This first post in my Y chromosome series will briefly discuss the history of Y chromosome research. The general outline is derived from the introduction of Skaletsky et al. (2003). I will hopefully fill in the numerous missing parts as the series continues. Anyway…... Read more »
Skaletsky, H., Kuroda-Kawaguchi, T., Minx, P., Cordum, H., Hillier, L., Brown, L., Repping, S., Pyntikova, T., Ali, J., Bieri, T.... (2003) The male-specific region of the human Y chromosome is a mosaic of discrete sequence classes. Nature, 423(6942), 825-837. DOI: 10.1038/nature01722
So the World Cup justifiably goes to Spain and it seems that Paul, the now world famous psychic octopus, predicted the results. In fact Paul demonstrated a seemingly legendary clairvoyant ability. Wikipedia informs us that he predicted the outcome of all of Germany’s games and the final with unerring accuracy. You may not have realised [...]... Read more »
Hopewell S, Loudon K, Clarke MJ, Oxman AD, & Dickersin K. (2009) Publication bias in clinical trials due to statistical significance or direction of trial results. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 19160345
Global fish farming may be the solution to the impending collapse of the commercial fishing industry, but penned fish are susceptible to infectious diseases. Infection with salmon infectious anemia virus, an orthomyxovirus, lead Wal-Mart to stop buying farmed salmon from Chile, the world’s second largest producer of the fish. As a consequence Chilean farmed salmon are being immunized to prevent infection. Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) is another disease of farmed salmon, fi........ Read more »
Palacios G, Lovoll M, Tengs T, Hornig M, Hutchison S, Hui J, Kongtorp RT, Savji N, Bussetti AV, Solovyov A.... (2010) Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation of farmed salmon is associated with infection with a novel reovirus. PloS one, 5(7). PMID: 20634888
You might not think much of sponges. Maybe you feel that they’re only good for rubbing your back and cleaning your kitchen sink. While you’re absolutely right that sponges have to be admired for their absorbing qualities, they have much more to offer this world. Like on the front of early animal evolution: [...]... Read more »
Wilson, H. (1907) On some phenomena of coalescence and regeneration in sponges. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 5(2), 245-258. DOI: 10.1002/jez.1400050204
Matija Harcet, Masa Roller, Helena Cetkovic, Drago Perina, Matthias Wiens, Werner E.G. Müller, and Kristian Vlahovicek. (2010) Demosponge EST sequencing reveals a complex genetic toolkit of the simplest metazoans . Molecular Biology and Evolution. info:/10.1093/molbev/msq174
I spent ages over the title of this post. The original paper "Injecting for infection" was my favorite but it isn't wonderfully clear. It sounds like something about dirty needles; bacterial colonies over the surface of injections. In reality it's about something far more amazing, the little needles that bacteria make themselves, in order to inject toxins into the cells that they destroy.Officially these are called Type III secretion systems, as they allow the secretion of toxins (and other thin........ Read more »
Hauser, A. (2009) The type III secretion system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: infection by injection. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 7(9), 654-665. DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro2199
Christopher Rhea (Purdue University, United States) and coworkers have shown that our locomotor system can adapt to training independently of conscious perception. This news feature was written on July 14, 2010.... Read more »
Rhea, C. K., Rietdyk, S., & Haddad, J. M. (2010) Locomotor Adaptation versus Perceptual Adaptation when Stepping Over an Obstacle with a Height Illusion. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011544
How do rivers erode bedrock streams, during big floods, and in the presence of groundwater? Laboratory and accidental experiments are providing some cool new insights. Continue reading →... Read more »
Johnson, J., & Whipple, K. (2010) Evaluating the controls of shear stress, sediment supply, alluvial cover, and channel morphology on experimental bedrock incision rate. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115(F2). DOI: 10.1029/2009JF001335
Lamb, M., & Fonstad, M. (2010) Rapid formation of a modern bedrock canyon by a single flood event. Nature Geoscience, 3(7), 477-481. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo894
Strong winds can pick up dust particles* from continents and carry them thousands of kilometers where they are deposited on the ocean floor. Deserts are especially important contributors of dust with the Sahara Desert of northern Africa being the single largest source of mineral dust in the world. The occurrence of this process has been [...]... Read more »
Mulitza, S., Heslop, D., Pittauerova, D., Fischer, H., Meyer, I., Stuut, J., Zabel, M., Mollenhauer, G., Collins, J., Kuhnert, H.... (2010) Increase in African dust flux at the onset of commercial agriculture in the Sahel region. Nature, 466(7303), 226-228. DOI: 10.1038/nature09213
We live in societies where some people are richer than others - though the extent of wealth inequality varies greatly around the world.In general, it's sad but true that poor people suffer more diseases. Within a given country almost all physical and mental illnesses are more common amongst the poor, although this isn't always true between countries.So if a certain disease is more common in rich people within a country, that's big news because it suggests that something unusual is going on. Aut........ Read more »
Durkin, M., Maenner, M., Meaney, F., Levy, S., DiGuiseppi, C., Nicholas, J., Kirby, R., Pinto-Martin, J., & Schieve, L. (2010) Socioeconomic Inequality in the Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence from a U.S. Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011551
A little while back we looked at the claws, bony knobs and other structures present on the hands of certain palaeognaths, waterfowl and other birds. Time to look at more of this sort of stuff - I kind of got distracted by lapwing taxonomy, so this is all going on for a bit longer than expected, sorry. Anyway... Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Ericson PG, Envall I, Irestedt M, & Norman JA. (2003) Inter-familial relationships of the shorebirds (Aves: Charadriiformes) based on nuclear DNA sequence data. BMC evolutionary biology, 16. PMID: 12875664
One of the most basic questions in evolutionary ecology is, "why are there more kinds of this kind of critter than that kind of critter?" As in, why are there more than twenty thousand species of orchids, but only one species of ginkgo? Why are there hundreds of thousands of species of beetles, but only four species of horseshoe crab? In a literature review just released online—and my first publication as lead author!—my coauthors and I assess the support for one hypothesis: that species mul........ Read more »
Alfaro, M., Santini, F., Brock, C., Alamillo, H., Dornburg, A., Rabosky, D., Carnevale, G., & Harmon, L. (2009) Nine exceptional radiations plus high turnover explain species diversity in jawed vertebrates. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 106(32), 13410-4. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0811087106
Bolnick, D. (2001) Intraspecific competition favours niche width expansion in Drosophila melanogaster. Nature, 410(6827), 463-6. DOI: 10.1038/35068555
Blumenthal, D., Mitchell, C., Pysek, P., & Jarosik, V. (2009) Synergy between pathogen release and resource availability in plant invasion. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 106(19), 7899-904. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0812607106
Grant, B., & Grant, P. (1989) Natural selection in a population of Darwin's finches. The American Naturalist, 133(3), 377-93. DOI: 10.1086/284924
Kassen, R. (2009) Toward a general theory of adaptive radiation: Insights from microbial experimental evolution. Annals New York Acad. Sci., 1168(1), 3-22. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04574.x
Losos, J. (1990) Ecomorphology, performance capability, and scaling of West Indian Anolis lizards: An evolutionary analysis. Ecological Monographs, 60(3), 369-88. DOI: 10.2307/1943062
Svanbäck, R., & Bolnick, D. (2007) Intraspecific competition drives increased resource use diversity within a natural population. Proc. Royal Soc. B, 274(1611), 839-44. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.0198
Wheat, C., Vogel, H., Wittstock, U., Braby, M., Underwood, D., & Mitchell-Olds, T. (2007) The genetic basis of a plant insect coevolutionary key innovation. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 104(51), 20427-31. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0706229104
Yoder, J.B., Des Roches, S., Eastman, J.M., Gentry, L., Godsoe, W.K.W., Hagey, T., Jochimsen, D., Oswald, B.P., Robertson, J., Sarver, B.A.J.... (2010) Ecological opportunity and the origin of adaptive radiations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02029.x
On December 23, 1924, the Australian anatomist Raymond Dart chipped away the last bit of rock encasing the skull of a small fossil primate. The specimen had been part of a collection of fossil scraps sent to him from a limestone quarry in Taung, South Africa - not too far from where he was teaching [...]... Read more »
DART, R. (1925) Australopithecus africanus: The Man-Ape of South Africa. Nature, 115(2884), 195-199. DOI: 10.1038/115195a0
WILLIAMS, F., & PATTERSON, J. (2010) RECONSTRUCTING THE PALEOECOLOGY OF TAUNG, SOUTH AFRICA FROM LOW MAGNIFICATION OF DENTAL MICROWEAR FEATURES IN FOSSIL PRIMATES. PALAIOS, 25(7), 439-448. DOI: 10.2110/palo.2009.p09-116r
Berger, L. (1995) Eagle involvement in accumulation of the Taung child fauna. Journal of Human Evolution, 29(3), 275-299. DOI: 10.1006/jhev.1995.1060
I read a lovely paper last night that took to task the findings of an older paper by one of my closest collaborators. I think both papers are very strong papers and I would love to discuss my thoughts on the issue here, but I feel as though the topic might be a little too [...]... Read more »
Codd, J. (2010) Uncinate processes in birds: Morphology, physiology and function☆. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular , 156(3), 303-308. DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.12.005
If ever there was a time to be careful about who you were going to mate with, it would probably be when there was a good chance you were going to die in the attempt.
And we’re not talking about some sort of heroic situation where the male has to endure hardships to get to the female. We’re talking about situations where the female herself is the threat.
“Fair princess, I have arrived to...”
CHOMP. Nom nom nom.
A lot has been written about the cannibalistic tendencies of praying manti........ Read more »
Barry KL. (2010) Influence of female nutritional status on mating dynamics in a sexually cannibalistic praying mantid. Animal Behaviour. info:/10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.05.024
It's been a pretty long stressful week around here, and not just because of Pepsipocalypse and the resulting fallout. But, well, I'm back, and I have an awesome paper to tell you about. When I saw it I just KNEW it had to be blogged.
Mythbuster Adam Savage sets the yawning in motion in Mythbusters attempts to start a yawning epidemic across the globe
Did watching that video make you yawn? Chances are it did, and you can thank contagious yawning for it. What is contagious yawning? Contagious y........ Read more »
Remember Notodendrodes and the spicule tree? Don't they look so much like harmless trees sitting around sunbathing like their plant counterparts? Not all tree forams are harmless. The microscopic marine world is full of surprises, like trees waving around their long sticky network 'feet' to trap and devour any traveler that happens by. Here's some wonderful shots of Notodendrodes caught in the act:The top left image shows a clump of Artemia caught by Notodendrodes, a big carnivorous tree foram. ........ Read more »
Suhr, S., Alexander, S., Gooday, A., Pond, D., & Bowser, S. (2008) Trophic modes of large Antarctic Foraminifera: roles of carnivory, omnivory, and detritivory. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 155-164. DOI: 10.3354/meps07693
New research suggests that (some of) the secrets to honey’s anti-bacterial properties may have been revealed.
A Dutch team of microbiologists propose that the anti-bacterial properties of the honey they tested come down to four chemicals and one general property:
Sugars High concentrations of sugars have long been known to have anti-bacterial properties and are used in preserving food.
The [...]... Read more »
Xu, P., Shi, M., & Chen, X. (2009) Antimicrobial Peptide Evolution in the Asiatic Honey Bee Apis cerana. PLoS ONE, 4(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004239
Adams, C., Manley-Harris, M., & Molan, P. (2009) The origin of methylglyoxal in New Zealand manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey. Carbohydrate Research, 344(8), 1050-1053. DOI: 10.1016/j.carres.2009.03.020
Forget snakes on a plane, this was snakes in a brain scanner! To chart the neural activity associated with overcoming fear, Uri Nili and colleagues scanned snake-phobic participants' brains while they chose, with the press of a button, whether or not to bring a live, 1.5M long corn snake, located on a conveyer belt in the scanner room, nearer to their heads, or to shift it further away (watch video). A control condition replaced the snake with a teddy bear.
The subgenual anterior cingulate cor........ Read more »
Nili, U., Goldberg, H., Weizman, A., & Dudai, Y. (2010) Fear Thou Not: Activity of Frontal and Temporal Circuits in Moments of Real-Life Courage. Neuron, 66(6), 949-962. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.06.009
Here in Australia we have a national ‘youth’ radio station called Triple J, and on sunday nights they play a guy called John Safran – he’s a species of celebrity with a huge polarizing effect. It’s easy to see why, he’s over-cynical, opinionated and specializing in only a few key topics. I quite like him, [...]... Read more »
Peluchette, J., & Karl, K. (2007) The impact of workplace attire on employee self-perceptions. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 18(3), 345-360. DOI: 10.1002/hrdq.1208
Hannover, B., & Kuhnen, U. (2002) "The Clothing Makes the Self" Via Knowledge Activation1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(12), 2513-2525. DOI: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2002.tb02754.x
How long does it *really* take water to move through a watershed? Continue reading →... Read more »
McDonnell, J., McGuire, K., Aggarwal, P., Beven, K., Biondi, D., Destouni, G., Dunn, S., James, A., Kirchner, J., Kraft, P.... (2010) How old is streamwater? Open questions in catchment transit time conceptualization, modelling and analysis. Hydrological Processes, 24(12), 1745-1754. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7796
Kirchner, J., Tetzlaff, D., & Soulsby, C. (2010) Comparing chloride and water isotopes as hydrological tracers in two Scottish catchments. Hydrological Processes, 24(12), 1631-1645. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7676
Stewart, M., Morgenstern, U., & McDonnell, J. (2010) Truncation of stream residence time: how the use of stable isotopes has skewed our concept of streamwater age and origin. Hydrological Processes, 24(12), 1646-1659. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7576
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