Posts

September 02, 2014

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4:52 PM | Epigenetics: Taking Control of the Music
When I try to explain epigenetics to someone, I like to use the musician metaphor. Your genes are the sheet music and how your body reads those genes, that is your […]

Müller-Ott K, Erdel F, Matveeva A, Mallm JP, Rademacher A, Hahn M, Bauer C, Zhang Q, Kaltofen S, Schotta G & Höfer T (2014). Specificity, propagation, and memory of pericentric heterochromatin., Molecular systems biology, 10 (8) 746. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25134515

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4:52 PM | Epigenetics: Taking Control of the Music
When I try to explain epigenetics to someone, I like to use the musician metaphor. Your genes are the sheet music and how your body reads those genes, that is your […]

Müller-Ott K, Erdel F, Matveeva A, Mallm JP, Rademacher A, Hahn M, Bauer C, Zhang Q, Kaltofen S, Schotta G & Höfer T (2014). Specificity, propagation, and memory of pericentric heterochromatin., Molecular systems biology, 10 (8) 746. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25134515

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12:00 PM | Is There a Biological Basis of Depression?
A short animated video explaining scientific knowledge about depression.
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11:26 AM | The passenger pigeon by Errol Fuller | review | @GrrlScientist
Written by an artist and authority on extinct species, this book shares rare photographs and other visual materials to provide a general overview to the history of the extinct passenger pigeon.Men still live who, in their youth, remember pigeons. Trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a decade hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know. -- Leopold Aldo, A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There (1949, 1989. New […]
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8:33 AM | The epigenetics of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
"These data are consistent with evidence of multisystem dysregulation in CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and implicate the involvement of DNA modifications in CFS pathology". So said the paper by Wilfred de Vega and colleagues [1] (open-access here) which, I think, represents a bit of a first for CFS with their examination of the possible role of epigenetic modifications in relation to the condition(s) [2].Ladies first @ Wikipedia I have to say that I was really quite excited […]

de Vega WC, Vernon SD & McGowan PO (2014). DNA Methylation Modifications Associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25111603

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September 01, 2014

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9:43 PM | A Shot in the Dark – The Perils of Sharing Vaccine Science
One of Wikipedia’s most interesting articles is simply titled “List of common misconceptions.” The contents range from the invention of baseball (Alexander Cartwright, not Abner Doubleday, first codified the rules) to elephant graveyards (which do not actually exist), covering the kind of “folk knowledge” that might be erroneously relayed in a grade-school classroom. Most of […]
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6:12 PM | Assemblages: 50 Years Later, We Know Nothing About Them
You would think we learn about every part of a cell in biology, but we really don’t. Case in point, about 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of […]

Toretsky, J. & Wright, P. (2014). Assemblages: Functional units formed by cellular phase separation, The Journal of Cell Biology, 206 (5) 579-588. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201404124

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6:12 PM | Assemblages: 50 Years Later, We Know Nothing About Them
You would think we learn about every part of a cell in biology, but we really don’t. Case in point, about 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of […]

Toretsky, J. & Wright, P. (2014). Assemblages: Functional units formed by cellular phase separation, The Journal of Cell Biology, 206 (5) 579-588. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201404124

Citation
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6:12 PM | Assemblages: 50 Years Later, We Know Nothing About Them
You would think we learn about every part of a cell in biology, but we really don’t. Case in point, about 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of […]

Toretsky, J. & Wright, P. (2014). Assemblages: Functional units formed by cellular phase separation, The Journal of Cell Biology, 206 (5) 579-588. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201404124

Citation
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6:12 PM | Assemblages: 50 Years Later, We Know Nothing About Them
You would think we learn about every part of a cell in biology, but we really don’t. Case in point, about 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of […]

Toretsky, J. & Wright, P. (2014). Assemblages: Functional units formed by cellular phase separation, The Journal of Cell Biology, 206 (5) 579-588. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201404124

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6:10 PM | New Creature Feature: Meet the Thorny Devil
The thorny devil has spikes, camouflage, and a false head to protect it from predators. Plus, it can survive in its desert habitat by concentrating and drinking dew. But do they live up to their devilish name? Read my latest Creature Feature to find out: The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About the Thorny Devil .
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5:54 PM | The Role of Social Media in Wiping Out Passenger Pigeons, and Conserving Species Now
Social media helped push the passenger pigeon to extinction. Now they may help forestall some species' vanishing.
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3:30 PM | One Of The Best Examples Of Collective Intelligence You'll Ever See
Individual ants are not very smart, but ants working together in a colony are capable of extraordinary feats. Case in point is this remarkable video in which a colony of ants have transformed into a daisy chain to pull a dead millipede — behavior that's never been seen before.Read more...
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12:28 PM | Tracking the Daily Microbiome
Humans are essentially 90% bacteria. These bacteria pepper our skin and hang out in our digestive tracts, helping to break down complex carbohydrates and keeping bad bugs in check. We know how the human microbiome (our collection of bacteria) gets … Continue reading →

David LA, Materna AC, Friedman J, Campos-Baptista MI, Blackburn MC, Perrotta A, Erdman SE & Alm EJ (2014). Host lifestyle affects human microbiota on daily timescales., Genome biology, 15 (7) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25146375

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11:56 AM | New Clues Revealed about the Longevity of Naked Mole Rats
Naked Mole RatCredit: UT Health Science Center at San AntonioThe hairless, odd-looking creature in the photo is a naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber).Among many weird traits, the species also holds the record for longest living rodent. For comparison, the house mouse (Mus musculus) has a maximum lifespan of just 2-3 years, whereas naked mole rats have been recorded to live as much as 32 years!The exact mechanisms behind the species remarkable longevity have yet to be clearly unveiled, […]

Rodriguez KA, Osmulski PA, Pierce A, Weintraub ST, Gaczynska M & Buffenstein R (2014). A cytosolic protein factor from the naked mole-rat activates proteasomes of other species and protects these from inhibition., Biochimica et biophysica acta, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25018089

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11:56 AM | New Clues Revealed about the Longevity of Naked Mole Rats
Naked Mole RatCredit: UT Health Science Center at San AntonioThe hairless, odd-looking creature in the photo is a naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber).Among many weird traits, the species also holds the record for longest living rodent. For comparison, the house mouse (Mus musculus) has a maximum lifespan of just 2-3 years, whereas naked mole rats have been recorded to live as much as 32 years!The exact mechanisms behind the species remarkable longevity have yet to be clearly unveiled, […]

Rodriguez KA, Osmulski PA, Pierce A, Weintraub ST, Gaczynska M & Buffenstein R (2014). A cytosolic protein factor from the naked mole-rat activates proteasomes of other species and protects these from inhibition., Biochimica et biophysica acta, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25018089

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7:32 AM | Lithium for mood disorder symptoms in autism?
Modern classroom? @ Wikipedia The paper published by Matthew Siegel and colleagues [1] talking about some preliminary observations on the use of lithium where symptoms of mood disorder might be present in cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) caught my eye recently. Concluding that: "lithium may be a medication of interest for those who exhibit two or more mood disorder symptoms, particularly mania or euphoria/elevated mood" the sentiments of more research-to-do in this area […]

Siegel M, Beresford CA, Bunker M, Verdi M, Vishnevetsky D, Karlsson C, Teer O, Stedman A & Smith KA (2014). Preliminary Investigation of Lithium for Mood Disorder Symptoms in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder., Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25093602

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3:25 AM | August lives up to its definition: respected and impressive
The things we noticed in and around canine science over the past two weeks, Storified in one neat location for your convenience:[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [16-31 August 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Feuerbacher E.N. (2014). Shut up and pet me! Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) prefer petting to vocal praise in concurrent and single-alternative choice procedures, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.08.019 Gygax L. (2014). The A to Z of […]

Gygax L. (2014). The A to Z of statistics for testing cognitive judgement bias, Animal Behaviour, 95 59-69. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.06.013

Arnott E.R., Claire M. Wade & Paul D. McGreevy (2014). Environmental Factors Associated with Success Rates of Australian Stock Herding Dogs, PLoS ONE, 9 (8) e104457. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0104457

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3:25 AM | August lives up to its definition: respected and impressive
The things we noticed in and around canine science over the past two weeks, Storified in one neat location for your convenience:[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [16-31 August 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Feuerbacher E.N. (2014). Shut up and pet me! Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) prefer petting to vocal praise in concurrent and single-alternative choice procedures, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.08.019 Gygax L. (2014). The A to Z of […]

Gygax L. (2014). The A to Z of statistics for testing cognitive judgement bias, Animal Behaviour, 95 59-69. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.06.013

Arnott E.R., Claire M. Wade & Paul D. McGreevy (2014). Environmental Factors Associated with Success Rates of Australian Stock Herding Dogs, PLoS ONE, 9 (8) e104457. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0104457

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August 31, 2014

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9:30 PM | Gorgeous Deep-Sea Footage Of 'An Unusually Large' Dumbo Octopus
Deep-sea researchers led by Robert Ballard (best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic wreckage) have caught a rare, extended look at an uncharacteristically jumbo dumbo octopus, with the aid of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the unlit depths of the Caribbean sea. Read more...
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7:47 PM | Mushroom extracts might prevent dental cavities
Recently published research suggests red camphor mushroom extracts might prevent the proliferation of bacteria that cause dental cavities and gum disease.1 * The Taiwanese red camphor mushroom (scientific name: Antrodia camphorata) is a herbal medicine traditionally used for treating conditions such as twisted tendons, muscle damage and liver diseases. Studies using human cells grown in […]

Lien HM, Tseng CJ, Huang CL, Lin YT, Chen CC & Lai YY (2014). Antimicrobial Activity of Antrodia camphorata Extracts against Oral Bacteria., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25144619

Geethangili M & Tzeng YM (2011). Review of Pharmacological Effects of Antrodia camphorata and Its Bioactive Compounds., Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2011 212641. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19687189

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7:47 PM | Mushroom extracts might prevent dental cavities
Recently published research suggests red camphor mushroom extracts might prevent the proliferation of bacteria that cause dental cavities and gum disease.1 * The Taiwanese red camphor mushroom (scientific name: Antrodia camphorata) is a herbal medicine traditionally used for treating conditions such as twisted tendons, muscle damage and liver diseases. Studies using human cells grown in […]

Lien HM, Tseng CJ, Huang CL, Lin YT, Chen CC & Lai YY (2014). Antimicrobial Activity of Antrodia camphorata Extracts against Oral Bacteria., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25144619

Geethangili M & Tzeng YM (2011). Review of Pharmacological Effects of Antrodia camphorata and Its Bioactive Compounds., Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2011 212641. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19687189

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6:55 PM | The Juneau Tour: Scientific American Alaska Cruise, Part 3
Scientific American Bright Horizons Cruise 22 arrives in Anchorage, Alaska, on August 31st, which allows us to post audio from a fascinating taxi trip through Juneau on August 28th. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:38 PM | New Synthetic Amino Acid for a New Class of Drugs
Creating new drug molecules is challenging, developing drugs that are highly effective against a target, but with minimal (or no) toxicity and side-effects to the patient can be an exercise in […]

Chen S. Gopalakrishnan R, Schaer T, Marger F, Hovius R, Bertrand D, Pojer F, Heinis C (2014). Di-thiol amino acids can structurally shape and enhance the ligand-binding properties of polypeptides, Nature Chemistry, Other:

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6:38 PM | New Synthetic Amino Acid for a New Class of Drugs
Creating new drug molecules is challenging, developing drugs that are highly effective against a target, but with minimal (or no) toxicity and side-effects to the patient can be an exercise in […]

Chen S. Gopalakrishnan R, Schaer T, Marger F, Hovius R, Bertrand D, Pojer F, Heinis C (2014). Di-thiol amino acids can structurally shape and enhance the ligand-binding properties of polypeptides, Nature Chemistry, Other:

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6:38 PM | New Synthetic Amino Acid for a New Class of Drugs
Creating new drug molecules is challenging, developing drugs that are highly effective against a target, but with minimal (or no) toxicity and side-effects to the patient can be an exercise in […]

Chen S. Gopalakrishnan R, Schaer T, Marger F, Hovius R, Bertrand D, Pojer F, Heinis C (2014). Di-thiol amino acids can structurally shape and enhance the ligand-binding properties of polypeptides, Nature Chemistry, Other:

Citation
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6:38 PM | New Synthetic Amino Acid for a New Class of Drugs
Creating new drug molecules is challenging, developing drugs that are highly effective against a target, but with minimal (or no) toxicity and side-effects to the patient can be an exercise in […]

Chen S. Gopalakrishnan R, Schaer T, Marger F, Hovius R, Bertrand D, Pojer F, Heinis C (2014). Di-thiol amino acids can structurally shape and enhance the ligand-binding properties of polypeptides, Nature Chemistry, Other:

Citation
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6:38 PM | New Synthetic Amino Acid for a New Class of Drugs
Creating new drug molecules is challenging, developing drugs that are highly effective against a target, but with minimal (or no) toxicity and side-effects to the patient can be an exercise in […]

Chen S. Gopalakrishnan R, Schaer T, Marger F, Hovius R, Bertrand D, Pojer F, Heinis C (2014). Di-thiol amino acids can structurally shape and enhance the ligand-binding properties of polypeptides, Nature Chemistry, Other:

Citation
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11:20 AM | Genomic sequencing reveals mutations, insights into 2014 Ebola outbreak
In response to an ongoing, unprecedented outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, a team of researchers has rapidly sequenced and analyzed more than 99 Ebola virus genomes. Their findings could have important implications for rapid field diagnostic tests. For the current study, researchers sequenced 99 Ebola virus genomes collected from 78 patients diagnosed …
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11:17 AM | New DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic
A new DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic. We know people have lived in the New World Arctic for about 5,000 years. Archaeological evidence clearly shows that a variety of cultures survived the harsh climate in Alaska, Canada and Greenland for thousands of years. Despite this, there are several unanswered …
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