Post List

  • January 19, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Evolving from pathogen to symbiont

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Recently the open-access PLoS Biology published a really cool study in experimental evolution, in which a disease-causing bacterium was converted to something very like an important plant symbiont. The details of the process are particularly interesting, because the authors actually used natural selection to identify the evolutionary change that makes a pathogen into a mutualist.

Life as we know it needs nitrogen – it's a key element in amino acids, which mean proteins, which mean structural ........ Read more »

Amadou, C., Pascal, G., Mangenot, S., Glew, M., Bontemps, C., Capela, D., Carrere, S., Cruveiller, S., Dossat, C., Lajus, A.... (2008) Genome sequence of the  beta-rhizobium Cupriavidus taiwanensis and comparative genomics of rhizobia. Genome Research, 18(9), 1472-1483. DOI: 10.1101/gr.076448.108  

Marchetti, M., Capela, D., Glew, M., Cruveiller, S., Chane-Woon-Ming, B., Gris, C., Timmers, T., Poinsot, V., Gilbert, L., Heeb, P.... (2010) Experimental evolution of a plant pathogen into a legume symbiont. PLoS Biology, 8(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000280  

  • January 19, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Video Game Training Makes You Faster, Better

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

And if a few hours of Call of Duty will help you survive, don't you owe it to yourself to pick up a controller?... Read more »

Dye, M., Green, C., & Bavelier, D. (2009) Increasing Speed of Processing With Action Video Games. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(6), 321-326. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01660.x  

  • January 19, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Can invasive species enhance the competitve ability of native grasses?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Over the past few years, restoration ecologists have made a surprising discovery - the invasion of exotic plants may enhance the competitive ability of native species. Scientists hypothesize that native plants which survive an invasion of exotic species may possess a competitive advantage against the invader which is then reinforced through evolutionary selection...... Read more »

  • January 19, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Mobile marketing versus spam

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

I just received an intriguing research paper entitled: “Spamming and mobile marketing: get it right”. Now to many users the notion that there is a nice balance to be made between spam and marketing is a nonsense. All marketing, they feel, is essentially spam, junk mail, unsolicited solicitations, if you will.
The author of the paper, [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkMobile marketing versus spam
... Read more »

Ong, R. (2010) Spamming and mobile marketing: get it right. International Journal of Intercultural Information Management, 2(1), 55. DOI: 10.1504/IJIIM.2010.030710  

  • January 19, 2010
  • 05:48 AM

This aspirin is dictatorial, prosaic, and selfish

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Fig. 2 (Schaefer & Rotte, 2010). Example of a questionnaire used to form a semantic differential for one particular brand. Subjects had to rate the brands according to their relationships to 18 pairs of contrary adjectives.The nascent field of neuromarketing has grown tremendously in the last 5 years. Its goal is to use brain imaging techniques such as fMRI and EEG to gain hidden insights into consumer preferences. Commercial applications have far outstripped the peer-reviewed science necess........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Butter better than margarine? New study says saturated fats not tied to heart disease.

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

You've got to love evidence-based nutrition.And if you're not sure why, here's a reason - last week it concluded that butter's not inherently bad for you.You see last week the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition released a meta-analysis that looked at all the prospective epidemiological studies looking at the relationship between dietary saturated fat intake and the risks of developing coronary heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease.What did they find? 21 studies with followups of 5........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2010
  • 01:06 AM

Sherlock Holmes and Proteomics

by Abhishek Tiwari in Fisheye Perspective

By reading the title of the post you may be curious that what remote similarity proteomics can share with Sherlock Holmes? Well not much at this moment except the complexity of storyline. An excerpt from a bit old article, interested readers will find it useful to understand the complexity of proteomeModern proteome analysis is a very complex 'detective story', which might baffle even the most famous investigator, Sherlock Holmes [1]. The reason is that, in any proteome, a few proteins dominate ........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2010
  • 12:00 AM

Deleting a gene can turn an ovary into a testis in adult mammals

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

Deletion of the Foxl2 gene in adult mice can lead to ovaries transforming into testes... Read more »

Uhlenhaut NH, Jakob S, Anlag K, Eisenberger T, Sekido R, Kress J, Treier AC, Klugmann C, Klasen C, Holter NI.... (2009) Somatic sex reprogramming of adult ovaries to testes by FOXL2 ablation. Cell, 139(6), 1130-42. PMID: 20005806  

  • January 18, 2010
  • 10:52 PM

The Linguistic Evidence for Navajo Origins

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Although it can be rather difficult to define what it means to be Navajo, it is quite clear from a variety of lines of evidence that speakers of Athapaskan languages, including Navajo and the various Apache languages, have not been in the Southwest for very long compared to most of the other language groups there, [...]... Read more »

  • January 18, 2010
  • 10:24 PM

No chance Europe will recover fish stocks

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

Alternate title: When pigs fly and fish say ‘hi’.
I’m covering a quick little review of a paper just published online in Fish and Fisheries about the two chances Europe has of meeting its legal obligations of rebuilding its North East Atlantic fish stocks by 2015 (i.e., Buckley’s and none).
The paper entitled Rebuilding fish stocks no [...]... Read more »

Pitcher, T., Kalikoski, D., Pramod, G., & Short, K. (2009) Not honouring the code. Nature, 457(7230), 658-659. DOI: 10.1038/457658a  

  • January 18, 2010
  • 07:35 PM

Why Do We Think We Like Hourglass Figures?

by Wayne Hooke in The Psychology of Beauty

BMI – the ratio of body mass to height, typically correlates well with ratings of body attractiveness. WHR – a direct comparison of waist and hip measurements – also correlates with attractiveness. Recent research that compares the relative strengths of the two ratios generally finds that variation in BMI accounts for a greater proportion of [...]... Read more »

Law Smith, M., Perrett, D., Jones, B., Cornwell, R., Moore, F., Feinberg, D., Boothroyd, L., Durrani, S., Stirrat, M., Whiten, S.... (2006) Facial appearance is a cue to oestrogen levels in women. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1583), 135-140. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3296  

  • January 18, 2010
  • 04:07 PM

Sticky Situation

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Oil from Exxon Valdez spill gets trapped in gravel beaches

... Read more »

  • January 18, 2010
  • 02:41 PM

When in danger, when in doubt, just remember – deep breath in, deep breath out

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

It was a physio who first chanted that wee slogan at me some ten years ago… for a physio, he wasn’t bad at all! Come to think of it, I have worked with some great physiotherapists (please don’t let them know!).  Anyway, it’s been one of those sayings that I’ve carried with me ever [...]... Read more »

  • January 18, 2010
  • 12:45 PM

Early modern human parietal art at Fumane Cave

by Julien Riel-Salvatore in A Very Remote Period Indeed

The last three issues of the 2009 volume of L'Anthropologie are dedicated to prehistoric art, and one the papers contained in that special volume concerns five vault fragments from Fumane Cave (Veneto region, Italy) that were recovered during excavation and that bear designs made in red ochre. The art itself is already well known and has been published in great detail as part of a monograph a few years ago (Broglio and Dalmieri 2005), but this study presents some new data on the likely age of t........ Read more »

Broglio, A., De Stefani, M., Gurioli, F., Pallecchi, P., Giachi, G., Higham, T., & Brock, F. (2009) L’art aurignacien dans la décoration de la Grotte de Fumane. L'Anthropologie, 113(5), 753-761. DOI: 10.1016/j.anthro.2009.09.016  

  • January 18, 2010
  • 12:40 PM

Mirror Neurons: Resonant Circuitry in Brain?

by Amiya in Physiology physics woven fine

Back in the time of the “black and white” motion picture days, when “talkies” weren’t even born, we still could make out the essence of what Charlie Chaplin had to “say”. We understood his unspoken words, courtesy a system of neuronal networking, called the mirror neuron system. Another example: you observe a man kissing ‘his’ girlfriend, ‘your’ neuronal network that would otherwise activate when you ‘actually’ kissed her, would fire! Mirror neurons are at work. Seems t........ Read more »

Iacoboni M, Molnar-Szakacs I, Gallese V, Buccino G, Mazziotta JC, & Rizzolatti G. (2005) Grasping the intentions of others with one's own mirror neuron system. PLoS biology, 3(3). PMID: 15736981  

  • January 18, 2010
  • 12:17 PM

Coping with Trauma – Lessons from Resilient Individuals

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Most individuals at some point of their life experience events that are stressful. While some people seem to crumble to the deleterious effects of stress, others sail through adverse situations. Chronic or acute stress is associated with a wide range of psychosocial disorders. So what are the factors and the possible neurobiological mechanisms associated with [...]... Read more »

Feder, A., Nestler, E., & Charney, D. (2009) Psychobiology and molecular genetics of resilience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 10(6), 446-457. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2649  

  • January 18, 2010
  • 09:02 AM

Protein dancing partners, yeast as our allies, and more, in my Picks of the Week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Brückner A, Polge C, Lentze N, Auerbach D, & Schlattner U. (2009) Yeast two-hybrid, a powerful tool for systems biology. International journal of molecular sciences, 10(6), 2763-88. PMID: 19582228  

Hughes, J., Skaletsky, H., Pyntikova, T., Graves, T., van Daalen, S., Minx, P., Fulton, R., McGrath, S., Locke, D., Friedman, C.... (2010) Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08700  

Oldenburg KR, Vo KT, Michaelis S, & Paddon C. (1997) Recombination-mediated PCR-directed plasmid construction in vivo in yeast. Nucleic acids research, 25(2), 451-2. PMID: 9016579  

  • January 18, 2010
  • 08:38 AM

Focusing students' attention on the relevance of science improves educational outcomes

by Katherine Porter in Galley Proofs

In the discussion about improving science education, the focus often falls on large-scale programs. However, some studies are suggesting that even short-term, small interventions in classrooms can have significant effects on student achievement. In the 4 December 2009 issue of Science (okay, I'm a little behind in my reading...), Hulleman and Harackiewicz investigate the efficacy of short writing assignments on student interest and achievement in science.It's generally well accepted (and logical........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Indian urban wetland heavy metal

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

A study of heavy metal contaminants in the urban lakes of India, particularly around Bangalore have revealed that attempts at mitigation meant to remove these pollutants have not so far worked and may not be a long-term remedy for the problem. I’ve provided more detail on the analysis in the Atomic ezine on SpectroscopyNOW this [...]Indian urban wetland heavy metal is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Aboud S. Jumbe, & N. Nandini. (2009) Heavy Metals Analysis and Sediment Quality Values in Urban Lakes. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 5(6), 678-687. info:/

  • January 18, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The non-target impacts of pesticides on insect communities

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

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