Post List

  • July 22, 2010
  • 03:34 AM
  • 750 views

Disease as a byproduct of adaptation

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

How we perceive nature and describe its shape are a matter of values and preferences. Nature does not take notice of our distinctions; they exist only as instruments which aid in our comprehension. I’ve brought this up in relation to issues such as categorization of recessive vs. dominant traits. The offspring of people of [...]... Read more »

Giulio Genovese, David J. Friedman, Michael D. Ross, Laurence Lecordier, Pierrick Uzureau, Barry I. Freedman, Donald W. Bowden, Carl D. Langefeld, Taras K. Oleksyk, Andrea Uscinski Knob.... (2010) Association of Trypanolytic ApoL1 Variants with Kidney Disease in African-Americans. Science. info:/10.1126/science.1193032

  • July 21, 2010
  • 11:54 PM
  • 790 views

When Stars Don’t Work Pt:I- massive rugby rucks and what’s making Jupiter blue

by Niall in we are all in the gutter

A while back Rita wrote a couple of posts about the areas of research she works on. Hence I thought it was maybe time for me to write something similar.... Read more »

Kirkpatrick, J., Reid, I., Liebert, J., Cutri, R., Nelson, B., Beichman, C., Dahn, C., Monet, D., Gizis, J., & Skrutskie, M. (1999) Dwarfs Cooler than “M”: The Definition of Spectral Type “L” Using Discoveries from the 2 Micron All‐Sky Survey (2MASS). The Astrophysical Journal, 519(2), 802-833. DOI: 10.1086/307414  

Burgasser, A., Kirkpatrick, J., Brown, M., Reid, I., Burrows, A., Liebert, J., Matthews, K., Gizis, J., Dahn, C., Monet, D.... (2002) The Spectra of T Dwarfs. I. Near‐Infrared Data and Spectral Classification. The Astrophysical Journal, 564(1), 421-451. DOI: 10.1086/324033  

  • July 21, 2010
  • 09:00 PM
  • 838 views

When Stars Don’t Work Pt:I- massive rugby rucks and what’s making Jupiter blue

by Niall in we are all in the gutter

A while back Rita wrote a couple of posts about the areas of research she works on. Hence I thought it was maybe time for me to write something similar........ Read more »

Kirkpatrick, J., Reid, I., Liebert, J., Cutri, R., Nelson, B., Beichman, C., Dahn, C., Monet, D., Gizis, J., & Skrutskie, M. (1999) Dwarfs Cooler than “M”: The Definition of Spectral Type “L” Using Discoveries from the 2 Micron All‐Sky Survey (2MASS). The Astrophysical Journal, 519(2), 802-833. DOI: 10.1086/307414  

Burgasser, A., Kirkpatrick, J., Brown, M., Reid, I., Burrows, A., Liebert, J., Matthews, K., Gizis, J., Dahn, C., Monet, D.... (2002) The Spectra of T Dwarfs. I. Near‐Infrared Data and Spectral Classification. The Astrophysical Journal, 564(1), 421-451. DOI: 10.1086/324033  

  • July 21, 2010
  • 06:32 PM
  • 1,156 views

Evidence Based Policy? Throw Away The Keys!

by The Twenty-first floor in The Twenty-first floor

The Twenty-First Floor's series on evidence-based policy continues with a look at Ken Clarke's plans to reduce the prison population. What sort of effects does prison have on people? Does it deter them from future crime, or teach them to become better criminals?... Read more »

AVINASH SINGH BHATI . (2008) Estimating the Impact of incarceration on subsequent offending trajectories: Deterrent, crimogenic or null effect?. THE JoLfRNAL OF CRIMINAL L A W * CRIMINOLOGY, 1(98), 207-253. info:/

  • July 21, 2010
  • 05:52 PM
  • 608 views

Taking a second look at the “Fire Beast”, Pyrotherium

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Until just a few years ago, I never paid that much attention to fossil mammals. Sure, I was impressed by the saber-toothed cat Smilodon and the American mastodon Mammut americanum - badass, extinct versions of living big cats and elephants - but beyond that they never really grabbed my interest. Although clearly different from living [...]... Read more »

  • July 21, 2010
  • 04:47 PM
  • 710 views

Boomer Forest

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Are today’s urban forests another legacy of the Baby Boom generation? A new study of vegetation cover in neighborhoods near Baltimore, Maryland suggests that the wealth and education levels of residents 50 years ago helps explain how many trees we see today. The finding could have implications for current efforts to conserve and restore urban […] Read More »... Read more »

  • July 21, 2010
  • 04:26 PM
  • 453 views

Lazy beats sloppy

by Carl in The motor chauvinist

Today I give in to my inner lazy person (who is, in fact, quite similar to my outer lazy person) and talk about a paper after I’ve just been to a journal club, rather than before. The advantages are that I was reading the paper anyway and I’ve just had an hour of discussion about it so I don’t actually have to think of things to say about it myself. The disadvantages are that, um, it’s lazy? And that’s bad? Perhaps. But I still think it’s better, as we shall see, than sloppy.The prem........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2010
  • 04:00 PM
  • 442 views

Bats Which Dynamically Manipulate Echolocation Pulse Width to Catch Prey

by Michael Long in Phased

Lasse Jakobsen and Annemarie Surlykke (University of Southern Denmark) show that Vespertilionid bats dynamically increase the width of their echolocation pulses when in the pursuit of prey, without altering their attention. This news feature was written on July 21, 2010.... Read more »

  • July 21, 2010
  • 02:39 PM
  • 694 views

Sex, Stress, and Neurogenesis

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Sci couldn’t help but notice all the tweets going around the other day talking about how sex stressed you out but was ultimately good for you. She contemplated saving it for a Friday Weird Science, but it’s not THAT weird (though it is interesting), and anyway Sci has something brewing for teh weird skienz. So [...]... Read more »

  • July 21, 2010
  • 02:00 PM
  • 683 views

Can you train an adult brain?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

It is often said that the human brain develops and improves up to a certain age, then becomes stagnant for a while, then slowly (or not so slowly) deteriorates over time. This is an old conception that developed before we knew that neural connections are being modified constantly, and that it is even the [...]... Read more »

Berry, A., Zanto, T., Clapp, W., Hardy, J., Delahunt, P., Mahncke, H., & Gazzaley, A. (2010) The Influence of Perceptual Training on Working Memory in Older Adults. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011537  

  • July 21, 2010
  • 12:56 PM
  • 512 views

The name defines the thing

by Carl in The motor chauvinist

So, astute readers may notice a name change here - I've decided to go back to my old WordPress blog title (which never had more than five posts over its year-long lifespan, a perfect example of my habit of enthusiastically starting projects and never following through). I used to own the domain motorchauvinist.com but no longer. Oh well. Blogger will do for the moment.Why motor chauvinism? I'd like to disassociate myself from the idea that I am in any way interested a) in cars and b) in denigrat........ Read more »

Wolpert DM, Ghahramani Z, & Flanagan JR. (2001) Perspectives and problems in motor learning. Trends in cognitive sciences, 5(11), 487-494. PMID: 11684481  

  • July 21, 2010
  • 11:23 AM
  • 1,176 views

Dog Walking and Human Physical Activity Levels

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Increasing physical activity levels is one of the biggest public health challenges. Various environmental manipulations may provide pathways towards increasing the level of physical activity in children and adults.Several research studies support dog ownership as a correlate of increased physical activity levels. Coleman and colleagues examined the role of physical activity and weight status in households with and without dogs. Using the Neighborhood Quality of Life Survey, 32 neighborhoods in........ Read more »

Coleman KJ, Rosenberg DE, Conway TL, Sallis JF, Saelens BE, Frank LD, & Cain K. (2008) Physical activity, weight status, and neighborhood characteristics of dog walkers. Preventive medicine, 47(3), 309-12. PMID: 18572234  

  • July 21, 2010
  • 08:45 AM
  • 823 views

Cell-Free Artificial Photosynthesis with Frog Foam

by Michele in Promega Connections

We owe a lot to frogs and toads. They help us welcome in spring and summer with their peeps, croaks and snores in the evenings. They serve as bioindicator species that alert us to damaged or toxic environments. And, now, they may even help us kick the fossil fuel habit. Biofuels, based on harvesting and [...]... Read more »

Wendell, D., Todd, J., & Montemagno, C. (2010) Artificial Photosynthesis in Ranaspumin-2 Based Foam. Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/nl100550k  

  • July 21, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,287 views

Snake eyes

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

To many, “snake eyes” is a bad bet at the craps table. To some, it’s a GI Joe character. To a very small, select group, it’s a minor addition to the oeuvre of Brian De Palma. *

Today, I want to look at the most literal meaning of the term imaginable. But, since this is a biology blog, you could probably guess that I was going to end up talking about the eyes of snakes.

I’m willing to bet that when most people visualize snake eyes, they think of something with a vertical slit for ........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2010
  • 07:39 AM
  • 1,062 views

Ep 132: Science of Superheroes - The Hulk

by westius in Mr Science Show

The science of superheroes is taking a green and nasty turn this week as we discuss the largest superhero of them all, The Hulk. Join myself and our regular superhero expert Dr Boob as we delve into the science of how we might realise The Hulk in the lab. It was one of the more entertaining interviews I have done for the podcast.

Listen in to this show here (or press play below), and read further for more info:



The Hulk is alter-ego of Dr Bruce Banner, who allegedly bares a striking resembl........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2010
  • 07:17 AM
  • 831 views

Accepting what life throws at ya

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I was looking to write about a new treatment, or something that is innovative, and you know, there isn’t a whole lot new out there in pain management land. If it wasn’t for Lorimer Moseley’s work on motor imagery and Lance McCracken’s work on acceptance, I think we’d be doing pretty much what I was … Read more... Read more »

  • July 21, 2010
  • 06:31 AM
  • 642 views

The geometry of evolution

by Becky in It Takes 30

Biologists already know lots of reasons to encourage mathematicians to get hooked on biology.  There’s structural biology; population genetics; epidemiology; ecology; bioinformatics; computational neuroscience; and yes, systems biology, to name but a few.  But here is a new one.  How long have we been studying Darwin’s finches?  About 170 years.  In all that time, nobody [...]... Read more »

Campas, O., Mallarino, R., Herrel, A., Abzhanov, A., & Brenner, M. (2010) Scaling and shear transformations capture beak shape variation in Darwin's finches. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(8), 3356-3360. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911575107  

  • July 21, 2010
  • 05:30 AM
  • 1,222 views

A rose may be a rose but perhaps a calorie's not a calorie

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

File this one under cool data!Simple study published in Food and Nutrition Research to look at the differences between whole foods and processed foods and the calories the body utilizes to metabolize them (something called diet induced thermogenesis and also known as the thermic effect of food).18 subjects were enrolled in a cross-over study (meaning they each ate both test meals) whereby the thermic effect of food was measured following the ingestion of two different cheese sandwiches.One chees........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2010
  • 05:17 AM
  • 1,160 views

Release the fossil pronghorns!! (pronghorns part II)

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology





I said in the previous pronghorn article that the modern pronghorn - Antilocapra americana - is but the tip of the phylogenetic iceberg, if you will; the only surviving member of a group that was previously far more diverse [the adjacent photo (from wikipedia) shows Ramoceros osborni. Yes, it really looked like that, read on].

As we'll see here, fossil pronghorns encompassed a reasonable amount of diversity: there were kinds with deer-like pseudo-antlers as well as others that superficially........ Read more »

Webb, S. (1973) Pliocene Pronghorns of Florida. Journal of Mammalogy, 54(1), 203. DOI: 10.2307/1378880  

  • July 21, 2010
  • 05:10 AM
  • 1,133 views

We're happier when busy but our instinct is for idleness

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Forced to wait for fifteen minutes at the airport luggage carousel leaves many of us miserable and irritated. Yet if we'd spent the same waiting time walking to the carousel we'd be far happier. That's according to Christopher Hsee and colleagues, who say we're happier when busy but that unfortunately our instinct is for idleness. Unless we have a reason for being active we choose to do nothing - an evolutionary vestige that ensures we conserve energy.

Consider Hsee's first study. His team offe........ Read more »

Hsee CK, Yang AX, & Wang L. (2010) Idleness aversion and the need for justifiable busyness. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(7), 926-30. PMID: 20548057  

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