Post List

  • February 10, 2010
  • 11:32 PM

Reigning in Evolution

by Nachiket Vartak in Emergent Noise

Two papers provide insights into the mechanisms of convergent evolution.... Read more »

Chan, Y., Marks, M., Jones, F., Villarreal, G., Shapiro, M., Brady, S., Southwick, A., Absher, D., Grimwood, J., Schmutz, J.... (2009) Adaptive Evolution of Pelvic Reduction in Sticklebacks by Recurrent Deletion of a Pitx1 Enhancer. Science, 327(5963), 302-305. DOI: 10.1126/science.1182213  

Counterman, B., Araujo-Perez, F., Hines, H., Baxter, S., Morrison, C., Lindstrom, D., Papa, R., Ferguson, L., Joron, M., ffrench-Constant, R.... (2010) Genomic Hotspots for Adaptation: The Population Genetics of Müllerian Mimicry in Heliconius erato. PLoS Genetics, 6(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000796  

  • February 10, 2010
  • 11:22 PM

The Cosmos isn't strange, people are strange

by The Astronomist in The Astronomist.

The cosmos isn't strange, people are strange. The universe on the largest of scales is actually simple compared to the complexities of the human mind or even the weather. In a statistical sense all current observations indicate that universe is homogeneous and isotropic everywhere. The best evidence for this statement is the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation which is light from the big bang that has traveled unimpeded through the universe since recombination. A simp........ Read more »

C. L. Bennett, R. S. Hill, G. Hinshaw, D. Larson, K. M. Smith, J. Dunkley, B. Gold, M. Halpern, N. Jarosik, A. Kogut.... (2010) Seven-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Are There Cosmic Microwave Background Anomalies?. ApJ. arXiv: 1001.4758v1

  • February 10, 2010
  • 11:16 PM

Plight of Staghorn Coral

by Uncharted Atolls in Uncharted Atolls

With any luck, I’ll be discussing a specific anthozoan (or maybe groups of anthozoans) each week.  Anthozoa is a class of marine organisms within the phylum Cnidaria, and consists of corals, anemones, and sea pens.  There are over 6000 anthozoans (that we know of—likely lots more, particularly in the hugely undersampled deep-sea), and most Cnidarian [...]... Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 10:40 PM


by teofilo in Gambler's House

So, turkeys.  I mentioned in an earlier post that there’s been an important new paper about turkeys published in PNAS.  It’s been mentioned in two good media accounts linked by Southwestern Archaeology Today in two separate posts.  Unlike most PNAS articles, this one is Open Access, so both the article itself and its supplement are [...]... Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 08:59 PM

Unraveling Arthropoda

by Michael Bok in Arthropoda

A new paper, published online in Nature this week, aims to resolve long-standing disputes within Arthropod phylogenetics. This work offers strong evidence for, and opens new, perplexing questions about, the deep evolutionary history of arthropods.
The phylum Arthropoda consists of four major subphyla:

Chelicerata – Arachnids, horseshoe crabs, sea spiders.
Myriapoda – Centipedes, millipedes.
Crustacea [...]... Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 07:21 PM

This made me smile

by Kris-Stella in Coffee Shop Philosophy

Thanks to Jezebel via Emily, here's a brilliant take on Beyonce's "Single Ladies": "Scholar Ladies". The geek in me approves! "If you learned it then you should have got an A on it." On a related note (as if you needed any more convincing to do your homework), let's bring up a discussion of girls and math performance. Did you know that the gender gap in mathematics is linked tomore general national rates of gender equality? In Iceland, girls outperform guys at math. Here's more:Hyde, J., & Mertz........ Read more »

Hyde, J., & Mertz, J. (2009) Gender, culture, and mathematics performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(22), 8801-8807. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0901265106  

  • February 10, 2010
  • 06:32 PM

Heart Rate Variability: Depression Monitor for Work?

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

we may be able to use heart rate variability (HRV) to help detect and so address depression - another stressor. A 2009 study has shown promising results in terms of using HRV to detect if someone is still suffering from the effects of depression. The study looked at folks who were returning to work after being off for depression, and having been cleared to come back to work.... Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 05:21 PM

Navajo Has Two and a Half Words for Snow

by teofilo in Gambler's House

It’s snowing like crazy here in New Jersey right now.  Rutgers canceled all classes today and morning classes tomorrow, so I’ve got a lot of unexpected time off.  Seeing all this snow is reminding me, as always, of Navajo linguistics.  Words for “snow” play a disproportionately important role in understanding the history and dialectology of [...]... Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 03:56 PM

Pregnancy Pee Linked to Kid's Bad Behavior: Phthalates, ADHD, Conduct Disorder, OH MY!

by Polly Palumbo in Momma Data

Pregnant Mom Alert #523: Clear out your cosmetics. Ditch the deodorant. Trash your toiletries. Contact your Congressperson.Phthalates, again! In your beauty regime.  Seems they harm your unborn baby's developing brain eventually turning them into aggressive, surly kids, maybe even criminals. So says a Mount Sinai study published online in this month's Environmental Health Perspectives, sure to alarm even the more placid of pregnant folk. After measuring phthalates in the urine of pregn........ Read more »

Engel, S., Miodovnik, A., Canfield, R., Zhu, C., Silva, M., Calafat, A., & Wolff, M. (2010) Prenatal Phthalate Exposure is Associated with Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901470  

  • February 10, 2010
  • 03:54 PM

Childhood Bipolar Disorder is not Bipolar? DSM-V and the new Temper Dysregulation Disorder with Dysphoria

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

Today the American Psychiatric Association released a draft of the major changes that are expected in the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder – 5th Edition (DSM-V). While most people in the field will be underwhelmed by the relatively minor changes,  there are a few areas where the DSM-V will [...]... Read more »

Brotman MA, Schmajuk M, Rich BA, Dickstein DP, Guyer AE, Costello EJ, Egger HL, Angold A, Pine DS, & Leibenluft E. (2006) Prevalence, clinical correlates, and longitudinal course of severe mood dysregulation in children. Biological psychiatry, 60(9), 991-7. PMID: 17056393  

  • February 10, 2010
  • 03:21 PM

Ancient brains revealed by microRNA?

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

Detlev Arendt's lab at EMBL looks at the evolution of the central nervous system in Bilateria. A brand new letter in Nature, Ancient animal microRNAs and the evolution of tissue identity, explores the link between the birth of ancient microRNAs and body plan evolution.... Read more »

Christodoulou F, Raible F, Tomer R, Simakov O, Trachana K, Klaus S, Snyman H, Hannon GJ, Bork P, & Arendt D. (2010) Ancient animal microRNAs and the evolution of tissue identity. Nature. PMID: 20118916  

  • February 10, 2010
  • 03:17 PM

Expanding Universe

by Brian Koberlein in Upon Reflection

Figure 1: Two models of Newton's universe. Newtonian gravity predicts that stars were packed together tightly in the beginning, and expanded out into space. Over time, the stars either would collapse back together or expand forever. (Source: John D. Norton)...... Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 03:02 PM

Immunization for Addiction: the Cocaine Vaccine

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Every so often this cocaine vaccine issue rears its head again. I saw it again just the other day. The problem is, of course, the tendency of the media (ain't it always the media) to say something like "OMG THIS IS TEH CURE FOR EVERYTHING!" in response to one small study. And who knows, the cocaine vaccine may indeed be the cure for everything, but Sci needs to see some big trials before she gets her hopes up. As it is, the studies I have seen provide some interesting clues, but also provide........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 02:43 PM

I have a big beak and a small tongue: Hornbill feeding

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

In the movie Roxanne, Steve Martin’s Cyrano-esque character has a scene where he’s supposed to drink from a small fluted wine glass, but his character’s large schnoz makes it impossible. That’s sort of the task faced by several birds species with large, lengthy bills.

Feeding is no small task for birds. Keep in mind that birds have no hands to manipulate their food, and a bird’s bill is completely inflexible. Imagine trying to eat without moving your lips.

Hornbills (like Aceros cass........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 01:49 PM

Birds of a feather are bred together: domesticated turkeys in prehistoric SW US

by Rachel in The Sage of Discovery: Exploring the world of food one ingredient at a time

Turkeys have long been an important foodstuff in many parts of the world. In the U.S., not only has our post-colonial society been fueled by this fowl; historically, turkey meat, feathers, and bones have provided important uses for pre-contact Native Americans. But where did these birds come from? By examining the remains of turkeys from [...]... Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 01:15 PM

Alzheimer’s Disease May Protect Against Cancer and Vice Versa

by Walter Jessen in Highlight HEALTH

A recent study in the American Academy of Neurology found that people with Alzheimer’s disease have a significantly reduced risk of being hospitalized for cancer.... Read more »

Roe CM, Fitzpatrick AL, Xiong C, Sieh W, Kuller L, Miller JP, Williams MM, Kopan R, Behrens MI, & Morris JC. (2010) Cancer linked to Alzheimer disease but not vascular dementia. Neurology, 74(2), 106-12. PMID: 20032288  

  • February 10, 2010
  • 11:54 AM

Jury still out on fizzy drinks and pancreatic cancer

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

This week, the headlines have made bold claims about a possible link between drinking too many fizzy drinks and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
The claims were based on a new study, led by Mark Pereira from the University of Minnesota and colleagues in Singapore. It was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and [...]... Read more »

Mueller, N., Odegaard, A., Anderson, K., Yuan, J., Gross, M., Koh, W., & Pereira, M. (2010) Soft Drink and Juice Consumption and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: The Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers , 19(2), 447-455. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0862  

  • February 10, 2010
  • 11:30 AM

Species Behind Schedule

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Predators lag prey in climate change adaptations

... Read more »

  • February 10, 2010
  • 10:52 AM

Chocolate Milk: The Ideal Post-Exercise Drink?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

For anyone who has spent any time around a gym or even around fervent gym goers, you have probably heard the adage that chocolate milk is the ideal drink of choice post exercise to aid in recovery. In fact, dairy companies have put out commercials advertising the purported athletic benefits of drinking chocolate milk post exercise. I must admit that I personally love a 500ml carton of chocolate milk after my workouts. But is there any evidence to support all the hype?

Now, before I go any fur........ Read more »

Karp JR, Johnston JD, Tecklenburg S, Mickleborough TD, Fly AD, & Stager JM. (2006) Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 16(1), 78-91. PMID: 16676705  

  • February 10, 2010
  • 08:30 AM

Study links agricultural intensity with fish decline in streams

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

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