allergic reaction

Base pairs, olfaction and RNA thermometers

RNA thermometer controls temperature-dependent virulence factor expression in Vibrio cholerae (2014) Excerpt: The stem-loop can be stabilized by strengthening the base pairing between the fourU element and SD sequence through the substitution of G-C base pairs, and this results in an elevated melting temperature (10). Conclusion: RNA thermometers represent a simple yet elegant mechanism for controlling temperature-dependent gene expression and may be more widespread among pathogenic bacteria that interact with mammalian hosts than is currently known. See also:  MicroRNA Stability…

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Model vs theory: Progress report!

On June 14, 2013, 1) Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model and 2) Mutation-Driven Evolution were published with divergent/opposite conclusions. 1) …the largest contributor to the development of our personal preferences may be the unconscious epigenetic effects of food odors and pheromones on hormones that organize and activate behavior. If so, the model represented here is consistent with what is known about the epigenetic effects of ecologically important nutrients and pheromones on the adaptively evolved behavior of species from microbes to…

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Ricki Lewis’ Time Machine

Can a Quirky Chromosome Create a Second Human Species? Excerpt 1) The first departure from the common house mouse (Mus musculus) was the “tobacco mouse” (Mus poschiavinus), described in 1869 from specimens trapped in a tobacco factory in Valle di Poschiavo, Switzerland. They had big heads and small, dark bodies. Excerpt 2) I spoke to Bear back in 2004, again for The Scientist (a mechanism for the rapid extinction of a dedicated freelance writer is a change in editor-in-chief). Greg Bear is…

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Cytogenetic approaches link biosystems to ecosystems

Cytogenetic approaches for determining ecological stress in aquatic and terrestrial biosystems (Original Russian Text E.V. Daev, A.V. Dukelskaya, L.V. Barabanova, 2014, published in Ecologicheskaya Genetika, 2014, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 3–12.) For comparison see this open access review: Assessing vertebrate biodiversity in a kelp forest ecosystem using environmental DNA The Russian group seemed to me to be ~20 years ahead of the US-based research group. Eugene Daev explained the differences in the approach taken in the two published works.…

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Amino acid substitutions, stress, and human behavior

Stress dynamically regulates behavior and glutamatergic gene expression in hippocampus by opening a window of epigenetic plasticity Excerpt: …33% of the human population present a BDNF Val66Met SNP that leads to a valine-to-methionine substitution in the BDNF protein at codon 66, and this SNP has been associated with increased susceptibility to development of stress-related disorders (21, 22). Reported as: Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disorders Excerpt: The researchers also identified the molecule regulating…

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RNA-mediated theory killers (11) (12) (13) (14) (15)

Historical perspective Scent of a Book Deal (1995) Excerpt: The search for love the second time around can sometimes lead to scientific as well as romantic inspiration. At least, that’s what happened to James Vaughn Kohl, coauthor of the recently published volume The Scent of Eros (New York, Continuum Publishing Co., 1995). In a press release accompanying the book, Kohl-who manages a clinical laboratory for a group of physicians at Partell Medical Center in Las Vegas-writes, “My scientific interest in…

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Assumptions prove ignorance

Testing Einstein’s Equivalence Principle With Fast Radio Bursts Excerpt: Assuming as a lower limit that the time delays are caused mainly by the gravitational potential of the Milky Way, we prove that fast radio bursts (FRBs) of cosmological origin can be used to constrain the EEP with high accuracy. My comment: Theoretical physicists are allowed to start with assumptions and link them to theories via what they consider to be proof of their assumptions. Unfortunately, the proof of their assumptions…

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RNA-mediated cell type differentiation: Honeybee

Changes in the Gene Expression Profiles of the Hypopharyngeal Gland of Worker Honeybees in Association with Worker Behavior and Hormonal Factors Excerpt: …amino acid spacer connecting the Zn-finger motifs [49], is an early JH-response gene that mediates JH action downstream of Met [46]. My comment: RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA via the nutrient-dependent physiology of reproduction and cell type differentiation in all genera. — see Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model. Excerpt:…

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Bees and primates automagically evolve

The Evolution of Social Bees Excerpt: …one key feature of increased sociality is an elaboration of gene regulation capacity. See also: From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior (1996) Excerpt: …odor perception is more akin to the immune system workings where multitudes of receptors are each uniquely responsive to chemical structures (Bartoshuk and Beauchamp, 1994; Buck and Axel, 1991). Moreover, these receptor proteins are chemically and structurally similar to those that bind neurotransmitters and hormones (Buck and Axel, 1991). See also:…

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MicroRNAs and memory

Diet rich in methionine may promote memory loss Excerpt: “We are looking further into epigenetic factors like microRNA and other downstream genes that could be associated with memory loss.” See also: Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems (an invited review of nutritional epigenetic) Abstract excerpt: “This atoms to ecosystems model of ecological adaptations links nutrient-dependent epigenetic effects on base pairs and amino acid substitutions to pheromone-controlled changes in the microRNA / messenger RNA balance and chromosomal rearrangements. The…

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