Post List

  • February 24, 2011
  • 12:52 AM

The scientist-journalist divide: what can we learn from each other?

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

Last week, the journal Nature published two research papers on the effects of human-caused global warming on extreme precipitation events. I’m working on a post on the papers, and they’ve already received quite a bit of attention in the media. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 23, 2011
  • 10:38 PM

Psycasm - Feelin' Lucky? Is it more than just a feeling?

by Rift in Psycasm

Are you lucky? Perhaps you’re unlucky. What is luck, anyway?It’s tempting to consider it as some kind of magical force present in the ether, in which some individual seem more able to channel its influence than others.Alternatively, it may be a force unto itself, bestowing favour or ill-fortune upon those who cross its path.Both of those definitions, however, fail under scrutiny. This does not; (read more)

Source: Psycasm - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »

Teigen, K., et al. (1999) Good Luck and Bad Luck: How to tell the difference. European Journal of Social Psychology. info:/

Risen, J., & Gilovich, T. (2008) Why people are reluctant to tempt fate. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(2), 293-307. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.95.2.293  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 09:03 PM

Cell Phones and Brain

by Arunn in nOnoScience (a.k.a. Unruled Notebook)

I was about to give this post a news-paper-like title Cell phone usage affects brain — then I figured I should be knowing that usage of anything by us, should affect our brain. So I have settled for this rather bland title. A research paper authored by nine (first author Nora D. Volkow, MD, National [...]... Read more »

Volkow, N., Tomasi, D., Wang, G., Vaska, P., Fowler, J., Telang, F., Alexoff, D., Logan, J., & Wong, C. (2011) Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 305(8), 808-813. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.186  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 06:59 PM

The Effect of Pseudonymity on Blogger Credibility

by Colin Schultz in CMBR

In July, 2010, one corner of the blogosphere erupted with the seething, burning rage that online communities seem to have a unique ability to muster. The spark that lit bloggers’ fuse was a decision by SEED Media Group decision-makers to allow a team of writers from PepsiCo Inc. to operate a blog about nutrition and [...]... Read more »

Thomas Chesney and Daniel K.S. Su. (2010) The impact of anonymity on weblog credibility. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 68(10), 710-718. info:/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2010.06.001

  • February 23, 2011
  • 06:38 PM

A strange armored lobopodian from the Cambrian

by Chris Grinter in The Skeptical Moth

The early Cambrian seas (542-488 million years ago) had a plethora of strange and bizarre creatures almost unimaginable to even the best sci-fi dreamer.  As possibly one of the precursors to the Arthropoda (also Onychophora and Tardigrada), the lobopodian lineages represent a strange group of “worms with legs” that once roamed the ancient sea . . . → Read More: A strange armored lobopodian from the Cambrian... Read more »

Liu, J., Steiner, M., Dunlop, J., Keupp, H., Shu, D., Ou, Q., Han, J., Zhang, Z., & Zhang, X. (2011) An armoured Cambrian lobopodian from China with arthropod-like appendages. Nature, 470(7335), 526-530. DOI: 10.1038/nature09704  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 06:01 PM

A Clay Problem solved?

by nath in Imprints of Philippine Science

There is a buzz in the Philippine science circle that Amador Muriel has solved the 3D Navier-Stokes Equation.  This equation (or an understanding of this equation) is one of the Millenium Prize Problems of the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI).  These problems collated by CMI are “some of the most difficult problems with which mathematicians were [...]... Read more »

Muriel, A. (1997) An integral formulation of hydrodynamics. Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, 101(3-4), 299-316. DOI: 10.1016/S0167-2789(96)00181-9  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 06:00 PM

The best offense is a good defensin

by Kevin Bonham in Food Matters

If you were going to design the perfect immune system, what would you do? This question is often posed to beginning immunology students, and the best answer may be so obvious that it doesn't occur to most. The best immune system is one that prevent pathogens from ever gaining access to your squishy bits in the first place.

And so we have barriers - lots of them. Unfortunately, the best barriers are not always practical. Plants have rigid cell walls that are almost impervious to pathogens, but p........ Read more »

Schroeder BO, Wu Z, Nuding S, Groscurth S, Marcinowski M, Beisner J, Buchner J, Schaller M, Stange EF, & Wehkamp J. (2011) Reduction of disulphide bonds unmasks potent antimicrobial activity of human β-defensin 1. Nature, 469(7330), 419-23. PMID: 21248850  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 05:44 PM

Sweeping through a fly’s genome

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Credit: Karl Magnacca
A few days ago I titled a post “The evolution of man is no cartoon”. The reason I titled it such is that as the methods become more refined and our data sets more robust it seems that previously held models of how humans evolved, and evolution’s impact on our genomes, are being refined. Evolutionary genetics at its most elegantly spare can be reduced down to several general parameters. Drift, selection, migration, etc. Exogenous phenomena such as the flux........ Read more »

Sattath S, Elyashiv E, Kolodny O, Rinott Y, & Sella G. (2011) Pervasive Adaptive Protein Evolution Apparent in Diversity Patterns around Amino Acid Substitutions in Drosophila simulans. PLoS Genetics. info:/10.1371/journal.pgen.100130

  • February 23, 2011
  • 05:35 PM

Rough Estimate Of Papers Per Dollar

by Heather Piwowar in Research Remix

[Please forgive the temporary duplicate post... I'm experimenting with CiTO and ResearchBlogging metadata in  the citation links] A project I’m working on needed a back-of-the-envelope estimate for the average number of papers produced per grant-funding-dollar.  This average obviously varies by discipline and grant type and country, and depends on whether the grant funds are direct [...]... Read more »

  • February 23, 2011
  • 05:28 PM

R.I.P. Charles Robert Schuster, Ph.D.

by DrugMonkey in DrugMonkey

An towering figure of the substance abuse research fields has passed away. According to a note posted to an ASPET mailing list, Charles Robert Schuster, Ph.D. suffered a fatal stroke on Feb 21 in Houston Texas. NIDA Director Nora Volkow has also posted a notice to the NIDA-grantees mailing list.

The CPDD biography of Dr. Schuster is a brief overview of his career.
After six years in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan, he joined the Departments of Psychiatry, Pharmaco........ Read more »

  • February 23, 2011
  • 05:22 PM

Rough estimate of Papers per Dollar

by Heather Piwowar in Research Remix

A project I’m working on needed a back-of-the-envelope estimate for the average number of papers produced per grant-funding-dollar.  This average obviously varies by discipline and grant type and country, and depends on whether the grant funds are direct funding or total etc…. but I just wanted an order of magnitude estimate and so was willing to [...]... Read more »

  • February 23, 2011
  • 05:20 PM

Clinical research and the popular press – the bottom batch of 2005

by Medical Media Watch in Medical Media Watch

I had the distinction of running the 10 British Medical Journal (BMJ) papers that came ranked lowest according to the Academic Interest Index (AII) for 2005 and 2006 through the NexisUK. So taking the 2005 tranche first, here is what I got. The papers I dealt with were largely of academic interest rather than general [...]... Read more »

  • February 23, 2011
  • 04:17 PM

Brain Circuit Tied to Gambling Risk in Parkinson Disease Identified

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Some of the drugs used to treat Parkinson disease (PD) increase the risk for pathological gambling.  This can have a significant economic adverse effect on some individuals.  I have previous posted on the use of amantadine in reducing pathological gambling in PD.  Although some medications may reduce the risk of pathological gambling, there is a need to further understand the mechanism of drug-related gambling behavior.Cilia and colleagues from the University of Toronto as well as........ Read more »

Cilia R, Cho SS, van Eimeren T, Marotta G, Siri C, Ko JH, Pellecchia G, Pezzoli G, Antonini A, & Strafella AP. (2011) Pathological gambling in patients with Parkinson's disease is associated with fronto-striatal disconnection: A path modeling analysis. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society. PMID: 21284039  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 01:56 PM

Inherited Gifts May Not Include a Long Life

by Kari Kenefick in Promega Connections

Perhaps we are what we eat, but suddenly we can no longer rely on our parents, that is our genetic makeup, to determine how long we live. At least not according to Swedish researchers who published recently in the Journal of Internal Medicine. To be honest, “suddenly” is a bit of a misnomer; the study from which the [...]... Read more »

Wilhelmsen L, Svärdsudd K, Eriksson H, Rosengren A, Hansson PO, Welin C, Odén A, & Welin L. (2010) Factors associated with reaching 90 years of age: a study of men born in 1913 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Journal of internal medicine. PMID: 21175902  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 12:51 PM

Cell ontologies and computer code

by David Basanta in Cancerevo: Cancer evolution

A few weeks ago I attended the 4th Cell Behavior Ontology workshop organised by James Glazier and the Biocomplexity Institute at Indiana University. The idea is that we could use ontologies to describe both computational models and experimental data...... Read more »

Hanson, B., Sugden, A., & Alberts, B. (2011) Making Data Maximally Available. Science, 331(6018), 649-649. DOI: 10.1126/science.1203354  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 12:17 PM

Happiness Gets Better With Age

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Older people tend to be wiser, but did you know they tend to be happier too? A recent paper published in Current Directions in Psychological Science suggests this may be ... Read more »

Urry, H., & Gross, J. (2010) Emotion Regulation in Older Age. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(6), 352-357. DOI: 10.1177/0963721410388395  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 11:06 AM

IPPP #3: Pinguicula primuliflora

by Ryan Kitko in Cunabulum

The third installment of the Infrequent Plant Profile Project, a project I began a while ago at my old livejournal account. I know that I will not stick to a schedule if I designed one, so I choose to make this project informal and infrequent. These will be profiles of plants that interest me and of the circumstances of their original description.Pinguicula primulaflora "Rose" - the multiple-flowered varietySource: Alexander (fischermans) at the International CarnivorousPlant Society forums.Toda........ Read more »

C.E. Wood Jr., & R.K. Godfrey. (1957) Pinguicula (Lentibulariaceae) in the southeastern United States. Rhodora, 217-230. info:/

  • February 23, 2011
  • 10:41 AM

Living Donor Research Myth #1

by in Living Donors Are People Too

I mentioned this study once before, briefly criticizing it for (yet again) misleading the public about the mortality risk of living kidney donation. I left the rest of the paper's inadequacies to be addressed at a later date. Now, prodded by my living donor advocate cohort Donna Luebke (who gets a co-byline for this post), we'll delve into some of its finer points. First, notice the title - Long-Term Survival. By definition, 'long-term' refers to twenty years or more. Yet this population was onl........ Read more »

Segev DL, Muzaale AD, Caffo BS, Mehta SH, Singer AL, Taranto SE, McBride MA, & Montgomery RA. (2010) Perioperative mortality and long-term survival following live kidney donation. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 303(10), 959-66. PMID: 20215610  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 10:32 AM

New mechanisms of drug resistance to BRAF inhibitors in melanoma

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Many of you will have been following the ongoing story of the discovery of activating V600E mutations in BRAF in greater than 50% of melanomas. As a result, BRAF inhibitors such as PLX4032 have emerged in melanoma but ultimately, we … Continue reading →
... Read more »

Paraiso, K., Xiang, Y., Rebecca, V., Abel, E., Chen, A., Munko, A., Wood, E., Fedorenko, I., Sondak, V., Anderson, A.... (2011) PTEN loss confers BRAF inhibitor resistance to melanoma cells through the suppression of BIM expression. Cancer Research. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2954  

  • February 23, 2011
  • 10:23 AM

Paleontologists Announce “Thunder Thighs”

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

“Brontosaurus” was a great dinosaur name. The great “thunder reptile” of the Jurassic, there was no better moniker for the stoutly-built sauropod. Unfortunately, the name had to be tossed out in favor of Apatosaurus, but a different dinosaur just described by Michael Taylor, Mathew Wedel and Richard Cifelli has what I think is an equally [...]... Read more »

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