Post List

  • January 25, 2011
  • 01:00 AM

To get a flu shot or to not get a flu shot, that is the question.

by Brooke N in Smaller Questions

Original antigenic sin - will getting the flu shot make you more susceptible to an epidemic?... Read more »

Kim, J., Skountzou, I., Compans, R., & Jacob, J. (2009) Original Antigenic Sin Responses to Influenza Viruses. The Journal of Immunology, 183(5), 3294-3301. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900398  

  • January 25, 2011
  • 12:34 AM

Self-Monitoring in Weight Loss: a Complex Systems Perspective

by pennydeck in Feedback Solutions for Obesity

Does tracking your food intake and your exercise habits help you lose and maintain weight? A recent paper by Burke et al, published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, reviews the collective research to date on the benefits of … Continue reading →... Read more »

Burke LE, Wang J, & Sevick MA. (2011) Self-monitoring in weight loss: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111(1), 92-102. PMID: 21185970  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 11:26 PM

Bloodsuckers or tick-pluckers? The case of the oxpecker

by Neil Losin in Day's Edge

Birds have some awesomely descriptive names. Like the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), a North American woodpecker that specializes in drilling “sap wells” in trees to feed on their sugary phloem sap. Or the Brown Trembler (Cinclocerthia ruficauda), a Caribbean relative of the mockingbird that shakes its wings violently to communicate with other members of its [...]... Read more »

  • January 24, 2011
  • 11:12 PM

The DDT Dilemna

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

The insecticide DDT (dichlorodiphenytrichloroethane) has been in the public mind ever since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in 1962. Growing awareness of its environmental effects, persistence, biomagnification in food chains, and presence in humans (including in breast milk) led to severe restrictions being placed on its use, particularly in the developed world. However, its [...]... Read more »

Bouwman, H., van den Berg, H., & Kylin, H. (2011) DDT and Malaria Prevention: Addressing the Paradox. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002127  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 11:00 PM

Just because it looks like a duct, doesn’t mean it is the duct

by Janel Kopp in the Node

The Node’s staff has kindly given me the opportunity to write a background piece, placing into context the results of our studies described in the paper, “Sox9 ductal cells are multipotent progenitors throughout development but do not produce new endocrine cells in the normal or injured adult pancreas” (released today in Development; For many [...]... Read more »

Janel L. Kopp, Claire L. Dubois, Ashleigh E. Schaffer, Ergeng Hao, Hung Ping Shih, Philip A. Seymour, Jenny Ma, & Maike Sander. (2011) Sox9 ductal cells are multipotent progenitors throughout development but do not produce new endocrine cells in the normal or injured adult pancreas . Development, 138(4), 653-665. info:/10.1242/dev.056499

  • January 24, 2011
  • 10:19 PM

Selenium, Brazil Nuts and The Strange Things Men Do.

by ABK in Environment and Health

We all know of men's warm, protective feelings for nuts, but why all the male interest in Brazil nuts? It might be the shape, if not the texture, but I think the answer lies in the Brazil nut's high concentration of selenium. Selenium is protective against prostate cancer, and good for testicular development (fetal period . . . sorry guys) and possibly protective against other oxidative-stress-induced ailments, testicular or not. On the other hand, selenium, at high concentrations can res........ Read more »

  • January 24, 2011
  • 09:04 PM

Music and the Brain: A Curious Theory

by Luc Duval in The Pedagogic Verses

A moderately unforgiving critique of an interesting theory of music cognition. Are musical preferences based on the brain's enjoyment of auditory compressibility?... Read more »

Nicholas J Hudson. (2011) Musical beauty and information compression: Complex to the ear but simple to the mind?. BioMed Central. info:/10.1186/1756-0500-4-9

  • January 24, 2011
  • 07:51 PM

Are mirror neurons the basis of speech perception?

by Hannah Little in A Replicated Typo 2.0


The discovery of Mirror Neurons in Macaque monkeys has lead to theories of the neurophysiological substrate of speech perception being grounded in mirror neurons. This is also relevant to the evolution of speech as if ability to perceive a rapid stream of phonemes is present in species such as macaques then this provides a foundation on which . . . → Read More: Are mirror neurons the basis of speech perception?... Read more »

  • January 24, 2011
  • 07:39 PM

Ep 140: The Redback Spider invasion of New Zealand

by westius in Mr Science Show

Research published in Biological Invasions shows that Australian redback spiders are invading New Zealand and could become established in many urban areas around major ports.

The paper, The invasive Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell 1870 (Araneae: Theridiidae): current and potential distributions, and likely impacts, details recorded sightings of redback spiders in New Zealand, then used biological and climatic information to reveal where redbacks could establish. War........ Read more »

Cor J. Vink, José G. B. Derraik, Craig B. Phillips, & Phil J. Sirvid. (2010) The invasive Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell 1870 (Araneae: Theridiidae): current and potential distributions, and likely impacts . Biological Invasions. info:/

  • January 24, 2011
  • 06:43 PM

Something ghoti with science citations

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

Science has a lot of problems. Or rather, scientometrics has a lot of problems. Scientific careers are built off the publish or perish foundation of citation counts. Journals are ranked by impact factors. There are serious problems with this system, and many ideas have been offered on how to change it, but so far little has actually been affected. Many journals, including the PLoS and Frontiers series, are making efforts to bring about change, but they are mostly taking a social tactic: ranking ........ Read more »

  • January 24, 2011
  • 06:41 PM

Recycling Neurons for Reading

by Livia in Reading and Word Recognition Research

Accesibility: Intermediate-Advanced

Our brains have evolved to be good at certain things: seeing, hearing, learning language, and interacting with other similar brains, to name a few examples. But say you want it to do something new – look at symbols...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

... Read more »

Dehaene S, Pegado F, Braga LW, Ventura P, Nunes Filho G, Jobert A, Dehaene-Lambertz G, Kolinsky R, Morais J, & Cohen L. (2010) How learning to read changes the cortical networks for vision and language. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1359-64. PMID: 21071632  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 04:37 PM

Neury Thursday: Neurobiological Properties of EVOO

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers in this week's Journal of Neuroscience have identified the neurophysiological and sensory properties of EVOO, which strangely enough, activate the same oral/throat cells that ibuprofen do.... Read more »

Peyrot des Gachons C, Uchida K, Bryant B, Shima A, Sperry JB, Dankulich-Nagrudny L, Tominaga M, Smith AB 3rd, Beauchamp GK, & Breslin PA. (2011) Unusual pungency from extra-virgin olive oil is attributable to restricted spatial expression of the receptor of oleocanthal. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(3), 999-1009. PMID: 21248124  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 04:35 PM

One of the first published accounts of sexual selection in koala bears: What does it take for koala boys to get lucky?

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Biologists don’t know a whole lot about sexual selection in Koala bears; however, there are clear reasons for our knowledge gap. First, these notoriously cute and cuddly little marsupials spend a good deal of their time high in the treetops chewing on Eucalyptus leaves (rather than engaging in complicated courtship battles). Indeed – in [...]... Read more »

Ellis, W., & Bercovitch, F. (2011) Body size and sexual selection in the koala. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-010-1136-4  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 03:38 PM

"Packing" Autistic Kids: A French Scandal

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Back in the bad old days of autism they thought it was caused by "refrigerator mothers".Well, right now, some psychiatrists have decided that the best treatment for autism is something not that far removed from sticking them in a refrigerator - literally. Enter "Le Packing", which is the target of an unprecedented consensus statement just out from a list of 18 big-name autism experts (available free here).This alleged therapy consists of wrapping the patient (wearing only underclothes or naked i........ Read more »

Amaral D, Rogers SJ, Baron-Cohen S, Bourgeron T, Caffo E, Fombonne E, Fuentes J, Howlin P, Rutter M, Klin A.... (2011) Against le packing: a consensus statement. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(2), 191-2. PMID: 21241956  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 03:16 PM

Is a Deep throat a Sore throat ?

by db in Defectivebrain @ FOS

 One of the reasons that I blog on Streptococcus pyogenes so often is because it is such a fascinating and adaptable pathogen. It causes so many different diseases. Diseases as different as a sore throat, and necrotizing fasciitis (The flesh eating disease !).  It's even been implicated in tourettes syndrome. This is a hardy and adaptable pathogen, that primarily colonises the throat and the skin.
In a recent outbreak in japan, it was found S. pyogenes has apparently found a new nich........ Read more »

  • January 24, 2011
  • 02:30 PM

Guidelines for treating fibromyalgia in primary care physical therapy

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Guidelines are so in aren’t they?  I guess this is what happens when evidenced based medicine begins to take hold. Broadly speaking, I reckon it is a good thing.  There are caveats of course – see the furore that can emerge when powerful groups don’t like the guidelines – all the more likely when there [...]... Read more »

  • January 24, 2011
  • 02:01 PM

Get a Grip! What You Hold Can Influence What You See

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Men are tough and women are tender. This stereotype is not only ingrained in American culture, but in our bodies as well. A new study published in Psychological Science suggests ... Read more »

Slepian, M.L., Weisbuch, M., Rule, N.O., & Ambady, N. (2011) Tough and tender: embodied categorization of gender. Psychological Science , 22(1), 26-8. PMID: 21106884  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 12:07 PM

Escitalopram for Hot Flashes

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Hot flashes commonly occur in the course of menopause in healthy women.  Some women find their hot flashes to be very uncomfortable and distressing.  Hormone replacement can reduce the symptom severity of hot flashes, but recent research has underscored the potential risks associated with hormone replacement.  Therefore, there is increased interest in finding safer alternatives.Freeman and colleagues recently published a randomized controlled trial of the selective serotonin reupt........ Read more »

Freeman EW, Guthrie KA, Caan B, Sternfeld B, Cohen LS, Joffe H, Carpenter JS, Anderson GL, Larson JC, Ensrud KE.... (2011) Efficacy of escitalopram for hot flashes in healthy menopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 305(3), 267-74. PMID: 21245182  

Geller SE, Shulman LP, van Breemen RB, Banuvar S, Zhou Y, Epstein G, Hedayat S, Nikolic D, Krause EC, Piersen CE.... (2009) Safety and efficacy of black cohosh and red clover for the management of vasomotor symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 16(6), 1156-66. PMID: 19609225  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 12:00 PM

Some Like it Hot

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by S. Marvin Friedman

How can thermophilic bacteria not only survive, but actually proliferate, at elevated temperatures that would be lethal to all other forms of life? After extensive research during the past five decades, this question has been answered in a general way, but the molecular basis for this unusual capability has not been clearly resolved. Thermophiles [I use this term to include both thermophiles (optimal growth temperatures of 50-70 °C) and hyperthermophiles (optimal gro........ Read more »

  • January 24, 2011
  • 11:12 AM

The ecological consequences of industrial kelp harvesting

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Kelp forests provide important habitat for numerous invertebrates, fish, birds and marine mammals. The ecological consequences of industrial harvest of this habitat has not been fully evaluated. Now a recent study has demonstrated that there is justified cause for concern. The study revealed that the removal of these habitats has multi-trophic effects...... Read more »

Lorentsen, S., Sjøtun, K., & Grémillet, D. (2010) Multi-trophic consequences of kelp harvest. Biological Conservation, 143(9), 2054-2062. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.05.013  

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