9 posts · 6,933 views
A blog on scientific imaging, science, pseudoscience, the politics of science, and other things which catch my interest.
Science has some good news for any pornhounds that may be out there. Porn may be good for you.Its long been though that porn is associated with a range of negative social attitudes; including promoting sexual violence and negative attitudes towards women. Turns out that, at least in the case of these two issues, this doesn't appear to be the case.In a finding sure to piss off some feminists:Now let’s look at attitudes towards women. Studies of men who had seen X-rated movies found that they ........ Read more »
Its long been though that porn is associated with a range of negative social attitudes; including promoting sexual violence and negative attitudes towards women. Turns out that, at least in the case of these two issues, this doesn't appear to be the case.... Read more »
Pardon the title, but it somewhat shocking news (to me, anyways), it turns out stuttering is genetic. A study released today in the New England Journal of Medicine has identified mutations in two genes - GNPTAB and GNPT - that seem to cause stuttering. These mutations seem to be found in stutterers around the world, although the initial mutations were identified in a Pakistani family.The real odd thing though is what these genes do - they're involved in sending proteins to lysosomes; our cell........ Read more »
Kang, C., Riazuddin, S., Mundorff, J., Krasnewich, D., Friedman, P., Mullikin, J., & Drayna, D. (2010) Mutations in the Lysosomal Enzyme-Targeting Pathway and Persistent Stuttering. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0902630
As I mentioned in my last post, this has been a watershed week in two areas I'm greatly interested in. Two major discoveries were published last week that are in areas of great interest for myself. My first post concentrated on one of my favourite parts of the cell - mitochondria. The second article I want to blog about is a blast from my past, and involves inflammation - the major way our immune system gets rid of bacteria, and ironically, the cause of many human diseases.This paper discusse........ Read more »
Boilard E, Nigrovic PA, Larabee K, Watts GF, Coblyn JS, Weinblatt ME, Massarotti EM, Remold-O'Donnell E, Farndale RW, Ware J.... (2010) Platelets amplify inflammation in arthritis via collagen-dependent microparticle production. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5965), 580-3. PMID: 20110505
One of the more frustrating things about being a scientist is we often spend weeks, even months, between discovering (or reading about discoveries) that make a real impact in fields we're interested in. The last week was far from a frustrating week, in fact large advances were made in two areas I'm interested in (plus a bunch of cool stuff in other area's, like figuring out the colouration of some dinosaurs). Weeks like this are rare, so I'm dedicating the next two posts simply to what happene........ Read more »
Geisler S, Holmström KM, Skujat D, Fiesel FC, Rothfuss OC, Kahle PJ, & Springer W. (2010) PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy is dependent on VDAC1 and p62/SQSTM1. Nature cell biology, 12(2), 119-31. PMID: 20098416
I'll apologise now for the geek-out, but sometimes a little piece of science comes around that sets my nerd-senses tingling. One such event happened a few days ago, and I'm still working it into my world view - this is a game changer (at least in the little corner of the scientific world in which I live. Sorry, but I need to yell for a second:
INTEGRINS CAN ENGAGE G-PROTEINS!!!!!!!
Not impressed? You should be - unless, of course, you don't know what integrins or g-protei........ Read more »
Gong H, Shen B, Flevaris P, Chow C, Lam SC, Voyno-Yasenetskaya TA, Kozasa T, & Du X. (2010) G protein subunit Galpha13 binds to integrin alphaIIbbeta3 and mediates integrin "outside-in" signaling. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5963), 340-3. PMID: 20075254
Creationists often like to claim that complex traits cannot arise from the "simple" processes of mutation and selection. They often claim that these processed are not even observable (even though we've been observing them since we began breeding plants and animals).
Anyone with even a basic grasp of science knows the above claims are pure BS, but not being content with simply being right, some scientists have now gone the extra mile and used evolution to make ROBOTS.
And ........ Read more »
Floreano, D., & Keller, L. (2010) Evolution of Adaptive Behaviour in Robots by Means of Darwinian Selection. PLoS Biology, 8(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000292
I have a diverse set of research interests - high-end microscopy, immunology, infectious disease, cancer, etc. Its rare that a paper hits the "awesome" end of the scale in most of those categories, but this week Nature Immunology published a paper that got the nerd senses tingling. In this tour-de-force, Mark Davis's group uses a new form of microscopy to analyse how T-cells work.As usual, a bit of background first.T-cells are the major regulatory cell of our immune system. The........ Read more »
Lillemeier, B., Mörtelmaier, M., Forstner, M., Huppa, J., Groves, J., & Davis, M. (2009) TCR and Lat are expressed on separate protein islands on T cell membranes and concatenate during activation. Nature Immunology, 11(1), 90-96. DOI: 10.1038/ni.1832
Things need to get transported around inside of our cells. For example, proteins meant to detect extracellular signals like hormones must move to the cell surface; otherwise they won't work. Much of this cargo gets moved through small balloon-like structures called vesicles. Rather than drifting randomly, these "balloons" move along tracks in the cell called microtubules; long, filamentous proteins that form a skeleton within the cell. ike a train, these "balloons" require a motor to pull the........ Read more »
Cai D, McEwen DP, Martens JR, Meyhofer E, & Verhey KJ. (2009) Single molecule imaging reveals differences in microtubule track selection between Kinesin motors. PLoS biology, 7(10). PMID: 19823565
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