Post List

  • June 26, 2009
  • 11:00 AM

Targeting Drugs to Diseased Cardiovascular Blood Clots

by Michael Long in Phased

Erkki Ruoslahti (University of California, Santa Barbara,

and Burnham Institute for Medical Research, California) and coworkers

have targeted a peptide atherosclerosis drug, which disrupts

arterial blood clots, to diseased cardiovascular arteries.

This news feature was written on June 26, 2009.... Read more »

Peters, D., Kastantin, M., Kotamraju, V. R., Karmali, P. P., Gujraty, K., Tirrell, M., & Ruoslahti, E. (2009) Targeting atherosclerosis by using modular, multifunctional micelles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(24), 9815-9819. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903369106  

  • June 26, 2009
  • 10:38 AM

Eco-engineering sustainable seawalls

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

People love living on the coast, and one of the most destructive human infrastructure practices is replacing natural shorelines with human-made seawalls.  These walls are often tall, flat, and featureless, making them bad habitat for shore animals and plants. Biodiversity in these areas, of course, declines.

In a paper published online today in Oecologia, Gee Chapman [...]... Read more »

  • June 26, 2009
  • 10:21 AM

Evidence for gene-autism link just published

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

The new study identifies 27 loci that have rare copy number variations, where there are more or fewer repeated DNA segments than expected, common to the genomes of several children with autism spectrum disorder. These variations are not present in controls without autism spectrum disorder.

The peer reviewed paper is available in the Open Access journal PLoS Genetics.

The sample included 2,832 individuals distributed among 912 families that had multiple autistic children. The control grou........ Read more »

Bucan, M., Abrahams, B., Wang, K., Glessner, J., Herman, E., Sonnenblick, L., Alvarez Retuerto, A., Imielinski, M., Hadley, D., Bradfield, J.... (2009) Genome-Wide Analyses of Exonic Copy Number Variants in a Family-Based Study Point to Novel Autism Susceptibility Genes. PLoS Genetics, 5(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000536  

  • June 26, 2009
  • 10:00 AM

Packaging of the segmented influenza RNA genome

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The RNA genome of influenza viruses is segmented . The virions of influenza A and B viruses contain 8 different RNAs, while those of influenza C viruses contain 7. How is the correct number of RNA segments inserted into newly synthesized virus particles?

During influenza virus assembly, viral RNAs and viral proteins – called a ribonucleoprotein [...]... Read more »

  • June 26, 2009
  • 10:00 AM

Hoodia Gordonii for weight loss - where's the evidence?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

If you have passed through the weight-loss aisle at any pharmacy over the past few months, you will probably have seen several products claiming to contain Hoodia gordonii, more commonly known as Hoodia. Hoodia is a type of succulent (a type of plant that looks like a cactus, but is in fact completely different) which is said to have been used by the San Bushmen of the Kalahari desert to ward off hunger and thirst. Hoodia first came to prominence when the South African government discovered th........ Read more »

Bray, G., & Ryan, D. (2006) Supplements Used in Weight Management. Obesity Management, 2(5), 186-189. DOI: 10.1089/obe.2006.2.186  

  • June 26, 2009
  • 09:37 AM

Brain mechanisms of hypnotic paralysis

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

THE TERM 'HYPNOSIS' was coined by the Scottish physician James Braid in his 1853 book Neurypnology. Braid defined hypnosis as "a peculiar condition of the nervous system, induced by a fixed and abstracted attention of the mental and visual eye". Braid argued that hypnosis was a form of "nervous sleep", and tried to distinguish his theory from that of the mesmerists, who believed that the effects of hypnosis were mediated by a vital force, or animal magnetism.Because of mesmerism, and its associa........ Read more »

  • June 26, 2009
  • 08:39 AM

Antibiotic eating European monkeys

by Euan in Dr Euan Lawson| Doctor Writer

No doctor likes to think that they are the one who is giving out all these antibiotics to viral illnesses. There is always someone else at fault. Partners blame locums. Locums blame nurses. Everyone blames the patients. Me? I blame the French. They have shamelessly flung antibiotics around for years with Gallic abandon. According to a PLOS paper more than 70 [...]... Read more »

  • June 26, 2009
  • 07:10 AM

Diabetes Series: Part I…A Link Between Obesity and Gluconeogenesis

by Tye in Uncommon Dissent

Welcome to my “Diabetes Series”!  Just like my “Cancer Basics” series I’ll be updating this every so often in order to hopefully make the research a little more palatable for the general public.  I hope you like it and you continue to tune in!

Scientists from the Salk Institute have unlocked another piece of the diabetes [...]... Read more »

  • June 26, 2009
  • 04:43 AM

Do you love humanity?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

"I love humanity but I hate people" Edna St. Vincent Millay (American poet and playwright).Psychology hasn't paid enough attention to the regard people have towards humanity - their "humanity-esteem". That's according to Michelle Luke and Gregory Maio whose new research suggests a person's view of humanity can have important social implications, for example affecting their proclivity for racism. If we think highly of humankind, it follows that we're less likely to have a negative attitude to oth........ Read more »

LUKE, M.L., & MAIO, G.R. (2009) Oh the humanity! Humanity-esteem and its social importance. Journal of Research in Personality, 43(4), 586-601. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2009.03.001  

  • June 26, 2009
  • 03:05 AM

No room for group selection in disease evolution?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Parasites coexisting within a single host have been proposed as one of the best examples of individuals sacrificing their own reproductive fitness for the benefit of a group. A new theory paper in last week's Nature suggests that the apparent effect of "group selection" in this case can be explained by individual-level selection instead [$-a].

Group selection posits that organisms sometimes evolve traits that hurt their individual fitness but benefit their social group. Charles Darwin originall........ Read more »

  • June 26, 2009
  • 01:21 AM

Friday Weird Science: Sex: the good, the bad, and the ugly

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

We know that a lot of organisms, from humans to bacteria to birds to bees, have lots of sex. But what has mystified scientists for years is WHY. I mean, it's fun and all (unless you're a poor beetle girl stuck with this), but what purpose does it serve? On the face of it, in fact, sex seems to be pretty BAD for about half of the population: the women. For example, there's a lizard out there than can reproduce both asexually and sexually. When it reproduces asexually, it producing nothing bu........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2009
  • 07:55 PM

Life in the smoggy freezer?

by Invader Xan in Supernova Condensate

The twin questions of how and where life could begin from prebiotic chemistry are pretty big ones. Indeed, despite the now famous Miller-Urey experiment creating amino acids by zapping simple chemicals with lightning bolts, we’re not much closer to a proper answer for that question. A good place to look for answers though, is Titan. Out on Titan, methane acts like water does on Earth, and the mountains are made from ice and not silicates. Despite these outlandish differences, many believe that........ Read more »

Pilling, S., Andrade, D., Neto, A., Rittner, R., & Naves de Brito, A. (2009) DNA Nucleobase Synthesis at Titan Atmosphere Analog by Soft X-rays . The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/jp902824v  

  • June 25, 2009
  • 02:03 PM

Overweight people live longer – but don’t start piling on the pounds just yet

by Jacob Aron in Just A Theory

A Canadian study published in the journal Obesity has found that overweight people are 17% more likely to live longer than those of normal weight. In response, the Daily Mail instructed their readers to fatten up, but I would advise against it.

The study looked at data from the Canadian National Population Health Survey, which monitors [...]... Read more »

  • June 25, 2009
  • 12:24 PM

Darwin and the "mega-theria" of Patagonia

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Richard Owen's restoration of Glyptodon. From Brinkman (2009).

Perhaps one of the primary reasons that there is so much to say about Charles Darwin is that he left us so much material to scrutinize. Outside of his famous printed works there are numerous notebooks and a staggering amount of personal correspondence which are constantly being parsed for insights into how he formulated his evolutionary ideas. Indeed, there is still scholarly debate about when Darwin embraced the idea of evolution ........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2009
  • 08:45 AM

Health, politics and the science of unreason

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Last night I was thinking that it's been quite a week with one thing and another and only Wednesday reached. In fact, the stars must be out of alignment or something because there seems to be rather a lot of...... Read more »

  • June 25, 2009
  • 06:35 AM

Science News: Week of June 21, 2009

by Susan Steinhardt in BioData Blogs

Our weekly compilation of science news for the week of June 21, 2009.... Read more »

Rabl, R., Soubannier, V., Scholz, R., Vogel, F., Mendl, N., Vasiljev-Neumeyer, A., Korner, C., Jagasia, R., Keil, T., Baumeister, W.... (2009) Formation of cristae and crista junctions in mitochondria depends on antagonism between Fcj1 and Su e/g. The Journal of Cell Biology, 185(6), 1047-1063. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200811099  

Iwahashi, C., Tassone, F., Hagerman, R., Yasui, D., Parrott, G., Nguyen, D., Mayeur, G., & Hagerman, P. (2009) A Quantitative ELISA Assay for the Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 Protein. Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 11(4), 281-289. DOI: 10.2353/jmoldx.2009.080118  

McAloose, D., & Newton, A. (2009) Wildlife cancer: a conservation perspective. Nature Reviews Cancer, 9(7), 517-526. DOI: 10.1038/nrc2665  

  • June 25, 2009
  • 06:13 AM

Are 1 in 64 Kids Autistic?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Quite possibly, yes. In the last post I discussed the interesting background to a new paper about the prevalence of autism in British children, Prevalence of autism-spectrum conditions: UK school-based population study. Here's some more about the study itself.The authors, Simon Baron-Cohen et al from the University of Cambridge, set out to assess the prevalence of “autistic spectrum conditions” in the county of Cambridgeshire, England, by sampling all of the school children aged 5 to 9 years........ Read more »

Baron-Cohen, S., Scott, F., Allison, C., Williams, J., Bolton, P., Matthews, F., & Brayne, C. (2009) Prevalence of autism-spectrum conditions: UK school-based population study. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 194(6), 500-509. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.059345  

  • June 25, 2009
  • 04:13 AM

Unleash the crowd within

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

You can boost your quiz performance by unleashing the crowd within, a new study shows. The next time your're asked to estimate a historical date, for example, try doing the following: make your first estimate; then pause and assume your first guess was off the mark. Consider why, then use this new perspective to make a second estimate. Average your two estimates and, chances are, this newly calculated date will be more accurate than your original answer. The new approach is called "dialectical b........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2009
  • 03:36 AM

The Life and Death of Elysia Chlorotica

by Joseph Boyle in The Y.O.R.F.

Describes the unique life cycle and evolutionary history of a strange sea slug.... Read more »

  • June 24, 2009
  • 08:29 PM

Deciphering the Machine By Pulling Out Cogs and Flipping Switches

by Reason in Fight Aging!

I wanted to point out an example of research into the biochemistry of calorie restriction as an example of how scientists progress in their investigations of cellular biology. If the cell is a machine, then the biotechnology revolution has provided scientist-mechanics with wrenches to pull out cogs and screwdrivers to force the settings on inner switches. It has also bequethed a ream of disordered notes from a thousand other mechanics, and from all this sense and understanding has to eventually ........ Read more »

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