Think of an animal – any animal you’d like. Unless you’re a big fan of sponges or jellyfish, you likely thought of an animal that belongs to the Bilateria. This group includes all animals that show bilateral symmetry, so every single insect, vertebrate and mollusk belongs to this group. Like in any large family, some [...]... Read more »
Christodoulou, F., Raible, F., Tomer, R., Simakov, O., Trachana, K., Klaus, S., Snyman, H., Hannon, G., Bork, P., & Arendt, D. (2010) Ancient animal microRNAs and the evolution of tissue identity. Nature, 463(7284), 1084-1088. DOI: 10.1038/nature08744
A couple of months ago, I posted on the recent discovery of quartz hand axes on Crete by Strasser and Runnels. That post spurred quite a bit of discussion, and I also provided some additional thoughts shortly thereafter, based on the colonization of Cyprus. Since then, we've learned that these implements will be described in detail in the June issues of the journal Hesperia, and some decent photographs of some of the implements in question were published, which provides some more convincing data........ Read more »
Broodbank, C. (2006) The Origins and Early Development of Mediterranean Maritime Activity. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 19(2). DOI: 10.1558//jmea.2006.v19i2.199
Happy St. Paddy's Day! This Irish national holiday celebrates Patrick who is—arguably—the most recognizable of Irish saints, known for championing Irish Christianity (while using a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity). The observance has also been viewed as a one day break from the abstinence of the Lenten season. While it still has religious undertones, for a vast majority of people, St.
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Rodgers, Nini. (2007) The Irish in the Caribbean 1641-1837: An Overview. Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, 5(3), 145-156. info:/
An online science news item jumped out at me the other day, news about leptin and it’s potential use in type I diabetes. While leptin was certainly familiar, it’s recollection brought vague feelings of disappointment. Wasn’t leptin the naturally occurring fat burning compound that was going to make us all thin?
In case you too are [...]... Read more »
Wang MY, Chen L, Clark GO, Lee Y, Stevens RD, Ilkayeva OR, Wenner BR, Bain JR, Charron MJ, Newgard CB.... (2010) Feature Article: Leptin therapy in insulin-deficient type I diabetes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20194735
In most developed nations, kids get far less physical activity than they did just a few generations ago. Given the strong links between physical inactivity and health risk (and given that we're now seeing "adult" diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes in children and teenagers), this has become a very real public health concern. Unfortunately, when it comes to increasing childhood physical activity levels, people often want to reinvent the wheel. For example, many peop........ Read more »
STRATTON, G., & MULLAN, E. (2005) The effect of multicolor playground markings on children's physical activity level during recess. Preventive Medicine, 41(5-6), 828-833. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2005.07.009
Short sleepers habitually read more for pleasure, study finds.... Read more »
He Y, Jones CR, Fujiki N, Xu Y, Guo B, Holder JL Jr, Rossner MJ, Nishino S, & Fu YH. (2009) The transcriptional repressor DEC2 regulates sleep length in mammals. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5942), 866-70. PMID: 19679812
A new study in the journal Conservation Biology shows that indigenous people in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon have a lower impact on the rainforest than the colonists who have moved into the area.
This bodes ill for conservation of the Amazon rainforest given the increasing settlement of the region by outsiders, the expansion of the agricultural frontier, and cultural changes in indigenous communities.... Read more »
LU, F., GRAY, C., BILSBORROW, R., MENA, C., ERLIEN, C., BREMNER, J., BARBIERI, A., & WALSH, S. (2010) Contrasting Colonist and Indigenous Impacts on Amazonian Forests. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01463.x
A slightly convoluted but ultimately worthwhile study by Zhao et al. (2010), in which they both challenge the proposition that same-sex attraction leads to greater suicide risk, as well as plead with us all to stop thinking of GLB (their term) and its numerous alternatives, as one enormous homogenised blob. Their word of choice is 'oversimplify' (p.105).
... Read more »
Zhao, Y., Montoro, R., Igartua, K., & Thombs, B. (2010) Suicidal Ideation and Attempt Among Adolescents Reporting “Unsure” Sexual Identity or Heterosexual Identity Plus Same-Sex Attraction or Behavior: Forgotten Groups?. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 49(2), 104-113. DOI: 10.1097/00004583-201002000-00004
Ah, nature and nurture, those eternal enemies. What once used to be the domain of philosophy and English classes has migrated over the past century to the sphere of science, culminating in the completion of The Human Genome Project in 2003. But far from settling this age-old battle, the HGP may have reinvigorated it. Now [...]... Read more »
Zhang, D., Cheng, L., Badner, J., Chen, C., Chen, Q., Luo, W., Craig, D., Redman, M., Gershon, E., & Liu, C. (2010) Genetic Control of Individual Differences in Gene-Specific Methylation in Human Brain. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 86(3), 411-419. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.02.005
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There is an article in press in Neuropsyhcologia by Lackner et al that related Dopamine (DA) levels as measured by Eye Blink Rate (EBR) to preschoolers (3-5 yrs old) Representational theory of Mind (RTM).
The authors hypothesized that as one of the neural correlates of RTM is dMPFC, and as dMPFC has dopamine receptors More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Related posts:The Mind – Brain dichotomy: What it means to have a mind Researchers at Harvard, Gray et a........ Read more »
Lackner, C., Bowman, L., & Sabbagh, M. (2010) Dopaminergic functioning and preschoolers’ theory of mind. Neuropsychologia. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.02.027
I encountered Nest making and oxytocin comparably promote wound healing in isolation reared rats  while reading about how stress affects wound healing, and it drew me in with its lure of drawing connections between nest making and oxytocin. Oxytocin does a lot of things in the body, but what this paper was interested in was its participation in social bonding. You all must already know the coolest story about oxytocin, the story about the two species of voles. The species are almost identic........ Read more »
Vitalo A, Fricchione J, Casali M, Berdichevsky Y, Hoge EA, Rauch SL, Berthiaume F, Yarmush ML, Benson H, Fricchione GL.... (2009) Nest making and oxytocin comparably promote wound healing in isolation reared rats. PloS one, 4(5). PMID: 19436750
SNAKES have a unique sensory system for detecting infrared radiation, with which they can visualize temperature changes within their immediate environment. Using this special sense, they can image the body heat radiating from warm-blooded animals nearby. This enables them to track their prey quickly and with great accuracy, even in the dark, and to target the most vulnerable parts of the prey's body when they strike. It warns them of the presence of predators, and may also be used to find approp........ Read more »
In today’s tip I want to make you aware of a tool that I think will help researchers to present their own data and publications in an accurate and universally searchable way. I learned of the resource (UCSDBioLit) through an article in one of my recent BioMed Central article alert emails. This resource allows authors to mark-up their own publications with XML tags AS THEY WRITE their papers. This will allow faster and more accurate semantic searching of their research.
A huge problem in ........ Read more »
Fink, J., Fernicola, P., Chandran, R., Parastatidis, S., Wade, A., Naim, O., Quinn, G., & Bourne, P. (2010) Word add-in for ontology recognition: semantic enrichment of scientific literature. BMC Bioinformatics, 11(1), 103. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-11-103
SUMMARY: Sexual identity is genetically imposed on male and female chicken cells at fertilization and is the major factor in determining the adult sexual phenotype -- gonads have limited effects on the avian sexual phenotype... 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
Cartoonist and engineer Tim Hunkin is probably best known for his exhibits at the Science Museum in London and his Under The Pier Show “a mad arcade of home-made slot machines & simulator rides on Southwold Pier, Suffolk”. His website is a treasure trove of weird and wonderful things.
Tim has an interesting proposition, let’s call [...]... Read more »
Frances Evans. (1998) Two legs, thing using and talking: The origins of the creative engineering mind. AI , 12(3), 185-213. DOI: 10.1007/BF01206195
Evolutionary psychology tends to receive harsh criticism, and often rightly so. One of the main reasons for this is the severe lack of evidence for many of it's proposals given that the paucity of fossilised brains fails to bolster many a case. And it isn't even anyone's fault. That's just the way it goes sometimes, that the brain is a jelly-like substance that is subject to decay after death, and there's no way we can objectively analyse or verify any differences in brains of long ago with brai........ Read more »
Papageorgopoulou, C., Rentsch, K., Raghavan, M., Hofmann, M., Colacicco, G., Gallien, V., Bianucci, R., & Rühli, F. (2010) Preservation of cell structures in a medieval infant brain: A paleohistological, paleogenetic, radiological and physico-chemical study. NeuroImage, 50(3), 893-901. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.01.029
This is part III of Measles week. In Part II (“Emerging disease”) I talked about the origin of measles; in Part I (“Introduction”), I posed the question of why measles case-fatality rates dropped so dramatically over the first half of the 20th century (example chart of death rates here). Today I’m going to quickly [...]... Read more »
Condran, G. (2008) The Elusive Role of Scientific Medicine in Mortality Decline: Diphtheria in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Philadelphia. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 63(4), 484-522. DOI: 10.1093/jhmas/jrn039
People don't need to be treated as a stereotype for harm to occur; their mere belief that they could be viewed in a stereotyped fashion is enough - a phenomenon known as 'stereotype threat'. For example, women reminded of the stereotype that men are better at maths tend to perform more poorly in a subsequent maths task, even if they are actually treated fairly. Now Julie Henry and colleagues have extended this line of research to the domain of mental health. They've found that patients with a sc........ Read more »
Henry, J., Hippel, C., & Shapiro, L. (2010) Stereotype threat contributes to social difficulties in people with schizophrenia. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 49(1), 31-41. DOI: 10.1348/014466509X421963
In a tasty new paper, British neurologists Kate El Bouzidi et al report on the case of a woman who suffered epileptic seizures whenever she saw, or tasted, food:A 44-year-old right-handed woman was walking in the Scottish highlands. Upon unwrapping her lunch, she had a focal seizure with witnessed onset on the right side of the face and secondary generalization... She was airlifted to hospital. Three weeks later, the smell of food triggered another seizure and she was admitted to the neurology u........ Read more »
El Bouzidi K, Duncan S, Whittle IR, & Butler CR. (2010) Lesional reflex epilepsy associated with the thought of food. Neurology, 74(7), 610-2. PMID: 20157165
Proponents for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and government regulators have generally assumed that conducting seismic activities in the winter would avoid damaging the sensitive tundra ecosystem. A new study throws this assumption into doubt...... Read more »
Jorgenson, J., Hoef, J., & Jorgenson, M. (2010) Long-term recovery patterns of arctic tundra after winter seismic exploration. Ecological Applications, 20(1), 205-221. DOI: 10.1890/08-1856.1
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