Post List

  • January 22, 2011
  • 12:38 PM


by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

Thomas Metzinger wrote an outline of his book, ‘Being No One’, which puts his theory of consciousness in a very brief, compact form. He puts forward a list of constraints that any system must have to be conscious. The first three constrains gives a simple form of consciousness which he then elaborates with further constrains. [...]... Read more »

Thomas Metzinger. (2005) Precis of - Being No One. Psyche - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Consciousness, 11(5). info:/

  • January 22, 2011
  • 10:10 AM

Kinky evolution: did we evolve from PVC?

by Gemma Atkinson in Protein evolution and other musings

PVC may have played a big part in our evolution... But, no I'm not talking about polyvinyl chloride (sorry to dissapoint!), I'm talking about the Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, Chlamydiae (PVC) bacterial superphylum. And I'm talking waaaay back, when the Chlamydiae were much more innocent and hadn't got into that whole sexually transmitted disease scene.In a Science article, Devos and Reynaud discuss the possibility that that The PVC bugs, which appear to be a monophyletic group forming their ........ Read more »

Devos, D., & Reynaud, E. (2010) Intermediate Steps. Science, 330(6008), 1187-1188. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196720  

Fuerst JA, & Webb RI. (1991) Membrane-bounded nucleoid in the eubacterium Gemmatata obscuriglobus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 88(18), 8184-8. PMID: 11607213  

Lonhienne, T., Sagulenko, E., Webb, R., Lee, K., Franke, J., Devos, D., Nouwens, A., Carroll, B., & Fuerst, J. (2010) From the Cover: Endocytosis-like protein uptake in the bacterium Gemmata obscuriglobus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(29), 12883-12888. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001085107  

  • January 22, 2011
  • 09:09 AM

The causes you “like” on Facebook may actually matter

by Janelle Ward in Janelle's research blog

The book manuscript I’m currently working on for Hampton Press involves an updated section on social media. When I started my dissertation research in 2003, websites were all the rage – and the only rage. Now, organizations of all types … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 22, 2011
  • 09:00 AM

Can’t sleep? Why taking the Blue Pill is Best! (Unless you’re an Italian man)

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Insomnia is something all of us struggle with from time to time. Not being able to get off to sleep is perhaps one of the most frustrating and loathsome things in the world (second only to an itchy back).

Many of us resort to herbal or medical remedies. If you had to choose one, which would you go for? Did you realise though that the colour of your remedy has an effect!? Read on to find out why blue is best…... Read more »

  • January 22, 2011
  • 07:56 AM

living things and slightly expanding universes

by Greg Fish in weird things

Today, we’re going back to my old frienemy, the arXiv blog. Even though I tend to beat up on it quite a bit, the preprint archive does have some interesting papers, even if the only interesting part about them is shredding them for a skeptical post. Then again, this sort of constant criticism of scientific [...]... Read more »

Hugo Martel, Paul R. Shapiro, & Steven Weinberg. (1997) Likely Values of the Cosmological Constant. Astrophys.J. 492 (1998) 29. arXiv: astro-ph/9701099v1

Don N. Page. (2011) Evidence Against Fine Tuning for Life. n/a. arXiv: 1101.2444v1

  • January 21, 2011
  • 09:06 PM

Smoking & Alcohol 'to blame for majority of gender gap in deaths'

by crabsallover in Science of Healthy Long Life

reposted from: highlights, key points, comments / links.Wednesday 19 January 2011Smoking accounts for up to 60 per cent of the gender gap in death rates across Europe, according to a new study by scientists at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow.The study authors set out to investigate death ra........ Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 08:41 PM

The Universe and Life is asymmetric: Chirality

by The Astronomist in The Astronomist.

The shadow of symmetry haunts physics. Symmetry is invoked to understand nature concisely, but broken symmetry is invoked to understand nature completely. Physics is filled with examples of shattered symmetries: there is more matter than antimatter, neutrinos only come in the left handed spin flavor, and quantum processes break symmetries constantly, but nature also violates symmetry in chemistry and biology in a very clever manner. Chemistry and biology are subjects I do no normally touch ........ Read more »

Robert N. Compton, Richard M. Pagni, & Volume 48, 2002, Pages 219-261. (2002) The chirality of biomolecules. Advances In Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 219-261. info:/

  • January 21, 2011
  • 06:37 PM

Genomic Imprinting IV: Escalation Between Loci

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, in the previous installment, we introduced the "Loudest Voice Prevails" principle, which describes the evolutionarily stable pattern of gene expression at an imprinted locus where there is an intragenomic conflict over the total level of gene expression. Basically, the allele that favors lower expression becomes transcriptionally silenced. Expression from the other allele (the "louder" voice) evolves to the level that maximizes its inclusive fitness. In this sense, the active allele at an im........ Read more »

Wilkins, J., & Haig, D. (2001) Genomic imprinting of two antagonistic loci. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 268(1479), 1861-1867. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2001.1651  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 06:25 PM

When & Were Grapes Domesticated

by Kambiz Kamrani in

I got some archaeobotany for you to start your weekend off right with — a new open access study in PNAS announces a genome wide association of 8,000 years of grape domestication, spanning the Eastern Caucasus to Western Europe. Lead … Continue reading →... Read more »

Myles, S., Boyko, A., Owens, C., Brown, P., Grassi, F., Aradhya, M., Prins, B., Reynolds, A., Chia, J., Ware, D.... (2011) Genetic structure and domestication history of the grape. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1009363108  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 06:13 PM

Halitosis - Your mouth smells like arse

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

Sometimes I'm going to write about rare cancers or blood diseases and sometimes I’m going to write about bad breath. That’s just the way I roll.

Halitosis literally means “condition of the breath” and has many causes and just as many home remedies. Original therapies (and by original I mean 1550 BC) like heavily herb infused wines didn’t remove the bad breath but like mints and other modern treatments they just attempted to cover the bad smell with something more pleasant.

Halitos........ Read more »

Suarez FL, Furne JK, Springfield J, & Levitt MD. (2000) Morning breath odor: influence of treatments on sulfur gases. Journal of dental research, 79(10), 1773-7. PMID: 11077993  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 06:10 PM

Agonist, partial agonist, irreversible agonist-bound and GPCR active state crystal structures

by Peter Nollert in Emerald BioStructures Blog

Wow, the new year is off to a great start in GPCR structural biology: Rasmussen SG, Choi HJ, Fung JJ, Pardon E, Casarosa P, Chae PS, Devree BT, Rosenbaum DM, Thian FS, Kobilka TS, Schnapp A, Konetzki I, Sunahara RK, Gellman SH, Pautsch A, Steyaert J, Weis WI, & Kobilka BK (2011). Structure of a [...]... Read more »

Rasmussen SG, Choi HJ, Fung JJ, Pardon E, Casarosa P, Chae PS, Devree BT, Rosenbaum DM, Thian FS, Kobilka TS.... (2011) Structure of a nanobody-stabilized active state of the β(2) adrenoceptor. Nature, 469(7329), 175-80. PMID: 21228869  

Rosenbaum DM, Zhang C, Lyons JA, Holl R, Aragao D, Arlow DH, Rasmussen SG, Choi HJ, Devree BT, Sunahara RK.... (2011) Structure and function of an irreversible agonist-β(2) adrenoceptor complex. Nature, 469(7329), 236-40. PMID: 21228876  

Warne T, Moukhametzianov R, Baker JG, Nehmé R, Edwards PC, Leslie AG, Schertler GF, & Tate CG. (2011) The structural basis for agonist and partial agonist action on a β(1)-adrenergic receptor. Nature, 469(7329), 241-4. PMID: 21228877  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 06:08 PM

Personalizing Addiction Medicine

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Gene variants make anti-craving drugs a hit-or-miss affair.

Rather than taking on another broad hunt for the genes controlling the expression of alcoholism, noted addiction researcher Dr. Bankole Johnson and co-workers at the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia took a different tack. The researchers focused, instead, on investigating whether genetic variations among alcoholics might affect their responses to a specific anti-craving medication.

T........ Read more »

Johnson, B., Ait-Daoud, N., Seneviratne, C., Roache, J., Javors, M., Wang, X., Liu, L., Penberthy, J., DiClemente, C., & Li, M. (2011) Pharmacogenetic Approach at the Serotonin Transporter Gene as a Method of Reducing the Severity of Alcohol Drinking. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.10050755  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 04:49 PM

dbSNP, or is it?

by Todd Smith in finchtalk

dbSNP is NCBI’s catalog of DNA variation. While the SNP in the name implies a focus on Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, dbSNP is far more comprehensive and includes length variants, mutations, and a plethora of annotations that characterize over 75...

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

  • January 21, 2011
  • 04:10 PM

How many omega-3s does your dinner have?

by Melinda Moyer in Body Politic

As I approach my third trimester, I’m becoming a bit of an omega-3 fiend. The unsaturated fatty acids have not only been tied to lower heart disease risk in adults, but they have also been shown to boost fetal brain development, especially when consumed in the final few months of pregnancy. Given that I’m not much of a cold water fish fan—the thought of chewing a mouthful of sardines makes me want to gag—I’ve been looking into how else to get them, and what I’ve uncov........ Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 03:44 PM

Out With The Scientists, In With The Quacks (and religious zealots)

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

The Government announced this week the list... Read more »

Rolles S. (2010) An alternative to the war on drugs. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 20627976  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 03:31 PM

Music and the Brain: Emotion

by Luc Duval in The Pedagogic Verses

As a preface to a post about 2011 research by many of the same scientists, this post discusses previous work on music and the emotion that led to the recently published dopamine study.... Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 03:16 PM

Prairie Dog Communication

by Richard in A Replicated Typo 2.0


A recent NPR radio show covered the research of the biosemiotician Con Slobodchikoff of the Univeristy of Arizone on prairie dog calls. The piece is very public-orientated, but still might be worth listening to.
We’ve all (I hope) heard of the vervet monkeys, which have different alarm calls for different predators, such as for leopard (Panthera pardus), martial . . . → Read More: Prairie Dog Communication... Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 03:00 PM

Antisocial Personality Disorder: Wittgenstein’s Beetle

by Stas Sajin in Raving Psychology

When I am in situations where there is lack of semantic clarity, where two or more speakers have a different set of “pictures” that describe one or a set of propositions, I am reminded of Wittgenstein. Science has specific operational definitions whose purpose it to get rid of lack of semantic clarity and achieve congruity in the perceived meaning of language signs between two or more individuals.... Read more »

Ogloff, J. (2006) Psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder conundrum. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40(6-7), 519-528. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1614.2006.01834.x  

Morten Hesse. (2010) What should be done with antisocial personality disorder in the new edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-V)?. BMC Medicine. info:/10.1186/1741-7015-8-66

  • January 21, 2011
  • 01:41 PM

Mind perception of others: opposing effects of having Autism/Psychosis

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image via Wikipedia It has been this blog’s thesis that autism and its milder form autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are diametrically opposed to psychosis and its milder form schizotypy.  In no area is this more apparent than in the perception or attribution of minds to others. It thus gave me immense pleasure to read thisRating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)... Read more »

Gray, K., Jenkins, A., Heberlein, A., & Wegner, D. (2010) Distortions of mind perception in psychopathology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(2), 477-479. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015493108  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 11:12 AM

Low-dose Doxepin for Insomnia Treatment

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Doxepin is a tricyclic antidepressant drug with significant sedative effect recently studied for use as a hypnotic in the treatment of insomnia.  Doxepin has strong antagonistic effects on several neurotransmitter receptors including the histamine (one and two), serotonin (two), alpha one adrenergic and muscarinic acetylcholinergic receptors.Juliane Weber and colleagues recently reviewed clinical trial research related to doxepin and insomnia treatment.  For depression, doxepin typical........ Read more »

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