Post List

  • December 8, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

The value of birds in controlling agricultural pests

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study in Jamaica does a great job in quantifying the value that birds provide to coffee farmers by controlling agricultural pests.... Read more »

  • December 8, 2009
  • 06:27 AM

The Numerati reviewed by a "numerati wannabe"

by Daniel Gayo-Avello in Blog para proyectantes de Dani Gayo

I learned of "The Numerati" by Stephen Baker a couple of weeks ago in El Pais (a Spanish newspaper). He signed the short story "Nos vigilan" (They are watching us) which depicts a scenario where "scientists" (mainly mathematicians and engineers) apply different tools and techniques in order to detect, track, and predict users behaviour under different situations (e.g. in the supermarket, during elections, when using the Internet, etc.)The tone of the story is a bit ........ Read more »

Daniel Gayo-Avello, & David J. Brenes. (2009) Making the road by searching - A search engine based on Swarm Information Foraging. Submitted for publication. arXiv: 0911.3979v1

  • December 8, 2009
  • 06:00 AM

AZT inhibits XMRV

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus related virus (XMRV) has been implicated in prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Because XMRV is a retrovirus, it has been suggested that it might be susceptible to some of the many drugs available for treatment of AIDS. Of ten licensed compounds evaluated for activity against XMRV, just one, AZT [...]... Read more »

  • December 8, 2009
  • 05:07 AM

The Horror of Dide-Botcazo Syndrome

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

At least it sounds pretty horrible...Dide-Botcazo Syndrome, or "top of the basilar" syndrome, is a rare clinical condition caused by bilateral occlusion of the posterior cerebral arteries (labelled below in red).The arteries of the base of the brain.A case report by Cappellari et al., 2009 describes a 72 year old man who had a major stroke affecting the territories of both posterior cerebral arteries, resulting in damage to L and R occipital cortex, R thalamus, and R medial temporal lobe (see be........ Read more »

Cappellari, M., Tomelleri, G., Matteo, A., Carletti, M., Magalini, A., Bovi, P., & Moretto, G. (2009) Dide-Botcazo syndrome due to bilateral occlusion of posterior cerebral artery. Neurological Sciences. DOI: 10.1007/s10072-009-0179-7  

  • December 8, 2009
  • 02:40 AM

Love is Great for Creativity, Sex for Analytical Thinking

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Most people think that love and sex are tightly related. Nevertheless the size of the overlap between these two varies with culture, history, education and social values.
In the United States, males report having less problems imagining sex without love than females do; in China, however the link between love and romance seems to be [...]

Related posts:The Neurobiology of Falling in Love Falling in love is the most overwhelming of all...How to create a Great PowerPoint Presentation How to C........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2009
  • 07:41 PM

River of Black Gold

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Alberta’s oil sands industry may threaten fish

... Read more »

Kelly, E., Short, J., Schindler, D., Hodson, P., Ma, M., Kwan, A., & Fortin, B. (2009) Oil sands development contributes polycyclic aromatic compounds to the Athabasca River and its tributaries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.0912050106

  • December 7, 2009
  • 06:37 PM

There is nothing new under the sun

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

A new journal of pain has been published: The Scandinavian Journal of Pain, published by Elsevier, and contents lists available at ScienceDirect. One of the papers I flicked through today caught my eye – and it reminds me that although there is a huge amount of new information about chronic pain available now, many of [...]... Read more »

  • December 7, 2009
  • 06:03 PM

Risk: stochastically speaking

by Jan Husdal in

This is not your typical journal article on supply chain risk. It starts out as an easy read, reviewing the literature and discussing risk sources and risk consequences, but ends in an inconclusive and unsurmountable stack of equations not suited for the stochastically uninitiated researcher like me. Nonetheless, the arguments leading up to the equations are definitely worth reflecting on. In particular, the difference between external risks and risk externalities are worth noting.

... Read more »

Tapiero, C., & Grando, A. (2008) Risks and supply chains. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 9(3), 199. DOI: 10.1504/IJRAM.2008.019740  

  • December 7, 2009
  • 05:08 PM

Paraphyly Watch 4: Monoclady and Paraclady

by Malte Ebach in Systematics and Biogeography

Just when you thought all possible abuses and misuses of paraphyly have been thoroughly exhausted, one totally mind-boggling and confused piece of writing appears in the Journal of Paraphyly Taxon. We refer to Taxonomy versus evolution by János Podani, a dainty ditty that transcends all boundaries of comprehension and ventures into the field of evolutionary science fiction. The story so far...On the planet Zog, the Mayrian Monks enforce rigid elections that decide the fate of the foundations o........ Read more »

Podani, J. (2009) Taxonomy versus evolution. Taxon, 1049-1053. info:/

  • December 7, 2009
  • 05:08 PM

What you want, god wants

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Religious people tend to think that they know what their god wants, but how do they come by that knowledge? For me, as an atheist, it's a fascinating question. The gods can't be communicating their preferences directly (because there's no such thing), so where do these beliefs come from?One obvious source is the various holy books. However, even if you restrict yourself to adherents of a single religion, there are vast differences in beliefs about god's opinions (and that's just looking around t........ Read more »

Epley N, Converse BA, Delbosc A, Monteleone GA, & Cacioppo JT. (2009) Believers' estimates of God's beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people's beliefs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 19955414  

  • December 7, 2009
  • 04:58 PM

Emotions Interfere in Theory of Mind

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

Annikas' friend brings her back some chocolate, and places it into the blue cupboard. Annika sees this and then goes out to play. While Annika is gone, her friend eats some chocolate and then places it into the red cupboard. Later, when Annika comes back and goes about getting a piece of chocolate, where will she look for it?

If you are a two year old, you will expect Annika to look for the chocolate in the red cupboard, simply because you know that is where the chocolate is. If you are a ........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2009
  • 02:10 PM

Chimera! (Part 1)

by TomJoe in (It's a ...) Micro World (... after all)

NOTE: I've been sitting on this for quite awhile, and while I wanted to add to it, i figure I may as well post this now, and then followup at a later date. I think it can hold up on its own for the purposes of discussing the problem. So I'll call this post "Part 1" for now.To the left is the mythical creature known as the chimera. Though, to be honest, do you know how hard it is to find an actual drawing of what the mythical chimera was described as? It was a fire-breathing creature with the bod........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2009
  • 01:38 PM

Part 2 - Darwins Dilemma, Creationist Propaganda and Corrupt Christians

by Johnny in Ecographica

Before picking up with the Richard Dawkins quote used to close yesterday’s post, I’d like to provide a little more background on some of the nefarious figures that contributed to bringing the fundamentalist film ‘Darwin’s Dilemma’ to my living room.
... Read more »

Shanahan, T. (2001) Methodological and contextual factors in the Dawkins/Gould dispute over evolutionary progress. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 32(1), 127-151. DOI: 10.1016/S1369-8486(00)00025-X  

  • December 7, 2009
  • 11:30 AM

Mixed Greens

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Rising carbon dioxide could slow down plant biodiversity losses

... Read more »

  • December 7, 2009
  • 11:12 AM

Black Holes, Brownian Motion

by Brian Koberlein in Upon Reflection

If you've ever watched dust-motes dancing in a sunbeam then you've observed Brownian motion. It is the jerky, fluttering motion of particles in fluids such as air or water. The botanist Robert Brown first described the motion in detail. He...... Read more »

Merritt, D., Berczik, P., & Laun, F. (2007) Brownian Motion of Black Holes in Dense Nuclei. The Astronomical Journal, 133(2), 553-563. DOI: 10.1086/510294  

  • December 7, 2009
  • 11:04 AM

Harvard: Computers in Hospitals Do Not Reduce Administrative or Overall Costs

by schnell in The Medium is the Message

Harvard researchers recently released the study Hospital Computing and the Costs and Quality of Care: A National Study, which examined computerization’s cost and quality impacts at 4,000 hospitals in the U.S over a four-year period.The researchers concluded that the immense cost of installing and running hospital IT systems is greater than any expected cost savings. Much of the software being written for use in clinics is aimed at administrators, not doctors, nurses and lab workers. Additional........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2009
  • 11:00 AM

Low Carb Diets: Doing More Harm Than Good?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

An intriguing editorial published recently in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine suggests that low-carb diets may not be all they’re cut out to be, and in fact may be more dangerous than the “deadly” Western diet.

Given that I grew up in a Polish household (albeit not always in Poland), I know a little bit about having a high-carbohydrate diet. In fact, in most eastern European homes, it is not uncommon to have sliced bread (buttered, of course) with every meal ........ Read more »

Smith SR. (2009) A look at the low-carbohydrate diet. The New England journal of medicine, 361(23), 2286-8. PMID: 19955530  

  • December 7, 2009
  • 10:07 AM

"Moving through mucus", "quick death-tagging" and more, in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Celli, J., Turner, B., Afdhal, N., Keates, S., Ghiran, I., Kelly, C., Ewoldt, R., McKinley, G., So, P., Erramilli, S.... (2009) Helicobacter pylori moves through mucus by reducing mucin viscoelasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(34), 14321-14326. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903438106  

  • December 7, 2009
  • 09:55 AM

People who chew gum report feeling less stressed

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

It's not so pleasing when it glues your shoe to the pavement but a new study suggests chewing gum could be a great stress-reliever, with consequent health benefits. Perhaps the finding could help explain why Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson - an incessant gum chewer - has coped for so long with the stress of top-flight football?Andrew Smith at Cardiff University surveyed over 2,000 workers and found that the 39 per cent of respondents who reported never chewing gum were twice as likel........ Read more »

Smith, A. (2009) Chewing gum, stress and health. Stress and Health, 25(5), 445-451. DOI: 10.1002/smi.1272  

  • December 7, 2009
  • 08:30 AM

Sharp loss of mahogany in South America, study finds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists estimate that 66% of the historic range of mahogany in South America has been lost to commercial logging and forest conversion. Furthermore, the remaining stock is extremely low density and located in remote areas indicating that the best commercial stands have been thoroughly logged. ... Read more »

Grogan, J., Blundell, A., Landis, R., Youatt, A., Gullison, R., Martinez, M., Kómetter, R., Lentini, M., & Rice, R. (2009) Over-harvesting driven by consumer demand leads to population decline: big-leaf mahogany in South America. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2009.00082.x  

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