I know you’ve all been waiting for it. We’ve talked about putting ants on stilts, kidnapping baby gerbils, and hijacking a truck full of geese. All in the name of science. Ants and gerbils taught us about the limitations of the path integration system, but also how amazingly cool it is. The geese suggested that [...]... Read more »
Find out how climate change is affecting malaria, how ocean bacteria could be the key to producing clean fuels, how a tree purifies dirty water and more.... Read more »
Stelzer, R., Chittka, L., Carlton, M., & Ings, T. (2010) Winter Active Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) Achieve High Foraging Rates in Urban Britain. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009559
Michael Lea. (2010) Bioremediation of Turbid Surface Water Using Seed Extract from Moringa oleifera Lam. (Drumstick) Tree. Wiley InterScience. DOI: 10.1002/9780471729259.mc01g02s16
Chaves, L., & Koenraadt, C. (2010) Climate Change and Highland Malaria: Fresh Air for a Hot Debate. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 85(1), 27-55. DOI: 10.1086/650284
Savage, D., Afonso, B., Chen, A., & Silver, P. (2010) Spatially Ordered Dynamics of the Bacterial Carbon Fixation Machinery. Science, 327(5970), 1258-1261. DOI: 10.1126/science.1186090
If you go to your physician's office and inquire about your weight status, he or she will measure your height and weight to derive your BMI (weight in kg divided by height in m squared). Then they will compare your BMI to that of established criteria to decide whether you are underweight (30 kg/m2) . Often times, this measure alone determines whether or not you receive lifestyle treatment. But how useful is this measure anyways? What does it tell you about your health? And finally, how helpful i........ Read more »
Ross R, & Janiszewski PM. (2008) Is weight loss the optimal target for obesity-related cardiovascular disease risk reduction?. The Canadian journal of cardiology. PMID: 18787733
Gills may not have originated for breathing purposes, as has been assumed.... Read more »
Fu, C., Wilson, J., Rombough, P., & Brauner, C. (2010) Ions first: Na uptake shifts from the skin to the gills before O2 uptake in developing rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1545
Kirk, R., & Lewis, J. (1993) An evaluation of pollutant induced changes in the gills of rainbow trout using scanning electron microscopy. Environmental Technology, 14(6), 577-585. DOI: 10.1080/09593339309385326
Sixty-five million years ago, life on Earth suffered one of the worst mass extinctions of all time. It was an event that killed creatures across the spectrum of life’s diversity, from tiny marine invertebrates to the largest dinosaurs, but what could have caused it?
A number of hypotheses have been forwarded over the years, most of [...]... Read more »
Schulte, P., Alegret, L., Arenillas, I., Arz, J., Barton, P., Bown, P., Bralower, T., Christeson, G., Claeys, P., Cockell, C.... (2010) The Chicxulub Asteroid Impact and Mass Extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary. Science, 327(5970), 1214-1218. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177265
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
A few weeks ago I wrote a study that showed that exposing premature babies to Mozart music may lead to metabolic changes that facilitate weight gain and better medical outcomes. That study is an example of one credible and positive outcome that came out of the “Mozart effect’ craze. Unfortunately, most of the other claims, [...]... Read more »
Variable expressivity and epistasis go hand in hand when talking about genetic disorders. Knowing what they mean will help you really understand the kind of complications researchers are up against. In this article I’ll illustrate these concepts using a recently published paper on the causes of autism as an example.
One of the genetic risk factors [...]... Read more »
Veltman, J., & Brunner, H. (2010) Understanding variable expressivity in microdeletion syndromes. Nature Genetics, 42(3), 192-193. DOI: 10.1038/ng0310-192
Girirajan, S., Rosenfeld, J., Cooper, G., Antonacci, F., Siswara, P., Itsara, A., Vives, L., Walsh, T., McCarthy, S., Baker, C.... (2010) A recurrent 16p12.1 microdeletion supports a two-hit model for severe developmental delay. Nature Genetics, 42(3), 203-209. DOI: 10.1038/ng.534
A new study on snorkelers in the Mediterranean sea finds a rare piece of good news about human impacts on the marine environment.
Joachim Clauedet and fellow researchers looked at snorkeling within the Cerbère Banyuls Natural Marine Reserve in the French Mediterranean and found that the activity had no observable effect on the structure of fish or macroalgae communities.... Read more »
Claudet, J., Lenfant, P., & Schrimm, M. (2010) Snorkelers impact on fish communities and algae in a temperate marine protected area. Biodiversity and Conservation. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-010-9794-0
Back in the 1970s my parents had friends who had stacks of hi-fi separates with gold contact wiring and speaker stands on metal spikes. They were only playing Perry Como on vinyl, but that was their idea of fun, so good luck to them. When the CD emerged on to the market with its claims [...]Whatever happened to the audiophile? is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »
Jerald Hughes. (2009) Emergent quality standards for digital entertainment experience goods: the case of consumer audio. Int. J. Services and Standards, 5(4), 333-353. info:/
As I’ve written recently, I don’t feel all that at home and comfortable in the field of neuroscience. I feel much more at home in the discipline of neuroethology, which investigates the neural bases of naturally occurring animal behaviour. It is populated by people who still appreciate diversity.
Having said that neuroethology is my intellectual home, I would like to rattle the windows in my own house a bit.
Neuroethology has a bunch of great people working on cool stories. And yet it is n........ Read more »
Krishna, milking a cow
Vaccinia virus is a widespread virus whose natural host remains unknown. It turns out to be pretty good at jumping across species.
Vaccinia, of course, is the vaccine against smallpox. Even though smallpox is eliminated in the wild,1 vaccinia is still very widely used in research and even, to some extent, in [...]... Read more »
Moussatché N, Damaso CR, & McFadden G. (2008) When good vaccines go wild: Feral Orthopoxvirus in developing countries and beyond. Journal of infection in developing countries, 2(3), 156-73. PMID: 19738346
Alzhanova, D., Edwards, D., Hammarlund, E., Scholz, I., Horst, D., Wagner, M., Upton, C., Wiertz, E., Slifka, M., & Früh, K. (2009) Cowpox Virus Inhibits the Transporter Associated with Antigen Processing to Evade T Cell Recognition. Cell Host , 6(5), 433-445. DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2009.09.013
DRUMOND, B., LEITE, J., DAFONSECA, F., BONJARDIM, C., FERREIRA, P., & KROON, E. (2008) Brazilian Vaccinia virus strains are genetically divergent and differ from the Lister vaccine strain. Microbes and Infection, 10(2), 185-197. DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2007.11.005
Abrahão, J., Guedes, M., Trindade, G., Fonseca, F., Campos, R., Mota, B., Lobato, Z., Silva-Fernandes, A., Rodrigues, G., Lima, L.... (2009) One More Piece in the VACV Ecological Puzzle: Could Peridomestic Rodents Be the Link between Wildlife and Bovine Vaccinia Outbreaks in Brazil?. PLoS ONE, 4(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007428
While there are plenty of theories on how music and emotion might be related (see Juslin & Västfjäll, 2008 for a overview), there is still little empirical support to decide on how far music and specific associated emotions - such as happiness, fear, sadness or anger - are merely a result of association and/or culturally determined, or in fact shared and a result of brain mechanisms that we all share. Last year Current Biology published an interesting study on the recognition of three basic em........ Read more »
Fritz, T., Jentschke, S., Gosselin, N., Sammler, D., Peretz, I., Turner, R., Friederici, A., & Koelsch, S. (2009) Universal Recognition of Three Basic Emotions in Music. Current Biology, 19(7), 573-576. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.02.058
Juslin, P., & Västfjäll, D. (2008) Emotional responses to music: The need to consider underlying mechanisms. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31(05). DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X08005293
Invert war has been declared. Personally, I consider myself a lover, not a fighter. And all the inverts are worthy of love in my book. But, knowing that tempers may flare as biologists across the blogosphere come to the defense of their preferred spineless taxa, I thought it would be worth injecting a [...]... Read more »
Naganuma, T. (1996) Calanoid copepods:linking lower-higher trophic levels by linking lower-higher Reynolds numbers. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 311-313. DOI: 10.3354/meps136311
In this paper from 2005 Sniehottaet al. examine why although some people develop an intention to change their health behaviour many do not follow through from intention to action. The gap between the intention and behaviour has been called the ‘‘intention–behaviour gap.’’ The authors examine factors which can be used to reduce the gap. They examine action planning, perceived self-efficacy, and self-regulatory strategies to investigate what effect these can have on reducing disparity........ Read more »
Sniehotta, F., Scholz, U., & Schwarzer, R. (2005) Bridging the intention-behaviour gap: Planning, self-efficacy, and action control in the adoption and maintenance of physical exercise. Psychology , 20(2), 143-160. DOI: 10.1080/08870440512331317670
I realise it's not anywhere near Sunday anymore, but I'm rapidly approaching Busy Threat Level Red, at which point I'll just hide in my "No Zone" and refuse to do anything beyond the bare minimum to get by... I really shouldn't be doing this right now, but the poor protists have been neglected for a while. Mostly. You should go check out Saccamminid forams at the Catalogue of Organisms, but not at the expense of reading my post, of course ^_~Remember the tricky Mystery Micrograph #10? Probably n........ Read more »
BARDELE, C., FOISSNER, W., & BLANTON, R. (1991) Morphology, Morphogenesis and Systematic Position of the Sorocarp Forming Ciliate Sorogena Stoianovitchae Bradbury . The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 38(1), 7-17. DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1991.tb04785.x
Blanton, R., & Olive, L. (1983) Ultrastructure of aerial stalk formation by the ciliated protozoanSorogena stoianovitchae. Protoplasma, 116(2-3), 125-135. DOI: 10.1007/BF01279829
Blanton, R., & Olive, L. (1983) Stalk function during sorogenesis by the ciliated protozoanSorogena stoianovitchae. Protoplasma, 116(2-3), 136-144. DOI: 10.1007/BF01279830
OLIVE, L., & BLANTON, R. (1980) Aerial Sorocarp Development By the Aggregative Ciliate, Sorogena Stoianovitchae. The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 27(3), 293-299. DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1980.tb04260.x
SUGIMOTO, H., & ENDOH, H. (2006) Analysis of Fruiting Body Development in the Aggregative Ciliate Sorogena stoianovitchae (Ciliophora, Colpodea). The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 53(2), 96-102. DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2005.00077.x
The Sunday Express has run a front page story stating that scientists have made a major breakthrough in cancer treatment “after cracking the ‘code’ behind the disease.” Sadly the story is actually only based on a theory rather than on concrete scientific evidence.
The story comes from a paper in the Journal of Translational Medicine written [...]... Read more »
Coventry, B., Ashdown, M., Quinn, M., Markovic, S., Yatomi-Clarke, S., & Robinson, A. (2009) CRP identifies homeostatic immune oscillations in cancer patients: a potential treatment targeting tool?. Journal of Translational Medicine, 7(1), 102. DOI: 10.1186/1479-5876-7-102
In recent years cognitive scientist Marc Hauser has gathered evidence that suggests we're born with a moral instinct. This moral intuition has been likened to the universal grammar that Chomsky famously suggested underlies our linguistic abilities - certain principles are set in stone, whilst the precise parameters can be set by culture. Thousands of people from multiple countries and different religions and demographic backgrounds have given their verdict on fictional scenarios presented online........ Read more »
Abarbanell, L., & Hauser, M. (2010) Mayan morality: An exploration of permissible harms. Cognition. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.12.007
Metabolism, which might be broadly defined as the biochemical process of living, is absurdly complex. The way in which metabolism varies between individuals, and then changes over time with aging? Even more complex. This is one of the reasons why slowing aging by changing metabolic machinery - in effect creating a new human metabolism - looks very much like an inferior, harder path in comparison to attempts to restore the metabolism we have to the way it operates in youthful bodies. Complexity i........ Read more »
Luhrmann PM, Edelmann Schafer B, & Neuhauser Berthold M. (2010) Changes in resting metabolic rate in an elderly german population: cross-sectional and longitudinal data. The journal of nutrition, health , 14(3), 232-6. PMID: 20191259
Check out this great post by Mary M on biofortifed. In it she reviews a new research paper that describes how the use of Bt could potentially save the lives of millions.
You can download a video about the researchers and their work here.
From Mary's post: "For some people, a great deal of the conflama around genetically-engineered (GE) crops has to do with the presence of a pesticide in the plant material--mainly the Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt protein--rather than coating the surface of t........ Read more »
Hu, Y., Georghiou, S., Kelleher, A., & Aroian, R. (2010) Bacillus thuringiensis Cry5B Protein Is Highly Efficacious as a Single-Dose Therapy against an Intestinal Roundworm Infection in Mice. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 4(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000614
A promising title with promising content? Perhaps. If you are a supply chain or logistics professional, looking for a paper that discusses the intricacies of managing a supply chain in a disaster area, how to prepare and how to recover, this is NOT it. However, if you are a supply chain or logistics academic or [ ... ]... Read more »
Jr, R. (2009) The supply chain crisis and disaster pyramid: A theoretical framework for understanding preparedness and recovery. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 39(7), 619-628. DOI: 10.1108/09600030910996288
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