Post List

  • January 15, 2015
  • 09:15 AM

2-7 Offsuit: Is Cancer Just "Bad Luck"?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

A controversial new study suggests that most cancer is just a matter of "bad luck". Is it?... Read more »

  • January 15, 2015
  • 09:02 AM

Trepanation! Not Just For Headaches: Tibial Surgery in Ancient Peru

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Over the past two years, I’ve been commuting from my home to my university. It’s about an hour drive each way (unless it’s snowing, and then it could be two […]... Read more »

Toyne, J. (2015) Tibial surgery in ancient Peru. International Journal of Paleopathology, 29-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2014.09.002  

  • January 15, 2015
  • 09:00 AM

Moral mornings: Are we more willing to cheat and lie as the day goes on?

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

A year or so ago, you might have encountered advice on the news sites to trust others more in the morning, because as the day wears on people become more inclined to lie, cheat, or steal. (Forbes was one place that peddled this particular tidbit ). This idea may not be back in the news now, but it is back in researchers’ minds thanks to a follow-up duet of articles debating what really might be behind any influence of time of day on our moral decisions. So this will be the first part of a ........ Read more »

  • January 15, 2015
  • 07:40 AM

How to get kids to tell the truth? It's not all about carrot or stick

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Dan JonesAll parents have to come to terms with the fact that their little angels will, from time to time, act like little devils. They’ll throw tantrums over trivial issues, or they’ll push, hit, bite or scratch other kids. And at some point they’ll start lying about what they’ve done.Lying is perfectly normal among children, not a sign of a sociopath in the making. Many kids start telling the odd fib around their second birthday, and by the time they’re 4 or 5 they........ Read more »

  • January 15, 2015
  • 07:08 AM

Samarium from the stars

by Paul Stevenson in Blog of the Isotopes

Recent nuclear experiments involving smashing up uranium nuclei and examining the fragments help tell us how elements are formed in the stars... Read more »

Patel, Z., Söderström, P., Podolyák, Z., Regan, P., Walker, P., Watanabe, H., Ideguchi, E., Simpson, G., Liu, H., Nishimura, S.... (2014) Isomer Decay Spectroscopy of Sm164 and Gd166: Midshell Collectivity Around N. Physical Review Letters, 113(26). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.262502  

  • January 15, 2015
  • 06:59 AM

Samarium from the stars

by Paul Stevenson in Blog of the Isotopes

Over the Christmas period, I enjoyed time with my family, sharing presents, eating more food than normal, and suchlike.  One of the perks of my job is that the University shuts down between Christmas and new year, and we are not expected to be in the office.  Not so the stakhanovites at the American Physical Society.  They beavered away producing a regular weekly edition of Physical Review Letters, and the edition for the week ending 31st Dec came out as usual, with online ar........ Read more »

Patel, Z., Söderström, P., Podolyák, Z., Regan, P., Walker, P., Watanabe, H., Ideguchi, E., Simpson, G., Liu, H., Nishimura, S.... (2014) Isomer Decay Spectroscopy of Sm164 and Gd166: Midshell Collectivity Around N. Physical Review Letters, 113(26). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.262502  

  • January 15, 2015
  • 05:10 AM

Maternal thyroid autoantibody and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I have, on this blog, previously mentioned the paper by Alan Brown and colleagues [1] suggesting that: "The prevalence of maternal TPO-Ab+ [thyroid peroxidase antibody] was significantly increased in pregnancies giving rise to autism cases (6.15%) compared to controls (3.54%)." It was during some discussion on the suggested diagnosis of Down syndrome disintegrative disorder (see here) and the idea that some signs and symptoms of regressive autism (?) might overlap with TPO antibodies i........ Read more »

Brown, A., Surcel, H., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., Cheslack-Postava, K., Bao, Y., & Sourander, A. (2015) Maternal thyroid autoantibody and elevated risk of autism in a national birth cohort. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 86-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.10.010  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 06:18 PM

Pooping to evolve: how feces allowed us to exist

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Billions of years ago, when the first lifeforms appeared on Earth, our planet was very different from what it is today. Oxygen, so essential for our survival, was not present in the atmosphere. Thanks to the … Continue reading →... Read more »

Holland, H. (2006) The oxygenation of the atmosphere and oceans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 361(1470), 903-915. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2006.1838  

Turner, J. T. (2002) Zooplankton fecal pellets, marine snow and sinking phytoplankton blooms. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 57-102. info:/

  • January 14, 2015
  • 03:54 PM

The hidden neurological impact of explosions on military members

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

More bad news for war Veterans, the brains of some Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who survived blasts from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and died later of other causes show a distinctive honeycomb pattern of broken and swollen nerve fibers throughout critical brain regions, including those that control executive function. The pattern is different from brain damage caused by car crashes, drug overdoses or collision sports, and may be the never-before-reported signature of blast injuri........ Read more »

Ryu J, Horkayne-Szakaly I, Xu L, Pletnikova O, Leri F, Eberhart C, Troncoso JC, & Koliatsos VE. (2014) The problem of axonal injury in the brains of veterans with histories of blast exposure. Acta neuropathologica communications, 2(1), 153. PMID: 25422066  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 03:43 PM

Nature's Drag Queens

by Jente Ottenburghs in Evolutionary Stories

Some men like to dress up like females. But do you find drag queens in other species? It turns out Nature has some surprises up her sleeves.... Read more »

Norman, M., Finn, J., & Tregenza, T. (1999) Female impersonation as an alternative reproductive strategy in giant cuttlefish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266(1426), 1347-1349. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1999.0786  

Slagsvold, T. . (1991) Evolution of Plumage Color in Male Pied Flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca): Evidence for Female Mimicry. Evolution, 45(4), 910-917. info:/

  • January 14, 2015
  • 03:30 PM

Spin current affairs: Opening the magnetic gate

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

Since the discovery of the spin Hall magnetoresistance (SMR) effect in 2013, there has been much discussion about the relative roles of the ferromagnetic insulator...
The post Spin current affairs: Opening the magnetic gate appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

Estitxu Villamor, Miren Isasa, Saul V ¨ elez, Amilcar Bedoya-Pinto, Paolo Vavassori, Luis E. Hueso,. (2015) Modulation of pure spin currents with a ferromagnetic insulator. Phys Rev B, 20403. info:/

  • January 14, 2015
  • 10:51 AM

Obesity, Inflammation and the Brain

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Brain inflammation produces a variety of emotional, behavior and cognitive symptoms.I remember clearly a patient I cared for with central nervous system lupus erythrematosis (SLE). With SLE flairs she developed flagrant psychotic symptoms including hallucinations requiring inpatient psychiatric care.Between flares she had no significant psychiatric symptoms.Nicole Castanon and two colleagues from France have published a review of the role of obesity-associated inflammation and brain dysfunction......... Read more »

  • January 14, 2015
  • 10:41 AM

Journal Club: Birds pick nest materials with camouflage in mind

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: A recent study by a research team in Scotland reveals that birds intentionally choose colour-matching materials to camouflage their nests thereby reducing predation risk. Read more... Read more »

Bailey Ida E., Kate Morgan, Simone L. Meddle, & Susan D. Healy. (2015) Birds build camouflaged nests. The Auk, 132(1), 11-15. DOI:  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 10:02 AM

Imagining walking through a doorway triggers increased forgetting

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

We've all had that experience of going purposefully from one room to another, only to get there and forget why we made the journey. Four years ago, researcher Gabriel Radvansky and his colleagues stripped this effect down, showing that the simple act of passing through a doorway induces forgetting. Now psychologists at Knox College, USA, have taken things further, demonstrating that merely imagining walking through a doorway is enough to trigger increased forgetfulness. Zachary Lawrence and Dani........ Read more »

  • January 14, 2015
  • 09:39 AM

Video Tip of the Week: Genome assemblers and #Docker

by Mary in OpenHelix

Last fall there was a tip I did on Docker, which was starting to pick up a lot of chatter around the genoscenti. It was starting to look like a good solution for some of the problems of reproducibility and re-use of software in genomics–containerize it. Box it up, hand it off. There’s certainly a […]... Read more »

Veras Adonney, Vasco Azevedo, Artur Silva, Rommel Ramos, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University Pará, Belém, Pará, & Brazil. (2013) AutoAssemblyD: a graphical user interface system for several genome assemblers. Bioinformation, 9(16), 840-841. DOI:  

Hildebrandt A. K., N. M. Fischer, L. de la Garza, J. Kruger, S. Nickels, M. Rottig, C. Scharfe, M. Schumann, P. Thiel, & H.-P. Lenhof. (2014) ballaxy: web services for structural bioinformatics. Bioinformatics, 31(1), 121-122. DOI:  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

Do Hand-Reared Wolves get Attached to their Humans?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Researchers test the bond between captive wolf pups and the humans who rear them.Photo: Geoffrey Kuchera / ShutterstockWe all think our dogs form attachments to us, but previous studies with wolf pups have suggested they don’t attach to their caregiver in the same way. While a 16-week old puppy is already attached to its owner, scientists found the same is not true of a 16-week old wolf. However, the way the wolf pup is raised and the age of testing may have an effect. New research by Nathanie........ Read more »

Hall, N.J., Lord, K., Arnold, A-M.K., Wynne, C.D.L., & Udell, M. (2015) Assessment of attachment behaviours to human caregivers in wolf pups (Canis lupus lupus). Behavioural Processes , 15-21. info:/

Rehn, T., Lindholm, U., Keeling, L., & Forkman, B. (2014) I like my dog, does my dog like me?. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 65-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.10.008  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 08:00 AM

Everybody In The Gene Pool - Plants That Swim

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Plants can be moved by wind and water. Their pollen and seeds can be moved by insects, wind, gravity, but plants themselves don't have motile cells. Well – that’s not always true. Some trees have swimming cells; they take the plunge in order to find a mate.... Read more »

  • January 14, 2015
  • 08:00 AM

Defensive symbiosis

by Mauro Mandrioli in The aphid room

defensive symbiosis in aphids... Read more »

Moran, N., Degnan, P., Santos, S., Dunbar, H., & Ochman, H. (2005) The players in a mutualistic symbiosis: Insects, bacteria, viruses, and virulence genes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(47), 16919-16926. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0507029102  

Oliver KM, Russell JA, Moran NA, & Hunter MS. (2003) Facultative bacterial symbionts in aphids confer resistance to parasitic wasps. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(4), 1803-7. PMID: 12563031  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: When minority jurors  are not so good for your client

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s an odd counter-intuitive research finding. You might think that, if you have a gay or lesbian client, other minorities (like racial or ethnic minorities, for example) would be a good bet for your jury. It only makes sense that those who have experienced discrimination themselves would be more tolerant toward members of other oppressed […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t deplete me
Simple Jury Persuasion: She reminds me of my Grandmother…
Simple Jury Persuasion:........ Read more »

  • January 14, 2015
  • 05:11 AM

Autism research in Jamaica

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

For the past couple of years I've been tracking some rather interesting publications coming out of data from Jamaica on the topic of autism / autism spectrum disorder (ASD) specifically looking at the possible overlap between genes and various environmental factors. I thought now would be a good time to bring this collection of papers to the blogging table and summarise their findings based on the analysis of data collected from The Jamaican Autism study. The fact that their latest res........ Read more »

Rahbar MH, Samms-Vaughan M, Loveland KA, Pearson DA, Bressler J, Chen Z, Ardjomand-Hessabi M, Shakespeare-Pellington S, Grove ML, Beecher C.... (2012) Maternal and paternal age are jointly associated with childhood autism in Jamaica. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 42(9), 1928-38. PMID: 22230961  

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