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Sleep may be critical to avoid miscarriage
If you are trying to have a baby, a good night’s sleep is more important than ever. A recently published research report shows that the womb has its own “body clock” that needs to synchronize with the mother’s body clock to ensure optimal conditions for fetal growth and development. The inability of a mother’s body clock […]

Muter, J., Lucas, E., Chan, Y., Brighton, P., Moore, J., Lacey, L., Quenby, S., Lam, E. & Brosens, J. (2015). The clock protein period 2 synchronizes mitotic expansion and decidual transformation of human endometrial stromal cells, The FASEB Journal, 29 (4) 1603-1614. DOI: 10.1096/fj.14-267195

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Video Tip of the Week: The New OpenHelix Interface
Generally we like to highlight new features and new tools from bioinformatics software providers. But this week we wanted to introduce some new features of our own OpenHelix site. If you’ve been using the site for a while, you will have noticed that recently we rolled out some changes. All the same tutorial materials and […]

Williams J.M., M. E. Mangan, C. Perreault-Micale, S. Lathe, N. Sirohi & W. C. Lathe (2010). OpenHelix: bioinformatics education outside of a different box, Briefings in Bioinformatics, 11 (6) 598-609. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbq026

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Eyes on Environment post: cultural and environmental impact of big solar
Eighty miles east of Palm Springs, California, eight million solar panels lean toward the sky, their deep blue shine a modern oasis interrupting the brown dust of the Mojave Desert.  Known as Desert Sunlight, the solar power plant is the … Continue reading →

Hinderle, D., Lewison, R., Walde, A., Deutschman, D. & Boarman, W. (2015). The effects of homing and movement behaviors on translocation: Desert tortoises in the western Mojave Desert, The Journal of Wildlife Management, 79 (1) 137-147. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.823

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The Bird Jaws of Life
Biology concepts – ecology, radiative speciation, talpid, tomia, temperomandibular joint, cranial kinesis, bilateral symmetry, asymmetryYou’ve heard the phrase, “As scarce as hen’s teeth?” Well, you’ve heard it if you’re as old as I. Hens don’t have teeth, so the phrase means something so rare as to be fictitious. Sort of like Will Ferrell’s chances of winning an Oscar. Chicks don’t’ peck their way out of their shell. They use an […]

Meredith, R., Zhang, G., Gilbert, M., Jarvis, E. & Springer, M. (2014). Evidence for a single loss of mineralized teeth in the common avian ancestor, Science, 346 (6215) 1254390-1254390. DOI: 10.1126/science.1254390

Smith, J., Sjoberg, S., Mueller, M. & Benkman, C. (2012). Assortative flocking in crossbills and implications for ecological speciation, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279 (1745) 4223-4229. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1500

Benkman, C., Parchman, T. & Mezquida, E. (2010). Patterns of coevolution in the adaptive radiation of crossbills, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1206 (1) 1-16. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05702.x

SNOWBERG, L. & BENKMAN, C. (2009). Mate choice based on a key ecological performance trait, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22 (4) 762-769. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01699.x

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Gulf War agents and delayed onset of symptoms in mice
I was recently intrigued by the findings reported by Zuchra Zakirova and colleagues [1] (open-access) on what happened to mice following 'acute' exposure to pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and the pesticide permethrin (PER) in the context of these compounds being "key contributors to the etiology of GWI [Gulf War Illness] post deployment to the Persian GW [Gulf War]."I've covered the topic of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) before on this blog (see here) and how, […]

Zakirova, Z., Tweed, M., Crynen, G., Reed, J., Abdullah, L., Nissanka, N., Mullan, M., Mullan, M., Mathura, V., Crawford, F. & Ait-Ghezala, G. (2015). Gulf War Agent Exposure Causes Impairment of Long-Term Memory Formation and Neuropathological Changes in a Mouse Model of Gulf War Illness, PLOS ONE, 10 (3) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119579

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Operationalizing the local environment for replicator dynamics
Recently, Jake Taylor-King arrived in Tampa and last week we were brainstorming some projects to work on together. In the process, I dug up an old idea I’ve been playing with as my understanding of the Ohtsuki-Nowak transform matured. The basic goal is to work towards an operational account of spatial structure without having to […]

Ohtsuki, H. & Nowak, M. (2006). The replicator equation on graphs., Journal of Theoretical Biology, 243 (1) 86-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.06.004

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An apple a day may keep the children away: Pesticides and sperm count
Ever hear that old saying an apple a day keeps the Doctor away? Well it might have the right idea, just the wrong person. New research investigating the relationship between eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues and the quality of men’s semen has shown a link with lower sperm counts and percentages of normally-formed sperm. So […]

Y.H. Chiu et al. (2015). Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic, Human Reproduction, Other:

Hagai Levine & Shanna H. Swan (2015). Is dietary pesticide exposure related to semen quality? Positive evidence from men attending a fertility clinic, Human Reproduction, Other:

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Ovulation changes women’s desire for variety in products
We know that hormones affect who we are, even when we aren’t aware of it. In the past scientists have found that people who are hungry tend to buy more things, no surprise for those of us who have shopped hungry. However, new research shows that women seek a greater variety of products and services, […]

Durante, K. & Arsena, A. (2015). Playing the Field: The Effect of Fertility on Women’s Desire for Variety, Journal of Consumer Research, 41 (6) 1372-1391. DOI: 10.1086/679652

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African-Americans Receive Heart Transplants at Hospitals With Poor Performance Track Records
About five million people in the US suffer from heart failure, and approximately half of them die within five years of being diagnosed. Only about 2,500 people a year receive a heart transplant – the treatment of last resort. A new heart can be life-saving, but it is also life-changing. Even under the best conditions, the surgery is complex, and recovery carries a heavy physical and emotional burden. And not all heart transplant recipients fare equally well after the surgery.... Read more

Kilic, A., Higgins, R., Whitson, B. & Kilic, A. (2015). Racial Disparities in Outcomes of Adult Heart Transplantation, Circulation, 131 (10) 882-889. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.011676

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African-Americans Receive Heart Transplants at Hospitals With Poor Performance Track Records
About five million people in the US suffer from heart failure, and approximately half of them die within five years of being diagnosed. Only about 2,500 people a year receive a heart transplant – the treatment of last resort. A new heart can be life-saving, but it is also life-changing. Even under the best conditions, the surgery is complex, and recovery carries a heavy physical and emotional burden. And not all heart transplant recipients fare equally well after the surgery.... Read more

Kilic, A., Higgins, R., Whitson, B. & Kilic, A. (2015). Racial Disparities in Outcomes of Adult Heart Transplantation, Circulation, 131 (10) 882-889. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.011676

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