Post List

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:32 AM

Web-Based Interaction: A Review of Three Important Human Factors

by Simon Harper in Thinking Out Loud

The main results from the analysis include that: (a) females have more disorientation problems than males; (b) flexible paths are more beneficial to experts while structured content is more useful to novices; and (c) Field Dependent and Field Independent users prefer to employ different search strategies.... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

DAMPs and PAMPs: The enemy within

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

The immune system is, by its nature, destructive. Its function is to eliminate problems. Because it’s so destructive, there are many layers on control that constantly check and limit the response. Equally, there are controls that try to ensure that the response doesn’t start until it’s needed.
How does the immune response know when [...]... Read more »

Zhang, Q., Raoof, M., Chen, Y., Sumi, Y., Sursal, T., Junger, W., Brohi, K., Itagaki, K., & Hauser, C. (2010) Circulating mitochondrial DAMPs cause inflammatory responses to injury. Nature, 464(7285), 104-107. DOI: 10.1038/nature08780  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

Backpackers in Australia are a sexual health risk

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

Young people, especially Brits, famously head to Australia in their droves in search of travel, adventure, and, crucially, some hot weather.  In 2009-09, 560,105 international backpackers visited Australia, representing 10.9% of all international visitors.
It seems that backpackers in Oz aren’t just looking for fun and sun though – according to a new study they’re [...]... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:04 AM

Special Post: Noether’s First Theorem – Emmy Noether for Ada Lovelace Day

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the life and achievements of women in science and technology through blogging in the name of Ada Byron – Countess of Lovelace, daughter of the romantic poet Lord Byron, analyst, metaphysician, the founder of scientific computing, and The Enchantress of Numbers.
In honour of Ada Lovelace Day, I’ll briefly profile the life [...]... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 05:01 AM

"Can web crawlers revolutionize ecological monitoring?" researchers ask

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A visionary approach to ecological monitoring would use automated web crawlers to look at the flow of information across the Internet and detect early warning signals of impending environmental problems before they become catastrophic...... Read more »

Galaz, V., Crona, B., Daw, T., Bodin, Ö., Nyström, M., & Olsson, P. (2010) Can web crawlers revolutionize ecological monitoring?. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(2), 99-104. DOI: 10.1890/070204  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 03:09 AM

What Are the Origins of Number Representation?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

If Mondays are for single studies of cognition in various animals that we know of as pets, then Wednesdays are for longer syntheses of research in one area of knowledge, or in one animal.

Figure 1: Number representation. From whence did it come?
Today is about number. We’re going to focus on one aspect of number cognition, [...]... Read more »

Lipton JS, & Spelke ES. (2003) Origins of number sense. Large-number discrimination in human infants. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 14(5), 396-401. PMID: 12930467  

Agrillo, C., Dadda, M., & Bisazza, A. (2006) Quantity discrimination in female mosquitofish. Animal Cognition, 10(1), 63-70. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-006-0036-5  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 02:22 AM

A social version of a basic cognitive mechanism

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

We're slower to direct our attention to the same location twice in succession, a well-established phenomenon that cognitive psychologists call 'inhibition of return' (IoR). It's thought the mechanism may act to make our search of the visual scene more efficient by deterring us from looking at the same spot twice. Now Paul Skarratt and his colleagues have documented a new 'social' form of inhibition of return, in which people are slower to attend to a location that social cues, such as gaze direc........ Read more »

Skarratt, P., Cole, G., & Kingstone, A. (2010) Social inhibition of return. Acta Psychologica, 134(1), 48-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2009.12.003  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 01:24 AM

Crohn’s Disease Treatment Also Helps Protect the Gut From Infection

by Walter Jessen in Highlight HEALTH

A recent report in Cell Host and Microbe reveals that in the gut, the gene Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) helps protect against infection by a bacterial pathogen.... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 01:01 AM

Tip of the Week: Genomicus and genome evolution

by Trey in OpenHelix

Today’s tip is on Genomicus. Genomicus is a great tool to visualize gene duplication, synteny and genome evolution. The search and display interfaces are quite straightforward, and there are lots of great features (viewing ancestral gene information, links out to resources, different views of phylogenies, etc) in the tool. This video is only a short introduction. You can delve deeper into the tool with the help and documentation, including an 11 minute video.
There is also a recent (adva........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 11:34 PM


by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Electronic garbage in developing countries expected to increase

... Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 10:57 PM

The Dumbest Study I've Ever Read

by Neuropsych15 in The MacGuffin

This study has nothing to do with drugs, psychotherapy, or even neuroscience. It's about Jesus' head; more specifically, it's about Jesus' head in relation to the size of the main course in 52 different depictions of the Last Supper.I know what you're all thinking, it's barely past noon, and I've hit the scotch too hard this time. From the International Journal of Obesity:"Portion sizes of foods have been noticably increasing in recent years, but when did this trend begin? If art imitates l........ Read more »

B Wansink and C S Wansink. (2010) The largest Last Supper: depictions of food portions and plate size increased over the millennium. International Journal of Obesity. info:/

  • March 23, 2010
  • 10:11 PM

Welcome, Seitaad!

by Andrew Farke in The Open Source Paleontologist

I am pleased to announce the publication in PLoS ONE of Seitaad ruessi, a new sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic Navajo Sandstone of southern Utah. Sauropodomorphs are (mostly) herbivorous dinosaurs that lived from the Triassic all the way until the end of the Cretaceous. Although most people know the giant quadrupedal sauropodomorphs like Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus ("Brontosaurus"), many of the early sauropodomorphs were bipeds smaller than humans. Seitaad fits in the latter cat........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 08:27 PM

Aging and Degeneration of the Innate Immune System

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Much of the discussion of the age-related decline of the immune system that can be found in the Fight Aging! archives is focused on the adaptive immune system. But the innate immune system also becomes damaged and dysfunctional with age. Here is a quick summary of the functional difference between these two components of the immune system: The immune system protects organisms from infection with layered defenses of increasing specificity. Most simply, physical barriers prevent pathogens such as ........ Read more »

Hajishengallis G. (2010) Too Old to Fight? Aging and its Toll on Innate Immunity. Molecular oral microbiology, 25(1), 25-37. PMID: 20305805  

  • March 23, 2010
  • 07:14 PM

Exercise for overweight or obesity

by PhD Blogger in Exercise Psychology

This report is a systematic review of the evidence on Exercise for overweight or obesity.  It's in the form of a  Cochrane Report.  The Cochrane Collaboration is an international, independent, not-for-profit organisation of over 27,000 contributors from more than 100 countries, dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of health care readily available worldwide.  It is a thorough review of the evidence in the area of obesity and exercise and it........ Read more »

Shaw K, Gennat H, O'Rourke P, & Del Mar C. (2006) Exercise for overweight or obesity. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 17054187  

  • March 23, 2010
  • 06:25 PM

Preserving a culture in wild honey

by Alun in AlunSalt

“What is heritage?” sounds like the kind of essay question a lecturer might set when they run out of inspiration. It depends where you ask it. In some places it’s a question that carries a sting for the unwary. In the UK it’s almost always old buildings. Sometimes it’s very old buildings, but we build [...]... Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

Hands Off My Bone!

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Figure 1: Zooky stole his bone.

I know that I wrote about dogs yesterday. I don’t usually like to focus too much on any one particular animal two days in a row. But. This paper was too cool to put off.
Different dog growls mean different things, right? Probably. But can you tell the difference?
Here’s a dog [...]... Read more »

Farago, T., Pongracz, P., Range, F., Viranyi, Z., & Miklosi, A. (2010) ‘The bone is mine’: affective and referential aspects of dog growls. Animal Behaviour, 917-925. info:/10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.01.005

  • March 23, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

How native-like is a cold-denatured structure?

by Michael Clarkson in Conformational Flux

A protein has several different levels of structure. The primary structure is the arrangements of atoms and bonds, and it is formed in the ribosome by the assembly of amino acids as directed by an RNA template. The secondary structure is the local topology, the helices and strands, and this forms mostly because of the release of energy through the formation of hydrogen bonds. The tertiary structure is the actual fold of the protein, the way helices, strands, and loops are arranged in space. The ........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 04:35 PM

Meth Babies—Fact or Fiction?

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Research team finds brain abnormalities.

When it came to babies born to crack-addicted mothers, the media went overboard, creating a crisis in the form of an epidemic that never quite was. By contrast, when it came to babies born to alcoholic mothers, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome went unrecognized in the science and medical community until 1968.

Now comes a study on prenatal methamphetamine exposure in The Journal of Neuroscience, headed up by Elizabeth Sowell of the University of California, Los ........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 04:25 PM

There are side effects, and there are real side effects

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

The NEJM just posted this entry that clearly shows that when clinicians report side effects of the drugs that their patient is taking, their reports don’t agree with what patients report. Interestingly, clinicians are doing the reporting of these side effects as part of their participation in clinical trials, and the clinical trials are almost [...]... Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 04:00 PM

Carbon Nanotubes for Successful Late-Stage Chemotherapy

by Michael Long in Phased

Ren'an Wu, Hanfa Zou (Chinese Academy of Sciences), and coworkers have used carbon nanotubes to kill the cancer cells that commonly linger after chemotherapy, which are a major threat to successful treatment. This news feature was written on March 23, 2010.... Read more »

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