Post List

  • January 7, 2011
  • 02:59 PM

Marijuana and Testicular Cancer

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

NIDA touts controversial 2009 study.

After 50 years of rumor, study, and argument in the research community, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has come out squarely behind the assertion that marijuana use in men “may increase their risk for developing testicular cancer.”

But a problem exists. The evidence just isn’t that good. Especially if you base the conclusion on a single small study, as NIDA is apparently doing.

Writing in NIDA Notes for December, 2010, Lori Whitten high........ Read more »

Daling, J., Doody, D., Sun, X., Trabert, B., Weiss, N., Chen, C., Biggs, M., Starr, J., Dey, S., & Schwartz, S. (2009) Association of marijuana use and the incidence of testicular germ cell tumors. Cancer, 115(6), 1215-1223. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24159  

  • January 7, 2011
  • 01:39 PM

REDD and Financial Resilience for Conservation

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

This month's Conservation Letters has a Policy Perspective on the risks of relying REDD+ funding for conservation projects.  REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, with the "+" standing for biodiversity and social benefits), is a mechanism for transferring funds to developing countries for forest preservation and restoration.  REDD+ financing is eventually supposed to flow primarily from the private sector, and it is one of the few parts of an........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 01:10 PM

Turtle excluder devices: analysis of resistance to a successful conservation policy

by WhySharksMatter in Southern Fried Science

Conservation efforts often have an associated tradeoff, and many proposed solutions are shot down because the costs are perceived to be too high. A conservation policy that benefited a charismatic endangered species with very little cost should be popular and enthusiastically adopted. However, even though turtle excluder devices greatly reduce sea turtle mortality [...]... Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 12:49 PM

No Crying in Baseball (and John Boehner)

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The short YouTube clip from the movie A League of Their Own illustrates a common (but exaggerated) response to outbursts of tears in inappropriate situations.  Tom Hanks is managing a womens replacement baseball during World War II.  He becomes upset when one player starts to cry and shouts out a memorable line: "There's no crying in baseball".  The tearful display of emotions of the new Speaker of the House John Boehner has prompted discussion of the appropriateness and meaning o........ Read more »

Parvizi J, Arciniegas DB, Bernardini GL, Hoffmann MW, Mohr JP, Rapoport MJ, Schmahmann JD, Silver JM, & Tuhrim S. (2006) Diagnosis and management of pathological laughter and crying. Mayo Clinic proceedings. Mayo Clinic, 81(11), 1482-6. PMID: 17120404  

Pioro EP, Brooks BR, Cummings J, Schiffer R, Thisted RA, Wynn D, Hepner A, Kaye R, & Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy Results Trial of AVP-923 in PBA Investigators. (2010) Dextromethorphan plus ultra low-dose quinidine reduces pseudobulbar affect. Annals of neurology, 68(5), 693-702. PMID: 20839238  

  • January 7, 2011
  • 10:50 AM

Guest post: sex-differential use of the same objects versus sex-differences in object preference

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

This is a response to the Kaylenberg and Wrangham 2010 paper on stick-carrying chimpanzees.... Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 10:43 AM

The heat is on – Climategate as a peek into scientific controversies

by Henrik Karlstrøm in STS Guru

Remember the previous -gate? Not the current one with the leaking cables, but the other one with the climate scientists who got their internal communication leaked to the internet, sparking fierce debate on the possible ideological bias of climate research? That’s right: it’s time to come back to Climategate. Two of my colleagues here at the institute, Tomas Moe Skjølsvold and Marianne Ryghaug, have gone through the e-mails that were leaked and looked at what it says about the........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 09:48 AM

Low-Carb Diets Killing People?

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog

Animal-based low-carb diets are linked to higher death rates, according to a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  On the other hand, a vegetable-based low-carb diet was associated with a lower mortality rate, especially from cardiovascular disease. As always, … Continue reading →... Read more »

Fung TT, van Dam RM, Hankinson SE, Stampfer M, Willett WC, & Hu FB. (2010) Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: two cohort studies. Annals of internal medicine, 153(5), 289-98. PMID: 20820038  

  • January 7, 2011
  • 08:46 AM

Within boundaryless contexts, developmental relationships may positively impact upon optimism

by Rebecca Quereshi in Occ Psy Dot Com

Over the last 15 years, an increasing number of external shocks to the labour markets have destabilised the environmental context in which organisations operate, making employment arrangements less predictable, and resulting in an increasingly boundaryless career environment for many individuals. The authors of the present study argue that - to navigate such an environment, and to cope with its demands - individuals need to build psychological capacities, such as optimism. ... Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Mindfulness Training and Meditation to Combat Obesity?

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

Regular readers of these pages may recall previous posts on how “mindless” eating may well be contributing to the current obesity epidemic.
It may therefore be logical to presume that increasing “mindfulness” may help modify and improve eating behaviours.
But what does it take to actually help clients become more mindful of their eating behaviours?
This interesting issue [...]... Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: On caffeine and speed

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’re reacting to two different PsyBlog posts at once because their posts have striking relevance to litigation strategy. As they continue their series on top forms of persuasion—they touch on caffeine and speech rate.  So. Let’s take a look at how these strategies apply to litigation advocacy, because (as we’ve seen with some advertising principles [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t confuse argument with persuasion
Simple Jury Persuasion: The tactics of effective sal........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Social Network Addiction – A Scientific No Man’s Land?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

While social network addiction is not included in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), many researchers advocated its inclusion in DSM V. As the proposed category is on the way to being left out, the argument continues.... Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 06:00 AM

Finding an Alzheimer’s Drug From Scratch

by Sharon Neufeldt in I Can Has Science?

Pharmaceutical companies sometimes get a bad rap, but most people don’t realize just how labor/money-intensive the process of drug discovery is.  A recent paper offers a little glimpse at the process – although this research was done by chemists at … Continue reading →... Read more »

MacMillan, K., Naidoo, J., Liang, J., Melito, L., Williams, N., Morlock, L., Huntington, P., Estill, S., Longgood, J., Becker, G.... (2011) Development of Proneurogenic, Neuroprotective Small Molecules. Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/ja108211m  

  • January 7, 2011
  • 04:42 AM

Physical distance boosts the success of computer-based negotiation

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A sense of physical distance encourages more abstract thought 
Negotiations that take place over computer, without face-to-face contact, have more chance of success when those negotiating think there is greater physical distance between each other. That's according to Marlone Henderson who says the finding is compatible with Construal Level Theory - the finding that people think about things more abstractly when they perceive that they're further away in time or space (e.g. see earlier). ........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 04:29 AM

Antidepressants Still Don't Work In Mild Depression

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A new paper has added to the growing ranks of studies finding that antidepressant drugs don't work in people with milder forms of depression: Efficacy of antidepressants and benzodiazepines in minor depression.It's in the British Journal of Psychiatry and it's a meta-analysis of 6 randomized controlled trials on three different drugs. Antidepressants were no better than placebo in patients with "minor depressive disorder", which is like the better-known Major Depressive Disorder but... well, not........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 02:13 AM

Human Tears Are Not Sexy

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

Let's have a mature, adult conversation for a moment. I understand that there are lots of things in the world that turn people on in a sensual sort of way. People get aroused by the strangest things, stuff that when you hear about it you think you're being lied to. But women's teardrops are not such a fetish, at least not among the men in a recent study.
Shani Gelstein and colleagues report in the journal Science that human tears not only fail to arouse male test subjects, but the smell of tear........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 02:06 AM

Birth Order Influences the Formation of Long-Term Relationships

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

134 years since Francis Galton opened the birth order effects debate by observing that first-born sons and only sons were over-represented among English scientists, controversy has shrouded the issue such that we haven't quite gotten past whether birth order effects exist or not, let alone properly consider what they are or how they work.Some scholars assert that the lack of conclusive evidence is due to methodological biases that may allow the researcher to find the result that he or she i........ Read more »

Joshua K. Hartshorne, Nancy Salem-Hartshorne, and Timothy S. Hartshorne. (2009) Birth Order Effects in the Formation of Long-Term Relationship. Journal of Individual Psychology, 65(2). info:/

  • January 7, 2011
  • 01:49 AM

Is Facebook the path to happiness?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Does a lot of friends on Facebook make you happy or does a positive self representation on Facebook make you feel happy. These two important questions were studied amongst 391 college students using Facebook. How does faceook use contribute to happiness?
Indeed more friends on facebook increases your subjective well-being. This association was not mediated by [...]

No related posts.... Read more »

  • January 7, 2011
  • 12:43 AM

Friday Weird Science: SPERM…IN…SPAAAAAACE!

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Sometimes Sci has a wonderful week in which she is completely inundated with fabulous possibilities for Friday Weird Science. Such a week was this one. There is SO MUCH CRAZY SCIENCE OUT THERE YOU GUYS. So first I was going to do one paper, and then another, and then a third, and finally Mary Roach [...]... Read more »

Tash JS, Johnson DC, & Enders GC. (2002) Long-term (6-wk) hindlimb suspension inhibits spermatogenesis in adult male rats. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 92(3), 1191-8. PMID: 11842058  

  • January 6, 2011
  • 08:24 PM


by bug_girl in Bug Girl's Blog

A fabulous new development in louse control! I’ve written before about the problem of head lice becoming resistant to commonly used pesticides, making treatment much more difficult.  A new device received approval from the FDA to be this year–and it’s a lot of hot air. No, really: Goates, B., Atkin, J., Wilding, K., Birch, K., [...]... Read more »

Goates, B., Atkin, J., Wilding, K., Birch, K., Cottam, M., Bush, S., & Clayton, D. (2006) An Effective Nonchemical Treatment for Head Lice: A Lot of Hot Air. PEDIATRICS, 118(5), 1962-1970. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2005-1847  

  • January 6, 2011
  • 08:15 PM

Oncogenesis Via Altered Enzyme Specificity, Part II

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

As promised in the EZH2 story, there is another story of cancer-causing mutations tuning an enzyme in an interesting way. It's also a great story of how multiple high-throughput methods can create and exploit an entirely new angle on cancer. I'll try to do a good job on this, but I'm lucky enough to have as regular readers of this space several of the authors who are referenced here, which should enable any egregious errors on my part to be flagged. I'm also trying to tell the main thread of ........ Read more »

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