X

Posts

April 09, 2014

+
9:46 PM | Why we sign our peer reviews
Last week I posted the results from a brief survey of our readers, asking whether they usually sign their peer reviews. In that small sample of evolutionary ecologists, the overwhelming majority said they review anonymously, though many participants seem to … Continue reading →
+
9:46 PM | Why we don’t sign our peer reviews
Last week I posted the results from a brief survey of our readers, asking whether they usually sign their peer reviews. In that small sample of evolutionary ecologists, the overwhelming majority said they review anonymously, though many participants seem to … Continue reading →
+
7:46 PM | Journal Club: Telomere length: a new measure of chronic stress in wildlife?
SUMMARY: Two independent studies find a positive relationship between social environment and telomere length. The first study -- that nearly everyone has heard about -- is in children. The second study -- that few have heard about -- is in pet grey parrots. The second study raises the question: might telomere length be developed as a new way to measure chronic stress -- in animals? Telomere caps (white) on the ends of human chromosomes (grey). Image: U.S. Department of Energy... Read more

Aydinonat D., Penn D.J., Smith S., Moodley Y., Hoelzl F., Knauer F., Schwarzenberger F. & Saretzki G. (2014). Social Isolation Shortens Telomeres in African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus), PLoS ONE, 9 (4) e93839. DOI:

Shalev I., Entringer S., Wadhwa P.D., Wolkowitz O.M., Puterman E., Lin J. & Epel E.S. (2013). Stress and telomere biology: A lifespan perspective, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38 (9) 1835-1842. DOI:

Mitchell C., Hobcraft J., McLanahan S.S., Siegel S.R., Berg A., Brooks-Gunn J., Garfinkel I. & Notterman D. Social disadvantage, genetic sensitivity, and children's telomere length, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI:

Citation
+
6:25 PM | Wordless Wednesday: Research Snapshots 6
I was trying very hard to share some new photos from but I can’t seen to upload any pictures today. I’m missing my rats, actually, so revisiting the photographs of them makes me recall... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
+
5:55 PM | Acid-bath stem cell scientist apologizes and appeals
Haruko Obokata, the Japanese scientist at the centre of a controversy over studies purporting to turn mature cells to stem cells simply by bathing them in acid or subjecting them to mechanical stress, today apologized for her errors in the work.  Read more
+
5:50 PM | A mission in the Cretaceous of southern Israel
MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–Today Yoav and I set out to solve a mapping dilemma concerning the boundaries of the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) En Yorqe’am Formation in the Negev and, eventually, the Judean Desert to the north. It involved a bumpy ride deep into some of the most beautiful areas of the country, and it produced all […]
+
5:06 PM | Ouch! Things are tough all over, even at Kew.
When people think of botanical gardens, if they know their stuff, they think of Kew. Botanical gardens are not just pretty places, they do lots of what you would generally call conservation biology that are increasingly impossible or incompatible with university botanical science.  It takes no small number of people to run a garden like Kew, knowledgeable people, skilled people, and even still these people do not make salaries that make other people say, "Wow, there's real money […]
+
4:46 PM | New Findings on Size of Paraves
20 million years before Archaeopteryx, dozens of dinosaurs were found to be light and winged, though not flapping their wings.
+
3:18 PM | Telomere length: a new measure of chronic stress in wildlife? | @GrrlScientist
Two independent studies find a positive relationship between social environment and telomere length. The first study -- that nearly everyone has heard about -- is in children. The second study -- that few have heard about -- is in pet grey parrots. The second study raises the question: might telomere length be developed a new way to measure chronic stress -- in animals? Telomeres, the DNA-protein caps that prevent chromosomal fraying, are positively affected by social stress, according to two […]

Mitchell C., Hobcraft J., McLanahan S.S., Siegel S.R., Berg A., Brooks-Gunn J., Garfinkel I. & Notterman D. Social disadvantage, genetic sensitivity, and children's telomere length, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI:

Citation
+
1:32 PM | The magic of commerce
A re-read of The Malay Archipelago reminded me of Alfred Russel Wallace’s occasional bleeding-heart libertarian leanings. From his time in remote Dobo in the Aru Islands of Eastern Indonesia: I daresay there are now near five hundred people in Dobbo of various races, all met in this remote corner of the East, as they express […] The post The magic of commerce appeared first on Evolving Economics.
+
12:00 PM | Capsaicin – Adding To Or Taking Your Pain
Biology concepts – hyperalgesia, allodynia, analgesia, sensitization, potentiation, desensitization, habituation, burning mouth syndromeApparently this is how people shovel snow in the cold climates. I agree with the form; always bend with your knees not your back. But the bikini? Really? I feel like kind of a wimp for talking about my fingers hurting when I stay out too long.You know that intense pain you get in your fingers when you've been out in the cold for a while? Why does that […]

Borsani E, Majorana A, Cocchi MA, Conti G, Bonadeo S, Padovani A, Lauria G, Bardellini E, Rezzani R & Rodella LF & (2013). Epithelial expression of vanilloid and cannabinoid receptors: a potential role in burning mouth syndrome pathogenesis., Histology and histopathology, PMID:

Silvestre FJ, Silvestre-Rangil J, Tamarit-Santafé C & Bautista D (2012). Application of a capsaicin rinse in the treatment of burning mouth syndrome., Medicina oral, patologia oral y cirugia bucal, 17 (1) 4. PMID:

Alpizar YA, Boonen B, Gees M, Sanchez A, Nilius B, Voets T & Talavera K (2014). Allyl isothiocyanate sensitizes TRPV1 to heat stimulation., Pflugers Archiv : European journal of physiology, 466 (3) 507-15. PMID:

Simonic-Kocijan S, Zhao X, Liu W, Wu Y, Uhac I & Wang K (2013). TRPV1 channel-mediated bilateral allodynia induced by unilateral masseter muscle inflammation in rats., Molecular pain, 9 68. PMID:

Citation
+
11:00 AM | Should We Stop Using Vinegar To Treat Box Jelly Stings? Not Yet—Venom Experts Weigh In On Recent Study
When you’re stung by a box jellyfish, you know it almost immediately. These somewhat squarish shaped cnidarians are armed to the bell with some of the most painful venom in the world. Long tentacles are packed with millions of stinging cells, called nematocysts, each with its own microscopic, needle-like harpoon-tipped tubule waiting to plunge into […]The post Should We Stop Using Vinegar To Treat Box Jelly Stings? Not Yet—Venom Experts Weigh In On Recent Study appeared first […]

Welfare P., Little M., Pereira P. & Seymour J. (2014). An in-vitro examination of the effect of vinegar on discharged nematocysts of Chironex fleckeri., Diving and hyperbaric medicine : the journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society, 44 (1) 30-34. PMID:

Citation
+
10:32 AM | Eyewire: Solving mysteries of the brain through gaming
While some may be familiar with the concept–made famous by Foldit, a pioneer online video puzzle where you “fold” protein as part of a University of Washington research project–the crowd at Bibliotheca Alexandria were blown away by a similar game model: Eyewire, neurology’s first ever computation game, open to laypeople.  Read more
+
8:00 AM | Windback Wednesday: Entrepreneurship
The word entrepreneur comes from the 13th century french verb entreprendre, which literally translates to “to do something” or “to undertake”. By the 16th century, the word entrepreneur had developed a meaning of its own: someone who undertakes a business venture. It’s distinguishing features, according to Richard Cantillon (an 18th century economist), are an understanding of risk and being prepared to do business without guaranteed profits. Sounds scary, but it […]
+
6:19 AM | Yale EEB Postdoc in Microbial Evolutionary Ecology
Yale Postdoctoral Position in Microbial Evolutionary Ecology. A two- to three-year postdoctoral position is available immediately in the laboratory of Paul Turner in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. We are seeking a highly motivated and creative individual to participate in ongoing experimental projects relating to eco-evolutionary theory.  These projects concern […]
+
1:05 AM | Pave paradise, put up a parking lot
What the bloody hell are they thinking? Please understand, far northern Queensland is one of TPP's favorite places, so why does big money interests continue to try to pave paradise and put up a parking lot?  In an early bout of developmental insanity, moneyed interests ruined Port Douglas.  What was previously a sleepy outpost on the Daintree River, a last bit of civilization on the edge of rainforest and coral reef (one of the few places on Earth where the two meet).  Port […]
+
12:33 AM | Monthly Map
Ireland looks into dairy cows, the UK eyes synthetic biology, and the Philippines grapples with Bt eggplant. (You want it big? Click the image.)  … Read more

April 08, 2014

+
9:39 PM | Old Photos Revive Dinosaur Chase
On the fourth floor of the American Museum of Natural History, hiding in plain sight, there is an …
+
9:25 PM | Railguns vs. Coilguns
So, the US Navy is about to deploy a railgun on a test bed ship, the Joint High Speed Vessel. The JHSV isn’t intended as a combat ship. It’s a testing ship. What’s moderately interesting is that I previously heard that the railgun would be installed aboard another vessel. But those things change in the military. What […]
+
8:47 PM | Call for papers: The University of Edinburgh’s LEL Postgraduate Conference, 28th – 30th May 2014
Every year postgraduate linguists at the University of Edinburgh get together and run a conference. The deadline for submissions is fast approaching (15th April, 2014), but it’s only 500 words, so I’m sure you’ll be able to cobble something together. For more information, visit the website: http://resource.ppls.ed.ac.uk/lelpgc/ . Here’s the call for papers (lifted from the […]
+
8:03 PM | Guest post by Kevin Penn: In Search of Bacteria on Drugs: Secondary Metabolites and Microbial Ecology
Below is a guest post from Kevin Penn, who used to work in my lab ...I am a former Research Associate of Jonathan’s interested in understanding evolution and ecology of microbes in natural environments.  Recently I’ve become interested in learning about the expression of secondary metabolite related genes in natural settings to put the gene’s products into an ecological context, because almost certainly microbes are not making natural products just to benefit humans. […]
+
5:56 PM | Nothing in Biology Makes Sense: Is a sloth's best friend its moth-fur?
This week at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! I'm discussing a new study that purports to demonstrate that three-toed sloths are in a nutritional mutualism with specialized moths, fueled by algae and poop:Sloths’ coarse, shaggy fur accumulates its own little microcosm of living passengers. (If you move that slowly in a tropical forest canopy, you’re going to get some hop-ons.) Among these are an assortment of algae, and moths in the genus Cryptoses. It’s been known for a long […]
+
5:22 PM | How many moths must a sloth carry off for the sloth to rely on the moths?
Sloths are weird critters. Cute, in a certain light, but mostly weird. They’re members—with armadillos and anteaters—in a superorder of mammals called the Xenarthra, which are united by a unique form of multi-jointed vertebrae. Their diet consists mostly of leaves, which are poor quality food, and hard to digest. Fortunately, they also have one of […]

Pauli J.N., Mendoza J.E., Steffan S.A., Carey C.C., Weimer P.J. & Peery M.Z. (2014). A syndrome of mutualism reinforces the lifestyle of a sloth, Proc. Royal Soc. B, 281 (1778) DOI:

Citation
+
4:00 PM | Wanted: Diverse, Innovative Problem-solvers, Next Generation Scientists
When I departed for college my grandmother told me to join the debate team, because I was always arguing trying to prove a point. She was correct. I was a chatty Cathy and was always defending... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
+
3:32 PM | Cretaceous echinoderms are today’s stars
MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–There’s a joke in the title, in case you didn’t notice! I was on my own for my second day of fieldwork in southern Israel. I revisited yesterday’s outcrops of the Upper Cretaceous (Coniacian) Zichor Formation, taking more time to plot out future section-measuring and fossil-collecting sites for students. I was also able […]
+
3:09 PM | Forcing taxonomy
Things are slowly greening up, but my taxonomy class needs more flowering specimens.  So TPP will have to resort to more forcing, that is, bringing nearly in flower specimens into the glasshouse to hurry them along.  And no, not the other kind of forcing where as a colleague of mine used to say, "I'll teach them (fill-in-the-blank) even if I have to tear their heads off and pour it in."  Actually with new learning technologies, microchips can be implanted thus eliminating the […]
+
2:42 PM | Imagine not getting the PhD you’d been working towards… #datadramas
What would happen if you lost all of your research data? The loss of scientific data can have a devastating impact on careers. Imagine if you lost all of the research data you’d been diligently collecting for four years. Now imagine the knock-on effect; you wouldn’t get the PhD you’d been working towards and your future career would be impacted. This nightmare situation actually happened to Billy Hinchen. Hear his story.  Read more
+
2:36 PM | A Triassic afternoon in southern Israel
MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–This afternoon I walked through the spectacular Middle Triassic sections in Wadi Gevanim on the southern side of the Makhtesh Ramon structure. I will be on a fantastic trip this Thursday to a little-visited Triassic section farther south, so I wanted to refresh my memory of these units. The above image is looking […]
+
11:21 AM | Emily Anthes discusses how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends
Emily Anthes is a science journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Scientific American, Psychology Today, BBC Future, SEED, Discover, Popular Science, Slate, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.  Read more
+
9:29 AM | Relative Risk: Breast Cancer and Genetics — Review for the Progress Educational Trust
Last week, the Progress Education Trust launched a new project called ‘Breast Cancer: Chances, Choices and Genetics’, inspired by Angelina Jolie’s risk-reducing mastectomy surgery. It’s a topic I was previously keen on avoiding. I hoped to get through an entire science-writing career without using the ‘C’ word, but alas. I’ve reviewed the first of the […]
123456789
313 Results