Faculty of 1000

Post-publication peer review

We will rock you

Posted by rpg on 31 March, 2010

Three’s a crowd

Who would have thought that plants could teach us about deafness? Or single-celled yeast about blood vessel development? Orthologous genes in different species can have totally different effects, and a statistical data-mining technique has thrown up not a few surprising models for human disease. The paper is free at PNAS and reviewed at Faculty of 1000. You can read more at The Scientist and Nature.

In another bizarre turn of events, it turns out that dilute biochemistry is all it’s cracked up to be. People have, over the years, ragged on biochemistry for dealing with dilute proteins and ignoring the ‘crowding’ effects of the cytoplasm (despite biochemical predictions often being borne out by in vivo work, but anyway). An outstanding computational paper looks at models of crowding in the bacterial cytoplasm, successfully simulating the relative thermodynamic stabilities of individual proteins:

But the overall take-home message seems to be that the effect of crowding by steric exclusion is largely cancelled by hydrophobic interactions with the crowders. Protein biochemistry in dilute solution has gained new respect.

The full paper, Diffusion, Crowding & Protein Stability in a Dynamic Molecular Model of the Bacterial Cytoplasm, is available from PLoS Computational Biology.

Got rhythm?

Another strange one, lurking in PNAS (Social Sciences/Psychological and Cognitive Sciences), suggests that humans are born to rock and roll:

One of the most curious effects of music is that it compels us to move in synchrony with its beat. This behavior, also referred to as entrainment, includes spontaneous or deliberate finger and foot tapping, head nodding, and body swaying.

Children under the age of two (and pre-verbal) spontaneously to music, but not speech.As Katrin Schulze, down the road at UCL says,

This suggests a predisposition in humans towards engaging rhythmically to a musical beat.


And finally

It’s competition time!

Faculty of 1000 is approaching the publication of 90,000 evaluations. This morning we had 89210 on the two sites, Biology and Medicine. We’ll be running a little internal compo for the people in the office, but we’d like to throw this open to all our Twitter followers and readers too. Use the hashtag #F90K to tell us the day you think we’ll make the 90 thousand. For a tie-breaker, feel free to put in the time, too (best use UTC. And here’s a clue: our editors work London office hours). Visit http://f1000biology.com/ and http://f1000medicine.com/ to help you with your guesswork.

As usual, a bag of F1000 swag for the winner. Good luck!


One Response to “We will rock you”

  1. […] published 1472 evaluations last month. This is a world record! And it should help you predict when we’re going to hit 90,000. Remember, we’re running a competition: simply twitter the date and time you think […]

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