In The Odyssey, the oracle Theoclymenus delivers a speech portending the suitors’ deaths at the hand of Odysseus. However, some scholars believe that Homer, the poem’s author, was also describing a total solar eclipse.... Read more »
Baikouzis, C., & Magnasco, M. (2008) From the Cover: Is an eclipse described in the Odyssey?. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(26), 8823-8828. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803317105
In the days when fast food referred to food on four legs that you had to chase after, feeding yourself and your family was not without risk. Thus, being wiling and able to take risk, must clearly have been of an advantage, especially if you were hungry.
It turns out that hunger actually does influence people’s [...]... Read more »
Symmonds M, Emmanuel JJ, Drew ME, Batterham RL, & Dolan RJ. (2010) Metabolic State Alters Economic Decision Making under Risk in Humans. PloS one, 5(6). PMID: 20585383
The world is different for small animals and big animals. J.B.S. Haldane said it best:
To the mouse and any smaller animal (gravity) presents practically no dangers. You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes.
What does scale mean for neurons? As an animal gets bigger, it’s going to take longer for neural signals to get f........ Read more »
More, Heather L., Hutchinson, John R., Collins, David F., Weber, Douglas J., Aung, Steven K. H., & Donelan, J. Maxwell. (2010) Scaling of sensorimotor control in terrestrial mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. info:/10.1098/rspb.2010.0898
The immune system in humans and animal is complex, all the more so because it crosses over all tissues. The traditional view has been that the immune system keeps itself in check, and that is mostly the case. However, for some years there has been a development of a neural feedback loop comprehension that helps to answer some of the complex mechanisms and remarkably ties in the role of a nutritional strategy for immune management. This is known as the inflammatory reflex.... Read more »
Tracey, K. (2010) Understanding immunity requires more than immunology. Nature Immunology, 11(7), 561-564. DOI: 10.1038/ni0710-561
Luyer MD, Greve JW, Hadfoune M, Jacobs JA, Dejong CH, & Buurman WA. (2005) Nutritional stimulation of cholecystokinin receptors inhibits inflammation via the vagus nerve. The Journal of experimental medicine, 202(8), 1023-9. PMID: 16216887
OMG ZOMBIE POST!!!
Let's all pause and contemplate how awesome I look as a zombie. I DO love brains. Very much. OM NOM NOM.
So Sci was thinking about what to post for Zombie Day. She thought about wondering if dogs could sniff early stage zombie infection and thus help with quarantine. She thought about whether or not grocery stores would be a good place to hide, but Evil assured her that Costco is better (everything is better when you buy IN BULK!). She then thought about maybe finding........ Read more »
Wasps, hornets, and other Hymenoptera may live nearly solitary lives, live in huge colonies, or something in between. The European hornet, Vespa crabro, lives in a colony consisting of one queen mated to a single male. In Hymenoptera, females are typically diploid (having genes from both parents) while males are typically haploid (having genes only from the female parent). If you draw a diagram of this and stare at it for a long time, you may come to the same conclusions that Bill "Buzz Off" ........ Read more »
OMG ZOMBIE POST!!! Let’s all pause and contemplate how awesome I look as a zombie. I DO love brains. Very much. OM NOM NOM. So Sci was thinking about what to post for Zombie Day. She thought about wondering if dogs could sniff early stage zombie infection and thus help with quarantine. She thought about [...]... Read more »
Here is a leading authority in the rheumatology/clinical epidemiology world, talking about a commentary she did on tennis elbow for the Canadian Medical Journal….
Lateral epicondylitis or ‘tennis elbow’ is a prevalent and costly disorder that affects 1-3% of the general population and up to 15% of workers in at risk industries. While it is generally [...]... Read more »
Buchbinder R, & Richards BL. (2010) Is lateral epicondylitis a new indication for botulinum toxin?. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal, 182(8), 749-50. PMID: 20421352
New fossils found in Gabon might push back the origin of multicellular life. By about 200 million years.... Read more »
Albani, A., Bengtson, S., Canfield, D., Bekker, A., Macchiarelli, R., Mazurier, A., Hammarlund, E., Boulvais, P., Dupuy, J., Fontaine, C.... (2010) Large colonial organisms with coordinated growth in oxygenated environments 2.1 Gyr ago. Nature, 466(7302), 100-104. DOI: 10.1038/nature09166
Young adults tend to post videos and images of themselves while using alcohol or marijuana on social media websites such as MySpace, and YouTube. In a recent study a content analysis was done on these videos. This study revealed that alcohol use was mostly in videos with females in social gatherings, while marijuana use on [...]
Related posts:The Risks of Online Social Networking for Students
The Dangers of Facebook or Let’s Be Careful Out There
Music Preference and Substance Use
... Read more »
Morgan, E., Snelson, C., & Elison-Bowers, P. (2010) Image and video disclosure of substance use on social media websites. Computers in Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.04.017
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS, or just "progeria") is perhaps the best known of the accelerated aging conditions. Considerable progress has been made over the past decade in uncovering the biochemical mechanisms of this disease, and in the process it has come to seem plausible that a viable therapy for progeria may have some modest use in tackling normal aging as well. The same follows for other accelerated aging conditions, meaning that it's worth keeping an eye on this field of me........ Read more »
Marji J, O'Donoghue SI, McClintock D, Satagopam VP, Schneider R, Ratner D, J Worman H, Gordon LB, & Djabali K. (2010) Defective lamin A-Rb signaling in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome and reversal by farnesyltransferase inhibition. PloS one, 5(6). PMID: 20559568
In this post, I'll be talking about octopus tactile sensation. M. J. Wells and J. Z. Young did the classic experimental work on touch discrimination and learning in the octopus, although a bit of recent work has been done on the neurochemical basis of touch learning in the octopus (which I won't get into here.)We'll focus on Tactile Discrimination of Surface Curvature and Shape by the Octopus (1964) by Wells. This was one of his later papers in a series on tactile learning in the oct........ Read more »
M. J. Wells. (1964) Tactile Discrimination of Surface Curvature and Shape by the Octopus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 433-445. info:/
This is the second part in a series about the myths and realities of alcohol consumption.
I pray thee let me and my fellow have
A hair of the dog that bit us last night—
And bitten were we both to the brain aright
- John Heywood
The idea that alcohol may itself be a cure for alcohol hangovers is [...]... Read more »
Jeffrey G. Wiese, MD; Michael G. Shlipak, MD, MPH; and Warren S. Browner, MD, MPH. (2000) The Alcohol Hangover. Annals of Internal Medicine, 152(12), 897-902. info:/
Verster JC. (2009) The "hair of the dog": a useful hangover remedy or a predictor of future problem drinking?. Current drug abuse reviews, 2(1), 1-4. PMID: 19630732
Blowouts and the subsequent dispersion of oil and gas in deep and shallow water differ immensely. In shallower waters, expelled gas will contribute to the buoyancy of the plume, which quickly rises to the surface. The rising gas bubble plume and the water it traps govern the size and shape of the resultant slick.
When a blowout . . . → Read More: The Complex Science of Predicting Oil Plumes... Read more »
Johansen, �. (2003) Development and verification of deep-water blowout models. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 47(9-12), 360-368. DOI: 10.1016/S0025-326X(03)00202-9
A pheromone in the male mouse’s tears causes a sexual response in female mice who smell it. The neural pathway was meticulously mapped in a study published today in Nature. Interestingly, the female mouse actually has to be somewhat in the mood prior to the pheromone secretion for the pheromone to have effect, icing on the [...]... Read more »
Haga, S., Hattori, T., Sato, T., Sato, K., Matsuda, S., Kobayakawa, R., Sakano, H., Yoshihara, Y., Kikusui, T., & Touhara, K. (2010) The male mouse pheromone ESP1 enhances female sexual receptive behaviour through a specific vomeronasal receptor. Nature, 466(7302), 118-122. DOI: 10.1038/nature09142
Learning how to make a reaching movement is, as I’ve said before, a very hard problem. There are so many muscles in the arm and so many ways we can get from one point to another that there are for all intents and purposes an infinite set of ways the brain could choose to send motor commands to achieve the same goal. And yet what we see consistently from people is a very stereotyped kind of movement.How do we learn to make reaching movements in the presence of destabilizing perturbations? The s........ Read more »
Diedrichsen J, White O, Newman D, & Lally N. (2010) Use-dependent and error-based learning of motor behaviors. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(15), 5159-66. PMID: 20392938
Imagine a small town where everything is uniform—a tiny community of individuals who eat the same meals and pair up with people with similar qualities and traits. The scenery is stripped down: one church, one pub and cookie-cutter houses. Now add in social interactions. Greetings occur but they have few variations; life is routine. And just a few miles over in a town with the same layout, similar individuals are interacting, eating and greeting, in all the same ways.
... Read more »
Laliberté, E., & Tylianakis, J. (2010) Deforestation homogenizes tropical parasitoid–host networks. Ecology, 91(6), 1740-1747. DOI: 10.1890/09-1328.1
FOR most of us, the ability to navigate our environment is largely dependent on the sense of vision. We use visual information to note the location of landmarks, and to identify and negotiate obstacles. These visual cues also enable us to to keep track of our movements, by monitoring how our position changes relative to landmarks and, when possible, our starting point and final destination. All of this information is combined to generate a cognitive map of the surroundings, on which successful n........ Read more »
Kupers, R. et al. (2010) Neural correlates of virtual route recognition in congenital blindness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1006199107
There is growing interest in applying next-generation sequencing to targeted regions of interest, particularly the “exome” - the set of coding exons in the human genome. A paper in Genome Biology from Matthew Bainbridge and colleagues at Baylor describes solution-phase exome capture and sequencing of a HapMap sample with just 3 GB of data. The [...]... Read more »
Bainbridge MN, Wang M, Burgess DL, Kovar C, Rodesch MJ, D'Ascenzo M, Kitzman J, Wu YQ, Newsham I, Richmond TA.... (2010) Whole exome capture in solution with 3Gbp of data. Genome biology, 11(6). PMID: 20565776
By Hannah Dunbar(Brain Posts Note: Hannah Dunbar is an Oral Roberts University student posting her last guest post today as part of her summer research project.)Insomnia is a common and pervasive problem in patients suffering from medical and psychiatric illnesses such as, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD) eating disorders and anxiety disorders. Even when the primary psychiatric condition is successfully treated, insomnia commonly fails to remit. Some antidepressant drug cause........ Read more »
SMITH, M., HUANG, M., & MANBER, R. (2005) Cognitive behavior therapy for chronic insomnia occurring within the context of medical and psychiatric disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 25(5), 559-592. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2005.04.004
Edinger JD, Olsen MK, Stechuchak KM, Means MK, Lineberger MD, Kirby A, & Carney CE. (2009) Cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with primary insomnia or insomnia associated predominantly with mixed psychiatric disorders: a randomized clinical trial. Sleep, 32(4), 499-510. PMID: 19413144
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