Humans have a visual bias: everything in vision seems easy and natural to us, and it can seem a bit of a mystery why computers are so bad at it. But there is a reason such a massive chunk (about 30%) of cortex is devoted to it. It’s really hard! To do everything that it […]... Read more »
Frome A, Corrado GS, Shlens J, Bengio S, Dean J, Ranzato M, & Mikolov T. (2013) DeViSE: A Deep Visual-Semantic Embedding Model. NIPS. info:/
Dean T, Ruzon MA, Segal M, Shlens J, Vijayanarasimhan S, & Yagnik J. (2013) Fast, Accurate Detection of 100,000 Object Classes on a Single Machine. Proceedings of IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. DOI: 10.1109/CVPR.2013.237
At their best, leaders get something from their workforce that would have been impossible otherwise. Research on this 'transformational leadership' style suggests that it can inspire employees to more creative performance - such as coming up with new and useful products – as well as encouraging helping behaviours. However, these benefits aren't seen across every study. A new paper suggests one reason is that some people simply don't need what the transformational leader has to offer.Phillip Gi........ Read more »
Phillip Gilmore, Xiaoxiao Hui, Feng Wei, Lois Tetrick, & Stephen Zaccaro. (2013) Positive affectivity neutralizes transformational leadership’s influence on creative performance and organizational citizenship behaviors . Journal of Organizational Behavior, 1061-1075. DOI: 10.1002/job.1833
If only rhinos were as plentiful in the wild as they are in today's media landscape.
Since this summer, news of the western black rhino's extinction has been continuously breaking on popular sites and timelines. Although the last of its kind was seen in 2001 and the species was declared extinct in 2011 — as detailed in this sharp SA piece — a realization of the loss has been lately making the rounds with renewed despair.... Read more »
Biggs, D., Courchamp F., Martin R. . (2013) Conservation - Legal trade of Africa's rhino horns. Science, 1038-1039. PMID: 23449582
Kemkar, N. A. (2006) Environmental peacemaking: Ending conflict between India and Pakistan on the Siachen Glacier through the creation of a transboundary peace park. Stan. Envtl. LJ , 67. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.748145
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
Some time ago, we asked this Talmudic Question: Can you think of a place on Earth where there is free water but no microbes? (A sterile flask of nutrient broth in a lab, the insides of the body, or an IV bag in a hospital don't count.) Someone answered that perhaps deep in Antarctica there would be a buried lake that was sterile. Not so. The early returns from the deep drilling of the buried Vostok Lake indicated the presence of microbes even there. But other sites in that continent come close t........ Read more »
Demaere MZ, Williams TJ, Allen MA, Brown MV, Gibson JA, Rich J, Lauro FM, Dyall-Smith M, Davenport KW, Woyke T.... (2013) High level of intergenera gene exchange shapes the evolution of haloarchaea in an isolated Antarctic lake. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(42), 16939-44. PMID: 24082106
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
by Christoph Weigel
In May 1984, readers of an article by Schwartz and Cantor in the prestigious journal Cell were to stumble upon pictures of DNA agarose gels that were among the lousiest of such ever published after the method was introduced in the early 70es. Why did the editors of Cell risk their reputation? Or did they, in fact?
No, they didn’t, because the readers were allowed the first glimpse at the DNA of full-length yeast chromosomes, nicely separated by length. With two simple bu........ Read more »
Schwartz DC, & Cantor CR. (1984) Separation of yeast chromosome-sized DNAs by pulsed field gradient gel electrophoresis. Cell, 37(1), 67-75. PMID: 6373014
Liu SL, & Sanderson KE. (1995) Rearrangements in the genome of the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 92(4), 1018-22. PMID: 7862625
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
by Marcia Stone
Viruses are supposed to be small and simple-not even alive, just mobile genetic material after all. So what do we make of giant double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses, one of which-the newly discovered Pandoravirus salinus-has an even larger genome than a hunky parasitic eukaryote called Encephalitozoon? The recent identification of P. salinus adds evidence to growing speculation that it and other mammoth viruses evolved from cellular ancestors and represent domains of life that li........ Read more »
Nasir A, Kim KM, & Caetano-Anolles G. (2012) Giant viruses coexisted with the cellular ancestors and represent a distinct supergroup along with superkingdoms Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. BMC evolutionary biology, 156. PMID: 22920653
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
Despite the research telling us people will like you more if you are warm and hire you more when you are competent–perhaps, it is more important that you are moral. While that may seem odd at first, it actually makes some sense. A seemingly warm and friendly person may be hiding nefarious motives under that […]
Is that quick decision a good indicator of your moral character?
What’s a moral issue for us these days?
How leaders look: Competent and trustworthy, but not........ Read more »
Goodwin GP, Piazza J, & Rozin P. (2013) Moral Character Predominates in Person Perception and Evaluation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. PMID: 24274087
Despite more than a decade’s worth of research, many aspects of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD) still remain a mystery. This fatal neurodegenerative disease of the brain is often referred to as the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), known … Continue reading →... Read more »
Brown KL, & Mabbott NA. (2013) Evidence of sub-clinical prion disease in aged mice following exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The Journal of General Virology. DOI: 10.1099/vir.0.058958-0
Valleron AJ, Boelle PY, Will R, & Cesbron JY. (2001) Estimation of epidemic size and incubation time based on age characteristics of vCJD in the United Kingdom. Science, 294(5547), 1726-8. info:/10.1126/science.1066838
Boëlle PY, Cesbron JY, & Valleron AJ. (2004) Epidemiological evidence of higher susceptibility to vCJD in the young. BMC infectious diseases, 26-32. info:/10.1186/1471-2334-4-26
Gill ON, Spencer Y, Richard-Loendt A, Kelly C, Dabaghian R, Boyes L, Linehan J, Simmons M, Webb P, Bellerby P.... (2013) Prevalent abnormal prion protein in human appendixes after bovine spongiform encephalopathy epizootic: large scale survey. BMJ. info:/10.1136/bmj.f5675
I've taken my time in posting this entry specifically dedicated to the paper by Virginia Chaidez and colleagues* which "puts to rest the idea that gastrointestinal problems among children with autism spectrum disorder are just an accumulation of case reports" according to one of the paper authors (see here). It's not that I don't see these findings to be absolutely fascinating, but rather that I wanted the research dust to settle a little before I added my [inflation adjusted] 10 ........ Read more »
Chaidez V, Hansen RL, & Hertz-Picciotto I. (2013) Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism, Developmental Delays or Typical Development. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 24193577
I remember, aged five or so, a friend and I were the cool police motorcyclists from the TV show CHiPs. Our props were limited to the usual paraphernalia of a suburban home and yet somehow both of us knew when the other person was on foot or on his Kawasaki motorbike, which routes through the house were motorways, where the baddies were located, and most important, we both understood the plot of our game.For a new study, a team of psychologists in Australia has taken an interest in the conversati........ Read more »
Frances Hoyte, Jane Torr, & Sheila Degotardi. (2013) The language of friendship: Genre in the conversations of preschool children. Journal of Early Childhood Research. DOI: 10.1177/1476718X13492941
Scientists have theoretically found previously unknown layers on stars that enhance the mystery of the mechanism through which neutron stars heat up.
In astronomy, neutron star is a star composed of neutrons. It is a celestial body consisting entirely of a very dense compact mass of neutrons, the remnant of a star that has collapsed under its own gravity.
It is a neutral elementary particle. Technical........ Read more »
H. Schatz et al. (2013) Strong neutrino cooling by cycles of electron capture and β− decay in neutron star crusts. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature12757
Does emotional intelligence, a set of abilities concerned with processing emotions and emotional information, contribute to how one member of a self-managed group who lacks formal authority may influence other members? Researchers recently addressed this important question about informal influence processes and the concept called leadership emergence. The answer is “Yes”. Leadership emergence relates [...]The post Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Mechanisms of Leadership Emergence, ........ Read more »
Cote, S., Lopes, P.N., Salovey, P., & Miners, C.T.H. (2010) Emotional intelligence and leadership emergence in small groups. The Leadership Quarterly. DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.03.012
The administration of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) using a standard preparation technique may accelerate long bone fracture healing.... Read more »
Guzel Y, Karalezli N, Bilge O, Kacira BK, Esen H, Karadag H, Toker S, Göncü RG, & Doral MN. (2013) The biomechanical and histological effects of platelet-rich plasma on fracture healing. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. PMID: 24170188
This week a widely-criticised paper claiming negative effects of Roundup and Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize on rats was retracted by the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. The author, Professor Seralini, stands by the results, but received a letter from the journal stating that “The panel had many concerns about the quality of the data, and ultimately recommended that the article should be withdrawn.”
Criticisms included inadequate numbers of rats to draw conclusions........ Read more »
Seralini, GE. (2013) Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology. DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005
CD133 and phage single–chain antibody fragment (scFv) targeting CD133:
The prominins are an emerging family of novel proteins and one of the first identified members of this family is CD133, which is a penta-transmembrane glycoprotein. CD133 is found to be a marker of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in a number of tumors making them one of the strong candidates for future cancer therapy. You can work on functions and specific ligands of this family of proteins as these need a lot of research.[........ Read more »
Jing Xia et al. (2013) Isolation, identification and expression of specific human CD133 antibodies. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep03320
Yu Fujita et al. (2013) A novel platform to enable inhaled naked RNAi medicine for lung cancer. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep03325
When working with ELF data – English used as a lingua franca between second/foreign-language speakers – one of the things that stands out are slight variations in conventional chunks of language. A formulaic chunk like as a matter of fact might be realised as as the matter of fact, or you could hear now that […]... Read more »
Carey, Ray. (2013) On the other side: formulaic organizing chunks in spoken and written academic ELF. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 2(2), 207-228. DOI: 10.1515/jelf-2013-0013
Mauranen, A. (2009) Chunking in ELF: Expressions for managing interaction. Intercultural Pragmatics, 6(2). DOI: 10.1515/IPRG.2009.012
Hydrogen fuel production is a promising way to achieve carbon-neutral fuels to power the transportation infrastructure including automobiles and especially planes. Now, a team of scientists at the North Carolina State University has shown that a specialized coating technique can make certain devices employed for hydrogen fuel production more stable and more efficient.... Read more »
Leila Alibabaei, M. Kyle Brennaman, Michael R. Norris, Berç Kalanyan, Wenjing Song, Mark D. Losego, Javier J. Concepcion, Robert A. Binstead, Gregory N. Parsons, Thomas J. Meyer. (2013) Solar water splitting in a molecular photoelectrochemical cell. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319628110
Aaron K. Vannucci, Leila Alibabaei, Mark D. Losego, Javier J. Concepcion, Berç Kalanyan, Gregory N. Parsons, Thomas J. Meyer. (2013) Crossing the divide between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis in water oxidation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319832110
Astronomers have reported two of the newly discovered yet oldest known brown dwarfs in our Milky Way Galaxy moving at speeds of 100-200 km/sec.
arXiv, accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS)
It is a star-like object that is smaller than a planet and has a mass equivalent to less than one-tenth of the Sun’s mass. Brown dwarfs are unable to produce internal heat through nucle........ Read more »
D. J. Pinfield, J. Gomes, A. C. Day-Jones, S. K. Leggett, M. Gromadzki, B. Burningham, M. T. Ruiz, R. Kurtev, T. Cattermole, C. Cardoso.... (2013) A deep WISE search for very late type objects and the discovery of two halo/thick-disk T dwarfs: WISE 0013 0634 and WISE 0833 0052. arXiv. arXiv: 1308.0495v1
Scientists have presented a new way to study Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) that are the coldest objects in the Universe by canceling the damage caused by light.
New Journal of Physics
Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs):
BECs are considered as the coldest objects in the universe as they are very close to absolute zero, i.e. very near 0 K or −273.15 °C. They consist of few clusters of atoms. At such temperature, atoms behave as ........ Read more »
M R Hush et al. (2013) Controlling spontaneous-emission noise in measurement-based feedback cooling of a Bose–Einstein condensate. New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/11/113060
Homocysteine - the big H - really should have its own Twitter hashtag... #thebigH.Not only because of the range of health-related conditions which seem to be correlated with particular levels of this amino acid - think coronary heart disease and elevated homocysteine for example* or more recently cerebrovascular disease** - but also because of the body of work linking elevated homocysteine levels to diagnoses like autism and schizophrenia. (Yes, I know correlation does not equal causation).The B........ Read more »
Geller V, Friger M, Sela BA, & Levine J. (2013) Elevated homocysteine level in siblings of patients with schizophrenia. Psychiatry research. PMID: 24051177
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