Breast cancer is the most common (non-skin) cancer in women, and despite advances in treatment, it is still deeply feared, and with good reason. But breast cancer is really several different diseases. Breast cancers can arise from several different cell types, they can occur during the pre- or post-menopausal period, and they can have various [...]... Read more »
Kelly, C., Juurlink, D., Gomes, T., Duong-Hua, M., Pritchard, K., Austin, P., & Paszat, L. (2010) Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and breast cancer mortality in women receiving tamoxifen: a population based cohort study. BMJ, 340(feb08 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c693
What comes next for evolution? This seems like a simple question. Every day we are learning more about the history of life on earth, and we would expect that, over 150 years since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, the life of the past could be used to extrapolate the trajectory of evolution’s [...]... Read more »
Nicholas R. Longrich, and Storrs L. Olson. (2010) The bizarre wing of the Jamaican flightless ibis Xenicibis xympithecus: a unique vertebrate adaptation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. info:/10.1098/rspb.2010.2117
Osborn, Henry Fairfield; Brown, Barnum. (1906) Tyrannosaurus, Upper Cretaceous carnivorous dinosaur. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 22(16), 281-296. info:/
N/A (1886). Dilatancy Nature, 33 (853), 429-430 DOI: 10.1038/033429b0 I encountered the word “ether” which apparently did not mean the organic reagent when I was reading a short comment on O. Reynolds’s lecture on dilatancy published on Nature in 1886. … Continue reading →... Read more »
Hello Hello and Happy New Year,
So a new article appeared on the internet late last year by Coolidge, Overmann and Wynn (2010) (hereafter referred to as COW because it makes me smile). It’s a really short sweet little paper and you should read it as recursion is perhaps one of the hottest topics around language evolution. . . . → Read More: Recursion: what is it, who has it, and how did it evolve?... Read more »
Coolidge, F., Overmann, K., & Wynn, T. (2010) Recursion: what is it, who has it, and how did it evolve?. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science. DOI: 10.1002/wcs.131
How might it feel to sense your own sanity eroding? Would you realize it? How might you sift the phantoms from physical reality, daydream from delusion, the irrefutable from the implausible? Or, as author Rachel Aviv puts it,
When does a strong idea take on a pathological flavor? How does a metaphysical crisis morph into a medical one? At what point does our interpretation of the world become so fixed that it no longer matters “what almost everyone else believes” [part of the definition o........ Read more »
Addington, J., Cadenhead, K., Cannon, T., Cornblatt, B., McGlashan, T., Perkins, D., Seidman, L., Tsuang, M., Walker, E., Woods, S.... (2007) North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study: A Collaborative Multisite Approach to Prodromal Schizophrenia Research. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 33(3), 665-672. DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbl075
Corcoran, C., Davidson, L., Sills-Shahar, R., Nickou, C., Malaspina, D., Miller, T., & McGlashan, T. (2003) A Qualitative Research Study of the Evolution of Symptoms in Individuals Identified as Prodromal to Psychosis. Psychiatric Quarterly, 74(4), 313-332. DOI: 10.1023/A:1026083309607
Beautiful people get all of the breaks. They are generally seen more positively than others. Are they seen more accurately? A new study published in Psychological Science finds that people ... Read more »
Lorenzo, G.L., Biesanz, J.C., & Human, L.J. (2010) What is beautiful is good and more accurately understood: physical attractiveness and accuracy in first impressions of personality. Psychological Science, 21(12), 1777-82. PMID: 21051521
What is it about some clinicians? They just seem to get great results by doing almost nothing! Could that be true? What is that elusive x-factor? Well, fortunately for us, Laura von Bertouch has agreed to tell us about a paper she does read that covers exactly that. Here is what Laura had to say: [...]... Read more »
 Lewis, M., Morley, S., van der Windt, D., Hay, E., Jellema, P., Dziedzic, K., & Main, C. (2010) Measuring practitioner/therapist effects in randomised trials of low back pain and neck pain interventions in primary care settings. European Journal of Pain. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpain.2010.04.002
Dole JA, Sinatra GM. (1998) Reconceptualising change in the cognitive construction of knowledge. Educational Psychologist, 109-128. info:/
Einstein's general relativity rules the roost when it comes to gravity, but soon modifications to standard GR may detected on universal scales with new cosmological data. Fortunately, a realistic modified version of gravity, known as f(R) gravity, makes practical predictions that may be verified in the coming decades.
A recent paper by Motohashi, Starobinsky, and Yokoyama gives a good synopsis
... Read more »
Looking from the outside, one of the most underrated areas of archaeological research at the moment is the Archaeology of the Pacific. It’s possible to make exciting discoveries anywhere in the world. In Polynesia though, it’s hard not to. The reason is that Polynesian archaeology has an odd contradiction. There’s been some excellent research done... Read more »
Petchey, F., Spriggs, M., Leach, F., Seed, M., Sand, C., Pietrusewsky, M., & Anderson, K. (2011) Testing the human factor: radiocarbon dating the first peoples of the South Pacific. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(1), 29-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.07.029
Death--every philosopher has a take on it. But what is the take on death from a primatological perspective?... Read more »
“Evolutionary biology has been enriched by considering not only how adaptation happens, but also why it often does not happen, or at least does not happen as we might naively expect.” - Douglas Futuyma (2010) In 2005, a group of … Continue reading →... Read more »
Bradshaw, A. (1991) The Croonian Lecture, 1991: Genostasis and the Limits to Evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 333(1267), 289-305. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1991.0079
Futuyma, D. (2010) EVOLUTIONARY CONSTRAINT AND ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES. Evolution, 64(7), 1865-1884. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.00960.x
Hoffmann, A. (2003) Low Potential for Climatic Stress Adaptation in a Rainforest Drosophila Species. Science, 301(5629), 100-102. DOI: 10.1126/science.1084296
If you read the previous article on stegosaurs you'll know that a collection of papers devoted to examination of this fascinating group appeared last year (2010) in a special issue of Swiss Journal of Geosciences (SJG from hereon). These papers resulted from a meeting held at the Sauriermuseum Aathal, Switzerland, in June 2009 (Billon-Bruyat & Marty 2010). Last time round, we looked at the papers on stegosaur systematics and diversity. Here, we begin a look at the remaining papers: they cove........ Read more »
Mallison, H. (2010) CAD assessment of the posture and range of motion of Kentrosaurus aethiopicus Henning 1915. Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 211-233. info:/
More and more disease-causing mutations are being identified in exonic splicing regulatory sequences (ESRs). These disease effects can result from ESR mutations that cause exon skipping in functionally diverse genes. In today’s tip I’d like to introduce you to a tool designed to detect exon variants that modulate splicing. The tool is named SKIPPY and has been developed and is maintained by groups in the Genomic Functional Analysis research section of the NHGRI.
At the end of the ........ Read more »
Woolfe, A., Mullikin, J., & Elnitski, L. (2010) Genomic features defining exonic variants that modulate splicing. Genome Biology, 11(2). DOI: 10.1186/gb-2010-11-2-r20
Cline, M., & Karchin, R. (2010) Using bioinformatics to predict the functional impact of SNVs. Bioinformatics. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btq695
Regular readers may recall previous posts on the finding that obese individuals tend to spend less time on their feet than lean people - a trait that is apparently not corrected by weight loss.
In a study from the Laboratoire TIMC-IMAG in La Tronche, France, just published in PLoS, Jean-Baptiste Mignardot and colleagues show that obese [...]... Read more »
Mignardot JB, Olivier I, Promayon E, & Nougier V. (2010) Obesity impact on the attentional cost for controlling posture. PloS one, 5(12). PMID: 21187914
What is risk anyway?
I read this paper already some time ago. It is very important to have a clear definition of the terms used in research. But from my previous experience I know that also in business a clear understanding of the different aspects of risks is important to stay consistent.
At a client I was involved in a company wide risk assessment. The participating middle managers were required to list and assess relevant risks using an Excel sheet. There were predefined cate........ Read more »
Joost van Heerwarden and co-workers have solved a problem in our understanding of maize domestication. Previous work had shown that maize originated from annual called teosinte, Zea mays subspecies parviglumis, a wild species that occurs in low and mid-elevation regions of south-west Mexico. This made the Rio Balsas area, where parviglumis occurs, the most likely [...]... Read more »
van Heerwaarden J, Doebley J, Briggs WH, Glaubitz JC, Goodman MM, de Jesus Sanchez Gonzalez J, & Ross-Ibarra J. (2010) Genetic signals of origin, spread, and introgression in a large sample of maize landraces. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21189301
Matsuoka Y, Vigouroux Y, Goodman MM, Sanchez G J, Buckler E, & Doebley J. (2002) A single domestication for maize shown by multilocus microsatellite genotyping. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99(9), 6080-4. PMID: 11983901
Piperno DR, Ranere AJ, Holst I, Iriarte J, & Dickau R. (2009) Starch grain and phytolith evidence for early ninth millennium B.P. maize from the Central Balsas River Valley, Mexico. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(13), 5019-24. PMID: 19307570
. This short report looks at a cannabis vaporizer; a device that heats the cannabis to release cannibinoids in a mist without smoke and other irritants. The Youtube video shows a vaporizer from the Vapor Brothers – as used in the study. They took 22 frequent cannabis users who weren’t interested in stopping their use. [...]... Read more »
Van Dam NT, & Earleywine M. (2010) Pulmonary function in cannabis users: Support for a clinical trial of the vaporizer. The International journal on drug policy, 21(6), 511-3. PMID: 20451365
While the honeybees were fine there was little interest in pollinators and pollination in general. People just took it for granted. But with the ongoing news about CCD and concerns about declining bee populations worldwide the interest in wild bees as natural pollinators and “backup” for honeybee pollination has risen sharply. It turned out, however, [...]... Read more »
Cameron, S., Lozier, J., Strange, J., Koch, J., Cordes, N., Solter, L., & Griswold, T. (2011) Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1014743108
Hair Color of Unknown Offenders Is No Longer a Secret: The research findings demonstrate that on the basis of DNA information it is possible to determine with an accuracy of more than 90 percent whether a person has red hair, with a similarly high accuracy whether a person has black hair, and with an accuracy [...]... Read more »
Branicki W, Liu F, van Duijn K, Draus-Barini J, Pośpiech E, Walsh S, Kupiec T, Wojas-Pelc A, & Kayser M. (2011) Model-based prediction of human hair color using DNA variants. Human genetics. PMID: 21197618
A physicist famously wanted to find the grand unifying equation behind the laws of nature, in a form that you could put on a t-shirt.Neuroscientists Kamilla and Henry Markram have proposed a grand unifying theory of autism, and the key to it is in this picture. I wouldn't want to be seen wearing it quite yet, but if the theory pans out, I'm sure we could come up with a more torso-friendly diagram.So what does this mean? The Markrams call their idea the Intense World Theory. Essentially, they pro........ Read more »
Markram K, & Markram H. (2010) The intense world theory - a unifying theory of the neurobiology of autism. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 224. PMID: 21191475
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