2009 has been a good year for exoplanets, and one team of astronomers have discovered most of them. Since the first planet was found orbiting a star other than the Sun, many more have been discovered using increasingly sensitive instruments and sophisticated techniques. Because they are so faint compared to their parent stars, most planets are discovered through indirect methods. One of the most successful has been the which uses the principle of the Doppler effect to detect the tiny changes in........ Read more »
Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Bouchy, F.; Rupprecht, G.; Lo Curto, G.; Avila, G.; Benz, W.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Bonfils, X.; dall, Th.; Dekker, H.; Delabre, B.; Eckert, W.; Fleury, M.; Gilliotte, A.; Gojak, D.; Guzman, J. C.; Kohler, D.; Lizon, J.-L.; Long. (2003) Setting New Standards with HARPS. Messenger, 20-24. info:other/2003Msngr.114..20M
Look deep enough with a sensitive telescope and a seemingly empty patch of sky is full of galaxies. Look closely and you'll see that they are often gathered together in clusters. These massive collections of galaxies are the largest gravitationally bound objects in the universe, but it is uncertain how long ago these clusters formed. Now, using a variety of instruments, a team led by Stefano Andreon of the in Milan, Italy, has the most distant galaxy cluster ever found.The cluster, known as JK........ Read more »
Andreon, S., Maughan, B., Trinchieri, G., & Kurk, J. (2009) JKCS041: a colour-detected galaxy cluster at zphot~1.9 with deep potential well as confirmed by X-ray data. Astronomy and Astrophysics. DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200912299
Solar physicists thought they knew the shape of the Sun's heliosphere, but new results from the have revealed a huge ribbon of intense emission that was completely unexpected. The space between stars is not empty, but filled with a very tenuous gas known as the interstellar medium. As the Sun moves through this gas it emits a fast moving plasma know as the solar wind. These charged particles spread out spherically creating the , a cavity in the interstellar medium swept out by the solar wind.La........ Read more »
McComas, D., Allegrini, F., Bochsler, P., Bzowski, M., Christian, E., Crew, G., DeMajistre, R., Fahr, H., Fichtner, H., Frisch, P.... (2009) Global Observations of the Interstellar Interaction from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180906
Funsten, H., Allegrini, F., Crew, G., DeMajistre, R., Frisch, P., Fuselier, S., Gruntman, M., Janzen, P., McComas, D., Mobius, E.... (2009) Structures and Spectral Variations of the Outer Heliosphere in IBEX Energetic Neutral Atom Maps. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180927
Mobius, E., Bochsler, P., Bzowski, M., Crew, G., Funsten, H., Fuselier, S., Ghielmetti, A., Heirtzler, D., Izmodenov, V., Kubiak, M.... (2009) Direct Observations of Interstellar H, He, and O by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180971
Fuselier, S., Allegrini, F., Funsten, H., Ghielmetti, A., Heirtzler, D., Kucharek, H., Lennartsson, O., McComas, D., Mobius, E., Moore, T.... (2009) Width and Variation of the ENA Flux Ribbon Observed by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180981
Schwadron, N., Bzowski, M., Crew, G., Gruntman, M., Fahr, H., Fichtner, H., Frisch, P., Funsten, H., Fuselier, S., Heerikhuisen, J.... (2009) Comparison of Interstellar Boundary Explorer Observations with 3-D Global Heliospheric Models. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180986
Krimigis, S., Mitchell, D., Roelof, E., Hsieh, K., & McComas, D. (2009) Imaging the Interaction of the Heliosphere with the Interstellar Medium from Saturn with Cassini. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1181079
The Economist has an interesting piece on the rapid decline in fertility rates in developing countries as they grow wealthier. This is a strong rebuke to the recent upsurge in Neo-Malthusian thinking, which is associated with the Peak Oil crowd and various “dark green” movements. Alex Steffen of Worldchanging makes some smart points in this [...]... Read more »
Does someone interviewing for a job stand a better chance of getting the position if she’s first on the list of interviewees, last, or somewhere in-between? Does someone running for public office stand a better chance of getting elected if he’s first on the ballot, last, or otherwise?
These are questions of order in choice — and depending on who you’re asking, you’ll likely get a different answer about which spot in the picking order is more advantageous. The ........ Read more »
Mantonakis, A., Rodero, P., Lesschaeve, I., & Hastie, R. (2009) Order in Choice: Effects of Serial Position on Preferences. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02453.x
Whilst browsing PubMed today, I noticed an informative survey of publication trends in the field of regenerative medicine. The full PDF text is available from the journal for those of you who like to dig further: The articles published in the journal Cell Transplantation - The Regenerative Medicine Journal over the last two years reveal the recent and future cutting-edge research in the fields of regenerative and transplantation medicine. 437 articles were published from 2007 to 2008, a 17% incr........ Read more »
Park DH, & Eve DJ. (2009) Regenerative medicine: Advances in new methods and technologies. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research, 15(11). PMID: 19865067
When I was working at Chaco, we would often get visitors who would complain about how hard it was to get there. They usually focused on the road in and asked why there wasn’t more effort to pave it and make it more accessible to the American public. After all, isn’t that what national parks [...]... Read more »
Pepper, G. (1905) Ceremonial Objects and Ornaments from Pueblo Bonito, New Mexico. American Anthropologist, 7(2), 183-197. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1905.7.2.02a00010
So this post was supposed to be about the discovery of the most distant galaxy ever found, at a redshift of about 8.2 (13.1 billion light years from us, or, to put it another way, only about 630 million light years after the Big Bang), but I didn’t get round to it yesterday and I’ve [...]... Read more »
W. A. Coles, T. W. Murphy Jr., J. F. Melser, J. K. Tu, G. A. White, K. H. Kassabian, K. Bales, & B. B. Baumgartner. (2009) A Radio System for Avoiding Illuminating Aircraft with a Laser Beam. submitted to PASP. arXiv: 0910.5685v1
The importance of secondary structure prediction to bioinformatics, modeling and structure prediction cannot be overstated. In a somewhat recent paper by Palopoli et al., their group found that combining the results of mutliple algorithms (with their JSSPrediction methodology) gave major improvements in prediction accuracy (see table at right). This ‘combine and conquer’ strategy is a [...]
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Palopoli, L., Rombo, S., Terracina, G., Tradigo, G., & Veltri, P. (2009) Improving protein secondary structure predictions by prediction fusion. Information Fusion, 10(3), 217-232. DOI: 10.1016/j.inffus.2008.11.004
Low Back Disorders: Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation. 2nd Edition. Stuart McGill, PhD. Human Kinetics, 2007. 312 pages.
Dr. Stuart McGill and his immense research based out of the University of Waterloo, Ontario can be summarized in this 2nd edition of Low Back Disorders. Although, the back is often seen as complex by many health professions alike, Dr. McGill’s book helps to put things into a perspective which is easy to understand. The book is divided into three par........ Read more »
Boyd, K. (2003) Low Back Disorders: Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation. Physiotherapy Canada, 55(02), 124. DOI: 10.2310/6640.2003.37832
Electronic waste is a global problem
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Robinson, B. (2009) E-waste: An assessment of global production and environmental impacts. Science of The Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.09.044
Ogunseitan, O., Schoenung, J., Saphores, J., & Shapiro, A. (2009) The Electronics Revolution: From E-Wonderland to E-Wasteland. Science, 326(5953), 670-671. DOI: 10.1126/science.1176929
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Autism is a hard disorder to nail down genetically- single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or even multiple locus genetic effects are not able to account for the large genetic component to the disorder. In recent times, Copy number variations (CNVs) has come to the forefront of Autism research , suggesting that microdeletions, duplications etc [...]Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Related posts:CNVs and Autism/ Schizophrenia I had been meaning to comment on a recent pa........ Read more »
Gregory, S., Connelly, J., Towers, A., Johnson, J., Biscocho, D., Markunas, C., Lintas, C., Abramson, R., Wright, H., Ellis, P.... (2009) Genomic and epigenetic evidence for oxytocin receptor deficiency in autism. BMC Medicine, 7(1), 62. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-7-62
Gurrieri, F., & Neri, G. (2009) Defective oxytocin function: a clue to understanding the cause of autism?. BMC Medicine, 7(1), 63. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-7-63
The scenario is familiar to us all – Some sort of disease begins in a small town or large city, it spreads rapidly, infecting everyone in its wake, the infected become mindless, murderous creatures, hellbent on consuming or converting everyone they encounter, the walking dead. Finally, through some heroic effort, the survivors either turn back [...]... Read more »
C. J. Efthimiou, & S. Gandhi. (2006) Cinema Fiction vs Physics Reality: Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies. Skeptical Inquirer v. 31, issue 4 (2007), p. 27. arXiv: physics/0608059v2
D Sejdinovic. (2008) Mathematics of the Human-Vampire Conflict. Math Horizons. info:/
Hartl, R., Mehlmann, A., & Novak, A. (1992) Cycles of fear: Periodic bloodsucking rates for vampires. Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, 75(3), 559-568. DOI: 10.1007/BF00940492
Of the tools that are available or envisioned, only a highly efficacious, long-lasting vaccine would provide the degree and duration of transmission-blocking needed to achieve the simultaneous protection applied across a whole population at contiguous risk that is required to reduce and maintain R0 < 1 for that entire area
–Plowe, C., Alonso, P., & Hoffman, [...]... Read more »
Plowe, C., Alonso, P., & Hoffman, S. (2009) The Potential Role of Vaccines in the Elimination of Falciparum Malaria and the Eventual Eradication of Malaria. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1086/646613
Miller, L., & Pierce, S. (2009) Perspective on Malaria Eradication: Is Eradication Possible without Modifying the Mosquito?. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1086/646612
The 2009 conference ended on a high note with an inspirational talk from Professor Gerard Evan, who has recently been appointed Sir William Dunn Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, where he’ll continue his cutting-edge work on studying cancer cells to find targets for new treatments.
In his talk, Professor Evan took the audience [...]... Read more »
Back in June, I discussed the results of a large epidemiological study in women that showed that women with larger breasts have an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
As soon as Travis and I read this study, we knew we had to do a follow-up study of our own to see if this finding was simply spurious or if there was actually something to large breasts that indicated health risk – beyond that explained by obesity per se.
The project that Travis and I began over a year ago has........ Read more »
Janiszewski, P., Saunders, T., & Ross, R. (2009) Breast Volume is an Independent Predictor of Visceral and Ectopic Fat in Premenopausal Women. Obesity. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2009.336
One of several compounds known to inhibit and/or clear pathological prion proteins is amphotericin B. Often called “ampho-terrible” by clinicians because of its toxic side effects, its toxicity has inhibited it from being extensively studied as an anti-prion disease treatment. Its conventional use is as an anti-fungal agent. Soler and colleagues have hence sought to study amphotericin analogues to investigate anti-prion activity in the setting of less toxicity. ........ Read more »
SOLER, L. (2008) Effects of new amphotericin analogues on the scrapie isoform of the prion protein. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 1780(10), 1162-1167. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2008.07.005
Researchers in China have found that by practicing fellatio on their male counterparts female short-nosed fruit bats can prolong sex.
Whilst oral sex is a common part of the human mating ritual, and occasionally observed in Bonobo monkeys, this is thought to be one of the first times that fellatio has been observed outside of the [...]... Read more »
Apparently, the FDA will approve just about anything as an antidepressant. Despite patients indicating that they don't perceive Abilify to work as an antidepressant, the FDA approved it, likely leading to tens of thousands of Americans being able to enjoy a taste of akathisia while getting all the psychological benefits of a placebo. Good work, FDA. The shift of antipsychotics into antidepressants has been documented in many places and is, ironically, very depressing (1, 2, 3, 4).The FDA's "a........ Read more »
O’Reardon, J., Solvason, H., Janicak, P., Sampson, S., Isenberg, K., Nahas, Z., McDonald, W., Avery, D., Fitzgerald, P., & Loo, C. (2007) Efficacy and Safety of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the Acute Treatment of Major Depression: A Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial. Biological Psychiatry, 62(11), 1208-1216. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.01.018
Yu, E., & Lurie, P. (2009) Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Not Proven Effective. Biological Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.03.026
... Read more »
Bakermans, M., Vitz, A., Rodewald, A., & Rengifo, C. (2009) Migratory songbird use of shade coffee in the Venezuelan Andes with implications for conservation of cerulean warbler. Biological Conservation, 142(11), 2476-2483. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.05.018
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