Post List

  • October 25, 2010
  • 08:04 AM

Meteorite tea, and the failures of genius

by Lab Lemming in Lounge of the Lab Lemming

In the early 1970’s, Io, the innermost large moon of Jupiter, was somewhat of an enigma. Unlike Europa and Ganymede, it did not exhibit water ice adsorption bands it its IR spectra. Its density suggested that it was a rock and metal planet, but the surface reflectance was unlike anything known to science. This problem was addressed brilliantly in a Science paper by Fanale, Johnson, and Matson,... Read more »

Fanale, F., Johnson, T., & Matson, D. (1974) Io: A Surface Evaporite Deposit?. Science, 186(4167), 922-925. DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4167.922  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Free Will is NOT An Illusion

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many scientists think that free-will is an illusion. That is, intentions, choices, and decisions are made by subconscious mind, which only lets the conscious mind know what was willed after the fact. This argument was promoted long ago by scholars like Darwin, Huxley, and Einstein. Many modern scientists also hold that position and have even [...]... Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 07:51 AM

Feed me, Seymour

by Becky in It Takes 30

The diversity of life is a puzzle for ecologists and evolutionary biologists.  The principle of competitive exclusion suggests that if two species are competing for the same resource, one of them should eventually win and the other should become extinct.  So if you have n different food sources, you should end up with (at most) [...]... Read more »

Jennings DE, Krupa JJ, Raffel TR, & Rohr JR. (2010) Evidence for competition between carnivorous plants and spiders. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 277(1696), 3001-8. PMID: 20462904  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 06:36 AM

Body odor, Asians, and earwax

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

When I was in college I would sometimes have late night conversations with the guys in my dorm, and the discussion would random-walk in very strange directions. During one of these quasi-salons a friend whose parents were from Korea expressed some surprise and disgust at the idea of wet earwax. It turns out he had [...]... Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 06:23 AM

Supply Chain Crisis Management

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Supply Chain Risk Management is one way to look at risks within a company (and beyond). But there are broader and more narrow disciplines as well, with Business Continuity on the one end and Supply Chain Crisis Management on the other.

I wanted to get an overview of current research on Supply Chain Crisis Management first, so today I explore "Managing supply chains in times of crisis: a review of literature and insights" by Natarajarathinam, Capar and Narayanan. The article is focussed on ........ Read more »

Natarajarathinam, M., Capar, I., & Narayanan, A. (2009) Managing supply chains in times of crisis: a review of literature and insights. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 39(7), 535-573. DOI: 10.1108/09600030910996251  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Article review: EM in medical schools

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

Similar to JAMA, which publishes an annual publication focusing on Medical Education, the Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) journal just published a AEM-CORD supplement focusing on EM education. I was fortunate to be involved with one of the papers published in this supplement.This paper, written on behalf of the Clerkship Directors in EM (CDEM) and the Association of Academic Chairs of EM (AACEM), reviews the past, present, and future of EM in the U.S. medical school curriculum.EM faculty membe........ Read more »

Wald, D., Lin, M., Manthey, D., Rogers, R., Zun, L., & Christopher, T. (2010) Emergency Medicine in the Medical School Curriculum. Academic Emergency Medicine. DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2010.00896.x  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 05:32 AM

'Don't do it!' - how your inner voice really does aid self-control

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

As you stretch for yet another delicious cup cake, the abstemious little voice in your head pleads 'Don't do it!'. Does this self talk really have any effect on your impulse control or is it merely providing a private commentary on your mental life? A new study using a laboratory test of self-control suggests that the inner voice really does help.

Alexa Tullett and Michael Inzlicht had 37 undergrads perform the Go/No Go task. Briefly, this involved one on-screen symbol indicating that a button ........ Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 04:28 AM

The brain creates something out of nothing

by Björn Brembs in

Brains are what mathematicians call "information sources". At least this is one of the results of a set of elaborate experiments together with sophisticated analyses and computations reported in the current issue of Nature Neuroscience (subscription required). The article, entitled "Intrinsic biophysical diversity decorrelates neuronal firing while increasing information content", studies a set of neurons in the brain's main olfactory center, the olfactory bulb. These ne........ Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 04:21 AM

Racial Differences in the Concept of Beauty

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Are average composite faces the most attractive faces or are highly attractive faces markedly different from average faces? Rhee & Lee (2010) agrees with Perrett & Yoshikawa (1994) that the most attractive face is actually the average of attractive faces and that an average face; while attractive, is not the most attractive.They also argue that previous concepts of beauty such as the divine proportion (golden ratio) are not a good measure of beauty across different races and should not b........ Read more »

Rhee SC, & Lee SH. (2010) Attractive Composite Faces of Different Races. Aesthetic plastic surgery. PMID: 20953953  

Perrett DI, May KA, & Yoshikawa S. (1994) Facial shape and judgements of female attractiveness. Nature, 368(6468), 239-42. PMID: 8145822  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 03:55 AM

A nanomedicine approach for ocular neuroprotection in glaucoma

by Michael Berger in nanowerk

Medical researchers believe that the best way to protect eye from glaucoma is to protect the optic nerve from a sudden increase in intraocular pressure since ocular hypertension is the most important risk factor for glaucoma. Accordingly, for the past few years, huge research efforts have been made to develop a powerful biotechnical approach to protect the optic nerve. As a result, scientists discovered that Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) can be a new powerful modality for the protection of optic ne........ Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 02:09 AM

What Do Med Students Think About the Dangers of Facebook?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

A lot his been written on this blog about medical professionalism and online social networks such as Facebook. There’s a lack of policies on Internet use for many med schools. In short, on social networking sites patients may learn information about their doctors or medical students that compromises the professional relationship. Threats to patient confidentiality [...]

Related posts:Med Schools lack of policies for facebook and twitter use
Facebook and Professionalism
The Dangers of Fa........ Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 02:07 AM

The Bobo Doll Experiment

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

Social psychology is a fascinating area of psychological research.One of the many famous pieces of research to come out in the history of social psychology is the Bobo Doll Experiment, conducted by Albert Bandura. Essentially, Philips (2007) states that Bandura showed children images of either an actor attacking a clown, or not. After watching the film, the children were then allowed to play in a room full of toys. Philips (2007) states that those children who had watched the film would go on to........ Read more »

Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. (1963) Imitation of film-mediated aggressive models. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66(1), 3-11. DOI: 10.1037/h0048687  

Bandura, A. (2009) Social Cognitive Theory Goes Global. The Psychologist, 22(6), 504-506. info:/

PHILLIPS, H. (2007) Mind-altering media. The New Scientist, 194(2600), 33-37. DOI: 10.1016/S0262-4079(07)61000-8  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 01:16 AM

Parametric Bootstrap Power Analysis of GISS Temp Data

by apeescape in mind of a Markov chain

Previosly, I calculated a bunch of ad-hoc power curves from GISTEMP data. Power is essentially a reframing of the p-value, to see the significance of the trend lines in the global temps. However, power calculations are inherently very noisy, hence, my ad-hoc way of aggregating the data. Another method is to bootstrap through the responses [...]... Read more »

Gerard, P., Smith, D., & Weerakkody, G. (1998) Limits of Retrospective Power Analysis. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 62(2), 801. DOI: 10.2307/3802357  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 12:35 AM

Fat rat fathers and pre-diabetic daughters

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

You guys, there is SO much science out there. SO MUCH. Grrl and I agree, so much to blog, so little time. Anyway, I found this great paper in the latest Table of Contents for Nature, and went “ooooh, must blog!” And then SciAm beat me to it. No fair, I bet they had it [...]... Read more »

  • October 24, 2010
  • 10:16 PM

Mesa Verde Water Control

by teofilo in Gambler's House

I’ve previously discussed water control technologies at Chaco, where they were particularly important given the extreme aridity of that area even by Southwestern standards.  There is abundant evidence, however, that water control was a widespread activity throughout the ancient Southwest, even in areas with more reliable water sources.  The best-studied water control systems have been [...]... Read more »

  • October 24, 2010
  • 08:26 PM

Those Darned Manipulative Living Donors

by Cristy at Living Donor 101 in Living Donors Are People Too

One of the authors of this article is the Walter Graham, Executive Director of UNOS, the agency that manages OPTN. He is neither a physician, mental health professional, living donor nor transplant recipient. He is but a simple bureacrat. From the cited article, comes this little gem: OPTN members also have the responsibility of helping protect potential recipients from hazards that can arise from public appeals.This hit me on a good day, meaning that I laughed hysterically rather than plot the ........ Read more »

  • October 24, 2010
  • 05:11 PM

Do people reject evolution because it unnerves them?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Do you ever get the feeling that one reason a lot of people can't stomach the theory of natural selection is that they hate the idea that everything we see around us is the result of blind chance. Hostility to the notion of chance is certainly a recurrent theme in creationist objections.

Of course, evolution by natural selection is not really evolution by chance, as the creationists claim. But even so chance does play a role. Stephen Gould, in many of his essays, repeatedly drove home the impor........ Read more »

Rutjens, B., van der Pligt, J., & van Harreveld, F. (2010) Deus or Darwin: Randomness and belief in theories about the origin of life. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(6), 1078-1080. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2010.07.009  

  • October 24, 2010
  • 02:30 PM

New Direction for the NFL

by Allison in Dormivigilia

This week, the NFL has modified the rules of tackling. Now, players can only tackle within the torso region and the intensity of hits will be monitored. This has all occurred because of the numerous concussions players have suffered this year alone and from continuing emerging science showing the long-term neurobehavioral consequences of playing football. Brain damage, psychiatric disorders, drug abuse, even suicide. ... Read more »

  • October 24, 2010
  • 12:51 PM

Searching for a needle in a needle-stack

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

Whole-genome sequencing is a game-changer for human genetics. It is now possible to deduce every base of an individual’s genome (all 6 billion of them – two copies of 3 billion each) for a couple of thousand euros, and dropping. (Yes, euros). Even Ozzy Osbourne just got his genome sequenced! For researchers searching for the causes of genetic disease (or resistance to vast quantities of drugs and alcohol), this means they no longer have to infer where a mutation is by tracking a sampling........ Read more »

Mitchell KJ. (2010) The genetics of neurodevelopmental disease. Current opinion in neurobiology. PMID: 20832285  

  • October 24, 2010
  • 12:22 PM

Halloween Post: The "Bloody Mary" illusion

by Brad Walters in Cortical Hemming and Hawing

When I was a kid, a popular ghost story that we would all tell around this time of year was the story of "Bloody Mary".  The story is actually very widespread here in the U.S., to the point that it has a Wikipedia page, a post on the mythbusting/fact-checking site, a plethora of YouTube videos devoted to the subject, and numerous mentions in movies and television shows.   If, somehow, you have never heard this story, it goes like this:In Colonial times, there was a beau........ Read more »

Caputo, G. (2010) Strange-face-in-the-mirror illusion. Perception, 39(7), 1007-1008. DOI: 10.1068/p6466  

de Bustamante Simas, M., & Irwin, R. (2000) Last but not least. Perception, 29(11), 1393-1396. DOI: 10.1068/p2911no  

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