Post List

  • June 21, 2010
  • 05:58 AM
  • 1,125 views

Stinky seal-ducks. Amazing waterfowl facts part IV

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

More waterfowl weirdness...





Most waterfowl can walk fine on land, and the majority of species are pretty agile in terms of their terrestrial abilities. But some species are so specialised for life on water, and have their legs placed so far back on their bodies, that any terrestrial abilities are poor, if not hilarious. One often reads of how divers (or loons) are only able to move on land with an awkward shuffle; less well known is that some waterfowl are pretty much the same. Read the re........ Read more »

  • June 21, 2010
  • 05:00 AM
  • 1,685 views

Does Lipid Overload Cause Diabetes?

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog

An up-and-coming theory to explain type 2 diabetes suggests that abnormal lipid metabolism, not glucose/sugar metabolism, is the primary metabolic defect.  Roger H. Unger, M.D., wrote about this in the March 12, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Early in the writing of this blog entry, I realized it is much [...]... Read more »

  • June 21, 2010
  • 04:49 AM
  • 1,082 views

Does greater competition improve performance or increase cheating?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

What happens when you recruit dozens of students to perform a maze-based computer task and then you ratchet up the competitive pressure? Does their performance improve or do they just cheat more?Christiane Schwieren and Doris Weichselbaumer found out by having 33 men and 32 women at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona spend 30 minutes completing on-screen mazes. Crucially, half the students were paid according to how many mazes they completed whereas the half in the 'highly competitive' co........ Read more »

  • June 21, 2010
  • 04:36 AM
  • 967 views

Linking Diabetes and Cancer: Where’s the Evidence?

by avi_wener in American Biotechnologist

If you’ve been following the Diabetes news lately, you likely noticed that two stories have dominated the news over the last couple of days. The first is a widely published study that implicates the consumption of white rice (as opposed to brown rice) in increased incidents of diabetes and the second relates to emerging evidence [...]... Read more »

Giovannucci, E., Harlan, D., Archer, M., Bergenstal, R., Gapstur, S., Habel, L., Pollak, M., Regensteiner, J., & Yee, D. (2010) Diabetes and Cancer: A Consensus Report. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. DOI: 10.3322/caac.20078  

  • June 21, 2010
  • 12:47 AM
  • 1,004 views

Stress and Anxiety, aka CRF and 5-HT2

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Today's post comes to you from several tweets that Sci received way back in the mists of time (that is...two weeks ago. Three? Something like that). Sci got wind of this paper and has been meaning to blog it for a while, but other things get in the way, like other things will. And when those other things finally get out of the way, Sci sometimes finds that she's so SLEEPY she doesn't know if she can make it through any more dry, sciency prose (sciency prose, even at the best of times, is pat........ Read more »

Magalhaes, A., Holmes, K., Dale, L., Comps-Agrar, L., Lee, D., Yadav, P., Drysdale, L., Poulter, M., Roth, B., Pin, J.... (2010) CRF receptor 1 regulates anxiety behavior via sensitization of 5-HT2 receptor signaling. Nature Neuroscience, 13(5), 622-629. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2529  

  • June 21, 2010
  • 12:02 AM
  • 1,442 views

Do video games enhance cognitive abilities?

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

In my last post, I discussed a debate that is going on over whether using the internet is good or bad for the brain. Those who argue against apparently harmful effects of the internet often cite studies that suggest playing video games actually enhances certain cognitive abilities. How compelling is the evidence for these purported benefits?Well if you search the research literature, you will find a large number of studies (some in very high-impact journals) suggesting that regular video game pl........ Read more »

  • June 20, 2010
  • 11:51 PM
  • 631 views

Mark Pagel at University of Oregon HBES conference

by Victor Hanson-Smith in Evolution, Development, and Genomics

Mark Pagel (MP) delivered a keynote lecture at the 22nd annual Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference, titled “The Rise of the Speaking Machine: Explorations in Language Evolution.” Here is a brief description of the lecture.... Read more »

  • June 20, 2010
  • 08:32 PM
  • 500 views

Marine Rewilding?

by Chuck in Ya Like Dags?

It's amazing what you'll catch in the letters to the editor sometimes.  In the latest issue of Fisheries Magazine is a classic back-and-forth editorial origination from an article by researcher John. C. Briggs.  At first my interest was piqued simply by the fact that there was something ocean-related (since the start of my subscription Fisheries has been utterly dominated by freshwater articles), but reading the debate motivated me to go back and track down the original article. ........ Read more »

Josh Donlan C, Berger J, Bock CE, Bock JH, Burney DA, Estes JA, Foreman D, Martin PS, Roemer GW, Smith FA.... (2006) Pleistocene rewilding: an optimistic agenda for twenty-first century conservation. The American naturalist, 168(5), 660-81. PMID: 17080364  

  • June 20, 2010
  • 08:06 PM
  • 597 views

Transmission of Avian Influenza restricted by cold nose

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


One of the greater uncertanties about Avian Influenza is why it is not efficiently transmitted among humans. Thus, it is clear how likely it is that the virus is able to cross this barrier and a more efficient line appears. For example, until now the H5N1 was transmitted mainly to breeders and people in very [...]... Read more »

  • June 20, 2010
  • 05:10 PM
  • 961 views

Glomalin: Carbon stored in a protein you’ve probably never heard of

by Thomas Kluyver in Thomas' Plant-Related Blog

What’s soil made of? Take out the chunks of roots and twigs, take out the particles of minerals, and what are you left with? What makes it soil, brown and lumpy, rather than something like fine sand? It’s a mixture of organic matter: stuff produced by things living in or on the soil, that can’t [...]... Read more »

  • June 20, 2010
  • 03:30 PM
  • 1,399 views

Professionalism – turning dolphins into whales

by Euan in Dr Euan Lawson| Doctor Writer

Professionalism is an explicit outcome in most medical curricula yet remains a nebulous concept. Some medical students recently asked for my opinion on body piercing and tattoos. Would having a tongue piercing or a tattoo constitute an unprofessional act? The many systems being developed to assess and measure professionalism can feel oppressive. Paradoxically, patients thrive [...]... Read more »

  • June 20, 2010
  • 02:00 PM
  • 1,021 views

Vitamin B6 May Lower Risk of Lung Cancer

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Large European study confirms earlier findings.

It doesn’t mean you should start popping handfuls of B vitamins if you are a smoker or a former smoker (those who never smoked rarely get the disease). What it appears to mean is that people with the highest levels of vitamin B6 in their bodies may have as little as half the risk of developing lung cancer as people with very low levels of B6--also known as pyridoxine.

In a June 16 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (........ Read more »

Mattias Johansson, et. al. (2010) Serum B Vitamin Levels and Risk of Lung Cancer. Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(23), 2377-2385. info:/

  • June 20, 2010
  • 12:51 PM
  • 342 views

Sorry honey, I just had to buy that dress! - When cognitive overload undermines our self-regulatory ability.

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Counterintuitively, people who exercise self control in some way, such as dieting or trying not to look at or think about something, might end up buying things more impulsively instead if given the opportunity.Vohs & Faber (2007) explain in their study, Spent Resources: Self-Regulatory Resource Availability Affects Impulse Buying, that opportunities for impulse purchasing have increased with the proliferation of ATMs, shopping on the Internet, and shop-at-home television programs. Depletion ........ Read more »

  • June 20, 2010
  • 11:50 AM
  • 940 views

Bacterial Hitchhikers

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

There was an interesting post over at Culturing Science about the widespread dispersal of bacteria which, as well as sporting an amazing hand-drawn MS Paint picture also put forward the argument that bacterial evolution occurs in very selective environmental pockets and niches, while a sort of general 'less-evolving' population floats around the world. This helps to explain why you can find almost identical species of bacteria all over the world, yet still find very specialised colonies in disti........ Read more »

Grossart HP, Dziallas C, Leunert F, & Tang KW. (2010) Bacteria dispersal by hitchhiking on zooplankton. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20547852  

  • June 20, 2010
  • 11:47 AM
  • 1,178 views

Looking at your statistical models...

by egonw in Chem-bla-ics

I do not think I have ever blogged the paper that played an important role in my thesis (doi:10.1021/ci990038z); research of one of the papers in my thesis, started with the hypothesis proposed therein. The paper had a really good idea; but, unfortunately, it did not contain the data to support the hypothesis. That gets me to one important lesson I learned: a QSAR data set of less than 100 molecules is not enough to make untargeted statistical models.

The paper reads quite nicely, and the resul........ Read more »

Willighagen, E., Denissen, H., Wehrens, R., & Buydens, L. (2006) On the Use of H and C 1D NMR Spectra as QSPR Descriptors . Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, 46(2), 487-494. DOI: 10.1021/ci050282s  

  • June 20, 2010
  • 10:02 AM
  • 927 views

The paternity myth: the rarity of cuckoldry

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

An urban myth, often asserted with a wink & a nod in some circles, is that a very high proportion of children in Western countries are not raised by their biological father, and in fact are not aware that their putative biological father is not their real biological father. The numbers I see and hear [...]... Read more »

  • June 20, 2010
  • 06:20 AM
  • 1,310 views

Mythbusting Booze: Myths and realities of alcohol consumption

by Michael Slezak in Good, Bad, and Bogus


This is the first part of a series that aims to bust some myths about booze.
Hangovers suck and they’re probably best avoided. But once you’ve got one, can you get rid of it? People swear by their favourite hangover cures — insisting that if you just follow their advice, you’ll free yourself of the post-intoxicated state.
Can [...]... Read more »

Verster JC. (2008) The alcohol hangover--a puzzling phenomenon. Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), 43(2), 124-6. PMID: 18182417  

  • June 19, 2010
  • 06:58 PM
  • 575 views

Choice of Wiper Fluid Can Cause Legionnaire’s Disease

by onthewards in On The Wards

In our currently fragile economy, lifestyle changes are often necessary to maintain a reasonable budget. We may carpool more often, eat out less frequently, or reduce the number of foreign excursions. While making changes to shave costs are generally helpful, there are some corners that should not be cut.
In a recent study published in the [...]

... Read more »

  • June 19, 2010
  • 01:57 PM
  • 630 views

Conquest of the land, a la Chubby Checker

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Now this is wild:


It’s a fish. It jumps.

This picture was not taken in an aquarium filled with water; it’s in air.

The fish is a blenny, Alticus arnoldorum, and a new paper introduced me to this fish that barely deserves to be called a fish. According to the author, Shi-Tong Hsieh, this fish spends so much time on land that it actively defends territory on land. It can stay out of water indefinitely, as long as it stays moist.

That blows my mind.

Hsieh was interested how blennies wer........ Read more »

Hsieh, Shi-Tong Tonia. (2010) A Locomotor Innovation Enables Water-Land Transition in a Marine Fish. PLoS ONE, 5(6). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0011197

  • June 19, 2010
  • 12:34 PM
  • 533 views

"Can't Touch This" - The neurophysiology of pleasant touch

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Touch is crucially important for social communication, mediating how we perceive and interpret the actions of others. For example, waitresses who touch customers get better tips (Crusco & Wetzel, 1984). However, touch alone does not always lead to positive outcomes. For many years researchers have known that touch is moderated by factors such as type of touch, location of touch, situational context, and many others. Until recently however, they were uncertain as to how the social effect of ........ Read more »

Olausson, H., Wessberg, J., Morrison, I., McGlone, F., & Vallbo, �. (2010) The neurophysiology of unmyelinated tactile afferents. Neuroscience , 34(2), 185-191. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2008.09.011  

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