Does being heavier make you happier?An interesting new paper from a British/Danish collaboration uses a clever trick based on genetics to untangle the messy correlation between obesity and mental health.They had a huge (53,221) sample of people from Copenhagen, Denmark. It measured people's height and weight to calculate their BMI, and asked them some simple questions about their mood, such as "Do you often feel nervous or stressed?"Many previous studies have found that being overweight is corre........ Read more »
Lawlor DA, Harbord RM, Tybjaerg-Hansen A, Palmer TM, Zacho J, Benn M, Timpson NJ, Smith GD, & Nordestgaard BG. (2011) Using genetic loci to understand the relationship between adiposity and psychological distress: a Mendelian Randomization study in the Copenhagen General Population Study of 53,221 adults. Journal of internal medicine. PMID: 21210875
An analysis of the BBC program "Cannabis: How Drugs Work" based on the evidence.... Read more »
Hickman M, Vickerman P, Macleod J, Kirkbride J, & Jones PB. (2007) Cannabis and schizophrenia: model projections of the impact of the rise in cannabis use on historical and future trends in schizophrenia in England and Wales. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 102(4), 597-606. PMID: 17362293
GREEN, B. (2005) Cannabis use and misuse prevalence among people with psychosis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 187(4), 306-313. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.187.4.306
A number of complex biological forces drive the mutation and selection of cancer cells - competitive growth, angiogenesis, immune system evasion, etc. A recent review in the journal Science has shed light on another key aspect of tumor development - the hijacking of the metabolism. Over 80 years ago, Otto Warburg observed that tumor cells [...]... Read more »
Levine AJ, & Puzio-Kuter AM. (2010) The control of the metabolic switch in cancers by oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1340-4. PMID: 21127244
Animals and Plants have hundreds of miRNAs with diverse roles in gene regulation. In humans, each miRNA family can control up to several hundred genes (or 500 to be exact, in humans). A loss of function in one, can lead to array of developmental defects. Similarly in plants, an miRNA mutant can have a variety of phenotypes. However, interestingly, many miRNAs only have one target, which is frequently a transcription factor that in turn, controls many genes itself. It's really like a house of car........ Read more »
Garzon, R., Marcucci, G., & Croce, C. (2010) Targeting microRNAs in cancer: rationale, strategies and challenges. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 9(10), 775-789. DOI: 10.1038/nrd3179
Allen, R., Li, J., Stahle, M., Dubroue, A., Gubler, F., & Millar, A. (2007) From the Cover: Genetic analysis reveals functional redundancy and the major target genes of the Arabidopsis miR159 family. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(41), 16371-16376. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0707653104
Laufs, P. (2004) MicroRNA regulation of the CUC genes is required for boundary size control in Arabidopsis meristems. Development, 131(17), 4311-4322. DOI: 10.1242/dev.01320
If you were to combine ants' dispersal of seeds and plant protection interactions, and maybe squint a little, you might see something like epiphitic ant gardens. Ant gardens form when tree-nesting ants collect the seeds of some epiphytes—plants evolved to grow in the branches of trees—and the collected seeds sprout. The nests provide congenial conditions for the plants, since gardening ants frequently use dung as a building material. The roots running through the nest help stabilize its stru........ Read more »
Youngsteadt, E., Guerra Bustios, P., & Schal, C. (2010) Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia. PLoS ONE, 5(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015822
One of the consequences of the obesity epidemic is the proliferation of “reality based” media aiming to lay bare and expose the unhealthy behaviours that lead to obesity and tout “solutions” primarily aimed at changing individual lifestyles.
Notable examples of this ‘”entertainment” genre include television programmes such as Jamie’s School Dinners and Jamie’s Ministry of Food, [...]... Read more »
Rich E. (2011) 'I see her being obesed!': Public pedagogy, reality media and the obesity crisis. Health (London, England : 1997), 15(1), 3-21. PMID: 21212111
Actually, it’s not QUITE as cool as it sounds. This new frog species, the Vampire Flying Frog, was discovered in Vietnam by scientists from the Australian Museum. Rhacophorus vampyrus was a latecomer to the International Year of Biodiversity, which yielded a wealth of newly discovered creatures. But the name. The name. To be honest, it [...]... Read more »
Rowley, J. et al. (2010) A new tree frog of the genus Rhacophorus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from southern Vietnam. Zootaxa. info:/
Authonomy is a unique online community that connects readers, writers and publishing professionals. It was conceived and built by editors at HarperCollins Publishers. They are in 'beta' at the moment, so they’re still developing and perfecting the site.... Read more »
Alison McCook. (2006) Is Peer Review Broken?. The Scientist, 20(2), 26-26. info:other/23061/#ixzz16smQbXG3
They tell you when you’re feeling blue to put on a sad song. But, new research published in the International Journal of Arts and Technology suggests that the music we choose to listen to is guided more by familiarity than whether we are in a happy or sad mood and whether or not a particular [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkWhat music do you listen to when you’re feeling sad?
... Read more »
Jiyoun Kim. (2011) Affective states, familiarity and music selection: power of familiarity. Int. J. Arts and Technology, 4(1), 74-89. info:/
Continuing from my previous post on colorectal carcinoma, I just came across a study by Hermann Brenner et al. showing the effectiveness of colonoscopy in preventing colorectal carcinoma. They had conducted a population based case-control study in Germany to quantify the effectiveness of colonoscopy. 1688 cases and 1932 controls aged over 50 years participated in the study. ... Read more »
Brenner H, Chang-Claude J, Seiler CM, Rickert A, & Hoffmeister M. (2011) Protection from colorectal cancer after colonoscopy: a population-based, case-control study. Annals of internal medicine, 154(1), 22-30. PMID: 21200035
In which I justify why I, a healthy perceiver-actor, slipped and fell on a clearly visible icy patch, breaking my wrist for the second time, using SCIENCE.
It's been a cold, icy winter here this year, and 6 weeks ago I slipped on a patch of ice and fell entirely on my (previously broken) wrist. The ensuing physics did enough damage that I needed surgery to set the wrist with two pins, and I am only today out of the cast. These kinds of falls and injuries are very common; half of all falls i........ Read more »
Joh AS, Adolph KE, Campbell MR, & Eppler MA. (2006) Why walkers slip: shine is not a reliable cue for slippery ground. Perception , 68(3), 339-52. PMID: 16900828
Joh AS, Adolph KE, Narayanan PJ, & Dietz VA. (2007) Gauging possibilities for action based on friction underfoot. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance, 33(5), 1145-57. PMID: 17924813
From Public Understanding of Science There is an established link between genetics and male homosexuality, popularly dubbed the ‘gay gene’. This article examines the reporting of the ‘gay gene’ in the British press compared with scientific journals to illustrate the conflicts between science and the media, it attempts to suggest steps to improve the relationship [...]... Read more »
Miller, D. (1995) Introducing the ‘gay gene’: media and scientific representations. Public Understanding of Science, 4(3), 269-284. DOI: 10.1088/0963-6625/4/3/005
A stark frame from Apollo 16 shows a lunar surface remodeled by violent collisions. Even in a single static snapshot hints at the order of events. The large crater near the center of the image was later remodeled by a not small crater breaking the original rim. Careful study of other photographs, especially of the even more chaotic far side of the moon, can piece together the temporal order of events, from such overlaps in craters and their ejecta.The moon has more than a few parallels to the........ Read more »
P.J. Stephens, C.D. Greenstein, B. Fu, F. Yang, G.R. Bignell, L.J. Mudis, E.D. Pleasance, K.W. Lau, D. Beare, L.A. Stebbings.... (2011) Massive Genomic Rearrangement Acquired in a Single Catastrophic Event during Cancer Development. Cell, 144(1), 27-40. info:/10.1016/j.cell.2010.11.055
This post is the result of reading Wittgenstein and the philosophy of simulation literature in close temporal proximity. Here is Paul Humphreys on epistemic opacity in computer simulations: a process is epistemically opaque relative to a cognitive agent X at time t just in case X does not know at t all of the epistemically [...]... Read more »
Humphreys, P. (2008) The philosophical novelty of computer simulation methods. Synthese, 169(3), 615-626. DOI: 10.1007/s11229-008-9435-2
Over 36 years since its discovery in Ethiopia’s Afar Depression, the 3.2 million year old skeleton of Lucy is still the most famous in all of paleoanthropology. Older fossil humans have been found, as have more complete remains, but none have generated the same swell of interest that has virtually turned these Australopithecus afarensis bones [...]... Read more »
Anna K. Behrensmeyer. (1978) Taphonomic and Ecologic Information from Bone Weathering. Paleobiology, 4(2), 150-162. info:/
Anna K Behrensmeyer. (2008) Paleoenvironmental context of the Pliocene A.L. 333 “First Family” hominin locality, Hadar Formation, Ethiopia. GSA Special Papers, 203-214. info:/10.1130/2008.2446(09)
Marean, C. (1995) Paleoanthropological and paleoecological implications of the taphonomy of a sabertooth's den. Journal of Human Evolution, 29(6), 515-547. DOI: 10.1006/jhev.1995.1074
PLAVCAN, J., LOCKWOOD, C., KIMBEL, W., LAGUE, M., & HARMON, E. (2005) Sexual dimorphism in revisited: How strong is the case for a human-like pattern of dimorphism?. Journal of Human Evolution, 48(3), 313-320. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.09.006
Radosevich, S., Retallack, G., & Taieb, M. (1992) Reassessment of the paleoenvironment and preservation of hominid fossils from Hadar, Ethiopia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 87(1), 15-27. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330870103
Reno, P., McCollum, M., Meindl, R., & Lovejoy, C. (2010) An enlarged postcranial sample confirms Australopithecus afarensis dimorphism was similar to modern humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365(1556), 3355-3363. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0086
At the risk of seeming untrendy, the trend to rave on about neuroplasticity can be a bit overdone. Not, I add quickly, because it doesn’t happen, or it’s not important – in fact, quite the opposite – but because it happens all the time. And at the back of our minds, I think we’ve known … Read more... Read more »
Iannetti, G., & Mouraux, A. (2010) From the neuromatrix to the pain matrix (and back). Experimental Brain Research, 205(1), 1-12. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-010-2340-1
You may not have realised that – since most people nowadays have been vaccinated against it and have never seen it – but measles is a very serious illness. Generally an acute disease of children, measles is spread by the measles virus where it infects the body via the respiratory route and establishes a systemic [...]... Read more »
Manning, L., Laman, M., Edoni, H., Mueller, I., Karunajeewa, H., Smith, D., Hwaiwhanje, I., Siba, P., & Davis, T. (2011) Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis in Papua New Guinean Children: The Cost of Continuing Inadequate Measles Vaccine Coverage. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000932
What type of person are you?? When tough times come around – whether it is stress at work, a painful injury, or forced participation in Secret Santa – what do you do? Some people, those lone wolf types, find relief in being alone, taking some time to regroup, and dealing with the problem themselves. Others, [...]... Read more »
Sambo CF, Howard M, Kopelman M, Williams S, & Fotopoulou A. (2010) Knowing you care: effects of perceived empathy and attachment style on pain perception. Pain, 151(3), 687-93. PMID: 20869808
Today is the second Monday of the New Year, January 10, 2011 and we are returning to work, school and normal life, you know, the one without endless shopping, cooking and preparing. Hopefully most of your holiday 2010 remembrances are fond ones…the greetings, baked goods, travel, gifts…all good. Hold on. The greetings; was there was [...]... Read more »
Diemand-Yauman, C., Oppenheimer, D., & Vaughan, E. (2011) Fortune favors the (): Effects of disfluency on educational outcomes. Cognition, 118(1), 111-115. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.09.012
New advances in technology are allowing scientists to sequence genomes and determine the structures of the proteins they encode at a faster rate and lower cost than ever before. The NIH’s Protein Structure Initiative centers, such as the Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG), have been instrumental in establishing the structures of hundreds of proteins [...]... Read more »
Ellrott K, Zmasek CM, Weekes D, Sri Krishna S, Bakolitsa C, Godzik A, & Wooley J. (2011) TOPSAN: a dynamic web database for structural genomics. Nucleic acids research, 39(Database issue). PMID: 20961957
Krishna SS, Weekes D, Bakolitsa C, Elsliger MA, Wilson IA, Godzik A, & Wooley J. (2010) TOPSAN: use of a collaborative environment for annotating, analyzing and disseminating data on JCSG and PSI structures. Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology and crystallization communications, 66(Pt 10), 1143-7. PMID: 20944203
Weekes D, Krishna SS, Bakolitsa C, Wilson IA, Godzik A, & Wooley J. (2010) TOPSAN: a collaborative annotation environment for structural genomics. BMC bioinformatics, 426. PMID: 20716366
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