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  • April 15, 2010
  • 07:46 AM
  • 859 views

Our own little Open Science project: Buridan's paradigm

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

On FriendFeed, Open Science is a frequent discussion topic and I also get the impression that the scientific community at large is starting to pay more and more attention to the principles of Open Science, possibly in the wake of the Open Access movement.As a proponent of Open Science, I've always had a bad conscience that my own contribution to the movement was so ridiculously small: I just tell everybody about my results here on my blog. Most of my data is acquired in a proprietary format (ha........ Read more »

Karl Götz. (1980) Visual guidance in Drosophila. Basic Life Sci, 391-407. info:/

Neuser, K., Triphan, T., Mronz, M., Poeck, B., & Strauss, R. (2008) Analysis of a spatial orientation memory in Drosophila. Nature, 453(7199), 1244-1247. DOI: 10.1038/nature07003  

  • April 15, 2010
  • 07:06 AM
  • 1,493 views

What Is Beauty? Your Kids' Newest Art Critic

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Do animals create art? So far, this seems a uniquely human ability.

But do animals have a sense of the aesthetically pleasing? What about the ability to judge and critique art? Can an animal decide if a given work of art is beautiful or ugly? What is beauty in the first place? All good questions.

Shigeru Watanabe of Keio University in Tokyo wanted to investigate the questions, with pigeons. Did he introduce them to the works of Picasso? Or Rembrandt? Romero Britto? No. He used art created by ........ Read more »

  • April 15, 2010
  • 06:15 AM
  • 1,143 views

Living in the future: Mouse TcR clones

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space







T cell receptor (top) interacting with MHC



It would be nice if I could claim that advances in biology are driven by pure intellectual processes, by hermits on mountaintops achieving new theories through mediation and  deep, pure thoughts. Of course, that’s not the case.  I think its fair to say that many, if not most, of [...]... Read more »

  • April 15, 2010
  • 06:07 AM
  • 1,253 views

Ancient Snake Dined on Dinos

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

↑ Click to enlarge image

A fossil unearthed from a remote corner of western India reads like an ancient crime scene. The fossil depicts a dinosaur nest containing two unhatched dinosaur eggs and the broken pieces of shell from a third egg. Next to the shattered shell lies the remains of a hatchling dinosaur. The fossil also features the remnants of a rather more sinister creature: an ancient snake lies coiled around the broken egg, as if caught in the act of raiding the nest.

The fossil........ Read more »

  • April 15, 2010
  • 05:36 AM
  • 658 views

Harsh Attitudes of Child Protection Workers

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Douglas and Walsh (2010) paint a not so pretty picture of what child protection workers think about their clients, particularly those battered mothers entangled in what are usually, extraordinarily complicated dynamics. The authors suggest several possible improvements, including better worker supervision, tougher police interventions, and more holistic service delivery for victims and their children.

... Read more »

Douglas, H., & Walsh, T. (2010) Mothers, Domestic Violence, and Child Protection. Violence Against Women, 16(5), 489-508. DOI: 10.1177/1077801210365887  

  • April 15, 2010
  • 05:00 AM
  • 1,080 views

Breaking out of the zoo: study finds high risk of species escape

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Lax security at zoos is putting ecosystems at risk for invasion by exotic species according to a new study by researchers in Spain. Zoos already are the 2nd biggest contributor of exotic species invasions in Europe...... Read more »

  • April 15, 2010
  • 04:52 AM
  • 764 views

Don't start group discussions by sharing initial preferences

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When groups of people get together to make decisions, they often struggle to fulfil their potential. Part of the reason is that they tend to spend more time talking about information that everyone shares rather than learning fresh insights from each other. In a forthcoming paper, Andreas Mojzisch and Stefan Schulz-Hardt have uncovered a new reason groups so often make sub-optimal decisions. The researchers show that when a group of people begin a discussion by sharing their initial preferences, ........ Read more »

Andreas Mojzisch, & Stefan Schulz-Hardt. (2010) Knowing others' preferences degrades the quality of group decisions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/

  • April 15, 2010
  • 02:21 AM
  • 2,038 views

Online Trust and it’s Antecedents

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD


We’ve discussed the use of online shopping and gender previously. Especially women are skeptical towards online shopping, they tend to fear risks and threats associated with online shopping. The acceptance of online transactions depend on the perceived risks involved, the technology used for the online transactions and the organizations as the other parties in the [...]


Related posts:Women Online Shopping: Shop Until You Drop?
Finding Credible Health Information Online: MedLibs Round 1......... Read more »

  • April 15, 2010
  • 01:05 AM
  • 795 views

An interview with the creator of BioTorrents

by Morgan Langille in Beta Science

Who better to interview the creator of BioTorrents than the creator himself? :)Interviewer: So Morgan, your article entitled “BioTorrents: A File Sharing Service for Scientific Data” was published today in PLoS One. BioTorrents uses the popular peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, BitTorrent, to allow scientists to rapidly share their results, datasets, and software. Where did this idea come from?Morgan: Well about 6 months ago I was downloading some genome files from NCBI's FTP site and was ........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 11:14 PM
  • 704 views

My favorite ecosystem service: protein transport

by Paul Spraycar in Beyond Climate Change

Unbeknownst to them, the salmon of western North America achieve a significant feat in their annual upstream pilgrimage. In their selfish quest to return to their native spawning grounds, the salmon ‘transport’ millions of tons of biomass – protein – hundreds of miles inland, for the benefit of wolves and other creatures.Indeed, it appears the wolves of Denali National Park in Alaska rely on salmon, enabling them to live in places where large terrestrial prey is not abundant.This conclus........ Read more »

Adams, L., Farley, S., Stricker, C., Demma, D., Roffler, G., Miller, D., & Rye, R. (2010) Are inland wolf–ungulate systems influenced by marine subsidies of Pacific salmon?. Ecological Applications, 20(1), 251-262. DOI: 10.1890/08-1437.1  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 09:45 PM
  • 1,240 views

Bad mutations are good for you

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

Bonus: homemade video included!

Years ago I was vexed by creationists claiming that because most mutations (that aren't neutral) are deleterious, and only few are beneficial, then evolution cannot happen, because for every beneficial mutation there are many deleterious, thus, goes the inference, making adaptation impossible. (See GLOSSARY OF EVOLUTION below.) This understanding totally ignores selection, and the fact that not all individuals would be hit by deleterious mutations. And eve........ Read more »

Weinreich DM, Delaney NF, Depristo MA, & Hartl DL. (2006) Darwinian evolution can follow only very few mutational paths to fitter proteins. Science (New York, N.Y.), 312(5770), 111-4. PMID: 16601193  

Ortlund EA, Bridgham JT, Redinbo MR, & Thornton JW. (2007) Crystal structure of an ancient protein: evolution by conformational epistasis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 317(5844), 1544-8. PMID: 17702911  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 06:44 PM
  • 1,363 views

What do Tyra Banks and Great Bustards (Otis tarda) have in common?

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Ok I’ll admit, ‘America’s Next Top Model’ is a guilty pleasure of mine.  If I’ve learned anything from the gospel of ANTM, it’s that you need to ‘find the light’ in order to obtain a prize-winning picture.  So what about the rest of the animal kingdom?  Are Homo sapiens (led by the fierce Tyra Banks) [...]... Read more »

Olea, P., Casas, F., Redpath, S., & Viñuela, J. (2010) Bottoms up: great bustards use the sun to maximise signal efficacy. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 64(6), 927-937. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-010-0908-1  

Dakin, R., & Montgomerie, R. (2009) Peacocks orient their courtship displays towards the sun. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 63(6), 825-834. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-009-0717-6  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 04:57 PM
  • 968 views

Can diet be used to control high blood pressure long-term?

by Dave in The Daily Monthly

Do a search for “high blood pressure” or “hypertension” and you’ll find that nearly every health website recommends the DASH diet to control blood pressure. It makes some sense: If sodium and saturated fat cause high blood pressure, then removing them from your diet should make it come back down.
But changing your eating habits is [...]... Read more »

Fung, T., Chiuve, S., McCullough, M., Rexrode, K., Logroscino, G., & Hu, F. (2008) Adherence to a DASH-Style Diet and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke in Women. Archives of Internal Medicine, 168(7), 713-720. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.168.7.713  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 04:35 PM
  • 1,241 views

Brain Neurocircuitry in Depression

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

This is the second in a series of three posts from my notes at the NARSAD Healthy Minds Across American 2010 symposium in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and OU-Tulsa President Dr. Gerry Clancy served as host for the event. Following a presentation by Dr. Helen Mayberg from Emory University (notes here), Dr. Wayne Drevets presented a review of neurocircuitry in depression.Dr. Drevets has been a leader in neuroimaging research in mood disorders. His studies have included usin........ Read more »

Price JL, & Drevets WC. (2010) Neurocircuitry of mood disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(1), 192-216. PMID: 19693001  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 03:34 PM
  • 475 views

An inordinate fondness for (loser) beetles (that can facultatively adjust ejaculate volumes)

by Beast Ape in Beast Ape and the Bleeding Heart Baboons


“If the Creator, if He exists, has an inordinate fondness for beetles.”
-attributed to J.B.S. Haldane
One of the first principles of sexual selection theory is that males compete with each other for fertilization opportunities with females. Individuals of one sex ’struggle for possession’ of members of the other sex. Females that are ready, willing, and able [...]... Read more »

Okada K, Yamane T, & Miyatake T. (2010) Ejaculatory strategies associated with experience of losing. Biology Letters. info:/10.1098/rsbl.2010.0225

  • April 14, 2010
  • 01:28 PM
  • 1,719 views

Teaching a quoll that cane toads are bad

by Marc Cadotte in The EEB and flow

Often, species become endangered because of multiple stressors, with habitat destruction taking the prize as the most egregious. However, often what pushes a species into extinction is not the main driver of endangerment. For example, passenger pigeon numbers were decimated by unabated hunting, but the proximate cause of extinction was likely an inability to thrive in low densities. Yet, seldom is the case where a known single species interaction is the primary cause of engangerment and maybe ex........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 12:22 PM
  • 984 views

The Brain That Can't Do Bigotry

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

A rapidly forming stereotype about autistic people is that they can't use stereotypes. In the words of this site about kids with Asperger's Syndrome, for instance, "they are usually free from sexism or racism." Scientific tests suggest that this is false—another example of stereotypes revealing more about the fears and hopes of stereotypers than they do about the stereotypees. "Seeing everyone as an individual" is an American ideal (so strong that children pretend not to see race), so we'r........ Read more »

Milne, Elizabeth, & Grafman, Jordan. (2001) Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions in Humans Eliminate Implicit Gender Stereotyping . The Journal of Neuroscience, 21(RC 150), 1-6. info:/11404442

  • April 14, 2010
  • 12:00 PM
  • 769 views

Transcriptional Rewiring in Yeast

by Victor Hanson-Smith in Evolution, Development, and Genomics

Consider this 2006 Nature paper from Alexander Johnson’s lab. The story here is that transcriptional regulation of S. cerevisiae (i.e. yeast) mating genes has been handed-off from activation by the MATa gene to repression by the MAT-alpha gene. This is interesting because despite significant transcriptional rewiring, the logical output (the expression of mating genes) remained the same.... Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 10:48 AM
  • 729 views

Two views of brain function: Reflexive/reactive or Intrinsic/proactive?

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap






Image via Wikipedia



Marcus Raichle, who had initially discovered the default brain network, has a new review article in TICS, that argues that brain activity should be understood as primarily an intrinsic and proactive process rather than a reflexive or reactive process.
He bases this argument on the fact that resting brain consumes 20 % of body’s More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)


Related posts:The right brain/ left brain asymmetry debate Over at the Health Information blog........ Read more »

M. Raichle. (2010) Two Views of Brain function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.01.008  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 09:49 AM
  • 1,154 views

Impaired or improved driving in abstinent Ecstasy users?

by DrugMonkey in DrugMonkey

A recent paper set out to examine automobile driving skills in people who had previously used Ecstasy (presumptively 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA) but were currently not using. Dastrup and colleagues (2010) used a driving simulator task in which the job was to maintain a set distance behind a lead vehicle (LV) displayed on the computer screen. The job was to stay abut two car lengths (given as 18 meters) behind the LV while accelerating to 55mph. My Google U conversion calculation m........ Read more »

Dastrup, E., Lees, M., Bechara, A., Dawson, J., & Rizzo, M. (2010) Risky car following in abstinent users of MDMA. Accident Analysis , 42(3), 867-873. DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.04.015  

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