Biology & Biotech...
Follow
Find
1.6K views | +0 today
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Linguists Reveal Ancient Relations Between Language Families

Linguists Reveal Ancient Relations Between Language Families | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Dutch linguists have developed a new method using Bayesian phylogenetic approaches to analyze the evolution of structural features in more than 50 language families.

 

The study explores how stable over time the structural features of languages are – aspects like word order, the inventory of sounds, or plural marking of nouns. “If at least some of them are relatively stable over long time periods, they promise a way to get at ancient language relationships,” the linguists stated in the paper. “But opinion has been divided, some researchers holding that universally there is a hierarchy of stability for such features, others claiming that individual language families show their own idiosyncrasies in what features are stable and which not.”

 

Using a large database and many alternative methods they show that both positions are right: there are universal tendencies for some features to be more stable than others, but individual language families have their own distinctive profile. These distinctive profiles can then be used to probe ancient relations between what are today independent language families. This work thus has implications for our understanding of differential rates of language change, and by identifying distinctive patterns of change it provides a new window into very old historical processes that have shaped the linguistic map of the world. It shows that there is no conflict between the existence of universal tendencies and factors specific to a language family or geographic area.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology News
Scoop.it!

Structural Insight into African Horsesickness Virus Infection

Structural Insight into African Horsesickness Virus Infection | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

"African horsesickness (AHS) is a devastating disease of horses. The disease is caused by the double-stranded RNA-containing African horsesickness virus (AHSV). Using electron cryomicroscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction, we determined the architecture of an AHSV serotype 4 (AHSV-4) reference strain. The structure revealed triple-layered AHS virions enclosing the segmented genome and transcriptase complex. The innermost protein layer contains 120 copies of VP3, with the viral polymerase, capping enzyme, and helicase attached to the inner surface of the VP3 layer on the 5-fold axis, surrounded by double-stranded RNA. VP7 trimers form a second, T=13 layer on top of VP3. Comparative analyses of the structures of bluetongue virus and AHSV-4 confirmed that VP5 trimers form globular domains and VP2 trimers form triskelions, on the virion surface. We also identified an AHSV-7 strain with a truncated VP2 protein (AHSV-7 tVP2) which outgrows AHSV-4 in culture. Comparison of AHSV-7 tVP2 to bluetongue virus and AHSV-4 allowed mapping of two domains in AHSV-4 VP2, and one in bluetongue virus VP2, that are important in infection. We also revealed a protein plugging the 5-fold vertices in AHSV-4. These results shed light on virus-host interactions in an economically important orbivirus to help the informed design of new vaccines."

 

Well done Albie , Pottie and Trevor!  Nice piece of science, largely out of Africa, on an African virus.  AND they got the cover!


Via Ed Rybicki
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Scoop.it!

Venomous Snakes Harbor Deadly Brain-Swelling Virus

Venomous Snakes Harbor Deadly Brain-Swelling Virus | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Scientists had wondered where the virus, which has killed 2 in Vermont, hid during winter months. New evidence shows that the Eastern Equine Enecephalitis virus (EEE) over-winters in hibernating venomous snakes.


Via Dr. Mary T. Johnson, Chris Upton + helpers
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marthèlize Tredoux
Scoop.it!

Virus leads to obesity but lowers risk of diabetes - health - 03 October 2012 - New Scientist

Virus leads to obesity but lowers risk of diabetes - health - 03 October 2012 - New Scientist | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Adenovirus-36 encourages the body to grow new and larger fat cells – which could be just the ticket for treating type 2 diabetes...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marthèlize Tredoux
Scoop.it!

Biologist to discuss drunken monkey hypothesis — that human alcohol abuse can be traced to fruit-eating primate ancestors

Biologist to discuss drunken monkey hypothesis — that human alcohol abuse can be traced to fruit-eating primate ancestors | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Robert Dudley will discuss the drunken monkey hypothesis which says human alcohol use and abuse can be traced back to fruit-eating primate ancestors.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Scoop.it!

Researchers explain the genetics of HIV-1 resistance

Researchers explain the genetics of HIV-1 resistance | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Drug resistance is a major problem when treating infections. This problem is multiplied when the infection, like HIV-1, is chronic. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Retrovirology has examined the genetic footprint that drug resistance causes in HIV and found compensatory polymorphisms that help the resistant virus to survive.


Via Kenzibit
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Scoop.it!

Current Opinion in Microbiology - Viruses: foe, freeloader or friend?

The study of virus–host interactions has historically focused on what occurs between the virus particle and the host cell at a molecular level. Because of their simple genomes and small repertoire of virally encoded proteins, studying the effects of virus infection on the host cell is ideal for uncovering cellular activities and functions that would otherwise be difficult to distinguish due to overlapping pathways. When viewed at the cellular level, virus interactions with the host lean more towards aggression, where the virus is an enemy or at best, an unwelcome guest. Like party crashers, they quietly enter through doors and windows normally meant for other uses, eat their way through kitchen, and make a mess of the living room. By the time anyone notices, they have invited all of their friends and are destroying the place like rockstars trash hotel rooms. The first half of the issue then, covers virus–host interactions at the cellular level and highlights new research on some of the ways by which these unwanted guests get in, take over and get out.


Via Chris Upton + helpers
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology News
Scoop.it!

New HPV vaccine on the horizon

New HPV vaccine on the horizon | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

"Gardasil protects against the four most common strains of HPV which cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts....a new vaccine that would protect against eight strands [sic] of HPV is almost finished with clinical trials."

 

Widening the net - always a good thing!


Via Ed Rybicki
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Media Cultures: Microbiology in the news
Scoop.it!

The perplexing case of steak.

In class, I normally tell students that steak rarely (pun intended) transmits the strain of E.coli O157:H7 to consumers. Hamburger? Absolutely, but steak? Almost never. So why was there an outbreak of O157:H7 infection with steak identified as the culprit?


Via Iain Haysom
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Twisted Microbiology
Scoop.it!

HIV could be turning salmonella nastier

HIV could be turning salmonella nastier | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

A nastier kind of salmonella infection has emerged alongside the HIV epidemic in Africa. The finding is the first evidence that HIV might be allowing new human pathogens to evolve in immunosuppressed people.

 

Research article:

Intracontinental spread of human invasive Salmonella Typhimurium pathovariants in sub-Saharan Africa

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2423


Via Cesar Sanchez
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Molecular factors, unique ecological environment make Bhut Jolokia world’s hottest chilli

Molecular factors, unique ecological environment make Bhut Jolokia world’s hottest chilli | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

A molecular study carried out by Indian defense researchers indicates that molecular characters and the unique ecological environment of North East India make Bhut Jolokia distinct from other closely related chilli species and keep it world’s hottest. Locally known as “Bhut Jolokia”, this pepper variety found in the North Eastern parts of India and is considered as the hottest chilli in the world.

 

Bhut Jolokia has grabbed the title ‘world’s hottest chilli’ from the Red Savina Habanero found in Canada, when it was found that Jolokia is at least two times hotter than it in terms of 'Scoville Heat units' which is the measurement of hotness in chillies.

 

Interestingly, the name Bhut Jolokia hints a ghostly bite, which actually leaves the victim burning for at least 30 minutes without subsiding. It is being used by local people for a variety of purposes like making spicy food, to prepare medicines and even in smoke bombs to keep wild elephants away.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Scoop.it!

Ron Fouchier on the New Coronavirus: We Need to Fulfill Koch's Postulates - ScienceInsider

Ron Fouchier on the New Coronavirus: We Need to Fulfill Koch's Postulates - ScienceInsider | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Health officials around the world are on alert after the discovery of a new virus in two patients with pneumonia. The agent belongs to the coronavirus group, which includes several common cold viruses but also the virus that causes SARS, a severe disease that killed more than 700 people during a fast-moving global outbreak in 2002 and 2003 before it was contained.


Via Kenzibit
more...
Ed Rybicki's comment, September 26, 2012 5:42 AM
I would relax a bit if I were the health officials: this is no more a break-out virus than the arenavirus found in Zambia recently (Lujo); two cases does not a pandemic make.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Plant Breeding and Genetics
Scoop.it!

New drought-hardy corn testing well in U.S.

New drought-hardy corn testing well in U.S. | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Corn seed developers who have been racing to build better varieties for low rainfall and high heat say results have been encouraging despite the worst U.S. drought in half a century.

Via Valerio Hoyos-Villegas
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Contemporary Food Issues
Scoop.it!

California battle over GM labels

California battle over GM labels | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Voters in California are to decide on a controversial proposal that would require the labelling of most foods made with GM ingredients.

Via Iain Haysom
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marthèlize Tredoux
Scoop.it!

ROSALIND: an addictive bioinformatics learning site | Byte Size Biology

ROSALIND: an addictive bioinformatics learning site | Byte Size Biology | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

I just learned about this one: ROSALIND is a really cool concept in learning bioinformatics. You are given problems of increasing difficulty to solve. Start with nucleotide counting (trivial) and end with genome assembly (not so trivial). To solve a problem, you download a sample data set, write your code and debug it. Once you think you are ready, you have a time limit to solve and provide an answer for the actual problem dataset. If you mess up, there is a timed new dataset to download. This thing is coder-addictive. Currently in Beta, but a lot of fun and seems stable.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Schrödinger's Cat is Alive! Scientists measure a system's quantum state without collapsing its superposition

Schrödinger's Cat is Alive! Scientists measure a system's quantum state without collapsing its superposition | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Schrödinger's cat, the enduring icon of quantum mechanics, has been defied. By making constant but weak measurements of a quantum system, physicists have managed to probe a delicate quantum state without destroying it – the equivalent of taking a peek at Schrodinger's metaphorical cat without killing it. The result should make it easier to handle systems such as quantum computers that exploit the exotic properties of the quantum world.

 

Quantum objects have the bizarre but useful property of being able to exist in multiple states at once, a phenomenon called superposition. Physicist Erwin Schrödinger illustrated the strange implications of superposition by imagining a cat in a box whose fate depends on a radioactive atom. Because the atom's decay is governed by quantum mechanics – and so only takes a definite value when it is measured – the cat is, somehow, both dead and alive until the box is opened.

 

Researchers had suggested it should be possible, in principle, to make measurements that are "gentle" enough not to destroy the superposition. The idea was to measure something less direct than whether the bit is a 1 or a 0 – the equivalent of looking at Schrödinger's cat through blurry glasses. This wouldn't allow you to gain a "strong" piece of information – whether the cat was alive or dead – but you might be able to detect other properties.

 

Now, R. Vijay of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues have managed to create a working equivalent of those blurry glasses. "We only partially open the box," says Vijay. The team started with a tiny superconducting circuit commonly used as a qubit in quantum computers, and put it in a superposition by cycling its state between 0 and 1 so that it repeatedly hit all the possible mixtures of states.

 

Vijay and colleagues used a new kind of amplifier that let them turn up the signal without contaminating it. They found that their qubit stayed in its oscillating state for the entire run of the experiment. That was only about a hundredth of a second – but, crucially, it meant that the qubit had survived the measuring process.

 

"This demonstration shows we are almost there, in terms of being able to implement quantum error controls," Vijay says. Such controls could be used to prolong the superpositions of qubits in quantum computing, he says, by automatically nudging qubits that were about to collapse. The result is not perfect, points out Howard Wiseman of Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, in an article accompanying the team's paper. "But compared with the no-feedback result of complete unpredictability within several microseconds, the observed stabilization of the qubit's cycling is a big step forward in the feedback control of an individual qubit."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marthèlize Tredoux
Scoop.it!

Deadly snake venom delivers pain relief

Deadly snake venom delivers pain relief | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Proteins from the black mamba could inspire painkilling drugs.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology News
Scoop.it!

Onset of flu season raises concerns about human-to-pet transmission

Onset of flu season raises concerns about human-to-pet transmission | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

As flu season approaches, people who get sick may not realize they can pass the flu not only to other humans, but possibly to other animals, including pets such as cats, dogs and ferrets.


Via Ed Rybicki
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Scoop.it!

Breast-milk molecule raises risk of HIV transmission

Breast-milk molecule raises risk of HIV transmission | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Although one type of sugar in breast milk from HIV-positive mothers can boost likelihood of transmission, many other sugars protect against disease.

Via Kenzibit
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Contemporary Food Issues
Scoop.it!

Science-Based Medicine » Antivaccine versus anti-GMO: Different goals, same methods

Countering ideologically motivated bad science, pseudoscience, misinformation, and lies is one of the main purposes of this blog...GMOs, as you know, are proliferating, and it’s quite worth discussing the potential and risks of this new technology, just as it is worthwhile to discuss the potential benefits versus the risks of any new technology that can impact our health, not to mention the health of the planet.


Via Iain Haysom
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Contemporary Food Issues
Scoop.it!

How Anti-GMO Activists Are Polluting Science Communication

How Anti-GMO Activists Are Polluting Science Communication | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
I used to think that nothing rivaled the misinformation spewed by climate change skeptics and spinmeisters. Then I started paying attention to how anti-GMO campaigners have distorted the science on genetically modified foods.

Via Iain Haysom
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Scoop.it!

HIV 'made' new deadly Salmonella

HIV 'made' new deadly Salmonella | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

An epidemic of a deadly strain of Salmonella has swept across the whole of Africa by "taking advantage" of the spread of HIV.


Via Kenzibit
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Scoop.it!

Researchers map molecular details that encourage H1N1 transmission to humans

Researchers map molecular details that encourage H1N1 transmission to humans | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
The 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus appears to have required certain mutations in order to be transmitted to humans, according to a paper in the September Journal of Virology.

Via Kenzibit
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Scoop.it!

Plant viruses alter insect behavior to enhance their spread : Scientific Reports

Pathogens and parasites can induce changes in host or vector behavior that enhance their transmission.

 

"We propose the “Vector Manipulation Hypothesis” to explain the evolution of strategies in plant pathogens to enhance their spread to new hosts."


Via Jeff Habig
more...
No comment yet.