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So far pubdraw has created 33 blog entries.

Trypophobia & social anxiety.

Do you have an aversion to the seed head of the lotus flower or honeycomb? If so, you might also get nervous about the situation that you are looked at by many people. The traits which make you uncomfortable with them are social anxiety and trypophobia

Treating hemophilia with gene therapy

Hemophilia B is a rare, and recessive X-linked disease characterized by a deficiency of coagulation factor IX. A safe non-viral transfection method based on nucleofection to express and secrete human clotting factor IX, was used. hFIX levels in the blood of NSG mice injected with ASCs transfected with this vector, were 2.7 ng/mL 48 hours after injection.

Exercise treats workplace burnout

Exercise is an effective method of reducing workplace burnout and psychological stress. Cardiovascular exercise reduced negative feelings of burnout and stress. Resistance exercise helped to promote positive aspects of emotional well-being and self accomplishment.

Sea star wasting disease pandemic

Some mutations are harmful to an organism, yet under certain circumstances can protect an individual when challenged by disease or toxins. Identifying the environment in which this unusual type of diversity is maintained can be difficult. During a high-mortality pandemic of “sea star wasting disease” we identified an association between such diversity in an elongation factor gene, and the health of ochre sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus). Individuals carrying this diversity may be better able to survive the current pandemic, but with important fitness costs for the species as a whole.

Contamination in the Yangtze River Delta

Six wildlife species of amphibians, fish and birds were sampled and screened for organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) in a paddy field in Yangtze River Delta, China. High contaminations of chlorinated paraffins were found particularly in terrestrial species. A novel pattern of PCBs with relatively high contribution from octa-CBs to decaCB was observed. A new group of OHCs, with 5–8 chlorines, were found but are not yet structurally confirmed. DDTs was the major organochlorine pesticide contaminant in wildlife. The results show an extensive contamination of OHCs in wildlife in Yangtze River Delta, calling for further (eco)toxicology study and environmental monitoring.

Reducing the effect of agriculture on biodiversity.

There are two models for reducing the impact of agriculture on biodiversity: land sparing and land sharing. Their success depends on edge effects and fragmentation of patches of farm vs habitat. Land sparing worked the best for preserving biodiversity in birds.

Plasticity in European pool frogs

Organisms can respond to climate change threats by moving to new areas or by responding in situ to the new environmental conditions. Plasticity, the capacity of organisms to respond to changes in environment by adjusting their phenotypes to the new conditions without changing their genetic composition, can be crucial for responding to climate change. This study reveals the maintenance of high levels of developmental plasticity in isolated, marginal populations, suggesting that they may be better able to respond to environmental change than often predicted.

Loss of the web & spider diversification

Spiders are an incredibly ancient and diverse group of arthropods comprising over 45,000 described species; by all counts they are the largest known animal group that is exclusively predatory. They build many different kinds of webs: orb, sheet, tube, tangle….but many species don’t build a web at all and instead hunt them directly from the ground or on vegetation. The orb web, the spiral wheel-shaped web made by many spider species, has been considered “the crowning achievement of aerial spiders” by evolutionary biologists. This achievement could may have produced an explosion in diversification (i.e. the “speed” at which new spider spcecies emerged through time). Using a snapshot of expressed genes from the messenger RNA in spider species representing a behaviorally diverse subset of spider families, we tested this hypothesis. Losing the aerial orb web in favor of hunting on the ground coincided with a tremendous burst of speciation in spiders. This appears to have happened about the same time as increases in ground dwelling insect diversity during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (KTR).

Defining & improving sandboxes

Sandboxing is a software security sub-discipline that doesn't have a specific definition. By studying a large dataset of papers within the sandboxing discipline, researchers first established a definition for the term. However, the study also found areas for improvement within the discipline: (1) the arguments researchers present are often ad hoc and (2) sandbox usability is mostly uncharted territory. We propose ways to structure arguments to ensure they fully support their corresponding claims and suggest lightweight means of evaluating sandbox usability.

Iflaviruses hitchhike in baculoviruses

Iflaviruses are small RNA viruses that infect caterpillars and are transferred vertically, from parent to offspring. Baculoviruses, on the other hand, infect and kill caterpillars to release more virus particles for horizontal transmission. These infectious particles are protected by protein occlusion bodies (OBs). In co-infected hosts, iflaviruses use baculovirus OBs to achieve horizontal transmission.

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