The herbivorous side of spiders
Spiders are famous for being voracious predators; indeed, some spiders may even eat bats. However, not all spiders are fully carnivore. In 1984 it was first suggested that pollen may have a role in the diet of some juvenile spiders and in 2009 one research showed that one particular spider species (Bagheera kiplingi; see picture below) mainly feeds on plant materials. Other observations of spiders eating plants or fungi are more scattered but a recent review iden........ Read more »
"Short IPIs [interpregnancy intervals] are associated with a significantly increased risk of ASD [autism spectrum disorder]. Long IPIs also appear to increase the risk of ASD.So said the results of the systematic review undertaken by Agustín Conde-Agudelo and colleagues  into how birth spacing might impact on the risk of a child developing an ASD. Drawing on data from 7 studies that "reported an association between short IPIs and increased risk of ASD" including over 1.1 ........ Read more »
Conde-Agudelo, A., Rosas-Bermudez, A., & Norton, M. (2016) Birth Spacing and Risk of Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disabilities: A Systematic Review. PEDIATRICS. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-3482
If you can't stand the heat, you're not an echidna, as the saying (almost) goes. These egg-laying mammals are unusual for several reasons. One of those reasons, it turns out, is that their ability to lower their body temperatures makes them largely indifferent to their homes burning down around them.
The short-beaked echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus, is one of four living species of echidna. Like the platypus, echidnas are Australian mammals that lay eggs instead of bearing live young. The........ Read more »
In a new paper called Molecular fMRI, MIT researchers Benjamin B. Bartelle, Ali Barandov, and Alan Jasanoff discuss technological advances that could provide neuroscientists with new tools for mapping the brain.
Currently, one of the leading methods of measuring brain activity is functional MRI (fMRI). However, as Bartelle et al. note, it has its limitations:
Because brain activity mapping with fMRI depends on neurovascular coupling, resolution at the level of single cells is out of reach.... Read more »
Cats have a moderately-enriched life, but people need more knowledge about their felines in order to do better, according to a new study.There are many ways we can improve our cats’ lives: toys that let the cat simulate stalking prey, social interaction with people, providing spaces high-up for cats to go. This is called environmental enrichment, and is especially important for indoor cats. A new study by Ana Margarida Alho et al (University of Lisbon) finds that although most cats do quite we........ Read more »
Alho, A., Pontes, J., & Pomba, C. (2016) Guardians' Knowledge and Husbandry Practices of Feline Environmental Enrichment. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 19(2), 115-125. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2015.1117976
For hundreds of years, scientists were just one fixture in the firmament of the intellectual class, as colourful and strident in their own way as the philosophers and poets. But come the 20th Century and the public began to regard scientists with fear and awe, thanks to the advent of immense technologies such as the atomic bomb. In response, the profession consciously rebranded as anonymous public servants in white coats: dutiful, considered and above all, safe. But new research published in PLO........ Read more »
Rutjens, B., & Heine, S. (2016) The Immoral Landscape? Scientists Are Associated with Violations of Morality. PLOS ONE, 11(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152798
I didn’t expect to do another tip on the paths through experiments or data this week. But there must be something in the water cooler lately, and all of these different tools converged on my part of the bioinformatics ecosphere. As I was perusing my tweetdeck columns, a new tool from the folks who do […]... Read more »
Christian Partl, Samuel Gratzl, Marc Streit, Anne Mai Wassermann, Hanspeter Pfister, Dieter Schmalstieg, & Alexander Lex. (2016) Pathfinder: Visual Analysis of Paths in Graphs. Computer Graphics Forum . info:other/
When people are sick we isolate, we feel sorry for them, we avoid them. But we don’t think about the many times that being sick is actually good for your health. One example – vaccines. Many vaccines give you disease to prevent disease. Unfortunately, too many people are foregoing vaccination for their children based on fraudulent data. Think anti-vaxxers don’t affect you because you and your kids are vaccinated? Read on and learn better.... Read more »
Mushrooms come in many shapes and colours. In the case of green ones, which I've written about previously, a subset owe their colour not to any particular pigment they themselves produce, but rather to algae living on top of them.These algae-bearing fungi are usually polypores, otherwise known as bracket or shelf fungi. They tend to live inside dead trees, although they also be found in soil living in association with tree roots. After eating their fill of delicious wood, polypores produce shelf........ Read more »
Zavada M, Dimichele L, & Toth C. (2004) The demi-lichenization of Trametes versicolor (L.: Fries) Pilat (Polyporaceae): The transfer of fixed 14CO2 from epiphytic algae to T. versicolor. Northeastern Naturalist, 11(1), 33-40. DOI: 10.1656/1092-6194(2004)011[0033:TDOTVL]2.0.CO;2
When I was younger, I would have moments of clarity I referred to as epiphanies. I learned pretty quickly that if I did not somehow reinforce that epiphany in my mind, I would forget it—only to (sometimes) realize it again at some point in the future. So now, when I am working on a project […]
Never trust a man with a wide face
The Trust in Science and Scientists Inventory Scale
Everyone knows you just can’t trust an atheist!
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Salvi, C., Bricolo, E., Kounios, J., Bowden, E., & Beeman, M. (2016) Insight solutions are correct more often than analytic solutions. Thinking , 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/13546783.2016.1141798
Emerge into Brazil's swamp, with Chiara and the Wildlife Conservation Society.... Read more »
Keuroghlian, A., Andrade Santos, M., & Eaton, D. (2015) The effects of deforestation on white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) home range in the southern Pantanal. Mammalia, 79(4). DOI: 10.1515/mammalia-2014-0094
Complications following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction are rare (1.3%). Patients who smoke, have a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or dyspnea have a greater risk of complications than those that do not.... Read more »
Cvetanovich, G., Chalmers, P., Verma, N., Cole, B., & Bach, B. (2016) Risk Factors for Short-term Complications of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in the United States. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(3), 618-624. DOI: 10.1177/0363546515622414
The psychologist Oliver James has made some waves recently, coinciding with the publication of his new book, with the suggestion that nurture might be 'outdoing' nature when it comes to various concepts from intelligence to mental health. At times the recent 'debates' in this area have not been pretty as arguments about 'what the science actually says' with regards to [structural] genetics vs. environment have tended to get a little heated, and the word 'blame' being ban........ Read more »
Ziegler C, Richter J, Mahr M, Gajewska A, Schiele MA, Gehrmann A, Schmidt B, Lesch KP, Lang T, Helbig-Lang S.... (2016) MAOA gene hypomethylation in panic disorder-reversibility of an epigenetic risk pattern by psychotherapy. Translational psychiatry. PMID: 27045843
No one knows Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) quite like veterans. Unfortunately, it is a major cause of mortality and morbidity, often causing lifelong disability for those who survive. There is simply no treatment, jut care, but a new study might change that. Stem cell therapy has recently been receiving attention as a way to promote […]... Read more »
Junling Gao, Raymond J. Grill, Tiffany J. Dunn, Supinder Bedi, Javier Allende Labastida, Robert A. Hetz, Hasen Xue, Jason R. Thonhoff, Douglas S. DeWitt, Donald S. Prough.... (2016) Human Neural Stem Cell Transplantation-Mediated Alteration of Microglial/Macrophage Phenotypes after Traumatic Brain Injury. Cell Transplantation. DOI: 10.3727/096368916X691150
Roy Parker recently sent a “Letter to the Editor“, published in RNA journal, in which he suggested that the MS2 system might not be best suited for live imaging of mRNA in budding yeast. According to Parker, the MS2 system … Continue reading →... Read more »
Garcia JF, & Parker R. (2015) MS2 coat protein bound to yeast mRNAs block 5' to 3' degradation and trap mRNA decay products: implications for the localization of mRNAs by MS2-MCP system. RNA (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 26092944
Haimovich G, Zabezhinsky D, Haas B, Slobodin B, Purushothaman P, Fan L, Levin JZ, Nusbaum C, & Gerst JE. (2016) Use of the MS2 aptamer and coat protein for RNA localization in yeast: A response to "MS2 coat proteins bound to yeast mRNAs block 5' to 3' degradation and trap mRNA decay products: implications for the localization of mRNAs by MS2-MCP system". RNA (New York, N.Y.), 660-666. PMID: 26968626
Garcia, J., & Parker, R. (2016) Ubiquitous accumulation of 3′ mRNA decay fragments in mRNAs with chromosomally integrated MS2 arrays . RNA, 22(5), 657-659. DOI: 10.1261/rna.056325.116
Wu B, Miskolci V, Sato H, Tutucci E, Kenworthy CA, Donnelly SK, Yoon YJ, Cox D, Singer RH, & Hodgson L. (2015) Synonymous modification results in high-fidelity gene expression of repetitive protein and nucleotide sequences. Genes , 29(8), 876-86. PMID: 25877922
Experts have likened loneliness to a disease that changes the brain. Sadly, these changes often affect people in ways that further isolates them – for example, lonely people are more sensitive to negative facial expressions. If we're to break this cycle and provide friendship to the lonely, a starting point is to recognise that a person is feeling isolated. A new study in Journal of Research in Personality tests whether and how well we can do this.Maike Luhmann and his colleagues ask........ Read more »
Luhmann, M., Bohn, J., Holtmann, J., Koch, T., & Eid, M. (2016) I’m lonely, can’t you tell? Convergent validity of self- and informant ratings of loneliness. Journal of Research in Personality, 50-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2016.02.002
Bumetanide - a medicine known as a diuretic - has appeared before on this blog (see here for example) in relation to some preliminary suggestions that at least some types of autism might be sensitive to intervention using this particular compound . The names Lemonnier (Eric) & Ben-Ari (Yehezkel) are a big part of the research group interested in bumetanide and its use outside of more traditional indications; particularly, the focus on its action on NKCC1 onwards to an effect on ........ Read more »
Lemonnier E, Lazartigues A, & Ben-Ari Y. (2016) Treating Schizophrenia With the Diuretic Bumetanide: A Case Report. Clinical neuropharmacology, 39(2), 115-117. PMID: 26966887
There was some research published within the last year that you might be particularly interested in, should you be in the middle of or about to go on a diet (or you’re interested in your health in general): This article provides an integrative review of … Continue reading →... Read more »
Lundahl A, & Nelson TD. (2015) Sleep and food intake: A multisystem review of mechanisms in children and adults. Journal of Health Psychology. info:/10.1177/1359105315573427
By Nick Gremban Male speckled wood butterflies will “perch” on leavesand ends of twigs to look out over their territory for females. However, they have been known to be quite aggressivewith any intruding males! Photo by Alvesgaspar atWikimedia Commons, modified by Nick Gremban.Think about any territorial animal. Now think about its aggressiveness while it is defending its territory. Was your animal a butterfly? No? You mean the colorful wings and the natural association with flowers d........ Read more »
Bergman, M., Olofsson, M., & Wiklund, C. (2010) Contest outcome in a territorial butterfly: the role of motivation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1696), 3027-3033. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0646
The authors retrospectively analyzed 482 cases of living related kidney donation and transplantation. “The cases were divided into 2 groups by donor age > or =55 years (aged donor group, 136 cases) and <55 years (young donor group, 346 cases).” “(eGFR) was lower in the aged donor group compared with in the young donor group. After …
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The post Living Kidney Donors Over the Age of 55 appeared first on Living Donors Are People Too.
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Cheng, K., Huang, Z., Ye, Q., Ming, Y., Zhao, Y., Liu, L., Zhang, S., Chen, Z., & Wang, Q. (2015) Midterm Outcome of Living-Related Kidney Transplantation From Aged Donors: A Single-Center Experience. Transplantation Proceedings, 47(6), 1736-1740. DOI: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2015.06.016
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