Post List

  • January 21, 2011
  • 10:03 AM

Pterosaurs Were Born to Fly

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Just a few hours after yesterday’s post on dinosaur embryos went up, another major egg-based discovery was announced, in the journal Science. In October of 2009, paleontologists first described the flying reptile Darwinopterus, a pterosaur that lived in what is now China over 160 million years ago. Since then, multiple other specimens have been found, [...]... Read more »

Lu, J., Unwin, D., Deeming, D., Jin, X., Liu, Y., & Ji, Q. (2011) An Egg-Adult Association, Gender, and Reproduction in Pterosaurs. Science, 331(6015), 321-324. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197323  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 09:45 AM

Tears as a human female adaptation to limit rape

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

This came up a while ago and I assumed the idea would die the usual quick and painless death, but the idea seems to be either so fascinating or so irritating to people (mainly in various blog comment sections) that it still twitches and still has a heartbeat, but only as a result of the repeated flogging it is getting.
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

Gelstein, S., Yeshurun, Y., Rozenkrantz, L., Shushan, S., Frumin, I., Roth, Y., & Sobel, N. (2011) Human Tears Contain a Chemosignal. Science, 331(6014), 226-230. DOI: 10.1126/science.1198331  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 09:33 AM

Scientist In Residence: Danny Richter on Diatoms and X-ray Whosamagidgets

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

In a recent paper, de Jonge et al used x-ray fluorescence tomography to give us a new perspective on how diatoms put together those phenomenally intricate frustules of theirs. “X-ray whosamagidget” you say? My thoughts exactly. Let’s break it down. First: X-rays. High-energy waves that help doctors see our bones. Check. Second: fluorescence. Fluorescence is light . . . → Read More: Scientist In Residence: Danny Richter on Diatoms and X-ray Whosamagidgets... Read more »

de Jonge, M., Holzner, C., Baines, S., Twining, B., Ignatyev, K., Diaz, J., Howard, D., Legnini, D., Miceli, A., McNulty, I.... (2010) Quantitative 3D elemental microtomography of Cyclotella meneghiniana at 400-nm resolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(36), 15676-15680. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001469107  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 08:41 AM

Are we finally smart enough to learn from the gloomy octopus?

by Michele in Promega Connections

The octopus is a fascinating creature and probably the smartest invertebrate known. It has an extremely well developed visual system with high acuity, and although it cannot distinguish color, it can see polarized light. Scientists have proposed that octopuses communicate with each other by polarizing the light that reflects from their scales, creating a messaging [...]... Read more »

Pronk, R., Wilson, D., & Harcourt, R. (2010) Video playback demonstrates episodic personality in the gloomy octopus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(7), 1035-1041. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.040675  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 07:07 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Building Trust (but not) in Ten Easy Words

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is a pretty amazing yet simple and straightforward tool. We saw this idea at Neuromarketing blog in a post titled “Building Trust in Ten Easy Words” and went to find the original research to see the details so we could discuss it in the context of litigation advocacy. The Neuromarketing blog post counts out [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Be credible
Simple Jury Persuasion: Thank you for your service
Simple Jury Persuasion: Channeling Cialdini & becoming a master of s........ Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Cartoon – Hormone Therapy and Dementia

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

I get to tolerate menopausal symptoms or become demented while on hormone replacement therapy. So, spare me your complaining about hair loss. A new study published in the Annals of Neurology finds that hormone therapy may be beneficial against dementia for women in midlife (mean age, 48.7 years), but an increased risk for those taking [...]... Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 06:44 AM

CUDA: Lattice QCD on a Personal Computer

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

At the conference “The many faces of QCD” (see here, here and here) I have had the opportunity to talk with people doing lattice computations at large computer facilities. They said to me that this kind of acitivities imply the use of large computers, user queues (as these resources are generally shared) and months of [...]... Read more »

Nuno Cardoso, & Pedro Bicudo. (2010) Lattice SU(2) on GPU's. arxiv. arXiv: 1010.1486v1

Nuno Cardoso, & Pedro Bicudo. (2010) SU(2) Lattice QCD Simulations on Fermi GPUs. arxiv. arXiv: 1010.4834v1

  • January 21, 2011
  • 06:30 AM

An Amoeba Is More Fiscally Responsible than Most Americans

by Sharon Neufeldt in I Can Has Science?

A new study reveals that even – those squishy little single-celled organisms – know how to save up for a rainy day. Scientists at Rice University have discovered that some members of a like to save up food for when … Continue reading →... Read more »

Brock, D., Douglas, T., Queller, D., & Strassmann, J. (2011) Primitive agriculture in a social amoeba. Nature, 469(7330), 393-396. DOI: 10.1038/nature09668  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 06:00 AM

Paucis Verbis card: Generalized Convulsive Status Epilepticus

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

How do you manage patients who present in status epilepticus, knowing that "time is CNS function"? The longer patients remain seizing, the greater their morbidity and mortality.Did you know that one study showed that 48% of their patients who presented in generalized convulsive status epilepticus (GCSE) had subtle persistent GCSE on EEG, despite no clinical evidence of overt seizure activity? That's scary.Do you send off a serum tricyclic toxicology screen for all your patients with GCSE? Becaus........ Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 02:04 AM

Psycasm - Video Game Morality: Actions inside the box?

by Rift in Psycasm

The following video is horrendously graphic. It is not work safe. It is not, in my opinion, fit for anyone under 18. I personally question the motives and character of anyone who enjoys playing this particular scenario. Not because it's violent, but because I genuinly feel it's reprehensible.But hey, I'm not a gamer. The pretext - if you didn't pick it up - is that you must pos; (read more)

Source: Rift - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »

  • January 21, 2011
  • 12:48 AM

Friday Weird Science: The Magnificent Mammal Menage a Trois

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

…aka “The Thrilling Whale Threesome” …aka “Constant Coupling Clubs in Cetacean Coitus” …aka…I could keep going! Cause this is more than mammals. It’s WHALES, BABY!!! Whales GETTING IT ON. Strap yourselves in, cause we’re headed on a journey to the bay, complete with a bendable 8 foot penis. I do hope we’ve all had our [...]... Read more »

  • January 20, 2011
  • 10:40 PM

The evolutionary story of ecosystem function

by Marc Cadotte in The EEB and flow

Twenty years of research has repeatedly shown that communities with greater diversity result higher functioning -namely greater production of biomass. One of the major mechanisms producing this relationship is that different species use differing resources, such that their complementary use of resources uses the total resource pool more thoroughly, thus converting more resources into biomass. Resource preference is the product of evolution and how organisms have adapted to using various resource........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2011
  • 08:53 PM

Kudos to the Fagnou Group

by Crystallinity in Chemical Crystallinity

I am continuously impressed by the publications that have appeared since Prof. Keith Fagnou's shocking passing a little over a year ago. The chemical community still mourns; it is clear from these post-mortem publications that Fagnou's - and his clearly dedicated and talented graduate students and post-docs - brilliance lives on. The chemistry that Fagnou has truly spearheaded, direct C-H functionalization, is a method of forming C-C, C-N, C-B, etc bonds without having to prepare one of the c........ Read more »

Lapointe, D., Markiewicz, T., Whipp, C. J., Toderian, A., & Fagnou, K. (2011) Predictable and Site-Selective Functionalization of Poly(hetero)arene Compounds by Palladium Catalysis. Journal of Organic Chemistry. info:/10.1021/jo102081a

  • January 20, 2011
  • 08:32 PM

Toumai and the Sabercats

by Laelaps in Laelaps

“They fight! And bite! They fight and bite and fight! Fight fight fight! Bite bite bite!”
That’s the theme from “The Itchy and Scratchy Show” – the ultra-violent riff on Tom and Jerry regularly featured on The Simpsons - but it could be easily applied to almost any documentary about prehistoric animals that you care to [...]... Read more »

de Bonis, L., Peigné, S., Taisso Mackaye, H., Likius, A., Vignaud, P., & Brunet, M. (2010) New sabre-toothed cats in the Late Miocene of Toros Menalla (Chad). Comptes Rendus Palevol, 9(5), 221-227. DOI: 10.1016/j.crpv.2010.07.018  

  • January 20, 2011
  • 07:06 PM

Study: Your Genes Help Pick Your Friends

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

How much of you resides between your ears? And how much of what you call "me" is made outside your body, in your relationships with others? Biologists have largely confined themselves to aspects of the mind that can be measured in a single human body (galvanic skin response, activity in the amygdala ...Read More
... Read more »

Fowler, J., Settle, J., & Christakis, N. (2011) Correlated genotypes in friendship networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011687108  

  • January 20, 2011
  • 06:08 PM

Why we are all different (and not all religious)

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

So, on to the paper by Robert Rowthorn, which I see now has even been picked up by the Denver Post!

Just to explain a bit of the background. Rowthorn is an economist, and his paper is basically a model of what would would happen if you have a gene (strictly speaking [and for Bjørn's benefit], an allele) that predisposes for membership of a group, and if that group has high reproduction.

What he shows is that the gene spreads incredibly quickly - just 10 generations after it appears, 80% of t........ Read more »

Rowthorn R. (2011) Religion, fertility and genes: a dual inheritance model. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 21227968  

Penke, L, Denisson, J, & Miller, GF. (2007) The Evolutionary Genetics of Personality. European Journal of Personality, 549-587. info:/

  • January 20, 2011
  • 06:01 PM

What is a galaxy?

by sarah in One Small Step

Science tends to grow organically, branching out in new directions driven by new discoveries and new technology. But every once in a while, scientists feel the need to take stock of where their subject is going, and make some changes to keep things consistent. The most famous example of this is when the International Astronomical [...]

... Read more »

Duncan Forbes, & Pavel Kroupa. (2011) What is a Galaxy? Cast your vote here.. PASA. arXiv: 1101.3309v1

  • January 20, 2011
  • 05:36 PM

Early life protein restriction alters dopamine circuitry

by neurobites in Neurobites

Gestational development represents a time in which the organism is at its peak vulnerability for developing lifelong changes. Consequently, an aberrant fetal environment can permanently shape the organization of the individual. We recognize things such as alcohol and other drugs, endocrine disrupting compounds such as bisphenol-A, and vitamin deficiency (to name a few) as possible [...]... Read more »

Vucetic Z, Totoki K, Schoch H, Whitaker KW, Hill-Smith T, Lucki I, & Reyes TM. (2010) Early life protein restriction alters dopamine circuitry. Neuroscience, 168(2), 359-70. PMID: 20394806  

  • January 20, 2011
  • 03:47 PM

The rise and fall of great powers is stochastic

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Long time readers know well my fascination with quantitative history. In particular, cliometrics and cliodynamics. These are fields which attempt to measure and model human historical phenomena and processes. Cliometrics is a well established field, insofar as it is a subset of economic history. But cliodynamics is new on the scene. At the heart of cliodynamics [...]... Read more »

Gavrilets, Sergey, David G. Anderson, & Peter Turchin. (2011) Cycling in the Complexity of Early Societies. Cliodynamics: The Journal of Theoretical and Mathematical History. info:/

  • January 20, 2011
  • 03:23 PM

Hand Gestures Grounded in Action

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Sometimes it’s impossible to explain something without using your hands. While these gestures may seem to be simple communicative aids, a recent study published in Psychological Science by Sian ... Read more »

Beilock, S.L., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2010) Gesture changes thought by grounding it in action. Psychological Science, 21(11), 1605-10. PMID: 20889932  

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