Post List

  • March 12, 2010
  • 12:59 PM

Gender-Bending Chickens: Mixed, Not Scrambled

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: evolution, evolutionary biology, gynandromorph, bilateral gynandromorph bird, half-sider, mixed-sex chimaera, sex determination, molecular biology, genetics, developmental biology, endocrinology, birds, chicken, Gallus gallus, ornithology,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper, journal club


Almost exactly one year ago, hundreds of American birders
were thrilled by sightings and photographs of this remarkable
Northern Cardinal, or Redbird, Cardinali........ Read more »

Zhao, D., McBride, D., Nandi, S., McQueen, H., McGrew, M., Hocking, P., Lewis, P., Sang, H., & Clinton, M. (2010) Somatic sex identity is cell autonomous in the chicken. Nature, 464(7286), 237-242. DOI: 10.1038/nature08852  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 12:43 PM

Advertisers are coming . . . with SOUND research

by agoldstein in WiSci

Advertisers research our auditory capacity to be influenced.... Read more »

Knutson, B., Rick, S., Wimmer, G., Prelec, D., & Loewenstein, G. (2007) Neural Predictors of Purchases. Neuron, 53(1), 147-156. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2006.11.010  

Plassmann, H., O'Doherty, J., Shiv, B., & Rangel, A. (2008) Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(3), 1050-1054. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0706929105  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 12:05 PM

Google Adds Cycling Routes to Their Maps!

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Regular readers of Obesity Panacea will know that I am a huge fan of active transportation (e.g. walking or cycling to work, rather than commuting by vehicle). I just can't say enough good things about it. It often takes about the same amount of time as commuting by vehicle, plus it ensures that you're getting at least some physical activity on even the busiest days. Even just taking transit instead of driving yourself increases your chances of meeting the daily physical activity gu........ Read more »

Wilkinson, P., Smith, K., Davies, M., Adair, H., Armstrong, B., Barrett, M., Bruce, N., Haines, A., Hamilton, I., & Oreszczyn, T. (2009) Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: household energy. The Lancet, 374(9705), 1917-1929. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61713-X  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

The (empirical) rule of 8%

by Pablo Artal in Optics confidential

Some advice on how to deal with students and postdocs...... Read more »

Perez, G., Archer, S., & Artal, P. (2009) Optical Characterization of Bangerter Foils. Investigative Ophthalmology , 51(1), 609-613. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.09-3726  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 11:22 AM

Your Friday Dose of Weird: Two new Cambrian critters

by Laelaps in Laelaps

When it comes to aliens, Hollywood really does not have much imagination. Most extraterrestrials that have appeared on the big screen look very much like us, or are at least some kind of four-to-six-limbed vertebrate, and this says more about out own vanity than anything else. It would be far more interesting, I think, to take the weird and wonderful organisms of the Cambrian as inspiration for alien life forms, and two new critters have just been added to the odd Cambrian menagerie. Read the ........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

Incisivosaurus, a Dinosaur With an Overbite

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Over and over again the same dinosaurs show up in the news: Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Apatosaurus, Velociraptor, etc., etc., etc. Movies, books and television have made them into superstars, but we should not forget that these dinosaurs represent only a small part of the range of dinosaur diversity. There are many kinds of dinosaurs many people [...]... Read more »

Xu, X., Cheng, Y., Wang, X., & Chang, C. (2002) An unusual oviraptorosaurian dinosaur from China. Nature, 419(6904), 291-293. DOI: 10.1038/nature00966  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 09:50 AM

Obstinately Overprotecting Odin

by Katie Hill in Promega Connections

I woke up this morning and worried about my 2 year-old son, Odin.  Is he eating enough leafy greens?  Is he socializing well with others? Is this demanding and snarky attitude he is newly exhibiting a permanent part of his personality? Will ramming his head into the table while playing soccer in the house prevent [...]... Read more »

Narita, K., Takei, Y., Suda, M., Aoyama, Y., Uehara, T., Kosaka, H., Amanuma, M., Fukuda, M., & Mikuni, M. (2010) Relationship of parental bonding styles with gray matter volume of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in young adults. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2010.02.025  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 08:32 AM

It’s not easy to make the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus a killer

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The second RNA segment of some influenza virus strains encodes a protein called PB1-F2 that might contribute to virulence. Speaking about the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain, Peter Palese noted that “If this virulence marker is necessary for an influenza virus to become highly pathogenic in humans or in chickens, then the current swine virus doesn’t [...]... Read more »

Hai, R., Schmolke, M., Varga, Z., Manicassamy, B., Wang, T., Belser, J., Pearce, M., Garcia-Sastre, A., Tumpey, T., & Palese, P. (2010) PB1-F2 expression by the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus has minimal impact on virulence in animal models. Journal of Virology. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02717-09  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 07:51 AM

Wired for Music

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

Music has a bizarre power to engage and affect us – to move us emotionally or literally, whether it’s foot-tapping, finger-drumming or booty-shaking.  It seems to have properties that make it automatically and powerfully salient for human beings.  An obvious question is whether this reflects some innate properties of the human brain or whether it emerges over time due to experience with types of music.  Put another way, does the brain shape the music or the other way around?........ Read more »

Perani, D., Saccuman, M., Scifo, P., Spada, D., Andreolli, G., Rovelli, R., Baldoli, C., & Koelsch, S. (2010) Functional specializations for music processing in the human newborn brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(10), 4758-4763. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909074107  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Deep Brain Stimulation – A New Frontier in Psychiatry

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

For as long as the brain has been seen as the site of mental activity, it has followed that altering brain function should be implemented to treat mental illness. Second generation antidepressants and psychotherapy are currently the least invasive ways of affecting brain function but they leave too many patients only partially improved, and have [...]... Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 06:22 AM

Can the Theory of Planned Behavior Predict the Maintenance of Physical Activity?

by Armitage, C. in Exercise Psychology

The theory of planned behavior (TPB) has been applied to many areas of research in physical activity with varying degrees of success I would argue. This paper looks at the ability of TPB to predict participation in physical activity and explored the development of activity habits in a 12-week study. Gym members completed standard theory of planned behavior measures at baseline and follow-up. The author argues that the results showed that perceived behavioralcontrol was significantly predictive........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 06:14 AM

Yellow fever, stasis, and diversification

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

“Episode de la fièvre jaune”

By analyzing hepatitis C virus genome sequences, you can trace the virus’s history through its spread by the slave trade, and linked 19th-century health models in different countries to viral spread and transmission. Similarly, by looking at leprosy DNA, you can track its spread along the Silk Road and along [...]... Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

The challenge of managing disease in wildlife: the case of elk in Yellowstone

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

The disease brucellosis is surging in free-ranging elk populations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem according to a new study in the journal Ecological Applications.

Furthermore, efforts to address the problem by reducing the density of elk populations through increased hunting or introduction of natural predators will be difficult given the matrix of private and public lands where elk aggregate.... Read more »

Cross, P., Cole, E., Dobson, A., Edwards, W., Hamlin, K., Luikart, G., Middleton, A., Scurlock, B., & White, P. (2010) Probable causes of increasing brucellosis in free-ranging elk of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Ecological Applications, 20(1), 278-288. DOI: 10.1890/08-2062.1  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 05:13 AM

The Green Evolution that preceded the Green Revolution

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

The standard litany against the Green Revolution is that it failed to banish hunger because the technologies it ushered in were no use to small peasant farmers. Farmers with access to cash and good land did well, but poorer farmers on marginal land got nothing out of the revolution, and if they did somehow [...]... Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 03:36 AM

Reminder of disease primes the body and mind to repel other people

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When it comes to avoiding infection, a growing body of evidence suggests we don't just have a physiological immune system, we also have a behavioural immune system - one that alerts us to people likely to be carrying disease, and that puts us off interacting with them. Indeed, there's research showing that people who are more fearful of disease tend to hold more xenophobic attitudes and to display greater prejudice towards people with outwardly visible disabilities. Now Chad Mortensen and his co........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 03:35 AM

Friston is Freudian

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Professor Karl Friston is one of the most prominent (and prolific) researchers in the field of neuroimaging. His contributions to methodological development in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are immense:He invented statistical parametric mapping; SPM is an international standard for analysing imaging data and rests on the general linear model and random field theory (developed with Keith Worsley). In 1994, his group developed voxel-based morphometry. VBM detects differences in n........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 03:01 AM

Galaxies are slowly running out of gas

by Charles Daney in Science and Reason

Galaxies are made of stars, and stars are made of... gas. So a large part of understanding how galaxies evolve and grow is understanding how much "gas" (literally, not "gasoline") is present in galaxies – but has not yet been incorporated in stars – at different periods in the history of the universe.What periods of the universe are most interesting in this regard? The answer is: periods somewhat less than the first half of the universe's existence since the time of the big bang, rou........ Read more »

Tacconi, L., Genzel, R., Neri, R., Cox, P., Cooper, M., Shapiro, K., Bolatto, A., Bouché, N., Bournaud, F., Burkert, A.... (2010) High molecular gas fractions in normal massive star-forming galaxies in the young Universe. Nature, 463(7282), 781-784. DOI: 10.1038/nature08773  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 12:46 AM

Friday Weird Science: Ejaculation 1, 2, 3...

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Well well well. Here we are. It's Friday. And we've been talking about SPERM ALL WEEK.

What to do...what to do...

Nel-Themaat et al. "Quality and freezing qualities of first and second ejaculates collected from endangered Gulf Coast Native rams" Animal Reproduction Science, 2006.


So it turns out that the people who wrote the study Sci covered the other week wrote ANOTHER one. Also, it turns out the eland is not endangered, but the other species they were working with, the Gulf Co........ Read more »

NELTHEMAAT, L., HARDING, G., CHANDLER, J., CHENEVERT, J., DAMIANI, P., FERNANDEZ, J., HUMES, P., POPE, C., & GODKE, R. (2006) Quality and freezing qualities of first and second ejaculates collected from endangered Gulf Coast Native rams. Animal Reproduction Science, 95(3-4), 251-261. DOI: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2005.09.014  

  • March 11, 2010
  • 10:18 PM

You know your ‘type’? It’s stress dependent…

by aimee in misc.ience

A number of interesting revelations to be had here, and all to do with our choices of ‘mate’.

And by mate, I don’t mean the antipodean colloquialism meaning ‘friend’.  Nope, I mean mate as in, you know, someone you want to shag.  As it were.
The first revelation in this paper* is that, for the most part, [...]

[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »

Lass-Hennemann, J., Deuter, C., Kuehl, L., Schulz, A., Blumenthal, T., & Schachinger, H. (2010) Effects of stress on human mating preferences: stressed individuals prefer dissimilar mates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0258  

  • March 11, 2010
  • 10:05 PM

Job dissatisfaction and supply chain risk

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

The goal of the study was to analyze risk in a global supply chain, especially originating from labor dissatisfaction and turnover. The results were obtained using a survey of workers in the Chinese Pearl River Delta region. The methodology is presented precisely and comprehensively. ... Read more »

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