Post List

  • August 6, 2010
  • 06:30 PM
  • 770 views

How a Severe Malaria Parasite Destroys Red Blood Cells

by Michael Long in Phased

The research of Alessandro Esposito (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) and coworkers is possibly of long-term interest in developing a vaccine for malaria. This news feature was written on August 6, 2010.... Read more »

Esposito, A., Choimet, J., Skepper, J. N., Mauritz, J. M. A., Lew, V. L., Kaminski, C. F., & Tiffert, T. (2010) Quantitative Imaging of Human Red Blood Cells Infected with Plasmodium falciparum. Biophysical Journal, 99(3), 953-960. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.04.065  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 05:12 PM
  • 1,302 views

Will, Baby, Will: Why Energy Problems Need New Thinking, Not New Oil Wells

by David Berreby in Mind Matters


Providing adequate and sustainable sources of energy isn't a geophysical problem of finding supplies or a technological challenge of using sun, wind or gas more efficiently. It's a psychological problem: How to get people to think differently and behave differently. That, I think, is the lesson of this paper, published last month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology: Some 2 percent of American energy use in a year goes to make food that no one eats, it reports. Elimi........ Read more »

  • August 6, 2010
  • 02:28 PM
  • 623 views

Why Alcoholism is So Frackin Difficult to Treat

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A recent study dissects alterations in neuronal genes of a major reward area. Comprehensive studies like these truly reveal how fracking difficult it is to pinpoint the neurobiological underlyings of alcoholism and develop effective treatments... I guess my pessimism is additionally reflects the general cloudiness and lack of sunny summer weather this week. ... Read more »

Bell, R., Kimpel, M., McClintick, J., Strother, W., Carr, L., Liang, T., Rodd, Z., Mayfield, R., Edenberg, H., & McBride, W. (2009) Gene expression changes in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol-preferring rats following chronic ethanol consumption. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 94(1), 131-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2009.07.019  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 02:24 PM
  • 574 views

Why Alcoholism is So Fracking Difficult to Treat

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Over the past four years, I have have read hundreds of papers attempting to elucidate the underlying neurobiology of alcoholism. In the beginning, it was pretty mundane; I simply read papers documenting the effects of binging and chronic use on the “big five” neuromodulatory systems: glutamate, GABA, serotonin, dopamine, and acetycholine. Within the past three [...]... Read more »

Bell, R., Kimpel, M., McClintick, J., Strother, W., Carr, L., Liang, T., Rodd, Z., Mayfield, R., Edenberg, H., & McBride, W. (2009) Gene expression changes in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol-preferring rats following chronic ethanol consumption. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 94(1), 131-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2009.07.019  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 01:50 PM
  • 8,369 views

Fossil Bonanza in Australian Cave Documents the Growth of a Prehistoric Marsupial

by Laelaps in Laelaps

By now you have no doubt heard about the dinosaurian tempest-in-a-teacup I recently called #TriceraFAIL. To sum things up briefly - on the basis of skeletal anatomy and histology, paleontologists John Scannella and Jack Horner proposed that the horned dinosaur traditionally known as Torosaurus was actually the fully-mature growth stage of Triceratops. If further evidence [...]... Read more »

  • August 6, 2010
  • 12:33 PM
  • 1,017 views

Amantadine Reduces Pathological Gambling in Parkinson's Disease

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Parkinson's disease (PD) commonly includes a variety of behavioral disturbances related to impulsivity.  Impulse control problems noted in (PD) ncludes hypersexuality, compulsive shopping, compulsive eating and pathological gambling.These behavioral problems may be related to the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease.  However, drugs commonly used in Parkinson's disease appear to increase the risk for impulsive behavioral problems. Clinicians face a dilemma in drug-induced behavioral ........ Read more »

Thomas A, Bonanni L, Gambi F, Di Iorio A, & Onofrj M. (2010) Pathological gambling in Parkinson disease is reduced by amantadine. Annals of neurology. PMID: 20687121  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 12:09 PM
  • 967 views

A tale of two travelers

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow


To paraphrase The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: “The ocean is big.  Really Big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts compared to the ocean”.  OK, maybe its not as big as the Virgo supercluster, but the ocean is still pretty huge by landlubber standards.  Most of that unending big-ness is pretty featureless, and yet........ Read more »

Dewar, H., Thys, T., Teo, S., Farwell, C., O'Sullivan, J., Tobayama, T., Soichi, M., Nakatsubo, T., Kondo, Y., & Okada, Y. (2010) Satellite tracking the world's largest jelly predator, the ocean sunfish, Mola mola, in the Western Pacific. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2010.06.023  

Sleeman, J., Meekan, M., Wilson, S., Polovina, J., Stevens, J., Boggs, G., & Bradshaw, C. (2010) To go or not to go with the flow: Environmental influences on whale shark movement patterns. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2010.05.009  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 10:40 AM
  • 843 views

Child Abuse Increases Risk of PTSD in Young Adults

by Child Psych in Child Psych



photo by mrcuppofcoffee
Researchers in New Zealand have found a link between childhood abuse and mental disorders in young adults. The article by Drs. Scott, Smith, and Ellis was published in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The authors analyzed data from a nationally representative community survey of 2144 New Zealanders ages 16 to 27. The survey assessed a variety of anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders during the previous year and in the person's lifetime. Nation........ Read more »

  • August 6, 2010
  • 10:11 AM
  • 669 views

Pakasuchus: The Croc That Ate Like a Mammal

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking


Modern crocodylians—from alligators to gharials—can’t chew their food. Their jaws are adapted for snapping shut quickly and powerfully on prey, but once these archosaurs have captured their meal, they must either swallow it whole or tear off a smaller piece and bolt it down. Given that these extant species are often cast as “living fossils” [...]... Read more »

O’Connor, P., Sertich, J., Stevens, N., Roberts, E., Gottfried, M., Hieronymus, T., Jinnah, Z., Ridgely, R., Ngasala, S., & Temba, J. (2010) The evolution of mammal-like crocodyliforms in the Cretaceous Period of Gondwana. Nature, 466(7307), 748-751. DOI: 10.1038/nature09061  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 10:06 AM
  • 758 views

The Pickle Menace

by Paul Statt in Paul Statt Communications

The superannuated antics of old-time public health reformers are good for a laugh. But in the folk memory of many Americans, the Keystone Healthkare Kops are still at work, trying to “tell us what’s good for us.”... Read more »

  • August 6, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 2,026 views

Time Course of Incretin Responsiveness to Bariatric Surgery

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

A rapidly accumulating body of evidence supports the profound impact of bariatric surgery on patients with type 2 diabetes, often resulting in complete resolution of this condition.
Two of the key mechanisms by which bariatric surgery improves glucose control are related to weight loss and to changes in the secretion of gut hormones that influence metabolism. [...]... Read more »

Bose M, Teixeira J, Olivan B, Bawa B, Arias S, Machineni S, Pi-Sunyer FX, Scherer PE, & Laferrère B. (2009) Weight loss and incretin responsiveness improve glucose control independently after gastric bypass surgery. Journal of diabetes, 2(1), 47-55. PMID: 20676394  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 895 views

Nothing but the finest...feces

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

There comes a moment in every biology blogger’s life when he or she must write about poop.

This is one of those moments.

When a paper’s title includes phrase, “fecal particle size,” sometimes, one just thinks, “Okay, I really should read that, if for no other reason than it was clearly a lot of unpleasant work for someone.”

The intellectual issue here relates to the difference digestive strategies of mammals and reptiles. Mammals chew; reptiles generally don’t. This has a lot of........ Read more »

Fritz, J., Hummel, J., Kienzle, E., Streich, W., & Clauss, M. (2010) To chew or not to chew: fecal particle size in herbivorous reptiles and mammals. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology. DOI: 10.1002/jez.629  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 07:27 AM
  • 659 views

… and the case for physics in biology

by Becky in It Takes 30

John Higgins pointed me to this superb discussion of the challenges for physicists posed by biological systems (Phillips, R., & Quake, S. (2006). The Biological Frontier of Physics Physics Today 59 38-43).  In this paper Rob Phillips and Stephen Quake offer — as a public service — three examples of big fascinating problems in biology [...]... Read more »

Phillips, R., & Quake, S. (2006) The Biological Frontier of Physics. Physics Today, 59(5), 38. DOI: 10.1063/1.2216960  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 05:27 AM
  • 542 views

Don’t Bite: Does Self Control Determine Class?

by Jason Goldman in Child's Play

Just to be clear, we’ll be talking here about class, folk psychology, and my high school math teacher.  But as ever, I’ve buried the lead.  Now for some recap, before we get on to the good stuff – In the last post, we found that the behavior exhibited in the classic cookie task is more [...]... Read more »

  • August 6, 2010
  • 05:08 AM
  • 1,143 views

Stubbing out thoughts of smoking leads smokers to end up smoking more

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Try not to think of a white bear and what happens? You end up thinking of a white bear. This idea that suppressing thoughts makes them rebound stronger is well-established in psychology [pdf]. Now James Erskine and his co-workers have shown that the same or a similar process can lead behaviours to rebound too.

Eighty-five smokers (average age 31), none of whom were currently trying to quit, were divided into three groups for three weeks. One group was instructed to spend the middle week avoid........ Read more »

Erskine JA, Georgiou GJ, & Kvavilashvili L. (2010) I Suppress, Therefore I Smoke: Effects of Thought Suppression on Smoking Behavior. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS. PMID: 20660892  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 01:11 AM
  • 664 views

Friday Weird Science: PEEEEE… INNN….SPAAAACE!!!!

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Sci may have mentioned before just how much she loves Mary Roach’s writing (warning, the webpage has a roach on the front. I’m warning you because if you’re like Sci and have a roach phobia, it can be…unpleasant. Just scroll down to the bottom of the screen and avoid it). Mary Roach, author of Stiff: [...]... Read more »

  • August 5, 2010
  • 11:48 PM
  • 1,332 views

Can smoking pot make you smarter?

by Michael Slezak in Good, Bad, and Bogus


Is it possible that if you have schizophrenia, smoking marijuana will actually improve your cognitive performance?
Since this blog is often concerned with the relationship between science and its communication, something which has come up once or twice here is the way drug and alcohol research is reported in the media.
Very often, it is reported that [...]... Read more »

  • August 5, 2010
  • 11:24 PM
  • 372 views

…we’re all wrong, but at least we rightly know we’re wrong. Right?

by Rift in Psycasm

Before I started psychology I earned a degree in Business with an extended major in Advertising. When I tell people this they often go ‘Wow, that’s different. What made you make such a big change?’ I had this exact conversation yesterday. My response (which is well practised by now) is advertising is about making people [...]... Read more »

  • August 5, 2010
  • 07:26 PM
  • 1,008 views

When applicants for medical residencies plagiarize.

by Janet D. Stemwedel in Adventures in Ethics and Science

Long-time readers of this blog will know that plagiarism is a topic that comes up with some regularity, sometimes fueled by “kids today!” stories from the mainstream media, and sometimes due to actual research on plagiarism in different educational and professional spheres. Today, let’s have a look of a report of one such investigation, “Plagiarism [...]... Read more »

Segal S, Gelfand BJ, Hurwitz S, Berkowitz L, Ashley SW, Nadel ES, & Katz JT. (2010) Plagiarism in residency application essays. Annals of internal medicine, 153(2), 112-20. PMID: 20643991  

  • August 5, 2010
  • 06:52 PM
  • 1,484 views

R and Google Earth ~ comparing tuna tracks vs. Gulf of Mexico oil spill extent

by apeescape in mind of a Markov chain

There is a lot of interest in how the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher will affect the ecosystem and its marine species. One such species is the Western Atlantic bluefin tuna that holds the Gulf of Mexico as one of its major spawning grounds. Recent tag data show that the location of the gusher is [...]... Read more »

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