Post List

  • October 9, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

Face it: Being a scientist can really suck

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Why don't more students enter science careers?

Maybe because the job sucks?

There’s a refreshingly honest quote in this blog post, to which I’ve added some emphasis:

“People were questioning why there weren’t more women in science, and I had to point out that we are not going to be banging down the doors to enter a profession that just sounds so awful,” said Wu, who just completed her doctorate at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke.

The a........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2009
  • 06:30 AM

Does hunting really benefit the hunted? The case of cougars...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • October 9, 2009
  • 03:35 AM

Convergence and confluence of data sharing efforts

by Abhishek Tiwari in Fisheye Perspective

Most of data sharing policies share some common principles such as protecting the cumulative data outputs, recognizing data as a public good and data sharing as strong value chains of innovation for subsequent scientific exploitation. A improved data access and sharing not only helps to maximize the research potential but it also reinforces open scientific research which encourages diversity of analysis and opinion. In a latest article published in October 9 issue of journal Science, Dawn Fiel........ Read more »

Field, D., Sansone, S., Collis, A., Booth, T., Dukes, P., Gregurick, S., Kennedy, K., Kolar, P., Kolker, E., Maxon, M.... (2009) 'Omics Data Sharing. Science, 326(5950), 234-236. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180598  

  • October 9, 2009
  • 02:02 AM

Baby steps towards unraveling transcriptional regulation in the unculturable syphilis spirochete

by Microbe Fan in Spirochetes Unwound

I would never select Treponema pallidum as my experimental model if I had to study gene regulation in a spirochete. The main problem is that no one has figured out how to grow T. pallidum in any type of culture medium. T. pallidum can be propagated only by growing the spirochete in the testes of rabbits. Consequently, investigators have not even begun to develop the genetic tools (e.g., gene knock outs, shuttle plasmids) necessary to unravel the regulatory mechanisms that control T. pallidum ........ Read more »

Giacani, L., Godornes, C., Puray-Chavez, M., Guerra-Giraldez, C., Tompa, M., Lukehart, S.A., & Centurion-Lara, A. (2009) TP0262 is a modulator of promoter activity of tpr Subfamily II genes of Treponema pallidum ssp. pallidum . Molecular Microbiology, 72(5), 1087-1099. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06712.x  

  • October 9, 2009
  • 12:53 AM

Nano Anglerfish Snag Orphan Enzymes

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

The new Science has an extremely impressive paper tackling the problem of orphan enzymes. Due primarily to Watson-Crick basepairing, our ability to sequence nucleic acids has shot far past our ability to characterize the proteins they may encode. If I want to measure an RNA's expression, I can generate an assay almost overnight by designing specific real-time PCR (aka RT-PCR aka TaqMan) probes. If I want to analyze any specific protein's expression, it generally involves a lot of teeth gnashi........ Read more »

Ana Beloqui, María-Eugenia Guazzaroni, Florencio Pazos, José M. Vieites, Marta Godoy, Olga V. Golyshina,, Tatyana N. Chernikova, Agnes Waliczek, Rafael Silva-Rocha, Yamal Al-ramahi.... (2009) Reactome array: Forging a link between metabolome and genome. Science, 326(5950), 252-257. info:/10.1126/science.1174094

  • October 8, 2009
  • 09:58 PM

Another Method of Increasing Autophagy to Enhance Longevity

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Autophagy seems to be the topic of the week, and here's another example of research demonstrating enhanced longevity in laboratory animals through increased autophagy: Here, we report that administration of spermidine, a natural polyamine whose intracellular concentration declines during human ageing, markedly extended the lifespan of yeast, flies and worms, and human immune cells. In addition, spermidine administration potently inhibited oxidative stress in ageing mice [and] led to significant ........ Read more »

Eisenberg, T., Knauer, H., Schauer, A., Büttner, S., Ruckenstuhl, C., Carmona-Gutierrez, D., Ring, J., Schroeder, S., Magnes, C., Antonacci, L.... (2009) Induction of autophagy by spermidine promotes longevity. Nature Cell Biology. DOI: 10.1038/ncb1975  

  • October 8, 2009
  • 08:07 PM

Women to stop liking Sean Connery?

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Boyish good looks - the next generation of sexy?I couldn't help but notice that a new study has come out about the behavioral effects of hormonal contraception. It's all over the science news sites. With titles ranging from the conservative "Pill May Change Attraction" to the bolder "Taking the pill for past 40 years 'has put women off masculine men'"and "The pill 'gives women a taste for boyish men like Zac Efron'," this new publication has swept the media outlets by storm. This idea that birth........ Read more »

Alexandra Alvergne, & Virpi Lummaa. (2009) Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. info:/10.1016/j.tree.2009.08.003

  • October 8, 2009
  • 05:45 PM

The Protestant 'Work-Shy' Ethic?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

At the start of the 20th Century, the sociologist Max Weber came up with a famous theory to explain why Northern Europe and North America were so prosperous: the Protestant Work Ethic.Basically, the idea was that a unique feature of Protestant Christianity is its emphasis on work as a duty to God. While other religions asked people to do things that were laborious and time consuming, only Protestantism (so the theory went) channelled that religious duty into productive work.It's important to tak........ Read more »

Hans Geser. (2009) Work Values and Christian Religiosity: An Ambiguous Multidimensional Relationship. Journal of Religion and Society, 11(24). info:/

  • October 8, 2009
  • 05:00 PM

The virtual body illusion and immersive Second Life avatars

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

SECOND LIFE is an online "virtual world" which enables users to create a customised avatar, or digital persona, with which they interact with each other. Since its launch just over 6 years ago, it has become incredibly popular, with millions of "residents" now using it regularly to meet others, interact with them, and even to have sex. Users have also established virtual universities, businesses and a virtual economy.

Now, imagine a futuristic version of Second Life, in which avatars can trans........ Read more »

Slater, M. et al. (2009) Inducing illusory ownership of a virtual body . Front. Neurosci. info:/

  • October 8, 2009
  • 03:22 PM

Can Westerners understand emotions from a remote culture?

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

Classical Indian dancing is a tradition that extends back 2,000 years. Unlike much Western dance, it is intended to express specific emotions and tell detailed stories. The Natyasastra, a text from the first or second century A.D., offers instructions for how to depict nine primary emotions, and these rules continue to be followed in Indian Classical dance today. This movie demonstrates one form of Indian Classical dance:

As you can see, each gesture has a highly-specific meaning, which, to ........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2009
  • 03:18 PM

A Vaccine For White Line Fever?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A study claims that it's possible to immunize against cocaine: Cocaine Vaccine for the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence in Methadone-Maintained Patients. But does it work? And will it be useful?The idea of an anti-drug vaccine is not new; as DrugMonkey explains in his post on this paper, monkeys were being given experimental anti-morphine vaccines as long ago as the 1970s. This one has been under development for years, but this is the first randomized controlled trial to investigate whether it he........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2009
  • 11:04 AM

Zinc and the common cold

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Shortly after I developed sore throat, cough, and congestion last week, a package of 'Cold - Eeze' materialized on my kitchen counter. The writing on the package of zinc-laden lozenges promised to 'shorten your cold', and noted that they were 'clinically proven to reduce the duration of the common cold'. Do zinc lozenges have any effect on the common cold?... Read more »

Korant BD, Kauer JC, & Butterworth BE. (1974) Zinc ions inhibit replication of rhinoviruses. Nature, 248(449), 588-90. PMID: 4363085  

Geist FC, Bateman JA, & Hayden FG. (1987) In vitro activity of zinc salts against human rhinoviruses. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 31(4), 622-4. PMID: 3038000  

  • October 8, 2009
  • 10:52 AM

Monogamous alligators in Louisiana

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Photo by Phillip ‘Scooter’ Trosclair.

Birds are often touted as the monogamists of the animal kingdom, with most bird species mating with the same individual and displaying biparental care, sometimes for many years. Their cousins, the reptiles, are no match for their faithfulness: most reptiles show no mate fidelity, let alone parental care.
But a new [...]

... Read more »

LANCE, S., TUBERVILLE, T., DUECK, L., HOLZ-SCHIETINGER, C., TROSCLAIR, P., ELSEY, R., & GLENN, T. (2009) Multiyear multiple paternity and mate fidelity in the American alligator, . Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04373.x  

  • October 8, 2009
  • 10:00 AM

Science News: Week of October 4, 2009

by Susan Steinhardt in BioData Blogs

Our weekly compilation of science news for the week of October 4, 2009.... Read more »

Brusatte, S., Carr, T., Erickson, G., Bever, G., & Norell, M. (2009) A long-snouted, multihorned tyrannosaurid from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906911106  

Parks, J., Guo, H., Momany, C., Liang, L., Miller, S., Summers, A., & Smith, J. (2009) Mechanism of Hg−C Protonolysis in the Organomercurial Lyase MerB. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131(37), 13278-13285. DOI: 10.1021/ja9016123  

  • October 8, 2009
  • 09:15 AM

New mega ring around Saturn discovered using Spitzer

by Dave Strickland in Exploding Galaxies and other Catastrophysics

Infrared observations using the Spitzer Space Telescope, published by Verbiscer et al (2009, Nature), have revealed the largest known ring around Saturn, an annulus of very tenuous material extending between 6 million and 18 million kilometers from Saturn, and tilted by 27 degree from the plane of the traditional rings (which only extend out to ~240,000 km).The material in the new ring comes from the battered and cratered moon Phoebe. Of more interest, this new dust ring explains why the leading........ Read more »

Verbiscer, A., Skrutskie, M., & Hamilton, D. (2009) Saturn's largest ring. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08515  

  • October 8, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

Coastal birds decline as development rises...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Researchers look at 29-years of data in Texas and find that coastal birds have declined as development has more... Read more »

  • October 8, 2009
  • 02:47 AM

E-Mail A Blessing Or A Burden?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

From recent research based on secondary analysis of data obtained from telephone interviews from a sample of 1003 email users the answer is not conclusive.
e-mail supports work performance, but at the same time contributes to negative effects that in the long run may affect motivation and satisfaction
In this research in which they also looked at [...]

Related posts:E-Mail Behavior Explained Human activity is hard to predict. In researching human...Computer Games at Work are Good For You I&........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2009
  • 12:29 AM

The genomic history of a breast cancer revealed

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

Today's Nature contains a great paper which is one more step forward for cancer genomics. Using Illumina sequencing a group in British Columbia sequenced both the genome and transcriptome of a metastatic lobular (estrogen receptor positive) breast cancer. Furthermore, they searched a sample of the original tumor for mutations found in the genome+transcriptome screen in order to identify those that may have been present early vs. those which were acquired later.From the combined genome sequence........ Read more »

Sohrab P. Shah, Ryan D. Morin, Jaswinder Khattra, Leah Prentice, Trevor Pugh, Angela Burleigh, Allen Delaney, Karen Gelmon, Ryan Guliany, Janine Senz.... (2009) Mutational evolution in a lobular breast tumor profiled at single nucleotide resolution. Nature, 809-813. info:/10.1038/nature08489

  • October 8, 2009
  • 12:12 AM

"Better to Have Loved And Lost...

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

A recent study looks at how a general human tendency to differentiate between causes of regret pays out at Black Jack tables in Las Vegas. They find that even gamblers exhibit strong omission bias. ... Read more »

Carlin B. . (2009) Fear and loathing in Las Vegas: Evidence from blackjack tables. Judgment and Decision Making, 4(5), 385-396. info:/

  • October 7, 2009
  • 06:54 PM

Understanding Cancer Part 2 – Telomerase, the Road to Immortality, and the Nobel Prize

by colinhockings in Blue Genes

Most denizens of the interwebs (at least of this corner of the interwebs) will have heard the announcement that the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will be given to Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for their work on telomeres – the structures found at the ends of human chromosomes. You may [...]... Read more »

Shay, J., & Keith, W. (2008) Targeting telomerase for cancer therapeutics. British Journal of Cancer, 98(4), 677-683. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604209  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit