Post List

  • July 22, 2010
  • 04:18 PM
  • 870 views

The Media Noose: Copycat Suicides and Social Learning

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0

I always remember 2008 as the year when the entire UK media descended upon the former mining town of Bridgend. The reason: over the course of two years, 24 young people, most of whom were between the ages of 13 and 17, decided to commit suicide. At the time I . . . → Read More: The Media Noose: Copycat Suicides and Social Learning... Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 04:10 PM
  • 737 views

Recruitment variation and the benthos - connected or not?

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

For years, the "supply-side" ecology has been a common theme describing mechanisms for benthic species distributions and densities. In general terms, the amount and extent of a particular organism is driven by the supply of larvae to a given area. This larval supply can thus be seen as driving benthic community structure, especially for marine invertebrates - as their life cycles contain a planktonic larval stage which allows for dispersal over relatively long distances. Thus, many of these p........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 03:16 PM
  • 1,986 views

Mapping the cosmos: Can a new technique help us learn more about dark energy?

by Kelly Oakes in Basic Space

In a paper published in Nature today, physicists detail a new method of looking at faraway galaxies that may help shed light on dark energy. In order to learn more about dark energy – the mysterious force that is believed to be responsible for the ever increasing rate of expansion of the Universe – astronomers [...]... Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 01:55 PM
  • 977 views

Want to Play It Safe? Have a Cheeseburger

by David Berreby in Mind Matters


Sometimes it seems that everyone has abandoned the notion that rational self-interest drives people's decisions. It's high time for some answers to the next obvious question: If Reason doesn't rule the mental roost, then what does govern people's approach to buying, selling, voting, marrying, hiring and other choices? Last month, this study suggested that part of the answer is, simply, food. People who are hungry, it found, make different financial decisions than people who've recentl........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 01:21 PM
  • 1,294 views

Y Chromosome III: Evolutionary Strata!

by Kele in Kele's Science Blog

The primary model for Y-chromosome degeneration is a decrease in X-Y recombination. Because and X and Y chromosomes are not kept the same by swapping DNA segments with each other, but the X can still recombine with itself in females, the Y chromosome is allowed to degenerate. We will discuss how this all works next [...]... Read more »

Lahn BT, & Page DC. (1999) Four evolutionary strata on the human X chromosome. Science (New York, N.Y.), 286(5441), 964-7. PMID: 10542153  

Ross, M.T., D.V. Grafham, A.J. Coffey, R.A. Gibbs, S. Beck, J. Rogers, D.R. Bentley, & et al. (2005) The DNA sequence of the human X chromosome. Nature, 325-337. info:/10.1038/nature03440

Skaletsky H, Kuroda-Kawaguchi T, Repping S, Wilson RK, Rozen S, Page DC, & et al. (2003) The male-specific region of the human Y chromosome is a mosaic of discrete sequence classes. Nature, 423(6942), 825-37. PMID: 12815422  

  • July 22, 2010
  • 12:31 PM
  • 1,513 views

Hormones - what are they really? upper level managers for the body's state.

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)


What do you think of when someone says Hormones? Maybe muscle oriented folks think about testosterone. Women tending towards a certain age think about estrogen. Athletes may think about adrenelein. Diet conscious may think about Insulin. Someone totally stressed may not know what to think about but that's epinepherine and cortisol. In the sesame street way of what goes together, all of these are... Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 12:30 PM
  • 2,303 views

Why Do Some Like It Hot?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Why do some like what hot? Well, peanuts, of course. What did you think I was talking about? Peanuts, and really, all sorts of spicy foods. Why do some people like and prefer spicy foods to the point where they consume mouth scorching dishes—and ask for more? This was the question posed to me by a coworker recently, as he reached helplessly for the can of spicy peanuts sitting in the communal

... Read more »

Rozin, P. (1997) Why We Eat What We Eat, and Why We Worry about It. Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 50(5), 26. DOI: 10.2307/3824612  

  • July 22, 2010
  • 11:27 AM
  • 480 views

Bargaining — and Anger — Across Cultures

by Alan Morantz in Leading Thoughts

It may disappoint you to read this but anger has a productive role in negotiations. Empirical studies (such as those by Sinaceur and Tiedens in 2006) have shown that expressing anger induces larger concessions when negotiating with another party. Angry negotiators are perceived to be tougher and to have higher “reservation prices” (higher standards for [...]Post from: LEADING THOUGHTSBargaining — and Anger — Across Cultures
... Read more »

Hajo Adam, Aiwa Shirako, & William W. Maddux. (2010) Cultural Variance in the Interpersonal Effects of Anger in Negotiations. Psychological Science, 21(6), 882-889. info:/10.1177/0956797610370755

  • July 22, 2010
  • 11:05 AM
  • 569 views

Zapping Memories Away

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Imagine you're about to have to do something horrible or embarrasing, like say, admitting that you read Neuroskeptic. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to switch off your memory for a while, so you at least didn't have to remember it?Well, now you can, as long as you have electrodes implanted in your brain. Lacruz et al, based at London's Institute of Psychiatry, report that Single pulse electrical stimulation of the hippocampus is sufficient to impair human episodic memory.They took 12 people who ........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 10:40 AM
  • 636 views

New Study Says Torosaurus=Triceratops

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking


Late last year paleontologists Jack Horner and Mark Goodwin made waves by proposing that what had previously been thought to be two distinct genera of “bone-headed” dinosaurs—Stygimoloch and Dracorex—were really just growth stages of Pachycephalosaurus. Together the three body types illustrated how the skull of this peculiar dinosaur was reshaped as it grew—juveniles did not [...]... Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 10:37 AM
  • 1,044 views

Bedeviled Tasmanian devils

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

Wild Muse just perused the latest issue of Conservation Biology and went foraging for substantive research to post about… Hold on tight because we are going to Tasmania. To the Forestier peninsula in southeastern Tasmania, to be exact – where Tasmanian devils are pinned down by a catastrophic disease. Unfortunately, it will not be all fun [...]... Read more »

Lachish S, McCallum H, Mann D, Pukk CE, & Jones ME. (2010) Evaluation of selective culling of infected individuals to control tasmanian devil facial tumor disease. Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology, 24(3), 841-51. PMID: 20088958  

  • July 22, 2010
  • 10:21 AM
  • 962 views

Quorum Sensing and Biofilms

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Although bacteria live as isolated cells, they are constantly communicating with surrounding bacteria, particularly those of the same species, which can often band together to form large groups of bacteria surrounded by a sticky mesh. These are known as biofilms (which I cover in more detail here). One of the main ways that bacteria communicate with each other in order to organise structures like this is by quorum sensing.Quorum sensing uses small molecules that bacteria can both excrete and sen........ Read more »

Nadell CD, Xavier JB, Levin SA, & Foster KR. (2008) The evolution of quorum sensing in bacterial biofilms. PLoS biology, 6(1). PMID: 18232735  

  • July 22, 2010
  • 10:20 AM
  • 1,014 views

Dogs and Adaption to Humans

by Mike in Mike the Mad Biologist


In a good post about puppy mills, Amanda Marcotte made a good point about domesticated versus undomesticated pets (italics mine):

This would probably mean that people couldn't get exotic pets, and that isn't really the sort of thing that would keep me up at night, either. I understand the urge to have something like a pet ferret, but like with smoking, it's an understandable urge that probably is best not indulged. Cats and dogs evolved to be our pets and want nothing more than to be our pet........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 09:15 AM
  • 1,706 views

Feeling blue, seeing gray: Reduced contrast sensitivity as a marker for depression

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

DEPRESSION has long been associated with vision - and to colour perception in particular - and the link between them is evident in everyday language. Depression is, of course, often referred to as "feeling blue", and those who suffer from it are sometimes told to "lighten up". The link can be found in art, too - Picasso's so-called "Blue Period", for example, which was brought on by the suicide of his close friend Carlos Casagemas, is characterised by a series of striking paintings in shades of ........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 08:33 AM
  • 814 views

the psychological reality of truthiness?

by Chris in The Lousy Linguist

New research out of U. Chicago looked at the effect of foreign accents on trust. The brief Flash Report Why don't we believe non-native speakers? (PDF; full citation below) found that "People judged trivia statements such as “Ants don't sleep” as less true when spoken by a non-native than a native speaker." There's a cline of truthiness because the researchers did the following: "Participants listened to each statement and indicated its veracity on a 14 cm line, with one pole label........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 08:30 AM
  • 754 views

Caffeine in coffee, an inconsistent “fix”

by Colby in nutsci.org

I have often wondered why, when buying coffee from the same establishment on different days, or the same size from different establishments- they do not have an equal effect on my subjective alertness.  It probably has a lot to do … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 783 views

Menopause as an evolutionary strategy.

by EcoPhysioMichelle in C6-H12-O6 (old)

Okay, this blog is going to get to the core of a topic I find insanely interesting, which is the fact that humans generally live a long, loooong time past their reproductive years. I mean yeah, men can keep churning out the sperm in their old age, but women can sometimes live twice as long [...]... Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 616 views

What did you expect?

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Hands-up who thinks a patient’s expectations influence how well they do in treatment? Nearly everyone? That’s no surprise. Research recently published by a group in the US reported on the relationship between expectation and outcome in a sample of back pain patients receiving physiotherapy. ... Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,011 views

Drugs in the water affecting crustaceans’s precious bodily fluids?

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

You shouldn’t be able to call a species anything you want.

Yes, biologists switched to using Latin names for species because we recognized that common names were too variable and imprecise. Still, that doesn’t mean that common names are infinitely flexible.

A crustacean story has been making the rounds in the news, and alas, the news stories are often botching the basics. I wish I could be surprised. News stories based on journal articles seem to be a never ending well of things to correct........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2010
  • 03:34 AM
  • 746 views

Disease as a byproduct of adaptation

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

How we perceive nature and describe its shape are a matter of values and preferences. Nature does not take notice of our distinctions; they exist only as instruments which aid in our comprehension. I’ve brought this up in relation to issues such as categorization of recessive vs. dominant traits. The offspring of people of [...]... Read more »

Giulio Genovese, David J. Friedman, Michael D. Ross, Laurence Lecordier, Pierrick Uzureau, Barry I. Freedman, Donald W. Bowden, Carl D. Langefeld, Taras K. Oleksyk, Andrea Uscinski Knob.... (2010) Association of Trypanolytic ApoL1 Variants with Kidney Disease in African-Americans. Science. info:/10.1126/science.1193032

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