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  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,387 views

Darwin's contributions and why this matters for Mexico's conifers

by Claire Williams in Conifer Reproductive Biology

For International Darwin Day, February 12. Darwin's birthday inspired an elegant treatise by UNAM professor Antonio Lazcano, published in Science back in 2005. His article traces the cultural, social and science history roots behind widespread acceptance of Darwin's ideas in Mexico. This careful analysis is worthwhile reading, particularly for those working in the USA.... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,970 views

Interactive software tool for optimal sequence alignments with dynamic programming.

by suji george in Research Software and Book

ResearchBlogging.org

Dynamic programming (DP) is an optimizing strategy commonly used in various discipline in science. It is widely used in biology to calculate optimal alignment between pairs of protein or DNA sequences. DP is so important, that it is core of many software applications available today for sequence analysis. DP algorithm is essential topic in many undergraduate and graduate bioinformatics course. Although simple in formulation, DP is not that easy for students to learn.

S........ Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,024 views

Dance Macabre: Will 14th Century Remains Reveal the Pandemic Secrets of the Black Death?

by Sara Klink in Promega Connections

Another group of researchers decided to further analyze the causative agent of the Black Plague by enriching for and sequencing one of the extrachromasomal plasmids present in the bacterial genome: the 9.6kb virulence-associated pPCP1 plasmid.

The recently published research in the Proceedings of the National Association of Science USA chose to use samples from East Smithfield (ES) cemetery in London, England, a burial ground that was established during the medieval Black Death pandemic of 13........ Read more »

Schuenemann VJ, Bos K, Dewitte S, Schmedes S, Jamieson J, Mittnik A, Forrest S, Coombes BK, Wood JW, Earn DJ.... (2011) From the Cover: Targeted enrichment of ancient pathogens yielding the pPCP1 plasmid of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(38). PMID: 21876176  

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 3,434 views

Bisexuality is natural for women

by United Academics in United Academics

Researchers at the Boise State University have found that most women are bisexual by nature. Also, they discovered that these bisexual feelings increase with age. During this study, 484 heterosexual women were surveyed. 60 percent of them said to be sexually attracted to other women, 45 percent had already kissed with a woman en about half of the participants had fantasized about it.... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,692 views

Simpler LCP-based crystallization

by Peter Nollert in Protein Crystallization Blog

For all those that are interested in simplifying membrane protein crystallization trials, you may want to check out this paper on the topic of 'simplifying LCP-based crystallization':

Wallace E, Dranow D, Laible PD, Christensen J, & Nollert P (2011). Monoolein lipid phases as incorporation and enrichment materials for membrane protein crystallization. PloS one, 6 (8) PMID: 21909395... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,796 views

Communication as a network problem

by Becky in It Takes 30

I recently gave a short talk to a group of post-docs who had organized their own mini-symposium and workshop as a way of bringing the Harvard post-doc community in systems biology together. Those of you who haven’t worked in the Boston area may be surprised that we need special events to bring together a community that is separated by only ~4 miles, but in fact the trip from Harvard’s main campus in Cambridge to Harvard Medical School in Boston is a frustrating and lengthy one. Mu........ Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,133 views

“Survival of the funkiest”, or how to evolve a hit song?

by Michael Czaplinski in Inside the Black Box

Evolving "loops", which are short musical pieces become more attractive under selective pressure from listeners. Some interesting phenomena occur!... Read more »

Robert M. MacCallum, Matthias Mauch, Austin Burt, & Armand M. Leroi. (2012) Evolution of Music by Public Choice. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1203182109  

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 3,970 views

Lions And Tigers And Ligers, Oh My!

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Geographic isolation is often involved in speciation events. Here are examples of hybrid speciation involving a very localized isolation and a mating choice behavior.... Read more »

Jesús Mavárez1, Camilo A. Salazar, Eldredge Bermingham1, Christian Salcedo, Chris D. Jiggins . (2006) Speciation by hybridization in Heliconius butterflies. Nature, 868-871. DOI: 10.1038/nature04738  

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,407 views

Making sense of a small worm from big data

by Michael Hsieh in Hsieh Lab Blog

We recently published a gene expression microarray-based paper in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. As a "reductionist", it was challenging for me to deal with the massive amount of data associated with the paper. ... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,815 views

Tadpoles see through their asses

by Papes in Sick Papes

A compelling example of the brain’s dynamic ballsiness (i.e., the ability of neural circuits to learn to detect unfamiliar sensory stimuli), is described in a recent exercise in sickness by the duo of Blackiston and Levin. ... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,882 views

A protein purification classic: Ammonium Sulfate Precipitation An underutilized way to purify proteins

by Dave Dilyx in Protein Solubility Blog

In the 'old days' - i.e. when protein purification meant going to the slaughterhouse to get raw materials such as placenta, brain or blood - the first real purification step was typically an ammonium sulfate precipitation. Of course, the natural tissue needs to be homogenized and solids removed by filtration or centrifugation. This first clarified feedstock contains a multitude of protein solutions, not that different from a modern-day E.coli lysate. Such lysates can be fractionated ac........ Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,401 views

Not happy with expression in E.coli? Time for change.

by Dave Dilyx in Protein Solubility Blog

Sometimes all attempts to optimize the heterologous protein expression your protein aggregates during purification or, even worse, remains stubbornly insoluble. Or may be you just need milligrams of an eukaryotic protein, fast and don’t have time to play around with conditions and E.coli strains. Then it’s time to consider alternative expression systems, closer to the eukaryotic home of your protein.... Read more »

van Ooyen AJ, Dekker P, Huang M, Olsthoorn MM, Jacobs DI, Colussi PA, & Taron CH. (2006) Heterologous protein production in the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. FEMS yeast research, 6(3), 381-92. PMID: 16630278  

Carlson, E., Gan, R., Hodgman, C., & Jewett, M. (2012) Cell-free protein synthesis: Applications come of age. Biotechnology Advances, 30(5), 1185-1194. DOI: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2011.09.016  

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,257 views

I WILL FEAR NO EVIL: THE FIRST HEAD TRANSPLANT ON HUMAN

by Eugenio Maria Battaglia in Science to Grok

In 2008, doctor Sergio Canavero, an italian neurosurgeon based in Turin, IT, have awakened a 20 years old lady from a permanent post-traumatic vegetative state, by means of a bifocal extradural cortical electro-stimulation. Today, while Science still find it hard to explain consciousness and embodied cognition – the world-class neurosurgeon made a shock announcement: “I’m ready for the first head transplant on a man.”

In the manuscript published on Surgical Neurology I........ Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,887 views

To Bee Or Not To Bee: How Bees Avoid Difficult Choices

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Humans who are faced with difficult choices are often tempted to simply opt out of making a choice, especially when they realize that they cannot easily resolve their uncertainty as to which choice is the better choice. Some researchers consider this ability to opt out as an indicator of “meta-cognition”, a term used to describe “thinking about thinking”. Instead of plowing ahead with a random choice, humans can recognize that they lack adequate information and choose not........ Read more »

Clint J. Perry, & Andrew B. Barron. (2013) Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314571110  

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 792 views

Identified a new possible target to combat muscle wasting

by IRBBarcelona in the Node

A study by scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), headed by Antonio Zorzano, also full professor of the University of Barcelona, reveals a potential therapeutic target to tackle muscle wasting in risk populations.... Read more »

Sala D, Ivanova S, Plana N, Ribas V, Duran J, Bach D, Turkseven S, Laville M, Vidal H, Karczewska-Kupczewska M.... (2014) Autophagy-regulating TP53INP2 mediates muscle wasting and is repressed in diabetes. The Journal of clinical investigation. PMID: 24713655  

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,770 views

How sex-engineered prawns can be used to fight deadly parasite

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

Scientists float the idea of introducing male-only prawn stocks to Senegal river to control spread of snails which act as vector for blood flukes... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,034 views

Recent reports on BHD and skin symptoms – misdiagnosis and new manifestations

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Patients with Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome usually develop benign hair follicle tumours (BHFTs) which appear as multiple whitish papules developing primarily on the face, neck and torso (Menko et al., 2009). BHFTs such as fibrofolliculomas and trichodiscomas (skin-coloured tumours occurring on the upper body) can be associated with various genetic conditions and their histology is often key to differential diagnosis. The morphology and histology of various BHFTs is discussed in a recent ........ Read more »

Del Rosso JQ, Silverberg N, & Zeichner JA. (2016) When Acne is Not Acne. Dermatologic clinics, 34(2), 225-8. PMID: 27015783  

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 947 views

PD-L1 expression associates with non-inactivated VHL ccRCC

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

The loss of the of the tumor suppressor gene VHL and the subsequent deregulation of VHL/HIF/VEGF signalling are known to play a role in development of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Renal tumours associated with BHD syndrome are histologically diverse and include a percentage of ccRCC (Pavlovich et al., 2002). Anti-angiogenic therapies targeting the VHL/HIF/VEGF pathway have emerged in past years (Rini et al., 2006) but the development of resistance to these therapeutic agents is leadi........ Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,110 views

Robotic researcher to the rescue

by kylius wilkins in It Ain't Magic

Masaki Watabe talks about automated robotic researchers, future robot rule, and scientific philosophy.... Read more »

Watabe, M., Arjunan, S., Fukushima, S., Iwamoto, K., Kozuka, J., Matsuoka, S., Shindo, Y., Ueda, M., & Takahashi, K. (2015) A Computational Framework for Bioimaging Simulation. PLOS ONE, 10(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130089  

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 31 views

DHM attenuates obesity-induced slow-twitch-fiber decrease via FLCN/FNIP1/AMPK pathway

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Obesity is often associated with decreases in the proportion of skeletal muscle slow-twitch fibers and insulin sensitivity. Slow-twitch fibers are rich in mitochondria and utilize fatty acid oxidative phosphorylation for energy production. In their new study, Zhou et al. (2017) explore the role of the FLCN/FNIP1/AMPK signalling pathway in obesity-induced reductions in slow-twitch fibers and insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle using high-fat-diet-induced (HFD) obese mice, ob/ob mutant mice, an........ Read more »

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