In recent years cognitive scientist Marc Hauser has gathered evidence that suggests we're born with a moral instinct. This moral intuition has been likened to the universal grammar that Chomsky famously suggested underlies our linguistic abilities - certain principles are set in stone, whilst the precise parameters can be set by culture. Thousands of people from multiple countries and different religions and demographic backgrounds have given their verdict on fictional scenarios presented online........ Read more »
Abarbanell, L., & Hauser, M. (2010) Mayan morality: An exploration of permissible harms. Cognition. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.12.007
Metabolism, which might be broadly defined as the biochemical process of living, is absurdly complex. The way in which metabolism varies between individuals, and then changes over time with aging? Even more complex. This is one of the reasons why slowing aging by changing metabolic machinery - in effect creating a new human metabolism - looks very much like an inferior, harder path in comparison to attempts to restore the metabolism we have to the way it operates in youthful bodies. Complexity i........ Read more »
Luhrmann PM, Edelmann Schafer B, & Neuhauser Berthold M. (2010) Changes in resting metabolic rate in an elderly german population: cross-sectional and longitudinal data. The journal of nutrition, health , 14(3), 232-6. PMID: 20191259
Check out this great post by Mary M on biofortifed. In it she reviews a new research paper that describes how the use of Bt could potentially save the lives of millions.
You can download a video about the researchers and their work here.
From Mary's post: "For some people, a great deal of the conflama around genetically-engineered (GE) crops has to do with the presence of a pesticide in the plant material--mainly the Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt protein--rather than coating the surface of t........ Read more »
Hu, Y., Georghiou, S., Kelleher, A., & Aroian, R. (2010) Bacillus thuringiensis Cry5B Protein Is Highly Efficacious as a Single-Dose Therapy against an Intestinal Roundworm Infection in Mice. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 4(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000614
A promising title with promising content? Perhaps. If you are a supply chain or logistics professional, looking for a paper that discusses the intricacies of managing a supply chain in a disaster area, how to prepare and how to recover, this is NOT it. However, if you are a supply chain or logistics academic or [ ... ]... Read more »
Jr, R. (2009) The supply chain crisis and disaster pyramid: A theoretical framework for understanding preparedness and recovery. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 39(7), 619-628. DOI: 10.1108/09600030910996288
It seems odd, but stable facial cues, such as the width-height ratio of a man's face, may be decent predictors of trustworthiness. Less strange is that we apparently use face-width when intuitively judging a strangers' trustworthiness...... Read more »
Stirrat, M., & Perrett, D. (2010) Valid Facial Cues to Cooperation and Trust: Male Facial Width and Trustworthiness. Psychological Science, 21(3), 349-354. DOI: 10.1177/0956797610362647
Well, I'm trying to read a paper a day (this can be really hard with 2 kids and a job that doesn't encourage it), and today I randomly pulled up this paper: Johnson and Host "Recent developments in landscape approaches for the study of aquatic ecosystems" (full cite below). Let's just say that there's a lot here. Basically, this paper is part of a big-time retrospective done by J-NABS in ... Read more »
Johnson, L.B. and G.E. Host. (2010) Recent developments in landscape approaches for the study of aquatic ecosystems. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 29(1), 41-66. info:/10.1899/09-030.1
It is a common argument by those who are opposed to evolution's implication for religious belief to label Darwin as a social Darwinist and a racist. Adrian Desmond and James Moore's book Darwin's Sacred Cause has gone a long way towards dispelling any claims that Darwin sought to justify black inferiority (in fact, as they show, it was just the opposite). However, the claim that Darwin inspired social Darwinism is a persistent argument and those that proffer it will stoop to any level in order........ Read more »
Elshakry, Marwa. (2003) Darwin's Legacy in the Arab East: Science, Religion and Politics, 1870-1914. Princeton University D.Phil. Thesis. info:/
A study has found that regular use of common painkillers – such aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen – increases the risk of hearing loss in men aged 40-74 years.
Using aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, or paracetamol twice a week or more over a 20 year period increased the risk of hearing loss by 12%, [...]... Read more »
I sometimes wonder if we have all been hoodwinked about the whole Roman Colosseum stories of thousands of supposedly normal everyday Romans, presumably wearing sandals (not that that is important to this), cheered on as their fellow humans were slain, eaten, speared and mutilated. Then again, cage fighting, described by Senator John McCain as human [...]... Read more »
 Jeon D, Kim S, Chetana M, Jo D, Ruley HE, Lin SY, Rabah D, Kinet JP, & Shin HS. (2010) Observational fear learning involves affective pain system and Ca(v)1.2 Ca(2 ) channels in ACC. Nature neuroscience. PMID: 20190743
 Phan KL, Fitzgerald DA, Nathan PJ, & Tancer ME. (2006) Association between amygdala hyperactivity to harsh faces and severity of social anxiety in generalized social phobia. Biological psychiatry, 59(5), 424-9. PMID: 16256956
 Tsuchiya N, Moradi F, Felsen C, Yamazaki M, & Adolphs R. (2009) Intact rapid detection of fearful faces in the absence of the amygdala. Nature neuroscience, 12(10), 1224-5. PMID: 19718036
 Nieuwenhuis S, Ridderinkhof KR, Blom J, Band GP, & Kok A. (2001) Error-related brain potentials are differentially related to awareness of response errors: evidence from an antisaccade task. Psychophysiology, 38(5), 752-60. PMID: 11577898
Rich countries import substantial carbon dioxide emissions
... Read more »
Davis, S.J., & K. Caldeira. (2010) Consumption-based accounting of CO2 emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.090674107
High Throughput Screening (HTS), with all its strengths and limitations, is still the single-best way to discover novel interesting molecules in drug discovery. Thomas Kodadek of Scripps Florida has an interesting article on screening in the latest issue of Nat. Chem. Biol which is a special issue on chemical probes. Kodadek talks about the very different properties required for drugs and probes and the limitations and unmet needs in current HTS strategies. He focuses on mainly two kinds of scre........ Read more »
In an effort to conserve and research the endangered Virginia big-eared bat, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo took in 40 bats in November 2009. The goal was to establish a security population and to scientifically develop husbandry practices in a subspecies that researchers have not attempted to conserve before. ... Read more »
Boyles, J., & Willis, C. (2010) Could localized warm areas inside cold caves reduce mortality of hibernating bats affected by white-nose syndrome?. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(2), 92-98. DOI: 10.1890/080187
A simplified evolutionary tree of primate relationships showing the placement of Darwinius in relationship to other groups. From Williams et al., 2010.
The study of human origins can be a paradoxical thing. We know that we evolved from ancestral apes (and, in fact, are just one peculiar kind of ape), yet we are obsessed with the features that distinguish us from our close relatives. The "big questions" in evolutionary anthropology, from why we stand upright to how our brains became so larg........ Read more »
Cassandra Martin and William Wagner Jr (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States) have clearly demonstrated an indirect, yet lethal, cost shouldered by female crickets that is associated with a behavior commonly thought to enhance reproductive success. This news feature was written on March 9, 2010.... Read more »
Martin, C. M., & Wagner Jr, W. E. (2010) Female Field Crickets Incur Increased Parasitism Risk When Near Preferred Song. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009592
On an article on retrospective, cross-sectional surveys of parents whose children died of cancer at least one year previously, with their experiences about, views on and endorsement of hypothetical vignettes of hastening death in end-stage, pediatric cancer. ... Read more »
Dussel V, Joffe S, Hilden JM, Watterson-Schaeffer J, Weeks JC, & Wolfe J. (2010) Considerations about hastening death among parents of children who die of cancer. Archives of pediatrics , 164(3), 231-7. PMID: 20194255
Applied ecology is the science of minimizing human impacts and of supporting ecological systems in an economic landscape. Often though, applied ecologists work in isolation from those economic forces shaping biological landscapes, not really knowing what businesses would like to accomplish for habitat protection or sustainability. At the same businesses are seldom aware of the knowledge, tools and insight provided by ecologists. And perhaps, greater interaction could help turn ecology into a sci........ Read more »
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Chronically stressful life events have been shown to lead to depression. Chronic stress leads to hyperactivity of HPA axis leading to more glucocorticoids (cortisol) in the human body. This excess cortisol in term is proposed to underlie the affective symptoms of depression. Also, depressive people have been found to have up to More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Related posts:Depression, Neurogenesis and Spatial navigation We all know that hippocampus is the s........ Read more »
Sapolsky, R. (2001) Depression, antidepressants, and the shrinking hippocampus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(22), 12320-12322. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.231475998
Czeh, B. (2001) Stress-induced changes in cerebral metabolites, hippocampal volume, and cell proliferation are prevented by antidepressant treatment with tianeptine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(22), 12796-12801. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.211427898
The ability to read emotions is an important part of the human experience; the only way to successfully navigate through complex social environments. It comes in handy especially if you don the title of psychotherapist or professional poker player. Without it, you become socially inept. You enter the world of the autistic individual.Thanks to Charles Darwin we now know that it’s not just the eyes that are “the windows to the soul”. He first wrote about the subject of facial expressions in ........ Read more »
van der Helm E; Gujar N; Walker MP. (2010) Sleep Deprivation Impairs the Accurate Recognition of Human Emotions. SLEEP, 33(3), 335-342. info:/
Ekman P, & Friesen WV. (1971) Constants across cultures in the face and emotion. Journal of personality and social psychology, 17(2), 124-9. PMID: 5542557
Steadman, L. (1980) : Kuru Sorcery: Disease and Danger in the New Guinea Highlands . Shirley Lindenbaum. American Anthropologist, 82(3), 692-694. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1980.82.3.02a01130
... Read more »
Tang, L., Shao, G., Piao, Z., Dai, L., Jenkins, M., Wang, S., Wu, G., Wu, J., & Zhao, J. (2010) Forest degradation deepens around and within protected areas in East Asia. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.01.024
The question for neuroscience is how nervous systems generate behaviour and cognition. In general, we think there’s a hierachical command scheme, as the quick and dirty sketch below shows.
It’s been hard to move from general principles and “black boxes” to real neurons. A good chunk of effort in neuroethology has gone into understanding the sensory capabilities of different animals, and cracking how pattern generators could generate the detailed plan for movements, especially rhythmic ........ Read more »
Kagaya, K., & Takahata, M. (2010) Readiness Discharge for Spontaneous Initiation of Walking in Crayfish. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(4), 1348-1362. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4885-09.2010
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