Post List

  • September 19, 2010
  • 04:23 PM

Proterozoic Sponges Claim Doesn't Hold Water

by Chris Nedin in Ediacaran

An analysis of the suggested sponges found in the Proterozoic Trezona Formation of South Australia... Read more »

Maloof, A., Rose, C., Beach, R., Samuels, B., Calmet, C., Erwin, D., Poirier, G., Yao, N., & Simons, F. (2010) Possible animal-body fossils in pre-Marinoan limestones from South Australia. Nature Geoscience, 3(9), 653-659. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO934  

  • September 19, 2010
  • 02:37 PM

Do women and men differ in their acceptance of climate warming?

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

In my series on why people don’t engage climate change, we saw major socioeconomic and demographic differences in how people perceive climate change.
In the current issue of Population and Environment, Aaron McCright authors an article, The effects of gender on climate change knowledge and concern in the American public, in which he examines whether women [...]... Read more »

  • September 19, 2010
  • 12:59 PM

Mephedrone (4-Methylmethcathinone) appearing in "Ecstasy" in the Netherlands

by DrugMonkey in DrugMonkey

A crash in the MDMA market filled by 4-MMC?... Read more »

Brunt TM, Poortman A, Niesink RJ, & van den Brink W. (2010) Instability of the ecstasy market and a new kid on the block: mephedrone. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England). PMID: 20826554  

  • September 19, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Fear-Reducing Drugs – An Emerging Science?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A new animal study reveals that a brain protein can reduce the expression of fear when infused into specific parts of the brain involved in behavioral responses to fear-inducing stimuli. The findings have important implications for the possible development of new drug therapies that can mimic these effects in humans with anxiety disorders or post-traumatic [...]... Read more »

Peters J, Dieppa-Perea LM, Melendez LM, & Quirk GJ. (2010) Induction of fear extinction with hippocampal-infralimbic BDNF. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5983), 1288-90. PMID: 20522777  

Soliman F, Glatt CE, Bath KG, Levita L, Jones RM, Pattwell SS, Jing D, Tottenham N, Amso D, Somerville LH.... (2010) A genetic variant BDNF polymorphism alters extinction learning in both mouse and human. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5967), 863-6. PMID: 20075215  

  • September 19, 2010
  • 06:26 AM

Gay Men, Not Suffering Spectacularly

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Exaggerated claims abound about the prevalence of mental disorder in gay men. By reviewing the literature on this topic, Newcomb and Mustanksi (2010) conclude that future research needs to focus on how ethnicity, amongst other important considerations, influences psychological outcomes for gay men afflicted by internalised homophobia. ... Read more »

  • September 19, 2010
  • 05:13 AM

Can tiny marine plants steer some of the world’s biggest storms?

by Vivienne in Outdoor Science

Phytoplankton –  microscopic marine plants – may be small, but they could have a big impact on the routes hurricanes take across the North Pacific. Incredible to think plants less than five millimetres across could change the paths of storms perhaps 500km wide, but the phytoplanktons’ secret is their vast numbers. Sometimes called the ‘grass [...]... Read more »

Gnanadesikan, A., Emanuel, K., Vecchi, G., Anderson, W., & Hallberg, R. (2010) How ocean color can steer Pacific tropical cyclones. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(18). DOI: 10.1029/2010GL044514  

  • September 19, 2010
  • 04:16 AM

The Evolution of Religion

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

I've been attending the Language as Social Coordination: An Evolutionary Perspective conference in Warsaw, Poland. Konrad Talmont-Kaminski talks about the Evolution of Religion as a way of avoiding the free-rider problem while co-ordinating long-term goals... Read more »

Konrad Talmont-Kaminski. (2008) In a Mirror, Darkly: Does Superstition Reflect Rationality?. Skeptical Inquirer, 32(4). info:/

  • September 19, 2010
  • 01:03 AM

Neuroligin and Autism

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

The rapid increase in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses over the last 15 years is alarming. A number of reasons for the rise have been suggested, some of which have sparked debate that occasionally becomes laden with vitriol. Many people, surprised and frightened by what they see as the unprecedented appearance of a novel disorder, are looking for answers and pointing fingers at parties they feel may be culpable. The etiology of ASD is unknown, and perhaps we will find that some........ Read more »

De Jaco, A., Lin, M., Dubi, N., Comoletti, D., Miller, M., Camp, S., Ellisman, M., Butko, M., Tsien, R., & Taylor, P. (2010) Neuroligin Trafficking Deficiencies Arising from Mutations in the  / -Hydrolase Fold Protein Family. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(37), 28674-28682. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.139519  

  • September 18, 2010
  • 11:52 PM

Sunday Spinelessness - Throwing pesky males off the scent

by David in The Atavism

We often think about evolution as a competition, but it's not always clear who the competitors are. Popular accounts of evolution often talk about species competing for survival, Darwin saw evolutionary change as the result of individual's struggle for existence and Richard Dawkins recast individuals as proxies in a battle between genes. A new paper form Kerstin Johannesson and her colleagues at the University of Gothenburg highlights another ongoing competition which explains a good deal of bio........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2010
  • 10:26 PM

Why do we still publish research (via) papers?

by Daniel Mietchen in Research Cycle Research

Mind the bugs in the system: papers. Photo: Jenn Forman Orth When I lost a WiFi connection recently, I was left with the usual error message, which led me to look more attentively at the URL than I am used … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 18, 2010
  • 04:21 PM

Don't say you found aliens (unless you actually have)

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Unlike with health and medicine press releases (Woloshin and Schwartz have a few good papers about the matter) I haven't seen much research about other scientific press release. That's why I was glad to find the paper "Credibility of science communication: An exploratory study of astronomy press releases" by Nielsen et al. (2007).They conducted 11 in-depth interviews with journalists, scientists and public information officers, and came up with several conclusions regarding the accuracy and cred........ Read more »

Nielsen, L. H., Torpe Jørgensen, N., Jantzen, K., & Christensen, L. L. (2007) Credibility of science communication: An exploratory study of astronomy press releases. Proceedings from the IAU/National Observatory of Athens/ESA/ESO Conference, Athens, Greece. info:/

  • September 18, 2010
  • 02:27 PM

A Remarkably Tough and Stretchy Spider Silk

by Michael Long in Phased

Ingi Agnarsson (University of Puerto Rico, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and University of Akron) and coworkers' discovery will aid efforts aimed at synthesizing super tough and stretchy synthetic fibers. This news feature was written on September 18, 2010.... Read more »

  • September 18, 2010
  • 01:16 PM

Pick it Up. Again. Research poses correlation of resistance training reps to motivation type.

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

Do you think someone who is extrinsically motivated (i want to win a gold medal) vs intrinsically motivated (i want to be the best i can be) is more or less likely to do more or less resistance work?

Yes, that's a question that's been asked in a recently published study on who uses fitness centers. The authors' abstract reads:

There is a need to better understand the behavior and sense of ... Read more »

Kathrins BP, & Turbow DJ. (2010) Motivation of fitness center participants toward resistance training. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 24(9), 2483-90. PMID: 20802286  

Cox CL. (1985) The Health Self-Determinism Index. Nursing research, 34(3), 177-83. PMID: 3846926  

  • September 18, 2010
  • 10:52 AM

The Genetics & Linguistics Of Central Asia

by in

Both Razib and Dienekes have reviewed a paper on the population genetics of Central Asian peoples. To make sense of Central Asian ancestry has been challenging, to say the least. In particular, the problem is compounded by nomadic peoples without much written history nor uncovered archaeological record. What we do have are the linguistic, physical features, [...]... Read more »

Martínez-Cruz B, Vitalis R, Ségurel L, Austerlitz F, Georges M, Théry S, Quintana-Murci L, Hegay T, Aldashev A, Nasyrova F.... (2010) In the heartland of Eurasia: the multilocus genetic landscape of Central Asian populations. European journal of human genetics : EJHG. PMID: 20823912  

  • September 18, 2010
  • 10:10 AM

Spicy food and collectivism: How the brain shapes culture

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

We are used to thinking of culture as a social factor and not a biological factor. We attribute dispositions such as being individualistic or being collectivist to the country that one was brought up in, but no one has really looked into why certain cultures tend to be that way. An emerging field of research called cultural neuroscience says that cultural values can be shaped by the brain and genes. For example, in one striking example I read about quite recently, one hypothesis put forth for th........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2010
  • 07:53 AM

Getting the most out of wild tomatoes

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Where should breeders look for traits like drought resistance among the landraces and wild relatives of crops? The FIGS crowd says: in dry places, of course. And they have a point. But it may not be as simple as that, as a recent paper on wild tomatoes shows. The authors looked at the diversity of [...]... Read more »

  • September 17, 2010
  • 09:58 PM

Return from Paris and Neury Thursday: Hymenopteran Circadian Rhythms

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers have characterized task-specific circadian rhythms in the honey bee and the accompanying molecular machinery. Is it possible to use the honey bee as a feasible model of human shift work????... Read more »

Shemesh Y, Eban-Rothschild A, Cohen M, & Bloch G. (2010) Molecular Dynamics and Social Regulation of Context-Dependent Plasticity in the Circadian Clockwork of the Honey Bee. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(37), 12517-12525. PMID: 20844146  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 07:02 PM

Measles – Not such a measly disease

by thomastu in Disease Prone

To herald in our second (maybe third?) article of our series on vaccine-preventable diseases, China has recently started their massive measles vaccination program. They’re looking to vaccinate 100 million children who may have missed their last shot. You may have had measles as a kid and now wonder why the Chinese are spending $23 million [...]... Read more »

Duclos P, & Ward BJ. (1998) Measles vaccines: a review of adverse events. Drug safety : an international journal of medical toxicology and drug experience, 19(6), 435-54. PMID: 9880088  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 06:35 PM

Towards New Pharmaceuticals via Cell Wall Disruption

by Michael Long in Phased

Maya Elbaz and Sigal Ben-Yehuda (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) have found a functional linkage between cell shape and genetic replication in Bacillus subtilis cells, with possible implications in drug discovery. This news feature was written on September 17, 2010.... Read more »

  • September 17, 2010
  • 06:12 PM


by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Ecotourism has become a booming, if controversial, business. Although advocates argue it can benefit conservation, some studies have suggested that the development and disturbance that tag along with tourists can have harmful impacts on wildlife. Now, two researchers find that chatting visitors can scare away the very tropical birds they’ve come so far to experience. […] Read More »... Read more »

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