Here's a brain-scanning study with a difference. Most such tudies try to work out which parts of the brain are activated when people have religious thoughts. This new one looks at whether religious people have more or fewer nerve cells in different parts of their brains.It's by the team lead by Jordan Grafman that published a study earlier in the year on brain activation. This latest study uses data from the same brain scans.Basically, the deal is that they boiled their subjects' religious belie........ Read more »
A new study looks at wetland recovery on formerly reclaimed agricultural lands once farming practices are abandoned and the levees are breached...... Read more »
MacDonald, G., Noel, P., Proosdij, D., & Chmura, G. (2009) The Legacy of Agricultural Reclamation on Channel and Pool Networks of Bay of Fundy Salt Marshes. Estuaries and Coasts. DOI: 10.1007/s12237-009-9222-4
The appendix has long been considered a useless, vestigial organ, primarily based on the fact that it can be removed with no visibly harmful effects on the appendectomy recipient and that it is rather susceptible to severe inflammation. In fact, many theories have been proposed for its ancient purpose, ranging from being a place to allow plant matter to ferment to being a locale for crushed bones to be dissolved.
However, recent evidence posits that the appendix plays a crucial role in mainta........ Read more »
Smith HF, Fisher RE, Everett ML, Thomas AD, Bollinger RR, & Parker W. (2009) Comparative anatomy and phylogenetic distribution of the mammalian cecal appendix. Journal of evolutionary biology, 22(10), 1984-99. PMID: 19678866
Searching the archives of the BBC, Daily Mail or Guardian returns hundreds of results for date rape drugs, such as Rohypnol. Figures from Google Trends show that search volume for 'date rape drugs' or more specific terms like 'Rohypnol' has decreased since 2004, but remains high. Up and down the country, many people are convinced they have been a victim of date rape drugs, their fears fuelled by media scare stories and alarming reports from the usually sensible ACMD.
So it's a........ Read more »
Burgess, A., Donovan, P., & Moore, S. (2009) Embodying Uncertainty?: Understanding Heightened Risk Perception of Drink 'Spiking'. British Journal of Criminology, 49(6), 848-862. DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azp049
The emergence of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)-resistant 2009 H1N1 influenza virus in a Canadian family illustrates the basic concept that viral loads depend on the dose of antiviral drug.... Read more »
Baz M, Abed Y, Papenburg J, Bouhy X, Hamelin ME, & Boivin G. (2009) Emergence of Oseltamivir-Resistant Pandemic H1N1 Virus during Prophylaxis. The New England journal of medicine. PMID: 19907034
My friend Lauredhel, at the Hoyden About Town blog, made an interesting point about risk factors for swine-origin influenza virus (SOIV), and the perception of those risk factors in the press. The press has made a big deal of the putative link between obesity and risk of severe SOIV. But, as she pointed out back [...]... Read more »
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2009) Hospitalized patients with novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection - California, April-May, 2009. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 58(19), 536-41. PMID: 19478723
Justin T Denholm, Claire L Gordon, Paul D Johnson, Saliya S Hewagama, Rhonda L Stuart, Craig Aboltins, Cameron Jeremiah, James Knox, Garry P Lane, Adrian R Tramontana.... (2010) Hospitalised adult patients with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in Melbourne, Australia. The Medical Journal of Australia, 1-3. info:/
Louie JK, Acosta M, Winter K, Jean C, Gavali S, Schechter R, Vugia D, Harriman K, Matyas B, Glaser CA.... (2009) Factors associated with death or hospitalization due to pandemic 2009 influenza A(H1N1) infection in California. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 302(17), 1896-902. PMID: 19887665
New South Wales public health network. (2009) Progression and impact of the first winter wave of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza in New South Wales, Australia. Euro surveillance : bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles , 14(42). PMID: 19883546
A while back I wrote about the possible adaptive function of somnambulism or sleep-walking. Well...I've come up with yet another hypothesis addressing a behavior falling under the category of parasomnias. Somniloquy or sleep-talking happens during stages of NREM sleep, the time declarative memory (i.e. factual knowledge) is consolidated. This seemingly bizarre behavior typically occurs in childhood and is outgrown by puberty. Presentation can vary from rhythmic nonsense words to long coherent sp........ Read more »
Gais S, & Born J. (2004) Declarative memory consolidation: mechanisms acting during human sleep. Learning , 11(6), 679-85. PMID: 15576885
About chocolate craving:
Research suggests that up to 97% of women and 68% of men experience food cravings. Chocolate is the most common one of the craved foods, typically high calorie.
A number of situations have been shown to experimentally increase cravings of chocolate consumption. For example,chocolate abstinence, stress and exposure to chocolate cues increase urges to [...]
Related posts:Chocolate Craving Research suggests that up to 97% of women and...Chocolate Prize Yes I won a pri........ Read more »
Hormes, J., & Rozin, P. (2009) Perimenstrual chocolate craving. What happens after menopause?. Appetite, 53(2), 256-259. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.07.003
Adaptive plasticity is a predictor of future reproductive fitness. The ability of an organism to confront ever-shifting environmental attributes with resilience and flexibility is critical to maintaining lineages with the capacity to undergo the morphological and behavioral modifications required for continued survival. Irregardless if such elastic traits are realized through major swings in ontogenic development, or through the advent of novel life-history strategies, the ability of an organism........ Read more »
Joseph Grinnell. (1917) The Niche-Relationships of the California Thrasher. The Auk, 34(4), 427-433. info:/
NCCAM has funded, to the tune of half a million dollars, of study of magnets and carpal tunnel syndrome.... Read more »
Colbert, A., Wahbeh, H., Harling, N., Connelly, E., Schiffke, H., Forsten, C., Gregory, W., Markov, M., Souder, J., Elmer, P.... (2007) Static Magnetic Field Therapy: A Critical Review of Treatment Parameters. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6(2), 133-139. DOI: 10.1093/ecam/nem131
Studies of the biochemistry of calorie restriction (CR) in humans are being held in a number of research institutes in the US. So far, as expected, the beneficial biochemical changes caused by CR in humans look very much like the biochemical changes observed in mice, rats, and rhesus monkeys. That bodes well for a gain in human life span as a result of this practice, though at the present level of available biotechnology there is little option but to wait and see what the results will be on that........ Read more »
Fontana L, Klein S, & Holloszy JO. (2009) Effects of long-term calorie restriction and endurance exercise on glucose tolerance, insulin action, and adipokine production. Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands). PMID: 19904628
Do you hear the rumble in the background? That’s the Large Hadron Collider getting ready to smash particles and either seal the standard model of particle physics for the foreseeable future, or overturn much of what we know about quantum mechanics. And of course, once again people are asking whether black holes will form as [...]... Read more »
Roberto Casadio, et. al,. (2009) Theoretical survey of tidal-charged black holes at the LHC. arXiv. arXiv: 0911.1884v1
So, I wrote about defunding resources and briefly mentioned a paper in Database about funding (or ‘re’funding) databases and resources. I’d like to discuss this a bit further. The paper, by Chandras et. al, discusses how databases and, to use their term, Biological Resource Centers (BRCs) are to maintain financial viability.
Let me state first, I completely agree with their premise, that databases and resources have become imperative. The earlier model of “publication of ........ Read more »
Chandras, C., Weaver, T., Zouberakis, M., Smedley, D., Schughart, K., Rosenthal, N., Hancock, J., Kollias, G., Schofield, P., & Aidinis, V. (2009) Models for financial sustainability of biological databases and resources. Database. DOI: 10.1093/database/bap017
In the middle of a fight with your significant other, word choice is usually not foremost on your mind. But it should be, particularly if you’re a man, according to a new study in the journal Health Psychology – and not just to save your partner’s feelings.
In the heat of stressful conflict, your brain is commanding the release of a stress-chemical cocktail comprised of proteins called cytokines–produced by cells in the immune system to help the body mount an immune re........ Read more »
Graham JE, Glaser R, Loving TJ, Malarkey WB, Stowell JR, & Kiecolt-Glaser JK. (2009) Cognitive word use during marital conflict and increases in proinflammatory cytokines. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 28(5), 621-30. PMID: 19751089
I’m in two minds about attempting to regulate emotions. From ACT, and in particular, mindfulness, I’m learning that trying to control emotions and thoughts is darned near impossible – and unhelpful. From the research on the effect of pain on emotions and subsequently on self regulation, goals and coping, it seems that pain strongly [...]... Read more »
Hamilton, N., Karoly, P., & Kitzman, H. (2004) Self-Regulation and Chronic Pain:The Role of Emotion. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 28(5), 559-576. DOI: 10.1023/B:COTR.0000045565.88145.76
Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »
Galperin MY. (2005) A census of membrane-bound and intracellular signal transduction proteins in bacteria: bacterial IQ, extroverts and introverts. BMC microbiology, 35. PMID: 15955239
Ng, S., Buckingham, K., Lee, C., Bigham, A., Tabor, H., Dent, K., Huff, C., Shannon, P., Jabs, E., Nickerson, D.... (2009) Exome sequencing identifies the cause of a mendelian disorder. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.499
Sponges transform unused carbon into food for coral reefs
... Read more »
De Goeij, J., De Kluijver, A., Van Duyl, F., Vacelet, J., Wijffels, R., De Goeij, A., Cleutjens, J., & Schutte, B. (2009) Cell kinetics of the marine sponge Halisarca caerulea reveal rapid cell turnover and shedding. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212(23), 3892-3900. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.034561
Scientists from Australia have presented a tool for improving the success of reintroducing species for conservation.
The reintroduction of threatened and endangered species has emerged as a widespread method for reestablishing populations to stave of extinction. But unfortunately success rates of establishing self-sustaining populations are low - typically less than 50%.
... Read more »
Cook, C., Morgan, D., & Marshall, D. (2009) Reevaluating suitable habitat for reintroductions: lessons learnt from the eastern barred bandicoot recovery program. Animal Conservation. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00320.x
The word ‘microprocessor’ is generally used to designate VLSI and SLSI (Very/Super Large Scale Integrated circuits) devices which accept, decode and execute instructions presented in binary coded forms. They may be called the heart of the computer. RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer), on the other hand, is a type of microprocessor architecture that uses a simplified, yet highly-optimized set of instructions to deliver good performance. However, like ‘cell’ and ‘nucleus’, they too........ Read more »
Saumet, A., & Lecellier, C. (2006) Anti-viral RNA silencing: do we look like plants ?. Retrovirology, 3(1), 3. DOI: 10.1186/1742-4690-3-3
With Copenhagen on the horizon, is it time to check over the physics and chemistry behind the climate change debate? SciScoop has spoken to several scientists recently who would say so, some of whom consider the climate change debate nothing more than a hell-on-earth scenario to give governments a taxation stick with which to beat [...]... Read more »
Willett, K., Gillett, N., Jones, P., & Thorne, P. (2007) Attribution of observed surface humidity changes to human influence. Nature, 449(7163), 710-712. DOI: 10.1038/nature06207
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