If you are dealing with excessive daytime sleepiness, gain an extra boost of alertness with tips from these recent research studies.... Read more »
Reid, K., Baron, K., Lu, B., Naylor, E., Wolfe, L., & Zee, P. (2010) Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia. Sleep Medicine, 11(9), 934-940. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2010.04.014
A point mutation in a gene leads to a phenomenal effect on the phenotype. It is a classic Biochemistry textbook case study, Sickle Cell Anemia. The mutant hemoglobin has a Valine instead of the Glutamic acid. The change is highly observable in the form of a debilitating condition. But, not all point mutations in the protein sequence are debilitating, and sometimes they give rise to something spectacular. One such example is the White Tiger, frequently mistaken as an albino. The recent publicatio........ Read more »
Researchers have found that people with higher IQ have the ability to get rid of large non-essential background information i.e. distraction. Moreover, they can detect small moving objects.
In the study, researchers showed the short video clips of black and white bars to the 53 people, who were also tested for intelligence. The bars were moving across the screen, where some clips were small present in the center of the scree........ Read more »
Melnick, M., Harrison, B., Park, S., Bennetto, L., & Tadin, D. (2013) A Strong Interactive Link between Sensory Discriminations and Intelligence. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.053
It's hard to keep your footing in a steep tunnel made of loose dirt while others are scrambling around and over your body. Harder still in pitch blackness. That's why fire ants build tunnels that will catch them when they fall—a strategy human engineers might want to steal.
"Slips and missteps are likely a constant, recurring feature of life underground," says Nick Gravish, a graduate student in Daniel Goldman's rheology and biomechanics lab at Georgia Tech. Yet ants have to traverse their........ Read more »
Gravish, N., Monaenkova, D., Goodisman, M., & Goldman, D. (2013) Climbing, falling, and jamming during ant locomotion in confined environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1302428110
Snap! Ouch! That’s from my head doing a double take. All these years, I thought the calcium vs heart disease thing was a conspiracy arranged by one researcher and publication. However, 3 months ago, I stumbled upon some corroborating studies by other researchers in other journals. Even the US Preventive Services Task Force recently came out against low dose calcium (less than 1,000mg/d) in post-menopausal women because they could not find conclusive evidence of benefit in the face of a ........ Read more »
Bolland, M., Grey, A., Avenell, A., Gamble, G., & Reid, I. (2011) Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women's Health Initiative limited access dataset and meta-analysis. BMJ, 342(apr19 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d2040
Langsetmo, L., Berger, C., Kreiger, N., Kovacs, C., Hanley, D., Jamal, S., Whiting, S., Genest, J., Morin, S., Hodsman, A.... (2013) Calcium and Vitamin D Intake and Mortality: Results from the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos). Journal of Clinical Endocrinology . DOI: 10.1210/jc.2013-1516
A new study shows that the U.S. land and water resources could likely support the growth of enough algae to produce up to 25 billion gallons (94.6 million m3) of algae-based renewable biodiesel a year.... Read more »
Venteris, E., Skaggs, R., Coleman, A., & Wigmosta, M. (2013) A GIS Cost Model to Assess the Availability of Freshwater, Seawater, and Saline Groundwater for Algal Biofuel Production in the United States. Environmental Science , 47(9), 4840-4849. DOI: 10.1021/es304135b
The Irish Famine (or “Great Potato Famine” if you live outside the Emerald Isle) killed one million people and forced another million to leave the country between 1845 and 1852. It was caused by a blight on the country’s main food stock—the Irish “Lumper” potato. Now, researchers have identified the genome of the blight behind the famine.... Read more »
Kentaro Yoshida, Verena J. Schuenemann, Liliana M. Cano, Marina Pais, Bagdevi Mishra, Rahul Sharma, Christa Lanz, Frank N. Martin, Sophien Kamoun, Johannes Krause.... (2013) The rise and fall of the Phytophthora infestans lineage that triggered the Irish potato famine. eLife. arXiv: 1305.4206v1
New research suggests that the higher status bestowed on extraverts in new groups may drop as their contributions become better understood. In the meantime, neurotic people may see their lower status improve.Corrine Bendersky and Neha Parikh Shah investigated this in two studies. The first examined how 44 student teams working on MBA assignments over 10 weeks attributed status and competence to individual members. One week after forming, each member was asked to rate the other 3 to 5 members' gr........ Read more »
Bendersky, C., & Shah, N. (2012) The Downfall of Extraverts and Rise of Neurotics: The Dynamic Process of Status Allocation in Task Groups. Academy of Management Journal, 56(2), 387-406. DOI: 10.5465/amj.2011.0316
An international team of researchers, including scientists from Los Alamos, has taken the first image of the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory, or HAWC.The facility is designed to detect cosmic rays and the highest energy gamma rays ever observed from astrophysical sources.... Read more »
Los Alamos National Laboratory. (2013) HAWC Observatory captures first image. Los Alamos National Laboratory. info:/
--> The mycobiome is starting to get a little traction!When will we know the weight of the fungi on and in our bodies? The human microbiota has been recognized as hugely important in the last few years, but that has almost entirely focused on bacteria. I’ve been interested in the mycobiome of the human built environment for a while, and I certainly haven’t been alone. People tend to think of fungi as a problem in buildings, on or in plants, and in the outside air. However, there is ........ Read more »
Iliev, I., Funari, V., Taylor, K., Nguyen, Q., Reyes, C., Strom, S., Brown, J., Becker, C., Fleshner, P., Dubinsky, M.... (2012) Interactions Between Commensal Fungi and the C-Type Lectin Receptor Dectin-1 Influence Colitis. Science, 336(6086), 1314-1317. DOI: 10.1126/science.1221789
Findley, K., Oh, J., Yang, J., Conlan, S., Deming, C., Meyer, J., Schoenfeld, D., Nomicos, E., Park, M., Becker, J.... (2013) Topographic diversity of fungal and bacterial communities in human skin. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature12171
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Most of us think pictures are more persuasive than words. Recently I ran across a sentence in an article saying “it’s commonly believed that we remember 20% of what we hear and 80% of what we see”. Or something to that effect. I don’t know about you but [...]
Simple Jury Persuasion: How pictures infer “truthiness”
Simple Jury Persuasion: Building Trust (but not) in Ten Easy Words
Simple Jury Persuasion: When to hand exhibits ........ Read more »
There isn’t a cell biologist out there who doesn’t fantasize about reaching her hands into a cell and physically manipulating whatever protein or structure that she obsesses over. While we can’t do that with our own hands, optical tweezers can…and the information we learn is invaluable. Today’s image is from a paper that uses optical tweezers to measure the forces within a mitotic spindle.The mechanics within a mitotic spindle are complicated, and cannot be fully understood........ Read more »
Ferraro-Gideon, J., Sheykhani, R., Zhu, Q., Duquette, M., Berns, M., & Forer, A. (2013) Measurements of forces produced by the mitotic spindle using optical tweezers. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 24(9), 1375-1386. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E12-12-0901
Sheykhani, R., Baker, N., Gomez-Godinez, V., Liaw, L., Shah, J., Berns, M., & Forer, A. (2013) The role of actin and myosin in PtK2 spindle length changes induced by laser microbeam irradiations across the spindle. Cytoskeleton, 70(5), 241-259. DOI: 10.1002/cm.21104
Bats need to eat a lot to keep flying. So, the more efficiently they can take in food, the better. for the nectar-eating bat Glossophaga soricina, this has meant the evolution of a sophisticated tongue. ... Read more »
Harper CJ, Swartz SM, & Brainerd EL. (2013) Specialized bat tongue is a hemodynamic nectar mop. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 23650382
This week we would like to introduce you to the work of Professor Vera Krymskaya, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Professor Krymskaya’s primary research interest is how signalling pathways cause disease when … Continue reading →... Read more »
Goncharova EA, Goncharov DA, Eszterhas A, Hunter DS, Glassberg MK, Yeung RS, Walker CL, Noonan D, Kwiatkowski DJ, Chou MM.... (2002) Tuberin regulates p70 S6 kinase activation and ribosomal protein S6 phosphorylation. A role for the TSC2 tumor suppressor gene in pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). The Journal of biological chemistry, 277(34), 30958-67. PMID: 12045200
Goncharova EA, Goncharov DA, Fehrenbach M, Khavin I, Ducka B, Hino O, Colby TV, Merrilees MJ, Haczku A, Albelda SM.... (2012) Prevention of alveolar destruction and airspace enlargement in a mouse model of pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). Science translational medicine, 4(154). PMID: 23035046
Picking up on my infatuation with all things Hsp, today more on the effects of two of the large Hsps on Candida albicans biofilm formation and virulence in mice and worms.Ssa1, a member of the Hsp70 family, is traditionally implicated in protein folding and entwining. Following heat shock, Ssa1 expression increases, which is a hallmark of heat shock proteins. Recently, Ssa1’s role in Candida albicans’ virulence has been extensively characterized. A series of experiments involving C. al........ Read more »
Fiori, A., Kucharikova, S., Govaert, G., Cammue, B., Thevissen, K., & Van Dijck, P. (2012) The Heat-Induced Molecular Disaggregase Hsp104 of Candida albicans Plays a Role in Biofilm Formation and Pathogenicity in a Worm Infection Model. Eukaryotic Cell, 11(8), 1012-1020. DOI: 10.1128/EC.00147-12
Sun JN, Solis NV, Phan QT, Bajwa JS, Kashleva H, Thompson A, Liu Y, Dongari-Bagtzoglou A, Edgerton M, & Filler SG. (2010) Host cell invasion and virulence mediated by Candida albicans Ssa1. PLoS pathogens, 6(11). PMID: 21085601
Take Home Message: Evidence of increased alpha angles has been shown in ice hockey players as compared to non-hockey playing matched controls. Even at young ages, signs of bony abnormality linked to femoroacetabular impingement are present.
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a common radiographic finding among athletes participating in sports requiring hip flexion, hip internal rotation, and repetitive cyclic motions. Cam-deformity FAI is marked by the aspherical shape of the femoral he........ Read more »
Philippon, M., Ho, C., Briggs, K., Stull, J., & LaPrade, R. (2013) Prevalence of Increased Alpha Angles as a Measure of Cam-Type Femoroacetabular Impingement in Youth Ice Hockey Players. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. DOI: 10.1177/0363546513483448
What would be like to teach a class or describe someone about a protein, without visualizing its structure? Boring is one word that pops in my mind. I vividly remember the professor drawing two blobs touching each other, to describe protein-protein interaction, while explaining it either on the blackboard or on the transparencies of a over-head projector. Those were the days! Tracing back nearly 60 years back, when John Kendrew showed everyone a coiled mess, it has fueled every scientist's ........ Read more »
Craig, P., Michel, L., & Bateman, R. (2013) A survey of educational uses of molecular visualization freeware. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 41(3), 193-205. DOI: 10.1002/bmb.20693
The ‘actuator lugs’ on the Newton Running Shoes... Read more »
Moran, M., & Greer, B. (2013) Influence of midsole ‘actuator lugs’ on running economy in trained distance runners. Footwear Science, 5(2), 91-99. DOI: 10.1080/19424280.2013.792878
This appeared earlier today on the Facebook feed I Fucking Love Science:
I remember seeing a shark documentary as a kid, hosted by Burgess Meredith, if I remember correctly. It made the same basic claim about great white sharks: too big to have predators, nobody had ever seen them die except by accident or by human hands, blah blah blah, therefore “some have suggested” they are immortal.
That I can remember the end of the show all these years later shows you what a terrific close........ Read more »
Klapper Wolfram, Kühne Karen, Singh Kumud K, Heidorn Klaus, Parwaresch Reza, & Krupp Guido. (1998) Longevity of lobsters is linked to ubiquitous telomerase expression. FEBS Letters, 439(1-2), 143-146. DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(98)01357-X
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app for the iPhone that uses the phone’s built-in camera and processing power as a biosensor to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other molecules. Having such sensitive biosensing capabilities in the field could enable on-the-spot tracking of groundwater contamination, combine the phone’s GPS … Read More →... Read more »
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