Post List

  • June 25, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Building a bigger brain

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

How does one species get a bigger brain than another?

A while ago, I wrote about a paper that argued that genes that define boundaries in the nervous system seemed to be responsible for differing brain structures in cichlid fish. This seemed to explain the data better than a competing hypothesis, which was that the differences in brain size were caused by the length of time the brain spent forming neurons (neurogenesis). A forthcoming paper by Charvet and Striedter suggest a third possibility.
........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Paucis Verbis card: Ascites assessment with paracentesis

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

A paracentesis procedure is often performed in the Emergency Department to rule a patient out for spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). Do you check coagulation studies before performing the procedure? How comfortable do you feel that the patient has SBP with an ascites WBC 500 cells/microliter or ascites PMN 250 cells/microliter?This installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series provides an evidence-based review of the literature on topics related to the paracentesis proc........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Friday Feature: Variable Death

by Becky in It Takes 30

It’s Friday, and what better way to get into the mood for beer hour than to talk about death? To make sure that the mood doesn’t get too lugubrious, let’s stick to the death of entities that are unlikely to remind you of anyone you know, such as single cells. This video shows HeLa cells undergoing apoptosis, from work described in Spencer SL, Gaudet S, Albeck JG, Burke JM, Sorger PK. 2009. Non-genetic origins of cell-to-cell variability in TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Nature 459........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 05:13 AM

Children as young as six can tell when you're faking a smile

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Whether it's the awkward coincidence of meeting your boss in the supermarket aisle or a humourless joke by a new date, what would we do without the fake smile? It's not that the fake is all that convincing. Apparently most adults can tell the difference - the lopsidedness of the mouth and lack of creasing around the eyes gives it away. But the fact that the faker is trying their best to send a positive signal somehow saves face all round. Well, most of the time anyway.

Of course when you're dea........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Seminal Paper: Carbohydrate Restriction for Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

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

Carbohydrate-restricted eating is slowly gaining mainstream acceptance as treatment for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  I thought it would be useful to present one of the watershed reports that summarize the potential benefits.  The article is from 2008.  Among the co-authors are some of the brightest names in this field: Richard K. Bernstein, Annika Dahlqvist, Eugene [...]... Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Mediterranean Diet Boosts Antioxidant Power

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Compared to the low-fat American Heart Association diet, the traditional Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil has more capacity to counteract potentially harmful “free radicals” and “reactive oxygen species” in our bodies, according to researchers at the University of Navarra in Spain.
Our tissues normally contain free radicals and reactive oxygen species, which are intrinsic to cell [...]... Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 04:12 AM

The A Team Sets fMRI to Rights

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Remember the voodoo correlations and double-dipping controversies that rocked the world of fMRI last year? Well, the guys responsible have teamed up and written a new paper together. They are...The paper is Everything you never wanted to know about circular analysis, but were afraid to ask. Our all-star team of voodoo-hunters - Ed "Hannibal" Vul (now styled Professor Vul), Nikolaus "Howling Mad" Kriegeskorte, Russell "B. A. Baracus" Poldrack - provide a good overview of the various issues and ........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 03:29 AM

…time for a nap

by Rift in Psycasm

I have finished my exams. My gods, it feels good. I’m pretty sure I smashed them too. I’m expecting for 6′s – which is slightly disappointing, but I’ll be perked up if there’s a 7 among them (and the possibility does exist). I’ll post after the 7th when results are released. In the mean-time I [...]... Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 02:52 AM

Dark Chocolate to prevent Hypertension?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

As you probably know is Dr Shock completely biased when writing about chocolate especially dark chocolate. He mostly writes about the research with positive results of chocolate on cardiovascular diseases. A recent review included 5 studies of adequate quality for inclusion in a recent meta analysis as well as 8 other peer reviewed studies for [...]

Related posts:Chocolate as Antihypertensive Drug?
Dark Chocolate Improves Coronary Blood Flow
How Much Chocolate is good for your Health?
... Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 01:10 AM

Friday Weird Science: Snoring Problem? Have you considered a didgeridoo?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Thanks again to NCBI ROFL, who finds these hilarious things and posts their abstracts for all the world to see, and for Sci to giggle over and then run around trying to find hilarious pictures of didgeridoos.

So, let's talk about your snoring problem.

And then let's talk about your musical stylings on the didgeridoo.

Puhan, et al. "Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: randomised controlled trial" British Medical Journal, 2006.

And to get an ........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2010
  • 01:10 AM

putting visual recognition software to the test

by Greg Fish in weird things

Look around you for a second. In front of you there’s probably a computer, your fingers are on a keyboard or a mouse, and maybe there are cars driving by outside your window on tree-lined streets, or through a maze of buildings of all shapes and sizes. And it probably took you just a few [...]... Read more »

Pinto, N., Cox, D., & DiCarlo, J. (2008) Why is Real-World Visual Object Recognition Hard?. PLoS Computational Biology, 4(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.0040027  

  • June 25, 2010
  • 12:18 AM

RNA Journal Club 6/17/10

by YPAA in You'd Prefer An Argonaute

Mitotic cell-cycle progression is regulated by CPEB1 and CPEB4-dependent translational control Isabel Novoa, Javier Gallego, Pedro G. Ferreira  &  Raul Mendez Nature Cell Biology 12: 447 – 456, May 2010. doi:10.1038/ncb2046 This week’s lucid summary and analysis by Noah Spies. This is Noah’s second contribution to the blog: A normal eukaryotic messenger RNA is capped, [...]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 11:25 PM

Not all Science is Created Equal: The Case of Climate Science

by Michael Long in Phased

William Anderegg, Stephen Schneider (Stanford University, United States), and coworkers have shown that climate scientists who accept the reality of anthropogenic climate change have more scientific expertise and pominence than those who do not. This news feature was written on June 24, 2010.... Read more »

Anderegg, W. R. L., Prall, J. W., Harold, J., & Schneider, S. H. (2010) Expert credibility in climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107  

  • June 24, 2010
  • 10:30 PM

Organic pesticides aren’t necessarily more sustainable than synthetic

by Colby in

It would seem illogical that organic compounds are all more sustainable than synthetics, or vice versa.  The term “organic” has a health halo, biasing many people toward believing organic growing techniques are best for the environment.  I’ve already covered analyses … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 07:00 PM

Movable micromotor brain implants

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

BRAIN implants containing microelectrodes are used widely in the laboratory and clinic, both to stimulate nerve cells and to record their activity. Researchers routinely implant electrode arrays into the brains of rodents to investigate the neuronal activity associated with spatial navigation, or into monkeys' brains to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of motor control. As a result, we now have brain-computer interfaces that can help paralysed patients to communicate or control a pr........ Read more »

Jackson, N. et al. (2010) Long-term neural recordings using MEMS based movable microelectrodes in the brain. Frontiers Neuroeng. info:/

  • June 24, 2010
  • 06:56 PM

My sea turtle hazard is worse than your sea turtle hazard

by Scott A. in Thriving Oceans

My sea turtle hazard is worse than your sea turtle hazard.  Of course.   Sounds logical.  And more importantly it falls within that quirky social dynamic called HUMAN NATURE.  But the results of bias within the scientific community is an interesting topic; especially when you add the sea turtle variable and the number of threats [...]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 04:45 PM

Atlantic Cod and Eelgrass, oh my!

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

Well, now I've seen everything. Well maybe not everything, but in all my NY diving, I had never seen this: eelgrass on an exposed, essentially oceanic sandy, rocky bottom, and a school of YOY cod. I have heard about eelgrass in these locations. I have heard that there have been increasing cod landings in NY over the past 2 winters. I have even read that juvenile cod utilize eelgrass. But I had never actually seen it until last week, when we dove along the south-western corner of Fisher's Is........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 03:41 PM

The Other African AIDS Orphans

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

The World Cup in South Africa has rightly given the people of the continent reason to celebrate and show off their ability to host an international party. But there remain severe political, economic, and health problems in Africa that a month-long soccer tournament can do little to repair. A primary concern is the epidemic of [...]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 03:07 PM

Are Headlines Hogwash?

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

In this series of posts, my esteemed colleague Dr. Zen Faulkes (aka neurodojo) and I will be examining some recently published work that grabbed the headlines. We will ask the question: is the science accurately portrayed?
This week’s paper was published in Nature Communications earlier this month. It grabbed a lot of media [...]... Read more »

Gorrell, J., McAdam, A., Coltman, D., Humphries, M., & Boutin, S. (2010) Adopting kin enhances inclusive fitness in asocial red squirrels. Nature Communications, 1(3), 1-4. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1022  

  • June 24, 2010
  • 02:56 PM

A System of Developmental Robustness

by Sam W in From C to Carnivore

I keep meaning to blog about miRNAs. They are a fascinating new class of gene regulation, only discovered in the 90s in C.elegans , a nematode (roundworm) and frequent model organism for developmental biology. What miRNAs do, is regulate the levels of RNA and therefore control gene expression and thereby proteins and cell fate! They [...]... Read more »

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