Post List

  • March 26, 2010
  • 01:29 AM

Friday Weird Science: Why does coffee make you pee?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Last week during Weird Science, Sci got to hear a lot more about people's urine odors than she probably ever REALLY wanted to know.

But hey, why be shy?

And so you may imagine that urine and fluids have been on Sci's mind a little bit lately. Another thing has also been on Sci's mind: the sheer amount of coffee that she has been drinking.

She may be actually jonesing for her late PM dose right about now...

Sci has heard from many quarters that Coffee makes you pee, and that this is be........ Read more »

Maughan RJ, & Griffin J. (2003) Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a review. Journal of human nutrition and dietetics : the official journal of the British Dietetic Association, 16(6), 411-20. PMID: 19774754  

Riesenhuber A, Boehm M, Posch M, & Aufricht C. (2006) Diuretic potential of energy drinks. Amino acids, 31(1), 81-3. PMID: 16847703  

Armstrong LE, Pumerantz AC, Roti MW, Judelson DA, Watson G, Dias JC, Sokmen B, Casa DJ, Maresh CM, Lieberman H.... (2005) Fluid, electrolyte, and renal indices of hydration during 11 days of controlled caffeine consumption. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 15(3), 252-65. PMID: 16131696  

  • March 26, 2010
  • 12:33 AM

Does a forty thousand year old finger point to another human species?

by David in The Atavism

DNA extracted from a 40 000 year old finger bone found in a cave in Siberia might be evidence for a previously unrecognized human species. Or it might not be. The bone, which comes from what New Zealanders call a "little finger", Americans call a"pinky" and paleo-anthropologists call the "distal manual phalanx of the fifth digit", was found in the Denisova cave, in a region of Siberia from which remains of members of both our own species (Homo sapiens) and Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis) hav........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 10:02 PM

Global carbon cycle sees increase in soil carbon loss

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

A lot of us are on the lookout for increased releases of soil carbon in northern ecosystems, which could signal the initiation of a positive feedback to warming.   Remember that more warming has the possibility of increasing decomposition of soil carbon, which causes the release of more CO2 to the atmosphere, causing further warming (the [...]... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 07:31 PM

Your calamari wants a flat screen

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow

Octopuses and their relatives are just incredible animals.  Not only do they manage to coordinate hundreds of suckers on 8 arms simultaneously without tripping over themselves (I can't even remember what I ate for breakfast) and have the most advanced eyes in the invertebrate world, but they can do other cool stuff like eat sharks,  fit through holes much smaller than themselves, use tools and ... Read more »

Pronk, R., Wilson, D., & Harcourt, R. (2010) Video playback demonstrates episodic personality in the gloomy octopus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(7), 1035-1041. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.040675  

  • March 25, 2010
  • 06:42 PM

Is Your Time My Time? Deconstructing "Social" Time (3)

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

I've been doing a lot of sifting through the articles and books I have on Time, and some graduate writing I did on the subject. And I think I'm ready to address my question as to whether there are parallels in Intersubjective Time. To do so, we're going to take a trip to the Caribbean. (But first I recommend you check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series if you haven't already.)

... Read more »

Birth, Kevin. (2006) Past Times: Temporal Structuring of History and Memory. Ethos, 34(2). info:/

  • March 25, 2010
  • 06:20 PM

Humanitarian aid is better when decentralized

by Jan Husdal in

Humanitarian operations rely heavily on logistics in uncertain, risky, and urgent contexts, making them a very different field of application for supply chain management principles than that of traditional businesses. Decentralization, pre-positioning and pooling of relief items are key success factors for dramatic improvements in humanitarian operations  performance in disaster response and recovery. So say [ ... ]... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 05:49 PM

Hey there fluffy

by stajich in The Hyphal Tip

I spy a picture of Neurospora growing on the cover of Genetics this month.  The cover highlights the results from the work of the lab of Luis Corrochano who works on  light regulation in a variety of systems like Neurospora and Phycomyces.  This work describes their work on the fluffy gene which regulates conidiation (production of conidia [...]... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 05:44 PM

Adaptive radiation of “coywolves”

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

Lately, “coywolves” have been making headlines and raising eyebrows. They are a wild canid that is a hybrid between a coyote and a wolf. It may sound like an urban legend, but coywolves are real.* I first learned about this quirky common name via a news article from The Star in Canada, Meet the Coywolf [...]... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 03:45 PM

Life between extinctions: cracking open the Cretaceous period

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

One hundred million years ago, Earth experienced its first great peak in biodiversity. Flowers emerged and with them pollinators, dinosaurs towered over newly evolved mammals and marsupials, the steaming jungles were teeming with newly arrived ants and termites, and the oceans were filled with gigantic, air-breathing reptiles. This was life during the Cretaceous period, Earth between two great extinctions.... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 03:40 PM

Fear of pain, not always fear of harm

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I know it’s actually Friday Funnies day, but before I go there I want to explore something I’ve been observing for a while.  Over the past four or five years, the TSK (Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia) has been a really popular instrument for identifying and monitoring pain-related anxiety and avoidance.  It has been found to [...]... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 03:38 PM

Life between extinctions: cracking open the Cretaceous period

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

One hundred million years ago, Earth experienced its first great peak in biodiversity. Flowers emerged and with them pollinators, dinosaurs towered over newly evolved mammals and marsupials, the steaming jungles were teeming with newly arrived ants and termites, and the oceans were filled with gigantic, air-breathing reptiles. This was life during the Cretaceous period, Earth between two great extinctions.

... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 02:16 PM

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Brain Cortex Activity

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is some research evidence to support the cognitive benefits of omega 3 fatty acids. These natural compounds are found in a variety of dietary sources including tuna, salmon and sardines. McNamara et al and colleagues at the University of Cincinnati recently published an interesting brain fMRI study of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) supplementation. DHA is a key component of omega-3 fatty acids. Here are the key elements of the design:33 healthily boys age 8 to 10 years were randomizedSubjec........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 01:30 PM

Prayer, but not belief in the afterlife, reduces anxiety of sick people

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

It's clear that stressful situations can bring out the religious in people. What's not clear is whether turning to religion actually helps to relieve anxiety.Even less well understood is which, if any, aspects of religion are effective. Does the social support that comes with attending religious meetings help, or some other religious activity, or is it some facet of belief itself?Terrence Hill, at the University of Miami, and colleagues have looked at this using data from the US General Social S........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

A Holin One

by Merry Youle in Small Things Considered

When time's up, an infecting phage lyses its host cell, thus releasing the assembled virions. (See our previous post for more about lysis.) This process has been intensively studied in the coliphage λ. Here the phage-encoded holin proteins are said to "permeabilize" the E. coli membrane, thus allowing the endolysins accumulated in the cytoplasm to pass through and attack the cell wall. "Permeabilize" has such a polite sound, suggestive of an orderly modification of the membrane to allow the fo........ Read more »

Dewey JS, Savva CG, White RL, Vitha S, Holzenburg A, & Young R. (2010) Micron-scale holes terminate the phage infection cycle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(5), 2219-23. PMID: 20080651  

  • March 25, 2010
  • 12:01 PM

Amazing rats

by Richard Grant in Naturally Selected

by Brian Mossop
Ever since the size of our brains outgrew our closest animal relatives, we humans have declared ourselves far smarter than any other creatures in the animal kingdom.  But our big brains, and bigger egos, may underestimate the intelligence of other critters, simply because we’ve been asking the wrong questions. A study published in [...]... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 11:36 AM

Cultural Transmission in Chimpanzees

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Culture defines who we are but few can explain where it comes from or why we adopt one tradition over another. In the classic musical The Fiddler on the Roof the main character, Tevye, muses on this basic fact of human existence:

Here in Anatevka we have traditions for everything... how to eat, how to sleep, even, how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered and always wear a little prayer shawl... This shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, how did this tradit........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 11:08 AM

What is the impact of strict population control?

by Dave in The Daily Monthly

We’ve discussed some of the problems with increasing population, particularly in poorer countries. But what do attempts to deal with those problems look like?
China has implemented a notorious “one-child” policy since 1979 — over thirty years. While most people agree that this policy is a serious violation of human rights, the example of China is [...]... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 11:05 AM

Poverty of Stimulus and Ecological Laws

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

The first critique of Gibson's perceptual psychology came from noted cognitive scientists Fodor & Pylyshyn (1981). The critique was simply that Gibsonian information is an empty concept; however, this critique is ably addressed by Turvey, Shaw, Reed & Mace in the 'ecological laws' paper.... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 10:27 AM

Bad Buzz

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

North American beehives are full of pesticides

... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 09:35 AM

How Men Respond to Sexual Victimisation

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Weiss (2008) discusses some of the similarities and differences in how women and men experience sexual victimisation. That includes the fact that men are less likely to report having been abused to police, their emphasis on fighting back against male perpetrators, and in certain situations, blaming alcohol for their temporary loss of masculine control. ... Read more »

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