Post List

  • July 22, 2011
  • 01:31 AM

Tools of Paleomicrobiology

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

Studying ancient microbes requires creativity. Contamination and  preservation are the primary problems, dealing with limited and degraded tissues. We don’t find corpses in permafrost every day! Most of the time tissue is confined to bones and mummies kept in a wide variety of environments. This post will review some of the major tools I have [...]... Read more »

Drancourt, M., & Raoult, D. (2005) Palaeomicrobiology: current issues and perspectives. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 3(1), 23-35. DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro1063  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 11:00 PM

It's Silent, But is it Deadly?

by The Defective Brain in The Defective Brain

Last February, an international controversy descended over the landlocked country of Malawi. The cause of this was a new bill about to be put forward that centred on the maintenance of clear air in public places.
Any person who vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the public to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanour... Read more »

McKee WM, Di Caprio JM, Roberts CE Jr, & Sherris JC. (1966) Anal carriage as the probable source of a streptococcal epidemic. Lancet, 2(7471), 1007-9. PMID: 4162660  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 10:48 PM

Mole Crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae)

by Marc in Teaching Biology

Mole crickets (Gryllotalpidae) are cosmopolitan (except the poles), 3.2 – 3.5 cm (average, they can be larger than 5 cm!) relatives of crickets (suborder Ensifera, superfamily Grylloidea), named after the mole, since they are both animals that are highly-dependent on burrowing, and they kind of resemble each other (see drawing of Gryllotalpa hexadactyle to the [...]... Read more »

  • July 21, 2011
  • 10:36 PM

Botanists vote to allow online publication of new taxa

by Ryan Kitko in Cunabulum

The excitement (and nervous uncertainty) is tangible on botanical taxonomy e-mail lists with the recent news that the nomenclature section of the International Botanical Congress, the governing body of the rules on how we describe new species and other taxa, voted at this year's Melbourne conference to drop the requirement that all new taxa must be described in print publications. If the rule is adopted by the whole Congress, we'll soon see new taxa being published in online-only peer-........ Read more »

Lowrie, A., & Conran, J.G. (2011) An overview of the Australian Levenhookia (Stylidiaceae) complex, including a new species (L. murfetii) and observations on the triggering methods employed for pollination and outcrossing. Triggerplant Journal, 1(2), 4-29. info:/

  • July 21, 2011
  • 08:39 PM

Asthma, placebo, and how not to kill your patients

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

A number of years ago I was walking along Lake Michigan with a friend (a fellow medical resident) when she turned to me and said, "are you wheezing?  Do you have asthma?"  I had always been physically active and assumed my breathlessness while walking down the trail was due to the thirty extra pounds of [...]... Read more »

Wechsler ME, Kelley JM, Boyd IO, Dutile S, Marigowda G, Kirsch I, Israel E, & Kaptchuk TJ. (2011) Active albuterol or placebo, sham acupuncture, or no intervention in asthma. The New England journal of medicine, 365(2), 119-26. PMID: 21751905  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 08:00 PM

Why bees might save the world (a.k.a. The buzz about bees)

by NerdyOne in Try Nerdy

If you weren’t yet aware, bees have been kind of a big deal in the science world lately. I’m not making this up: they can learn to recognize human faces, they can monitor air quality, and, oh yeah, they can solve problems faster than supercomputers.

Though this blog has already featured insects more than I would have imagined (i.e. at all), this post is about something I really feel the need to share. Because, every so often, I come across something for which the research is so ov........ Read more »

Pessolato AG, Martins DD, Ambrósio CE, Mançanares CA, & de Carvalho AF. (2011) Propolis and amnion reepithelialise second-degree burns in rats. Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries. PMID: 21741176  

Daleprane JB, da Silva Freitas V, Pacheco A, Rudnicki M, Faine LA, Dörr FA, Ikegaki M, Salazar LA, Ong TP, & Abdalla DS. (2011) Anti-atherogenic and anti-angiogenic activities of polyphenols from propolis. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry. PMID: 21764281  

Borges KS, Brassesco MS, Scrideli CA, Soares AE, & Tone LG. (2011) Antiproliferative effects of Tubi-bee propolis in glioblastoma cell lines. Genetics and molecular biology, 34(2), 310-4. PMID: 21734835  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 05:17 PM

Birds Display Their Animal Magnetism

by Paul Norris in AnimalWise

In today’s post, I’d like to talk about something that many animals can do, and that humans simply cannot. I’m not referring to flying, breathing through gills, spinning webs, or running at 70 miles an hour across the African Savanna. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 21, 2011
  • 03:55 PM

We condemn more when we think we're being watched

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

In a nice new study, Pierrick Bourrat (at the University of Sydney) and colleagues have shown that people are more likely to judge others severely when they are given even subtle hints of being watched.

The set-up was simple. The subjects (recruited from the Campus Universitaire de Jussieu in Paris) had to read a tale of a minor misdeed - finding a wallet in the street and keeping the cash, or falsifying a resume - and then judge how morally wrong it was.

The twist was that half the subjects h........ Read more »

Bourra P, Baumard N, & McKay R. (2011) Surveillance Cues Enhance Moral Condemnation. Evolutionary Psychology, 9(2), 192-199. info:/

  • July 21, 2011
  • 02:41 PM

HLA matching and minority transplants

by Cristy at Living Donor 101 in Living Donors Are People Too

In 2003, the US kidney allocation system was loosened to eliminate HLA-B similarity. (Improvement in anti-rejection meds made this possible) During the first six years after the change, total number of deceased donor transplants rose 23% in comparison to the six years prior to the change, including 40% increase for minorities. There appeared to be no adverse effect on graft survival after two years. And that part nags at me a bit. They tracked for six years, and only looked at the two year graf........ Read more »

Ashby VB, Port FK, Wolfe RA, Wynn JJ, Williams WW, Roberts JP, & Leichtman AB. (2011) Transplanting Kidneys Without Points for HLA-B Matching: Consequences of the Policy Change. American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. PMID: 21672159  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 02:26 PM

Beyond corn ethanol: biofuels in the U.S. from switchgrass and miscanthus

by Paul Spraycar in Agriculture & Land Use Forum

If the measure of a story’s importance is whether it makes it into the New York Times, then a new biofuels study in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment deserves our attention.
The study looks at the impending transition of the U.S. biofuel industry from one based on corn to one using ‘second-generation’ feedstocks. Specifically, the study presents a hypothetical scenario in which all corn-based ethanol is replaced with switchgrass and miscanthus, two promising perennial c........ Read more »

Davis, S., Parton, W., Del Grosso, S., Keough, C., Marx, E., Adler, P., & DeLucia, E. (2011) Impact of second-generation biofuel agriculture on greenhouse-gas emissions in the corn-growing regions of the US. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/110003  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 02:00 PM

We’re cosmic dust but you’re everything to me

by Kelly Oakes in Basic Space

On February 23rd 1987, the journey of some light that had been travelling for 168,000 years came to an end. Astronomer Ian Shelton at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile was observing the night sky as usual when he saw something out of the ordinary.... Read more »

Matsuura M, Dwek E, Meixner M, Otsuka M, Babler B, Barlow MJ, Roman-Duval J, Engelbracht C, Sandstrom K, Lakicevic M.... (2011) Herschel Detects a Massive Dust Reservoir in Supernova 1987A. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 21737700  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 01:51 PM

Flexing the Muscle that is Self-Control

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

College was a busy time for me and by extension a trying period for my roommate Vanessa. Unlike the average 19 year old, Vanessa had assumed such adult-like habits as washing dishes directly after eating a meal, making regular trips to take out the trash, and refusing to live with scum and filth in general (God forbid). These healthy habits were by no means my own. I was just learning how to balance the demands of my two priorities: a heavy workload at NYU and a debaucherous social life........ Read more »

Baumeister, R., Vohs, K., & Tice, D. (2007) The Strength Model of Self-Control. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(6), 351-355. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00534.x  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 01:01 PM

Coaxing more food from less land

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

It’s easy to forget amidst the concern over sprawl that agriculture is still the dominant human impact on the land. Perhaps that’s because it’s easy to rationalize the consequences of agriculture’s land use—it feeds us, after all. But that shouldn’t dissuade us from finding ways to improve farm efficiency. Global population growth shows no signs of [...]... Read more »

Clay, J. (2011) Freeze the footprint of food. Nature, 475(7356), 287-289. DOI: 10.1038/475287a  

Foley, J. et al. (2005) Global Consequences of Land Use. Science, 309(5734), 570-574. DOI: 10.1126/science.1111772  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 12:39 PM

Earliest Occupation of Crete May Date to 125,000 Years Ago

by Kristina Killgrove in Powered By Osteons

A recently published article in the Journal of Quaternary Science by Strasser and colleagues suggests new dates for stone tools discovered on the island of Crete.  Namely, the artifacts are associated with geological strata that date to the late Middle Pleistocene or early Late Pleistocene, meaning a terminus ante quem of 125,000 years ago.

An archaeological survey in the Plakias area of Crete between 2008-09 uncovered nine sites and over 400 artifacts.  The stone tools discovered wer........ Read more »

T. Strasser, E. Panagopoulou, C. Runnels, P. Murray, N. Thompson, P. Karkanas, F. McCoy, & K. Wegmann. (2010) Stone Age seafaring in the Mediterranean: Evidence from the Plakias region for Lower Palaeolithic and Mesolithic habitation of Crete. Hesperia, 79(2), 145-190. info:/

T. Strasser, C. Runnels, K. Wegmann, E. Panagopoulou, F. McCoy, C. Digregorio, P. Karkanas, & N. Thompson. (2011) Dating Palaeolithic sites in southwestern Crete, Greece. Journal of Quaternary Science, 26(5), 553-560. info:/10.1002/jqs.1482

  • July 21, 2011
  • 12:00 PM

It’s not what you know…

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

It’s not what you know, but who you know. It is something of a cliché, but in a world where the social context of knowledge is becoming increasingly important. Think Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Mendeley etc. The data, the information, seems only relevant if we have some kind of peer review, the “+1″, “like”, or “thumbs-up” [...]It’s not what you know… is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Eoin Whelan. (2011) It’s who you know not what you know: a social network analysis approach to talent management. European J. International Management, 5(5), 484-500. info:/

  • July 21, 2011
  • 11:48 AM

Coffee leaf rust: a complex disease

by Julie Craves in Coffee & Conservation

Coffee rust (Hemileia vastarix) is fungus that is one of the most devastating coffee diseases in the world. Native to Africa, it is now present in every coffee-growing nation. Infected [...]

... Read more »

  • July 21, 2011
  • 10:45 AM

Chest X-rays: Learning forbearance

by Nancy Fliesler in Vector, a Boston Children's Hospital blog

In emergency situations involving children, it’s tempting for doctors to do everything possible to get information, especially when anxious parents are at hand. Unfortunately, that can mean a lot of unnecessary imaging and radiation exposure, and sometimes fruitless exploratory surgery.

This has spurred a search for biomarkers that can reliably make or rule out a diagnosis, as in appendicitis, and the creation of decision rules about the need for imaging, as in minor head trauma and blu........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2011
  • 10:35 AM

Bachmann, Migraine and Work Impairment

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There has been recent interest in the issue of migraine and work impairment related to Michele Bachmann, a candidate for the Republican Party in the 2012 presidential election.  Bachmann has acknowledged that she suffers from migraine headaches.  The attending physician to Congress released a letter stating representative Bachmann's migraine headaches are infrequent, related to known triggers and managed on as needed medications including sumatriptan and ondansetron.This issue prompts ........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2011
  • 10:30 AM

When virus's and bacteria unite!

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat Blog

Illnesses have a tendency to clump together. An attack of the flu can bring on bacterial lung infections; in the USA almost half of all cases of bacterial sepsis occur following viral infections in the lungs. This is a problem at the best of times as it means that patients spend longer in hospitals, but in times of a viral pandemic it becomes incredibly deadly.... Read more »

  • July 21, 2011
  • 10:17 AM

Linguistic diversity and traffic accidents

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Daniel Nettle's model of linguistic diversity which showed that linguistic variation tends to decline even with a small amount of migration between communities. I wondered if statistics about population movement would correlate with linguistic diversity. I found that number of traffic fatalities are a pretty good predictor. What's going on?... Read more »

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