Post List

  • June 11, 2010
  • 11:13 AM
  • 1,003 views

Research on DNA ends could lead to a blood test to monitor leukaemia

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Our cells are dividing all the time – replacing worn-out cells and healing injuries. But cell division can be a tricky business – every time a cell divides, each one of its 46 chromosomes, and the DNA they are made of, must be copied perfectly. Time and time again the cells in our bodies divide [...]... Read more »

  • June 11, 2010
  • 10:56 AM
  • 644 views

The Good and the Bad

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Global warming will have mixed effects on Asia's water supply

... Read more »

Immerzeel, W.W., van Beek, L.P.H., & M.F.P. Bierkens. (2010) Climate change will affect the Asian water towers. Science. info:/10.1126/science.1183188

  • June 11, 2010
  • 09:40 AM
  • 621 views

Leonardo da Vinci – Paleontology Pioneer

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Although he’s been dead for nearly 500 years, Leonardo da Vinci is still remembered as the quintessential Renaissance man, a polymath whose curiosity and creativity ranged widely among the arts and sciences. One of his interests was the study of fossils. In a new paper in the journal Palaios, Andrea Baucon shows that he was [...]... Read more »

  • June 11, 2010
  • 09:00 AM
  • 1,456 views

More evidence for a genetic basis for most autism

by Orac in Respectful Insolence

I wonder what the loons at Age of Autism will say about this.

Actually, I know what they'll say. Whenever a scientific study like the one just published earlier this week the top tier journal Nature, which examines genetic variations (CNVs) associated with autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), comes out, they have a standard reply. Even though, as of this writing, I haven't seen yet seen a reply on the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism to the study I'm about to describe, I'm sure it'........ Read more »

Pinto, D., Pagnamenta, A., Klei, L., Anney, R., Merico, D., Regan, R., Conroy, J., Magalhaes, T., Correia, C., Abrahams, B.... (2010) Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09146  

  • June 11, 2010
  • 08:26 AM
  • 1,333 views

A Bonobo in the Hand or Two Chimps in the Bush?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Bonobo Week continues! I'm donating whatever proceeds I receive from my blogging shenanigans for the entire month of June to help the bonobos at Lola Ya Bonobo.

Imagine that you're wandering in the desert and you come across two magic lamps. One lamp grants three wishes. It's your standard sort of magic lamp with a genie in it. (No wishing for extra wishes, of course.) The second magic lamp is, well, a moody magic lamp. It's inconsistent. Sometimes it grants one wish, and sometimes it grants se........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,806 views

Obesity Prevention Starts in the Womb

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

Yesterday, at the Second Canadian Student Obesity meeting, currently being held in Ottawa, Kristi Adamo from the University of Ottawa and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario presented the Keynote dinner presentation on “Balancing Work and Life on the Pathway of a Research Scientist“.
Kristi Adamo has a background in nutrition, exercise physiology and genetics of [...]... Read more »

  • June 11, 2010
  • 07:47 AM
  • 786 views

State of the art in SCRM?

by Jan Husdal in husdal.com

Supply chain risk management is a process with 5 evolutionary steps, involving no less than 17 underlying [ ... ]... Read more »

  • June 11, 2010
  • 07:12 AM
  • 963 views

Say Cheese! Big smilers in photos are likely to live longer

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Look at a person's photo and it's tempting to think you can see their personality written on their face: some stony-faced individuals appear somber, others are flashing a big, toothy grin. An intriguing new study claims that these smiles are a reliable marker of underlying positive emotion and as such are predictive of a person's longevity.Ernest Abel and Michael Kruger had five people rate the smile intensity of 230 baseball players according to photos featured in the 1952 Baseball Register. Th........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2010
  • 06:57 AM
  • 1,068 views

What's this psychopathy hoo-ha all about?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A psychology paper by David Cooke and Jennifer Skeem critical of the dominant tool for measuring psychopathy has finally been published after years lying dormant. The delay, according to reports, was due to threats of libel by lawyers representing Robert Hare, author of the criticised tool. Curiously, back in 2007, when the contentious paper was first moth-balled, a similar and related paper (free to access), also by Cooke and Skeem, plus statistician Christine Michie, was published in the Briti........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2010
  • 06:05 AM
  • 1,026 views

Old diabetes drugs offer hope for a new Hepatitis C treatment

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

Researchers have found that drugs currently used to combat diabetes and obesity could also help fight Hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver. It is estimated that three per cent of the world’s population are affected, with four million carriers in Europe alone. Only around 40 per cent of sufferers will [...]... Read more »

Mankouri, J., Tedbury, P., Gretton, S., Hughes, M., Griffin, S., Dallas, M., Green, K., Hardie, D., Peers, C., & Harris, M. (2010) Enhanced hepatitis C virus genome replication and lipid accumulation mediated by inhibition of AMP-activated protein kinase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0912426107  

  • June 11, 2010
  • 04:18 AM
  • 1,131 views

What is a “neurodevelopmental disorder”?

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

This question arose at the recent, excellent meeting of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience in Estoril, Portugal.  The question came up due to some very exciting and very unexpected successes in reversing in adult animals the effects of mutations causing neurodevelopmental disorders, including neurofibromatosis, Down syndrome, Rett syndrome and tuberous sclerosis.  All of these disorders are caused by specific genetic lesions and characterised by very early deficits, va........ Read more »

EHNINGER, D., LI, W., FOX, K., STRYKER, M., & SILVA, A. (2008) Reversing Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Adults. Neuron, 60(6), 950-960. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.12.007  

  • June 11, 2010
  • 01:09 AM
  • 1,190 views

Friday Weird Science: FINALLY, a clitoris study!

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci has constantly been annoyed that no one seems to have performed a real, thorough study on the sensitivity of the vagina. Or at least, it's beyond her pubmed-fu. If someone has done it, please let me know! I'd really like to cover it and I'm very annoyed that I cannot seem to find it. Sci is also annoyed by this because several studies have covered the sensitivity of the penis. It's just not fair.

But today, Sci was pubmedding furiously, and she FOUND SOMETHING. I am so excited.

........ Read more »

Foldes, P., & Buisson, O. (2009) The Clitoral Complex: A Dynamic Sonographic Study. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6(5), 1223-1231. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01231.x  

  • June 10, 2010
  • 10:17 PM
  • 862 views

Building the Foundation of Tomorrow's Immune System

by Reason in Fight Aging!

The human immune system of tomorrow will look, conceptually, a lot like today's software defenses: Scientists are making real inroads into replicating and controlling the cells and mechanisms of our immune system. Producing immune cells, directing their actions, deciphering the biochemistry of pathogens - all these pieces are waiting to be put together as a bioartificial immune system, many times more selective, efficient and resistant to damage than the basic version we're all equipped with. .......... Read more »

  • June 10, 2010
  • 09:08 PM
  • 1,353 views

Pruning the Primate Family Tree

by Laelaps in Laelaps



"Dinah", a young female gorilla kept at the Bronx Zoo in 1914. From the Zoological Society Bulletin.


Frustrated by the failure of gorillas to thrive in captivity, in 1914 the Bronx Zoo's director William Hornaday lamented "There is not the slightest reason to hope that an adult gorilla, either male or female, ever will be seen living in a zoological park or garden." Whereas wild adult gorillas were "savage" and "implacable" beasts which could not be captured (a photo of a sculpture included ........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2010
  • 08:45 PM
  • 699 views

L-DOPA (dopamine) and subjective hedonic expectation

by Colby in nutsci.org

A new paper which I will be discussing in tomorrow’s post reminded me of a related one from last year.
Dopamine has been demonstrated to modulate reward prediction, and this study tested whether enhancing it while imagining future events influenced subjective estimations of future pleasure.  Imagination, as discussed by the authors, enables us to estimate emotional [...]... Read more »

Sharot T, Shiner T, Brown AC, Fan J, & Dolan RJ. (2009) Dopamine enhances expectation of pleasure in humans. Current biology : CB, 19(24), 2077-80. PMID: 19913423  

  • June 10, 2010
  • 08:21 PM
  • 1,101 views

Choline for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders?

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox


Common supplement may reduce cell death in pregnancies.
A common dietary supplement markedly decreases defects in the skull and brain formation of  lab mice born to mothers exposed to alcohol, say researchers at the Medical College of Georgia.
Among the grisly list of potential effects caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy, one involves a relatively obscure lipid called ceramide. Ceramide can markedly increase the rate of programmed cell death—a process known as apoptosis—and........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2010
  • 06:58 PM
  • 721 views

Does Your Environment Determine Your Behaviour?

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

Last week I posted about the effects of alcohol availability on the amount of violence in an area and mentioned that disorder in the area might also contribute to this. I thought this needed expanding upon, are we really so shallow as a species that we allow the environment that we may be in only [...]... Read more »

Keizer, K., Lindenberg, S., & Steg, L. (2008) The Spreading of Disorder. Science, 322(5908), 1681-1685. DOI: 10.1126/science.1161405  

  • June 10, 2010
  • 05:48 PM
  • 510 views

The plastic brains of birds

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

There has been a lot of talk about brain plasticity, the idea that our brains can be shaped and moulded by experience, in popular books and articles over the past several years. The notion that new neurons can be born in our brains, even in adulthood, is gripping and at times very encouraging.However, our brains are not nearly as plastic as the more primitive brains of fish, amphibians and birds. Some of these organisms experience fluctuations in brain volume so drastic that if they existed in h........ Read more »

Sherry DF, & Hoshooley JS. (2010) Seasonal hippocampal plasticity in food-storing birds. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 365(1542), 933-43. PMID: 20156817  

  • June 10, 2010
  • 05:10 PM
  • 865 views

Offsetting the 2010 FIFA World Cup

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

It goes without saying that tomorrow, June 11, 2010, literally kicks off the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The media has been throwing around stories on projected winners, South Africa’s history in the making and even possible flu outbreaks from vuvuzelas. Fans around the world wait in anticipation; meanwhile in South Africa, staff from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) ar........ Read more »

Jen Fela. (2010) Dispatches. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(5), 228-232. DOI: 10.1890/1540-9295-8.5.228  

  • June 10, 2010
  • 01:03 PM
  • 829 views

Answering Wallace’s challenge: Relaxed Selection and Language Evolution

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo

How does natural selection account for language? Darwin wrestled with it, Chomsky sidestepped it, and Pinker claimed to solve it. Discerning the evolution of language is therefore a much sought endeavour, with a vast number of explanations emerging that offer a plethora of choice, but little in the way of consensus. This is hardly new, [...]... Read more »

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