Post List

  • February 9, 2010
  • 05:37 AM

Intrusive images and intrusive verbal thoughts are different phenomena

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

The vivid, intrusive visual images that are a hallmark of post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) are based on a separate memory system from intrusive verbal thoughts. That's according to a new study that claims to provide empirical support for psychologist Chris Brewin's dual-representation theory of PTSD.Brewin's theory posits two memory systems, one that's largely sensation-based, inflexible and automatically accessed and another that's more deliberately accessible, containing material that is context........ Read more »

  • February 9, 2010
  • 05:20 AM

Evolutionary origins of religion: weak relation to morality

by Björn Brembs in

It is a long-standing argument among religious believers that religiosity were necessary for morality. In a recent Trends in Cognitive Sciences article (requires subscription), Pyysiäinen and Hauser argue that morality can arise and indeed can be found without and before any religious education and thus religion is a by-product of pre-existing cognitive properties of the brain. Indeed, religion is not ubiquitous, as for instance the Hadza's religion has been described as 'minimal', and yet, coo........ Read more »

Ilkka Pyysiäinen, & Marc Hauser. (2010) The origins of religion: evolved adaptation or by-product?. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. info:/10.1016/j.tics.2009.12.007

  • February 9, 2010
  • 02:08 AM

Optimal Target for Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

The strongest evidence exists for Broadman Area 25 in the subcallosal cingulate gyrus (SCG) as target for deep brain stimulation in treatment resistant depression. This area in the brain is depicted in the figure above and is from the most important publication about DBS and depression in Neuron march 2005 by Helen Mayberg. Functional neuroimaging [...]

Related posts:Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment Resistant depression New data are being published about deep brain stimulation...
New Kin........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 11:11 PM

Cryptic Life in the Antarctic Dry Valleys

by Merry Youle in Small Things Considered

On first inspection the habitat seems as sterile as the surface of autoclaved glassware... but the trained eye, aided by a microscope, sees otherwise.
E.O. Wilson, The Future of Life

For the microbiologist, the next best thing to a trip to Mars might well be an expedition to the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Here, in the Earth's coldest and driest deserts, the conditions approach those on our neighboring planet and are thought to also approach the cold-arid limit for life.... Read more »

Pointing SB, Chan Y, Lacap DC, Lau MC, Jurgens JA, & Farrell RL. (2009) Highly specialized microbial diversity in hyper-arid polar desert. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(47), 19964-9. PMID: 19850879  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 07:48 PM

Pediatric Perplexity #001

by sandnsurf in Life in the Fast Lane

A 7 year-old girl was brought to hospital with lethargy, irritability and vomiting. A week previously she developed chicken pox, and was treated with regular aspirin and paracetamol for fever and discomfort.... Read more »

Glasgow JF, & Middleton B. (2001) Reye syndrome--insights on causation and prognosis. Archives of disease in childhood, 85(5), 351-3. PMID: 11668090  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 06:02 PM

Be religious and be free (or at least, let off with a lighter sentence)

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Cherie Booth was in the news this week for giving a suspended prison sentence to a man who broke another guy's jaw in an assault, apparently on the grounds that he was religious. Here's the offending quote: “I am going to suspend this sentence for the period of two years based on the fact you are a religious person and have not been in trouble before," she told him at Inner London Crown Court. "You caused a mild fracture to the jaw of a member of the public standing in a queue at L........ Read more »

Heaton, P. (2006) Does Religion Really Reduce Crime?*. The Journal of Law and Economics, 49(1), 147-172. DOI: 10.1086/501087  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 05:41 PM

Can Botox affect how you see the world?

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Think of something wonderful - something someone said to you that made your day, or the happiest moment you can remember. Go ahead, take a moment. Now, what are you doing? Odds are, you're smiling.

It takes 12 different muscles in our faces to produce the easily-recognized expression. But smiling is far from a tough feat for our facial muscles. Smiles are so hard-wired into the human condition that babies have been known to smile before birth. Smiling is as instinctual to us as breathing.

Why ........ Read more »

Price, T., Hurst, G., & Wedell, N. (2010) Polyandry Prevents Extinction. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.01.050  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

Science, Cookies, and Pizza

by Allison in Dormivigilia

With a departmental initiative to hire new tenure-track neuroscientists/psychopathologists, I highlight today's job seminar given by Dr. Jilla Sabeti of The Scripps Institute and attach her respective paper. ... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 04:02 PM

A diagnosis of prostate cancer ups the risk of fatal heart attack or suicide

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

Receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer is a very stressful and upsetting event, so much so that some men go on to have a fatal heart attack or kill themselves.
Two pieces of research by the same study group, one conducted in 340,000 men in the US and the other in 170,000 men from Sweden, have [...]

... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 03:56 PM

Mean Streets

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Roadkill numbers in upstate New York look grim

... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 03:10 PM

Racehorse Research Identifies Speed Gene

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: evolutionary biology, molecular biology, Thoroughbred race horses, horses, aerobic capacity, muscle development, myostatin, MSTN, myostatin-suppressing C variant, myostatin-suppressing T variant, Horse Genome Project, Equinome,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper

Emerging from the mist is Rachel Alexandra, a champion American Thoroughbred who excels at winning both long and short distance races.

Image: Rob Carr, 2009, Associated Press [larger view]

If you'........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 02:49 PM

Diminishing the Double Digital Divide

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

To wrap up my notes on Social Media Week, I thought I would pursue a comment made by Meebo CEO and co-founder Seth Sternberg during the Social Graph Optimization panel. He suggested that without proper education on the use of digital tools, we would see the a growing divide between two technological classes increase: those with access to information would be at a greater advantage than those

... Read more »

Hargittai, E. (2002) Second-level digital divide: Differences in people’s online skills. First Monday, Peer-reviewed journal of the Internet, 7(4). info:/

  • February 8, 2010
  • 02:34 PM

Barnacle Sex

by Kelsey in Mauka to Makai

Sad but true: Barnacles (critters who spend the majority of their lives with their heads glued to a hard surface) may be getting more action than you are.
Of course, that depends on how you quantify “action.” Barnacles have a fairly short mating season—compared to our non-stop mating season—but they cram a whole lotta nooky into [...]... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 01:56 PM

Mazel tov! You should have such long telomeres

by ouroboros in Ouroboros: Research in the biology of aging

A study of Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians by Atzmon et al. has revealed that telomere length is correlated with longer lifespan and slower biological aging (reflected in measurements of several biomarkers of aging). Both lifespan and telomere length are, in turn, correlated with polymorphisms at the hTERT and hTERC loci, two genes that respectively encode the [...]... Read more »

Atzmon, G., Cho, M., Cawthon, R., Budagov, T., Katz, M., Yang, X., Siegel, G., Bergman, A., Huffman, D., Schechter, C.... (2009) Evolution in Health and Medicine Sackler Colloquium: Genetic variation in human telomerase is associated with telomere length in Ashkenazi centenarians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(suppl_1), 1710-1717. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906191106  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 01:49 PM

Methods Monday: Maximum Likelihood in SAS using PROC NLP

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

I've been working on fitting some excess relative risk (ERR) models to case-control data on occupational exposures lately. ERR models are of the form:RR=1+β*XIn SAS, unfortunately, we don't have unlimited freedom in defining the form of the model we want to fit, but a recent paper by Langholz and Richardson [behind firewall] describes a way that we can solve for parameters once we specify the likelihood function. (For those interested, the likelihood function can be thought of as the ........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 01:32 PM

How do you establish who will do well with pain management?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Some people just won’t do well with pain management.  In just the same way as a surgeon selects good candidates for surgery, so people need to be selected for self management.  Although there is some truth that getting even a little pain management is good for everyone, the cost of doing so in staff energy [...]... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 12:16 PM

MolBio Pick of the Week!: Tumour cell ecosystems, electrical crayfish and fluorescing corals

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

This week, I'm hosting the MolBio Pick Of the Week, usually hosted on the MolBio Research Highlights Blog. The picks of the week are taken from, which contains a number of great science blog posts from all areas, however this post only chooses topics aggregated under 'biology'1) Tumour cells are cells in the body that have escaped the control system of the surrounded cells and are therefore about to diversify and mutate to a far greater extent than the cells surrounding the........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 11:58 AM

Wanted: The Tomb of the Father of Modern Astronomy

by Promega Corporation in Promega Connections

What do Swedish war booty, the Frombork Cathedral in Poland, and Napoleon all have in common? Answer: Nicholaus Copernicus. While much is known about the cleric and astronomer, the location of his burial site and the identity of his possible remains were cloaked in mystery. Over the last 200 years, many have searched for Copernicus’s [...]... Read more »

Bogdanowicz W, Allen M, Branicki W, Lembring M, Gajewska M, & Kupiec T. (2009) Genetic identification of putative remains of the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(30), 12279-82. PMID: 19584252  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 11:55 AM

Nintendo Wii - Is It Really Physical Activity?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Last Friday, Peter wrote a post about Wii-related injuries which generated some interesting discussion. Essentially, some readers felt that we were being too hard on the Wii, with one commenter going so far as to suggest that the post was "anti-Wii" (hard to dispute, given that the post was focused on Wii-related injuries!). Although we've mentioned the Wii in passing on Obesity Panacea before, we've never had a full discussion of the pros and cons, and I thought that this would be an excellen........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 09:35 AM

All Current Evidence for Second Life in Business and Education

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

I decided to examine the full extent of scholarly literature supporting (or not) the use of virtual worlds for education and training. It's not a long list.... Read more »

Lester, P.M. . (2009) Analog vs. Digital Instruction and Learning: Teaching Within First and Second Life Environments. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14(3), 457. info:/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01449.x

Edirisingha, P., Nie, M., Pluciennik, M., & Young, R. (2009) Socialisation for learning at a distance in a 3-D multi-user virtual environment. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(3), 458-479. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00962.x  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit