Showing posts with the label ROTM

Why Kenyan chameleons shine brighter in Hawaii

Jackson’s chameleons, a species of chameleon that was brought to Hawaii from a population in Kenya to be sold as pets. In a matter of decades, Jackson’s chameleons have populated the island of Hawaii and evolved in significant ways from their parent species, developing brighter colors to help in social interaction at the cost of being more conspicuous to predators. Dr. Martin J. Whiting is a professor of animal behavior in the School of Natural Sciences at Macquarie University, Australia. His research focuses on the underlying mechanisms of animal behavior and how they affect ecological fitness. Recently, Dr. Whiting and colleagues published their findings on Jackson’s chameleons in Science Advances .     CTS: Can you briefly describe your relevant findings for our readers who haven't encountered your article? MW: The main finding is that chameleons that are originally from East Africa, in this case near Mt. Kenya or the slopes of Mt. Kenya were inadvertently introduced into Haw

RotM: Interview with Marie Hornig

For the current instalment of Researcher of the Month, we spoke to Marie Hornig, a third year PhD student at the Cytology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Greifswald, Germany. Her recently published paper , co-authored by Joachim Haug and Carolin Haug, researchers at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich , provides further details about the predator behaviour in mantodeans (animal order that consists of insects such as praying mantis and some 2400 other species). The subject of her study was a praying mantis fossil that is 110 million years old.  A regular day at work for Marie Hornig with co-author Joachim Haug at the Palaeontogical Institute in Moscow. Image credit: Carolin Haug. CTS: The smallest of discoveries regarding dinosaurs get highlighted in the media. Here, a fossil preserved over 110 million years exists among us and there is hardly any mention in the media regarding this? MH: I am fully aware that the focus of media does not represent

RotM: Interview with Dr. Suresh Thareja & Dr. Sant Kumar Verma

Curcumin analogues as Aldose Reductase Inhibitors for treatment of diabetic complications For this edition of Researcher of the Month (RotM), we interviewed researchers Dr. Suresh Thareja and research fellow Sant Kumar Verma from Guru Ghasidas Central University located in Bilaspur, Chattisgarh, India.  Dr Thareja is the assistant professor for Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ghasidas Central University and currently visiting scholar at the Georgia State University , USA. Mr. Sant Kumar Verma is the senior research fellow at the University working on management of diabetic complications. His research is being funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).  Aldose reductase (AR) is an important enzyme since it converts glucose to sorbitol and begins the metabolism of glucose in the body. In patients, with diabetes, the body faces a hyperglycemic condition, which prompts the cells to make high amounts of AR, thereby producing hig

RotM: Interview with Prof. Steve Winder

For our recent Researcher of the Month, we spoke to Professor Steve Winder, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology , at the Department of Biomedical Science , The University of Sheffield . His laboratory focuses on the study of dystroglycan , a protein that plays an important role in cell adhesion and signalling. His recent paper in Human Molecular Genetics speaks about the a FDA approved drug, currently being used for treating leukemia as a treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Here is Professor Win der telling us more about his lab's findings and how we might cure DMD in the near future.  CTS : For the benefit of our readers, could you please tell us more about your  findings in the recent study.  SW: Identification of a systemically acting and universal small molecule therapy for   Duchenne muscular dystrophy would be an enormous advance for this condition. Based on evidence gained from studies on mouse genetic models, we have identified tyrosine phosp

RotM: Interview with Dr. Marta Llimargas Casanova

Marta Llimargas (Right)  with co-authors for her recent  paper  Annalisa Letizia (Left) and Andreu Casali (centre).  As we approach International Women's Day , we spoke to our first woman Researcher of the Month (RotM) at Coffee Table Science, Dr. Marta Llimargas Casanova. Dr. Marta is the Principal Researcher at the Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona where her team studies formation of tissues and organs during development. Her recent publication in PLoS Genetics sheds more light on chitin deposition.  Here's Dr. Marta speaking more about her publication, women in science and working as a scientist.  CTS: How has your recent publication added to existing knowledge about the chitin deposition?  Chemical structure of chitin (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) MLC: Chitin is a natural polysaccharide made of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine monomers (a derivative of glucose). It is the second most abundant polymer in nature after cellulose, and from a

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