A Blog Around The Clock

My picks from ScienceDaily

Daylight Saving Time: Clock-shifts Affect Risk Of Heart Attack:

Adjusting the clocks to summer time on the last Sunday in March increases the risk of myocardial infarction in the following week. In return, putting the clocks back in the autumn reduces the risk, albeit to a lesser extent. This according to a new Swedish study.

Programmable Genetic Clock Made Of Blinking Florescent Proteins Inside Bacteria Cells:

UC San Diego bioengineers have created the first stable, fast and programmable genetic clock that reliably keeps time by the blinking of fluorescent proteins inside E. coli cells. The clock’s blink rate changes when the temperature, energy source or other environmental conditions change, a fact that could lead to new kinds of sensors that convey information about the environment through the blinking rate.

Office Workers Given Blue Light To Help Alertness:

Research carried out at the Surrey Sleep Centre at the University of Surrey in partnership with Philips Lighting has revealed that changing traditional white-light lighting to blue-enriched white light helped office workers stay more alert and less sleepy during the day.

Night-time Driving Over Long Periods Increases Risk Of Accidents:

Does driving at night affect the risk of accidents? Drowsiness resulting from a lack of sleep is a recognized risk factor which causes traffic accidents. But what happens if drivers combine extended driving and sleep deprivation?

Mysterious Bat Disease Decimates Colonies: Newly Identified Fungus Implicated In White-nose Syndrome:

A previously undescribed, cold-loving fungus has been linked to white-nose syndrome, a condition associated with the deaths of over 100,000 hibernating bats in the northeastern United States. The findings are published in this week’s issue of Science.

Do Dams Make A Difference? Similar Survival Rates For Pacific Salmon In Fraser And Columbia Rivers:

Canadian and U.S. researchers have made a surprising discovery that some endangered Pacific salmon stocks are surviving in rivers with hydroelectric dams as well as or better than in rivers without dams.

Predicting Boom And Bust Ecologies:

The natural world behaves a lot like the stock market, with periods of relative stability interspersed with dramatic swings in population size and competition between individuals and species.

Significant Fossil Discovery In Utah Shows Land Plants Of 200 Million Years Ago:

The importance of a new archeological site in St George, Utah, U.S. was recently highlighted by Andrew Milner, Paleontologist, City of St. George, Jim Kirkland, State Paleontologist and Sidney Ash, Paleo-botanists. The site is significant because it is the only early Jurassic land flora known in the western United States. It provides evidence that a variety of land plants were present in the area about 200 million years ago.

Predicting Evolution’s Next Best Move With Simulator:

Biologists today are doing what Darwin thought impossible. They are studying the process of evolution not through fossils but directly, as it is happening. Now, by modeling the steps evolution takes to build, from scratch, an adaptive biochemical network, biophysicists Eric D. Siggia and Paul Francois at Rockefeller University have gone one step further. Instead of watching evolution in action, they show that they can predict its next best move.