Researchers still have much to learn about the volcanism that shaped our planet’s early history. New evidence from a team led by Carnegie’s Frances Jenner demonstrates that some of the tectonic processes driving volcanic activity, such as those taking place today, were occurring as early as 3.8 billion years ago. Their work is published in Geology [...]... Read more »
Jenner, F., Bennett, V., Yaxley, G., Friend, C., & Nebel, O. (2013) Eoarchean within-plate basalts from southwest Greenland. Geology. DOI: 10.1130/G33787.1
Sometimes the most amazing discoveries are those that occur completely by accident. Which is very much the case of a new energy source that has been discovered by a team from MIT in the form of a polymer film. How could a polymer film generate electricity? That’s about where the unexpected part begins.... Read more »
Ma, M., Guo, L., Anderson, D., & Langer, R. (2013) Bio-Inspired Polymer Composite Actuator and Generator Driven by Water Gradients. Science, 339(6116), 186-189. DOI: 10.1126/science.1230262
Don't trust your weighing scale too much, it might nog be that accurate anymore.... Read more »
Cumpson, P., & Sano, N. (2013) Stability of reference masses V: UV/ozone treatment of gold and platinum surfaces. Metrologia, 50(1), 27-36. DOI: 10.1088/0026-1394/50/1/27
The protoplanet Vesta has been witness to an eventful past: images taken by the framing camera onboard NASA’s space probe Dawn show two enormous craters in the southern hemisphere. The images were obtained during Dawn’s year-long visit to Vesta that ended in September 2012. These huge impacts not only altered Vesta’s shape, but also its surface composition. Scientists under the lead of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau in Germany have shown........ Read more »
Max Planck Institute. (2013) Carbon in Vesta's craters. Max Planck Institute Astronomy News. info:/
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will help develop microbes that convert methane found in natural gas into liquid diesel fuel, a novel approach that if successful could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower dependence on foreign oil.... Read more »
NREL Public Relations. (2013) NREL to Help Convert Methane to Liquid Diesel. NREL Newsroom. info:/
As promised, here are my favorite posts from each month.January: The Human Neuron" not so special after all?Butti C, Santos M, Uppal N, & Hof PR (2011). Von Economo neurons: Clinical and evolutionary perspectives. Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior PMID: 22130090February: If you give a mouse a placebo...Wise RA, Wang B, & You ZB (2008). Cocaine serves as a peripheral interoceptive conditioned stimulus for central glutamate and dopamine release. P........ Read more »
Butti C, Santos M, Uppal N, & Hof PR. (2011) Von Economo neurons: Clinical and evolutionary perspectives. Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior. PMID: 22130090
Benolken RM, & Jacobson SL. (1970) Response properties of a sensory hair excised from Venus's flytrap. The Journal of general physiology, 56(1), 64-82. PMID: 5514161
Volkov AG, Adesina T, & Jovanov E. (2007) Closing of venus flytrap by electrical stimulation of motor cells. Plant signaling , 2(3), 139-45. PMID: 19516982
Kindt M, Soeter M, & Vervliet B. (2009) Beyond extinction: erasing human fear responses and preventing the return of fear. Nature neuroscience, 12(3), 256-8. PMID: 19219038
Kim IJ, Zhang Y, Yamagata M, Meister M, & Sanes JR. (2008) Molecular identification of a retinal cell type that responds to upward motion. Nature, 452(7186), 478-82. PMID: 18368118
Kay JN, De la Huerta I, Kim IJ, Zhang Y, Yamagata M, Chu MW, Meister M, & Sanes JR. (2011) Retinal ganglion cells with distinct directional preferences differ in molecular identity, structure, and central projections. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(21), 7753-62. PMID: 21613488
Kraskov A, Dancause N, Quallo MM, Shepherd S, & Lemon RN. (2009) Corticospinal neurons in macaque ventral premotor cortex with mirror properties: a potential mechanism for action suppression?. Neuron, 64(6), 922-30. PMID: 20064397
Blackiston DJ, Silva Casey E, & Weiss MR. (2008) Retention of memory through metamorphosis: can a moth remember what it learned as a caterpillar?. PloS one, 3(3). PMID: 18320055
Marx M, Günter RH, Hucko W, Radnikow G, & Feldmeyer D. (2012) Improved biocytin labeling and neuronal 3D reconstruction. Nature protocols, 7(2), 394-407. PMID: 22301777
Triana-Del Rio R, Montero-Domínguez F, Cibrian-Llanderal T, Tecamachaltzi-Silvaran MB, Garcia LI, Manzo J, Hernandez ME, & Coria-Avila GA. (2011) Same-sex cohabitation under the effects of quinpirole induces a conditioned socio-sexual partner preference in males, but not in female rats. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 99(4), 604-13. PMID: 21704064
Labour MN, Banc A, Tourrette A, Cunin F, Verdier JM, Devoisselle JM, Marcilhac A, & Belamie E. (2012) Thick collagen-based 3D matrices including growth factors to induce neurite outgrowth. Acta biomaterialia, 8(9), 3302-12. PMID: 22617741
Fu M, Yu X, Lu J, & Zuo Y. (2012) Repetitive motor learning induces coordinated formation of clustered dendritic spines in vivo. Nature, 483(7387), 92-5. PMID: 22343892
A look at the new fun approach and interest taken in science and how this is being marketed and aimed at young people. ... Read more »
E Markham. (2013) Sweet Science. Blogspot. info:/
Researchers have achieved the record “negative temperature”, i.e. below absolute zero that was considered to be the lowest possible temperature.
This research has been published online in the journal Science.
This is a paradoxical temperature as the temperature below zero is referred to as cold but this “negative absolute temperature” can also be considered as hotter than infinity and it has “motional degrees of freedom” while at colder temperatures atom........ Read more »
Braun, S., Ronzheimer, J., Schreiber, M., Hodgman, S., Rom, T., Bloch, I., & Schneider, U. (2013) Negative Absolute Temperature for Motional Degrees of Freedom. Science, 339(6115), 52-55. DOI: 10.1126/science.1227831
New research shows that MAOA-2R induces violence and delinquency far more than the so-called “warrior gene,” MAOA-3R. It is also far more common in African-American men than white men. Plus, MAOA’s designation as a cancer gene could influence the development of therapies.... Read more »
Alpini G, Invernizzi P, Gaudio E, Venter J, Kopriva S, Bernuzzi F, Onori P, Franchitto A, Coufal M, Frampton G.... (2008) Serotonin metabolism is dysregulated in cholangiocarcinoma, which has implications for tumor growth. Cancer research, 68(22), 9184-93. PMID: 19010890
Beaver, K., Wright, J., Boutwell, B., Barnes, J., DeLisi, M., & Vaughn, M. (2013) Exploring the association between the 2-repeat allele of the MAOA gene promoter polymorphism and psychopathic personality traits, arrests, incarceration, and lifetime antisocial behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(2), 164-168. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.08.014
Brunner HG, Nelen MR, van Zandvoort P, Abeling NG, van Gennip AH, Wolters EC, Kuiper MA, Ropers HH, & van Oost BA. (1993) X-linked borderline mental retardation with prominent behavioral disturbance: phenotype, genetic localization, and evidence for disturbed monoamine metabolism. American journal of human genetics, 52(6), 1032-9. PMID: 8503438
Cases O, Seif I, Grimsby J, Gaspar P, Chen K, Pournin S, Müller U, Aguet M, Babinet C, & Shih JC. (1995) Aggressive behavior and altered amounts of brain serotonin and norepinephrine in mice lacking MAOA. Science (New York, N.Y.), 268(5218), 1763-6. PMID: 7792602
Caspi A, McClay J, Moffitt TE, Mill J, Martin J, Craig IW, Taylor A, & Poulton R. (2002) Role of genotype in the cycle of violence in maltreated children. Science (New York, N.Y.), 297(5582), 851-4. PMID: 12161658
Fergusson DM, Boden JM, Horwood LJ, Miller A, & Kennedy MA. (2012) Moderating role of the MAOA genotype in antisocial behaviour. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 200(2), 116-23. PMID: 22297589
Gallardo-Pujol D, Andrés-Pueyo A, & Maydeu-Olivares A. (2012) MAOA genotype, social exclusion and aggression: an experimental test of a gene-environment interaction. Genes, brain, and behavior. PMID: 23067570
Guo, G., Roettger, M., & Cai, T. (2008) The Integration of Genetic Propensities into Social-Control Models of Delinquency and Violence among Male Youths. American Sociological Review, 73(4), 543-568. DOI: 10.1177/000312240807300402
Guo, G., Ou, X., Roettger, M., & Shih, J. (2008) The VNTR 2 repeat in MAOA and delinquent behavior in adolescence and young adulthood: associations and MAOA promoter activity. European Journal of Human Genetics, 16(5), 626-634. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201999
Huang L, Frampton G, Rao A, Zhang KS, Chen W, Lai JM, Yin XY, Walker K, Culbreath B, Leyva-Illades D.... (2012) Monoamine oxidase A expression is suppressed in human cholangiocarcinoma via coordinated epigenetic and IL-6-driven events. Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology, 92(10), 1451-60. PMID: 22906985
Jones, R., Brown, C., & Ship, J. (1995) Odor identification in young and elderly African-Americans and Caucasians. Special Care in Dentistry, 15(4), 138-143. DOI: 10.1111/j.1754-4505.1995.tb00501.x
Mahmut, M., & Stevenson, R. (2012) Olfactory Abilities and Psychopathy: Higher Psychopathy Scores Are Associated with Poorer Odor Discrimination and Identification. Chemosensory Perception, 5(3-4), 300-307. DOI: 10.1007/s12078-012-9135-7
Malorni W, Giammarioli AM, Matarrese P, Pietrangeli P, Agostinelli E, Ciaccio A, Grassilli E, & Mondovi B. (1998) Protection against apoptosis by monoamine oxidase A inhibitors. FEBS letters, 426(1), 155-9. PMID: 9598998
McDermott R, Tingley D, Cowden J, Frazzetto G, & Johnson DD. (2009) Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) predicts behavioral aggression following provocation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(7), 2118-23. PMID: 19168625
Moffitt, T., Caspi, A., & Rutter, M. (2006) Measured Gene-Environment Interactions in Psychopathology. Concepts, Research Strategies, and Implications for Research, Intervention, and Public Understanding of Genetics. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(1), 5-27. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6916.2006.00002.x
Murphy SM, Puwanant A, Griggs RC, & Consortium for Clinical Investigations of Neurological Channelopathies (CINCH) and Inherited Neuropathies Consortium (INC) Consortia of the Rare Disease Clinical Research Network. (2012) Unintended effects of orphan product designation for rare neurological diseases. Annals of neurology, 72(4), 481-90. PMID: 23109143
Reti IM, Xu JZ, Yanofski J, McKibben J, Uhart M, Cheng YJ, Zandi P, Bienvenu OJ, Samuels J, Willour V.... (2011) Monoamine oxidase A regulates antisocial personality in whites with no history of physical abuse. Comprehensive psychiatry, 52(2), 188-94. PMID: 21295226
Scott, A., Bortolato, M., Chen, K., & Shih, J. (2008) Novel monoamine oxidase A knock out mice with human-like spontaneous mutation. NeuroReport, 19(7), 739-743. DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282fd6e88
Shih JC, Ridd MJ, Chen K, Meehan WP, Kung MP, Seif I, & De Maeyer E. (1999) Ketanserin and tetrabenazine abolish aggression in mice lacking monoamine oxidase A. Brain research, 835(2), 104-12. PMID: 10415365
Sjöberg, R., Ducci, F., Barr, C., Newman, T., Dell'Osso, L., Virkkunen, M., & Goldman, D. (2007) A Non-Additive Interaction of a Functional MAO-A VNTR and Testosterone Predicts Antisocial Behavior. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33(2), 425-430. DOI: 10.1038/sj.npp.1301417
Tuinier S, Verhoeven WMA, Scherders MJWT, Fekkes D, & Pepplinkhuizen L. (1995) Neuropsychiatric and biological characteristics of X-linked MAOA deficiency syndrome: A single-intervention case study. New Trends in Experimental and Clinical Psychiatry, 11(4), 99-107. info:/
Wong CC, Caspi A, Williams B, Craig IW, Houts R, Ambler A, Moffitt TE, & Mill J. (2010) A longitudinal study of epigenetic variation in twins. Epigenetics : official journal of the DNA Methylation Society, 5(6), 516-26. PMID: 20505345
One approach to understanding components in living organisms is to attempt to create them artificially, using principles of chemistry, engineering and genetics. A suite of powerful techniques—collectively referred to as synthetic biology—have been used to produce self-replicating molecules, artificial pathways in living systems and organisms bearing synthetic genomes.... Read more »
Richard Harth. (2012) Strange behavior: new study exposes living cells to synthetic protein. ASU Biodesign Institute. info:/
The esteemed physicist Erwin Schrödinger, whose name is associated with the most notorious equation of quantum mechanics, also wrote a brief essay entitled ‘What is Life?’, asking: ‘How can the events in space and time which take place within the spatial boundary of a living organism be accounted for by physics and chemistry?’ The 60 years following this seminal work have seen enormous developments in our understanding of biology on the molecular scale, with physics........ Read more »
Peering into the past life of this fossil took an x-ray scanner powered by a particle accelerator. What scientists saw there was mysterious: an ancient lizard had left behind its skin and teeth, but none of its bones. To tell the ghost's tale, they relied on some very modern equipment.
At Stanford University, an accelerator called a synchrotron sends electrons zipping around a track fast enough that x-rays spin off of them. These x-rays are collected into an extremely bright x-ray beam that........ Read more »
If you hate Chemistry  it’s probably because your Chemistry teachers weren’t up to scratch. Peter Wothers, The Modern Alchemist, is someone who might rekindle your interest in Chemistry through his delivery of the 2012 Christmas Lectures. Wothers will unpick the chemistry of the world around us, looking at Air, Water and Earth, three of the original Greek ‘elements’ that tantalised alchemists for centuries. He’ll also be exploding and burning things too.... Read more »
Douglas Natelson (Professor of Physics at Rice University) has posted an interesting article on his blog a few days ago about the “stripy nanoparticles” controversy. He notes that the controversy raises questions about peer review because “Lévy points out that many articles seem to be published that take the assertion of stripiness practically on faith or on very scant [...]... Read more »
Researchers have found plants may repel the “insect antagonists” after getting cues related to the odors of flies to attract female flies that may result in damage to the plants.
This research has been published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
"It's become increasingly clear in recent years that plants are responsive to odors," Mark Mescher, assistant professor of entomology, said in a statement. "But previous ex........ Read more »
Helms, A., De Moraes, C., Tooker, J., & Mescher, M. (2012) Exposure of Solidago altissima plants to volatile emissions of an insect antagonist (Eurosta solidaginis) deters subsequent herbivory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1218606110
Researchers have developed a stable "antiaromatic" compound that can be switched between the aromatic and anti-aromatic states and a first ever found intermediate state.
This research has been published online in the journal Nature Chemistry.
Aromatic compounds are the class of organic chemical compounds that have one or more rings of carbon atoms and undergo chemical reactions characteristic of benzene. It was found that nearly half of all organic compounds are aromatic compound........ Read more »
Ishida, M., Kim, S., Preihs, C., Ohkubo, K., Lim, J., Lee, B., Park, J., Lynch, V., Roznyatovskiy, V., Sarma, T.... (2012) Protonation-coupled redox reactions in planar antiaromatic meso-pentafluorophenyl-substituted o-phenylene-bridged annulated rosarins. Nature Chemistry. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1501
For many years there has been debate over whether there is a specific microwave effect on chemical reactions or if it’s just a thermal effect. A couple of years ago I took lecture course on microwave and ultrasound chemistry. The … Continue reading →... Read more »
Kappe C. Oliver, Pieber Bartholomäus, & Dallinger Doris. (2012) Microwave Effects in Organic Synthesis—Myth or Reality?. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201204103
A round post about the stripy nanoparticles controversy... Read more »
Normally proteins have a globular shape in order to be enzymatically or structurally relevant. Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) broke the protein norms by maintaining their functional roles with little to no overall structure. Most proteins have regions of disorder, such … Continue reading →... Read more »
Vo N, & Goodman R H. (2001) CREB-binding protein and p300 in transcriptional regulation. The Journal of biological chemistry. PMID: 11279224
Avantaggiati M L, Ogryzko V, Gardner K, Giordano A, Levine A S, & Kelly K. (1997) Recruitment of p300/CBP in p53-dependent signal pathways. Cell, 1175-1184. PMID: 9215639
Ferreon Josephine C, Lee Chul Won, Arai Munehito, Martinez-Yamout Maria A, Dyson H Jane, & Wright Peter E. (2009) Cooperative regulation of p53 by modulation of ternary complex formation with CBP/p300 and HDM2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 19357310
Organic electronics has a problem with batch-to-batch variability in the quality of materials, particularly the active semiconducting layer. A fellow PhD student in my office described to me the trouble he often experiences. He made one batch of solar cells … Continue reading →... Read more »
Bannock J. H., Krishnadasan S. H., Nightingale A. M., Yau C. P., Khaw K., Burkitt D., Halls J. J. M., Heeney M., & de Mello J. C. (2012) Continuous Synthesis of Device-Grade Semiconducting Polymers in Droplet-Based Microreactors. Advanced Functional Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201203014
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