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Posts

April 09, 2014

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2:00 PM | Regenerating the aged thymus
The latest issue of Development includes a paper by Clare Blackburn and colleagues at the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, showing that the aged mouse thymus can be regenerated in vivo by the upregulation of a single transcription factor, FOXN1. This work has generated quite a lot of interest in […]

Bredenkamp, N., Nowell, C. & Blackburn, C. (2014). Regeneration of the aged thymus by a single transcription factor, Development, 141 (8) 1627-1637. DOI:

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2:00 PM | The mysterious case of the Hexagon and Saturn’s rotation period
Can you name a polygonal feature in any of the Solar System atmospheres? None? Up to our current knowledge there is only one: Saturn’s Hexagon. […] Read more The post The mysterious case of the Hexagon and Saturn’s rotation period appeared first on Mapping Ignorance. Related posts:Mysterious vaults and neuronal regeneration Saturn’s extreme weather in the computer The wandering Venus southern polar vortex

Sánchez-Lavega A., del Río-Gaztelurrutia T., Hueso R., Pérez-Hoyos S., García-Melendo E., Antuñano A., Mendikoa I., Rojas J.F., Lillo J. & Barrado-Navascués D. & (2014). The long-term steady motion of Saturn's hexagon and the stability of its enclosed jet stream under seasonal changes, Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (5) 1425-1431. DOI:

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1:11 PM | Stunted butterfly wings linked to food shortages during caterpillar phase
A lack of food during a critical stage of larval development may impair the growth of adult monarch butterfly wings, with potentially disastrous consequences for the migration success of this species.  Butterflies have a complex lifecycle, undergoing an astonishing transformation from caterpillar to adult butterfly. During the larval stage, the caterpillar must consume vast quantities […]

Johnson H, Solensky MJ, Satterfield DA & Davis AK (2014). Does Skipping a Meal Matter to a Butterfly's Appearance? Effects of Larval Food Stress on Wing Morphology and Color in Monarch Butterflies., PLoS ONE, 9 (4) PMID:

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12:30 PM | How Clever Do You Think Your Dog Is?
Maybe as smart as a four year old child?Photo: DragoNika / ShutterstockCanine researchers have been investigating dogs’ cognitive abilities: whether they can solve puzzles, recognize our emotions, and so on. But are ordinary people aware of these findings, and do they have a realistic view of dogs? A paper by Tiffani Howell (Monash University) et al investigates owner’s beliefs about their dog’s intelligence.The research, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, […]

Howell, T., Toukhsati, S., Conduit, R. & Bennett, P. (2013). The Perceptions of Dog Intelligence and Cognitive Skills (PoDIaCS) Survey, Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 8 (6) 418-424. DOI:

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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:

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11:16 AM | Identified a new possible target to combat muscle wasting
The pathological atrophy of skeletal muscle is a serious biomedical problem for which no effective treatment is currently available. Those most affected populations are the elderly diagnosed with sarcopenia and patients with cancer, AIDS, and other infectious diseases that develop cachexia. A study by scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), headed by […]

Sala D, Ivanova S, Plana N, Ribas V, Duran J, Bach D, Turkseven S, Laville M, Vidal H, Karczewska-Kupczewska M & Kowalska I (2014). Autophagy-regulating TP53INP2 mediates muscle wasting and is repressed in diabetes., The Journal of clinical investigation, PMID:

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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:

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11:00 AM | Omega Fatty Acids: The Science Behind Fish Oil- Guest post from Beauty by the Geeks
So we all know that old story your grandma used to tell you… ‘Make sure you eat plenty of fish so you grow up to be a brainbox’ but where […]

Simopoulos, A. (1997). Nutrition tid‐bites: Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease, Food Reviews International, 13 (4) 623-631. DOI:

Chang CY, Ke DS & Chen JY (2009). Essential fatty acids and human brain., Acta neurologica Taiwanica, 18 (4) 231-41. PMID:

Calder PC (2013). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory processes: nutrition or pharmacology?, British journal of clinical pharmacology, 75 (3) 645-62. PMID:

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10:33 AM | What is Ebola? Why is it scary? A really simple answer
“Ebola Virus outbreak” is a headline that produces terror. Well, it should… but I’m not sure that it does. There’s been an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea and Liberia in West Africa, but how many of us actually know what Ebola is – let alone why it is so scary? A quick poll of friends … Continue reading →

Bwaka, M., Bonnet, M., Calain, P., Colebunders, R., De Roo, A., Guimard, Y., Katwiki, K., Kibadi, K., Kipasa, M., Kuvula, K. & Mapanda, B. (1999). Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo: Clinical Observations in 103 Patients, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 179 (s1) DOI:

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1:03 AM | An unexpected actor: role of arid environments in terrestrial carbon uptake
Anthropogenic climate change has become a household phrase, spreading throughout our culture as more and more research documents the effect of fossil fuel emissions on CO2 levels in the atmosphere and average global surface temperatures.  But our society’s CO2 emissions … Continue reading →

Evans, R., Koyama, A., Sonderegger, D., Charlet, T., Newingham, B., Fenstermaker, L., Harlow, B., Jin, V., Ogle, K., Smith, S. & Nowak, R. (2014). Greater ecosystem carbon in the Mojave Desert after ten years exposure to elevated CO2, Nature Climate Change, DOI:

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April 08, 2014

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8:21 PM | Study Reveals Causes of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Degradation
Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) have made a surprising discovery about the degradation of dye-sensitized solar cells that could help pave the way to prolonging the lifetime of these cells. Read more »

Ono, L., Schulz, P., Endres, J., Nikiforov, G., Kato, Y., Kahn, A. & Qi, Y. (2014). Air-Exposure-Induced Gas-Molecule Incorporation into Spiro-MeOTAD Films, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 1374-1379. DOI:

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6:09 PM | Gold Coating to Reduce Glare From Solar Panels
A new work by UC Irvine scientists could reduce glare from solar panels and electronic displays and dull dangerous glints on military weapons. Read more »

Toma, M., Loget, G. & Corn, R. (2013). Fabrication of Broadband Antireflective Plasmonic Gold Nanocone Arrays on Flexible Polymer Films, Nano Letters, 13 (12) 6164-6169. DOI:

Toma, M., Loget, G. & Corn, R. (2014). Flexible Teflon Nanocone Array Surfaces with Tunable Superhydrophobicity for Self-Cleaning and Aqueous Droplet Patterning, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2147483647. DOI:

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5:34 PM | The Lure of the Ring—A Chloride Ion Channel Gene Makes a Surprise Appearance in Ciliogenesis
It's been nearly 14 years since the primary cilium pushed its way into cell biology's center ring with the discovery that this "irrelevant" vestigial organelle was connected to a common and fatal human disorder, polycystic kidney disease (PKD). In the years since, a long list of diseases and disorders have been classified as ciliopathies while the primary cilium currently has 2,347 citations on PubMed. One ring to rule them all—The “nimbus” ring, […]

Ruppersburg CC & Hartzell HC (2014). The Ca2+-activated Cl- channel ANO1/TMEM16A regulates primary ciliogenesis., Molecular biology of the cell, PMID:

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5:32 PM | Genetic Predisposition To Liking Amphetamine Reduces Risk Of Schizophrenia And ADHD
A study from UChicago shows that genetic variants associated with enjoying the effects of Adderall are also associated with a reduced risk for developing schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Hart A.B., Gamazon E.R., Engelhardt B.E., Sklar P., Kahler A.K., Hultman C.M., Sullivan P.F., Neale B.M., Faraone S.V. & de Wit H. & Genetic variation associated with euphorigenic effects of d-amphetamine is associated with diminished risk for schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI:

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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:

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3:45 PM | Scientists Like Some Animals Better than Others (Hint: Bears)
In the fight for attention from researchers, there are winners and there are civets. That’s what researchers found when they analyzed almost 16,500 published papers about animals from walruses to weasels. They saw clear trends in which animals are the most popular to study. And it matters because the most popular animals aren’t necessarily the […]The post Scientists Like Some Animals Better than Others (Hint: Bears) appeared first on Inkfish.

Brooke, Z., Bielby, J., Nambiar, K. & Carbone, C. (2014). Correlates of Research Effort in Carnivores: Body Size, Range Size and Diet Matter, PLoS ONE, 9 (4) DOI:

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3:05 PM | Information theory of behavior
Biology can tell us what but theory tells us why. There is a new issue of Current Opinion in Neurobiology that focuses on the theory and computation in neuroscience. There’s tons of great stuff there, from learning and memory to the meaning of a spike to the structure of circuitry. I have an article in this issue and […]

Sharpee, T., Calhoun, A. & Chalasani, S. (2014). Information theory of adaptation in neurons, behavior, and mood, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 25 47-53. DOI:

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2:00 PM | The story of the phospholipase A superfamily
  The phospholipase A2 superfamily is a group of enzymes that cleave fatty acid groups from glycerol, in particular acyl groups at the sn-2 position. They contribute to numerous metabolic processes and diseases, including Alzheimer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis; making this group of proteins very attractive to study. This superfamily includes groups such as secreted, […]

Hsu Y.H., Burke J.E., Li S., Woods V.L. & Dennis E.A. (2009). Localizing the membrane binding region of Group VIA Ca2+-independent phospholipase A2 using peptide amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry., The Journal of biological chemistry, PMID:

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1:28 PM | Cell lines, patient samples, and cultures – oh my!
> The thing that is so intriguing about cancer stem cells (CSCs), from a cancer researcher’s perspective, is their powerful potential as therapeutic targets. While CSCs can create or regenerate tumours (causing relapse in some patients despite our best efforts to prevent it – more on this in my previous post on CSCs), they also...Read more

Rosland G.V., Svendsen A., Torsvik A., Sobala E., McCormack E., Immervoll H., Mysliwietz J., Tonn J.C., Goldbrunner R. & Lonning P.E. & (2009). Long-term Cultures of Bone Marrow-Derived Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Frequently Undergo Spontaneous Malignant Transformation, Cancer Research, 69 (13) 5331-5339. DOI:

Li Y., Héroux P. & Kyrychenko I. (2012). Metabolic restriction of cancer cells in vitro causes karyotype contraction—an indicator of cancer promotion?, Tumor Biology, 33 (1) 195-205. DOI:

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11:00 AM | Coffee vs. Parkinson’s Disease – Can Caffeine Reduce the Risk of Developing the Disease?
Coffee: Black, two Sugars and hold the Parkinson’s. As the second most common neurodegenerative disease, it’s estimated that around 10 million people are living with Parkinson’s disease worldwide. Parkinson’s is […]

Costa J, Lunet N, Santos C, Santos J & Vaz-Carneiro A (2010). Caffeine exposure and the risk of Parkinson's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies., Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD, 20 Suppl 1 38. PMID:

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10:07 AM | Knowing your grandmother
There is a spectrum of ways in which the brain may hold concepts that range from very localized to very distributed, and there is little agreement of where along that spectrum various concepts are held. At the one end is the ultimate local storage: a single ‘grandmother’ neuron that recognizes your grandmother in matter how […]

Bowers JS, Vankov II, Damian MF & Davis CJ (2014). Neural Networks Learn Highly Selective Representations in Order to Overcome the Superposition Catastrophe., Psychological review, PMID:

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7:35 AM | Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and various factors
The paper by Kate Lievesley and colleagues [1] documenting various "predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in children and adolescents" caught my eye recently. Based on a review of the research literature around the topic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) [in childhood], the authors set about detailing some of the important factors linked to the condition and in doing so, highlighted how physiology and psychology might combine when […]

Lievesley, K., Rimes, K. & Chalder, T. (2014). A review of the predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in children and adolescents, Clinical Psychology Review, DOI:

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12:27 AM | Is ketamine really a plausible treatment for depression?
Last week, a publication in the Journal of Psychopharmacology made international news by reporting that patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) showed improvement after being given the dissociative hallucinogenic drug ketamine. Ketamine, which is traditionally used as an anesthetic in humans and other animals, is probably better known for its use as a party drug (in this context it is often called "special K"). However, a growing body of evidence has begun to suggest that ketamine […]

Diamond, P., Farmery, A., Atkinson, S., Haldar, J., Williams, N., Cowen, P., Geddes, J. & McShane, R. (2014). Ketamine infusions for treatment resistant depression: a series of 28 patients treated weekly or twice weekly in an ECT clinic, Journal of Psychopharmacology, DOI:

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April 07, 2014

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7:54 PM | Did I Do That? Distinguishing Real from Imagined Actions
If you’re like most people, you spend a great deal of your time remembering past events and planning or imagining events that may happen in the future. While these activities have their uses, they also make it terribly hard to keep track of what you have and haven’t actually seen, heard, or done. Distinguishing between […]

Brandt, V., Bergström, Z., Buda, M., Henson, R. & Simons, J. (2014). Did I turn off the gas? Reality monitoring of everyday actions, Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 14 (1) 209-219. DOI:

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6:53 PM | Researchers Use Sun to Make Solar Energy Materials
Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible. Read more »

Kim, K., Oleksak, R., Pan, C., Knapp, M., Kreider, P., Herman, G. & Chang, C. (2014). Continuous synthesis of colloidal chalcopyrite copper indium diselenide nanocrystal inks, RSC Advances, 4 (32) 16418. DOI:

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6:04 PM | Speciation in Reverse
I don’t usually advertise my Accumulating Glitches posts on here, but I decided to make an exception for today’s post. …Continue reading →

Kleindorfer S, O'Connor JA, Dudaniec RY, Myers SA, Robertson J & Sulloway FJ (2014). Species collapse via hybridization in Darwin's tree finches., The American naturalist, 183 (3) 325-41. PMID:

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5:58 PM | New Electrolyte to Enable Fast-Charging Li-Ion Batteries
Scientists in Japan have developed an innovative electrolyte that may be the key to the next great breakthrough in advanced lithium-ion batteries. Read more »

Yamada, Y., Furukawa, K., Sodeyama, K., Kikuchi, K., Yaegashi, M., Tateyama, Y. & Yamada, A. (2014). Unusual Stability of Acetonitrile-Based Superconcentrated Electrolytes for Fast-Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136 (13) 5039-5046. DOI:

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4:58 PM | Neuronal memory
Francis Crick‘s astonishing hypothesis (1995) is that “You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Actually, more than a hypothesis, this is the basis of […]

Larimer P. & Strowbridge B.W. (2009). Representing information in cell assemblies: persistent activity mediated by semilunar granule cells, Nature Neuroscience, 13 (2) 213-222. DOI:

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4:41 PM | Multi-Gene Engineering Could Boost Seed Oil Content in Oilseed Crops
A team of researchers from Rothamsted Research, one of the oldest agricultural research institutions in the world, have published the first study to target multiple genes that control a series of important steps in the pathway for seed oil production (see footnote). Read more »

van Erp, H., Kelly, A., Menard, G. & Eastmond, P. (2014). Multi-gene engineering of triacylglycerol metabolism boosts seed oil content in Arabidopsis, PLANT PHYSIOLOGY, DOI:

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3:02 PM | Illacme plenipes - World's leggiest creature
Illacme plenipesCredit: Paul Marek et. al.Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: Diplopoda Order: Siphonophorida Family: SiphonorhinidaeGenus: IllacmeSpecies: Illacme plenipesConservation Status: Not officially assessed, possibly threatened by extinctionCommon Name: NoneDespite their name, we have yet to discover a millipede species that has one thousand legs. However, the rare Illacme plenipes comes very close to this number, with one recorded specimen having 750 legs.The species has […]

Marek PE & Bond JE (2006). Biodiversity hotspots: rediscovery of the world's leggiest animal., Nature, 441 (7094) 707. PMID:

Marek, P., Shear, W. & Bond, J. (2012). A redescription of the leggiest animal, the millipede Illacme plenipes, with notes on its natural history and biogeography (Diplopoda, Siphonophorida, Siphonorhinidae), ZooKeys, 241 77-112. DOI:

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