Post List

  • February 17, 2010
  • 03:52 AM
  • 840 views

When relics are not what they have been proclaimed to be

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

It is still unusual when the Catholic church allows a scientific study of one of their relics. So I was surprised to find the manuscript describing the study of the DNA of the remains of one of Europe's patron saints, St. Birgitta (Bridget of Sweden) in my PLoS One inbox one fine day in May, 2008. I'm a neurogeneticist by training, so I felt competent to take this manuscript on as academic editor. The manuscript stated that they had found through both DNA analysis and carbon dating that not only........ Read more »

Nilsson, M., Possnert, G., Edlund, H., Budowle, B., Kjellström, A., & Allen, M. (2010) Analysis of the Putative Remains of a European Patron Saint–St. Birgitta. PLoS ONE, 5(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008986  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 01:49 AM
  • 2,547 views

The Misuse of Quetiapine

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD


A lot of medication gets misused, as is the right expression, meaning not used for the intention or indication it was developed for in the first place. This reminded me of one of my first publications on the abuse of anticholinergics.
From case reports it appears that quetiapine is sought after for recreational use and inappropriate [...]


Related posts:Music Preference and Substance Use From a large Dutch epidemiological study: overall, when all...
Is deep brain stimulation neuroprotective i........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 07:33 PM
  • 998 views

Pinacol boronates from arylamines

by Crystallinity in Chemical Crystallinity

Pinacol boronates are important synthetic building blocks used predominantly in the Suzuki-Miyura coupling reaction. Instead of a boronic acid, R-B(OH)2, the hydroxyls are substituted with a cyclic organic moiety, commonly pinacol. These compounds are often generated via iridium catalysis with alcohols and diboron starting materials; the use of metals in their synthesis complicates industry synthesis, however, as boronic acids and esters at time can be unstable and thus difficult to purify. Pri........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 06:56 PM
  • 581 views

Fabulous methylene functionalizations

by Crystallinity in Chemical Crystallinity

M. Christina White from UIUC has again hit Science with her direct C-H functionalization chemistry in the January 29th issue (doi: 10.1126/science.1183602). As an alternate route to traditional functional group modification, White's group, and those of groups pursuing C-H functionalization (which I mentioned in my previous post) seek to "streamline" synthesis by cutting out unnecessary steps and going right in for the kill at the otherwise "inert" C-H bond.  Badass. In t........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 05:02 PM
  • 1,224 views

Whale Snot

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal


Figure 1: Humpback whale
The question is: what do you use to study the health of whales in the wild?
The answer is: not what you’d think.
Unlike smaller sea mammals like seals or sea lions, it is very hard to obtain blood samples from whales without first killing them. Meet Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, from the Zoological Society of [...]... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 04:05 PM
  • 538 views

Psych FAIL.

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

I love the show Psych. For those who don't know the show, it's about a guy named Shawn Spencer (actor James Roday) whose uncanny powers of observation allow him to convince the Santa Barbara Police Department that he's a psychic. He's adorable, eccentric, and totally awesome in mostly every way. But I found myself yelling at my television (ok, my computer - I watch it on Hulu every week) while watching the most recent episode. I was really, truly pissed.

Let me explain. In the show, Shawn and c........ Read more »

Price, T., Hurst, G., & Wedell, N. (2010) Polyandry Prevents Extinction. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.01.050  

  • February 16, 2010
  • 03:39 PM
  • 1,010 views

Tradeoff between stability and multispecificity in the design of promiscuous proteins

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

Traditionally, computational protein design efforts have been directed at calculating a single sequence predicted to fold to a particular target structure. Recently, however, a number of conceptual generalizations have been pursued, ranging from the use of backbone flexibility, off-rotamer side chain flexibility, negative design, multi-body potentials, conformational free energy, and prediction of sequence profiles. Below I present our state-of-the-art research whose goal is to understand how pr........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 02:20 PM
  • 775 views

Dammit, Jim, I'm a neurobiologist, not a climatologist!

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

Clouds, the sun, volcanoes, the earth's orbit around the sun, ill-defined 'natural cycles' - all have been brought up recently by a range of non-scientists arguing against the current scientific consensus that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are responsible for the global warming observed in the last century. I'm a neurobiologist, so my knowledge about climatology is rather limited, which means I don't really understand too much of the complex mechanisms underlying climate variabilities. Howeve........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 01:34 PM
  • 1,163 views

Goals and satisfaction with pain management

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living


I came across this paper by Rowland Hazard and colleagues amongst a whole lot of papers lying on my desk (those of you who’ve seen my desk will understand what a momentous occasion it was to find something there!). It describes a very useful finding from a study the group conducted on outcome measurement.
There [...]... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 01:26 PM
  • 582 views

Pandemic Influenza: the role of pigs

by Atila Iamarino in Influenza A (H1N1) Blog – English

Birds are important in the natural history of Influenza and flu, but there is another character besides us humans. The pigs.



Our knowledge of Influenza in pig dates back to at least 1918 when it was observed that they could also catch the flu during a time when the human flu caused an uneven pandemic. In [...]... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 01:20 PM
  • 1,265 views

Bonobos and the Child-Like Joy of Sharing

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

   Bonobos retain juvenile traits related   to tolerance and cooperation.            Image: Vanessa WoodsHow many times as a kid would your parents tell you to grow up and act your age? It turns out that not acting our age may be the very reason why we're so successful as a species.

Brian Hare and colleagues have just released a video (see below) showing a bonobo juvenile voluntarily helping another indiv........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 12:20 PM
  • 765 views

Barefoot Running - even more vid analysis sources

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

Some of us have been just waiting for the moment when barefooting or vff'ing would make it through to the mainstream. THis seems to have happened recently on the cover of nature, with DE Lieberman's research in praise of the unshod. The formal article title is "Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners" ... Read more »

Lieberman, D., Venkadesan, M., Werbel, W., Daoud, A., D’Andrea, S., Davis, I., Mang’Eni, R., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2010) Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature, 463(7280), 531-535. DOI: 10.1038/nature08723  

  • February 16, 2010
  • 11:57 AM
  • 2,186 views

Individual behaviour change strategies

by PhD Blogger in Exercise Psychology

I came across this excellent article today on Individual behaviour change strategies. It is published in the ACSM's Health and fitness journal. It covers how to tailor physical activity behaviour change strategies to make them effective. Its full of good advice and i can see me using the advice in the future. I always get annoyed when we think that getting people through the door of a gym is the end of the journey! Thats the the start, my own area is exercise adherence and i am all too aware of........ Read more »

White, Siobhan M. B.S.; Mailey, Emily L. M.S.; McAuley, Edward. (2010) Individual behaviour change strategies. ACSM's Health , 14(1), 8-15. info:/

  • February 16, 2010
  • 10:34 AM
  • 597 views

Do Price Tags Have a Taste of Their Own?

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

Expert wine tasters can supposedly tell the difference between a cheap wine and a more expensive one. But research shows that a measurable portion of the actually perceived taste difference is solely due to a neurological response to knowing the wine's price tag. So I have to ask: What is the Taste of $90?...... Read more »

Plassmann, H., O'Doherty, J., Shiv, B., & Rangel, A. (2008) Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(3), 1050-1054. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0706929105  

  • February 16, 2010
  • 08:56 AM
  • 1,020 views

Foreign nurses face the Kanji hurdle

by Kimie Takahashi in Language on the Move

Japan’s aging population and the growing number of young Japanese shunning ‘3D’ jobs (dirty, dangerous and demanding) has resulted in an increasing demand for foreign nurses and eldercare workers. In response, the Japanese government has recently started to recruit nurses and allied professionals from Indonesia and the Philippines under bilateral economic partnership agreements (EPA).
These Indonesian [...]... Read more »

Piller, I . (2011) Language, Migration, and Human Rights. In Wodak, Ruth, Paul Kerswill and Barbara Johnstone. Eds. Handbook of Sociolinguistics. . info:/

  • February 16, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,077 views

Citizen science: using birder lists to detect species decline

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 06:43 AM
  • 1,054 views

Getting a sinking feeling yet?

by Stephen in Demon-haunted World

The oceans are the world's largest carbon sink. Are they starting to overflow?... Read more »

Le Quere, C., Rodenbeck, C., Buitenhuis, E., Conway, T., Langenfelds, R., Gomez, A., Labuschagne, C., Ramonet, M., Nakazawa, T., Metzl, N.... (2007) Saturation of the Southern Ocean CO2 Sink Due to Recent Climate Change. Science, 316(5832), 1735-1738. DOI: 10.1126/science.1136188  

Cassar, N., Bender, M., Barnett, B., Fan, S., Moxim, W., Levy, H., & Tilbrook, B. (2007) The Southern Ocean Biological Response to Aeolian Iron Deposition. Science, 317(5841), 1067-1070. DOI: 10.1126/science.1144602  

Sunda WG. (2010) Iron and the carbon pump. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5966), 654-5. PMID: 20133563  

Dalin Shi, Yan Xu, Brian M. Hopkinson, François M. M. Morel. (2010) Effect of Ocean Acidification on Iron Availability to Marine Phytoplankton. Science, 327(5966), 676-679. info:/10.1126/science.1183517

Riebesell U, Zondervan I, Rost B, Tortell PD, Zeebe RE, & Morel FM. (2000) Reduced calcification of marine plankton in response to increased atmospheric CO2. Nature, 407(6802), 364-7. PMID: 11014189  

  • February 16, 2010
  • 06:32 AM
  • 956 views

Men Who Can't Stop Hitting People

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Cohn et al. (2010) make some links between men's emotional (dys)regulation, restrictive emotionality and hitting people.... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 06:27 AM
  • 377 views

Paper of the Week: The link between snowfall increase in Antarctica and drought in southwest Western Australia

by Sarah Stephen in An ecological oratorio

Tas van Ommen and Vin Morgan, of the Australian Antarctic Division, published a paper ‘Snowfall increase in coastal East Antarctica linked with southwest Western Australian drought’ in Nature Geosciences.Turns out that this region of Australia has been facing a 40-year drought which was attributed to several factors, such as ‘natural variability, changes in land use, ocean temperatures and atmospheric circulation’. After evaluating the precipitation records of the two regions (East Antar........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 05:30 AM
  • 777 views

Are TV commercials solely responsible for screen time weight?

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

What a great study.The authors analyzed the television viewing habits of 2,037 children between the ages of 0 and 12 back and the outcome they were interested in was BMI. Parents were given diaries where they tracked among other things the format of the television their children watched. Formats could be educational viewing on broadcast or cable (shows like Sesame Street), education viewing on DVD or video (same shows as on cable but without advertisements), children's entertainment viewing on........ Read more »

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