histones, where those two components go on just to regulate genes (or to encourage more modification of themselves and each other). Nope, John Latham and colleagues at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center reported in Cell last week that there’s at least one case — in yeast &md........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2011
  • 09:25 PM

More about the Gila Cliff Dwellings

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Despite their impressive preservation, the Gila Cliff Dwellings have gotten surprisingly little attention in the archaeological literature.  This is apparently because they were so thoroughly ransacked by pothunters early on that there wasn’t much left intact for archaeologists to study, and possibly also because the early establishment of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in 1907 [...]... Read more »

  • September 8, 2011
  • 06:42 PM

What’s most helpful for improving performance – precise or vague information?

by pennydeck in Feedback Solutions for Obesity

How precise does feedback need to be in order to support behaviour change? Most of us prefer exact information and are adverse to ambiguity (1), but absolute values may not be as successful for supporting behaviour change as one might … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 8, 2011
  • 04:22 PM


by Marc in Teaching Biology

One of the highlighted Konservat-Lagerstätten in my Rise of Animals post is Chengjiang (a.k.a. the Maotianshan Shales). While Burgess has the historical significance, in terms of importance and potential, Chengjiang is arguably more important (see Shu, 2008). Chengjiang fossils are not the easiest to see, although they are admittedly abundant, at 40000+ specimens so far. [...]... Read more »

  • September 8, 2011
  • 03:47 PM

Dear Science, Stop Cheating Already

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Last night I was eating dinner at Rubio's (side note: "Baja Fresh," Rubio's slogan is a little confusing considering that their fish tacos are made with Alaskan pollock, just an observation) while surfing the web using my smartphone. What I found was shocking: an article released by the Science Magazine, states that dutch social psychologist Diedrik Stapel has "admitted to using faked data" and "will not be asked to return" to Tilburg University where he is........ Read more »

Barrett, L. (2006) Are Emotions Natural Kinds?. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(1), 28-58. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6916.2006.00003.x  

  • September 8, 2011
  • 03:28 PM

Determining Labor Division in the Dead

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Division of labor is a major part of understanding gender and class roles in historic populations. Without text, archaeologists depend on material and human remains for the answers. The physical stress (or lack thereof) from daily activities can leave markers … Continue reading →... Read more »

P. HAVELKOVA, S. VILLOTTE, P. VELEMINSKY, L. POLACEK AND M. DOBISIKOVA. (2011) Enthesopathies and Activity Patterns in the Early Medieval Great Moravian Population: Evidence of Division of Labor. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 487-504. info:/

  • September 8, 2011
  • 03:00 PM

The Things They Carried: Former POWs, the Burma Railway & Threadworm

by Rebecca Kreston in BODY HORRORS

In February 1942, the city of Singapore was lost to the Japanese army during the Malaya campaign of World War II. The Fall of Singapore is considered to be one of the greatest British military disasters, with over 100,000 Allied troops consisting of British, Australian, American and Dutch soldiers captured. Several thousands of these men were sent to the Thai-Burma border to finish construction of the Burma Railway, known as the "Death Railway". Several medical surveys of these former ........ Read more »

Prendki V, Fenaux P, Durand R, Thellier M, & Bouchaud O. (2011) Strongyloidiasis in man 75 years after initial exposure. Emerging infectious diseases, 17(5), 931-2. PMID: 21529417  

  • September 8, 2011
  • 02:10 PM

Can We Simplify Triage by Using Just GCS

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Imagine a system where we intentionally ignore the usual horribly inaccurate trauma triage criteria, such as MOI (Mechanism Of Injury). And these are not even the usual criteria, because this is in a system with criteria already modifieded to avoid a lot of overtriage. :-)... Read more »

Norwood SH, McAuley CE, Berne JD, Vallina VL, Creath RG, & McLarty J. (2002) A prehospital glasgow coma scale score . The Journal of trauma, 53(3), 503-7. PMID: 12352488  

  • September 8, 2011
  • 12:53 PM

Some notes on the Atlantic cod genome, and fish genomes in general

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

Teleost fish genome sequences have been absolutely essential to our understanding of vertebrate genome evolution, and to vertebrate evolution in general. Last month I welcomed the addition of the Atlantic cod genome to the sequenced fish genomes, and highlighted some of the main findings of the first analysis of the whole genome sequence. The preliminary genome database is now available for browsing at the Pre!Ensembl database.

After I had written that post, I had some notes left over becaus........ Read more »

Star, B., Nederbragt, A., Jentoft, S., Grimholt, U., Malmstrøm, M., Gregers, T., Rounge, T., Paulsen, J., Solbakken, M., Sharma, A.... (2011) The genome sequence of Atlantic cod reveals a unique immune system. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature10342  

  • September 8, 2011
  • 12:05 PM

For a realistic Milky Way simulation, just add clustered star formation

by Kelly Oakes in Basic Space

Judging by its starlight and gas content (as seen in the image above), Eris looks to be a near match for our own Milky Way galaxy — except that it exists only as a simulation inside a supercomputer...... Read more »

Javiera Guedes, Simone Callegari, Piero Madau, & Lucio Mayer. (2011) Forming Realistic Late-Type Spirals in a LCDM Universe: The Eris Simulation. Astrophysical Journal. arXiv: 1103.6030v2

  • September 8, 2011
  • 11:12 AM

No Blank Slate (Part 2): In Closing, Treat Your Jurors as Instrumental Arguers

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

Your case has finally gone to the jury, and the panel is now ensconced in the jury room. What are they doing in there? Are they carefully and logically arguing the merits of your case, considering all sides until the truth wins out? If you have ever watched a closed-circuit feed of mock jury deliberations, or talked in detail with actual jurors after a verdict, you know the answer is, "No, not really doing that." What they are likely doing instead is using argument instrumentally, as a tool ........ Read more »

Mercier H, & Sperber D. (2011) Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. The Behavioral and brain sciences, 34(2), 57. PMID: 21447233  

  • September 8, 2011
  • 10:28 AM

FUTON Bias. Or Why Limiting to Free Full Text Might not Always be a Good Idea.

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

A few weeks ago I was discussing possible relevant papers for the Twitter Journal Club  (Hashtag #TwitJC), a succesful initiative on Twitter, that I have discussed previously here and here [7,8]. I proposed an article, that appeared behind a paywall. Annemarie Cunningham (@amcunningham) immediately ran the idea down, stressing that open-access (OA) is a pre-requisite for the TwitJC [...]... Read more »

Björk, B., Welling, P., Laakso, M., Majlender, P., Hedlund, T., & Guðnason, G. (2010) Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009. PLoS ONE, 5(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011273  

Matsubayashi, M., Kurata, K., Sakai, Y., Morioka, T., Kato, S., Mine, S., & Ueda, S. (2009) Status of open access in the biomedical field in 2005. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 97(1), 4-11. DOI: 10.3163/1536-5050.97.1.002  

WENTZ, R. (2002) Visibility of research: FUTON bias. The Lancet, 360(9341), 1256-1256. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)11264-5  

Murali NS, Murali HR, Auethavekiat P, Erwin PJ, Mandrekar JN, Manek NJ, & Ghosh AK. (2004) Impact of FUTON and NAA bias on visibility of research. Mayo Clinic proceedings. Mayo Clinic, 79(8), 1001-6. PMID: 15301326  

Carney PA, Poor DA, Schifferdecker KE, Gephart DS, Brooks WB, & Nierenberg DW. (2004) Computer use among community-based primary care physician preceptors. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 79(6), 580-90. PMID: 15165980  

  • September 8, 2011
  • 10:10 AM

Does Diminished Work Activity Explain Our 50-Year Overweight Trend?

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Daily work-related energy expenditure over the last half-century in the U.S. has decreased by over 100 calories.  This may well explain the increase in body weights we’ve seen, according to a 2011 article in PLoS ONE.
I sorta hate to open this can o’ worms, but it’s important.  As a population, are we fat because we eat too much [...]... Read more »

Church, T., Thomas, D., Tudor-Locke, C., Katzmarzyk, P., Earnest, C., Rodarte, R., Martin, C., Blair, S., & Bouchard, C. (2011) Trends over 5 Decades in U.S. Occupation-Related Physical Activity and Their Associations with Obesity. PLoS ONE, 6(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019657  

  • September 8, 2011
  • 09:52 AM

Can Hyenas Count?

by Jim Ryan in Wild Mammals

During a pivotal scene in West Side Story, the Jets and the Sharks meet to prepare to rumble. As the gangs assembled each side likely tried to assess their opponent’s strength. This ability to assess numerical advantage is highly advantageous in any species where conflict between groups is common.

Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) live in large fission-fussion clans where smaller groups often forage separately (Figure 1). The composition and size of these subgroups varies over time ........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2011
  • 09:45 AM

Satellite cells muscle their way into the stem cell spotlight

by Erin Campbell in the Node

Researchers have long known about regeneration of injured muscles, and have debated about the exact source of the muscle stem cells that perform this amazing feat.  A group of papers in a recent issue of Development shine a stem cell spotlight on satellite cells. Following injury, skeletal muscles are regenerated by muscle stem cells, but [...]... Read more »

  • September 8, 2011
  • 09:01 AM

The Language Evolution Tree: Yet more evidence

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

More evidence that acacia trees had a role to play in the evolution of langauge.... Read more »

Sean Geraint. (2011) Language Evolution and the Acacia Tree. Speculative Grammarian, Vol CLXII(4). info:/

  • September 8, 2011
  • 08:30 AM

So your friend asks… Part 3: Are viruses alive?

by Brooke N in Smaller Questions

A interesting history lesson & discussion on the 100 year old debate - are viruses alive?... Read more »

Moreira D, & López-García P. (2009) Ten reasons to exclude viruses from the tree of life. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 7(4), 306-11. PMID: 19270719  

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