Post List

  • March 31, 2010
  • 09:18 AM

Predicting Psychosis

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

"Prevention is better than cure", so they say. And in most branches of medicine, preventing diseases, or detecting early signs and treating them pre-emptively before the symptoms appear, is an important art.Not in psychiatry. At least not yet. But the prospect of predicting the onset of psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia, and of "early intervention" to try to prevent them, is a hot topic at the moment.Schizophrenia and similar illnesses usually begin with a period of months or years, general........ Read more »

Ruhrmann, S., Schultze-Lutter, F., Salokangas, R., Heinimaa, M., Linszen, D., Dingemans, P., Birchwood, M., Patterson, P., Juckel, G., Heinz, A.... (2010) Prediction of Psychosis in Adolescents and Young Adults at High Risk: Results From the Prospective European Prediction of Psychosis Study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67(3), 241-251. DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.206  

  • March 31, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Press releases should be about people

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

We’re all increasingly familiar with corporate press releases. There are countless websites that regurgitate the corporate and institutional public relations output for wider and wider audiences.
If you’re familiar with the blogosphere, you will almost certainly recognise that many posts simply echo the notices provided by the likes of Eurekalert, AlphaGalileo, and the more generic wire [...]Press releases should be about people is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Johanna Kujala, Tiina Toikka, & Anna Heikkinen. (2010) Communicating corporate responsibility through media. Progress in Industrial Ecology – An International Journal, 6(4), 404-420. info:/

  • March 31, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Not the Dry Tortugas, as such...

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow

...more like the Floating Tortugas.  An article in Science Now and The Journal of Experimental Biology reports on mysterious gatherings of loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean, resembling an island made out of turtles.  It seems the critters gather to soak up the midday sun.  We probably should be surprised given how common basking is among reptiles, but loggerheads are known to spend most of ... Read more »

Knight, K. (2010) LOGGERHEADS STAY AT SURFACE TO SOAK UP SUN. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(8). DOI: 10.1242/jeb.043901  

  • March 31, 2010
  • 08:25 AM

Breaking News: Footprints challenge theory of evolution

by Johnny in Ecographica

...a paper in Arizona, which proclaims that “Research by UA assistant anthropology professor David Raichlen and his colleagues provide evidence suggesting that 3.6 billion years ago, hominins walked with the same upright gait that humans do today...”... Read more »

  • March 31, 2010
  • 06:47 AM

Put some breathe life in your papers with clever visualization

by Abhishek Tiwari in Fisheye Perspective

I often screen papers for my reading list based on their illustration appeal. I know this may be bit strange for the people who judge the papers simply based on their abstracts or conclusion section. But trust me it works because I know what I am looking for. I always avoid the sleep inducing papers full of creepy tables and bar graphs, in fact so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness. When I say illustration appeal, I mean something which can inspire your readers to wake them up, s........ Read more »

Carlson, C., Warren, C., Hauschild, K., Ozers, M., Qadir, N., Bhimsaria, D., Lee, Y., Cerrina, F., & Ansari, A. (2010) Specificity landscapes of DNA binding molecules elucidate biological function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(10), 4544-4549. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914023107  

de Souza, N. (2010) The DNA-binding landscape. Nature Methods, 7(4), 254-255. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth0410-254a  

  • March 31, 2010
  • 06:25 AM

When sickliness is manliness

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Below I note that sex matters when it comes to evolution, specifically in the case of how sexual reproduction forces the bits of the genome to be passed back and forth across sexes. In fact, the origin of sex is arguably the most important evolutionary question after the origin of species, and it remains one [...]... Read more »

Restif, O., & Amos, W. (2010) The evolution of sex-specific immune defences. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0188  

  • March 31, 2010
  • 06:16 AM

In defense of constructive neutral evolution - Part I

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Caution: What follows is mostly an opinion piece by an undergrad. While said undergrad has done a fair amount of reading on the topic, the post is still subject to many errors. Tread carefully. [/disclaimer]I won't go into an all-out discussion of neutral evolution here: I'm neither qualified enough nor have enough spare time at the moment. However, some issues seem to crop up multiple times, both here and on other blogs. I figured I'd try to briefly adress some of them, although do take my disc........ Read more »

Bernardi, G. (2007) The neoselectionist theory of genome evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(20), 8385-8390. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0701652104  

Ohta, T. (1992) The Nearly Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 23(1), 263-286. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.23.1.263  

Stoltzfus A. (1999) On the possibility of constructive neutral evolution. Journal of molecular evolution, 49(2), 169-81. PMID: 10441669  

  • March 31, 2010
  • 04:19 AM

Important health research from Ethiopia

by Bernt Lindtjorn in International Health Research

Although the disease burden among people in the developing world is much larger than that of the rich countries, most of health research is on health problems for the rich.
Peer-reviewed journal from countries such as Ethiopia are not widely read. However, journals such as Ethiopian Journal of Health Development contains many important studies for improving [...]... Read more »

Ayalew Astatkie and Amsalu Feleke. (2009) . (2009). Utilization of insecticide treated nets in Arba Minch Town and the malarious villages of Arba Minch Zuria District, Southern Ethiopia. , 23 (3), 206-215. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 23(3), 206-215. info:other/

  • March 31, 2010
  • 03:55 AM

Child's play! The developmental roots of the misconception that psychology is easy

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The widespread misconception that psychology is easy and mere common sense has its roots in the biased way that children work out whether a topic is challenging or not. Frank Keil and colleagues asked children aged between five and thirteen, and adults, to rate the difficulty of questions from physics (e.g. How does a spinning top stay upright?), chemistry, biology, psychology (e.g. Why is it hard to understand two people talking at once?) and economics. The questions had been carefully chosen f........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2010
  • 03:30 AM

The Origins of Small Number Representation

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Last week I wrote about the developmental and evolutionary origins of large number representation. A series of studies in human infants, monkeys, rats, and fish demonstrated that animals and humans spontaneously represent large (>4), abstract, approximate numerosities. Animals, human infants, and human adults, show the same ratio signatures (based on Weber’s Law). [...]... Read more »

Hauser, M., Carey, S., & Hauser, L. (2000) Spontaneous number representation in semi-free-ranging rhesus monkeys. Proceedings: Biological Sciences, 267(1445), 829-833. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2000.1078  

Feigenson L, Carey S, & Hauser M. (2002) The representations underlying infants' choice of more: object files versus analog magnitudes. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 13(2), 150-6. PMID: 11933999  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 11:39 PM

Watching Sperm Compete

by Diane Kelly in Science Made Cool

It’s a classic part of TV nature shows: male bighorn sheep (or elk, or whales, or whatever) duke it out over a female who’s ready to mate. I expect you’ve seen it. But competition among males doesn’t necessarily stop when...... Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 11:28 PM

Fear of morphine persists in around the globe

by Suzana Makowski MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

Last summer I had the distinct pleasure of hosting three medical students from Tongji University Medical School, Shanghai for a month elective in palliative care. The three students voraciously absorbed information about tending to patients with life-limiting illness - including communicating difficult news, negotiating goals of care, basic and complex symptom management. We reflected on the differences in practice and in palliative care medical education between UMass and Tongji U in Shangha........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 08:58 PM

Palaeontologists find early example of asexual reproduction

by Ian Randall in The Palaeo Pad

A new species from the terminal Ediacaran, Cloudina carinata, has been discovered in Spain. The tubular fossil, described in a recent issue of the journal Precambrian Research, lived between 550 and 543 million years ago and was one of the first animals to leave behind evidence of reproduction.... Read more »

Cortijo, I., Martí Mus, M., Jensen, S., & Palacios, T. (2010) A new species of Cloudina from the terminal Ediacaran of Spain. Precambrian Research, 176(1-4), 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.precamres.2009.10.010  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 08:02 PM

PI3 Kinase and the Prospect of Reversing Memory Loss in Alzheimer's

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Like many proteins of interest to modern life scientists, PI3 kinases (or PI3K) are involved in a whole slew of important metabolic processes. Evolved biology is big on feedback loops and promiscuous reuse of existing components in new mechanisms. So the core controls of metabolism in most species are a rat's nest of connections - proteins and genes with only a single function are a rare breed indeed: Cancer, diabetes, and aging are related by their use of the PI3K-PTEN-Akt-TOR signaling pathway........ Read more »

Chiang, H., Wang, L., Xie, Z., Yau, A., & Zhong, Y. (2010) PI3 kinase signaling is involved in A -induced memory loss in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909314107  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 06:47 PM

Biodiversity Bust

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

'Wildlife-friendly' oil palm plantations aren’t so friendly

... Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 05:56 PM

Mickey Feels Your Pain (In His Brain)

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Figure 1: Does Mickey feel empathy?

It probably depends on how you define empathy. Empathy, by any definition, implies emotional sensitivity to the affective state of another. Sometimes the empathy response is automatic or reflexive, like when babies start to cry upon hearing another baby crying. Sometimes a strong cognitive component is required, such as for [...]... 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, 13(4), 482-8. PMID: 20190743  

  • March 30, 2010
  • 05:30 PM

Get this paragraph into your noggin….

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Lorimer just wrote this opening paragraph for a book chapter.  Heidi said “Stick that up as a blog post”. Lorimer said “OK”. The rest is history……
Biological organisms are proficient at protecting themselves from threat.  Seminal work more than a century ago clearly demonstrated that even unicellular organisms can propel themselves away from physical threat[1]. The [...]... Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 03:57 PM

Magnetic manipulation of the sense of morality

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

WHEN making moral judgements, we rely on our ability to make inferences about the beliefs and intentions of others. With this so-called "theory of mind", we can meaningfully interpret their behaviour, and decide whether it is right or wrong. The legal system also places great emphasis on one's intentions: a "guilty act" only produces criminal liability when it is proven to have been performed in combination with a "guilty mind", and this, too, depends on the ability to make reasoned moral judgem........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 03:52 PM

toward a better drug classification

by 96well in Reportergene

Just a bit of self-promotion about my last paper. Despite the superiority of longitudinal vs cross-sectional studies, the dynamics of drug action are poorly explored in pre-clinical studies. Little is known about how drugs affect the activity of their intended target over time. Here, we used a longitudinal imaging approach to accurately follow the state of transcriptional activity of one drug target (the estrogen receptor) in 8 anatomical areas of living ERE-luc reporter mice over 21 consecutive........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 02:51 PM

UV, You See? Black Light Reveals Secrets in Fossils

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: evolution, evolutionary biology, UV light, flight, dinosaur, dromaeosaur, theropods, Microraptor gui, paleontology, fossils, birds,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper, journal club

Figure 1. The holotype of Microraptor gui, IVPP V 13352 under normal light. This shows the preserved feathers (white arrow) and the 'halo' around the specimen where they appear to be absent (black arrows). Scale bar at 5 cm. [larger view]
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009223

It has l........ Read more »

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