Post List

  • April 26, 2010
  • 06:58 AM

Early farmers got high on chickpeas?

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

A somewhat cryptic comment a few days ago on a year-old post on domestication eventually led us to an intriguing 2007 article in The Times which we unaccountably seem to have missed the first time around. The article quotes liberally from a Journal of Archaeological Science paper which puts forward something of an unorthodox take [...]... Read more »

KEREM, Z., LEVYADUN, S., GOPHER, A., WEINBERG, P., & ABBO, S. (2007) Chickpea domestication in the Neolithic Levant through the nutritional perspective. Journal of Archaeological Science, 34(8), 1289-1293. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2006.10.025  

  • April 26, 2010
  • 06:50 AM

How to nap

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Even naps as short as ten minutes have been shown to provide psychological benefits in terms of reduced fatigue and improved concentration (pdf). But would-be nappers face some awkward decisions, most obviously - does it matter whether I nap in my chair or ought I try to find somewhere to lie down? And then ... if remaining seated, is it okay to lean forwards and rest my head on a desk?When it comes to napping while leaning back in a chair or car seat, past research has shown that the further yo........ Read more »

  • April 26, 2010
  • 06:41 AM

Resource matters

by pm in The Poor Man's Smart Bomb

One of the things that interests me about suicide attacks is how groups go about developing them as a weapon and turning them into a re-useable capability in their operations. A key part of my thesis argument centres on the importance of organizational resources and processes in delivering an effective capability. Thomas Hegghammer’s 2008 article [...]... Read more »

  • April 26, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Article review: Academies of Medical Educators

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

What are Academies of Medical Educators?As defined by Dewey et al [1], Academies are "a formal organization of academic teaching faculty who have been formally (or specifically) recognized for excellence in their contributions to the education mission of the medical school, and who serve specific functions on behalf of the institution . . . . A functioning organization, not simply a group of recognized faculty."The overarching purpose of Academies is to bring education back as the central focus ........ Read more »

  • April 26, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Guys Don't Think Size Matters

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

In most countries the ratio of obesity between men and women is approximately equal. Yet, the clients in most obesity clinics and weight loss centres are mainly women.
So what is with the guys?... Read more »

Deville-Almond J, Tahrani AA, Grant J, Gray M, Thomas GN, & Taheri S. (2010) Awareness of Obesity and Diabetes: A Survey of a Subset of British Male Drivers. American journal of men's health. PMID: 20413385  

  • April 26, 2010
  • 03:35 AM

In which potatoes in France are like high-ranking journals in science

by Björn Brembs in

There are about 1.5 million scholarly articles published in all the sciences, spread over about 24,000 journals. Even if there were a single database or entry-point providing access to all the literature, nobody would be able to keep up with everything that is being published in their field of work any more. Desperately looking for some clue as to which publications to select for in-depth reading and which to ignore, scientists began to rank the journals according to how often the articles in th........ Read more »

  • April 26, 2010
  • 12:20 AM

Sunday Protist -- Rostronympha and latest parabasalian taxonomy

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Since I just spent hours staring at onychophorans (instead of studying), gonna skimp out on the Sunday Protist this week. So here's a wonderful alien-looking freak with a proboscis, Rostronympha; I totally demand an SEM of this, by the way:Parabasalid Rostronympha. Image by Guy Brugerolle via Micro*scope.I can't find the original description at the moment, but vaguely recall having searched for it ambitiously once and failed miserably. It's supposed to be (Duboscq, Grassé & Rose, 1937), wit........ Read more »

  • April 25, 2010
  • 11:42 PM

Active galaxies and supermassive black hole jets

by Charles Daney in Science and Reason

Most galaxies have a supermassive black hole in their center – sometimes even more than one. These black holes can have masses up to ten billion solar masses (1010 M⊙) or more. One of the largest known examples is part of a binary system, and it weighs in at 1.8×1010 M⊙ – see here, here, or here. (There are exceptions, such as the nearby M33, which apparently does not have a central black hole of mass more than 3000 M⊙.)All black holes gravitationally attract ........ Read more »

  • April 25, 2010
  • 11:27 PM

Looking Older

by Wayne Hooke in The Psychology of Beauty

Gunn (2009), comparing a number of aged/aging twinned and non-twinned subjects (some of the non-twins were of different ages), have concluded that the primary indicators of aging in women are: skin wrinkling hair graying lip height (measured from the “vermillion border on the philtral crest” (the high points of the upper lips spaced around [...]... Read more »

Gunn, D., Rexbye, H., Griffiths, C., Murray, P., Fereday, A., Catt, S., Tomlin, C., Strongitharm, B., Perrett, D., Catt, M.... (2009) Why Some Women Look Young for Their Age. PLoS ONE, 4(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008021  

  • April 25, 2010
  • 08:35 PM

Computational Improvement of Carbon Fixation

by Michael Long in Phased

Ron Milo (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) and coworkers have developed theoretical carbon fixation cycles that are improvements over the Calvin-Benson cycle by up to a factor of 3. This news feature was written on April 25, 2010.... Read more »

Bar-Even, A., Noor, E., Lewis, N. E., & Milo, R. (2010) Design and analysis of synthetic carbon fixation pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0907176107  

  • April 25, 2010
  • 08:08 PM

Video-conferencing versus real-life interaction

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

An analysis of a recent fMRI study that examined social interaction via live video... Read more »

  • April 25, 2010
  • 08:03 PM

FGSC – a key partner in fungal biology research

by stajich in The Hyphal Tip

An article about the Fungal Genetics Stock Center written by the curators provides some insight into the 50 year history of this resource. It is a great summary of how the stock center has grown over the years and demonstrates how it is an essential aspect of how research on filamentous fungi is possible. The [...]... Read more »

  • April 25, 2010
  • 04:46 PM

Review of an article using bibliometric qual methods to study sub-discipline collaboration behavior

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

Mixed methods are always attractive, but many researchers give up because each method typically requires some epistemology which often conflicts with the epistemology of other methods. When mixed methods are done, they are often done in sequence. For example, qualitative work to understand enough about a phenomenon to develop a survey or interviewing survey respondents  to get richer information about their responses. Network methods are neither quantitative* nor qualitative and it's n........ Read more »

  • April 25, 2010
  • 04:34 PM

Then There Were Three

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Scientists identify multiple species of killer whale

... Read more »

  • April 25, 2010
  • 01:48 PM

On unfortunate juxtapositions

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

There's an Italian cafe/deli round the corner. It's a quiet place, which seems to suit the proprietors well in a Black Books-sort of way (although without the personality defects): they open when they feel like it and there are...... Read more »

  • April 25, 2010
  • 01:20 PM

Complete genome from a single cell - well, yes, *technically*

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow

Its not quite marine science (hey, its my blog, so nerrr), but there's a paper in PLoS One this week where the authors describe the assembly of a genome sequence (all the DNA from beginning to end) from a single cell of a bacterium.  Normally it would take a whole bunch of cultured cells to do this, which limits genome sequencing to those bacteria that can be cultured and right now that isn't ... Read more »

Woyke, T., Tighe, D., Mavromatis, K., Clum, A., Copeland, A., Schackwitz, W., Lapidus, A., Wu, D., McCutcheon, J., McDonald, B.... (2010) One Bacterial Cell, One Complete Genome. PLoS ONE, 5(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010314  

  • April 25, 2010
  • 12:34 PM

Obesity: the role of the immune system

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Obesity is one symptom of several, which together constitute what is now termed metabolic syndrome. Morbid obesity is also associated with a host of other symptoms including high blood sugar, high blood lipids, insulin resistance and liver disorders. The root causes of which are traced back to excessive food consumption, reduced physical activity and in some cases, genetic predisposition.

I have written before on the connection found between gut microbe populations and metabolic syndrome.... Read more »

Vijay-Kumar, M., Aitken, J., Carvalho, F., Cullender, T., Mwangi, S., Srinivasan, S., Sitaraman, S., Knight, R., Ley, R., & Gewirtz, A. (2010) Metabolic Syndrome and Altered Gut Microbiota in Mice Lacking Toll-Like Receptor 5. Science, 328(5975), 228-231. DOI: 10.1126/science.1179721  

  • April 25, 2010
  • 08:28 AM

Social onychophorans!

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

As much as I'm obsessed with protists, I'm a rather promiscuous type when it comes to academic relationships, and thus can find the occasional non-protist cute and interesting. Forgive me if that is 'immoral', but I'm not Christian and thus am not obligated to be intellectually monogamous. So there.Onychophorans (velvet worms) are fucking adorable. Now, whether they are more or less adorable than, say, hypotrich ciliates or Apusomonas proboscidea, is open to debate (I remain loyal to my tribal a........ Read more »

  • April 25, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Good Health Equals Good Sex

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Sexuality is an important component of overall health and quality of life. An active sex life can reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, improve cardiovascular health and promote longevity. Not only does sex lead to health benefits, but good health leads to improved sexuality. A recent British Medical Journal (BMJ) report concluded that the better [...]... Read more »

  • April 25, 2010
  • 05:31 AM

Malaria mortality declines in Ethiopia

by Bernt Lindtjorn in International Health Research

BBC World Service citing the Global Fund (Early Evidence of Sustainable Impact on Malaria) reported yesterday that malaria mortality declined by almost 50% in Ethiopia. The Global fund report states a 54% decline in malaria cases and 48% decline in malaria deaths.
Are such figures true? Working on malaria research projects in south Ethiopia I [...]... Read more »

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