Over the weekend, a reader (a scientist in translational medicine) kindly sent me the link to a paper on PARP inhibition and asked: "Is this a sign of the new wave of oncology drug development? Rather than basing treatment on...... Read more »
Tutt A, Robson M, Garber JE, Domchek SM, Audeh MW, Weitzel JN, Friedlander M, Arun B, Loman N, Schmutzler RK.... (2010) Oral poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib in patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations and advanced breast cancer: a proof-of-concept trial. Lancet, 376(9737), 235-44. PMID: 20609467
Tracking penguins in (& from) space Penguins are charismatic animals with a large role in popular culture. They are seen as cuddly (though personally, I think that penguins are from the dark side). Regardless of personal inclination regarding cuddliness, it is easy to see that penguins are unique animals. Something your average penguin fan will [...]... Read more »
Fretwell, P., & Trathan, P. (2009) Penguins from space: faecal stains reveal the location of emperor penguin colonies. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 18(5), 543-552. DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2009.00467.x
Nearly everyone has heard of developmental dyslexia – a learning disorder characterized by poor reading skills despite otherwise sufficient schooling – but have you heard of developmental dyscalculia? Many people have not. Here is part 3 in a week-long series on this lesser-known learning disorder. (See parts one, and two, and a companion post at [...]... Read more »
Siegler, R. (1994) Cognitive Variability: A Key to Understanding Cognitive Development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 3(1), 1-5. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8721.ep10769817
Geary, D. (1993) Mathematical disabilities: Cognitive, neuropsychological, and genetic components. Psychological Bulletin, 114(2), 345-362. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.114.2.345
Rosenberg PB. (1989) Perceptual-motor and attentional correlates of developmental dyscalculia. Annals of neurology, 26(2), 216-20. PMID: 2774508
Climate change could hold some surprises for some of the world’s poorest people. Even under scenarios that envision widespread crop failures due to warming, farmers in some poor nations could benefit, according to a new study. The finding highlights how a shifting climate could ripple across the global economy in unexpected ways.
Numerous studies have […] Read More »... Read more »
Hertel, T., Burke, M., & Lobell, D. (2010) The poverty implications of climate-induced crop yield changes by 2030. Global Environmental Change. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.07.001
A recent report in Chemistry & Biology (Subach et al 2010 Red fluorescent protein with reversibly photoswitchable absorbance for photochromic FRET. Chem Biol. 17 745-55. PMID: 20659687) describes the discovery of the first red fluorescent protein that has switchable absorbance spectra. The switch is thought to happen because the chromophore undergoes a cis-trans isomerization in [...]... Read more »
Subach FV, Zhang L, Gadella TW, Gurskaya NG, Lukyanov KA, & Verkhusha VV. (2010) Red fluorescent protein with reversibly photoswitchable absorbance for photochromic FRET. Chemistry , 17(7), 745-55. PMID: 20659687
Oh, mistaken gender identity. Are you ever not funny?
Sudden change creates uncertainty. This is as true in evolution as it is in financial crises. Evolutionarily speaking, the eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus is in a moment of sudden and fast chance – some of them, at least.
These lizards find themselves in a situation rather like some mice I’ve talked about before (here and here). A couple of thousand years ago, a new habitat opens up with very light coloured sand. Humans, in........ Read more »
Robertson JM, & Rosenblum EB. (2010) Male territoriality and ‘sex confusion’ in recently adapted lizards at White Sands. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. info:/
I’ve been trying to tune into developments with white-nose syndrome because it’s one of the worst emerging pathogens to hit North American wildlife in recent history. Ever since the first breakout in a New York cave in February 2006, this white fungus has killed off well more than a million bats from six different species. [...]... Read more »
Boyles, J., & Willis, C. (2010) Could localized warm areas inside cold caves reduce mortality of hibernating bats affected by white-nose syndrome?. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(2), 92-98. DOI: 10.1890/080187
Over at Discover magazine’s terrific Intersection blog, Sheril Kirshenbaum asks readers: “How might we shift public attitudes to be less wasteful and save energy on a massive scale?”
A major finding from social science research is that individual behavior choices are often shaped by perceptions of what other people are doing, especially our peers and other trusted individuals. A key agent in this process are what researchers call opinion-leaders, special individuals acros........ Read more »
Nisbet, M., & Kotcher, J. (2009) A Two-Step Flow of Influence?: Opinion-Leader Campaigns on Climate Change. Science Communication, 30(3), 328-354. DOI: 10.1177/1075547008328797
As we reported on our news feed yesterday, two new international trials are reporting yet more benefits from a new experimental cancer drug called olaparib. At Cancer Research UK we’re very optimistic about this drug, which our scientists played a key role in developing. It’s a new type of cancer drug, called a PARP inhibitor, [...]... Read more »
Audeh, M., Carmichael, J., Penson, R., Friedlander, M., Powell, B., Bell-McGuinn, K., Scott, C., Weitzel, J., Oaknin, A., & Loman, N. (2010) Oral poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib in patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations and recurrent ovarian cancer: a proof-of-concept trial. The Lancet, 376(9737), 245-251. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60893-8
Continuing my series on the Evolution of Colour terms, this post reviews evidence for environmental constraints on colour perception.... Read more »
Regan, B., Julliot, C., Simmen, B., Vienot, F., Charles-Dominique, P., & Mollon, J. (2001) Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 356(1407), 229-283. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2000.0773
Clarke, B.C. (1979) The evolution of genetic diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 453-474. info:/
Mollon, J., Bowmaker, J., & Jacobs, G. (1984) Variations of Colour Vision in a New World Primate Can be Explained by Polymorphism of Retinal Photopigments. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 222(1228), 373-399. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1984.0071
Webster, M., Webster, S., Bharadwaj, S., Verma, R., Jaikumar, J., Madan, G., & Vaithilingham, E. (2002) Variations in normal color vision. III. Unique hues in Indian and United States observers. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19(10), 1951. DOI: 10.1364/JOSAA.19.001951
LAENG, B., BRENNEN, T., ELDEN, A., GAAREPAULSEN, H., BANERJEE, A., & LIPTON, R. (2007) Latitude-of-birth and season-of-birth effects on human color vision in the Arctic. Vision Research, 47(12), 1595-1607. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2007.03.011
Dowman, M. (2007) Explaining Color Term Typology With an Evolutionary Model. Cognitive Science: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 30(1), 99-132. DOI: 10.1207/s15516709cog3101_4
Griffin LD. (2006) Optimality of the basic colour categories for classification. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society, 3(6), 71-85. PMID: 16849219
Put aside the dramatic Hollywood portrayals. Suited, married, high achieving, some of them walk among us. No, not vampires or super-heroes but 'successful psychopaths'. Like their criminally violent cousins - the standard psychopaths - these people are ruthless, callous, fearless and arrogant. But thanks to their superior self-control and conscientiousness, rather than landing in prison, they end up as company chief executives, university chancellors and Queen's Council barristers. Well, that's ........ Read more »
On July the 28th 2010 the Journal Experimental Biology and Medicine published an article looking at the levels of Vitamin D in the general population and made recommendations concerning the RDA levels needed to limit osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children. This they say is because scientists and nutritionists from many countries agree that [...]... Read more »
Norman AW, & Bouillon R. (2010) Vitamin D nutritional policy needs a vision for the future. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.). PMID: 20667908
By Michael Ash, BSc(Hons). DO. ND. FellowDipION Vitamin D and Vitamin A are essential co-partners in immunological and bone health., I’m particularly excited about vitamin A because of its profound effects on the gut mucosal immune system—a specialty of mine. Just as vitamin D has attracted attention for its ability to increase antimicrobial peptides and [...]... Read more »
Dong P, Tao Y, Yang Y, & Wang W. (2010) Expression of retinoic acid receptors in intestinal mucosa and the effect of vitamin A on mucosal immunity. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 26(7-8), 740-5. PMID: 19932006
Iwata, M., Hirakiyama, A., Eshima, Y., Kagechika, H., Kato, C., & Song, S. (2004) Retinoic Acid Imprints Gut-Homing Specificity on T Cells. Immunity, 21(4), 527-538. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2004.08.011
You’ve all heard it takes two to tango. And it certainly takes two (or more) to argue. And now, apparently it really does take two to have a conversation. Stephens et al. “Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication” PNAS, 2010. We know that real verbal communications requires both a speaker and a listener (often they [...]... Read more »
Stephens GJ, Silbert LJ, & Hasson U. (2010) Speaker-listener neural coupling underlies successful communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(32), 14425-30. PMID: 20660768
The newest issue of CICINDELA (“A quarterly journal devoted to Cicindelidae”) contains an interesting article by my good friend and fellow tiger beetle enthusiast Kent Fothergill, who presents a fascinating sequence of photos documenting a field encounter with a mating pair of the endangered Bruneau Sand Dune tiger beetle (Cicindela waynei) (Fothergill 2010). This is one of [...]... Read more »
Fothergill, K. (2010) Observations on mating behavior of the Bruneau Dune tiger beetle, Cicindela waynei Leffler (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Cicindelinae). CICINDELA, 42(2), 33-45. info:/
I’ve recently been discussing stable isotope analysis as a way to directly determine dietary practices from skeletal evidence, and that is certainly a powerful tool in learning about past societies, but there are some drawbacks to it. Like all complicated laboratory procedures, it’s expensive, and it has the additional problem of being destructive. If it’s [...]... Read more »
Schollmeyer, K., & II, C. (2004) Dental Caries, Prehistoric Diet, and the Pithouse-to-Pueblo Transition in Southwestern Colorado. American Antiquity, 69(3), 569. DOI: 10.2307/4128407
Causing quite a big stir in the astrochemical world recently is the astronomical detection of C60, more popularly known as fullerene. This is kind of a big deal. Fullerenes have been known about since the 1980s when Harry Kroto et al first created them by vapourising graphite with electrical discharges. Since then, it’s been found that C60 molecules are very stable and readily formed molecules. Lots of people have hypothesised them existing in space, but up until now there’s been no ........ Read more »
Cami, J., Bernard-Salas, J., Peeters, E., & Malek, S. (2010) Detection of C60 and C70 in a Young Planetary Nebula. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192035
Toronto team Rizo et al offer a novel approach to psychopharmacology: trawling the internet for people's opinions. It's a rapid, web-based method for obtaining patient views on effects and side-effects of antidepressants.They designed a script to Google the names of several antidepressants in the context of someone who's taking them, and checks to see if they describe any side-effects.A large number of URLs were rapidly screened through Google Search™, using one server situated in Ohio, USA. T........ Read more »
Rizo C, Deshpande A, Ing A, & Seeman N. (2010) A rapid, Web-based method for obtaining patient views on effects and side-effects of antidepressants. Journal of affective disorders. PMID: 20705344
I while ago I wrote a post about how virus's get from the outside of the cell to the interior of the nucleus and found that virus particles are able to hitchhike on the cells internal transport systems. I was quite interested therefore to find a paper in Nature Reviews (reference below) that revealed that not only do virus's latch on to host proteins to travel around inside the cell, they also use host extracellular processes for travelling around the body. And outside the cell it's not just vir........ Read more »
Salinas S, Schiavo G, & Kremer EJ. (2010) A hitchhiker's guide to the nervous system: the complex journey of viruses and toxins. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 8(9), 645-55. PMID: 20706281
As if on cue, given that I’ve been talking about turkey husbandry and stable isotope testing of human remains, a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science combines the two, using similar stable isotope techniques on turkey remains from sites in southwestern Colorado to determine what the turkeys were eating. The [...]... Read more »
Rawlings, T., & Driver, J. (2010) Paleodiet of domestic turkey, Shields Pueblo (5MT3807), Colorado: isotopic analysis and its implications for care of a household domesticate. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37(10), 2433-2441. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.05.004
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