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Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny - Except For This Strange-Looking Head

Science2.0 - September 15, 2014 - 4:31pm

"Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" biologists once said - meaning that an animal's "ontogeny", its embryonic development, replays its entire evolutionary history.

Today our understanding a more nuanced and a better way to figure out how animals evolved is to compare regulatory networks that control gene expression patterns, particularly embryonic ones, across species.  But that task can be humbling, according to Stowers Institute for Medical Research Scientific Director Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D. and colleagues, who show that the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus, a survivor of ancient jawless vertebrates, exhibits a pattern of gene expression that is reminiscent of its jawed cousins, who evolved much, much later.


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Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny - Except For This Strange-Looking Head

General - September 15, 2014 - 4:31pm

"Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" biologists once said - meaning that an animal's "ontogeny", its embryonic development, replays its entire evolutionary history.

Today our understanding a more nuanced and a better way to figure out how animals evolved is to compare regulatory networks that control gene expression patterns, particularly embryonic ones, across species.  But that task can be humbling, according to Stowers Institute for Medical Research Scientific Director Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D. and colleagues, who show that the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus, a survivor of ancient jawless vertebrates, exhibits a pattern of gene expression that is reminiscent of its jawed cousins, who evolved much, much later.


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Virtually Every Animal Uses The Same Science Of Swimming

Science2.0 - September 15, 2014 - 4:00pm

At nearly 100 feet long and weighing as much as 170 tons, the blue whale is the largest creature on the planet, and by far the heaviest living thing ever seen on Earth. So there's no way it could have anything in common with the tiniest fish larvae, which measure millimeters in length and tip the scales at a fraction of a gram, right?

Not so fast, says L. Mahadevan, Professor of Applied Mathematics, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and of Physics at Harvard. 

Using simple hydrodynamics, Mahadevan and colleagues that a handful of principles govern how virtually every animal -- from the tiniest fish to birds to gigantic whales propel themselves though the water. 


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Virtually Every Animal Uses The Same Science Of Swimming

General - September 15, 2014 - 4:00pm

At nearly 100 feet long and weighing as much as 170 tons, the blue whale is the largest creature on the planet, and by far the heaviest living thing ever seen on Earth. So there's no way it could have anything in common with the tiniest fish larvae, which measure millimeters in length and tip the scales at a fraction of a gram, right?

Not so fast, says L. Mahadevan, Professor of Applied Mathematics, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and of Physics at Harvard. 

Using simple hydrodynamics, Mahadevan and colleagues that a handful of principles govern how virtually every animal -- from the tiniest fish to birds to gigantic whales propel themselves though the water. 


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Categories: News

Repair The Muscles In Muscular Dystrophy, Not The Genetic Defect

Science2.0 - September 15, 2014 - 3:30pm

The saying goes that we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, so while there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, rather than solely focusing on the underlying genetic defect might not help people right now as directly targeting muscle repair. 

Muscular dystrophies are a group of muscle diseases characterized by skeletal muscle wasting and weakness. Mutations in certain proteins, most commonly the protein dystrophin, cause muscular dystrophy in humans and also in mice.


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Repair The Muscles In Muscular Dystrophy, Not The Genetic Defect

General - September 15, 2014 - 3:30pm

The saying goes that we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, so while there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, rather than solely focusing on the underlying genetic defect might not help people right now as directly targeting muscle repair. 

Muscular dystrophies are a group of muscle diseases characterized by skeletal muscle wasting and weakness. Mutations in certain proteins, most commonly the protein dystrophin, cause muscular dystrophy in humans and also in mice.


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Life On Mars? Nakhla Martian Meteorite Has A Clue

Science2.0 - September 15, 2014 - 3:30pm

A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old contains a 'cell-like' structure, which investigators say once held water, according to findings published in Astrobiology.

While investigating the Martian meteorite, known as Nakhla, Dr. Elias Chatzitheodoridis of the National Technical University of Athens found an unusual feature embedded deep within the rock. In a bid to understand what it might be, he teamed up with long-time friend and collaborator Professor Ian Lyon at the University of Manchester. 


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Categories: Science2.0

Life On Mars? Nakhla Martian Meteorite Has A Clue

General - September 15, 2014 - 3:30pm

A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old contains a 'cell-like' structure, which investigators say once held water, according to findings published in Astrobiology.

While investigating the Martian meteorite, known as Nakhla, Dr. Elias Chatzitheodoridis of the National Technical University of Athens found an unusual feature embedded deep within the rock. In a bid to understand what it might be, he teamed up with long-time friend and collaborator Professor Ian Lyon at the University of Manchester. 


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Categories: News

Asian Has Had Monsoon Season For 40 Million Years

Science2.0 - September 15, 2014 - 3:09pm

The Asian monsoon was believed to have begun about 25 million years ago  as a result of the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya Mountains but a new study finds it existed 40 million years ago - a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide was 4X what it is now. The monsoon then weakened 34 million years ago when atmospheric CO2 then decreased by 50 percent and an ice age occurred. 

The monsoon, the largest climate system in the world, governs the climate in much of mainland Asia, bringing torrential summer rains and dry winters. 

The authors make the surprising claim in Nature that the monsoon is as much a result of global climate as it is a result of topography.   


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Asian Has Had Monsoon Season For 40 Million Years

General - September 15, 2014 - 3:09pm

The Asian monsoon was believed to have begun about 25 million years ago  as a result of the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya Mountains but a new study finds it existed 40 million years ago - a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide was 4X what it is now. The monsoon then weakened 34 million years ago when atmospheric CO2 then decreased by 50 percent and an ice age occurred. 

The monsoon, the largest climate system in the world, governs the climate in much of mainland Asia, bringing torrential summer rains and dry winters. 

The authors make the surprising claim in Nature that the monsoon is as much a result of global climate as it is a result of topography.   


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Categories: News

Drugs For Mild Hypertension In Low Risk People Questioned

Science2.0 - September 15, 2014 - 2:52pm

There was a time when medicine was considered 'at all costs' but the costs were a lot lower. With malpractice attorneys on call and 'defensive medicine' to include every test so that during fact-finding all of the bases are covered, costs have skyrocketed.

But governments that fund health care want to get the most effective treatment for the money. Both the vaguely defined "pre-diabetes" and hypertension drugs for low-risk people are worrying trends. In a new paper, Dr. Stephen Martin and colleagues urge clinicians to be cautious about treating low risk patients with blood pressure lowering drugs.


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Categories: Science2.0

Drugs For Mild Hypertension In Low Risk People Questioned

General - September 15, 2014 - 2:52pm

There was a time when medicine was considered 'at all costs' but the costs were a lot lower. With malpractice attorneys on call and 'defensive medicine' to include every test so that during fact-finding all of the bases are covered, costs have skyrocketed.

But governments that fund health care want to get the most effective treatment for the money. Both the vaguely defined "pre-diabetes" and hypertension drugs for low-risk people are worrying trends. In a new paper, Dr. Stephen Martin and colleagues urge clinicians to be cautious about treating low risk patients with blood pressure lowering drugs.


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Categories: News

Gene Testing Identifies Men With 6X Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Science2.0 - September 15, 2014 - 2:32pm

A third of the inherited risk of prostate cancer is closer to being identifiable with 23 new genetic variants associated with increased risk of the disease.

But there are a lot of factors. The total number of common genetic variants linked to prostate cancer is about 100, and testing for them can identify men with risk almost six times as high as the population average - but that is still just 1%.


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Categories: Science2.0

Gene Testing Identifies Men With 6X Risk Of Prostate Cancer

General - September 15, 2014 - 2:32pm

A third of the inherited risk of prostate cancer is closer to being identifiable with 23 new genetic variants associated with increased risk of the disease.

But there are a lot of factors. The total number of common genetic variants linked to prostate cancer is about 100, and testing for them can identify men with risk almost six times as high as the population average - but that is still just 1%.


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Categories: News

When Scientists Give Up

RealClearScience - September 15, 2014 - 5:30am
Categories: RealClearScience

7 Reasons to Have More Sex

RealClearScience - September 15, 2014 - 5:30am
Categories: RealClearScience

Many Gender Stereotypes True

RealClearScience - September 15, 2014 - 5:30am
Categories: RealClearScience

Act Now on Ebola

RealClearScience - September 15, 2014 - 5:30am
Categories: RealClearScience

Bioinformatics Tool Shows Impact Of Probiotics On Gut Microbiota

Science2.0 - September 14, 2014 - 11:10pm
Yogurt with probiotics are one of the latest health fads, but no one is sure they are doing anything at all and, if they are, that it is helping. 

Probiotics are defined by marketing groups as "live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host, beyond the common nutritional effects." Proponents believe they facilitate fiber digestion, might boost the immune system and prevent or treat diarrhea. Dozens of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli are marketed in foods like yogurts and fermented milk products.
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Categories: Science2.0

Bioinformatics Tool Shows Impact Of Probiotics On Gut Microbiota

General - September 14, 2014 - 11:10pm
Yogurt with probiotics are one of the latest health fads, but no one is sure they are doing anything at all and, if they are, that it is helping. 

Probiotics are defined by marketing groups as "live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host, beyond the common nutritional effects." Proponents believe they facilitate fiber digestion, might boost the immune system and prevent or treat diarrhea. Dozens of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli are marketed in foods like yogurts and fermented milk products.
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Categories: News