Post List

Biology posts

(Modify Search »)

  • December 30, 2016
  • 05:00 AM
  • 286 views

Friday Fellow: Peacock Spikemoss

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll This is the last Friday Fellow of the year and I decided to choose a beautiful and little known plant, the peacock spikemoss, more commonly known as Willdenow’s spikemoss or peacock fern, and scientifically known as Selaginella … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 29, 2016
  • 05:57 AM
  • 393 views

The Myth of "Darwin's Body-Snatchers"

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Did Charles Darwin's thirst for skulls contribute to the near-extinction of the Aboriginal Tasmanian people?





If you believe certain creationists, Darwin sought examples of Tasmanian skulls in order to prove that this unfortunate race was a 'missing link' between humans and apes. However, according to John van Wyhe in a new paper called Darwin's body-snatchers?, this story has zero basis in fact.
As a Darwin scholar, I thought I had heard all the myths concerning Charles Darwin but on... Read more »

van Wyhe J. (2016) Darwin's body-snatchers?. Endeavour. PMID: 28012688  

  • December 27, 2016
  • 02:04 PM
  • 491 views

Why we have not met Aliens yet?

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

A huge of number of people keeps on thinking about the existence of some other intelligent beings in the universe but still we have not met any aliens. Why?

Earth is rare

Earth is special planet

One of the reasons that we have not met aliens is that Earth is rare and there is nothing just like Earth in the universe. In this regard, Paleontologist Peter Ward and astronomer Donald Brownlee presented the Rare Earth Hypothesis about 17 years ago.

According to the Rare Earth Hypothesis, t........ Read more »

Heller, R., & Armstrong, J. (2014) Superhabitable Worlds. Astrobiology, 14(1), 50-66. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2013.1088  

  • December 27, 2016
  • 06:10 AM
  • 366 views

2016 autism research review on Questioning Answers

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Time flies! Once again, I'm posting my annual 'state of the science' autism research review, this time covering the particularly unusual year of 2016.With around 300 blog entries to choose from, I'm changing the format this year to list a 'top 5' of areas where I think some scientific progress has been made. The caveat as ever being that there are still mountains to climb in terms of delineating aetiology, nature and importantly, how one can actually improve quality of life for those on the........ Read more »

Waterhouse, L., London, E., & Gillberg, C. (2016) ASD Validity. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 3(4), 302-329. DOI: 10.1007/s40489-016-0085-x  

  • December 23, 2016
  • 11:17 PM
  • 377 views

The Lyme disease spirochete lives without thiamine

by Microbe Fan in Spirochetes Unwound

Thiamine, or vitamin B1, is vital for the survival of all living things.  One of the biologically functional forms of thiamine, thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), is essential for the catalytic activity of several critical metabolic enzymes.  For this reason, we must get thiamine from the food that we eat (or the vitamin pills that we swallow).  Microbes obtain the vitamin from their surroundings, but they can also make their own thiamine if it's not available.It turns out that the Lym........ Read more »

Zhang K, Bian J, Deng Y, Smith A, Nunez RE, Li MB, Pal U, Yu AM, Qiu W, Ealick SE.... (2016) Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi does not require thiamin. Nature Microbiology, 16213. PMID: 27869793  

Xu H, Caimano MJ, Lin T, He M, Radolf JD, Norris SJ, Gherardini F, Wolfe AJ, & Yang XF. (2010) Role of acetyl-phosphate in activation of the Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS pathway in Borrelia burgdorferi. PLoS pathogens, 6(9). PMID: 20862323  

Subba Raju BV, Esteve-Gassent MD, Karna SL, Miller CL, Van Laar TA, & Seshu J. (2011) Oligopeptide permease A5 modulates vertebrate host-specific adaptation of Borrelia burgdorferi. Infection and immunity, 79(8), 3407-20. PMID: 21628523  

  • December 23, 2016
  • 06:43 AM
  • 348 views

Establishment of a new BHD Syndrome cell line

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome is caused by mutations in the FLCN gene. The FLCN protein acts as a tumour suppressor and BHD patients have a high risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The mechanisms of tumour formation in BHD have been investigated using mouse models and human RCC tissues. However, in vitro signalling studies of human renal cells with mutant FLCN are still scarce. In a recent study, Furuya et al. (2016) established a new cell line from a BHD patient’s chromophobe ........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2016
  • 05:03 AM
  • 396 views

ADHD symptoms and chronic fatigue syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

With the pinnacle of the season of 'jolly' almost upon us, I'd like to make some brief discussion on the findings reported by Denise Rogers and colleagues [1] and specifically the observation that: "ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] symptoms were significantly greater in the CFS [chronic fatigue syndrome] group than in HC [healthy controls]."With the aim of examining both the prevalence of fatigue in cases of ADHD and the prevalence of ADHD symptoms in adults wi........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2016
  • 05:00 AM
  • 259 views

Friday Fellow: Christmas Wreath Lichen

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Celebrating Christmas (or whatever you call this time of the year), today’s Friday Fellow is another lichen. And the reason I chose it is because it is known as Christmas wreath lichen due to its red … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 22, 2016
  • 03:31 AM
  • 393 views

Psychosis (sometimes) as an immune disorder?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Some psychosis cases an 'immune disorder'" went the BBC headline with reference to the paper by Belinda Lennox and colleagues [1] talking about the detection of antibodies against the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) in cases of first-episode psychosis (FEP).Although by no means a universal phenomenon, researchers reported that 3% of their 228 participants diagnosed with FEP who provided a blood sample showed the presence of NMDAR antibodies compared with none of the healthy controls ........ Read more »

  • December 21, 2016
  • 06:02 AM
  • 424 views

"New form of autism found"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"New form of autism found" went one of the headlines reporting on the paper by Dora C. Tărlungeanu and colleagues [1] and findings that "elucidate a neurological syndrome defined by SLC7A5 mutations and support an essential role for the BCAA [branched-chain amino acids] in human brain function." This work continues a rather important research story talking about how one 'type' of autism might have some important roots in relation to the branched-chain amino acids and their m........ Read more »

Tărlungeanu, D., Deliu, E., Dotter, C., Kara, M., Janiesch, P., Scalise, M., Galluccio, M., Tesulov, M., Morelli, E., Sonmez, F.... (2016) Impaired Amino Acid Transport at the Blood Brain Barrier Is a Cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Cell, 167(6), 1481-2147483647. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.11.013  

  • December 20, 2016
  • 08:19 AM
  • 372 views

Poking holes into membranes to label proteins for live imaging

by Gal Haimovich in Green Fluorescent Blog

There are two major way to label inner proteins, structures or organnelles for live cell imaging. The most common method is fusing the studied protein to a fluorescent protein. A second approach is the addition of labeling agents from outside the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 20, 2016
  • 04:33 AM
  • 415 views

Generation R does gestational vitamin D levels and autistic traits

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Gestational vitamin D deficiency was associated with autism-related traits in a large population-based sample. Because gestational vitamin D deficiency is readily preventable with safe, cheap and accessible supplements, this candidate risk factor warrants closer scrutiny."So said the findings reported by Vinkhuyzen and colleagues [1] (open-access) reporting on data derived from "the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort from fetal life onward, based in Rotterdam, The Netherl........ Read more »

Vinkhuyzen AA, Eyles DW, Burne TH, Blanken LM, Kruithof CJ, Verhulst F, Jaddoe VW, Tiemeier H, & McGrath JJ. (2016) Gestational vitamin D deficiency and autism-related traits: the Generation R Study. Molecular psychiatry. PMID: 27895322  

  • December 19, 2016
  • 03:19 AM
  • 413 views

Gut barrier integrity meets blood-brain barrier integrity with autism in mind

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In the ASD [autism spectrum disorder] brain, there is an altered expression of genes associated with BBB [blood-brain barrier] integrity coupled with increased neuroinflammation and possibly impaired gut barrier integrity."Although pretty enthused to see research linking names like Anna Sapone, Tim Buie and Alessio Fasano in the recent paper published by Maria Fiorentino and colleagues [1] (open-access), I was slightly less impressed with the use of the term 'the ASD brain' ........ Read more »

Fiorentino, M., Sapone, A., Senger, S., Camhi, S., Kadzielski, S., Buie, T., Kelly, D., Cascella, N., & Fasano, A. (2016) Blood–brain barrier and intestinal epithelial barrier alterations in autism spectrum disorders. Molecular Autism, 7(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13229-016-0110-z  

  • December 18, 2016
  • 05:45 AM
  • 447 views

Fusion and sex in protocells & the start of evolution

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

In 1864, five years after reading Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Pyotr Kropotkin — the anarchist prince of mutual aid — was leading a geographic survey expedition aboard a dog-sleigh — a distinctly Siberian variant of the HMS Beagle. In the harsh Manchurian climate, Kropotkin did not see competition ‘red in tooth and claw’, […]... Read more »

Sinai, S, Olejarz, J, Neagu, IA, & Nowak, MA. (2016) Primordial Sex Facilitates the Emergence of Evolution. arXiv. arXiv: 1612.00825v1

  • December 17, 2016
  • 05:51 AM
  • 351 views

Pregnancy influenza infection not linked to offspring autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"There was no association between maternal influenza [flu] infection anytime during pregnancy and increased ASD [autism spectrum disorder] risk."So said the findings reported by Ousseny Zerbo and colleagues [1] continuing a research theme from this author (see here for example) looking at how various infections 'encountered' during critical periods of pregnancy may / may not impact on offspring autism risk. This time around the focus was on viral infections and in partic........ Read more »

  • December 16, 2016
  • 05:25 AM
  • 333 views

Patient participation in clinical trials

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Clinical trials are crucial to help doctors and scientists understand how to safely treat a particular condition, to evaluate new treatments and to test drug safety and efficacy. They have an important role in every step of managing a condition with different clinical trials helping with prevention, diagnosis, treatments and follow-up support.... Read more »

  • December 16, 2016
  • 05:00 AM
  • 343 views

Friday Fellow: Common Stonewort

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll It’s always hard to introduce a less charismatic species here. Not because they are less interesting to me, but because I cannot find good information available. But I try to do my best to show all … Continue reading →... Read more »

Ariosa, Y., Quesada, A., Aburto, J., Carrasco, D., Carreres, R., Leganes, F., & Fernandez Valiente, E. (2004) Epiphytic Cyanobacteria on Chara vulgaris Are the Main Contributors to N2 Fixation in Rice Fields. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 70(9), 5391-5397. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.70.9.5391-5397.2004  

  • December 16, 2016
  • 03:16 AM
  • 348 views

Non-febrile seizures in children with autism vs unaffected siblings

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with idiopathic ASD [autism spectrum disorder] are significantly more likely to have non-febrile seizures than their unaffected siblings, suggesting that non-febrile seizures may be ASD-specific."So said the findings from Lena McCue and colleagues [1] (open-access) continuing a research theme looking at one of the important 'comorbidities' that seems to be over-represented when it comes to a diagnosis of autism (see here). Idiopathic autism or ASD refers to autism as the........ Read more »

  • December 15, 2016
  • 02:59 AM
  • 407 views

ADHD, not autism, might count when it comes to 'comorbid psychiatric symptomatology'

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin this fairly brief post: "Our study concluded that higher levels of ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] severity-not ASD [autism spectrum disorder] severity-were associated with a higher prevalence of comorbid psychiatric symptomatology in school-age children with ASD. These findings may encourage clinicians to thoroughly assess ADHD symptomatology in ASD children to better inform treatment planning."That was the research bottom line reported by Ro........ Read more »

  • December 14, 2016
  • 08:40 PM
  • 300 views

ZIKV replication and the induction of p53: a tale of three places ?

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Zika Virus (ZIKV) is a mosquitoe-borne Flavivirus (MBFV), related to other Flavivirus’ that are transmitted by mosquitoes such as Dengue Virus (DENV), Yellow Fever Virus (YFV) or Tick Borne Encephalitis Virus (TBEV) and as such the viral genome is released into the cytoplasm following viral entry and translated into a single polyprotein that is cleaved by both viral and cellular proteases into the 3 structural and 7 non-structural proteins.
Here the induction of p53 dependent apoptosis an........ Read more »

Li H, Saucedo-Cuevas L, Shresta S, & Gleeson JG. (2016) The Neurobiology of Zika Virus. Neuron, 92(5), 949-958. PMID: 27930910  

Vasilakis N, & Weaver SC. (2016) Flavivirus transmission focusing on Zika. Current opinion in virology, 30-35. PMID: 27936448  

Barreto-Vieira DF, Barth OM, Silva MA, Santos CC, Santos Ada S, F JB Filho, & Filippis AM. (2016) Ultrastructure of Zika virus particles in cell cultures. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 111(8), 532-4. PMID: 27581122  

Li H, Saucedo-Cuevas L, Regla-Nava JA, Chai G, Sheets N, Tang W, Terskikh AV, Shresta S, & Gleeson JG. (2016) Zika Virus Infects Neural Progenitors in the Adult Mouse Brain and Alters Proliferation. Cell stem cell, 19(5), 593-598. PMID: 27545505  

Pingen M, Bryden SR, Pondeville E, Schnettler E, Kohl A, Merits A, Fazakerley JK, Graham GJ, & McKimmie CS. (2016) Host Inflammatory Response to Mosquito Bites Enhances the Severity of Arbovirus Infection. Immunity, 44(6), 1455-69. PMID: 27332734  

Agarwal A, Joshi G, Nagar DP, Sharma AK, Sukumaran D, Pant SC, Parida MM, & Dash PK. (2016) Mosquito saliva induced cutaneous events augment Chikungunya virus replication and disease progression. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 126-35. PMID: 26925703  

Hewitt G, Carroll B, Sarallah R, Correia-Melo C, Ogrodnik M, Nelson G, Otten EG, Manni D, Antrobus R, Morgan BA.... (2016) SQSTM1/p62 mediates crosstalk between autophagy and the UPS in DNA repair. Autophagy, 12(10), 1917-1930. PMID: 27391408  

Danthi P. (2016) Viruses and the Diversity of Cell Death. Annual review of virology, 3(1), 533-553. PMID: 27501259  

Parquet MC, Kumatori A, Hasebe F, Morita K, & Igarashi A. (2001) West Nile virus-induced bax-dependent apoptosis. FEBS letters, 500(1-2), 17-24. PMID: 11434919  

Zhao P, Han T, Guo JJ, Zhu SL, Wang J, Ao F, Jing MZ, She YL, Wu ZH, & Ye LB. (2012) HCV NS4B induces apoptosis through the mitochondrial death pathway. Virus research, 169(1), 1-7. PMID: 22542667  

Netsawang J, Noisakran S, Puttikhunt C, Kasinrerk W, Wongwiwat W, Malasit P, Yenchitsomanus PT, & Limjindaporn T. (2010) Nuclear localization of dengue virus capsid protein is required for DAXX interaction and apoptosis. Virus research, 147(2), 275-83. PMID: 19944121  

Licon Luna RM, Lee E, Müllbacher A, Blanden RV, Langman R, & Lobigs M. (2002) Lack of both Fas ligand and perforin protects from flavivirus-mediated encephalitis in mice. Journal of virology, 76(7), 3202-11. PMID: 11884544  

Tudzarova S, Mulholland P, Dey A, Stoeber K, Okorokov AL, & Williams GH. (2016) p53 controls CDC7 levels to reinforce G1 cell cycle arrest upon genotoxic stress. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 15(21), 2958-2972. PMID: 27611229  

Abraham AG, & O'Neill E. (2014) PI3K/Akt-mediated regulation of p53 in cancer. Biochemical Society transactions, 42(4), 798-803. PMID: 25109960  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.