Do you spend your photon budget wisely? This is a question that a recent paper asks, and answers back with a new technique that produces images that will blow your socks off. Once you put your socks back on, check out today’s image.Cellular imaging is a constantly evolving field made of biologists on a never-ending quest for higher resolution of structures and faster image acquisition of a living cell. There are several challenges to these demands. For example, cells are not pancake-thin. ........ Read more »
Planchon, T., Gao, L., Milkie, D., Davidson, M., Galbraith, J., Galbraith, C., & Betzig, E. (2011) Rapid three-dimensional isotropic imaging of living cells using Bessel beam plane illumination. Nature Methods, 8(5), 417-423. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1586
An important paper just out asks, Could adult hippocampal neurogenesis be relevant for human behavior?Neuroscientists, and the media, are very excited by hippocampal neurogenesis - the ongoing creation of new neurons in an area called the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. This is because it was thought, for a long time, that no new neurons were created in the adult brain. It turned out that this was wrong.There's lots of exciting suggestive evidence that the process is involved in learning and m........ Read more »
Snyder JS, & Cameron HA. (2011) Could adult hippocampal neurogenesis be relevant for human behavior?. Behavioural brain research. PMID: 21736900
We’re living through a revolution in cancer research. New technology is making it possible to find the genetic changes at the heart of cancer faster than ever before, unlocking the knowledge we need to save lives. Now Cancer Research UK is taking another big step towards beating cancer by taking part in the most ambitious [...]... Read more »
Stratton, M. (2011) Exploring the Genomes of Cancer Cells: Progress and Promise. Science, 331(6024), 1553-1558. DOI: 10.1126/science.1204040
Gambacorti-Passerini, C., Antolini, L., Mahon, F., Guilhot, F., Deininger, M., Fava, C., Nagler, A., Della Casa, C., Morra, E., Abruzzese, E.... (2011) Multicenter Independent Assessment of Outcomes in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients Treated With Imatinib. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 103(7), 553-561. DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djr060
Every night owl you meet will tell you the same thing: there is something magical about those late night hours when the rest of the world is sleeping. It's your time, unscheduled and undisturbed, to spend as you wish. To some, this perspective may seem lazy and immature, a luxury afforded only to those who don't have real adult responsibilities. And this may be partially true - many would-be night owls have few opportunities to enjoy the later evening hours because of work, kids, a........ Read more »
Godinho, S., Maywood, E., Shaw, L., Tucci, V., Barnard, A., Busino, L., Pagano, M., Kendall, R., Quwailid, M., Romero, M.... (2007) The After-Hours Mutant Reveals a Role for Fbxl3 in Determining Mammalian Circadian Period. Science, 316(5826), 897-900. DOI: 10.1126/science.1141138
We don’t usually learn about the physics of squishy things. Physics textbooks are filled with solid objects such as incompressible blocks, inclined planes and inelastic strings. This is the rigid world that obeys Newton’s laws. Here, squishiness is an exception and drag is routinely ignored... Continue reading →... Read more »
Reynolds, O. (1883) An Experimental Investigation of the Circumstances Which Determine Whether the Motion of Water Shall Be Direct or Sinuous, and of the Law of Resistance in Parallel Channels. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 35(224-226), 84-99. DOI: 10.1098/rspl.1883.0018
…Before we knew better, that is. Thanks to research, we as a society are generally smarter about things than we used to be. In this post, a quick look at how cigarettes, cocaine, heroin, tapeworms, and arsenic weren’t always all that bad.... Read more »
Sigmund Freud claimed that they reveal our innermost desires, Gabrielle never stopped insisting that they can come true, and Inception piled on so many layers of them that by the end of the film things were all getting a bit silly.
Whether we like it or not, we all have dreams once we're in the Land of Nod. Dreams have the power to inspire us, frighten us, and make us vow never again to scoff Cheddar before bedtime. But what's going on in our heads when we dream?
… Continue reading →... Read more »
Until the turn of the 20th century, most of psychology focused on how individuals survived under conditions of adversity. It was largely a field that had a self-help stigma attached to it; rarely did it study the conditions in which … Continue reading →... Read more »
There are ~350 species of mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda). Pictured above is Odontodactylus scyllarus (source: Patek & Caldwell, 2005). They are easily recognisable in the field by their colour and appearance, but more scientifically by their flat carapace that leaves the sides of the thorax exposed and doesn’t even cover the last four thoracic segments. Thoracopods [...]... Read more »
Richter, ., & Scholtz, . (2001) Phylogenetic analysis of the Malacostraca (Crustacea). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 39(3), 113-136. DOI: 10.1046/j.1439-0469.2001.00164.x
Patek, S. (2005) Extreme impact and cavitation forces of a biological hammer: strike forces of the peacock mantis shrimp Odontodactylus scyllarus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 208(19), 3655-3664. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.01831
Porter, M., Zhang, Y., Desai, S., Caldwell, R., & Cronin, T. (2010) Evolution of anatomical and physiological specialization in the compound eyes of stomatopod crustaceans. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(20), 3473-3486. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.046508
Siblings of those diagnosed with autism are more than 20 times as likely as members of the general population to also have autism. Some of these siblings also show evidence of autism-like but less marked cognitive and social communication problems. This suggests that autism has either an environmental cause typically found in all siblings during development or childhood or a strong heritable component, but there is not a known genetic link or a well established biological marker. A biological ........ Read more »
Spencer, M., Holt, R., Chura, L., Suckling, J., Calder, A., Bullmore, E., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2011) A novel functional brain imaging endophenotype of autism: the neural response to facial expression of emotion. Translational Psychiatry, 1(7). DOI: 10.1038/tp.2011.18
Anybody that knows me knows that I am a keen (if not very fast) runner so it was with a a lot of interest that I got myself a copy of Christopher McDougall's book Born to run. The book...... Read more »
Though the media clamor for a simple answer to the question ‘Are biofuels a good idea?’, ultimately depends on many factors: choice of feedstock, land use practices, where biofuel cultivation is sited, the scale of overall biofuel production and its effect on global energy and commodity prices, and so on. In other words, it’s complicated.
A new paper from researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, appearing in Ecological Applications in June 2011, explores the complex land ........ Read more »
Dale, V. et al. (2011) Interactions among bioenergy feedstock choices, landscape dynamics, and land use. Ecological Applications, 21(4), 1039-1054. info:/
I already wrote about different effect supply chain disruptions can have on a focal company and its stakeholders. Now I found another interesting article dealing with the impact of different disasters on different industries within the supply chain.... Read more »
Altay, N., & Ramirez, A. (2010) Impact of Disasters on Firms in Different Sectors: Implications for Supply Chains. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 46(4), 59-80. info:/
Summarising eight laws formulated by Hodgson and Rollnick in 1989, including such gems as:
Law #2 The number of available subjects will be one tenth of your first estimate
Law #5 The help provided by other people has a half-life of two weeks... Read more »
Elwyn, G. (2005) Ethics and research governance in a multicentre study: add 150 days to your study protocol. BMJ, 330(7495), 847-847. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.330.7495.847
Quora sucked me in again this weekend... I wrote three long answers over there to the following questions:What is the most effective way to enhance working memory?Does memory improvement software work?What are the primary functions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex?Maybe you can spot how all three questions are related.The first question was the one I spent the most time on, as I covered a fair amount of he literature. I'm going to quote a lot of my answers here (since Quora lets you keep co........ Read more »
Voytek B, & Knight RT. (2010) Prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia contributions to visual working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(42), 18167-72. PMID: 20921401
Voytek B, Davis M, Yago E, Barceló F, Vogel EK, & Knight RT. (2010) Dynamic neuroplasticity after human prefrontal cortex damage. Neuron, 68(3), 401-8. PMID: 21040843
Jaeggi SM, Buschkuehl M, Jonides J, & Perrig WJ. (2008) Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(19), 6829-33. PMID: 18443283
Morrison AB, & Chein JM. (2011) Does working memory training work? The promise and challenges of enhancing cognition by training working memory. Psychonomic bulletin , 18(1), 46-60. PMID: 21327348
Greely H, Sahakian B, Harris J, Kessler RC, Gazzaniga M, Campbell P, & Farah MJ. (2008) Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy. Nature, 456(7223), 702-5. PMID: 19060880
Rokem A, & Silver MA. (2010) Cholinergic enhancement augments magnitude and specificity of visual perceptual learning in healthy humans. Current biology : CB, 20(19), 1723-8. PMID: 20850321
Chen DY, Stern SA, Garcia-Osta A, Saunier-Rebori B, Pollonini G, Bambah-Mukku D, Blitzer RD, & Alberini CM. (2011) A critical role for IGF-II in memory consolidation and enhancement. Nature, 469(7331), 491-7. PMID: 21270887
Mulquiney PG, Hoy KE, Daskalakis ZJ, & Fitzgerald PB. (2011) Improving working memory: Exploring the effect of transcranial random noise stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. PMID: 21665534
The “Direct Connection” section at “The MolBio Hut” includes blog posts discussing primary research articles in the field, but these posts are written by the authors themselves. This allows them to discuss the background, results and implications of their work with a wider audience and in a more relaxed format. We aim that this direct [...]... Read more »
Merlos-Suárez A, Barriga FM, Jung P, Iglesias M, Céspedes MV, Rossell D, Sevillano M, Hernando-Momblona X, da Silva-Diz V, Muñoz P.... (2011) The intestinal stem cell signature identifies colorectal cancer stem cells and predicts disease relapse. Cell stem cell, 8(5), 511-24. PMID: 21419747
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors frequently produce significant gastrointestinal side effects. Nausea was reported by up to 26% of subjects and diarrhea in up to 30% of subjects in a recent review of the new antidepressant vilazodone. Gastrointestinal side effects tend to be seen with the initiation of antidepressant drugs commonly followed by a period of improved tolerability.The mechanism for this gastrointestinal effect is poorly understood. The gut is known to have ........ Read more »
Janssen P, Vos R, & Tack J. (2010) The influence of citalopram on interdigestive gastrointestinal motility in man. Alimentary pharmacology , 32(2), 289-95. PMID: 20456311
Human resource managers and bosses everywhere in North America should take note. Productivity at work might take a hit later this summer. HTC, the Taiwanese-based mobile phone juggernaut, recently announced the imminent release (July 17th) of a new smartphone dubbed by many as the “Facebook Phone”. It is the first smartphone release in North America [...]... Read more »
Smith, A. (2001) Smartphone Adoption and Usage. Pew Research Center. info:/
We know what Bruce Wayne picked as a “creature of the night”: a bat.
But why are bats so strongly nocturnal? Why don’t we see bats out flying around in the daytime (besides a few out on remote islands)? After all, most people can quickly think of one line of birds that is largely nocturnal.
If a bird had flown through Bruce Wayne’s window, we might have had a very different character in stately Wayne Manor.
Voigt and Lewanzik test an hypothesis that bats fly at night because they c........ Read more »
Voigt, C., & Lewanzik, D. (2011) Trapped in the darkness of the night: thermal and energetic constraints of daylight flight in bats. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2290
When most people think of dopamine, they think of things that can get you high. Things that feel good. Cocaine. Sex. Food. We imagine floods of dopamine in our brains as the pleasurable feelings take hold. As more and more media outlets cover neuroscience, we get the idea that serotonin means happiness, but dopamine means...pleasure. [...]... Read more »
Bello EP, Mateo Y, Gelman DM, Noaín D, Shin JH, Low MJ, Alvarez VA, Lovinger DM, & Rubinstein M. (2011) Cocaine supersensitivity and enhanced motivation for reward in mice lacking dopamine D(2) autoreceptors. Nature neuroscience. PMID: 21743470
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