Editor’s Selections: Tropical Titan, Brains are different on Macs, and Remote-Controlled Flying Insects

Editor's Selections 19 Comments
By Sarah Kendrew

Sarah Kendrew Sarah Kendrew selects interesting and notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, computer science, geosciences and mathematics. She blogs about astronomy at One Small Step.

The tropical lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan may not quite be like the Caribbean, they’re one of the of the many intriguing enigmas in the Solar System. Invader Xan describes these interesting features on Supernova Condensate.

An recent neuroscience paper examines the effect of operating system, version and workstation type on the outcome of a popular brain image analysis package, and finds significant differences in measurement results. Neuroskeptic describes all, with some good discussion in the comments section.

The remote controlled flying insects described on the Cellular Scale are quite an amazing feat of engineering. With cool videos too.

Have a great week all, and I’ll be back next Monday with more selections.

Editor’s Selections: Tricky chemistry in space, Scientific superheros, and the Majestic Mt Everest

Editor's Selections 72 Comments
By Sarah Kendrew

Sarah Kendrew Sarah Kendrew selects interesting and notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, computer science, geosciences and mathematics. She blogs about astronomy at One Small Step.

Invader Xan talks about the enigma of Diffuse Interstellar Bands in astrophysics this week, and the danger of not being your own worst scientific enemy.

On The Soft Anonymous, we get a glimpse of actual science-based superheros for the 21st centuries. Lots of fun, with citations!

In the geosciences category, Metageologist gives an illustrated tour of the geology of Mount Everest and its surroundings. These mountains are beautiful, and not to be messed with.

I’ll be back next week with more selections!

Editor’s Selections: Worms living inside your brain, cool insect viruses, and how the immune system recognizes danger

Editor's Selections 1 Comment
By Vincent Racaniello

Vincent RacanielloVincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He unravels viruses at virology blog.

<img title=”Vincent Racaniello” src=”http://researchblogging.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/smallvincent.jpg” alt=”Vincent Racaniello” width=”47″ height=”47″ />Vincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He writes about viruses at <a href=”http://www.virology.ws” target=”_blank”>virology blog</a>.
  • Adult tapeworms (Taenia) live in the intestine where they can grow as long as 6 meters. If the pre-adult form, called a cyst, enters the brain, it may cause a disease known as neurocysticerosis.
  • Parasitoid wasps inject their eggs into a caterpillar along with a set of viruses specified within in the wasp genome. The viruses suppress the immune response of the parasitized host, allowing wasp eggs to develop unimpeded.
  • Microbe-associated molecular patterns, or MAMPs, are present in bacteria and are recognized by the host immune system as foreign. Both MAMP and danger signals are required to trigger a strong immune response.

I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.

Editor’s Selections: Colors and Stuttering

Editor's Selections 11 Comments
By Krystal D'Costa

Krystal D'Costa Krystal D’Costa selects notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the social sciences, covering anthropology, research, and philosophy. She blogs about anthropology, technology, and urban life at Anthropology in Practice. Follow her on Twitter @krystaldcosta.

This week you’ll want to be sure you check out:

  • Quick—what color is the sky? Aatish Bhatia has a fascinating discussion on colors up at Empirical Zeal, demonstrating nicely the ways in which we construct elements of our world that seem so concrete with time.
  • And Dr. Stu gets to the bottom of stuttering, steering us away from the dominant psychological explanations with a look at what happens physiologically when we stumble over our words.

Until next time, folks. I’ll be back next week with more from anthropology, philosophy, and research.

Editor’s Selections: Unexpected supernovae, Cosmic Ray and Tree Rings, and Multitasking Cells

Editor's Selections 13 Comments
By Sarah Kendrew

Sarah Kendrew Sarah Kendrew selects interesting and notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, computer science, geosciences and mathematics. She blogs about astronomy at One Small Step.

Here’s some picks from the past week’s offering in the physical sciences!

How do supernovae occur in galaxies that we don’t expect to host their typical progenitor stars? On Supernova Condensate, this post describes new research into just such an explosion, and discusses some of the proposed scnarios.

Tree rings tell of an excess of 14-C in the Earth’s atmosphere in the 8th century AD, possibly caused by a cosmic ray bombardment. What might have caused it? The Beast, The Bard and The Bot discuss.

Cells, apparently, are the ultimate multi-taskers. On Too Many Live Wires, John Ankers describes new work in modelling of cellular multitasking behaviour, and its limitations.

Have a great week all, and I’ll be back with more selections next Monday.

Editor’s Selections: Cell sorting with microfluidics, are phages the answer, and bacteria, biodiversity, and allergies

Editor's Selections 4 Comments
By Vincent Racaniello

Vincent RacanielloVincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He unravels viruses at virology blog.

<img title=”Vincent Racaniello” src=”http://researchblogging.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/smallvincent.jpg” alt=”Vincent Racaniello” width=”47″ height=”47″ />Vincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He writes about viruses at <a href=”http://www.virology.ws” target=”_blank”>virology blog</a>.
  • There are many ways to sort cells according to biophysical properties such as size, density, morphology, and dielectric or magnetic susceptibility. A new sorting method is based on cell rolling, a phenomenon where a cell continuously forms and releases adhesive bonds with a surface under fluid flow.
  • Can bacteriophages be used to control antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens? Phage therapy has a checkered history but modern research may well overcome the limitations.
  • The human skin, our largest organ, harbors its own specific microbiome. The diversity of this population is higher in people who live in forests or agricultural areas, and correlates with reduced allergies.

I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.

Editor’s Selections: Absolutes, Profile Pictures, and Parking Spaces

Editor's Selections 8 Comments
By Krystal D'Costa

Krystal D'Costa Krystal D’Costa selects notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the social sciences, covering anthropology, research, and philosophy. She blogs about anthropology, technology, and urban life at Anthropology in Practice. Follow her on Twitter @krystaldcosta.

This week:

  • At PopPsych, Jesse Marczyk uses recent research to demonstrate the challenges in applying adaptive models across the board. What does that mean? Essentially, dealing in absolutes when it comes to human behavior is likely to lead to false conclusions. There is no one-size fits all explanation than can be attached to behavior.
  • At the Research Digest, Christian Jarrett explores cultural representations of the individual via the lens of Facebook. It seems the nature of your profile picture can be suggestive of larger social structures.
  • Some people view their cars as a private, personal space. But what about parking spaces? An interesting post at Science Storiented investigates some older research on territoriality - as it relates to drivers and their parking spaces.

    Until next time, folks. I’ll be back next week with more from anthropology, philosophy, and research.

    Editor’s Selections: LPS remodeling, a third dose of mumps vaccine, and Koala trypanosomes

    Editor's Selections 2 Comments
    By Vincent Racaniello

    Vincent RacanielloVincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He unravels viruses at virology blog.

    <img title=”Vincent Racaniello” src=”http://researchblogging.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/smallvincent.jpg” alt=”Vincent Racaniello” width=”47″ height=”47″ />Vincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He writes about viruses at <a href=”http://www.virology.ws” target=”_blank”>virology blog</a>.
    • Many human bacterial pathogens began life in soil or water. Insight into the switch is provided by a study of LPS remodeling, a type of immune evasion, and its evolution from non-pathogenic soil bacteria.
    • Should three doses of mumps vaccine be given to the general population? Mumps is a very infectious virus and very high levels of population protection are needed to achieve herd immunity.
    • Koalas are in serious decline, suffering from retroviral infection as well as habitat destruction, domestic dog attacks, bushfires and disease. Some also have serious illness associated with regenerative anaemia and now trypanosome infections.

    I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.

    Editor’s Selections: Political Economy and the Grave, and Uniform Colors

    Editor's Selections 18 Comments
    By Krystal D'Costa

    Krystal D'Costa Krystal D’Costa selects notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the social sciences, covering anthropology, research, and philosophy. She blogs about anthropology, technology, and urban life at Anthropology in Practice. Follow her on Twitter @krystaldcosta.

    Two selections for your holiday weekend (Memorial Day, US):

    • Can grave goods tell us about the political economy of a group? At Bones Don’t Lie, Katy Meyers reports on recent research that examines what burial practices can reveal about the extent of social networks.
    • At bigthink, David Berreby discusses a neat study on the ways colors can influence our perception – and how sports teams may integrate this information when planning team uniforms (and how it might work against them). It’s a fun read that takes research out of the lab and away from the WEIRD crowd.

    Until next time, folks. I’ll be back next week with more from anthropology, philosophy, and research.

    Editor’s Selections: Tectonic Aneurysms, Energy Drinks, And Invisible Aliens

    Editor's Selections 105 Comments
    By Sarah Kendrew

    Sarah Kendrew Sarah Kendrew selects interesting and notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, computer science, geosciences and mathematics. She blogs about astronomy at One Small Step.

    There’s some excellent in-depth posts in the physical sciences this week. Here’s a few picks.

    What’s the link between hot rocks and aneurysms? Yes, I wouldn’t have guessed either. Turns out the Earth’s crust can have its weak spots too. This post by the Metageologist explains this interesting phenomenon seen in the Himalayas.

    Do you like your energy drinks? Then you should definitely read this post by Dirk Hanson on Addiction Inbox, and note well the story of the farmer who consumed a gallon of coffee a day and started suffering from “caffeine-induced delusions”. Put that espresso down!

    I liked this Wired Cosmos post on the possibility of invisible aliens. It describes in some detail the phenomenon of transparency in living organisms – pretty fascinating.

    Enjoy the week, and I’ll be back next Monday with more selections.

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