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  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
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Most important paper ever in microbiology?

by Jonathan Eisen in The Tree of Life

Discussion of papers reporting discovery of the archaea... Read more »

Woese CR, & Fox GE. (1977) Phylogenetic structure of the prokaryotic domain: the primary kingdoms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 74(11), 5088-90. PMID: 270744  

Fox GE, Magrum LJ, Balch WE, Wolfe RS, & Woese CR. (1977) Classification of methanogenic bacteria by 16S ribosomal RNA characterization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 74(10), 4537-4541. PMID: 16592452  

Balch WE, Magrum LJ, Fox GE, Wolfe RS, & Woese CR. (1977) An ancient divergence among the bacteria. Journal of molecular evolution, 9(4), 305-11. PMID: 408502  

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,686 views

New GPCR structure: CXCR4 Chemokine Receptor (HIV and cancer target)

by Peter Nollert in Protein Crystallization Blog

Congratulations to Ray Stevens and team to determining and publishing the crystallographic structure of the CXCR4 Chemokine receptor in Science. The diffenent binding areas for the small molecule and peptide antagonist are nicely resolved and show extensive interactions with binding pocket residues in the 2.5 – 3.1 A crystal structures.... Read more »

Wu B, Chien EY, Mol CD, Fenalti G, Liu W, Katritch V, Abagyan R, Brooun A, Wells P, Bi FC.... (2010) Structures of the CXCR4 chemokine GPCR with small-molecule and cyclic peptide antagonists. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6007), 1066-71. PMID: 20929726  

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,784 views

GPCR crystallization detergent space increased by 25%

by Peter Nollert in Emerald BioStructures Blog

The choice of detergents for GPCRs has just been increased by 25% with the introduction of MNGs - maltose neopentyl glycol amphiphiles. The agonist bound structure of the beta adrenergic receptor from crystals using this new detergent is announced in a recent paper.... Read more »

Newstead, S., Ferrandon, S., & Iwata, S. (2008) Rationalizing α-helical membrane protein crystallization. Protein Science, 17(3), 466-472. DOI: 10.1110/ps.073263108  

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,407 views

Old School Beer

by James McElherne in ScienceLeak

A journey to bring back a 9,000 Year old beer.... Read more »

McGovern, P. (2004) Fermented beverages of pre- and proto-historic China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101(51), 17593-17598. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0407921102  

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,887 views

Diversity: It Matters! (for plants & algae)

by jebyrnes in I'm a chordata, urochordata!

Geological time has witnessed 5 extinction crises. Now we're in the middle of the 6th - this time driven by man. What's unprecedented, however, is the rate we are driving species extinct. For many taxa, it's faster than we've seen in geological time (see here for discussion).

So? Will vast reductions in the diversity of species on earth matter? I mean, heck, maybe we only need two or three of each taxa, and we’re all good. Or maybe not…

This question has ........ Read more »

Cardinale, B., Matulich, K., Hooper, D., Byrnes, J., Duffy, E., Gamfeldt, L., Balvanera, P., O'Connor, M., & Gonzalez, A. (2011) The functional role of producer diversity in ecosystems. American Journal of Botany, 98(3), 572-592. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1000364  

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,270 views

The Fragile Monument of Hominin Diet

by Matt Sponheimer in Originus

Hominin Diet... Read more »

  • November 30, -1
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  • 2,427 views

Evolution of "Natural" Sleep

by Cris Campbell in Originus

If you slept well last night and do so regularly, chances are you don’t give sleep much thought. It happens, is pleasurable, and you are refreshed. If you didn’t sleep well last night and do so irregularly, chances are you have given sleep a great deal of thought. It doesn’t happen, isn’t pleasurable, and you are fatigued.... Read more »

  • November 30, -1
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  • 1,633 views

Detecting Gene Doping in Sports: MicroRNA biomarker sought

by Nicole Kelesoglu in E3 Engaging Epigenetics Experts

WADA funds research into developing detection methods for the emerging threat of gene doping in sports.... Read more »

Elmo W.I. Neuberger, Magdelena Jurkiewicz, Dirk A. Moser and Perikles Simon. (2012) Detection of EPO gene doping in blood. Drug Testt. Analysis. DOI: 10.1002/dta.1347  

  • November 30, -1
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  • 3,987 views

Lions And Tigers And Ligers, Oh My!

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Geographic isolation is often involved in speciation events. Here are examples of hybrid speciation involving a very localized isolation and a mating choice behavior.... Read more »

Jesús Mavárez1, Camilo A. Salazar, Eldredge Bermingham1, Christian Salcedo, Chris D. Jiggins . (2006) Speciation by hybridization in Heliconius butterflies. Nature, 868-871. DOI: 10.1038/nature04738  

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,384 views

New Year Resolution, Reflection on Cancer Research

by Nicole Kelesoglu in E3 Engaging Epigenetics Experts

Controversial and surprising cancer research news, point to importance of epigenetics and cell signalling research in the war on cancer.... Read more »

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,637 views

Tet1 Enzyme Based Enrichment Method for Methylome Sequencing: TamC-Seq

by Nicole Kelesoglu in E3 Engaging Epigenetics Experts

Summary of a recent Nature paper that details a new inexpensive, enzyme based enrichment method for methylome sequencing. ... Read more »

Zhang L, Szulwach KE, Hon GC, Song CX, Park B, Yu M, Lu X, Dai Q, Wang X, Street CR.... (2013) Tet-mediated covalent labelling of 5-methylcytosine for its genome-wide detection and sequencing. Nature communications, 1517. PMID: 23443545  

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,900 views

A protein purification classic: Ammonium Sulfate Precipitation An underutilized way to purify proteins

by Dave Dilyx in Protein Solubility Blog

In the 'old days' - i.e. when protein purification meant going to the slaughterhouse to get raw materials such as placenta, brain or blood - the first real purification step was typically an ammonium sulfate precipitation. Of course, the natural tissue needs to be homogenized and solids removed by filtration or centrifugation. This first clarified feedstock contains a multitude of protein solutions, not that different from a modern-day E.coli lysate. Such lysates can be fractionated ac........ Read more »

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,707 views

Stress Leaves Its Mark on Dad’s Sperm

by Anouk Vleugels in United Academics

For the first time, researchers have found that stress can leave an epigenetic mark on sperm, which then alters the offspring’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a part of the brain that deals with responding to stress. The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.... Read more »

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,284 views

I WILL FEAR NO EVIL: THE FIRST HEAD TRANSPLANT ON HUMAN

by Eugenio Maria Battaglia in Science to Grok

In 2008, doctor Sergio Canavero, an italian neurosurgeon based in Turin, IT, have awakened a 20 years old lady from a permanent post-traumatic vegetative state, by means of a bifocal extradural cortical electro-stimulation. Today, while Science still find it hard to explain consciousness and embodied cognition – the world-class neurosurgeon made a shock announcement: “I’m ready for the first head transplant on a man.”

In the manuscript published on Surgical Neurology I........ Read more »

  • November 30, -1
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  • 1,904 views

To Bee Or Not To Bee: How Bees Avoid Difficult Choices

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Humans who are faced with difficult choices are often tempted to simply opt out of making a choice, especially when they realize that they cannot easily resolve their uncertainty as to which choice is the better choice. Some researchers consider this ability to opt out as an indicator of “meta-cognition”, a term used to describe “thinking about thinking”. Instead of plowing ahead with a random choice, humans can recognize that they lack adequate information and choose not........ Read more »

Clint J. Perry, & Andrew B. Barron. (2013) Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314571110  

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,580 views

A field guide to whole-genome analyses

by Mauro Mandrioli in The aphid room

Genome sequencing projects have been for long time possible goals for few model organisms and required the concerted effort of large consortia, but now...... Read more »

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,500 views

At the origin of the aphid-ant mutualism

by Mauro Mandrioli in The aphid room

Several hemipteran species are involved in mutualistic relationships with ants so that aphids produce honeydew, a sweet waste product enriched in sugar and aminoacids, that ants collect as a supply for their diet. In return...... Read more »

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,795 views

How sex-engineered prawns can be used to fight deadly parasite

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

Scientists float the idea of introducing male-only prawn stocks to Senegal river to control spread of snails which act as vector for blood flukes... Read more »

  • November 30, -1
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  • 400 views

H255Y and K508R missense mutations in FLCN promote kidney neoplasia

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

The germline FLCN missense mutations H255Y (Hasumi et al., 2009) and K508R (Toro et al., 2008) have been identified in patients with bilateral multifocal (BMF) kidney tumours and other clinical symptoms of Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) syndrome, or with BMF kidney tumours as the only manifestation. Building on their previous work identifying the H255Y mutation in human BHD kidney tumour, Hasumi et al. (2016) investigated whether these mutations have an impact on FLCN function. The authors evaluated the F........ Read more »

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM
  • 883 views

The geometry of consciousness is a multi-dimensional math trip

by amanda alvarez in It Ain't Magic

Amanda Alvarez writes about how neuroscientists are studying consciousness with mathematics.... Read more »

Oizumi M, Tsuchiya N, & Amari SI. (2016) Unified framework for information integration based on information geometry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(51), 14817-14822. PMID: 27930289  

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