Post List

  • January 17, 2011
  • 05:38 AM

A White-tailed eagle in southern England

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

The big buzz here in Hampshire (southern England) at the moment is the recent arrival of a White-tailed eagle Haliaeetus albicilla. This magnificent raptor - it can have a wingspan of 2.4 m and is one of the biggest eagles in the world - is historically extinct in England, but individuals still appear here on occasion [image of the Hampshire bird shown here by Darren Crain].

A member of the 'sea eagle' clade Haliaeetus, the White-tailed eagle appears to be the sister-species of North Americ........ Read more »

  • January 17, 2011
  • 04:26 AM

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: Horrifying ant parasite

by beredim in Strange Animals

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (also known as cordyceps unilateralis)is a bizarre parasitic fungus that turns ants into zombies in order to ensure its survival. Interestingly, another yet unidentified fungus protects ants by parasitizing on the zombie-turning O. unilateralis !... Read more »

Andersen, S., Gerritsma, S., Yusah, K., Mayntz, D., Hywel‐Jones, N., Billen, J., Boomsma, J., & Hughes, D. (2009) The Life of a Dead Ant: The Expression of an Adaptive Extended Phenotype. The American Naturalist, 174(3), 424-433. DOI: 10.1086/603640  

Hughes, D., Wappler, T., & Labandeira, C. (2010) Ancient death-grip leaf scars reveal ant-fungal parasitism. Biology Letters, 7(1), 67-70. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0521  

Andersen, S., Ferrari, M., Evans, H., Elliot, S., Boomsma, J., & Hughes, D. (2012) Disease Dynamics in a Specialized Parasite of Ant Societies. PLoS ONE, 7(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036352  

Kittakoop, P., Punya, J., Kongsaeree, P., Lertwerawat, Y., Jintasirikul, A., Tanticharoen, M., & Thebtaranonth, Y. (1999) Bioactive naphthoquinones from Cordyceps unilateralis. Phytochemistry, 52(3), 453-457. DOI: 10.1016/S0031-9422(99)00272-1  

Sung, G., Hywel-Jones, N., Sung, J., Luangsa-ard, J., Shrestha, B., & Spatafora, J. (2007) Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi. Studies in Mycology, 57(1), 5-59. DOI: 10.3114/sim.2007.57.01  

Andersen SB, Gerritsma S, Yusah KM, Mayntz D, Hywel-Jones NL, Billen J, Boomsma JJ, & Hughes DP. (2009) The life of a dead ant: the expression of an adaptive extended phenotype. The American naturalist, 174(3), 424-33. PMID: 19627240  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 04:00 AM

Copernicus and the Star that was bigger than the Universe

by Alun in AlunSalt

I’ve been trying to watch Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I’ve never seen it and it’s proving to be a bit of a struggle. He definitely can write. Some of the sequences are fantastic, but some of it is badly dated. The thing that really grates to me is his dismissal of Ptolemy and his geocentric... Read more »

Graney, C.M. (2010) The Telescope Against Copernicus: Star Observations by Riccioli Supporting a Geocentric Universe. Journal for the History of Astronomy, 41(4), 453-467. info:/

  • January 17, 2011
  • 03:12 AM

Imitation and Social Cognition in Humans and Chimpanzees (I): Imitation, Overimitation, and Conformity

by Michael in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Imitation is often seen as one of the crucial foundations of culture because it is the basis of  social learning and social transmission. Only by imitating others and learning from them did human culture become cumulative, allowing humans to build and improve on the knowledge of previous generations. Thus, . . . → Read More: Imitation and Social Cognition in Humans and Chimpanzees (I): Imitation, Overimitation, and Conformity... Read more »

Lyons DE, Young AG, & Keil FC. (2007) The hidden structure of overimitation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(50), 19751-6. PMID: 18056814  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 01:51 AM

Of Boobs, Babes and the JAMA

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

I have been an avid reader of the JAMA Online and especially been attracted to the cover art of every JAMA print issue. For those who do not know, the JAMA is the Journal of the American Medical Association and … Continue reading →... Read more »

Clark JP. (1999) Babes and boobs? analysis of JAMA cover art. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 319(7225), 1603-4. PMID: 10600956  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 01:23 AM

What is your personal blogging style

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

How do you experience, perceive your blogging? This is a different question from why do you blog, or your motivation for blogging. This question is more about your blogging style. Well they have an questionnaire for that and it’s recently validated.
A total of 182 bloggers (87 males, 95 females; age range 18–64 years) recruited from [...]

No related posts.... Read more »

Baker, J., & Moore, S. (2010) Creation and Validation of the Personal Blogging Style Scale. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0130  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 12:20 AM

Plague DNA from Late Antique Bavaria

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

The first plague pandemic was not recorded in Bavaria, or anywhere in the Germanic territory that I am aware of. The grave was not a typical ‘plague pit’. It was a rich grave of an adult woman and a young girl (individuals 166 and 167) from a cemetery in Aschheim, Bavaria. With no visible signs [...]... Read more »

  • January 17, 2011
  • 12:16 AM

Smelly Self-Confidence

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Today is Sci’s entry for this month’s CARNAL CARNIVAL. The month’s topic, as you may have guessed…is body odor. (Source) Ah, the big B.O. One of the things that people are by the most sensitive about in countries like the US. In fact, people have been busily covering any sign of their natural scent (and [...]... Read more »

  • January 16, 2011
  • 11:11 PM

What activates a supermassive black hole?

by Charles Daney in Science and Reason

There's good evidence that massive black holes exist at the centers of most large galaxies having a central bulge, and even within galaxies that lack a central bulge, are small, or have an irregular form. Such black holes can range in size up to more than 10 billion solar masses (M⊙). Little is known about what the average or typical mass of a central black hole is, although most are probably a lot smaller, such as that of Sagittarius A* in our galaxy, which is only ~4.2×106 M⊙........ Read more »

Cisternas, M., Jahnke, K., Inskip, K., Kartaltepe, J., Koekemoer, A., Lisker, T., Robaina, A., Scodeggio, M., Sheth, K., Trump, J.... (2011) THE BULK OF THE BLACK HOLE GROWTH SINCE ∼ 1 OCCURS IN A SECULAR UNIVERSE: NO MAJOR MERGER-AGN CONNECTION . The Astrophysical Journal, 726(2), 57. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/726/2/57  

  • January 16, 2011
  • 10:07 PM

resistance to science

by alison in bioblog

One of the topics that comes up for discussion with my Sciblogs colleagues is the issue of 'resistance to science' - the tendency to prefer alternative explanations for various phenomena over science-based explanations for the same observations. It's a topic...... Read more »

Bloom P, & Weisberg DS. (2007) Childhood origins of adult resistance to science. Science (New York, N.Y.), 316(5827), 996-7. PMID: 17510356  

  • January 16, 2011
  • 08:17 PM

Psycasm - The Trolley Problem: Who cares?

by Rift in Psycasm

Who knows the trolley dilemma?It's a simple little thought experiment in ethics. Here's a variation:You are a station master at a railway and a runaway train is speeding through the station. Ahead of it is a split line, and the train is headed down Line A if you do not act. At the end of Line A is a single surveyor, inspecting the tracks, oblivious to the fact there is a train headed for; (read more)

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

  • January 16, 2011
  • 07:03 PM

Genomic Imprinting III: The Loudest Voice Prevails

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, it's been a while since the last installment of the Primers on Imprinting feature, but they should be posted with greater regularity in the upcoming weeks. This time we're going to introduce something that we will see again in future installments: small differences in selection lead to large differences in behavior.

Last time, we introduced the most widely discussed and most successful explanation of the evolutionary origins of genomic imprinting, the "kinship" or "conflict" theory. Accordi........ Read more »

  • January 16, 2011
  • 06:25 PM

Don't Advocate from a Position of Hate

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - On some days, just watching the news can stop us cold. Those who work in law should be proud to be part of a system that, however imperfectly, resolves disputes with appeals to reason and judgment rather than force. But the opposite end of the spectrum was seen in last week's devestating shooting in Tucson that left six dead and fourteen injured. While the motives of the shooter remain hazy at the time of writing, one element seems clear: for whatever twisted reason, the........ Read more »

Blatt B, LeLacheur SF, Galinsky AD, Simmens SJ, & Greenberg L. (2010) Does perspective-taking increase patient satisfaction in medical encounters?. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(9), 1445-52. PMID: 20736672  

Wayne Brockriede. (1972) Arguers as Lovers. Philosophy and Rhetoric, 1-11. info:/

Horberg, E., Oveis, C., Keltner, D., & Cohen, A. (2009) Disgust and the moralization of purity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(6), 963-976. DOI: 10.1037/a0017423  

  • January 16, 2011
  • 04:32 PM

P is happy and N is sad – a biological universal?

by Maria Wolters in Speech and Science

Twitter has been abuzz recently with news of a paper that claims to have found universal sound correlates of happiness and sadness: Auracher, J., Albers, S., Zhai, Y., Gareeva, G., & Stavniychuk, T. (2011). P Is for Happiness, N Is for Sadness: Universals in Sound Iconicity to Detect Emotions in Poetry Discourse Processes, 48 (1), [...]... Read more »

  • January 16, 2011
  • 04:24 PM

CFTR aids Listeria escape into cell cytosol

by geekheartsscience in geek!

The intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes must escape the vacuole formed during entry into the host cell to replicate in its preferred environment—the cell cytosol—and continues its life cycle. Although the pore-forming bacterial toxin listeriolysin O is vital for Listeria escape … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 16, 2011
  • 09:18 AM

Targeting dormant bacteria

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Antibiotics are effective against bacteria because they target and knock out specific functions that are vital for bacterial survival. As most bacterial infections involve rapid growth and division of the invading bacteria, many commercial antibiotics currently target metabolically active cells, by blocking enzymes needed for growth, reproduction, or cell wall synthesis. While these will kill acute bacterial infections they are often far less effective against dormant bacteria in longer-term per........ Read more »

  • January 16, 2011
  • 08:37 AM

What is Science?

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

Reading this Lubos’ post about a very good site (this one) I entered into the comment area and I have found the following declaration by him: Science is a meritocracy where answers are determined by objective criteria, and for most of the difficult questions, only one or a few people know the right answer and [...]... Read more »

D. Dudal, M. S. Guimaraes, & S. P. Sorella. (2010) Glueball masses from an infrared moment problem and nonperturbative Landau gauge. arxiv. arXiv: 1010.3638v3

  • January 15, 2011
  • 10:58 PM

A Genlisean Effort: A Tale of Two Trans-Atlantic Dispersal Events in the Carnivorous Plant Genus Genlisea

by Ryan Kitko in Cunabulum

An illustration from 1858 on the closed and open Atlantic Ocean.South America and Africa look like they fit together snuggly, like puzzle pieces. It's so intuitive that children can grasp this notion without the aid of a formal education in geology. As an accepted theory, plate tectonics draws on evidence from several supporting disciplines, including paleontology and biogeography. Paleontology and geology are, of course, the primary fields where evidence for continental drift arises, ........ Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 10:31 PM

Does mathematical training increase our risk tolerance?

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

Humans are inherently risk averse. When offered a coin toss with a reward of $10,000 for heads but a loss of $10,000 for tails, most people would decline. They would likely agree to pay a significant sum to avoid the gamble, despite the expected value of the gamble being zero. When economists describe the preferences [...]... Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 04:00 PM

Neury Thursday: Thalamic and Raphe Signaling

by Allison in Dormivigilia

In this week's Journal of Neuroscience, scientists have uncovered the importance of the raphe nuclei in reward processing and have characterized the physical properties of thalamocortical waves... Read more »

Miyazaki K, Miyazaki KW, & Doya K. (2011) Activation of dorsal raphe serotonin neurons underlies waiting for delayed rewards. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(2), 469-79. PMID: 21228157  

Slézia A, Hangya B, Ulbert I, & Acsády L. (2011) Phase Advancement and Nucleus-Specific Timing of Thalamocortical Activity during Slow Cortical Oscillation. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(2), 607-17. PMID: 21228169  

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