Offshore drilling is often discussed in terms of its positive effect on the economy and the potential risks it carries for the environment. There’s, however, another side to offshore drilling, one that is less often talked about.... Read more »
Parnell, J., Boyce, A., Hurst, A., Davidheiser-Kroll, B., & Ponicka, J. (2013) Long term geological record of a global deep subsurface microbial habitat in sand injection complexes. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep01828
Teasing out the insulin effect.
On the face of it, the study seems to come out of left field: A group of researchers claimed that marijuana smokers showed 16 per cent lower fasting insulin levels than non-smokers. The study, called “The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults,” is in press for The American Journal of Medicine. The authors are a diverse group of medical researchers from Harvard, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and t........ Read more »
Penner Elizabeth A., Buettner Hannah, & Mittleman Murray A. (2013) The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults. The American Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.03.002
Scientists have found that the complex biochemical changes through RNA may have been occurred in the start of the life on early Earth.
RNA (full form: ribonucleic acid) is a nucleic acid that has the sugar ribose, is found in all living cells, and is essential for the manufacture of proteins according to the instructions carried by genes. RNA also acts instead of DNA as the genetic material in certain viruses.
RNA is tho........ Read more »
Hsiao, C., Chou, I., Okafor, C., Bowman, J., O'Neill, E., Athavale, S., Petrov, A., Hud, N., Wartell, R., Harvey, S.... (2013) RNA with iron(II) as a cofactor catalyses electron transfer. Nature Chemistry, 5(6), 525-528. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1649
Recently we attended the Medical Library Association conference (#MLAnet13). Librarians are working so hard to wrangle information into usable forms, and to generate new connections among data types to reveal new information and leads for further studies. I ♥ librarians. In one of the sessions I attended on Medical Informatics, I heard several great talks. One [...]... Read more »
Rabinowitz, P., Scotch, M., & Conti, L. (2010) Animals as Sentinels: Using Comparative Medicine To Move Beyond the Laboratory. ILAR Journal, 51(3), 262-267. DOI: 10.1093/ilar.51.3.262
Rabinowitz, P., Gordon, Z., Holmes, R., Taylor, B., Wilcox, M., Chudnov, D., Nadkarni, P., & Dein, F. (2005) Animals as Sentinels of Human Environmental Health Hazards: An Evidence-Based Analysis. EcoHealth, 2(1), 26-37. DOI: 10.1007/s10393-004-0151-1
Rabinowitz, P., Cullen, M., & Lake, H. (1999) Wildlife as sentinels for human health hazards: a review of study designs. Journal of Environmental Medicine, 1(4), 217-223. DOI: 10.1002/jem.33
It’s no secret that carnivorous plants are just way cool. Yet despite all the attention, there is still a lot we don’t know about them. Recent studies have expanded the view we have of these plants so that we now recognize more and more of them – like tomatoes and potatoes. Yes, our vegetables are insectivores!
New research has show that pitcher plants possess anti-microbial peptides in their pitchers, that some sundews can catapult insects into their traps in just a few mil........ Read more »
Poppinga, S., Hartmeyer, S., Seidel, R., Masselter, T., Hartmeyer, I., & Speck, T. (2012) Catapulting Tentacles in a Sticky Carnivorous Plant. PLoS ONE, 7(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045735
Buch, F., Rott, M., Rottloff, S., Paetz, C., Hilke, I., Raessler, M., & Mithofer, A. (2012) Secreted pitfall-trap fluid of carnivorous Nepenthes plants is unsuitable for microbial growth. Annals of Botany, 111(3), 375-383. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcs287
Schulze, W., Sanggaard, K., Kreuzer, I., Knudsen, A., Bemm, F., Thogersen, I., Brautigam, A., Thomsen, L., Schliesky, S., Dyrlund, T.... (2012) The Protein Composition of the Digestive Fluid from the Venus Flytrap Sheds Light on Prey Digestion Mechanisms. Molecular , 11(11), 1306-1319. DOI: 10.1074/mcp.M112.021006
When animals live caves full time, their descendents often lose their eyes. It has happened over and over and over and over again, in all different kinds of animals. But how this happens is not obvious. Stephen Jay Gould wrote that some people would use cave fish as an argument that “Lamarck must have been on to something” with his idea that acquired characteristics can be inherited. Well, no, that’s not that case, but it is a good example of how tricky thinking about losses can be.
The l........ Read more »
Carlini David B, Satish Suma, & Fong Daniel W. (2013) Parallel reduction in expression, but no loss of functional constraint, in two opsin paralogs within cave populations of Gammarus minus (Crustacea: Amphipoda). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13(1), 89. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-89
If you’ve seen March of the Penguins, you probably understand the question. Many penguins live a shitty life, walking miles and miles without any food and spending months apart from their families. This would be over with if they just flew from one place to the other. So why did they stop doing that?... Read more »
Elliott, K., Ricklefs, R., Gaston, A., Hatch, S., Speakman, J., & Davoren, G. (2013) High flight costs, but low dive costs, in auks support the biomechanical hypothesis for flightlessness in penguins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1304838110
Scientists must ensure that they take the lead in the ethical debate surrounding the therapeutic use of stem cells derived from human clones.... Read more »
It’s something you learn in high school – there are two basic approaches to cellular life – prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and eukaryotes (the rest of us – aardvarks, amoebae, apricots, etc.). Prokaryotes have an open-plan office, with all biological …... Read more »
Santarella-Mellwig, R., Pruggnaller, S., Roos, N., Mattaj, I., & Devos, D. (2013) Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Bacteria with a Complex Endomembrane System. PLoS Biology, 11(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001565
“LET THERE BE LIGHT!” said the microscopist. Light plays a crucial role in microscopy and cell biology, and a recent paper describes the use of light to understand protein secretion.Light is used in microscopy in countless ways—to illuminate a sample, excite a fluorophore, and signal the localization or dynamics of a protein. Light can also be used to manipulate cellular events through the use of “caged” compounds that become active after illumination by certain wavelengths........ Read more »
Newly discovered papers have shed light on a fascinating episode in the history of neuroscience: Weighing brain activity with the balance The story of the early Italian neuroscientist Dr Angelo Mosso and his ‘human circulation balance’ is an old one – I remember reading about it as a student, in the introductory bit of a [...]... Read more »
Sandrone S, Bacigaluppi M, Galloni MR, Cappa SF, Moro A, Catani M, Filippi M, Monti MM, Perani D, & Martino G. (2013) Weighing brain activity with the balance: Angelo Mosso's original manuscripts come to light. Brain : a journal of neurology. PMID: 23687118
A new study shows how complex biochemical transformations may have been possible under conditions that existed when life began on the early Earth.... Read more »
Georgia Institute of Technology. (2013) RNA was capable of catalyzing electron transfer on early earth with iron's help, study shows. Georgia Institute of Technology. info:/
It’s time to stop scoffing at the synesthetes: linking music to colors is totally normal. It’s not really about the notes, though. Researchers say the colors we find in music are actually the colors of the emotions the music makes us feel.
Synesthetes are people whose sensory experiences overlap; they most often link letters or numbers to certain colors. Music-color synesthesia, in which hearing music triggers the colors, is rarer. In fact, when Stephen Palmer and Karen Schloss at the........ Read more »
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University and the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) have successfully reprogrammed human skin cells to become embryonic stem cells capable of transforming into any other cell type in the body. It is believed that stem cell therapies hold the promise of replacing cells damaged through injury or illness. Diseases or conditions that might be treated through stem cell therapy include Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cardiac disease a........ Read more »
The New York Stem Cell Foundation, Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Columbia University, Oregon Health , & NCBI. (2013) Major Advance For Stem Cell Research. Tracing Knowledge. info:/
A Science publications is one of the best ways to launch your career, especially if it is based on your undergraduate work, part of which you carried out with makeshift equipment in your dorm! That is the story of Thomas M.S. Chang, who in 1956 started experiments (partially carried out in his residence room in […]... Read more »
Pais, D., & Leonard, N. (2013) Adaptive network dynamics and evolution of leadership in collective migration. Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena. DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2013.04.014
Men might have found themselves an excuse not to listen to women. New research suggests that men have twice more difficulty reading emotions in women than in men. This may not sound surprising, but evidence that men have trouble understanding women is, at best, scarce.Being able to guess someone else’s thoughts, feelings and intentions is an instinctive social skill that develops in early childhood. We might take it for granted, but people who struggle or are unable to read other people, like ........ Read more »
Schiffer Boris, Pawliczek Christina, Müller Bernhard W., Gizewski Elke R., Walter Henrik, & Krueger Frank. (2013) Why Don't Men Understand Women? Altered Neural Networks for Reading the Language of Male and Female Eyes. PLoS ONE, 8(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060278.g003
A new species of green palm-pitviper of the genus Bothriechis is described from a seriously threatened cloud forest reserve in northern Honduras. Because of similarity in color pattern and scalation, the new species (Bothriechis guifarroi) was previously confused with other Honduran palm pitvipers. Genetic analysis revealed that the closest relatives of the new species are actually found over 600 km to the south, in the mountains of Costa Rica. The study was published in the open access journal ........ Read more »
Pensoft News. (2013) When green means danger A stunning new species of palm-pitviper from Honduras. Pensoft News. info:/
I have vague memories of the first time I counted to a hundred. It felt like one of those landmarks like tying your shoes for yourself the first time, or riding the bicycle more than a few feet without the training wheels or dad holding you up.
Of course, I don't come anywhere near Adam Spencer:
Once when I was about 7, I counted to 10,000 just to check the numbers didn't run out before then #NerdConfessions
Counting large numbers is not something that comes easily for us humans. A new paper c........ Read more »
I'm gonna try and be fairly brief in this post on the paper by Valerio Napolioni and colleagues* (open-access) looking at plasma cytokine profiles in cases of autism and their asymptomatic siblings. Brief because (a) the paper is open-access and (b) the participant groups (autism: n=25; sibling controls n=25) were relatively small so one has to be quite careful in extrapolating the findings with any large degree of confidence.Siblings by Paul Klee @ WikiPaintings Just in case you are ........ Read more »
Napolioni V, Ober-Reynolds B, Szelinger S, Corneveaux JJ, Pawlowski T, Ober-Reynolds S, Kirwan J, Persico AM, Melmed RD, Craig DW.... (2013) Plasma cytokine profiling in sibling pairs discordant for autism spectrum disorder. Journal of neuroinflammation, 38. PMID: 23497090
Erin on the side of a river somewhere in western NC, hard at work study obviously.
Erin Abernethy is a Master’s student in the Odum
School of Ecology at the University of Georgia, where she is studying
scavenging ecology in Hawaii. Before coming to Athens, Erin lived in North
Carolina earning her BS in Biology at Appalachian State. For that degree,... Read more »
Guillette Jr., L., Pickford, D., Crain, D., Rooney, A., & Percival, H. (1996) Reduction in Penis Size and Plasma Testosterone Concentrations in Juvenile Alligators Living in a Contaminated Environment. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 101(1), 32-42. DOI: 10.1006/gcen.1996.0005
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