Post List

  • October 5, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 812 views

Celebrate diversity: The fish that fertilizes itself

by Zen Faulkes in Marmorkrebs

It’s almost another marbled clone.

There are parthenogenetic vertebrates (some of which have been featured on this blog), but the Mangrove killifish, Kryptolebias marmoratus, is the only vertebrate that regularly self-fertilizes. Most individuals have male and female reproductive organs. Obviously, this allows you to have individuals that are not quite clones, but certainly have much more limited variation than most sexual species.

But, because sex is rarely simple, some individuals in this ........ Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 07:38 AM
  • 683 views

Great, the physics Nobel prize for graphene! Now don’t overhype it…

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Today it was announced that the 2010 Nobel prize in physics goes to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.” Geim’s and Novoselov’s work on graphene has been frequently predicted for the Nobel prize, although interestingly graphene has been studied long before they entered the field. Studies on graphene [...]... Read more »

Geim, A., & Novoselov, K. (2007) The rise of graphene. Nature Materials, 6(3), 183-191. DOI: 10.1038/nmat1849  

  • October 5, 2010
  • 06:43 AM
  • 562 views

Do sea anenomes get jet lag?

by Becky in It Takes 30

A lot of effort has gone into understanding why we get jet lag, in other words understanding the molecular mechanism of the circadian clock.  Circadian clocks are found in bacteria, fungi, plants and animals, and now a new paper from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Reitzel et al. 2010. Light entrained rhythmic gene expression in [...]... Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 05:30 AM
  • 510 views

Mounting evidence links global warming to the spread of disease

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Climate change and communicable disease: what are the risks? From Journal of Infection Prevention There is an increasing amount of evidence acknowledging that infectious diseases are associated with heatwaves, storms, floods, fires, and droughts. While we are often made aware of the detrimental effects of climate change on agriculture, fisheries, ecosystems and economies, these in turn [...]... Read more »

Nichols, A., Richardson, J., & Maynard, V. (2010) Climate change and communicable disease: what are the risks?. Journal of Infection Prevention, 11(5), 146-148. DOI: 10.1177/1757177410364869  

  • October 5, 2010
  • 05:00 AM
  • 741 views

“Do it yourself” tests for chlamydia could be missing around 80% of cases

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

Commercially available home tests for chlamydia could be failing to identify between 75% and 83% of people infected when compared with the “gold standard” biochemical lab test, according to new research from the Netherlands. The study of 772 women found that three “point of care” tests available on the internet and in pharmacies only correctly [...]... Read more »

van Dommelen, L., van Tiel, F., Ouburg, S., Brouwers, E., Terporten, P., Savelkoul, P., Morre, S., Bruggeman, C., & Hoebe, C. (2010) Alarmingly poor performance in Chlamydia trachomatis point-of-care testing. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 86(5), 355-359. DOI: 10.1136/sti.2010.042598  

  • October 5, 2010
  • 03:50 AM
  • 552 views

The reality of a universal language faculty?

by melodye in Child's Play

An argument is often made that similarities between languages (so-called “linguistic universals“) provide strong evidence for the existence of an innate, universal grammar (UG) that is shared by all humans, regardless of language spoken.  If language were not underpinned by such a grammar, it is argued, there would be endless (and extreme) variation, of the [...]... Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 03:19 AM
  • 530 views

British Colonialism & Medicine

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

During the colonisation of various territories in tropical climates, illness and disease was a common problem. To some extent, the life of an officer posted to such places could be measured in months. As well as diseases that affected people there were animal diseases such as Rhinderpest, and plant diseases too. One way an individual could over come such harsh climates was to carry with him his trusty medicine chest.Johnson (2008) states that in 1912, the Burroughs Wellcome & Co. felt t........ Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 02:30 AM
  • 1,048 views

Med Schools lack of policies for facebook and twitter use

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD


Social media are changing medicine. On social networking sites patients may learn information about their doctors, medical students that compromises the professional relationship. Threats to patient confidentiality is another danger of Facebook and other social networking sites. But how big is the problem and if med schools are on social media sites do they have [...]


Related posts:Facebook and Professionalism
Facebook and Academic Performance
Twitter for continuous student ratings
... Read more »

Terry Kind,, Gillian Genrich,, Avneet Sodhi,, & Katherine C. Chretien4. (2010) Social media policies at US medical schools. Medical Education Online. info:/10.3402/meo.v15i0.5324.

  • October 5, 2010
  • 02:23 AM
  • 712 views

Matching Management to Fish and Fishers

by Sam in Oceanographer's Choice

There are no truly universal laws in ecology. Every pattern and process takes place on its own scale in time and space, and truths that hold at one scale do not necessarily hold at another. This is a fact of life anyone dealing with an ecosystem has to come to terms with, whether they are [...]... Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 12:54 AM
  • 1,107 views

Mantis Shrimp Bio-Armor

by Michael Bok in Arthropoda

There is mantis shrimp double-trouble in this month’s Journal of Experimental Biology, which features not one, but two papers about stomatopods. One, Porter et al., is a new phylogeny of stomatopods, including some eye structure character reconstructions. The second paper, by Taylor and Patek, is a study on stomatopod armor employed in ritualized sparring. I’ll [...]... Read more »

  • October 4, 2010
  • 11:37 PM
  • 1,051 views

The Ignobel Prizes – A computational study of the Peter Principle

by Croor Singh in Learning to be Terse

This year’s Ignobel Prizes have been announced. Among the winners are an engineering solution to the problem of collecting whale snot, a prize in Medicine for the people who discovered that asthma can be treated by putting the patient on a roller coaster (I’m having a hard time imagining clinical trials for this!), a Peace [...]... Read more »

Pluchino, A., Rapisarda, A., & Garofalo, C. (2010) The Peter principle revisited: A computational study. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 389(3), 467-472. DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2009.09.045  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 10:20 PM
  • 733 views

Penguins Immediately Benefit From MPA

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter


There is much buzz these days about marine protected areas (MPAs) and no-take zones. We are approaching the age of assessment. There has been enough time passed where we should see a signal of improvement to verify conservation theory. While the data has been trickling in for many MPAs and there is in general an improvement . . . → Read More: Penguins Immediately Benefit From MPA... Read more »

Pichegru, L., Gremillet, D., Crawford, R., & Ryan, P. (2010) Marine no-take zone rapidly benefits endangered penguin. Biology Letters, 6(4), 498-501. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0913  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 10:20 PM
  • 1,016 views

Penguins Immediately Benefit From MPA

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

There is much buzz these days about marine protected areas (MPAs) and no-take zones. We are approaching the age of assessment. There has been enough time passed where we should see a signal of improvement to verify conservation theory. While the data has been trickling in for many MPAs and there is in general an improvement . . . → Read More: Penguins Immediately Benefit From MPA... Read more »

Pichegru, L., Gremillet, D., Crawford, R., & Ryan, P. (2010) Marine no-take zone rapidly benefits endangered penguin. Biology Letters, 6(4), 498-501. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0913  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 09:43 PM
  • 617 views

Economists and psychologists battle over what makes us happy

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture


There has been a lot published recently on the source of happiness and what constitutes the good life, with many articles focusing on levels of personal income that mark tipping points, such as the recent claim that we need $75,000 to be happy.
In this week’s Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of [...]... Read more »

Headey, B., R. Muffels, and G.G. Wagner. (2010) Long-running German panel survey shows that personal and economic choices, not just genes, matter for happiness . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1008612107

  • October 4, 2010
  • 09:41 PM
  • 695 views

This Week in the Universe: September 28th – October 4th

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

Astrophysics and Gravitation:
Vacuum-Driven Evolution in Astrophysics
William C. C. Lima, George E. A. Matsas, & Daniel A. T. Vanzella (2010). Awaking the vacuum in relativistic stars Physical Review Letters arXiv: 1009.1771v1
In a very cool paper that will be appearing in the Physical Review Letters at the end of the week, Lima et al. have shown an interesting (and surprising) relationship between neutron star formation and the vacuum energy density of our universe. Using some semi-classica........ Read more »

William C. C. Lima, George E. A. Matsas, & Daniel A. T. Vanzella. (2010) Awaking the vacuum in relativistic stars. Physical Review Letters. arXiv: 1009.1771v1

P. H. Damgaard, K. Splittorff, & J. J. M. Verbaarschot. (2010) Microscopic Spectrum of the Wilson Dirac Operator. arXiv. arXiv: 1001.2937v3

F. Belgiorno, S. L. Cacciatori, M. Clerici, V. Gorini, G. Ortenzi, L. Rizzi, E. Rubino, V. G. Sala, & D. Faccio. (2010) Hawking radiation from ultrashort laser pulse filaments. arXiv. arXiv: 1009.4634v1

  • October 4, 2010
  • 06:55 PM
  • 713 views

The adaptive space of complexity

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Evolution means many things to many people. On the one hand some scholars focus on time scales of “billions and billions,” and can ruminate upon the radical variation in body plans across the tree of life. Others put the spotlight on the change in gene frequencies on the scale of years, of Ph.D. programs. While [...]... Read more »

Wang Z, Liao BY, & Zhang J. (2010) Genomic patterns of pleiotropy and the evolution of complexity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20876104  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 05:38 PM
  • 758 views

Managed Relocation is a terrible idea.

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Global climate change is an unprecidented anthropogenic disturbance that is wreaking havoc on our planet.  A plethora of scientists, conservationists, governments and NGOs are continuously working at several scales in order to model the outcomes of this environmtnal catastrophe.  A recent communication in ‘Ecological Applications’, suggests that the urgency with which global climate change is [...]... Read more »

  • October 4, 2010
  • 05:12 PM
  • 494 views

Tuatara tuesday – how cold is too cold for a tuatara?

by hilaryml in Chicken or Egg blog

Tuatara like it cold.  Unusually so, for a reptile.  While reptiles in most other countries are happiest with temperatures over 25 degrees celcius, here in New Zealand our reptiles prefer much lower temperatures.  Alison Cree’s group at the University of Otago has been investigating exactly which temperatures tuatara prefer, with a view to determining whether [...]... Read more »

  • October 4, 2010
  • 04:41 PM
  • 734 views

Suicide, age and poison

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

At the end of the 19th Century, the ground-breaking sociologist Émile Durkheim made an important discovery: across Europe, Protestant regions had a higher suicide rate that Catholic regions. This, he said, was because Catholicism created more integrated societies. In today's parlance, Catholicism generates more social capital.

Since then many studies reinforced this theory, showing that Catholicism, and indeed religion in general, seems to protect against suicide. Unfortunately, almost all the........ Read more »

Spoerri A, Zwahlen M, Bopp M, Gutzwiller F, Egger M, & for the Swiss National Cohort Study. (2010) Religion and assisted and non-assisted suicide in Switzerland: National Cohort Study. International journal of epidemiology. PMID: 20841328  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 04:36 PM
  • 855 views

Choosing mates: do we REALLY want what we say we want?

by Casey Rentz in The Lay Scientist


"Study shows real partners are no match for ideal mates," says a Sheffield University press release I read last week. So, sometimes we settle for less than George Clooney or Heidi Klum.




--
read more... Read more »

Alexandre Courtiol1, Sandrine Picq, Bernard Godelle1, Michel Raymond, Jean-Baptiste Ferdy. (2010) From Preferred to Actual Mate Characteristics: The Case of Human Body Shape. PLoS ONE. info:/

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