Post List

  • November 25, 2009
  • 04:13 AM
  • 1,172 views

Is the Belgian Coma Patient's 'Voice' a Hoax?

by Martin Robbins in The Lay Scientist

Recently, claims have surfaced surrounding a Belgian coma victim - Rom Houben - who spent 23 years 'locked in', conscious but paralysed. It was only recently discovered that he had been conscious, and efforts were made to enable him to communicate using a controversial technique called 'Facilitated Communication'. As The Times report; "Mr Houben is now seemingly able to express himself in remarkably lucid messages while [his 'facilitator'] Mrs [Linda] Wouters g........ Read more »

Mostert MP. (2001) Facilitated communication since 1995: a review of published studies. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 31(3), 287-313. PMID: 11518483  

Cardinal DN, Hanson D, & Wakeham J. (1996) Investigation of authorship in facilitated communication. Mental retardation, 34(4), 231-42. PMID: 8828342  

Weiss MJ, Wagner SH, & Bauman ML. (1996) A validated case study of facilitated communication. Mental retardation, 34(4), 220-30. PMID: 8828341  

  • November 25, 2009
  • 03:09 AM
  • 2,114 views

Can MRI Scans Predict Outcome in Depression?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD


In a recent previous post the topic was the neuroanatomy of depression, or which sites of the brain can play a role in depression. Which parts of the brain show the dysfunction underlying depression. MRI scans can link neurobiology of depression with clinical findings through brain imaging studies that examine regional structure, regional function or [...]


Related posts:The Functional Neuroanatomy of Depression Based on the results from functional neuroimaging studies, lesion...Psychiatrists........ Read more »

  • November 25, 2009
  • 12:47 AM
  • 828 views

Africa in Arms?

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Warmer climate may trigger more African civil wars

... Read more »

Burke, M., Miguel, E., Satyanath, S., Dykema, J., & Lobell, D. (2009) Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0907998106  

  • November 24, 2009
  • 09:33 PM
  • 1,329 views

Out With the Bad: Efflux in Klebsiella pneumoniae

by Tim Sampson in The Times Microbial

Blogging for Bacteriphages is proud to announce an article by guest author, E. Ohneck, of Emory University.The Resistance-Nodulation-Division (RND) family of efflux pumps is widely utilized, especially among Gram-negative bacteria, for the export of a diverse array of antimicrobial agents from the bacterial interior, making these efflux systems important in multidrug resistance (1). RND family pumps are composed of three parts: a transporter protein in the inner cytoplasmic membrane, an outer me........ Read more »

Padilla E, Llobet E, Doménech-Sánchez A, Martínez-Martínez L, Bengoechea JA, & Albertí S. (2009) Klebsiella pneumoniae AcrAB efflux pump contributes to antimicrobial resistance and virulence. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. PMID: 19858254  

  • November 24, 2009
  • 08:05 PM
  • 695 views

Swarm Information Foraging (i.e. another way of exploiting crowd intelligence to improve search engines)

by Daniel Gayo-Avello in Blog para proyectantes de Dani Gayo

Last friday I took notice of Wowd; it is, in their words, "a real-time search engine for discovering what's popular on the web right now". Wowd exploits crowd intelligence in a really smart way: first, there is no crawler, those pages visited by the users are submitted to the index and, secondly, ranking is determined from the attention the users pay to each page.All of this is somewhat related to a paper we have under review at this moment and, thus, we decided to release a draft........ Read more »

Daniel Gayo-Avello, & David J. Brenes. (2009) Making the road by searching - A search engine based on Swarm Information Foraging. Submitted for publication. arXiv: 0911.3979v1

  • November 24, 2009
  • 06:55 PM
  • 1,413 views

Interventions in childhood and adolescence reduce teenage pregnancy

by geekheartsscience in geek!

Interventions in early childhood and adolescence help reduce teenage pregnancy and could be included in public policy according to a systematic review by Angela Harden and colleagues published free in the British Medical Journal last week.
The United Kingdom and United States have high teenage pregnancy rates, and although early parenthood can be positive it is [...]... Read more »

  • November 24, 2009
  • 06:32 PM
  • 2,319 views

strange matter, doomsday and you

by Greg Fish in weird things

Good news everybody. The LHC is up and running and already started colliding particles, thought they’re not as powerful as the collider can do when its revved up to full speed, just a measly 900 GeV. Now, I say measly not to be funny but because that’s slightly less than the energy of a lazy [...]... Read more »

Schaffner-Bielich, J., Greiner, C., Diener, A., & Stöcker, H. (1997) Detectability of strange matter in heavy ion experiments. Physical Review C, 55(6), 3038-3046. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevC.55.3038  

  • November 24, 2009
  • 06:09 PM
  • 829 views

Pagel on Darwin

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Mark Pagel, evolutionary theorist extraordinaire, has published an Insight piece in Nature on Natural selection 150 years on. Pagel, well known for myriad projects in natural selecition theory and adaptation, and for developing with Harvey the widely used statistical phylogenetic method (and for being a reader of my thesis) wishes Charles Darwin a happy 200th birthday, and assesses this question: Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

Mark Pagel. (2009) Natural selection 150 years on. Nature, 457(7231), 808-811. DOI: 10.1038/nature07889  

  • November 24, 2009
  • 05:38 PM
  • 2,531 views

Photosynthesis, phages and structures: there’s treasure everywhere!

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology


Here’s a really cool work, published this September in Nature.. Why did I choose this work?  Well, it’s a major discovery, and it’s all done using bioinformatics, and fairly simple bioinformatics at that. The power of metagenomics and bioinfromatics: in a mass of data you just have to know what you are looking for, and [...]... Read more »

Sharon, I., Alperovitch, A., Rohwer, F., Haynes, M., Glaser, F., Atamna-Ismaeel, N., Pinter, R., Partensky, F., Koonin, E., Wolf, Y.... (2009) Photosystem I gene cassettes are present in marine virus genomes. Nature, 461(7261), 258-262. DOI: 10.1038/nature08284  

  • November 24, 2009
  • 04:19 PM
  • 1,213 views

What your Facebook page says about who you "really" are

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

Recently a woman had her sick leave benefits based on a diagnosis of clinical depression terminated because of a few pictures she posted on her Facebook page showing her smiling at a birthday party and enjoying a trip to the beach. Was this a fair assessment of her medical condition? Probably not--people with clinical depression can have moments of genuine joy or elation, and even sad people can fake a smile for a photo.

But regardless of whether a few photos posted online are sufficient eviden........ Read more »

  • November 24, 2009
  • 02:45 PM
  • 1,190 views

Cannabis and cancer cachexia

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

One of the most frightening symptoms of advanced cancer is "cachexia", or severe, unintentional weight-loss and wasting. It's a terrible prognostic sign, and the only truly effective treatment is removal of the cancer. Treatment of this syndrome has the potential to improve quality of life in patients with advanced cancers. Various types of medications, including antidepressants, hormones, and cannabis derivatives have been tried with little effect. Treating the symptoms of incurable cancers........ Read more »

  • November 24, 2009
  • 02:09 PM
  • 1,250 views

Why didn't Darwin discover Mendel's laws?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Perhaps we are all subject to falling into the trap of what I call the Hydraulic Theory of Everything. If you eat more you will be bigger, if you eat less you will be smaller. Emotional states are the continuously varying outcome of different levels of a set of hormones, forming "happy" or "stressy" or "angry" cocktails. Your brain is a vessel into which life pours various elixirs. Too much of one thing, and there will not be enough room for something else. Even political arguments are hydra........ Read more »

Jonathan C Howard. (2009) Why didn't Darwin discover Mendel's laws?. Journal of Biology, 8(2), 15. DOI: 10.1186/jbiol123  

  • November 24, 2009
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,112 views

The D225G change in 2009 H1N1 influenza virus is not a concern

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health recently identified a mutation in 2009 H1N1 influenza virus isolated from two patients who died and one with severe disease. It has been suggested that this mutation, which causes a change from the amino acid aspartic acid to glycine at position 225 of the viral HA protein (D225G), could make the virus more likely to infect deeper in the airways and cause more severe disease. What is the basis for this concern and does it have merit?... Read more »

  • November 24, 2009
  • 09:51 AM
  • 753 views

The prion protein’s role in neurotransmission

by Brian Appleby in CJD Blogger

As mentioned in a prior post, the exact mechanism of neurotoxicity in prion diseases in unknown.  Two possibilities, which are not mutually exclusive, include a loss-of-function of the native prion protein and an acquired neurotoxic effect of the pathologic prion protein.  PRNP knockout mice have previously exhibited memory impairment, disruption in circadian rhythms and sleep, behavioral, and neurotransmission changes.  Also, excitatory glutamatergic, GABAa receptor-mediated fast........ Read more »

  • November 24, 2009
  • 08:30 AM
  • 1,008 views

Blending economics and ecology to protect bird habitat in the tropics

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

An innovative program uses mitigation money from New York and a planning tool based on economics to protect habitat for the Bicknell's thrush in the Caribbean...... Read more »

  • November 24, 2009
  • 08:10 AM
  • 1,092 views

Studying Anti-Vaccination Activists on the World Wide Web

by Martin Robbins in The Lay Scientist

The paper I'm about to present was written in 2002, and in the fast-paced world of the internet may seem out of date - after all, Youtube hadn't even been invented then, and Wikipedia and Google were shiny new businesses. But in fact, Davies et al's study of anti-vaccination websites is as relevant today as it was then - perhaps even more so [1].
"The internet has provided antivaccinationists with unprecedented opportunities for exposure. In the USA, 55% of adults with internet access use it ........ Read more »

Davies, P. (2002) Antivaccination activists on the world wide web. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 87(1), 22-25. DOI: 10.1136/adc.87.1.22  

  • November 24, 2009
  • 04:30 AM
  • 768 views

You told me that already! Why we're so poor at remembering to whom we told what

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

It can take some bottle to share an anecdote, so it's somewhat harsh when your friend shoots you down with an impatient accusation that you've told them this story before. You'd think they'd be more understanding - most of us seem to be far better at remembering who's told us what compared with to whom we've told what. Psychologists characterise this as a distinction between "source memory" and "destination memory", and according to Nigel Gopie and Colin MacLeod, the latter form is surprisingly ........ Read more »

Gopie N, & Macleod CM. (2009) Destination Memory: Stop Me if I've Told You This Before. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS. PMID: 19891750  

  • November 24, 2009
  • 12:57 AM
  • 756 views

Does Morphine Stimulate Cancer Growth?

by Eric Widera in GeriPal

A review of the literature connecting morphine and cancer growth in clinical trials.... Read more »

  • November 23, 2009
  • 11:43 PM
  • 806 views

Emergency Logistics

by Jan Husdal in husdal.com

Can commercial logistics’ ideas and solutions work in humanitarian supply chains? Well, perhaps they could work, but in most cases they won’t, simply because there is a profound lack of technical logistics knowledge in many aid agencies and even more so, very few experienced logisticians working in the Humanitarian Aid community. This scarcity of qualified logistics know-how impacts directly on the functioning of the relief effort.
... Read more »

  • November 23, 2009
  • 07:53 PM
  • 668 views

Genes Don't Make You Racist

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

In conditioning experiments, humans learn the fear of snakes more easily than they learn to be afraid flowers., and there is an evolutionary story to be told for this.
In a similar experiment, participants show strong outgroup bias in learning fear responses based on other people's skin color; which has sometimes been cited as support for the innateness of negative predispositions towards people who are "different" from ourselves. Luckily, a scientifically more appealing, explanations exist........... Read more »

Tiago V. Maia. (2009) Fear Conditioning and Social Groups: Statistics, Not Genetics. Cognitive Science, 33(7), 1232-1251. info:/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01054.x

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