Post List

  • January 3, 2010
  • 01:56 PM
  • 545 views

Juggling carbon and biodiversity

by Paul Spraycar in Beyond Climate Change

Copenhagen drew lots of attention to Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). Much of the interest is based upon the fact that carbon-rich tropical forests happen to hold a majority of the world’s biodiversity, so money spent on combating climate change could potentially also benefit other things we care about; namely, biodiversity.However, REDD is designed to combat climate change – in particular, by making forest protection cost-competitive with alternati........ Read more »

Venter, O., Laurance, W., Iwamura, T., Wilson, K., Fuller, R., & Possingham, H. (2009) Harnessing Carbon Payments to Protect Biodiversity. Science, 326(5958), 1368-1368. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180289  

  • January 3, 2010
  • 09:18 AM
  • 423 views

Mmmmmm...

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

I just saw this ad for Science World for the first time, and I think it's brilliant.



Science World, for those not from Vancouver, British Columbia, is a science center that seeks to make science education a little more fun, including hundreds of interactive exhibits and its own OMNIMAX theater. You can see some more of their great adverts at Rethink Communications. Kudos for the good science-educating work, and even more for the great ads!

(thanks, Joel, for the hat-tip to Rethink's link!)
........ Read more »

  • January 3, 2010
  • 09:03 AM
  • 571 views

In the News this month: the role of magnetic fields in GRBs

by Megan in Rigel

are highly energetic explosions which release enormous amounts of energy in just a few seconds. So-called because they were first discovered through their intense gamma-ray emission, these explosions can be seen across the visible universe. The exact nature of the jets which give rise to this emission is however, not certain. Different jet models predict very different properties of the magnetic fields present in the out-flowing material. Some models suggest that weak are present only locally ........ Read more »

Steele, I., Mundell, C., Smith, R., Kobayashi, S., & Guidorzi, C. (2009) Ten per cent polarized optical emission from GRB 090102. Nature, 462(7274), 767-769. DOI: 10.1038/nature08590  

  • January 3, 2010
  • 08:27 AM
  • 521 views

In the News this month: stellar canibalism in globular clusters

by Megan in Rigel

contain some of the oldest known stars.; Formed billions of years ago in the halos of what eventually become the galaxies we see today, globular clusters are roughly spherical collections of stars bound together by their own gravity. Our own Milky Way contains many such clusters, several of which were catalogued by in the 18th Century.While most of the stars in globular clusters have ages of 12 to 13 billion years, some of them appear to be much younger. Most stars in globular clusters are red........ Read more »

  • January 2, 2010
  • 06:23 PM
  • 970 views

Forget to take your Ginkgo biloba? Turns out, it doesn’t matter

by Scott in Science-Based Pharmacy

Among the natural products on pharmacy shelves, I was rooting for Ginkgo biloba for the prevention of dementia. For one, dementia is a horrible illness. Secondly, currently available drugs for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have little meaningful effect. Thirdly, preliminary data with ginkgo for AD looked encouraging. I recall reading this systematic review back in [...]... Read more »

Snitz, B., O'Meara, E., Carlson, M., Arnold, A., Ives, D., Rapp, S., Saxton, J., Lopez, O., Dunn, L., Sink, K.... (2009) Ginkgo biloba for Preventing Cognitive Decline in Older Adults: A Randomized Trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(24), 2663-2670. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1913  

  • January 2, 2010
  • 05:07 PM
  • 371 views

Ehler-Danlos Syndrome- I am wayyyyyy too flexible.

by Dr. Wayne Button in Sport Injuries and Wellness

Learn about this rare genetic condition which could easily show up in your office.... Read more »

Callewaert B, Malfait F, Loeys B, & De Paepe A. (2008) Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and Marfan syndrome. Best practice , 22(1), 165-89. PMID: 18328988  

Schroeder EL, & Lavallee ME. (2006) Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in athletes. Current sports medicine reports, 5(6), 327-34. PMID: 17067502  

  • January 2, 2010
  • 05:07 PM
  • 429 views

Ehler-Danlos Syndrome- I am wayyyyyy too flexible.

by Dr. Wayne Button in Sport Injuries and Wellness

Learn about this rare genetic condition which could easily show up in your office.... Read more »

Callewaert B, Malfait F, Loeys B, & De Paepe A. (2008) Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and Marfan syndrome. Best practice , 22(1), 165-89. PMID: 18328988  

Schroeder EL, & Lavallee ME. (2006) Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in athletes. Current sports medicine reports, 5(6), 327-34. PMID: 17067502  

  • January 2, 2010
  • 04:18 PM
  • 383 views

Carnival of Evolution #19!

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Well, it's 2010, and it's time for another edition of the Carnival of Evolution! Without further ado...

First up we have a fascinating discovery brought to us by GrrlScientist over at Living the Scientific Life. Scientists have recently discovered a new species of orchid. This one is definitely unique - it's TINY! Check out the minuscule newest addition to the plant kingdom!

Speaking of interesting species, our next submission documents an interesting creepy crawly species. Ted C. MacRae talks........ Read more »

  • January 2, 2010
  • 03:30 PM
  • 661 views

Prion Propagation: Survival of the Fittest

by Brian Appleby in CJD Blogger

Once again, a post on the evolutionary relevance of prions…  As many of you have likely heard, a recent paper in Science describing the evolutionary properties of prions has been published.  It’s importance is twofold: 1) the basic understanding that natural selection may extend beyond the genetic code, and 2) important considerations in the development of treatments for prion diseases. The manuscript describes several experiments in which cloned prion strains developed heterogene........ Read more »

Li, J., Browning, S., Mahal, S., Oelschlegel, A., & Weissmann, C. (2009) Darwinian Evolution of Prions in Cell Culture. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1183218  

  • January 2, 2010
  • 12:40 PM
  • 1,360 views

Out of place oak is 13 thousand years old

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

One of the world's oldest plants turns out to be a 13,000 year-old scrub oak (Ouercus palmeri, or Palmer's Oak) in Southern California. Apparently this tree has survived for so long, despite the fact that it was born in the ice age and there have been numerous climate changes since then, by cloning itself, hiding in a crevice, being small, and growing slowly. Luck was involved as well, almost certainly. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • January 2, 2010
  • 09:51 AM
  • 1,012 views

"Cortical Stimulation" for Depression

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

The last decade saw a number of new experimental treatments for depression based around the idea of using electricity to alter brain function - deep brain stimulation (DBS), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).The mechanics of these technologies differ, but they're all being promoted as options for "treatment-resistant depression" - depression which hasn't responded to more conventional approaches. They're also alike in that their usefulness is uncertain - ........ Read more »

Nahas, Z., Anderson, B., Borckardt, J., Arana, A., George, M., Reeves, S., & Takacs, I. (2010) Bilateral Epidural Prefrontal Cortical Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression. Biological Psychiatry, 67(2), 101-109. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.08.021  

  • January 2, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,041 views

More on Korean linguistic exports

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move



Not only is Korean an increasingly popular choice of study as a foreign language, now South Korea is also promoting the use of the Hangul script to write languages other than Korean – that is according to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, AlertNet, the Language Museum Blog, the Language Log and many others. [...]... Read more »

Mühlhäusler, Peter. (1996) Linguistic ecology: language change and linguistic imperialism in the Pacific region. Routledge. info:/

Pennycook, A., & Coutand-Marin, S. (2003) Teaching English as a Missionary Language. Discourse, 24(3), 337-353. DOI: 10.1080/0159630032000172524  

  • January 2, 2010
  • 01:48 AM
  • 2,105 views

how to speak your mind, literally.

by Greg Fish in weird things

Talking brains have been a staple of science fiction and comic books, usually taking the role of villains using their considerable intellect to destroy or conquer the world and implying that nerds with access to money and weapons can be really dangerous. The Brain from the DC Comics’ series Doom Patrol was essentially a raw [...]... Read more »

Guenther, F., Brumberg, J., Wright, E., Nieto-Castanon, A., Tourville, J., Panko, M., Law, R., Siebert, S., Bartels, J., Andreasen, D.... (2009) A Wireless Brain-Machine Interface for Real-Time Speech Synthesis. PLoS ONE, 4(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008218  

  • January 1, 2010
  • 05:00 PM
  • 1,187 views

Benedict Wand on Brain Changes in Chronic Pain

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

It now seems clear that the brain changes in patients with chronic pain problems. However, this is probably where the consensus ends as there is still much that remains unclear and speculative in this area. This elegant study by Rodriguez-Raecke and colleagues from the University of Hamburg (abstract at the end of this article) investigate [...]... Read more »

Benedict Wand. (2009) Benedict Wand on Brain Changes in Chronic Pain. BodyInMind. info:other/

  • January 1, 2010
  • 04:34 PM
  • 614 views

On Display

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Yesterday I went with my mom and my sister on the RailRunner to Santa Fe to check out the New Mexico History Museum, behind the Palace of the Governors.  It was the first time any of us had either taken the train or seen the museum, which just opened in 2009, and we were very [...]... Read more »

  • January 1, 2010
  • 02:51 PM
  • 740 views

2009’s Top Threat To Science In Medicine

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Science-Based Medicine, has a post by Dr. Val Jones - 2009’s Top 5 Threats To Science In Medicine.I do not disagree with the list except, and what would one of my posts be without an except, the number one threat to science in medicine is much more of a problem. Our science education in grade school is where we fail our children. Before they even become adults, they are exposed to all sorts of magical thinking.Full moons, speaking about something bad increasing the chances it will occur (a jin........ Read more »

  • January 1, 2010
  • 02:50 PM
  • 704 views

An Update on Medical Bioremediation in the Latest Rejuvenation Research

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Bioremediation is the process of using plants and microorganisms (or aspects of their biochemistry) to restore a damaged or polluted environment. Medical bioremediation applies this same philosophy to the aging body - many aspects of aging can be thought of as having roots in damage and pollution at the level of our cells and cellular machinery. For example, as we grow older, the garbage removal and recycling functions in our cells are increasingly hampered by a buildup of metabolic byproducts a........ Read more »

Schloendorn, J., Webb, T., Kemmish, K., Hamalainen, M., Jackemeyer, D., Jiang, L., Mathieu, J., Rebo, J., Sankman, J., Sherman, L.... (2009) Medical Bioremediation: A Concept Moving Toward Reality. Rejuvenation Research, 12(6), 411-419. DOI: 10.1089/rej.2009.0917  

  • January 1, 2010
  • 02:45 PM
  • 1,466 views

8 streams reversing

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous



On the 8th day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 8 streams reversing...

Wind gaps are fossil rivers: water once flowed through these valleys, but now that water has been diverted to flow elsewhere.

Wind Gap in Wheeler Ridge, California. Source (HT to my co-blogger Anne)

Each of the triangles on the drainage map of northern California (from a 2006 paper by Lock et al.) below marks a wind gap that occurs mid-way along a continuous north-south trending channel.

Figure 4 of Lock et al. ........ Read more »

  • January 1, 2010
  • 11:55 AM
  • 597 views

Plants to People: the Swift Tempo of Spontaneous Mutation

by Johnny in Ecographica

Research published today... tediously analyzing the genomes from multiple generations of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, scientists from the Max Planck... Sanger scientists published work in which the rate of mutation in humans was estimated at around...... Read more »

Ossowski, S., Schneeberger, K., Lucas-Lledo, J., Warthmann, N., Clark, R., Shaw, R., Weigel, D., & Lynch, M. (2009) The Rate and Molecular Spectrum of Spontaneous Mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana. Science, 327(5961), 92-94. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180677  

  • December 31, 2009
  • 04:41 PM
  • 761 views

Hiding in plain sight: The caterpillar masquerade

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

A short paper in Science offers a new take on camouflage. Usually, we think of camouflage as making an animal hard to detect in the first place. Another possibility, though, is that you can be perfectly visible, but not recognized as the thing you actually are.

Skelhorn and company tested this by taking a couple of different species of caterpillars that seem to mimic twigs (Opisthograptis luteolata is pictured). They exposed chicks (caterpillar predators) to hawthorn branches, which caterpillar........ Read more »

Skelhorn, J., Rowland, H., Speed, M., & Ruxton, G. (2009) Masquerade: Camouflage Without Crypsis. Science, 327(5961), 51-51. DOI: 10.1126/science.1181931  

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