Mathematical representation of biological networks is often referred as graphs, although a more plausible functional definition can be offered by hypergraphs. In a latest PLoS Computational Biology paper Klamt et al. provide an interesting perspective about notion of using hypergraphs instead of graphs as a modeling framework for network biology. Implementing hypergraphs to model different network analysis problems has several advantages over traditional graph models such as a more accurate re........ Read more »
One of the central precepts of biogerontology is that meaningful lifespan extension will be concomitant with extension of the “healthspan”, i.e., the vigorous part of life — life that is, for lack of a better phrase, worth living.
This relationship is borne out both in nature (where longer-lived organisms also have longer healthspans) and in [...]... Read more »
Avanesian, A., Khodayari, B., Felgner, J., & Jafari, M. (2009) Lamotrigine extends lifespan but compromises health span in Drosophila melanogaster. Biogerontology. DOI: 10.1007/s10522-009-9227-1
Daniele Fanelli (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
has probed the extent of nonplagiaristic fraud in the technical
science literature, focusing on bio/medical and clinical research.
This news feature was written on May 29, 2009.... Read more »
Fanelli, D. (2009) How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data. PLoS ONE, 4(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005738
In the fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Goldilocks encounters three bowls of porridge in the bear household. Papa Bear's porridge is too hot; Mama Bear's porridge is too cold; Baby Bear's porridge is just right. Why would Papa Bear and Mama Bear choose to heat their porridge to non-optimal temperatures? A new study by Benjamin Myers et al. published in PLoS ONE suggests that their perception of "just right" depends on their TRP channels. Okay, it's unlikely that three members of an ........ Read more »
Myers, B., Sigal, Y., & Julius, D. (2009) Evolution of Thermal Response Properties in a Cold-Activated TRP Channel. PLoS ONE, 4(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005741
Scientists from Harvard, the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Queens University have published an article in PNAS in which game dynamics are used to model the evolution of cooperative behavior in individuals expressing a range of phenotypic variation.... Read more »
Antal, T., Ohtsuki, H., Wakeley, J., Taylor, P., & Nowak, M. (2009) From the Cover: Evolution of cooperation by phenotypic similarity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(21), 8597-8600. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0902528106
I've written before about the cell's complex analog computing network, both phospho-activating enzymes, and gene activation. In a very recent pre-publication paper we have a specific example of just how complex this type of network can be. One type of protein called signal transducer and activator of transcriptionA1 (STAT) proteins are parts of the network that lie in a short path between extra-cellular signaling and nuclear gene activation primarily involved in the development and function of........ Read more »
Cheon, H., & Stark, G. (2009) Unphosphorylated STAT1 prolongs the expression of interferon-induced immune regulatory genes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903487106
by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog
A new member of the arenavirus family, Lujo virus, has been identified in patients who died during an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever in late 2008. Sequence analysis reveals that Lujo is a new arenavirus, genetically distinct from other members of the family which includes Lassa virus.
A patient with unexplained hemorrhagic fever was identified in Zambia [...]... Read more »
Briese, T., Paweska, J., McMullan, L., Hutchison, S., Street, C., Palacios, G., Khristova, M., Weyer, J., Swanepoel, R., Egholm, M.... (2009) Genetic Detection and Characterization of Lujo Virus, a New Hemorrhagic Fever–Associated Arenavirus from Southern Africa. PLoS Pathogens, 4(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000455
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
APS Convention Report #5
This post is part of a series of reports on research presented last weekend at the Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science.
During the past few months I’ve discussed a couple of studies on bullying, including an examination of the relationship between bullying and psychotic symptoms, and a study exploring the [...]... Read more »
Mishna, Faye. (2003) Learning Disabilities and Bullying: Double Jeopardy. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36(4).
The Hawaiian islands are the setting for one of the most fascinating experiments in evolution in real time that I know of. There, the males in a population of crickets have gone from singers to almost entirely silent in just a few years.This species of cricket (Teleogryllus oceanicus) lives across a wide range of Pacific locations, from Australia (where they started) to Hawaii (a much more recent introduction). Male crickets sing to attract females, so there’s selection to keep singing. These........ Read more »
Tinghitella, R., & Zuk, M. (2009) ASYMMETRIC MATING PREFERENCES ACCOMMODATED THE RAPID EVOLUTIONARY LOSS OF A SEXUAL SIGNAL. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00698.x
The major recent enhancements to ECT technique are:
Right Unilateral electrode placement. The cognitive side-effects of ECT such as retrograde and anterograde amnesia are significantly less compared to Bilateral electrode placement.
Brief pulse stimulus currents. The characteristics of the electrical stimulus affect the effectiveness and cognitive outcomes of the seizure. Sine wave stimuli have been [...]... Read more »
SACKEIM, H., PRUDIC, J., NOBLER, M., FITZSIMONS, L., LISANBY, S., PAYNE, N., BERMAN, R., BRAKEMEIER, E., PERERA, T., & DEVANAND, D. (2008) Effects of pulse width and electrode placement on the efficacy and cognitive effects of electroconvulsive therapy. Brain Stimulation, 1(2), 71-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2008.03.001
I mentioned in a recent post that iron is an essential trace metal that bacteria must acquire from its surroundings. (From that same post you will also recall that the Lyme disease spirochete B. burgdorferi is a rare exception that doesn't need iron.) Much of the iron in our body is trapped within the center of the heme molecule. Heme itself is not readily accessible as it is bound to host proteins such as hemoglobin. Pathogenic bacteria have evolved sophisticated systems to kidnap heme from........ Read more »
Murray, G., Ellis, K., Lo, M., & Adler, B. (2008) Leptospira interrogans requires a functional heme oxygenase to scavenge iron from hemoglobin. Microbes and Infection, 10(7), 791-797. DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2008.04.010
Murray, G., Srikram, A., Henry, R., Puapairoj, A., Sermswan, R., & Adler, B. (2009) Leptospira interrogans requires heme oxygenase for disease pathogenesis. Microbes and Infection, 11(2), 311-314. DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2008.11.014
For a few weeks now, Sci's been wanting to get away from the sex for a bit. Not that I mind having this reputation as being a sex blogger (or whatever), but there's more out there to weird science than sex.
And so, the word of the day is: rhinotrichtillomania. Say that three times fast. rhinotrichtillomania, rhinotrichtillomania, rhinotrichit...crap.
Fontenelle et al. "The man with the purple nostrils: a case of rhinotrichtillomania secondary to body dysmorphic disorder" Acta Psyciatric S........ Read more »
Fontenelle, L., Mendlowicz, M., Mussi, T., Marques, C., & Versiani, M. (2002) The man with the purple nostrils: a case of rhinotrichotillomania secondary to body dysmorphic disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 106(6), 464-466. DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.01463.x
Fam Pract. 2009 PMID: 19423699
I do not find this systematic review helpful. This review cautiously concludes "There is insufficient evidence to assess the value of history taking and physical examination for diagnosing COPD". This contrasts with the tangible conclusions of the Rational Clinical Examination. Juxtaposing these two reviews demonstrates how arbitrary evidence-based medicine can be in its acceptance of evidence.... Read more »
Broekhuizen BD, Sachs AP, Oostvogels R, Hoes AW, Verheij TJ, Moons KG. (2009) The diagnostic value of history and physical examination for COPD in suspected or known cases: a systematic review. Family Practice. DOI: http://fampra.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/cmp026v1
Is it possible to summarize seven years of supply chain risk management research and find a common theme or definition of what supply chain risk is all about? Apparently not. In Supply chain risk management: literature review and future research, Vanany, Zailani and Pujawan, three scholars from Indonesia and Malaysia, review and classify 82 articles in what is the most complete review that I have seen to date. But…is it a helpful review?... Read more »
Vanany, Iwan, Zailani, Suhaiza, & Pujawan, Nyoman. (2009) Supply chain risk management: literature review and future research. International Journal of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, 2(1), 16-33. DOI: http://www.igi-global.com/articles/details.asp?ID
Déjà vu is that creepy feeling that you're living through a moment for the second time, as if retreading the path of an earlier existence. Now Alan Brown and Elizabeth Marsh believe they've found a way to simulate the déjà vu sensation in the laboratory - a finding that could help us understand why the phenomenon occurs.Twenty-four participants were presented with dozens of symbols that had been carefully chosen, with the help of a pilot study, to be either entirely novel, rarely encountered........ Read more »
Brown, A., & Marsh, E. (2009) Creating Illusions of Past Encounter Through Brief Exposure. Psychological Science, 20(5), 534-538. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02337.x
NASA researchers is now reporting in the May 21st issue of Nature that water could remain liquid at sub-freezing temperatures if made stable against freezing by containing dissolved minerals. From the abstract:
Many features of the Martian landscape are thought to have been formed by liquid water flow, and water-related mineralogies on the surface of Mars are widespread and abundant. Several lines of evidence, however, suggest that Mars has been cold with mean global temperatures well below th........ Read more »
Fairén, A., Davila, A., Gago-Duport, L., Amils, R., & McKay, C. (2009) Stability against freezing of aqueous solutions on early Mars. Nature, 459(7245), 401-404. DOI: 10.1038/nature07978
Numerous human activities, such as logging, fishing, pollution and the introduction of exotic species negatively impact ecosystems around the world. These negative impacts mean ecosystems lose species diversity, biomass production, carbon storage, and nutrient uptake. An important question is, how long does it take for ecosystems to recover from perturbations. The answer to this question can inform conservation policy and strategies and could help focus management resources.In a recent PLoS ONE ........ Read more »
Take a look at this video. Your job: decide which person speaks first:
Click to view Video 1 (QuickTime required)
Let's make this a poll:
Which person in Video 1 speaks first?(web poll)
Now, try another one. Once again, decide which person speaks first:
Click to view Video 2 (QuickTime required)
Make your response here:
Which person in Video 2 speaks first?(opinion polls)
David Rose and Tanya Clark showed videos like this to 17 student volunteers, and asked the same question: who spoke f........ Read more »
Rose, D., & Clarke, T. (2009) Look who’s talking: Visual detection of speech from whole-body biological motion cues during emotive interpersonal conversation. Perception, 38(1), 153-156. DOI: 10.1068/p6279
Borras, E., Dominguez, A., Fuentes, M., Batalla, J., Cardenosa, N., & Plasencia, A. (2009). Parental knowledge of paediatric vaccination. BMC Public Health, 9 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-154
This study in Spain was a retrospective cross-sectional survey in Catalonia. They called up the parents of 630 children to ask them about vaccine coverage and to assess their knowledge about [...]... Read more »
What's more fun than plugging electrodes into a monkey brain?This paper does that! It plugs some electrodes into a monkey brain to test the binding by synchrony (BBS) hypothesis, and comes back with tentative evidence against binding by synchrony. Cool stuff!The primary visual cortex works in a really cool way: mathematically, it performs a wavelet decomposition on the image incident upon your retina. Your retina functions like a pixel representation of the image you are looking at, becaus........ Read more »
Dong, Y. (2008) Synchrony and the binding problem in macaque visual cortex. Journal of Vision, 8(7), 1-16. DOI: 10.1167/8.7.30
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