Post List

  • September 23, 2010
  • 11:35 AM

Can Orangutans Survive in Paper Plantations?

by Michael Long in Phased

Erik Meijaard (People and Nature Consulting International, and Australian National University) and coworkers have asked whether paper plantations can provide valuable habitat for orangutan conservation. This news feature was written on September 23, 2010.... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 10:48 AM

How Still Images Can Evoke the Sensation of Movement

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

Examine the two abstract paintings presented above.  To the right is Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2, and to the left is Piet Mondrian’s Gray Tree.  Which one more strongly conveys a sense of movement? According to experiments conducted by Chai-Youn Kim and Randolph Blake, most observers would agree that the Duchamp piece is a [...]... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 10:38 AM

Negative Evidence: Still Missing after all these Years

by gameswithwords in Games with Words

My pen-pal Melodye has posted a thought-provoking piece at Child's Play on negative evidence. As she rightly points out, issues of negative evidence have played a crucial role in the development of theories of language acquisition. But she doesn't think that's a good thing. Rather, it's "ridiculous, [sic] and belies a complete lack of understanding of basic human learning mechanisms."
The argument over negative evidence, as presented by Melodye, is ridiculous, but that seems to stem from (a) con........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Psychological obstacles to recovery in back pain: A rumble in the journal

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

I’m a little late to this one but an interesting disagreement recently emerged in the letters to the editor in the journal Pain. This focused around a recent study from the impressive Arthritis Research Campaign National Primary Care at Keele University, UK into the psychological obstacles to recovery from low back pain. The study looked [...]... Read more »

Foster, N., Dunn, K., Bishop, A., & Main, C. (2010) Response to letter by Roelofs et al. Pain, 150(1), 208-209. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.04.015  

  • September 23, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

A whole new type of flower porn

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Okay, so males in search of sex are not always that discriminating. We’ve seen that males that mate with females that will kill and eat them. We’ve seen males that will court other males. But not recognizing that something doesn’t even belong to your own kingdom is close to the record, and we saw that with some male insects that copulate with flowers.*

Previously, only orchids were known to trick insects into copulating with them. It’s thought that this is a way to enhance pollination........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

America’s ever-expanding meal portions

by Melinda Moyer in Body Politic

A hamburger today is a lot more than it used to be.... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 07:39 AM

RNA hairpins that trigger cancer cell death

by Becky in It Takes 30

One of the central problems of cancer is that cancer cells look an awful lot like normal cells.  It’s easy to kill cancer cells; the hard part is to kill them while not killing (too many of) the cells that the patient would like to keep.  All kinds of ways of distinguishing between cancer cells [...]... Read more »

Venkataraman S, Dirks RM, Ueda CT, & Pierce NA. (2010) Selective cell death mediated by small conditional RNAs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20823260  

  • September 23, 2010
  • 06:14 AM

Monkeypox, smallpox

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Confluent smallpox1 Vaccination against smallpox ended some 40 years ago. As the vaccinated population gets smaller and the susceptible population gets larger, at least one poxvirus is re-exploring the human population. Not smallpox, of course, but monkeypox, which is becoming dramatically more common in humans than it used to be.2 Monkeypox (which is actually primarily [...]... Read more »

Rimoin, A., Mulembakani, P., Johnston, S., Lloyd Smith, J., Kisalu, N., Kinkela, T., Blumberg, S., Thomassen, H., Pike, B., Fair, J.... (2010) Major increase in human monkeypox incidence 30 years after smallpox vaccination campaigns cease in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(37), 16262-16267. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1005769107  

Pierre Formenty, Mohammed O. Muntasir, Inger Damon, Vipul Chowdhary, Martin L. Opoka, Charlotte Monimart, Elmangory M. Mutasim, Jean-Claude Manuguerra, Whitni B. Davidson, Kevin L. Karem.... (2010) Human Monkeypox Outbreak Caused by Novel Virus Belonging to Congo Basin Clade, Sudan, 2005. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 16(10). info:/10.3201/eid1610.100713

Hutson CL, Lee KN, Abel J, Carroll DS, Montgomery JM, Olson VA, Li Y, Davidson W, Hughes C, Dillon M.... (2007) Monkeypox zoonotic associations: insights from laboratory evaluation of animals associated with the multi-state US outbreak. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 76(4), 757-68. PMID: 17426184  

  • September 23, 2010
  • 05:58 AM

The question is : are you dumber than a rat?

by melodye in Child's Play

Many developmental psychologists buy into an argument that suggests that children are dumber than rats.  Should you? Human cognition is geared towards the central task of predicting the world around it.  As you may remember from an earlier post I did on the A-not-B task in infants, children aren’t born understanding causal relationships right off [...]... Read more »

Ramscar, M.,, Yarlett, D.,, Dye, M.,, Denny, K.,, & Thorpe, K. (2010) The Effects of Feature-Label-Order and their implications for symbolic learning. Cognitive Science, 34(6), 909-957. info:/

  • September 23, 2010
  • 05:36 AM

By what age do children recognise that plagiarism is wrong?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

To view plagiarism as an adult does, a child must combine several pieces of a puzzle: they need to understand that not everyone has access to all ideas; that people can create their own ideas; and that stealing an idea, like stealing physical property, is wrong.

There's been plenty of research on children's understanding of physical property ownership, which has shown that a rudimentary understanding is already in place by age two. Now in the first ever systematic study of its kind, Kristina Ol........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

What makes Starbucks such a great place to work? A review of the HR policies across the best companies to work for

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

What makes it so great? An analysis of Human Resources practices among fortune’s best companies to work for From Cornell Hospitality Quarterly This article provides an analysis of Human Resources practices among the best companies to work for in the US, from an annual list compiled by Fortune. It examines aspects such as job growth, [...]... Read more »

  • September 23, 2010
  • 05:09 AM

Progress in pancreatic cancer

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Pancreatic cancer comes with stark statistics attached. Often not diagnosed until it has spread, it’s one of the most difficult types of cancer to treat. Fewer than one in five patients (16 per cent) survive for more than a year after diagnosis. The good news is that progress is being made – survival rates have [...]... Read more »

Morton JP, Karim SA, Graham K, Timpson P, Jamieson N, Athineos D, Doyle B, McKay C, Heung MY, Oien KA.... (2010) Dasatinib inhibits the development of metastases in a mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Gastroenterology, 139(1), 292-303. PMID: 20303350  

Brunton VG, & Frame MC. (2008) Src and focal adhesion kinase as therapeutic targets in cancer. Current opinion in pharmacology, 8(4), 427-32. PMID: 18625340  

  • September 22, 2010
  • 11:21 PM

Endogenous Rhythmicity in A Sea Anemone

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Woods Hole researchers have elucidated molecular machinery actions in Sea Anemone that are more comparable to its more primitive ancestors than previously thought. I think that this is an ideal approach towards understanding phylogenies of vertebrate and invertebrate circadian timing systems... Read more »

Adam M. Reitzel, Lars Behrendt, Ann M. Tarrant*. (2010) Light Entrained Rhythmic Gene Expression in the Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis: The Evolution of the Animal Circadian Clock. PLoS ONE. info:/

  • September 22, 2010
  • 10:25 PM

Rethinking the mechanisms of 20th century climate change

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

The rise in global mean temperature of about 0.9 degrees C over the 20th century is one of the most well-known trends in the science of global change.   Several modeling and empirical studies suggest that some (~0.3 degrees C) of this warming is due to natural causes like increased solar intensity and decreased vulcanism [...]... Read more »

  • September 22, 2010
  • 09:20 PM

Ladybug Nanophysiological Response to Flashing Light

by Michael Long in Phased

Igor Sokolov (Clarkson University, United States) and coworkers have used atomic force microscopy to probe ladybug response and adaptability to flashing lights, and have unexpectedly found that ladybugs are blind to emerald light. This news feature was written on September 22, 2010.... Read more »

  • September 22, 2010
  • 07:36 PM

Do children with autism understand the link between seeing and knowing?

by Jon Brock in Cracking the Enigma

Autism researchers are control freaks. A large part of what we do is concerned with ruling out alternative explanations for our results, which involves designing carefully controlled experiments. Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder, meaning that it affects just about every aspect of cognition (and apparently most parts of the brain). So there are always plenty of alternative explanations to worry about. And attempting to publish your research involves running the gauntlet of reviewers, ........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2010
  • 06:03 PM

The Amazon Rainforest Reactor – A Rain Factory

by Michael Gutbrod in A Scientific Nature

The rainforest’s ability to support a great cornucopia of life continues to amaze. Not only does the rainforest hold a large proportion of the Earth’s biodiversity, but it also appears to provide for this biodiversity in a self-sustaining manner. Deep in the untouched Amazonian rainforest of Brazil, an international team led by scientists from the [...]... Read more »

Pöschl U, Martin ST, Sinha B, Chen Q, Gunthe SS, Huffman JA, Borrmann S, Farmer DK, Garland RM, Helas G.... (2010) Rainforest aerosols as biogenic nuclei of clouds and precipitation in the Amazon. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5998), 1513-6. PMID: 20847268  

  • September 22, 2010
  • 01:24 PM

How The Twin Paradox Of Relativity Changes In An Expanding Universe.

by Joseph Smidt in The Eternal Universe

I'm sure most of you have heard of the twin paradox "in which a twin makes a journey into space in a high-speed rocket and returns home to find he has aged less than his identical twin who stayed on Earth."  This paradox has been worked out for special relativity in Minkowski spacetime.  Recently, Boblest et al. worked out the details using general relativity for an expanding universe. (de Sitter

... Read more »

Sebastian Boblest, Thomas Müller, & Günter Wunner. (2010) Twin Paradox in de Sitter Spacetime. E-Print. arXiv: 1009.3427v1

  • September 22, 2010
  • 01:07 PM

Should Every Child with Autism Have an EEG?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

TED presentation by Dr. Aditi Shankardass brings up an important question--should all children with autism (or those undergoing an assessment for autism) have an EEG.  The presenter notes that in her experience in India, up to 50% of children referred with a diagnosis of autism have a seizure disorder or some other neurodevelopmental disorder.  The TED talk is posted above (7 minutes) and here are my notes from the presentation.1 in 6 children suffer from developmental disorderMost dia........ Read more »

Isler JR, Martien KM, Grieve PG, Stark RI, & Herbert MR. (2010) Reduced functional connectivity in visual evoked potentials in children with autism spectrum disorder. Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. PMID: 20605520  

  • September 22, 2010
  • 12:46 PM

Squid visual ecology redux – Put on your PJs!

by Mike Mike in Cephalove

Cephalopods are great subjects for studies on vision, because they are so dependent on their vision that you can get robust behavioral effects by manipulating the visual environment of a test animal. In some new research in the October edition of the Journal of Experimental Biology, CM Talbot and J Marshall (from Queensland) investigate the [...]... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit