Post List

  • May 21, 2009
  • 11:57 PM

Trilobites Ride the Crazy Train

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

A new paper published recently in the journal Geology reports on peculiar conga party lines of our paleo-friend, the Trilobite. Gutierrez-Marco and colleagues discovered a quarry replete with marine invertebrate fossil, including potentially some of the largest trilobite specimens ever found. Curiously though, these capricious little critters were found exhibiting some rather gregarious behavior! They [...]... Read more »

Gutierrez-Marco, J., Sa, A., Garcia-Bellido, D., Rabano, I., & Valerio, M. (2009) Giant trilobites and trilobite clusters from the Ordovician of Portugal. Geology, 37(5), 443-446. DOI: 10.1130/G25513A.1  

  • May 21, 2009
  • 09:21 PM

Breaking the Chain

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Darwinius masillae and the fallacy of a “missing link”

Alexander Pope, in his Essay on Man, demonstrated in lucid prose the social significance that the great chain of being, or scala naturae (“ladder of nature”) had for centuries of philosophers and naturalists. Now, the analysis of a Middle Eocene primate dubbed Darwinius masillae, published in PLoS ONE by Jens Franzen and colleagues, has elicited a firestorm of media commentary as journalists scramble over one another in their rush........ Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 08:45 PM

Autophagy and Cellular Senescence

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Autophagy is the process by which cells break down unwanted biochemicals and damaged components. More autophagy taking place in your cells appears to be all upside based on what we see happening under the hood during calorie restriction, and based on the use of other fairly crude methods of boosting autophagy. It looks very much like increased autophagy increases longevity and improves long term health. Cellular senescence on the other hand is a mixed bag; a mechanism that does bad things to you........ Read more »

Young, A., Narita, M., Ferreira, M., Kirschner, K., Sadaie, M., Darot, J., Tavare, S., Arakawa, S., Shimizu, S., Watt, F.... (2009) Autophagy mediates the mitotic senescence transition. Genes , 23(7), 798-803. DOI: 10.1101/gad.519709  

  • May 21, 2009
  • 06:30 PM

PUBLIC HEALTH: Combating Copper Toxicity

by Michael Long in Phased

Pascale Delangle (Institute for Nanoscience

and Cryogenics, France) and coworkers have synthesized a

copper-binding molecule that may be useful for treating

disorders related to copper toxicity.

This news feature was written on May 21, 2009.... Read more »

Pujol, A. M., Gateau, C., Lebrun, C., & Delangle, P. (2009) A Cysteine-Based Tripodal Chelator with a High Affinity and Selectivity for Copper(I). Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131(20), 6928-6929. DOI: 10.1021/ja901700a  

  • May 21, 2009
  • 06:05 PM

Supply Risk Management: just common sense?

by Jan Husdal in

Am I missing something here? Does Supply Risk Management come down to plain and simple common sense? I don’t mind authors who use propositions in their articles; it usually shows that they have a pretty good grip on their subject. But here...not only are the propositions not fully exploited, they appear to be little more than basic common sense, or is it me who is way off?... Read more »

Giunipero, L., & Eltantawy, R. (2004) Securing the upstream supply chain: a risk management approach. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 34(9), 698-713. DOI: 10.1108/09600030410567478  

  • May 21, 2009
  • 05:50 PM

Musicians have better memory -- not just for music, but words and pictures too

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

Last night in the U.S. many televisions were tuned to one of the biggest spectacles of the year: the American Idol finale, where America would learn which singer had been chosen as "America's favorite" (or, more cynically, who inspired the most teenagers to repeatedly dial toll-free numbers until all hours of the night). Greta and I are suckers for this sort of thing, so we watched along with the rest of the nation.

What impressed me about the show wasn't so much the prodigious vocal talents of........ Read more »

Jakobson, L., Lewycky, S., Kilgour, A., & Stoesz, B. (2008) Memory for Verbal and Visual Material in Highly Trained Musicians. Music Perception, 26(1), 41-55. DOI: 10.1525/mp.2008.26.1.41  

  • May 21, 2009
  • 03:30 PM

Evolution and the Individual

by AK in AK's Rambling Thoughts

(After yesterday's tour de force, this post's going to be a lot lighter, especially on the references.)Let's start by defining the individual. Are two human identical twins separate individuals? Of course. We humans have an ability to develop independent personalities, so our definition of "individual" is based on that. Even if you started with a hundred identical human clones, and raised them in a hundred similar environments/families, they'd develop separate personalities. Very similar, p........ Read more »

Hunter, M., Ismail, N., Zhang, X., Aguda, B., Lee, E., Yu, L., Xiao, T., Schafer, J., Lee, M., Schmittgen, T.... (2008) Detection of microRNA Expression in Human Peripheral Blood Microvesicles. PLoS ONE, 3(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003694  

  • May 21, 2009
  • 02:56 PM

Do Vent Crabs Do It Under the Gyre?

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Vent crabs live in the dark depths of the ocean. Previous studies have shown that the vent crab Bythograea thermydron has a reproductive cycle synchronized with Spring and Summer phytoplankton blooms 2.5 km above the East Pacific Rise. It was hypothesized that female crabs moved away from the toxic vents, once impregnated, to raise their [...]... Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 02:14 PM

Like a £300,000 duck to water: when science meets politics

by Jacob Aron in Just A Theory

Doing the rounds this week is a story about a £300,000 government-funded research project that took three years to establish that ducks like water. Sounds like a tremendous waste of taxpayers’ money, but is it? The newspapers certainly seem to think so:

Ducks like water study ‘waste of £300,000 taxpayers’ money’ - The Guardian

Boffins’ £300k study [...]... Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 01:00 PM

Pop or Primate?

by Susan Steinhardt in BioData Blogs

Referred to as “the most significant scientific discovery of recent time,” Darwinius masillae also referred to as “Ida” has created quite a media frenzy. “The Missing Link,” Ida is a 47-million-year old female adapid primate discovered in the well known Messel deposits in Germany. The discovery has resulted in a flurry of promotional activity beginning with an elaborate event at The American Museum of Natural History, as well as a History Channel documentary, ........ Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 01:00 PM

Pop or Primate?

by Susan Steinhardt in The PostDoc Forum

Referred to as “the most significant scientific discovery of recent time,” Darwinius masillae also referred to as “Ida” has created quite a media frenzy. “The Missing Link,” Ida is a 47-million-year old female adapid primate discovered in the well known Messel deposits in Germany. The discovery has resulted in a flurry of promotional activity beginning with an elaborate event at The American Museum of Natural History, as well as a History Channel documentary, ........ Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

The Bearded Lady Revealed

by Allie Wilkinson in OH, FOR THE LOVE OF SCIENCE!

In the mid 1800s, a rare syndrome appeared for the first time in medical literature.  The case was that of Julia Pastrana, the world’s most famous bearded lady.  A new study, being published in today’s issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, reveals molecular cues about the origin and development of this rare condition.

Congenital [...]... Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 10:00 AM

Ecosystem Services: Science and/or Advocacy?

by David Raikow in River Continua

Comparisons of "alternative scenarios" are, as yet, of little value.... Read more »

Nelson, E., Mendoza, G., Regetz, J., Polasky, S., Tallis, H., Cameron, D., Chan, K., Daily, G., Goldstein, J., Kareiva, P.... (2009) Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7(1), 4-11. DOI: 10.1890/080023  

  • May 21, 2009
  • 09:47 AM

Proactive aggression: I’ll hit if you don’t hit back

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

Aggression researchers have increasingly supported the notion of two specific types of aggressive behaviors: proactive and reactive aggression.  Reactive aggression is usually fear-based and impulsive in nature. We all remember the child that would hit at the sightliest sense of threat or anxiety. In contrast, proactive aggression is predatory and calculated - such as what [...]... Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

A Nine-spotted Predator in my Backyard

by Johnny in Ecographica

Throughout the United States native coccinellid populations are on the decline. The primary factor in this decline is most likely the establishment of exotic ladybeetles which compete, and out compete, the locals for vital food resources. For native Florida ladybugs, those food resources are aphids, and with the exception of Neoharmonia venusta, which is a predator of psyllids (jumping plant lice), all of beetles listed above find them quite delicious.... Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 08:29 AM

Genes, Brains and the Perils of Publication

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Much of science, and especially neuroscience, consists of the search for "positive results". A positive result is simply a correlation or a causal relationship between one thing and another. It could be an association between a genetic variant and some personality trait. It could be a brain area which gets activated when you think about something.It's only natural that "positive results" are especially interesting. But "negative" results are still results. If you find that one thing is not corre........ Read more »

Esslinger, C., Walter, H., Kirsch, P., Erk, S., Schnell, K., Arnold, C., Haddad, L., Mier, D., Opitz von Boberfeld, C., Raab, K.... (2009) Neural Mechanisms of a Genome-Wide Supported Psychosis Variant. Science, 324(5927), 605-605. DOI: 10.1126/science.1167768  

  • May 21, 2009
  • 07:06 AM

Upcoming Gig: The Italian Job at NETTAB

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Network Tools and Applications in Biology (NETTAB) is a series of workshops in Bioinformatics. It focuses on the most promising and innovative ICT tools and their utility in Bioinformatics. These workshops aim to introduce participants to the evolving network standards and technologies that are being applied to the field of biology.

Since 2001, the NETTAB workshops [...]... Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 06:23 AM

Earthworm Research

by bug_girl in Bug Girl's Blog

Since we talked about earthworms last week…how about a little research?

When I was a kid I was taught that earthworms were good. Lots of worms was a sign of a healthy soil.

As I got older, I discovered that isn’t entirely true–some midwest soils didn’t have earthworms until Europeans showed up.  Some soils had a whole [...]... Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 02:34 AM

Dark Chocolate Improves Coronary Blood Flow

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Flavonoid rich dark chocolate (45 g per day) significantly improved coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR), this means that the researchers used Doppler echocardiography to assess the ability of the coronary arteries to dilate and allow more blood flow in response to dark chocolate. Dark chocolate improves coronary circulation in healthy adults. The other group in [...]... Read more »

  • May 21, 2009
  • 02:00 AM

Getting away from it all: Why are invasive species invasive?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

When humans move from place to place, we almost always bring other organisms with us. Sometimes it's intentional -- domestic animals carried along with Polynesian colonists, for instance. Just as often, it's accidental, as with mice stowing away on Viking longships. A lot of these introduced species have done so well in their new habitats that they become invasive, outcompeting natives and disrupting local ecosystem processes. But the species that go crazy-invasive -- the cane toads and the purp........ Read more »

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  

Vellend, M., Harmon, L., Lockwood, J., Mayfield, M., Hughes, A., Wares, J., & Sax, D. (2007) Effects of exotic species on evolutionary diversification. Trends Ecol. , 22(9), 481-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2007.02.017  

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