Post List

  • December 23, 2010
  • 11:12 PM
  • 616 views

Walls

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Sand Canyon Pueblo, which I discussed in the previous post, is one of the best-known prehistoric communities in the Southwest due to the multi-year research program conducted there by Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in the 1980s and 1990s.  Crow Canyon selected it for this research for a variety of reasons, including its short period of [...]... Read more »

  • December 23, 2010
  • 09:08 PM
  • 1,359 views

Three Cheers for Failure!

by David Berreby in Mind Matters


Last week I vowed to pay more attention to replication in psychology experiments. Repeated experiments are an important test of whether a finding is "really out there" or an accident, so, as a number of psychologists have been saying lately to the public, it is kind of a problem that many ...Read More
... Read more »

Jennifer V. Fayard, Amandeep K. Bassi, Daniel M. Bernstein, & Brent W. Roberts. (2009) Is cleanliness next to godliness? Dispelling old wives’ tales: Failure to replicate Zhong and Liljenquist (2006). Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis, 6(2), 21-29. info:other/1539-8714

  • December 23, 2010
  • 08:34 PM
  • 1,290 views

You wouldn’t lie to me, would you?

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

“Fake Pills Can Work, Even If Patients Know It” “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Placebo Works Even if Patients Know” “Knowingly taking a placebo helps, study finds” “Sugar Pills Work Even When People Know They Are Fake” That’s just a sample of the headlines accompanying a new study on placebos published in PLoS ONE.  The study attempts [...]... Read more »

Kaptchuk, T., Friedlander, E., Kelley, J., Sanchez, M., Kokkotou, E., Singer, J., Kowalczykowski, M., Miller, F., Kirsch, I., & Lembo, A. (2010) Placebos without Deception: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. PLoS ONE, 5(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015591  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 07:18 PM
  • 1,273 views

How to make a transistor based on electron spin

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Last week I blogged about the potential of using the magnetic properties of an electron, its spin, for novel electronics. And already this week we have come a step further towards spin electronics through the demonstration of a spin-based transistor device! In spin electronics, it is the spin of the electron and not its electrical [...]... Read more »

Datta, S., & Das, B. (1990) Electronic analog of the electro-optic modulator. Applied Physics Letters, 56(7), 665. DOI: 10.1063/1.102730  

Wunderlich, J., Park, B., Irvine, A., Zarbo, L., Rozkotova, E., Nemec, P., Novak, V., Sinova, J., & Jungwirth, T. (2010) Spin Hall Effect Transistor. Science, 330(6012), 1801-1804. DOI: 10.1126/science.1195816  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 05:13 PM
  • 1,025 views

Magical thinking enhances creativity

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

It's tough being an atheist dad at Christmas. I mean, the kids love the all the stories, the sense of drama, the sense of community and of being part of something big. They also love to think they have a magical friend who cares about them and watches over them.

But I still feel awkward looking them in the eyes and telling them that Santa is real. I guess it's the incorrigible rationalist in me. Arty types probably have it easier.

Well, here's a study that I was hoping would salve my conscienc........ Read more »

Subbotsky E, Hysted C, & Jones N. (2010) Watching films with magical content facilitates creativity in children. Perceptual and motor skills, 111(1), 261-77. PMID: 21058605  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 03:11 PM
  • 1,423 views

Comparison of various DNA-Seq library prep methods

by epibio in EpiCentral

Adey et al. (in the laboratory of Jay Shendure, University of Washington) recently published a methods paper characterizing various library prep technologies for high-throughput DNA sequencing, including Epicentre’s Nextera™ technology. The publication highlights recent advances in DNA library preparation for next-generation sequencing, in order to overcome the bottleneck posed by earlier methods, i.e., labor, time, and lack of automation.

With Nextera technology, it is now possible to prep........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2010
  • 11:56 AM
  • 2,715 views

I’m Bringing Home my Baby Bumble-Bee!

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera


Won’t my mommy be so proud of me?
For a group of 8-10 year olds from an English elementary school, a group of parents are proud.  Why? Because their sons and daughters produced a science project whose results were published in the most recent issue of Biological Bulletin, a fairly prestigious accomplishment even for scientists who do . . . → Read More: I’m Bringing Home my Baby Bumble-Bee!... Read more »

Blackawton, P., Airzee, S., Allen, A., Baker, S., Berrow, A., Blair, C., Churchill, M., Coles, J., Cumming, R., Fraquelli, L.... (2010) Blackawton bees. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.1056  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 11:24 AM
  • 811 views

What Killed Alaska’s Dinosaurs?

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

In northern Alaska, along the banks of the Colville River, a series of fossil bonebeds preserve remnants of the Late Cretaceous world. These ancient environments were quite different from those found farther south. Even though the climate of Cretaceous Alaska was warmer than that of today, areas near the Colville River deposits were cold enough [...]... Read more »

  • December 23, 2010
  • 11:11 AM
  • 1,889 views

Presents for the holidays – Plant pathogen genomes

by stajich in The Hyphal Tip

Though a bit cliche, I think the metaphor of “presents under the tree” of some new plant pathogen genomes summarized in 4 recent publications is still too good to resist.  There are 4 papers in this week’s Science that will certainly make a collection of plant pathogen biologists very happy. There are also treats for the [...]... Read more »

Baxter, L., Tripathy, S., Ishaque, N., Boot, N., Cabral, A., Kemen, E., Thines, M., Ah-Fong, A., Anderson, R., Badejoko, W.... (2010) Signatures of Adaptation to Obligate Biotrophy in the Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis Genome. Science, 330(6010), 1549-1551. DOI: 10.1126/science.1195203  

Spanu, P., Abbott, J., Amselem, J., Burgis, T., Soanes, D., Stuber, K., Loren van Themaat, E., Brown, J., Butcher, S., Gurr, S.... (2010) Genome Expansion and Gene Loss in Powdery Mildew Fungi Reveal Tradeoffs in Extreme Parasitism. Science, 330(6010), 1543-1546. DOI: 10.1126/science.1194573  

Raffaele, S., Farrer, R., Cano, L., Studholme, D., MacLean, D., Thines, M., Jiang, R., Zody, M., Kunjeti, S., Donofrio, N.... (2010) Genome Evolution Following Host Jumps in the Irish Potato Famine Pathogen Lineage. Science, 330(6010), 1540-1543. DOI: 10.1126/science.1193070  

Schirawski, J., Mannhaupt, G., Munch, K., Brefort, T., Schipper, K., Doehlemann, G., Di Stasio, M., Rossel, N., Mendoza-Mendoza, A., Pester, D.... (2010) Pathogenicity Determinants in Smut Fungi Revealed by Genome Comparison. Science, 330(6010), 1546-1548. DOI: 10.1126/science.1195330  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 10:59 AM
  • 1,008 views

Depression Treatment Increased From 1998 to 2007

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A paper just out reports on the changing patterns of treatment for depression in the USA, over the period from 1998 to 2007.The headline news is that increased: the overall rate of people treated for some form of "depression" went from 2.37% to 2.88% per year. That's an increase of 21%, which is not trivial, but it's much less than the increase in the previous decade: it was just 0.73% in 1987.But the increase was concentrated in some groups of people.Americans over 50 accounted for the bulk of ........ Read more »

Marcus SC, & Olfson M. (2010) National trends in the treatment for depression from 1998 to 2007. Archives of general psychiatry, 67(12), 1265-73. PMID: 21135326  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 09:43 AM
  • 949 views

What Makes a Face Look Alive? Video

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

No matter how good technology is, we can often tell the difference between a human face and an animated face. Being able to tell the difference allows us to pay ... Read more »

  • December 23, 2010
  • 09:43 AM
  • 1,031 views

Top-down vs bottom-up approaches to cognition: Griffiths vs McClelland

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Two articles to be published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences debate the merits of approaching cognition from different ends of the microscope. The central issue is which approach is the most productive for explaining phenomena in cognition. Structured probabilistic takes a 'top-down' approach while Emergentism takes a 'bottom-up' approach.... Read more »

Griffiths, T., Chater, N., Kemp, C., Perfors, A., & Tenenbaum, J. (2010) Probabilistic models of cognition: exploring representations and inductive biases. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(8), 357-364. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.05.004  

McClelland, J., Botvinick, M., Noelle, D., Plaut, D., Rogers, T., Seidenberg, M., & Smith, L. (2010) Letting structure emerge: connectionist and dynamical systems approaches to cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(8), 348-356. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.06.002  

Zeil J, Hofmann MI, & Chahl JS. (2003) Catchment areas of panoramic snapshots in outdoor scenes. Journal of the Optical Society of America. A, Optics, image science, and vision, 20(3), 450-69. PMID: 12630831  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 08:54 AM
  • 808 views

an instance of misconstrued media reporting: placebos

by Ragamuffin in How We Are Hungry

A most recent example of the media mis-representing scientific findings is the recent NPR report on placebos being equally effective in IBS patients as "the strongest prescription drugs", even when the patients knew that they were being given the placebo. This coverage was a translation of a study out of Harvard Medical, and published in PLoS ONE.... Read more »

Ted J. Kaptchuk, Elizabeth Friedlander, John M. Kelley, M. Norma Sanchez, Efi Kokkotou, Joyce P. Singer, Magda Kowalczykowski, Franklin G. Miller, Irving Kirsch, Anthony J. Lembo. (2010) Placebos without Deception: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. PLoS. info:/

  • December 23, 2010
  • 08:10 AM
  • 835 views

Autoimmune disease and inhalation of particulates

by ABK in Environment and Health

Airborne particulate matter appears to increase risk of diabetes, as discussed a few posts down and diabetics appear to have altered immune function according to a number of parameters. Diabetics have now been observed to have stronger indicators of immune response when air pollution levels (particulate matter in this case) are high. Schneider and Alexis (2010 . . . two first authors, congratulations all) observed increased blood levels of endogenous promotors of Activated Protein C Resistanc........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2010
  • 06:24 AM
  • 879 views

The paradigm is dead, long live the paradigm!

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution: Mitochondrial DNA from 147 people, drawn from five geographic populations have been analysed by restriction mapping. All these mitochondrial DMAs stem from one woman who is postulated to have lived ab7out 200,000 years ago, probably in Africa. All the populations examined except the African population have multiple origins, implying that [...]... Read more »

Reich, David, Green, Richard E., Kircher, Martin, Krause, Johannes, Patterson, Nick, Durand, Eric Y., Viola, Bence, Briggs, Adrian W., Stenzel, Udo, Johnson, Philip L. F.... (2010) Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia. Nature. info:/10.1038/nature09710

  • December 23, 2010
  • 06:00 AM
  • 3,004 views

Vaccines are a pain: What to do about it

by Scott Gavura in Science-Based Medicine

As much as I support vaccines, I see the short term consequences. Vaccines can be painful. Kids don’t like them, and parents don’t like seeing their children suffer. That this transient pain is the most common consequence of gaining  protection from fatal illnesses seems like a fair trade-off to me. But that’s not the case [...]... Read more »

Taddio A, Appleton M, Bortolussi R, Chambers C, Dubey V, Halperin S, Hanrahan A, Ipp M, Lockett D, Macdonald N.... (2010) Reducing the pain of childhood vaccination: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline (summary). CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal , 182(18), 1989-95. PMID: 21098067  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 06:00 AM
  • 1,755 views

Vaccines are a pain: What to do about it

by Scott in Science-Based Pharmacy

As much as I support vaccines, I see the short term consequences. Vaccines can be painful. Kids don’t like them, and parents don’t like seeing their children suffer. That this transient pain is the most common consequence of gaining protection from fatal illnesses seems like a fair trade-off to me. But that’s not the case [...]... Read more »

Taddio A, Appleton M, Bortolussi R, Chambers C, Dubey V, Halperin S, Hanrahan A, Ipp M, Lockett D, Macdonald N.... (2010) Reducing the pain of childhood vaccination: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline (summary). CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal , 182(18), 1989-95. PMID: 21098067  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 05:30 AM
  • 1,380 views

Exercise 6hrs/wk for 20 years. Still gain weight. :(

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

I guess the good news is that you gained less weight. The bad news is if your motivation for exercising was weight loss, your 20 years of exercise not only didn't help you lose weight but your weight gain was only marginally less than your couch potato friends.What am I talking about?A study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association which using data from the CARDIA trial, sought to examine the relationship between exercise and weight gain over a 20 year period.3,554 ........ Read more »

Hankinson, A., Daviglus, M., Bouchard, C., Carnethon, M., Lewis, C., Schreiner, P., Liu, K., & Sidney, S. (2010) Maintaining a High Physical Activity Level Over 20 Years and Weight Gain. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 304(23), 2603-2610. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.1843  

  • December 23, 2010
  • 05:24 AM
  • 1,116 views

Better than sex! US college students value self-esteem boosts more than bodily pleasures

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

'Because you're worth it!' L'Oreal's catchphrase taps into the narcissistic zeitgeist. But it also begs the question: Are we at risk of becoming obsessed with feeling good about ourselves? According to new research by Brad Bushman and his co-workers, not only do US college students have higher self-esteem than previous generations, they now value self-esteem boosts more than sex, food, receiving a salary payment, seeing a friend or having an alcoholic drink.

Bushman's team made their findi........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2010
  • 02:00 AM
  • 418 views

Why people trying to quit smoking should avoid watching Mad Men: The influence of on-screen smoking cues

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Attentional bias in smokers: exposure to dynamic smoking cues in contemporary movies   From Journal of Psychopharmacology  Tobacco use is still prevalent in films, this study explores how people respond to on-screen smoking images by examining eye movement of smokers and non-smokers while watching a movie clip, using eye-tracking technology. This research reveals that smokers [...]... Read more »

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