Quasars are powered by the gravitational (potential) energy of their central supermassive black holes. However, their distinctive features – their extremely high luminosity in particular – are very dependent on characteristics of matter close to the black hole. Most supermassive black holes (SMBH), including those at the centers of the Milky Way and our close neighbor M31 (Andromeda), are responsible for fairly small amounts of radiation in any part of the electromagnetic spectrum. T........ Read more »
Information technology is letting people around the world come together in unprecedented ways. Wikis, blogs and microblogs like twitter, crowdsourcing and crowd-task-solving sites continue to flatten the planet. Scientific innovation used to be a private endeavor, with very narrowly specialized scientists. The Internet changed some of this but there is plenty of room for improvement.... Read more »
Wright MT, Roche B, von Unger H, Block M, & Gardner B. (2010) A call for an international collaboration on participatory research for health. Health promotion international, 25(1), 115-22. PMID: 19854843
Marsh A, Carroll D, & Foggie R. (2010) Using collective intelligence to fine-tune public health policy. Studies in health technology and informatics, 13-8. PMID: 20543334
Huss JW 3rd, Lindenbaum P, Martone M, Roberts D, Pizarro A, Valafar F, Hogenesch JB, & Su AI. (2010) The Gene Wiki: community intelligence applied to human gene annotation. Nucleic acids research, 38(Database issue). PMID: 19755503
British society, like that of most industrialized nations, has gone through enormous changes in recent decades. But it's hard to get objective data on what the impact has been on the people living there.
Which is why I was interested to see a recent study by Stephen Collishaw, of Cardiff University, and colleagues. They compared data from two studies, one in 1986 and one in 2006, that asked adolescents (aged 16-17) about their state of mind. Whether they felt anxious, depressed, worried, irrita........ Read more »
Collishaw, S., Maughan, B., Natarajan, L., & Pickles, A. (2010) Trends in adolescent emotional problems in England: a comparison of two national cohorts twenty years apart. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(8), 885-894. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02252.x
Even in the world of the very small, there are significant differences in size. A eukaryote cell (i.e a human cell) for example is relatively big, in microscopic terms. Most other things that interact with the cell at the microscopic level, are far smaller than it, such as bateria, viruses and signalling molecules.A virus isn't much more than a small capsule of proteins with a little bit of DNA inside. Once it gets inside a eukaryote cell, it's very much in the position of a small child wanderin........ Read more »
Kerstin Radtke, Daniela Kieneke, André Wolfstein, Kathrin Michael, Walter Steffen, Tim Scholz, Axel Karger, Beate Sodeik. (2010) Plus- and Minus-End Directed Microtubule Motors Bind Simultaneously to Herpes Simplex Virus Capsids Using Different Inner Tegument Structures. PLoS Patholgens, 6(7). info:/e1000991
This article is in early view at JASIST. It looks like it comes from the author's dissertation. It isn't terribly earth-shattering, but it's well done, it provides more evidence, and there are definitely some implications for library/IR manager practice. Here's the citation: Kim, J. (2010). Faculty self-archiving: Motivations and barriers Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology DOI: 10.1002/asi.21336 The author went through a complicated process to identify 1,5........ Read more »
A lot of the media (and scientific) attention to oil spills in the ocean focuses on the effects on marine ecosystems. The ecological effects, particularly in the short term, are undeniable – the pictures of oil-soaked birds are an obvious example. However, less attention is given to the potential effects on human health – both [...]... Read more »
Aguilera, F., Méndez, J., Pásaro, E., & Laffon, B. (2010) Review on the effects of exposure to spilled oils on human health. Journal of Applied Toxicology. DOI: 10.1002/jat.1521
Now, for my contribution to Saturday’s rodent blog, I will tell you about a new mouse species of the South American Akodon genus that was described earlier this year by Braun and colleagues in New species of Akodon (Rodentia: Cricetidae: Sigmodontinae) from central Argentina.... Read more »
Braun, J., Mares, M., Coyner, B., & Van Den Bussche, R. (2010) New species of Akodon (Rodentia: Cricetidae: Sigmodontinae) from central Argentina. Journal of Mammalogy, 91(2), 387-400. DOI: 10.1644/09-MAMM-A-048.1
There's nothing that error analysis wouldn't fix. But I prefer to sit here and ponder the epistemological ramifications of the way bugs are impacting the traditional way we make science...... Read more »
Scott A. Golder and Sarita Yardi. (2010) Structural Predictors of Tie Formation in Twitter: Transitivity and Mutuality. Proceedings of the Second IEEE International Conference on Social Computing. August 20-22, Minneapolis, MN. info:/
Robert Mapplethorpe - Untitled (Self Portrait)The previous post (Erotic or Disgusting?) covered a functional MRI experiment on the neural responses to erotic films in heterosexual and homosexual males (Zhang et al., 2010). Specifically, the study examined sexual arousal and disgust while the participants viewed various types of porn. Neuroimaging results were reported only for the stimuli deemed distasteful by each group, wherein the left ventromedial prefrontal cortex was more active for gay ........ Read more »
STARK, R., SCHIENLE, A., GIROD, C., WALTER, B., KIRSCH, P., BLECKER, C., OTT, U., SCHAFER, A., SAMMER, G., & ZIMMERMANN, M. (2005) Erotic and disgust-inducing pictures—Differences in the hemodynamic responses of the brain. Biological Psychology, 70(1), 19-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2004.11.014
A biofilm is generally described as a ‘synthesised environment housing a bacterial community on a surface’. This essentially means that organisms (not just bacteria) start to produce huge amount of ‘muck’ containing proteins, sugars and DNA and export it from the cell once bound to a ‘surface’. When it does this it generates its own little environmental niche and as that bacterial cell divides within the biofilm it can pool its resources allowing easier growth........ Read more »
Efem, S. (1988) Clinical observations on the wound healing properties of honey. British Journal of Surgery, 75(7), 679-681. DOI: 10.1002/bjs.1800750718
Bielecki, P., Glik, J., Kawecki, M., & Martins dos Santos, V. (2007) Towards understanding Pseudomonas aeruginosa burn wound infections by profiling gene expression. Biotechnology Letters, 30(5), 777-790. DOI: 10.1007/s10529-007-9620-2
The best headline I read last week is from Metafilter blog: "Scientists prove that lunch came before breakfast." In fact, journalists at major news sites all around the web reported that scientists have solved the infamous chicken-and-egg problem.
Which came first? The chicken. Definitively.
read more... Read more »
Freeman CL, Harding JH, Quigley D, & Rodger PM. (2010) Structural Control of Crystal Nuclei by an Eggshell Protein. Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English), 49(30), 5135-5137. PMID: 20540126
I’m in need of some cheering up today, as the fun observations I wanted to make with the Herschel Space Telescope have turned out to be impossible. Luckily, this observation planning also involved a lot of procrastination, which led me to this: the Dumb Or Overly Forced Astronomical Acronyms Site (DOOFAAS). On this site astronomer [...]... Read more »
John F. Beacom, & Mark R. Vagins. (2003) GADZOOKS! Antineutrino Spectroscopy with Large Water Cerenkov Detectors. Phys.Rev.Lett. 93 (2004) 171101. arXiv: hep-ph/0309300v1
We have been told that feeling well-rested while studying and reviewing your work just before bedtime enhances your memory for what you have studied. But when it comes to the role of sleep in motor memory, the answer is less clear. A recent research abstract presented at the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC by Dr Kevin Peters from Trent University suggests that sleep enhances our performance in complex motor learning tasks, as measured by an larger increase ........ Read more »
Falleti MG, Maruff P, Collie A, Darby DG, & McStephen M. (2003) Qualitative similarities in cognitive impairment associated with 24 h of sustained wakefulness and a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%. Journal of sleep research, 12(4), 265-74. PMID: 14633237
One of the most published supply risk researchers is George A. Zsidisin. In his 2003 article he describes the characteristics of inbound supply that affect the perception of risk.
The author defines supply risk as the potential occurrence of an incident associated with inbound supply from individual supplier failures or the supply market, in which its outcomes result in the inability of the purchasing firm to meet customer demand or cause threats to customer life and safety.
He........ Read more »
Exactly what Prolibytherium magnieri was, no one is quite sure. Since the time it was described in 1961, the 17-16.5 million year old mammal from Egypt and Libya has been closely allied with prehistoric relatives of deer (Palaeomerycidae), ancient giraffes (such as Sivatherium), and a motley group of giraffe cousins (Climacoceratidae). Many experts now agree [...]... Read more »
Sanchez, I., Quiralte, V., Morales, J., Azanza, B., & Pickford, M. (2010) Sexual dimorphism of the frontal appendages of the early Miocene African pecoran Prolibytherium Arambourg, 1961 (Mammalia, Ruminantia). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30(4), 1306-1310. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2010.483555
Consider two pendula (penduli? pendulums?) that are on a bit of a wobbly table, oscillating back and forth.
Eventually, they synchronize. Once a huge mystery to physics, the fact that placing two pendulums on the same surface causes minute vibrations to transmit through that surface, causing the devices to become weakly coupled. The result is that, after a sufficiently long period of time swinging back and forth, the two pendulums become fully synchronous.
The Scholarpedia article, "Phase ........ Read more »
A big problem in cancer treatment is how to deliver enough of the drugs needed to treat the tumour without causing excessive side effects. To make matters worse, cancers can develop resistance to drugs over time, meaning that increasingly higher doses and more potent cocktails of drugs are often needed to tackle the disease. But [...]... Read more »
Middleton, M., Knox, R., Cattell, E., Oppermann, U., Midgley, R., Ali, R., Auton, T., Agarwal, R., Anderson, D., Sarker, D.... (2010) Quinone Oxidoreductase-2-Mediated Prodrug Cancer Therapy. Science Translational Medicine, 2(40), 40-40. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3000615
Twitter is great for highlighting interesting journal articles, as I found when Edward Winstead from the NIH shared this paper from PLOSone on the importance of microRNA in melanoma in his Twitter stream (thanks, Ted!). There has been a lot...... Read more »
Bruffaerts et al. (2010) argue that by preventing childhood adversities to the fullest extent possible, we will witness a corresponding, marked decline in the suicide rate.... Read more »
Bruffaerts R, Demyttenaere K, Borges G, Haro JM, Chiu WT, Hwang I, Karam EG, Kessler RC, Sampson N, Alonso J.... (2010) Childhood adversities as risk factors for onset and persistence of suicidal behaviour. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 197(1), 20-7. PMID: 20592429
It is widely known (among astrophysicists at least!) that disks of accumulated matter are an essential component in the formation of low mass stars. These disks form when a rotating cloud of dust and gas collapses, and they direct material from the cloud onto a protostar at the centre. This protostar keeps accreting more and [...]... Read more »
Kraus, S., Hofmann, K., Menten, K., Schertl, D., Weigelt, G., Wyrowski, F., Meilland, A., Perraut, K., Petrov, R., Robbe-Dubois, S.... (2010) A hot compact dust disk around a massive young stellar object. Nature, 466(7304), 339-342. DOI: 10.1038/nature09174
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