... Read more »
Conde, D., Colchero, F., Zarza, H., Christensen Jr., N., Sexton, J., Manterola, C., Chávez, C., Rivera, A., Azuara, D., & Ceballos, G. (2010) Sex matters: Modeling male and female habitat differences for jaguar conservation. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.04.049
Some really simple questions have surprisingly complex answers. “Why is the sky blue?” ends up being all about differential absorbance of varying wavelengths of electromagnetic radiat… see, there, I’ve already wandered off into jargon land.
And so it is with the question “Why is a cooked lobster red, when a live lobster is not?”. An odd question, but its exactly that kind of “I wonder why…” ... Read more »
Cianci M, Rizkallah PJ, Olczak A, Raftery J, Chayen NE, Zagalsky PF, & Helliwell JR. (2002) The molecular basis of the coloration mechanism in lobster shell: beta-crustacyanin at 3.2-A resolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99(15), 9795-800. PMID: 12119396
At 65 ‘As We May Think’ has reached its pensionable age but as yet is showing no signs of retiring.... Read more »
Vannevar Bush. (1945) As We May Think. ATLANTIC MAGAZINE. info:/
A recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives looked at the relationship between aflatoxin, produced by certain mold growing on food, and liver cancer. The results are a bit of an eye opener – they suggest that, at the upper end of their estimate, aflatoxin may cause almost 30% of all cases of liver cancer [...]... Read more »
Liu, Y., & Wu, F. (2010) Global Burden of Aflatoxin-Induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Risk Assessment. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(6), 818-824. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901388
Currently, we are in the midst of a skin cancer epidemic, with the annual rates of all forms of skin cancer increasing each year. Surgical removal is most often used for the treatment of skin cancers and the techniques to improve this procedure are constantly evolving. With this in mind, here are five advances in cutaneous surgery. It is hoped that dermatologists will find these ideas useful and might consider implementing them in their daily practice.... Read more »
Irene Vergilis-Kalner. (2010) 5 New Advances in Cutaneous Surgery. DermMatters. info:other/URL
I got a little bit starry eyed writing about the Neanderthal genome the other day. I chose to retrace the arc of scientific progress that links the initial description of Neanderthal man as something different than modern humans to the point reached last month, where we are able to tag some of those differences to a single gene. Most of the news stories about the Neanderthal genome focused not on the genes that made us different from them, but a small percentage of the genome that reinforced th........ Read more »
TRICHOTILLOMANIA (or hair pulling) is a condition characterised by excessive grooming and strong, repeated urges pull out one's own hair. It is classified as an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and is relatively common, affecting about 2 in 100 people. Sufferers normally feel an increasing sense of tension before pulling out their scalp hair, facial hair, and even pubic hair, eyelashes or eyebrows. This provides gratification, but only briefly.
Hair pulling is usually thought of as being ps........ Read more »
Chen, S., Tvrdik, P., Peden, E., Cho, S., Wu, S., Spangrude, G., & Capecchi, M. (2010) Hematopoietic Origin of Pathological Grooming in Hoxb8 Mutant Mice. Cell, 141(5), 775-785. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.03.055
Invasive species flock to richer, more crowded European countries
... Read more »
Pysek, P. et al. (2010) Disentangling the role of environmental and human pressures on biological invasions across Europe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1002314107
Sugar is sugar and calories are calories . . . or so we’ve always believed. Research from Princeton Neuroscience Institute, however, suggests otherwise.... Read more »
Bocarsly, M., Powell, E., Avena, N., & Hoebel, B. (2010) High-fructose corn syrup causes characteristics of obesity in rats: Increased body weight, body fat and triglyceride levels. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.02.012
This is the first post in a new weekly series looking at what is making the (science) news in high energy physics, astrophysics, gravitation, general relativity and quantum gravity, and, perhaps more importantly, do the stories mean what we think they mean.
What have people been talking about this week?... Read more »
Rochau, B., Brandner, W., Stolte, A., Gennaro, M., Gouliermis, D., Da Rio, N., Dzyurkevich, N., & Henning, T. (2010) INTERNAL DYNAMICS AND MEMBERSHIP OF THE NGC 3603 YOUNG CLUSTER FROM MICROARCSECOND ASTROMETRY. The Astrophysical Journal, 716(1). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/716/1/L90
Evans, C., Walborn, N., Crowther, P., Hénault-Brunet, V., Massa, D., Taylor, W., Howarth, I., Sana, H., Lennon, D., & van Loon, J. (2010) A MASSIVE RUNAWAY STAR FROM 30 DORADUS. The Astrophysical Journal, 715(2). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/715/2/L74
Hammer, N., Janka, H., & Müller, E. (2010) THREE-DIMENSIONAL SIMULATIONS OF MIXING INSTABILITIES IN SUPERNOVA EXPLOSIONS. The Astrophysical Journal, 714(2), 1371-1385. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/714/2/1371
Garofalo, D., Evans, D., & Sambruna, R. (2010) The evolution of radio-loud active galactic nuclei as a function of black hole spin. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16797.x
Meng Su, Tracy R. Slatyer, & Douglas P. Finkbeiner. (2010) Giant Gamma-ray Bubbles from Fermi-LAT: AGN Activity or Bipolar Galactic Wind?. arXiv. arXiv: 1005.5480v1
Kanekar, N., Chengalur, J., & Ghosh, T. (2010) PROBING FUNDAMENTAL CONSTANT EVOLUTION WITH REDSHIFTED CONJUGATE-SATELLITE OH LINES. The Astrophysical Journal, 716(1). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/716/1/L23
The D0 Collaboration, & V. M. Abazov. (2010) Evidence for an anomalous like-sign dimuon charge asymmetry. arXiv. arXiv: 1005.2757v1
These two papers have created a bit of a storm in the health news recently – a six-session CBT group programme for chronic low back pain that not only provides good outcomes, but is also cost-effective? Unbelievable! And it’s not delivered exclusively by any specific health professionals. AND it’s delivered in primary care! My take … Read more... Read more »
Hansen, Z., Daykin, A., & Lamb, S. (2010) A cognitive-behavioural programme for the management of low back pain in primary care: a description and justification of the intervention used in the Back Skills Training Trial (BeST; ISRCTN 54717854). Physiotherapy, 96(2), 87-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2009.09.008
Lamb, S., Hansen, Z., Lall, R., Castelnuovo, E., Withers, E., Nichols, V., Potter, R., & Underwood, M. (2010) Group cognitive behavioural treatment for low-back pain in primary care: a randomised controlled trial and cost-effectiveness analysis. The Lancet, 375(9718), 916-923. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)62164-4
Everybody makes mistakes. But the peer-reviewed scientific literature tries to reduce mistakes by having fairly rigorous rules for citation. Citing original sources increases transparency and greatly facilitates fact-checking.
For instance, in one of our recent papers, we pointed out that a reference given in another paper did not support the point being made (as far as we could tell). Probably most practicing scientists have a story like that. But how common is that sort of error?
A new paper........ Read more »
Todd, P., Guest, J., Lu, J., & Chou, L. (2010) One in four citations in marine biology papers is inappropriate. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 299-303. DOI: 10.3354/meps08587
Lynn Margulis classified the Chaetognaths, known as arrow worms, as deuterostomes. Deuterostomy is characterized by several developmental characteristics including radial, indeterminate cleavage, a posterior position of the blastopore (deuterostomy=”second mouth”), enterocoelous coelom formation and a tripartite adult body plan . . . → Read More: What in Darwin’s Name Are Chaetognaths?!... Read more »
Ball, E., & Miller, D. (2006) Phylogeny: The Continuing Classificatory Conundrum of Chaetognaths. Current Biology, 16(15). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2006.07.006
Chen, J.-Y., & Huang, D.-Y. (2002) A Possible Lower Cambrian Chaetognath (Arrow Worm). Science, 298(5591), 187-187. DOI: 10.1126/science.1075059
Marlétaz, F., Martin, E., Perez, Y., Papillon, D., Caubit, X., Lowe, C., Freeman, B., Fasano, L., Dossat, C., & Wincker, P. (2006) Chaetognath phylogenomics: a protostome with deuterostome-like development. Current Biology, 16(15). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2006.07.016
In the previous few gekkotan articles we looked at the seriously weird and highly distinctive leaf-tailed geckos of Madagascar. There's another group of especially unusual, highly notable gekkonid gekkotans I want to write about: the flying, gliding or parachute geckos (Ptychozoon) of south-east Asia and India. These geckos are weird: the adjacent pic (widely available online, but only at frustratingly small size; it's credited to Tim Macmillan/John Downer) makes them look like tiny screamin........ Read more »
Brown, R. M., Ferner, J. W., & Diesmos, A. C. (1997) Definition of the Philippine parachute gecko, Ptychozoon intermedium Taylor 1915 (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae): redescription, designation of a neotype, comparisons with related species. Herpetologica, 373-373. info:/
Yeah, yeah, Cola & Mentos videos are getting somewhat tired. Still, this one really goes overboard:
Ha! Now how does the Cola & Mentos reaction work?
Well, first, the Cola & Mentos thing is a physical reaction, more than a chemical one: it happens mainly due to nucleation sites provided by the pitted surface of the Mentos [...]... Read more »
Coffey, T. (2008) Diet Coke and Mentos: What is really behind this physical reaction?. American Journal of Physics, 76(6), 551. DOI: 10.1119/1.2888546
As digital and social media infiltrate the world of sports, and make teams, athletes, reporters, and information overall more accessible for fans, there is a greater opportunity for fans to connect to the game. This connection is important to the longevity of the franchises, and has largely been borne on the shoulders of the games' announcers. But why bother turning up the volume on the radio or
... Read more »
Hallett, T. (2003) EMOTIONAL FEEDBACK AND AMPLIFICATION IN SOCIAL INTERACTION. The Sociological Quarterly, 44(4), 705-726. DOI: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.2003.tb00532.x
One of my favourite memories of Berlin (my home town) is the annual bicycle day, when hundreds of thousands of cyclists from all corners of Berlin converge to the centre of the city, essentially stopping all other traffic (at least for a while).
Yesterday, as I arrived in Berlin it was hard to overlook the fact [...]... Read more »
Böhning D, Boose R, Kurzawski S, & Saul N. (2002) Bicycle safety helmet usage in Berlin 1999: an observational study. Sozial- und Praventivmedizin, 47(2), 124-7. PMID: 12134730
Acupuncture is all the rage in the treatment of pain. Recent clinical guidelines in the UK recommend it in the treatment of persistent back pain. This decision is somewhat controversial and has led to much discussion, because while the research in back pain suggests people feel somewhat better after acupuncture, it also demonstrates with clarity [...]... Read more »
Witt CM, Lüdtke R, Wegscheider K, & Willich SN. (2010) Physician characteristics and variation in treatment outcomes: are better qualified and experienced physicians more successful in treating patients with chronic pain with acupuncture?. The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society, 11(5), 431-5. PMID: 20439056
MOFFET, H. (2008) Traditional acupuncture theories yield null outcomes: a systematic review of clinical trials. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 61(8), 741-747. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.02.013
Madsen, M., Gotzsche, P., & Hrobjartsson, A. (2009) Acupuncture treatment for pain: systematic review of randomised clinical trials with acupuncture, placebo acupuncture, and no acupuncture groups. BMJ, 338(jan27 2). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.a3115
Kalauokalani D, Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Koepsell TD, & Deyo RA. (2001) Lessons from a trial of acupuncture and massage for low back pain: patient expectations and treatment effects. Spine, 26(13), 1418-24. PMID: 11458142
Linde K, Witt CM, Streng A, Weidenhammer W, Wagenpfeil S, Brinkhaus B, Willich SN, & Melchart D. (2007) The impact of patient expectations on outcomes in four randomized controlled trials of acupuncture in patients with chronic pain. Pain, 128(3), 264-71. PMID: 17257756
Bausell RB, Lao L, Bergman S, Lee WL, & Berman BM. (2005) Is acupuncture analgesia an expectancy effect? Preliminary evidence based on participants' perceived assignments in two placebo-controlled trials. Evaluation , 28(1), 9-26. PMID: 15677384
Madsen MV, Gøtzsche PC, & Hróbjartsson A. (2009) Acupuncture treatment for pain: systematic review of randomised clinical trials with acupuncture, placebo acupuncture, and no acupuncture groups. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 19174438
Kaptchuk TJ, Stason WB, Davis RB, Legedza AR, Schnyer RN, Kerr CE, Stone DA, Nam BH, Kirsch I, & Goldman RH. (2006) Sham device v inert pill: randomised controlled trial of two placebo treatments. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 332(7538), 391-7. PMID: 16452103
Kaptchuk TJ, Kelley JM, Conboy LA, Davis RB, Kerr CE, Jacobson EE, Kirsch I, Schyner RN, Nam BH, Nguyen LT.... (2008) Components of placebo effect: randomised controlled trial in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 336(7651), 999-1003. PMID: 18390493
A 1975 study on graduate admissions at Berkeley found that male applicants had a substantially higher likelihood of being admitted, compared to women. However, upon closer examination the presence of aggregation paradoxes do not legitimize the conclusion that women were discriminated against.... Read more »
Bickel PJ, Hammel EA, & O'connell JW. (1975) Sex Bias in Graduate Admissions: Data from Berkeley. Science (New York, N.Y.), 187(4175), 398-404. PMID: 17835295
Reflective journals and electronic portfolios are becoming increasingly popular within undergraduate and graduate medical education. I'm starting to be a believer in this learning approach, which teaches learners about professional development and life-long learning principles. Academic Medicine just published a great qualitative paper proposing a conceptual model for reflection.What is "reflection"?In an Medical Teacher article by Sandars, the author defines reflection broadly as:"a metacogniti........ Read more »
Thompson BM, Teal CR, Rogers JC, Paterniti DA, & Haidet P. (2010) Ideals, Activities, Dissonance, and Processing: A Conceptual Model to Guide Educators' Efforts to Stimulate Student Reflection. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(5), 902-908. PMID: 20520048
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