Post List

  • January 21, 2015
  • 03:56 PM

Fish, mercury, and pregnancy: Good news for seafood lovers

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People freak out when they hear mercury is in something and sometimes for good reasons. In vaccinations for example a very small amount of ethyl-mercury WAS used as a preservative in vaccines, people got scared so now it is not used in most vaccines. Methylmercury* however is found in seafood and larger fish in particular (in much, much higher concentrations than in vaccines mind you). They may sound the same, but the methylmercury in fish is far more toxic. That said, it turns out that fish isn........ Read more »

Gutiérrez, F., & Leon, L. (2000) Elemental Mercury Embolism to the Lung. New England Journal of Medicine, 342(24), 1791-1791. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200006153422405  

JJ Strain,, Alison J Yeates,, Edwin van Wijngaarden,, Sally W Thurston,, Maria S Mulhern,, Emeir M McSorley,, Gene E Watson,, Tanzy M Love,, Tristram H Smith,, Kelley Yost,.... (2015) Prenatal exposure to methyl mercury from fish consumption and polyunsaturated fatty acids: associations with child development at 20 mo of age in an observational study in the Republic of Seychelles. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition . info:/10.3945/​ajcn.114.100503

  • January 21, 2015
  • 02:09 PM

Porcine Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) and autophagy: a link between the ER stress response and p53?

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is an enveloped virus with a positive strand ssRNA genome of approx. 15kB in length, encoding for ten open reading frames (ORFs).
Similar to the genome of the Coronaviridae, the PRRSV genome ORF1a and 1b genes encode for a RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase as well as for a number of non-structural proteins (nsp; 12 in total) which are generated by autoproteolytic cleavage by a virally encoded cysteine protease (nsp2), serine protease (nsp4........ Read more »

Meulenberg, J. (2000) PRRSV, the virus. Veterinary Research, 31(1), 11-21. DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2000103  

Fang Y, Treffers EE, Li Y, Tas A, Sun Z, van der Meer Y, de Ru AH, van Veelen PA, Atkins JF, Snijder EJ.... (2012) Efficient -2 frameshifting by mammalian ribosomes to synthesize an additional arterivirus protein. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(43). PMID: 23043113  

Snijder EJ, van Tol H, Pedersen KW, Raamsman MJ, & de Vries AA. (1999) Identification of a novel structural protein of arteriviruses. Journal of virology, 73(8), 6335-45. PMID: 10400725  

Monastyrska I, Ulasli M, Rottier PJ, Guan JL, Reggiori F, & de Haan CA. (2013) An autophagy-independent role for LC3 in equine arteritis virus replication. Autophagy, 9(2), 164-74. PMID: 23182945  

Cottam EM, Whelband MC, & Wileman T. (2014) Coronavirus NSP6 restricts autophagosome expansion. Autophagy, 10(8), 1426-41. PMID: 24991833  

Cottam EM, Maier HJ, Manifava M, Vaux LC, Chandra-Schoenfelder P, Gerner W, Britton P, Ktistakis NT, & Wileman T. (2011) Coronavirus nsp6 proteins generate autophagosomes from the endoplasmic reticulum via an omegasome intermediate. Autophagy, 7(11), 1335-47. PMID: 21799305  

Liu Y, Shoji-Kawata S, Sumpter RM Jr, Wei Y, Ginet V, Zhang L, Posner B, Tran KA, Green DR, Xavier RJ.... (2013) Autosis is a Na ,K -ATPase-regulated form of cell death triggered by autophagy-inducing peptides, starvation, and hypoxia-ischemia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(51), 20364-71. PMID: 24277826  

  • January 21, 2015
  • 10:40 AM

Polar Bears Leave Messages in Their Footprints

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

If a polar bear tells you to talk to the hand, don't be offended. The animals seem to communicate with each other through scent trails left by their paws. Their tracks tell a story to the other bears roaming their habitat, helping potential mates to find each other—as long as there's habitat left, anyway.

As they crisscross the snowy Arctic, polar bears are usually alone. In other solitary bear species, animals leave messages for each other by rubbing their bodies or urine onto trees or........ Read more »

Owen, M., Swaisgood, R., Slocomb, C., Amstrup, S., Durner, G., Simac, K., & Pessier, A. (2015) An experimental investigation of chemical communication in the polar bear. Journal of Zoology, 295(1), 36-43. DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12181  

  • January 21, 2015
  • 10:15 AM

Whose Culture is it Anyway? Disentangling Culture and Eating Disorders- Part 2

by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders

... Read more »

  • January 21, 2015
  • 09:36 AM

Then and now: Beepers versus iPhones  [and separation anxiety]

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Back in the early ‘90s, I had a job that required me to carry a beeper. The constant awareness that I was “on call” was a source of strain and led me to complain I was never really “off duty”. Flash forward to this century and I cannot imagine being without my smart phone. In […]

Related posts:
Head versus heart: Why it makes a difference
Does wondering about co-worker sexual preference impair concentration?
Be careful what you text!

... Read more »

  • January 21, 2015
  • 09:07 AM

Video Tip of the Week: GWATCH, for flying over chromosomes

by Mary in OpenHelix

Ok, so it’s not *just* for flying over chromosomes. There’s more to it, of course. But that’s the part of GWATCH (Genome-Wide Association Tracks Chromosome Highway) that caught my attention. I’m always looking for different ideas and strategies to visualize data, and this was the first time I drove along the whole length of a […]... Read more »

Svitin Anton, Nikolay Cherkasov, Paul Geerts, Mikhail Rotkevich, Pavel Dobrynin, Andrey Shevchenko, Li Guan, Jennifer Troyer, Sher Hendrickson, & Holli Dilks. (2014) GWATCH: a web platform for automated gene association discovery analysis. GigaScience, 3(1), 18. DOI:  

  • January 21, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

Do Dogs Prefer Petting or Praise?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

A new study asks dogs to make the choice. Photo: Felix Rohan / Shutterstock Normal 0 false false false EN-CA X-NONE X-NONE ... Read more »

Fukuzawa, M., & Hayashi, N. (2013) Comparison of 3 different reinforcements of learning in dogs (Canis familiaris). Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 8(4), 221-224. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2013.04.067  

OKAMOTO, Y., OHTANI, N., UCHIYAMA, H., & OHTA, M. (2009) The Feeding Behavior of Dogs Correlates with their Responses to Commands. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, 71(12), 1617-1621. DOI: 10.1292/jvms.001617  

  • January 21, 2015
  • 07:45 AM

Evolving A Second Job

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Centrioles are the most amazing structures in your cell. They don’t have DNA, yet they duplicate to form more of themselves or they can form spontaneously if lost. They control the beating direction of the cell’s cilia; change one’s direction and all of the cells for hundreds of generations will remain moving in the wrong direction.... Read more »

Henderson, B., & Martin, A. (2014) Protein moonlighting: a new factor in biology and medicine. Biochemical Society Transactions, 42(6), 1671-1678. DOI: 10.1042/BST20140273  

Kobayashi, T., & Dynlacht, B. (2011) Regulating the transition from centriole to basal body. The Journal of Cell Biology, 193(3), 435-444. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201101005  

Debec, A., Sullivan, W., & Bettencourt-Dias, M. (2010) Centrioles: active players or passengers during mitosis?. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 67(13), 2173-2194. DOI: 10.1007/s00018-010-0323-9  

Boisvieux-Ulrich E, & Sandoz D. (1991) Determination of ciliary polarity precedes differentiation in the epithelial cells of quail oviduct. Biology of the cell / under the auspices of the European Cell Biology Organization, 72(1-2), 3-14. PMID: 1756309  

  • January 21, 2015
  • 07:24 AM

Space Exploration 2.0

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Redefining space exploration: SpaceX's crazy week in the private space race. [Infographic]... Read more »

  • January 21, 2015
  • 05:34 AM

Features of autism in childhood epilepsy

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In conclusion, features of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] were common in children with epilepsy regardless of cognitive ability."Whoa, whoa, whoa! Sorry, Blondie. I don't do backstorySo said Colin Reily and colleagues [1] in their paper examining facets of autism in cases of childhood epilepsy. Suggesting also that the Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ) might be "a useful screening instrument in this population, and combining parent and teacher forms was opt........ Read more »

Reilly C, Atkinson P, Das KB, Chin RF, Aylett SE, Burch V, Gillberg C, Scott RC, & Neville BG. (2014) Features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in childhood epilepsy: A population-based study. Epilepsy , 86-92. PMID: 25529303  

  • January 21, 2015
  • 04:53 AM

Hip Special Tests Add Little Diagnostic Value

by Nicole Cattano in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

There are many clinical special tests geared towards diagnosing labral tears and femoroacetabular impingement. Unfortunately, these tests are largely not helpful in confirming the presence of the pathology in population that is likely to have either.... Read more »

  • January 21, 2015
  • 04:49 AM

What do confident people say to themselves before giving a speech?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Before you speak to an audience, can you first talk yourself out of feeling nervous? One step towards this strategy is to find out how confident people speak to themselves in their heads (their internal "self-talk"), compared with others who are more anxious.Xiaowei Shi and his colleagues surveyed nearly 200 students on a public speaking course. The researchers approached the students after they'd given two public presentations on the course and were soon to give their third. The students answer........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 11:55 PM

Truthiness of irrelevant detail in explanations from neuroscience to mathematical models

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Truthiness is the truth that comes from the gut, not books. Truthiness is preferring propositions that one wishes to be true over those known to be true. Truthiness is a wonderful commentary on the state of politics and media by a fictional character determined to be the best at feeling the news at us. Truthiness […]... Read more »

Weisberg, D.S., Keil, F.C., Goodstein, J., Rawson, E., & Gray, J.R. (2008) The seductive allure of neuroscience explanations. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(3), 470-7. PMID: 18004955  

  • January 20, 2015
  • 03:01 PM

You can live longer, but not healthier

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We all want to live longer and thanks to medical technologies our life expectancies have dramatically increased. Which would be handy if we could actually enjoy the extra years. Unfortunately a study of long-lived mutant C. elegans by scientists shows that the genetically altered worms spend a greater portion of their life in a frail state and exhibit less activity as they age than typical nematodes. These findings suggest that genes that increase longevity may not significantly increase healthy........ Read more »

Bansal A, Zhu LJ, Yen K, & Tissenbaum HA. (2015) Uncoupling lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans longevity mutants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25561524  

  • January 20, 2015
  • 02:59 PM

New systematic reviews on orthodontics and gingival health.

by Kevin OBrien in Kevin OBrien's Orthodontic Blog

New systematic  reviews on orthodontics and gingival health. This week saw the on-line publication of two systematic reviews on  orthodontics and gingival health. The first was concerned with the effect of clear aligners and the second was with professionally applied oral hygiene measures. Both were published behind the European Journal of Orthodontics paywall and are […]
The post New systematic reviews on orthodontics and gingival health. appeared first on Kevin O'Brien's Ort........ Read more »

Rossini G, Parrini S, Castroflorio T, Deregibus A, & Debernardi CL. (2014) Periodontal health during clear aligners treatment: a systematic review. European journal of orthodontics. PMID: 25548145  

  • January 20, 2015
  • 09:45 AM

Misconceptions Never Die. They Just Fade Away.

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

In a post on my precision principle, I made a fairly humdrum observation about a typical elementary-level geometry question:

Why can we so easily figure out the logics that lead to the incorrect answers? It seems like a silly question, but I mean it to be a serious one. At some level, this should be a bizarre ability, shouldn't it? . . . . The answer is that we can easily switch back and forth between different "versions" of the truth.... Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 09:00 AM

Mostly Dead, but Slightly Alive: The Life After Death of Dismembered Remains in Ancient Peru

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

In the Princess Bride, the deceased body of Westley is brought to Miracle Max in order to bring him back to life. Famously, May says ‘There’s a big difference between mostly dead […]... Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 07:00 AM

The Electrical Grid Needs Fattening Up

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Make hay while the sun shines is the great lesson from renewable energy. Solar and wind have to be harvested when they occur, or they are lost forever. But how do you store that energy if the national grid doesn’t need it at that moment? Large-scale energy storage is the wave of the future – including pumping air or hydrogen gas into abandoned mines or running the national grid from all our electric cars.... Read more »

F. K. Tuffner, Member, IEEE, and M. Kintner-Meyer, Member, IEEE. (2011) Using Electric Vehicles to Mitigate Imbalance Requirements Associated with an Increased Penetration of Wind Generation. Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2011 IEEE , 1-8. info:/

  • January 20, 2015
  • 05:37 AM

When our beliefs are threatened by facts, we turn to unfalsifiable justifications

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

On being told physics could underminereligious claims, believers said faithwas more about living a moral lifeIt's great to have facts on your side. The fundamentalist is delighted by the archaeological find that tallies with scripture, just as the atheist seizes on the evidence that contradicts it. But when the evidence goes against us, we're less likely to change a belief than to criticise the validity or provenance of the evidence. Now, research suggests that the mere prospect of a factua........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 04:56 AM

Autism and low vitamin D at birth

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Discussions about vitamin D (the 'sunshine' vitamin/hormone) and autism are not unfamiliar to this blog. Just last year (2014) I covered research talking about the possibility of a connection between vitamin D and [some] autism at least three times (see here and see here and see here), possibly more...but in my game, I'm the bad guy, and I live in the garbage.I wouldn't say that I'm an advocate for everything implied by the correlations being made between vitamin D levels and autism given that v........ Read more »

Elisabeth Fernell, Susanne Bejerot, Joakim Westerlund, Carmela Miniscalco, Henry Simila, Darryl Eyles, Christopher Gillberg, & Mats B Humble. (2015) Autism spectrum disorder and low vitamin D at birth: a sibling control study. Molecular Autism. info:/10.1186/2040-2392-6-3

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit