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Comparative anatomical features of Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce and Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC (Mimosaceae)
Robertson Stellaa,Narayanan N,Deattu N,Ravi Nargis N
International Journal of Green Pharmacy , 2010,
Abstract: A comparative study of the leaflets of two domestic species of Prosopis is reported. Both the species, Prosopis cineraria and Prosopis juliflora, have been reported to possess antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and the most concerning anticancer properties. In view of its medicinal importance and taxonomic confusion, the individual morphological and histological characteristics of these two species have been described through certain parameters such as structural profile of the leaflets, stomatal morphology, venation pattern, petiolule and vascular system of the rachis. Evaluation of the fresh and anatomical sections of the leaves of both species was carried out to determine its macro- and microscopical (histological) characters. The studies indicated the presence of bipinnately compound leaf, an entire margin, apiculate apex, obtuse base, reticulate venation, thick and straight anticlinal walled epidermal cells, prismatic type of calcium oxalate crystals in the mesophyll tissue, dense deposition of tannin content and paracytic type stomata in the P. cineraria, whereas P. juliflora has a bipinnately compound leaf with an entire margin, blunt apex, round base, reticulate venation, thick and straight walled epidermal cells, large mucilage cavities in the mesophyll tissue and paracytic type stomata. The above findings provided referential information for identification of the species P. cineraria and P. juliflora.
Mapping the Self with Units of Culture  [PDF]
Lloyd H. Robertson
Psychology (PSYCH) , 2010, DOI: 10.4236/psych.2010.13025
Abstract: This study explored a method of representing the self graphically using elemental units of culture called memes. A diverse sample of eleven volunteers participated in the co-construction of individual “self-maps” during a series of interviews over a nine month period. Two of the resultant maps are presented as exemplars. Commonalities found in all eleven maps lend support to the notion that there are certain structures to the self that are cross-cultural. The use of memes in mapping those structures was considered useful but insufficient because emotive elements to the self emerged from the research that could not be represented in memetic form. Suggestions are made for future research.
Genetics and feed efficiency
Alan Robertson
Genetics Selection Evolution , 1980, DOI: 10.1186/1297-9686-12-1-122a
Abstract:
Molecular Biology And Animal Breeding
Alan Robertson
Genetics Selection Evolution , 1970, DOI: 10.1186/1297-9686-2-4-393
Abstract:
Pit-bull reviewing, the pursuit of perfection and the victims of success
Miranda Robertson
BMC Biology , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-9-84
Abstract: Meanwhile, our most viewed article for the past year has been Virginia Walbot's 'Are we training pit bulls to review our manuscripts?' [4].Ploegh, Petsko and Walbot have, with considerable eloquence and varying degrees of passion, described the problem that eLife is intended to address: the success of a postdoctoral Fellow in finding a good academic position is perceived to depend, and to a large extent probably does depend, on his or her having published a paper in one of the three highest-profile general biology journals; but getting a paper into one of those journals can be extraordinarily difficult because - it is widely felt (and see [1-3]) - referees seem to see it as their responsibility to insist on time-consuming additions and revisions, and editors are unable or unwilling to judge for themselves the justice of the referees' advice.Virginia Walbot [4] has suggested how the reviewer problem could be avoided by training graduate students to adopt a more constructive and judicious approach to refereeing. We have for the past three years or so been operating a policy of 're-review opt-out'[5]: authors who have been asked to make substantive revisions to their papers are also asked whether they wish the referees to see the revised version; if not, the decision is made by the editors (more below on how this policy has worked in practice).The solution proposed by eLife is to ensure quality, speed and justice by deploying a high-powered editorial board who will oversee the reviewing process and 150 highly selected biomedical experts who will do the reviewing; to avoid iterations by making a yes-or-no decision on first review; and to promote fairness and transparency by publishing the (anonymous) referees' reports. This is not very different in principle from the way that at least some other general biology journals operate; and the stated aims of eLife - to deliver quick, fair and intelligent ('high-quality') decisions - are, I imagine, shared by all journals aspir
Plus ?a change
Miranda Robertson
BMC Biology , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-44
Abstract: That said, the fused publication will look and behave more like Journal of Biology than BMC Biology in most ways. We shall continue to publish the topical and authoritative review and comment that have regularly appeared in Journal of Biology, which will also bring its publication policy and speed of response to the fused journal (more on policy below). But listing on the Web of Science and Journal Citation Record will be as BMC Biology.In combining two journals, we are swimming against the tide of ever-proliferating new journals, a point remarked by Gregory Petsko in a Comment [2] written for us to mark the occasion and in which, with the verve and effrontery with which regular readers of his column in our sister journal Genome Biology will be familiar, he deplores such proliferation - inviting, perhaps, dissent. But we agree of course that this particular fusion is rational.In the combined journal, what is new, and what is not?To launch the new BMC Biology, we are publishing the first in an occasional series of special question-and-answer features, in which we invite biologists with a strong personal view on a subject of topical interest or fundamental importance to record a video interview which is posted online with the edited text, and so can be viewed or read, or both, according to preference. Our first interviewee is Martin Raff, the founding Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Biology and member of the Editorial Board of the fused journal. He speaks on autism [3], in which he developed a passionate interest when his grandson was diagnosed at a year and a half as autistic, and tackles issues ranging from the promise of genomic and induced stem cell technologies to the reasons for the apparent increase in incidence.The next Video Q&A, to be posted in May, will be from John Mattick, on the importance and roles of noncoding RNA - just as passionate, and - at least as concerns his perspective on biology - just as personal.We also have a new emblematic image (Figure 1).
The hope of progress
Miranda Robertson
BMC Biology , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-39
Abstract: Two of the three contributions are reviews - by Christopher Lord and Alan Ashworth on the development of new cancer therapeutic drugs [2], and by Amy McKee, Megan McLeod, John Kappler and Philippa Marrack [3] on adjuvants and vaccine development. The third is a new feature, a video Q&A (see [4]), in which Martin Raff explains his interest in, and delivers his views on research on the biological basis of autism, both in video and in text format [5].Alan Ashworth and Christopher Lord are known for the ingenious application of poly(ADP-ribose) inhibitors to the treatment of BRCA-mutant tumors, an approach that migrated from laboratory bench to phase II clinical trials in less than five years. This work, an application of the synthetic lethal principle borrowed from genetic analysis and applied to tumor therapy, is described in their review, which traces the evolution of anti-cancer drugs from the cytotoxic blunt instruments that remain the principal weapons against cancer to date, through the more refined and sophisticated drugs - notably herceptin and imatinib - targeted at molecules known to be modified in specific tumors, and finally describes how an understanding of the workings of cells as a whole, and the entire panoply of changes that characterize a tumor cell, and not just a single mutant molecule, will become the basis of drug treatment.Vaccination, the first great empirical success of immunology, has, by comparison with the major chemotherapeutic drugs, the properties of a magic bullet. It is a remarkable fact, therefore, that despite an increasingly detailed appreciation of the workings of the immune system, the effectiveness of vaccines is still not properly understood. We understand that vaccination generates an adaptive immune response, usually protective antibodies; but this is the end result of a process of several cell-cell interactions that determine, first, whether there is an immune response at all; and second, whether that response is protective fo
The evolution of gene regulation, the RNA universe, and the vexed questions of artefact and noise
Miranda Robertson
BMC Biology , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-97
Abstract: But the realization that the secret of evolution lies in changes in gene regulation considerably predates the revelations of genomics. Allan Wilson and colleagues, in a paper published in 1974 [1], drew attention to the simple and striking fact that morphologically homogeneous frog species also have relatively homogeneous karyotypes, whereas mammalian species, which are markedly diverse morphologically, also show major differences in chromosome number and organization; changes in proteins, by contrast, are much the same for both groups. They concluded that genome organization, and by implication gene regulation, is more important for metazoan evolution than protein sequence (and cite earlier publications of EB Ford and Susumu Ohno for the same insight). The following year, Mary-Claire King and Wilson published a more detailed examination of the chromosomal distinctions between human and chimpanzee [2], arguing compellingly, without benefit of high-throughput anything, that changes in the organization of the genome, and not changes in protein-coding sequence, must account for the crucial differences between the two primates.In those pre-genomic days, the protein data were in large part immunological and electrophoretic; the analysis of genome reorganization depended on chromosome banding patterns (Giemsa banding, not FISH); and almost nothing was known of the mechanism of gene regulation in eukaryotes. The ground between then and now is covered in a recent review by Sean Carroll [3], who acknowledges Emile Zuckerkandl and Eric Davidson as early proponents of the importance of gene regulation in morphological evolution and charts the remarkable history of the development of ideas consequent on the discovery of the homeobox genes, with a strong emphasis on the evolution of cis-regulatory elements - that is to say, DNA binding sites for gene regulatory proteins - as the basis for morphological change. The argument is that DNA regulatory elements and the proteins that bi
The papers of Stanley Browne: leprologist and medical missionary (1907-1986)
Robertson, Jo;
História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos , 2003, DOI: 10.1590/S0104-59702003000400020
Abstract: this article elaborates a significant archival acquisition that supplement the collection documents related to the life and work of stanley george browne held at the wellcome library for the history and understanding of medicine in london, specifically his work in the belgian congo (from 1936 to 1959), at uzuakoli in nigeria (1959 to 1966), in london with the leprosy study centre (1966-1980), and also in his international capacity as leprosy consultant. it also briefly refers to an endangered collection of documents, photographs, files and correspondence held in a small museum in culion sanatorium, the philippines. this research is part of the international leprosy association global project on the history of leprosy. its results can be accessed at the site http://www.leprosyhistory.org
Leprosy and the elusive M. leprae: colonial and imperial medical exchanges in the nineteenth century
Robertson, Jo;
História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos , 2003, DOI: 10.1590/S0104-59702003000400002
Abstract: in the 1800s, humoral understandings of leprosy successively give way to disease models based on morbid anatomy, physiopathology, and bacteriology. linkages between these disease models were reinforced by the ubiquitous seed/soil metaphor deployed both before and after the identification of m. leprae. while this metaphor provided a continuous link between medical descriptions, henry vandyke carter's on leprosy (1874) marks a convergence of different models of disease. simultaneously, this metaphor can be traced in popular and medical debates in the late nineteenth century, accompanying fears of a resurgence of leprosy in europe. later the mapping of the genome ushers in a new model of disease but, ironically, while leprosy research draws its logic from a view of the world in which a seed and soil metaphor expresses many different aspects of the activity of the disease, the bacillus itself continues to be unreceptive to cultivation.
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