Post List

  • January 30, 2011
  • 09:05 AM

Writerly scientist derided scientist-writer?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Following up on the recent discovery that novelist and lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov correctly supposed that Polyommatus blue butterflies colonized the New World in stages, Jessica Palmer points out that none other than Stephen Jay Gould dismissed Nabokov's scientific work as not up to the same standards of genius exhibited in his novels. She suggests that Nabokov's work may have been dismissed by his contemporaries because his scientific papers were a little too colorfully written.Roger Vila, ........ Read more »

  • January 30, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Catch Some Zzz’s to Lose Some Pounds

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The average length of a night of sleep for an adult in the United States has decreased by 2 hours in the last 50 years. Increasing evidence reports the damaging effects of sleep deprivation and restriction on hormone release, cardiovascular function, and glucose regulation. Now, in fact, evidence shows that sleep loss undermines dietary efforts [...]... Read more »

Copinschi G. (2005) Metabolic and endocrine effects of sleep deprivation. Essential psychopharmacology, 6(6), 341-7. PMID: 16459757  

Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Kasza K, Schoeller DA, & Penev PD. (2009) Sleep curtailment is accompanied by increased intake of calories from snacks. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 89(1), 126-33. PMID: 19056602  

Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Schoeller DA, & Penev PD. (2010) Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine, 153(7), 435-41. PMID: 20921542  

Van Cauter E, Spiegel K, Tasali E, & Leproult R. (2008) Metabolic consequences of sleep and sleep loss. Sleep medicine. PMID: 18929315  

  • January 30, 2011
  • 04:00 AM

Paleolithic Diet More Satisfying Than Mediterranean-Style

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Swedish researchers reported recently that a Paleolithic diet was more satiating than a Mediterranean-style diet, when compared on a calorie-for-calorie basis in heart patients.  Both groups of study subjects reported equal degrees of satiety, but the paleo dieters ended up eating 24% fewer calories over the 12-week study.
The main differences in the diets were that [...]... Read more »

  • January 30, 2011
  • 12:57 AM

Egypt Week – Spiteful versus Altruistic Punishment

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, welcome to the first Egypt Week edition of Lost in Transcription. We're going to kick it off with an anthropology paper that uses a cross-cultural approach to study the origins of human punishment and cooperation.

If you're not familiar with this vein of research, let me set the stage for you. The "problem" of cooperation when people talk about it in anthropology, biology, and economics is this. If you take a super naive view of natural selection, it would say that we shou........ Read more »

Marlowe, F., Berbesque, J., Barrett, C., Bolyanatz, A., Gurven, M., & Tracer, D. (2010) The 'spiteful' origins of human cooperation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2342  

  • January 29, 2011
  • 09:00 PM

NOW That's What I Call Research, Volume 348: Perception of Musical Expression

by Luc Duval in The Pedagogic Verses

New, laudable research tries to answer, "To what extent do variations in timing and amplitude affect the perception of a performance?" I analyze it for you.... Read more »

Bhatara A, Tirovolas AK, Duan LM, Levy B, & Levitin DJ. (2011) Perception of emotional expression in musical performance. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance. PMID: 21261418  

  • January 29, 2011
  • 08:44 PM

Radioactive decay of teaspoons in the workplace

by Captain Skellett in A Schooner of Science

Have you ever noticed a mysterious loss of teaspoons at your workplace? Maybe it’s not teaspoons, but some other cutlery item. At my old work it was forks, which dwindled even when I bought new replacement ones. At the Australian National University neither spoon nor fork were safe, causing some students to eat salad with [...]... Read more »

  • January 29, 2011
  • 04:03 PM

What, if anything, is a beaver?

by helikonios in The view from Helicon

The title of this post is a reference to this paper (only the first page is available for free, but only the first two paragraphs are relevent) and to a Stephen Jay Gould essay. Both address the question of whether the group of animals corresponding to a colloquial name is actually an evolutionary entity, a [...]... Read more »

  • January 29, 2011
  • 02:00 PM

Occupational therapy & the cognitive behavioural approach for pain management

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I have always resisted being labelled. I am much more than my gender, my marital status, my diagnosis, my professional background.  I also feel quite uncomfortable about being told what I may or may not do (maybe that’s where my kids get it from?!). I don’t like being told what is and isn’t ‘my role’ … Read more... Read more »

  • January 29, 2011
  • 01:12 PM

Waste lands

by Sarah Stephen in An ecological oratorio

Modern cities generate huge amounts of rubbish, and disposing of this is one of the most pressing environmental problems. One can bury it of course, or burn it in incinerators, or just dump it in a big pile just outside the city. This is the approach chosen for the Jardim Gramacho in Rio, Brazil, one of the worlds largest rubbish dumps, which is the subject of the Oscar nominated film, Waste Land.*Seventy percent of Rio's rubbish arrives at Jardim Gramacho, which is an astonishing 7,0........ Read more »

Porto MF, Juncá DC, Gonçalves Rde S, & Filhote MI. (2004) [Garbage, work, and health: a case study of garbage pickers at the metropolitan landfill in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]. Cadernos de saude publica / Ministerio da Saude, Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz, Escola Nacional de Saude Publica, 20(6), 1503-14. PMID: 15608851  

  • January 29, 2011
  • 12:00 PM

Rant of the day: whales have culture no theyre just jerks like the rest of us humans

by ToonArmyMIA in If There's Grass On The Pitch

Whales, culture and three-somes... Read more »

  • January 29, 2011
  • 10:54 AM

Kids vs Psychiatrists: Final score 1-0

by Lorax in Angry by Choice

By now many have heard about the recent study published in Pediatrics which, of course, shows a clear link between extensive video game playing and depression in teenagers. You may have also heard about another recent publication of a study conducted by 8-10 year olds.

"How are these studies related?" You may ask.

"They are not." I may respond. Actually I will respond. These studies have nothing to do with each other. However, they are related from the perspective that they are BIG news!

In t........ Read more »

Blackawton PS, Airzee S, Allen A, Baker S, Berrow A, Blair C, Churchill M, Coles J, Cumming RF, Fraquelli L.... (2010) Blackawton bees. Biology letters. PMID: 21177694  

  • January 29, 2011
  • 08:56 AM

The featherless chicken

by beredim in Strange Animals

The featherless chicken is as implied by its name a chicken breed with no feathers whatsoever. Its creators claim it to be ecofriendly and better suited for hot environments.
... Read more »

  • January 29, 2011
  • 12:43 AM

Taking flight on light

by gg in Skulls in the Stars

On occasion, a scientific idea comes along that is so simple and elegant that one wonders that it hadn’t been done before!  Such is the case with the results of an article published online in Nature Photonics in December, which … Continue reading →... Read more »

Swartzlander, G., Peterson, T., Artusio-Glimpse, A., & Raisanen, A. (2010) Stable optical lift. Nature Photonics, 5(1), 48-51. DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2010.266  

  • January 28, 2011
  • 10:42 PM

Uninvited (but very cool) houseguests – Guest Post

by Morgan Jackson in Biodiversity in Focus

Today’s special guest blogger is Jess Vickruck, a PhD candidate at Brock University. Jess studies twig nesting bee diversity and the impacts of nest choice on their biology. When I first started my master’s project, my intention was to look at how nest choice affected fitness in twig nesting carpenter bees (genus Ceratina, family Apidae).  [...]... Read more »

J.L. Vickruck, J.T. Huber, & M.H. Richards. (2010) Natural enemies of the bee genus Ceratina (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario, 11-26. info:/

  • January 28, 2011
  • 10:16 PM

What is the objective?

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

An economist typically bases their economic models on an assumption that the economy is composed of agents who gain utility from consumption. From the beginning of the model, they take consumption  to be the objective and all decisions by the agents aim to maximise their level of consumption within the budget constraint that they face. While I recently posted on how most economists’ fixation on [...]... Read more »

Rubin, P., & Paul II, C. (1979) An Evolutionary Model of Taste for Risk. Economic Inquiry, 17(4), 585-596. DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.1979.tb00549.x  

  • January 28, 2011
  • 07:23 PM

White Matter Differences in Pre-Op Transsexuals Should NOT be the Basis for Childhood Interventions

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Diagram showing principal systems of association fibers in the human brain. The superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) is labeled at the center top (marked by purple arrows).New Scientist covered two journal articles by Rametti and colleagues (2010, 2011), a group of Spanish researchers and clinicians affiliated with Unidad Trastorno Identidad de Género [Gender Identity Disorder Unit]. Using the diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) method, they initially wanted to identify any sex differences in the ........ Read more »

  • January 28, 2011
  • 06:24 PM

Premature Brain Diagnosis in Japan?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Nature has a disturbing article from their Asian correspondent David Cyranoski: Thought experiment. It's open access.In brief: a number of top Japanese psychiatrists have started offering a neuroimaging method called NIRS to their patients as a diagnostic tool. They claim that NIRS shows the neural signatures of different mental illnesses.The technology was approved by the Japanese authorities in April 2009, and since then it's been used on at least 300 patients, who pay $160 for the privilege. ........ Read more »

Cyranoski, D. (2011) Neuroscience: Thought experiment. Nature, 469(7329), 148-149. DOI: 10.1038/469148a  

  • January 28, 2011
  • 01:12 PM

Test the Waters, but Don’t Assume that Bias is Forever: Deepwater Hasn’t Translated to Deep Trouble for Energy Defendants

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Shelley Spiecker Six months after the public was riveted to press coverage of the oil spill in the Gulf, impact on energy defendants has been less doomsday than feared. In fact, this is one of the better times in the past 10 years to be an energy defendant in front of a jury. Why? Much as the spill itself appeared to dissipate more rapidly than expected, the tide of public opinion has drifted away from concern over the environmental practices of energy companies, and toward concern over ........ Read more »

  • January 28, 2011
  • 01:11 PM

100 calorie mini snack-packs: helpful for calorie control or just excess packaging?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

I absolutely love it when I wonder about something I encounter in my daily life, and then I find the answer to this quandary provided by peer-reviewed research.
Oh, how I love science.
But, I digress.
For a few years now countless food manufacturers have been “sub-packaging” their foods into smaller portions in an apparent effort to curb folks from overindulging. You can usually find 100 kcal multi-packs of chips, pretzels, chocolates, and all sorts of junk foods. Despite the very obvious ne........ Read more »

  • January 28, 2011
  • 12:35 PM

Will the uprising in the Middle East & North Africa usher in a new era of science and innovation in the Arab world?

by Farooq Khan in Complex systems + science

The wave of protests sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa has been described as revolutionary. Whether this is an accurate description of what is taking place remains to be seen, and depends upon how you define a revolution....... Read more »

Farooq Khan. (2011) Will the uprising in the Middle East . Nature Blogs. info:/

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit