Friday, July 29, 2016

What is a genome? - a review from Aaron Goldman

Just published in the open access journal PLOS Genetics, with 3816 views in its first week on the site (open access truly does have a far reach!):

Goldman, Aaron David, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Laura F. Landweber. 2016. "What is a Genome?" PLOS Genetics 12 (7): e1006181.

Partial Abstract:
The genome is often described as the information repository of an organism... Several emerging areas of research demonstrate that this definition is an oversimplification. Here, we explore ways in which a deeper understanding of genomic diversity and cell physiology is challenging the concepts of physical permanence attached to the genome as well as its role as the sole information source for an organism.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Genotype-environment interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana - new publication from A. Roles

Roles, Angela J., Assistant Professor of Biology; Rutter, M.T., Dworkin, I., Fenster, C.B., and Conner, J.K. (2016). Field measurements of genotype by environment interaction for fitness caused by spontaneous mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana. Evolution 70, 1039-1050.

Journal banner @ Wiley Online
Partial abstract: As the ultimate source of genetic diversity, spontaneous mutation is critical to the evolutionary process. The fitness effects of spontaneous mutations are almost always studied under controlled laboratory conditions rather than under the evolutionarily relevant conditions of the field. We studied the fitness effects of 25 generations of accumulated spontaneous mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana in two geographically widely separated field environments, in Michigan and Virginia. We observed genotype-environment interactions in the fitness effects of new mutations, such that the effects of mutations in Michigan were a poor predictor of their effects in Virginia and vice versa. In particular, mutational variance for fitness was much larger in Virginia compared to Michigan. This strong genotype-environment interaction would increase the amount of genetic variation maintained by mutation-selection balance.
Full text online @OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center

Evolution - journal home page @Wiley Online Library

Learn more about the use of A. thaliana (a small flowering weed) as a model organism for genetic studies at The Ohio State University Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center.

Arabidopsis Protocols, 2nd ed., is online @Springer ebooks [access through OBIS]

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wildlife corridors - update from Sierra Club

If You Build It, They Will Come: Our highways and interstates present one of the greatest threats to wildlife—that's where critter corridors come in. --Sierra Club

Read more about wildlife management with these recent titles:


Handbook of road ecology / edited by Rodney van der Ree, Daniel J. Smith, and Clara Grilo [online at Wiley, access through OBIS]

The carnivore way : coexisting with and conserving North America's predators / by Cristina Eisenberg
[OBIS record] also online at Springer ebooks

The spine of the continent : the most ambitious wildlife conservation project ever undertaken / Mary Ellen Hannibal [OBIS record]

Friday, July 22, 2016

Publications from I. Rew (Class of 2017) and M. Moore (Biology)

Billups, K., C. Hudson, H. Kunz, and Isabelle Rew (class of 2017). 2016. "Exploring Globorotalia truncatulinoides Coiling Ratios as a Proxy for Subtropical Gyre Dynamics in the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean during Late Pleistocene Ice Ages." Paleoceanography 31 (5): 553-563.

From the abstract: Our results support that the coiling direction of this species is sensitive to variations in hydrography of the western boundary of the subtropical gyre. Because of the association between G. truncatulinoides (s) and precession maxima in both hemispheres, results support the importance of oceanic heat transport in half-precession climate variability in the North Atlantic.
[full-text online @ Wiley]

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Lewis, Emily M., Jeremie B. Fant, Michael J. Moore, Associate Professor of Biology, Amy P. Hastings, Erica L. Larson, Anurag A. Agrawal, and Krissa A. Skogen. 2016. "Microsatellites for Oenothera gayleana and O. hartwegii filifolia (Onagraceae), and their Utility in Section Calylophus." Applications in Plant Sciences 4 (2): 1500107.

Conclusions: The microsatellite loci characterized here are the first developed and tested in Oenothera sect. Calylophus. These markers will be used to assess whether pollinator foraging distance influences population genetic parameters in predictable ways.
[full-text online @ BioOne]

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Citral shown to decrease cancer cell proliferation (new publication from R.J. Whelan)

New article from Rebecca Whelan, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry:

Modulation of oxidative stress and subsequent induction of apoptosis and endoplasmic reticulum stress allows citral to decrease cancer cell proliferation.

Kapur, Arvinder; Felder, Mildred; Fass, Lucas; Kaur, Justanjot; Czarnecki, Austin; Rathi, Kavya; Zeng, San; Osowski, Kathryn Kalady; Howell, Colin; Xiong, May P.; Whelan, Rebecca J.; Patankar, Manish S.

Scientific Reports, published online June 8 2016,  Article number 27530.  Open access at PubMedCentral.

Partial abstract:
"The monoterpenoid, citral, when delivered through PEG-b-PCL nanoparticles inhibits in vivo growth of 4T1 breast tumors. Here, we show that citral inhibits proliferation of multiple human cancer cell lines. ...This study indicates that citral in PEG-b-PCL nanoparticle formulation should be considered for treatment of breast and other tumors."

More about Scientific Reports, a NatureResearch Journal.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Indulging in nostalgia... the old Physics Reading Room and Kettering Science Library


Before the Science Center was constructed, the Physics Reading Room existed in the northeast corner of the second floor of Wright, and the Class of 1904 Science Library was crammed into the southeast corner of the first floor of Kettering (in the Chemistry wing of Kettering, razed after the north wing of the Science Center was completed).  Every summer, we were devoted to the tasks of preparing thousands of journal volumes for binding, transferring an equal number of older volumes to the old Carnegie Library for off-site storage, shifting the remaining collections and shelving the newly bound journal volumes on their return.  As the number of print subscriptions has dwindled from 365* to 65 (thereabouts), we are freed of the tyranny of shifting, always shifting, and the tedious labor of wheeling very full book trucks across the street, navigating doors, uneven sidewalks and thresholds, to maneuver in the elevator and the dark, musty stacks of Carnegie.  The Science Center is the perfect home for today's consolidated Science Library.  Come enjoy our lovely setting and peruse the new book area.  So many new books arrived in June!

*Why the decrease in print subscriptions?  They're all online, and oh so convenient.  We keep a core of titles in print that are really helpful for browsing - for learning awesome stuff about things you didn't know you didn't know.  It's a very different experience than simply finding that for which you're searching.  Pick up something new and you're sure to encounter a new idea, a fresh perspective, a spark for your imagination.  See you soon.


Friday, June 03, 2016

Too many to describe, come look!

The annual flood of new books arrived with the first week of June, as usual.  There are so many interesting titles!  Here are just a few, with links to OBIS for the full catalog record:

In our own image: savior or destroyer? The history and future of artificial intelligence.  OBIS

The new cosmos : answering astronomy's big questions.  OBIS

Hydrogen-bonded capsules : molecular behavior in small spaces.  OBIS

A world from dust : how the periodic table shaped life.  OBIS

Water as a social opportunity.  OBIS

Creating Africas : struggles over nature, conservation and land.  OBIS

Evolutionary medicine.  OBIS

The human advantage : a new understanding of how our brain became remarkable.  OBIS

Enjoy your summer reading!