Post List

  • March 5, 2010
  • 09:44 PM

functional MRI and the many varieties of reliability

by Tal Yarkoni in citation needed

Craig Bennett and Mike Miller have a new paper on the reliability of fMRI. It’s a nice review that I think most people who work with fMRI will want to read. Bennett and Miller discuss a number of issues related to reliability, including why we should care about the reliability of fMRI, what factors influence [...]... Read more »

Bennett, C. M., & Miller, M. B. (2010) How reliable are the results from functional magnetic resonance imaging?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. info:/

  • March 5, 2010
  • 08:18 PM

Shrinky Dinks Thermoplastics: Toying With Cutting Edge Research

by Robert Deyes in Promega Connections

There it sat- a wedge-shaped gift under the Christmas tree, distinct from all the regular oblongs and cubes that had been carefully wrapped by my wife for both the children.  As Christmas drew nearer, there was clearly a buzz over what the contents of the mysterious wedge container might be.  The outer label which simply [...]... Read more »

Grimes A, Breslauer DN, Long M, Pegan J, Lee LP, & Khine M. (2008) Shrinky-Dink microfluidics: rapid generation of deep and rounded patterns. Lab on a chip, 8(1), 170-2. PMID: 18094775  

  • March 5, 2010
  • 07:03 PM

Differential Maternal Investment in Blue Tits

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Carin’s Paper pick o’ the week, March 5, 2010

D’Alba, L., Shawkey, M., Korsten, P., Vedder, O., Kingma, S., Komdeur, J., & Beissinger, S. (2010). Differential deposition of antimicrobial proteins in blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) clutches by laying order and male attractiveness Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology DOI: 10.1007/s00265-010-0919-y
For many animals (humans included) there is little more [...]... Read more »

  • March 5, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

Culture and the human genome: a synthesis of genetics and the human sciences

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo

Humans are immersed in culture from birth. It is so fundamental to our experience, and what it means to be human itself, yet we often overlook the consideration that “cultural practices might have transformed the selection pressures acting on humans” (Laland, Odling-Smee & Myles, 2010, pg. 137).

For those of you with some sort of investment in human evolution, it’ll be quite clear that gaps between culture and biology are being broached by a variety of researchers. Anthropol........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2010
  • 05:20 PM

Booming world population doesn’t mean growth everywhere

by Dave in The Daily Monthly

Population changes don’t affect all nations equally at once. While population in some countries is increasing rapidly, in others it’s slowing or even declining. Take a look at the case of Japan and Nigeria:

Currently Nigeria and Japan have nearly equal populations, but in [...]... Read more »

Kent, M.M., & Haub, C. (2005) Global Demographic Divide. Population Bulletin, 60(4), 3-24. info:/

  • March 5, 2010
  • 04:25 PM

41 Angry Scientists*

by Bryan in In Terra Veritas

Yesterday was a good day. I turned in the final draft of my thesis before my defense, I went to the local bar with some friends, and I generally had a pleasant evening reading popular fiction. Then I checked my email around 10:30 pm. My advisor sent me an article pertaining to my general research area. He is underwhelmed and said the article was "hot" off the presses. My mood was deflated and, reading the author list, I thought this group admitting uncertainty about the bolide impact extinction ........ Read more »

Schulte, P., Alegret, L., Arenillas, I., Arz, J., Barton, P., Bown, P., Bralower, T., Christeson, G., Claeys, P., Cockell, C.... (2010) The Chicxulub Asteroid Impact and Mass Extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary. Science, 327(5970), 1214-1218. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177265  

  • March 5, 2010
  • 03:45 PM

Vaccine Fears: What is the Pharmacist’s Role?

by Scott in Science-Based Pharmacy

It’s Pharmacy Awareness Week. You’re probably not aware of this, neatly illustrating  the challenge pharmacists have in raising their professional profile with the public. Despite what you may read here in this blog (written by me), pharmacists do a lot more than sell unproven supplements. Beyond their important role in ensuring safe and effective prescription [...]... Read more »

Freed, G., Clark, S., Butchart, A., Singer, D., & Davis, M. (2010) Parental Vaccine Safety Concerns in 2009. PEDIATRICS. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1962  

  • March 5, 2010
  • 03:09 PM

Is Mental Illness Good For You?

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

Mental illness is surprisingly common.  About 10% of the population is affected by it at any one time and up to 25% suffer some kind of mental illness over their lifetime.  This has led some people (many people in fact) to surmise that it must exist for a reason – in particular that it must be associated with some kind of evolutionary advantage.  Indeed, this is a popular and persistent idea both in scientific circles and in the general public.  (See the recent article “Depression’s ........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2010
  • 02:06 PM

Can writing your thesis make you crave chocolate?

by (Peter Janiszewski, PhD (Cand.), MSc) in Obesity Panacea

It has been rather silent on Obesity Panacea as of late. While we have up to this point been able to work around each other’s busy periods and thus regularly contribute to the blog, this time around work ramped up for both of us at the same time. I have spent the majority of this semester working on my PhD thesis, an effort which went into overdrive during the last 3 weeks.

Basically, I had been glued to my laptop reading countless studies and writing my thesis for about 10-14 hrs per d........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2010
  • 01:17 PM

Mr. Crowley's Suicide Solution

by Neural Outlaw in Neural Interface

Wine is fine,
But whiskey's quicker.
Suicide is slow with liquor.
Take a bottle, drown your sorrows,

So goes the first verse of 'Suicide Solution', an infamous song of Ozzy Osbourne's that deals with the dangers of alcohol abuse, and which was the central feature in two legal cases against him where he was charged with inciting the suicides of heavy metal fans after they listened to the song. In fact, controversy has dogged Osbourne sinc........ Read more »

Recours, R., Aussaguel, F., & Trujillo, N. (2009) Metal Music and Mental Health in France. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 33(3), 473-488. DOI: 10.1007/s11013-009-9138-2  

  • March 5, 2010
  • 01:14 PM

Am happy, will be paranoid/ gullible; am sad, will be realistic

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image via Wikipedia

Happiness may lead to mood-congruent effects of increasing trust(a positive emotion itself) in interpersonal situations;  an alternative theory is that happiness leads to top-down processing , thus relying more on activated schema , stereotypes etc and thus leading to more trust when trust schema or cues are salient and distrust when untrustworthy schema More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Am happy, will be selfish; Am sad, will be fair. Oh Really........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2010
  • 11:30 AM

Setting the Fossil Record Straight

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

It was the fossil infamously hyped as the scientific discovery “THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.” But one year after its controversial press conference debut, Darwinius masillae has come under increased scrutiny from a scientific community already skeptical about the 55-million-year-old primate fossil’s Hollywood roll-out. When scientists from Norway, Germany and Michigan published the original Darwinius paper [...]... Read more »

Williams BA, Kay RF, Christopher Kirk E, & Ross CF. (2010) Darwinius masillae is a strepsirrhine-a reply to Franzen et al. (2009). Journal of human evolution. PMID: 20188396  

  • March 5, 2010
  • 10:37 AM

Finding a home for jaguars

by Laelaps in Laelaps

A jaguar (Panthera onca). From Flickr user Prosper 973.

One year ago this week Macho B was euthanized. He had been captured in mid-February of 2009, the only known jaguar living inside the United States, but after he was caught and fitted with a radio collar his health quickly deteriorated. When he nearly stopped moving he was recaptured, taken to the Phoenix zoo, and put to sleep when it was discovered that he was suffering from irreparable kidney failure.

At first it seemed as if his ca........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2010
  • 10:16 AM

Hang Onto Your Tankard

by agoldstein in WiSci

Health benefits of beer discovered!... Read more »

Casey, T., & Bamforth, C. (2010) Silicon in beer and brewing. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.3884  

  • March 5, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

Talking therapies for depression are overrated thanks to publication bias

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

An analysis of studies into counseling therapies for depression – such as cognitive-behavioural therapy – has found that the effect of such approaches has been overestimated because studies that show a strong effect of the treatments are getting published over studies with more modest results.
In 117 studies, “talking therapies” reduced the symptoms of depression on average [...]... Read more »

  • March 5, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Noisy and Bistable Gene Expression: Hedging Your Bets

by Tim Sampson in The Times Microbial

Often times resistance to antibiotics has a genetic basis. That is, a bacteria encodes a protein that functions to export, degrade, or otherwise block the function of a given antibiotic compound. However in the last few years, the observation of non inherited antibiotic resistance has come into view. One of my favorite articles describing the phenomenon is one by Nathalie Balaban et al, in Science back in 2004, particularly due to her super cool use of microfluidics and single cell imaging.

F........ Read more »

Nathalie Q. Balaban, Jack Merrin, Remy Chait, Lukasz Kowalik, Stanislas Leibler. (2004) Bacterial Persistence as a Phenotypic Switch . Science, 305(5690), 1622-1625. info:/

  • March 5, 2010
  • 07:15 AM

Is this dike a feeder?

by Callan Bentley in Mountain Beltway

A new paper in the journal Geology examines an interesting question: how can you tell feeder dikes from non-feeder dikes?
The answer is, normally you can’t. Normally, there’s no way to tell for sure whether a given dike actually funneled magma to the paleo-surface, or whether it never reached the paleo-surface. The reason for this is [...]... Read more »

Geshi, N., Kusumoto, S., & Gudmundsson, A. (2010) Geometric difference between non-feeder and feeder dikes. Geology, 38(3), 195-198. DOI: 10.1130/G30350.1  

  • March 5, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Can marine reserves boost fish populations outside their borders?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study shows that higher fish reproduction inside marine reserves is likely to benefit fisheries outside, as ocean currents carry the tiny, young fish to surrounding waters.

However, the study also indicates that if the young, exported from marine reserves, disperse across large areas it may be extremely difficult to detect a boost to fisheries.... Read more »

  • March 5, 2010
  • 05:16 AM

Depression's Cognitive Downside

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Author and blogger Jonah Lehrer has a lengthy (and controversial) essay in the Feb. 28 New York Times Magazine on Depression's Upside. The main idea, that depression has cognitive and evolutionary advantages, was largely based on a review paper by Andrews and Thomson (2009). In it, they put forth the analytical rumination hypothesis: depression is an evolved response to complex problems, and focusing on them to the exclusion of everything else is beneficial. Lehrer's piece generated an outpourin........ Read more »

Åsa Hammar, Guro Årdal. (2009) Cognitive functioning in major depression – a summary. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. info:/

  • March 5, 2010
  • 04:15 AM

Darkness encourages unethical behaviour even when it makes no difference to anonymity

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Imagine a man sits alone, hunched over his desk, fingers tapping out a project progress report to his boss. Does he decide to lie? If I told you that the sun had nearly set, filling the man's room with darkness, would that make any difference to your answer? It should do. A new study suggests that darkness encourages cheating, even when it makes no difference to anonymity. Chen-Bo Zhong and colleagues had dozens of undergrad students complete a basic maths task against a time limit. Afterwards t........ Read more »

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