Post List

  • December 9, 2014
  • 09:30 PM
  • 69 views

The Bat with the Identity Crisis

by Andrew Harrington in Denise O'Meara

There is a misfortunate bat species that is going through a bit of an identity crisis at the moment. This poor creature is Natterer’s bat, or Myotis nattereri to give it its formal name (named after the distinguished 19th Century Austrian naturalist Johann Natterer, not because it makes a lot of noise, as I have sometimes been asked). Natterer’s bat is distributed across Europe and north-west Africa, and is mainly considered to be a woodland species- in other words, it has specialised in hun........ Read more »

Barratt, E., Deaville, R., Burland, T., Bruford, M., Jones, G., Racey, P., & Wayne, R. (1997) DNA answers the call of pipistrelle bat species. Nature, 387(6629), 138-139. DOI: 10.1038/387138b0  

  • December 9, 2014
  • 09:00 PM
  • 60 views

How to Look for Squirrels

by Denise O'Meara in Denise O'Meara

The Eurasian red squirrel is, in my opinion at least, one of the cutest additions to the Irish countryside. The little ear tufts of the red squirrel help differentiate it from the invasive grey squirrel, the North American competitor of the red squirrel introduced here about 100 years ago. Other features include the size difference, as the grey squirrel is quite a bit larger. You might think that it should be relatively easy to differentiate the species by colour, but colourations can vary consi........ Read more »

Rob Strachan. (2009) Mammal Detective (British Natural History Series) . Whittet Books Ltd. info:/

  • December 9, 2014
  • 05:00 PM
  • 57 views

Irony on the Galapagos Islands

by Jente Ottenburghs in Evolutionary Stories

The Galapagos have become a model system for speciation research. But recently, several cases of speciation reversal have been documented. Quite ironic!... Read more »

Garrick, R., Benavides, E., Russello, M., Hyseni, C., Edwards, D., Gibbs, J., Tapia, W., Ciofi, C., & Caccone, A. (2014) Lineage fusion in Galápagos giant tortoises. Molecular Ecology, 23(21), 5276-5290. DOI: 10.1111/mec.12919  

Kleindorfer, S., O’Connor, J., Dudaniec, R., Myers, S., Robertson, J., & Sulloway, F. (2014) Species Collapse via Hybridization in Darwin’s Tree Finches. The American Naturalist, 183(3), 325-341. DOI: 10.1086/674899  

  • December 9, 2014
  • 04:34 PM
  • 61 views

Parents with a Strong Bond Hatch Fearless Chicks

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Personality is written not just in the genes, but in the egg yolk. It can even come from the kind of relationship that exists between an animal’s parents. Researchers found new evidence for this when they played matchmaker for several dozen quail. Even though the eggs were taken from their parents before hatching, bird couples in committed relationships had chicks with markedly different behaviors than couples who only dated.

It’s not hard to forge a bond between Japanese quail (Coturn........ Read more »

Le Bot O, Lumineau S, de Margerie E, Pittet F, Trabalon M, & Houdelier C. (2014) Long-life partners or sex friends? Impact of parental pair bond on offspring personality. The Journal of experimental biology, 217(Pt 23), 4184-92. PMID: 25359936  

  • December 9, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 66 views

Winter Gives Me The Shakes

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Your body has several mechanisms to protect you from the cold – and some are just plain weird. You can trap air next to your body just like when your cat hisses and all his fur stands on end. Adults can shiver, but babies can generate heat without shivering. What’s more, adults can learn to act like babies - it will help them stay warm and lose weight!... Read more »

Torkamani, N., Jones, L., Rufaut, N., & Sinclair, R. (2014) Beyond goosebumps: Does the arrector pili muscle have a role in hair loss?. International Journal of Trichology, 6(3), 88. DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.139077  

Jiménez-Aranda, A., Fernández-Vázquez, G., Campos, D., Tassi, M., Velasco-Perez, L., Tan, D., Reiter, R., & Agil, A. (2013) Melatonin induces browning of inguinal white adipose tissue in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. Journal of Pineal Research. DOI: 10.1111/jpi.12089  

Lim, S., Honek, J., Xue, Y., Seki, T., Cao, Z., Andersson, P., Yang, X., Hosaka, K., & Cao, Y. (2012) Cold-induced activation of brown adipose tissue and adipose angiogenesis in mice. Nature Protocols, 7(3), 606-615. DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2012.013  

Bi, S., & Li, L. (2013) Browning of white adipose tissue: role of hypothalamic signaling. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1302(1), 30-34. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.12258  

  • December 9, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 62 views

Winter Gives Me The Shakes

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Your body has several mechanisms to protect you from the cold – and some are just plain weird. You can trap air next to your body just like when your cat hisses and all his fur stands on end. Adults can shiver, but babies can generate heat without shivering. What’s more, adults can learn to act like babies - it will help them stay warm and lose weight!... Read more »

Torkamani, N., Jones, L., Rufaut, N., & Sinclair, R. (2014) Beyond goosebumps: Does the arrector pili muscle have a role in hair loss?. International Journal of Trichology, 6(3), 88. DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.139077  

Jiménez-Aranda, A., Fernández-Vázquez, G., Campos, D., Tassi, M., Velasco-Perez, L., Tan, D., Reiter, R., & Agil, A. (2013) Melatonin induces browning of inguinal white adipose tissue in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. Journal of Pineal Research. DOI: 10.1111/jpi.12089  

Lim, S., Honek, J., Xue, Y., Seki, T., Cao, Z., Andersson, P., Yang, X., Hosaka, K., & Cao, Y. (2012) Cold-induced activation of brown adipose tissue and adipose angiogenesis in mice. Nature Protocols, 7(3), 606-615. DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2012.013  

Bi, S., & Li, L. (2013) Browning of white adipose tissue: role of hypothalamic signaling. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1302(1), 30-34. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.12258  

  • December 9, 2014
  • 06:36 AM
  • 67 views

Anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgM Antibodies in Acute Psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A very brief post today to bring to your attention once again the paper by Joel Monroe and colleagues [1] which concluded that there was: "An increased seroprevalence of T. gondii [Toxoplasma gondii] IgM in patients with acute psychosis". I had touched upon this study in a previous post not-so-long-ago covering T. gondii infection and schizophrenia (see here) which also covered some of the various background research history on this topic.Looks like his optometrist has a sense of humor........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 06:50 PM
  • 72 views

Don't miss out! Dogs Science from November

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Catch up! Participate! Plan your conferences for 2015! Check out all the latest in canine science from November here, thanks to the magic of Storify (if you don't see a beautiful array of handy snippets below, please click this link to view)[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-30 November 2014]" on Storify]Further reading: Cobb M., Paul McGreevy, Alan Lill & Pauleen Bennett (2014). The advent of canine performance science: Offering a sustainable future for working dogs, Behaviour........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 04:46 PM
  • 60 views

Electroreception in Mammals

by beredim in Strange Animals



The duck-billed platypis is one of the handful
mammals with the ability to sense electrical fields
By TwoWings, via Wikimedia Commons

Electroreception is the biological ability to perceive natural electrical stimuli or in simpler words, the ability to perceive the world via electricity.



Electroreception is quite common in aquatic or amphibious animals, since water is a much better conductor... Read more »

Scheich, H., Langner, G., Tidemann, C., Coles, R., & Guppy, A. (1986) Electroreception and electrolocation in platypus. Nature, 319(6052), 401-402. DOI: 10.1038/319401a0  

Pettigrew JD. (1999) Electroreception in monotremes. The Journal of experimental biology, 202(Pt 10), 1447-54. PMID: 10210685  

Czech-Damal NU, Liebschner A, Miersch L, Klauer G, Hanke FD, Marshall C, Dehnhardt G, & Hanke W. (2012) Electroreception in the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis). Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 279(1729), 663-8. PMID: 21795271  

  • December 8, 2014
  • 03:13 PM
  • 85 views

Scientists find a hormone that makes you fatter

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Our waistlines are expanding, it’s no secret that around the world despite rampant hunger people are also getting fatter. While there are many things that are contributing to this — our increased food security, the cost of food, fast food, the increasing sugar supplied in food, etc — there are other theories as to why we are getting so heavy. Scientists have pointed towards bacteria, gut microbiota, and many other causes for our increased weight, now add to that list a common hormone that ........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 02:39 PM
  • 54 views

EBOV VP40 and Vesiculation: role of Phosphatidylserine

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Ebola Virus (EBOV) is a filamentous negative strand ssRNA virus of about 19kb in size causing viral hemorrhagic fever in humans with a fatality rate of 60-90% transmitted by contact with infected animals, particular via the consumption of bush meat and maybe contaminated fruits as well as body fluids from patients. Although experimental drugs (e.g. ZMapp) and vaccines are available, current treatment focuses on treating the symptoms as well as preventing the spread of the disease by contact trac........ Read more »

Panchal RG, Ruthel G, Kenny TA, Kallstrom GH, Lane D, Badie SS, Li L, Bavari S, & Aman MJ. (2003) In vivo oligomerization and raft localization of Ebola virus protein VP40 during vesicular budding. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(26), 15936-41. PMID: 14673115  

S. D. Dowall, V. A. Graham,K. Corbin-Lickfett, C. Empig, K. Schlunegger, C. B. Bruce,1 L. Easterbrook,1 and R. Hewson. (2014) Effective Binding of a Phosphatidylserine-Targeting Antibody to Ebola Virus Infected Cells and Purified Virions. Journal of Immunology Research. info:/

Stahelin RV. (2014) Could the Ebola virus matrix protein VP40 be a drug target?. Expert opinion on therapeutic targets, 18(2), 115-20. PMID: 24283270  

  • December 8, 2014
  • 01:02 PM
  • 74 views

Crows

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

I think it is time to look at crows again. There are three interesting papers want to commented on. What reminds me of crows is that I stumbled across a few years old blog by a linguist (he has probably changed his tune – so no references) who ridiculed the idea that birds were at […]... Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 10:47 AM
  • 57 views

Oxford plots from the gibbon genome paper

by Mary in OpenHelix

A while back I talked about the software in the gibbon genome paper. I went through to try to pull out as much of the software as I could as sort of a catalog of a representative genome project. Of course, there was a lot in there. Some of it, though, consisted of unpublished code. […]... Read more »

Carbone Lucia, R. Alan Harris, Sante Gnerre, Krishna R. Veeramah, Belen Lorente-Galdos, John Huddleston, Thomas J. Meyer, Javier Herrero, Christian Roos, Bronwen Aken.... (2014) Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes. Nature, 513(7517), 195-201. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13679  

  • December 8, 2014
  • 08:02 AM
  • 72 views

Climate Change: Heatwaves and Poverty in Pakistan

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

In the summer of 2010, over 20 million people were affected by the summer floods in Pakistan. Millions lost access to shelter and clean water, and became dependent on aid in the form of food, drinking water, tents, clothes and medical supplies in order to survive this humanitarian disaster. It is estimated that at least $1.5 billion to $2 billion were provided as aid by governments, NGOs, charity organizations and private individuals from all around the world, and helped contain the devastating ........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 06:59 AM
  • 90 views

Standard Model at the horizon

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

Hawking radiation is one of the most famous effects where quantum field theory combines successfully with general relativity. Since 1975 when Stephen Hawking uncovered it, this results has obtained a enormous consideration and has been derived in a lot of different ways. The idea is that, very near the horizon of a black hole, a […]... Read more »

V. B. Bezerra, H. S. Vieira, & André A. Costa. (2013) The Klein-Gordon equation in the spacetime of a charged and rotating black hole. Class. Quantum Grav. 31 (2014) 045003. arXiv: 1312.4823v1

H. S. Vieira, V. B. Bezerra, & C. R. Muniz. (2014) Exact solutions of the Klein-Gordon equation in the Kerr-Newman background and Hawking radiation. Annals of Physics 350 (2014) 14-28. arXiv: 1401.5397v4

Giovanni Collini, Valter Moretti, & Nicola Pinamonti. (2013) Tunnelling black-hole radiation with $φ^3$ self-interaction: one-loop computation for Rindler Killing horizons. Lett. Math. Phys. 104 (2014) 217-232. arXiv: 1302.5253v4

Marco Frasca. (2009) Exact solutions of classical scalar field equations. J.Nonlin.Math.Phys.18:291-297,2011. arXiv: 0907.4053v2

Marco Frasca. (2013) Scalar field theory in the strong self-interaction limit. Eur. Phys. J. C (2014) 74:2929. arXiv: 1306.6530v5

Marco Frasca. (2014) Hawking radiation and interacting fields. arXiv. arXiv: 1412.1955v1

  • December 8, 2014
  • 05:39 AM
  • 83 views

Mind-blowing Brain Cases: The Man Who Hears Colours

by elisabeth buhl thubron in United Academics

The human brain has been described as ‘the most complex thing we have yet discovered in the universe’. In this series neuroscientist Elisabeth Buhl Thubron takes a closer look at intriguing brain cases that revolutionised the field. This week: Neil Harbisson... Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 04:45 AM
  • 80 views

Significantly shorter leukocyte telomere length in childhood autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results provided the first evidence that shorter leukocytes telomere length is significantly associated with childhood autism." So said the results reported by Zongchang Li and colleagues [1] (open-access) based on quite a well-powered study (for an initial research foray anyway) looking at "110 autism patients (male 98 and female 12) and 129 healthy controls (male 98 and female 31)".On the behalf of scientists everywhere, I am ashamed to count you amongst us.Quite a good introductio........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 03:14 AM
  • 78 views

Why evaluating scientists by grant income is stupid

by Dorothy Bishop in bishopblog

Several UK universities explicitly use research funding as a criterion for hiring and firing scientists. I argue this is stupid because it damages (a) staff wellbeing, (b) the institution's reputation and (c) the progress of science. ... Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 03:06 AM
  • 64 views

We have a new trial on orthodontic retention!

by Kevin OBrien in Kevin OBrien's Orthodontic Blog

Orthodontic retention, we have a new trial! In this post I am going to return to the subject of orthodontic retention and review a new study on retention methods.  This is an update on a previous post.  With the addition of this paper I think that we are beginning to build on our knowledge of […]
The post We have a new trial on orthodontic retention! appeared first on Kevin O'Brien's Orthodontic Blog.
... Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 02:58 AM
  • 58 views

Estimates of Anthropogenic Nitrogen in the Ocean May Be High

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Life Sciences

Inundation of nitrogen into the atmosphere and terrestrial environments, through fossil fuel combustion and extensive fertilization, has risen tenfold since preindustrial times according to research published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles. Excess nitrogen can infiltrate water tables and can trigger extensive algal blooms that deplete aquatic environments of oxygen, among other damaging effects.

Although scientists have extensively studied the effects of excess nitrogen in terrestrial habita........ Read more »

Altieri, K., Hastings, M., Peters, A., Oleynik, S., & Sigman, D. (2014) Isotopic evidence for a marine ammonium source in rainwater at Bermuda. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. DOI: 10.1002/2014GB004809  

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