The aim of this year’s Rare Disease Day, Rare Disorders Without Borders, was to promote the message that international collaboration between patients, clinicians and researchers is imperative to find cures for rare diseases. Indeed, this has been the feeling of … Continue reading →... Read more »
McCormack FX, Inoue Y, Moss J, Singer LG, Strange C, Nakata K, Barker AF, Chapman JT, Brantly ML, Stocks JM.... (2011) Efficacy and safety of sirolimus in lymphangioleiomyomatosis. The New England journal of medicine, 364(17), 1595-606. PMID: 21410393
O'Connor, D. (2013) Orphan drug designation – Europe, the USA and Japan. Expert Opinion on Orphan Drugs, 1(4), 255-259. DOI: 10.1517/21678707.2013.769876
As promised, I started using FISH-Quant to analyze my FISH images. I must say that I enjoy using FQ much better than the previous program that was developed by one of my lab members. I find FQ more intuitive, more informative, … Continue reading →... Read more »
Mueller, F., Senecal, A., Tantale, K., Marie-Nelly, H., Ly, N., Collin, O., Basyuk, E., Bertrand, E., Darzacq, X., & Zimmer, C. (2013) FISH-quant: automatic counting of transcripts in 3D FISH images. Nature Methods, 10(4), 277-278. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2406
In a fair bit of science fiction, we see advanced alien species use some sort of shielding to walk around other planets or survive being ejected into space. Something around them flickers and a protective invisible bubble is raised, protecting them from a horrible death by dehydration as all the fluid in their bodies effectively boils away. As it turns out, that’s actually possible. [...]... Read more »
Takaku, Y., Suzuki, H., Ohta, I., Ishii, D., Muranaka, Y., Shimomura, M., & Hariyama, T. (2013) A thin polymer membrane, nano-suit, enhancing survival across the continuum between air and high vacuum. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1221341110
This blog will review two recent publications that explore environmentally friendly advances in biotechnology by exploiting halophilic organisms from the family Halobacteriaceae. Halophiles are found in all kingdoms of life. They employ two different survival mechanisms to cope with their typically inhospitable environment. … Continue reading →... Read more »
Karan Ram, Capes Melinda D, DasSarma Priya, & DasSarma Shiladitya. (2013) Cloning, overexpression, purification, and characterization of a polyextremophilic β-galactosidase from the Antarctic haloarchaeon Halorubrum lacusprofundi. BMC Biotechnology, 13(1), 3. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6750-13-3
Zhao Dahe, Cai Lei, Wu Jinhua, Li Ming, Liu Hailong, Han Jing, Zhou Jian, & Xiang Hua. (2013) Improving polyhydroxyalkanoate production by knocking out the genes involved in exopolysaccharide biosynthesis in Haloferax mediterranei. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 97(7), 3027-3036. DOI: 10.1007/s00253-012-4415-3
Spinal cord injuries can lead to permanent disabilities such as paralysis. Research in rats and mice for new treatments involve severing nerve fibres, which can cause moderate or severe suffering. Professor Sue Barnett, University of Glasgow, who is a 3Rs Prize 2012 runner up, writes about an in vitro technique, funded by NC3Rs, to replace the use of rodents in her laboratory.... Read more »
Boomkamp, S., Riehle, M., Wood, J., Olson, M., & Barnett, S. (2012) The development of a rat in vitro model of spinal cord injury demonstrating the additive effects of rho and ROCK inhibitors on neurite outgrowth and myelination. Glia, 60(3), 441-456. DOI: 10.1002/glia.22278
When does the the term 'correlation does not equal causation' become a moot point? It's a question I've often pondered, having discussed the issue quite a few times on this blog for all manner of correlations and associations linked to autism (sorry, the autisms).The weight of the heart @ Wikipedia Is there, for example, a recognised tipping point where the weight of evidence correlating A with B might actually lead to the consensus that A causes B either wholly or partially?Yes, I kn........ Read more »
Jakob Christensen, Therese Koops Grønborg, Merete Juul Sørensen, Diana Schendel, Erik Thorlund Parner, Lars Henning Pedersen, & Mogens Vestergaard. (2013) Prenatal Valproate Exposure and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Childhood Autism. JAMA. info:/
Putting the woof in tweet! (source)Hi Julie,Wow! Thanks for sharing the amazing fun tweet-week we had posting for @realscientists on Twitter. It was great to engage with so many people about so many areas of dog (and other animal!) behaviour and research. And poo. So many questions about dog poo! Some things can be relied upon in life; it’s good to know people are always curious about dog poo.If you want to revisit any of those posts or links we exchanged as part of the Real Scienti........ Read more »
Wells Deborah L., & Hepper Peter G. (1998) A note on the influence of visual conspecific contact on the behaviour of sheltered dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 60(1), 83-88. DOI: 10.1016/S0168-1591(98)00146-4
Taylor K, & Mills D. (2007) The effect of the kennel environment on canine welfare: a critical review of experimental studies. Animal Welfare, 16(4), 435-447. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ufaw/aw/2007/00000016/00000004/art00003
Sop Shin Won. (2007) The influence of forest view through a window on job satisfaction and job stress. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 22(3), 248-253. DOI: 10.1080/02827580701262733
Verderber Stephen, & Reuman David. (1987) Windows, views, and health status in hospital therapeutic environments. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 4(2), 120-133. http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1988-30782-001
Scientists from the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research (MCCIR) have discovered why a particular cancer drug is so effective at killing cells. Their findings could be used to aid the design of future cancer treatments.... Read more »
Morwenna Grills. (2013) Video reveals cancer cells’ Achilles’ heel. The University of Manchester . info:/
There’s been a lot of talk about “paleo diets”, but here we have the real deal. A meal caught in the middle of digestion in a dinosaur.
Microraptor gui was introduced back in 2003, and immediately attracted attention because of the its feathers, particularly lots of long, prominent feathers on its hind legs, so unlike any bird or other flying beast we know of. There is good evidence (though disputed) that it was a glossy, black animal, rather like the grackles that hang around my campus.
........ Read more »
What is the Cell Picture Show?
A place to showcase striking images in cell, developmental, and molecular biology; a place to learn about cutting-edge research with beautiful images.... Read more »
Cell picture show. (2013) The Dynamic Nucleus. Cell picture show. info:/
I’ve talked a lot about how much I am interested in seeing new visualization strategies for working with the volumes of data was have today–which are certainly not going to stop flowing in. But a more basic level of this is even just locating and navigating to find the data sets you might want to [...]... Read more »
Robbins, D., Gruneberg, A., Deus, H., Tanik, M., & Almeida, J. (2013) A self-updating road map of The Cancer Genome Atlas. Bioinformatics. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt141
The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network. (2008) Comprehensive genomic characterization defines human glioblastoma genes and core pathways. Nature, 455(7216), 1061-1068. DOI: 10.1038/nature07385
Plants are great poison generators. Their toxins can affect skin, heart function, nerve function, or muscle function. In many cases plants make more than one toxin. The manchineel tree for instance, can induce everything from blindness to blisters to swelling of larynx. Oleander is toxic, but for different reasons, and urushiol from poison ivy induces a type IV hypersensitivity. Sounds like none of this is good for humans, but new research studies are showing medicinal values for these plant tox........ Read more »
Bas, A., Demirci, S., Yazihan, N., Uney, K., & Ermis Kaya, E. (2012) Nerium oleander Distillate Improves Fat and Glucose Metabolism in High-Fat Diet-Fed Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats. International Journal of Endocrinology, 1-10. DOI: 10.1155/2012/947187
Suk, K., Baik, S., Kim, H., Park, S., Paeng, K., Uh, Y., Jang, I., Cho, M., Choi, E., Kim, M.... (2011) Antibacterial Effects of the Urushiol Component in the Sap of the Lacquer Tree (Rhus verniciflua Stokes) on Helicobacter pylori. Helicobacter, 16(6), 434-443. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-5378.2011.00864.x
Garg, A., Buchholz, T., & Aggarwal, B. (2005) Chemosensitization and Radiosensitization of Tumors by Plant Polyphenols. Antioxidants , 7(11-12), 1630-1647. DOI: 10.1089/ars.2005.7.1630
A group of scientists from the University of Exeter, with support from Shell, has developed a new technique which makes use of bacteria to produce diesel fuel.... Read more »
Howard, T., Middelhaufe, S., Moore, K., Edner, C., Kolak, D., Taylor, G., Parker, D., Lee, R., Smirnoff, N., Aves, S.... (2013) Synthesis of customized petroleum-replica fuel molecules by targeted modification of free fatty acid pools in Escherichia coli. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1215966110
University of Chicago researchers have created a synthetic compound that mimics the complex quantum dynamics observed in photosynthesis and may enable fundamentally new routes to creating solar energy technologies. Engineering quantum effects into synthetic light-harvesting devices is not only possible, but also easier than anyone expected, the researchers report in the April 18 edition of Science Express.... Read more »
Steve Koppes. (2013) Design principles of quantum biology could open path to new solar technology. University of Chicago News. info:/
She's apparently a picky mater but not a picky eater. The female of a certain fly species, after mating with a male, dumps his ejaculate back out of her body and onto the ground. Then she gobbles it up. Despite new hints that this behavior may help the female choose which partner fertilizes her eggs, or keep her healthy in times of famine, scientists are still a little perplexed by it.
Various female insects, spiders, and birds are known to expel the male ejaculate from their bodies after t........ Read more »
Rodriguez-Enriquez, C., Tadeo, E., & Rull, J. (2013) Elucidating the function of ejaculate expulsion and consumption after copulation by female Euxesta bilimeki. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-013-1518-5
In our workshops around the world on the UCSC Genome Browser, we talk at the very beginning about the framework for the organization of the data in the graphical representation. We describe that the reference genome–the official released genome–for a species provides the genome coordinates, or positions, that allows the rest of the data to [...]... Read more »
Zody, M., Jiang, Z., Fung, H., Antonacci, F., Hillier, L., Cardone, M., Graves, T., Kidd, J., Cheng, Z., Abouelleil, A.... (2008) Evolutionary toggling of the MAPT 17q21.31 inversion region. Nature Genetics, 40(9), 1076-1083. DOI: 10.1038/ng.193
How exactly do lineages diverge to the point that they can be considered separate species, and especially reach reproductive isolation, is still an ongoing question in evolutionary biology. Classical views of speciation hypothesize the existence of speciation genes, defined as … Continuer la lecture →... Read more »
Ellegren H, Smeds L, Burri R, Olason PI, Backström N, Kawakami T, Künstner A, Mäkinen H, Nadachowska-Brzyska K, Qvarnström A.... (2012) The genomic landscape of species divergence in Ficedula flycatchers. Nature, 491(7426), 756-60. PMID: 23103876
Q: When is an identical twin not an identical twin? A: Pretty much all the time (at least according to some people) as our increasing understanding of the complexity of genetics stretches and modifies long-held beliefs about the building blocks of life and their role in our health and wellbeing.DNA methylation differences? @ Wikipedia Today I'm talking about identical (monozygotic) twins - siblings derived from one fertilised egg - and how the science of epigenetics might have so........ Read more »
Wong, C., Meaburn, E., Ronald, A., Price, T., Jeffries, A., Schalkwyk, L., Plomin, R., & Mill, J. (2013) Methylomic analysis of monozygotic twins discordant for autism spectrum disorder and related behavioural traits. Molecular Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2013.41
I’m thankful that my body knows how to handle days when I feed it wonderful things, like a banana and a giant bowl of strawberries, then follow it up with a few gut-busting mini-doughnuts. Although worms and other organisms don’t have access to doughnuts like I do, their bodies still have protections in place to handle changes in their diet. Today’s image is from a paper describing how the germline is protected from a changing diet.Organisms consume a variety of food options, y........ Read more »
Gracida, X., & Eckmann, C. (2013) Fertility and Germline Stem Cell Maintenance under Different Diets Requires nhr-114/HNF4 in C. elegans. Current Biology, 23(7), 607-613. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.02.034
An unemployed neighbor wins the lottery, a friend who regularly boasts about his good health becomes ill. We are highly sensitive to changing fortunes of others. We want to know who’s doing worse and who’s doing better than before, as these shifts in our social environment may have implications for our own well-being. In particular we are drawn to unexpected changes: underdogs that beat the odds and top dogs that fall from grace. Whether we witness the creation of a hero or the demis........ Read more »
Feather, N., & Sherman, R. (2002) Envy, Resentment, Schadenfreude, and Sympathy: Reactions to Deserved and Undeserved Achievement and Subsequent Failure. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(7), 953-961. DOI: 10.1177/014616720202800708
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