A follow-up on Carl Zimmer's post in "Phenomena" (National Geographic) on 'Bugs as Drugs'.... Read more »
Hyman P, Atterbury R, & Barrow P. (2013) Fleas and smaller fleas: virotherapy for parasite infections. Trends in microbiology. PMID: 23540830
van Nood E, Vrieze A, Nieuwdorp M, Fuentes S, Zoetendal EG, de Vos WM, Visser CE, Kuijper EJ, Bartelsman JF, Tijssen JG.... (2013) Duodenal infusion of donor feces for recurrent Clostridium difficile. The New England journal of medicine, 368(5), 407-15. PMID: 23323867
Ecology is a rapidly changing, dynamic field of research. In recent decades, there’s been a major shift from considering ecosystems as stable and poised to seeing them as systems that are in constant flux. At least, that’s what ecologists want (us) to believe. But how much of this claimed change has been able to seep [...]... Read more »
Carmel, Y., Kent, R., Bar-Massada, A., Blank, L., Liberzon, J., Nezer, O., Sapir, G., & Federman, R. (2013) Trends in Ecological Research during the Last Three Decades – A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE, 8(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059813
IntroductionThe European Space Agency’s Venus Express (VEX) is the only active spacecraft mission at the planet Venus. It carries a number of instruments: A magnetometer, a wide-angle CCD camera, a space plasma detector, a Fourier spectrometer, a thermal spectrometer, a radio science package, and a cluster of spectrometers specifically designed to study the Venusian atmosphere: SPICAV (Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus). This package conta........ Read more »
Bertaux, J., Nevejans, D., Korablev, O., Villard, E., Quémerais, E., Neefs, E., Montmessin, F., Leblanc, F., Dubois, J., Dimarellis, E.... (2007) SPICAV on Venus Express: Three spectrometers to study the global structure and composition of the Venus atmosphere. Planetary and Space Science, 55(12), 1673-1700. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2007.01.016
An atmospheric study using the SPICAV-UV instrument recently came to my attention where researchers (Montmessin, et al. 2011) used the data archive to identify (for the first time) a layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere of Venus (previously, ozone had only been identified in the atmospheres of Mars and Earth).The team analyzed the complete SPICAV dataset, and determined that UV absorption by O3 was observed during a stellar occultation run on the night side of Venus during orbit #348. Th........ Read more »
Montmessin, F., Bertaux, J., Lefèvre, F., Marcq, E., Belyaev, D., Gérard, J., Korablev, O., Fedorova, A., Sarago, V., & Vandaele, A. (2011) A layer of ozone detected in the nightside upper atmosphere of Venus. Icarus, 216(1), 82-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2011.08.010
Gray hair comes as a result of hydrogen peroxide accumulation in the hair follicles and the newly reported topical UVB-activated, pseudocatalase (PC-KUS) can help against the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide at the root level.
The FASEB Journal
"To date, it is beyond any doubt that the sudden loss of the inherited skin and localized hair color can affect those individuals in many fundamental ways," Karin U. Schallreuter, M.D., s........ Read more »
Schallreuter, K., Salem, M., Holtz, S., & Panske, A. (2013) Basic evidence for epidermal H2O2/ONOO--mediated oxidation/nitration in segmental vitiligo is supported by repigmentation of skin and eyelashes after reduction of epidermal H2O2 with topical NB-UVB-activated pseudocatalase PC-KUS. The FASEB Journal. DOI: 10.1096/fj.12-226779
A new study by McDevitt et al. 2013 examines the genetic origins of the illegally released wild boar in Ireland, and finds that they are mostly domestic pig and not genetically pure wild boar. ... Read more »
Frantz, A., Massei, G., & Burke, T. (2012) Genetic evidence for past hybridisation between domestic pigs and English wild boars. Conservation Genetics, 13(5), 1355-1364. DOI: 10.1007/s10592-012-0379-1
In 2010, researchers reported the finding of asymptomatic pigmented macules on the index fingers of a 16-year old boy.
The Australasian Journal of Dermatology
Macule refers to the small pigmented spot on the skin that is neither raised nor depressed.
Researchers found that the macules on the fingers of the boy showed “parallel ridge pattern of homogenous reddish-brown pigment.” Researchers wrote, “Although the parallel ........ Read more »
Scientists from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have developed a relatively cheap, long-life “flow” battery that can be used to mitigate power fluctuations from solar and wind energy plants, therefore enabling them to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.... Read more »
Yang, Y., Zheng, G., & Cui, Y. (2013) A membrane-free lithium/polysulfide semi-liquid battery for large-scale energy storage. Energy , 6(5), 1552. DOI: 10.1039/C3EE00072A
The Effect of Foot Strike Pattern on Achilles Tendon Load During Running... Read more »
Almonroeder T, Willson JD, & Kernozek TW. (2013) The Effect of Foot Strike Pattern on Achilles Tendon Load During Running. Annals of biomedical engineering. PMID: 23640524
It took them more than 10 years, but Harvard engineers and scientists developed a tiny, bee-size robot that can fly on command. ... Read more »
Ma, K., Chirarattananon, P., Fuller, S., & Wood, R. (2013) Controlled Flight of a Biologically Inspired, Insect-Scale Robot. Science, 340(6132), 603-607. DOI: 10.1126/science.1231806
A recent study linking cold winters in Europe to sunspots has updated bad science reaching back to the 19th century for the internet age, reveal Geert Jan van Oldenborgh from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and his colleagues, helped by an unholy alliance between Roger Pielke Sr and Stefan Rahmstorf.... Read more »
Sirocko, F., Brunck, H., & Pfahl, S. (2012) Solar influence on winter severity in central Europe. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(16). DOI: 10.1029/2012GL052412
van Oldenborgh, G., de Laat, A., Luterbacher, J., Ingram, W., & Osborn, T. (2013) Claim of solar influence is on thin ice: are 11-year cycle solar minima associated with severe winters in Europe?. Environmental Research Letters, 8(2), 24014. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024014
Discussions on self-injurious behaviour (SIB) or auto-aggression are not normally for the faint-hearted.Indeed, as I intimated on a previous post on SIB and autism, when such behaviours are witnessed in children and young adults - even older adults, one does wonder what the effects might be not only on the person themselves but also on a parent or a sibling as they watch their own flesh and blood banging their head on a wall or pulling their hair out or trying to gouge their eyes out. I can't pu........ Read more »
Sisk RA, Motley WW 3rd, Yang MB, & West CE. (2013) Surgical outcomes following repair of traumatic retinal detachments in cognitively impaired adolescents with self-injurious behavior. Journal of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, 50(1), 20-6. PMID: 23061560
A biochemist about to attempt membrane protein purification knows that she is in the beginning of a difficult time in her career. However, there is another wide class of proteins, which are also difficult to purify, because they readily form protein aggregates or are plain insoluble. These are so called intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs); but just a disordered domain within an otherwise nicely folded globular protein can be enough for the overexpressed protein to aggregate.... Read more »
Dunker, A., Silman, I., Uversky, V., & Sussman, J. (2008) Function and structure of inherently disordered proteins. Current Opinion in Structural Biology, 18(6), 756-764. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbi.2008.10.002
Uversky, V. (2013) Unusual biophysics of intrinsically disordered proteins. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins and Proteomics, 1834(5), 932-951. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2012.12.008
Like the agents they study, evolutionary economics is highly heterogeneous. Models are ad-hoc and serve as heuristic guides to specific problems. This is similar to theoretical biology, where evolutionary models are independent of each other. Even the general theory of inclusive fitness does not provide a non-controversial unifying framework. Although there is no single framework, evolutionary economists are united by four main assumptions about the world:... Read more »
Hodgson, G., & Huang, K. (2010) Evolutionary game theory and evolutionary economics: are they different species?. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 22(2), 345-366. DOI: 10.1007/s00191-010-0203-3
Ever since tamarins were first captured from the wild to serve as research models in laboratories, we have been curious about their use of odour for communication. These miniature monkeys … Continue reading →... Read more »
Threlfall C., Law B., & Banks P. B. (2013) Odour cues influence predation risk at artificial bat roosts in urban bushland. Biology Letters, 9(3), 20121144-20121144. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.1144
Four years ago, neuroscientists became aware of an ominous-sounding manuscript entitled “Voodoo Correlations In Social Neuroscience”. This piece was eventually published under a more prosaic name but it still hit home, with nearly 500 citations so far. To me, this paper marked the start of a new era of ‘critical’ (in the proper sense of [...]... Read more »
Kilner, J. (2013) Bias in a common EEG and MEG statistical analysis and how to avoid it. Clinical Neurophysiology. DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2013.03.024
5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) has been widely studied in many biological contexts, but the precise mechanistic functions of this epigenetic modification remain largely unknown. Some evidence suggests that 5-hmC may be an intermediate in the process of DNA demethylation because it can be further oxidized to form 5-formylcytosine (5-fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5-caC), which are recognized and eliminated ...... Read more »
Mao W, Hu J, Hong T, Xing X, Wang S, Chen X, & Zhou X. (2013) A convenient method for selective detection of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine and 5-formylcytosine sites in DNA sequences. Organic . PMID: 23629475
... Read more »
While male birds are singing elaborate arias and flashing their feathers, it's easy to imagine their female counterparts are unimportant actors. Duller and quieter, all a lady bird has to do is hold still and let one of these frantic performers mate with her. Yet in brown-headed cowbirds, at least, the quiet female keeps the whole society in order. Scientists discovered this by targeting a tiny portion of the female brain and frying it.
Males of the species Molothrus ater use the........ Read more »
Maguire, S., Schmidt, M., & White, D. (2013) Social Brains in Context: Lesions Targeted to the Song Control System in Female Cowbirds Affect Their Social Network. PLoS ONE, 8(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063239
Did you ever take two or more antibiotics in order to get rid of a disease? New research in PLOS Biology suggests that this is not a wise thing to do. Drug resistant bacteria grow faster than their weaker counter parts when resources are limiting and many antibiotics are consumed.... Read more »
Pena-Miller R, Laehnemann D, Jansen G, Fuentes-Hernandez A, Rosenstiel P, Schulenburg H, & Beardmore R. (2013) When the most potent combination of antibiotics selects for the greatest bacterial load: the smile-frown transition. PLoS biology, 11(4). PMID: 23630452
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