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So far pubdraw has created 33 blog entries.

Embryonic cell division & the vitelline membrane

On the embryonic cell division beyond the contractile ring mechanism: experimental and computational investigation of effects of vitelline confinement, temperature and egg size. The first embryonic cell division is predominantly driven by contraction of the cleavage furrow. Eggs of different species show remarkably different deformation patterns during the cell division. Deformation of dividing cells depends on interplay of vitelline membrane, environmental temperature and physical dimensions of the egg and mitotic spindle.

Academic inequality: country reputation controls publishing

Academic inequality through the lens of community ecology: a meta-analysis. A synthesis based on ecological meta-analysis papers found that author diversity in terms of author affiliation has little increased and rather country reputation was more powerful than the popularity of the scientific topic and affected the chance of publication.

Cognitive factors influence self-reported vision

Trail Making Test performance contributes to subjective judgment of visual efficiency in older adults. When we provide a subjective judgment on our own vision (‘How would you rate your vision?') this judgement is determined by several factors, one very important is of course your visual acuity (ie. what you get at the ophthalmologist) but there are higher level factors that play a part. These higher level factors are for example how able you are to use the good or poor vision that you have in tasks with different demands. What we tried to do is use a quite basic visual task requiring cognitive input (Trail Making Test) and show that performance on this test predicts (to some extent) the answer to the How would you rate your vision question. We argue that this indicates that people are (somehow) considering this ‘higher level’ when judging their own vision.

Interbreeding grasshoppers exchange bacterial genomes

Wolbachia co-infection in a hybrid zone: discovery of horizontal gene transfers from two Wolbachia supergroups into an animal genome. Two subspecies of Chorthippus parallelus grasshoppers (Cpp and Cpe) are infected with two different strains of a bacteria called Wolbachia. When Cpp and Cpe interbreed in a hybrid zone between France and Spain, the hybrid grasshoppers can acquire both types of Wolbachia. By studying the genomes of hybrid grasshoppers, researchers found that genes from both Wolbachia strains have moved from the bacterial genome into the grasshopper genome.

Linking phenotype and environment

The way an organism looks and behaves is a result of its genes and its environment. We can't understand this interaction without combining data about an organism's characteristics and its environment, which is very hard because these two data types are so different. This paper describes the challenges and makes suggestions about how to overcome them.

Why bigger muscles are stronger

Biomechanical implications of skeletal muscle hypertrophy and atrophy: A musculoskeletal model. It is well-known that a bigger muscle allows for greater joint moment production capabilities. The reasons for this have often been attributed a larger muscle being able to create more force, and while this is true, it ignores another, just as important factor: the muscle's moment arm (or mechanical advantage). We created a theoretical, mathematical, musculoskeletal model of the biceps brachii and brachialis that were modeled to grow (hypertrophy) and shrink (atrophy), and we found that, by changing the muscle's size, it also changes the muscle's moment arm (or mechanical advantage). This is another factor that determines strength that should be considered.

We might be wrong about marine protected areas

Pathways from marine protected area design and management to ecological success. Five main conditions often thought to influence marine protected area (MPA) performance – their size, age, and degree of isolation; and the presence of no-take fishing regulations and effective enforcement – helped explain the presence of high fish biomass and species diversity in only about one-third of global MPAs. Those conditions were, however, central in preventing further declines of large fish typically targeted in commercial fisheries. Ecological isolation was overwhelming the single most important condition affecting MPA performance, highlighting the importance of carefully selecting and designing MPAs.

Rapid response limited EBOLA outbreak

Rapid drop in the reproduction number during the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo In 2014, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) experienced a confined outbreak of Ebola that was unrelated to the epidemic in West Africa. A researcher used mathematical models to study the average number of new infections that were caused by infectious persons over the course of the outbreak. The findings show that the outbreak was brought under control within four weeks, supporting the notion that a rapid response limited further spread of Ebola in DRC.

Predator diet determines prey behavior

The smell of success: the amount of prey consumed by predators determines the strength and range of cascading non-consumptive effects Predators can affect prey behavior through chemical cues based on predator diets: the more a predator consumes, the less the prey will eat within certain ranges from the predator. These effects are called non-consumptive effects (NCE's). This study determined that NCE's are both diet and distance dependent.

Computers can measure coral reef beauty

Can we measure beauty? Computational evaluation of coral reef aesthetics. Computers can identify visual features that humans find aesthetically-pleasing. Researchers used this to identify 109 such features to assess the aesthetic value of coral reefs; the main categories were size and distribution of objects, color brightness and hue distribution, and texture. The results of studying 2000 images showed that the aesthetic values assigned to the reefs ultimately correlated to their health scores.

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