Post List

  • March 8, 2010
  • 04:00 AM

Protecting Europe's last, old-growth forests

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Whenever I think of old-growth forests, I envision the redwoods of Northern California or the Amazon region of South America - not the continent of Europe where forest destruction and intensive management have been widespread for millennia. However, in parts of Europe, areas of virgin forest still exist - mostly in Russia, but also in other countries, as well.

A new study in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation reflects a growing effort to identify and protect these remnant old-growth fo........ Read more »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 02:26 AM

Wolves, Bacteria and Cheaters

by Lucas in thoughtomics

Throughout the natural world species have discovered the benefits of cooperating to achieve common goals. Wolves hunt together in packs, many birds seasonally migrate in flocks and no bee will hesitate to work or give its life for the colony. But when cooperation becomes the norm, cheating can become a fruitful strategy on [...]... Read more »

JIRICNY, N., DIGGLE, S., WEST, S., EVANS, B., BALLANTYNE, G., ROSS-GILLESPIE, A., & GRIFFIN, A. (2010) Fitness correlates with the extent of cheating in a bacterium. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.01939.x  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 02:21 AM

Formal, Informal, and Hidden Curricula of a Psychiatry Clerkship

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Both the hidden and informal curriculum take place after or next to the theoretical teaching, the formal teaching and has an important part in the shaping of the medical students’ professionalism and professional values. Moreover, these forms of the curriculum have a major impact on the learning potential of med students. Yet little is known [...]

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Wear D, & Skillicorn J. (2009) Hidden in plain sight: the formal, informal, and hidden curricula of a psychiatry clerkship. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 84(4), 451-8. PMID: 19318777  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 01:20 AM

The Volcano Factor

by teofilo in Gambler's House

I’ve written a lot here recently about the Athapaskan migration(s) into the Southwest.  It’s a very interesting topic in a lot of ways.  I find it especially fascinating because although the evidence that it happened is very strong, nothing else about it can be easily determined.  We know that at least one migration of Athapaskan-speakers [...]... Read more »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 12:24 AM

We're slower at processing touch-related words than words related to the other senses

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

People are slower at responding to tactile stimuli than to input from the other senses. It's not immediately obvious why this should be. It's unlikely to be for mechanical reasons: the retina in the eye is slower at converting input into a neural signal than is the skin. Psychologists think the answer may have to with attention. Perhaps we're not so good at keeping our attention focused on the tactile modality compared with the others. Now Louise Connell and Dermot Lynott have added to the pictu........ Read more »

  • March 8, 2010
  • 12:04 AM

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) for Fat Loss: "Fallacy and Hazard"

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Photo by Todd Huffman.

One of the great things about this site is that people often bring products or research to our attention that we otherwise might have missed. This occurred yesterday in the comments section of Peter's recent post on Acai berry scams, when one of our readers brought up the use of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity. The website that we were provided smacks of weight loss gimmickry - notably the promise of an obesity "cure" and "near 100% ........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2010
  • 11:59 PM

Ten Simple Ways to Increase Your Physical Activity

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Photo by pugetsoundphotowalks.

Regardless of your shape or size, physical activity has been shown to add years to your life, and life to your years. But believe it or not, the benefits of physical activity are not restricted to exercise performed in the gym. In fact, one of the easiest ways to improve your health may be through increasing the amount of low intensity physical activity you perform throughout the day. For example, simply increasing the number of steps that you take each day is ........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2010
  • 09:48 PM

Spinach, Popeye, and Fishy Pigeons

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

Originally, Popeye the Sailor gained strength from rubbing the head of a rare chicken. Not until 1932 and thereafter did Popeye gain superhuman strength and invincibility from downing a can of spinach. Besides being easier to carry than a chicken, spinach was purported to have extremely high levels of iron that would make [...]... Read more »

Jeffreys, R., Lavaleye, M., Bergman, M., Duineveld, G., Witbaard, R., & Linley, T. (2010) Deep-sea macrourid fishes scavenge on plant material: evidence from in situ observations. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2010.01.007  

  • March 7, 2010
  • 09:39 PM

Milk, Prions and Evolution

by Pablo Astudillo in astu's science blog

Prion protein (PrP) is the focus of some neurodegenerative diseases. It is believed that misfolded prion protein (PrPsc, or “scrapie”) is the infectious agent responsible for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD), among others. PrPsc propagates by conversion of normal (healthy) prion protein (PrPc).
Several questions arise in the research community. Two of [...]... Read more »

Didier A, Gebert R, Dietrich R, Schweiger M, Gareis M, Märtlbauer E, & Amselgruber WM. (2008) Cellular prion protein in mammary gland and milk fractions of domestic ruminants. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 369(3), 841-4. PMID: 18325321  

Konold T, Moore SJ, Bellworthy SJ, & Simmons HA. (2008) Evidence of scrapie transmission via milk. BMC veterinary research, 14. PMID: 18397513  

Supattapone S. (2010) Biochemistry. What makes a prion infectious?. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5969), 1091-2. PMID: 20185716  

Li J, Browning S, Mahal SP, Oelschlegel AM, & Weissmann C. (2010) Darwinian evolution of prions in cell culture. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5967), 869-72. PMID: 20044542  

  • March 7, 2010
  • 09:36 PM

The Perils of Fair-Weather Cocaine

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

The higher the temp, the higher the death rate.
As spring approaches, cocaine users might take note of further evidence of a connection between high ambient air temperatures and accidental overdoses.
A study published recently in the journal Addiction used mortality data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City from 1990 to 2006 to determine the frequency of cocaine-related overdoses (itself an enterprise fraught with uncertainty and argument over listed causes of death)......... Read more »

  • March 7, 2010
  • 09:34 PM

Correction on Intravenous drug administration during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a randomized trial.

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Also posted over at Paramedicine 101. Go check out the rest of what is there.In Intravenous drug administration during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a randomized trial,[1], [2] I missed some important information. I think I expected more detail to be in the text, than in the charts and figures, so I did not read Figure 2 carefully enough. Regardless of the reason, I did miss some important information.In response, Anonymous left this comment - RM: I was doing some reading on this article and c........ Read more »

Olasveengen TM, Sunde K, Brunborg C, Thowsen J, Steen PA, & Wik L. (2009) Intravenous drug administration during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a randomized trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 302(20), 2222-9. PMID: 19934423  

  • March 7, 2010
  • 06:27 PM

Contingent flexibility

by Jan Husdal in

Can contingency planning increase flexibility and minimize risk exposure to supply chain disruptions? Obviously yes, but what is it about the contingency planning process that relates to flexibility? That question is asked by Joseph B Skipper and Joe B Hanna in Minimizing supply chain disruption risk through enhanced flexibility. Surprisingly, this article suggests that only [ ... ]... Read more »

Skipper, J., & Hanna, J. (2009) Minimizing supply chain disruption risk through enhanced flexibility. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 39(5), 404-427. DOI: 10.1108/09600030910973742  

  • March 7, 2010
  • 03:28 PM

Are they scientists?

by Andrew Sun in On The Road

This is not a rheology post (yet).The recent Nature editorial:Editorial (2010). Do scientists really need a PhD? Nature, 464 (7285), 7-7 DOI: 10.1038/464007a caught Chinese readers eyes slightly more than usual, because it mentioned in detail a China based commercial...... Read more »

Editorial. (2010) Do scientists really need a PhD?. Nature, 464(7285), 7-7. DOI: 10.1038/464007a  

  • March 7, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Smell a lady, shrug off flu - how female odours give male mice an immune boost

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

Sex might be fun but it's not without risks. As your partner exposes themselves to you, they also expose you to whatever bacteria, viruses or parasites they might be carrying. But some animals have a way around that. Ekaterina Litvinova has found that when male mice get a whiff of female odours, their immune systems prepare their airways for attack, increasing their resistance to flu viruses.

Litvinova worked with a group of mice that were exposed to bedding that had previously been soiled by ........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2010
  • 11:16 AM

Human and Chimpanzee Handedness

by Isabelle Winder in Going Ape

Of the many mysteries surrounding human evolution, the question of why humans, alone out of all the apes, display a strong tendency towards being right-handed is perhaps less well known than uncertainties about our locomotion, brain size and cultural capacity. Yet the fact remains, over 90% of humans are right handed, and strongly so - there are proportionally few left-handed individuals and very few ambidextrous ones. Handedness is a manifestation of laterality - having a behaviourally dominant........ Read more »

Braccini S, Lambeth S, Schapiro S, & Fitch WT. (2010) Bipedal tool use strengthens chimpanzee hand preferences. Journal of human evolution, 58(3), 234-241. PMID: 20089294  

  • March 7, 2010
  • 11:01 AM

The sociology of Chatroulette

by ---a in

by Antonio A. Casilli (Centre Edgar-Morin, Paris) [1]
By now, you might have heard about Chatroulette, if you are hip and tech-savvy if those two things at the sides of your face are your ears. By the way, I hope you did not click on the link. It’s not safe for work. And by that I [...]... Read more »

Peter M. Todd. (1997) Searching for the next best mate. In R. Conte, R. Hegselmann, and P. Terna (Eds.) Simulating social phenomena, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 419-436. info:/

  • March 7, 2010
  • 08:10 AM

Weekly Dose of Cute: World's Biggest Bunny!

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Often, the cutest things come in small packages. Not so with Ralph - at 42 lbs, he's a record-breaking rabbit.

Ralph comes from a huge family - both his mother and father previously held the world records for largest rabbit in length and weight. And though he's already the biggest bunny in the world, Ralph is still growing! No one knows how immense this ball off fluff will get, but however big he ends up being, he's sure to still be 100% adorable.

... Read more »

  • March 7, 2010
  • 05:04 AM

Gamma-ray bursts without the gamma rays?

by Charles Daney in Science and Reason

We discussed supernovae a bit in this recent post on gamma-ray bursts. There is now interesting new information on the connection between supernovae and gamma-ray bursts from two recently-described supernovae with atypical properties.Let's first review a little. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are identified by detection of relatively brief (usually less than a few minutes) but highly energetic emissions of gamma rays. Although there's a great deal of diversity, most events fall into one of two categori........ Read more »

Soderberg, A., Chakraborti, S., Pignata, G., Chevalier, R., Chandra, P., Ray, A., Wieringa, M., Copete, A., Chaplin, V., Connaughton, V.... (2010) A relativistic type Ibc supernova without a detected γ-ray burst. Nature, 463(7280), 513-515. DOI: 10.1038/nature08714  

Paragi, Z., Taylor, G., Kouveliotou, C., Granot, J., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., Bietenholz, M., van der Horst, A., Pidopryhora, Y., van Langevelde, H., Garrett, M.... (2010) A mildly relativistic radio jet from the otherwise normal type Ic supernova 2007gr. Nature, 463(7280), 516-518. DOI: 10.1038/nature08713  

  • March 7, 2010
  • 04:33 AM

Let's Make Scotland More Active!

by PhD Blogger in Exercise Psychology

I thought i would post the Scottish Physical Activity strategy to demonstrate that a good strategy requires effective implementation. The document Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotlandidentified that Scotland was the third most obese country in the world after the USA and Mexico. This may actually be progress as until the report we were usually named as the second! Let's Make Scotland More Active is actually a very good strategy document. It was published in 2003 but progress has bee........ Read more »

The Scottish Government. (2003) Let's Make Scotland More Active. Government Paper. info:/

  • March 6, 2010
  • 11:30 PM

From the Literature: Beetles that breathe through their shells!

by dragonflywoman in The Dragonfly Woman

I wrote my last three posts on insect respiration specifically because I wanted to talk about a paper that was published in the Journal of Morphology in November 2009 that deals with aquatic insect respiration.  Since this is my personal area of expertise, I find this paper fascinating!  I hope you find it as interesting [...]... Read more »

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