Post List

  • January 15, 2011
  • 10:21 AM

Cottonmouth Myths I: Snakes Dropping Into Boats

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife

            Some animals just can’t get a break.  Cottonmouths, Agkistrodon piscivorus, (aka water moccasins) would like nothing more than spend their lives within their local swamp or river, either coiled up under a bunch of vegetation waiting for a hapless frog to paddle by, or perhaps patrolling the water’s edge at night looking for some other tasty morsel.  But, we all ... Read more »

M. S. Mills, C. J. Hudson, & H. J. Berna. (1995) Spatial ecology and movements of the brown water snake (Nerodia taxispilota). . Herpetologica , 412-423. info:/

  • January 15, 2011
  • 08:43 AM

Imagine the Possibilities

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Researchers have discovered a way for people to eat less: imagine eating. Better than any diet pill, workout routine or all-cabbage-all-the-time regimen, simply thinking about eating food will make a person eat less. The work is based on a process called habituation — a phenomenon that decreases the responsiveness to and motivation for obtaining food. [...]... Read more »

Epstein LH, Robinson JL, Roemmich JN, Marusewski AL, & Roba LG. (2010) What constitutes food variety? Stimulus specificity of food. Appetite, 54(1), 23-9. PMID: 19765625  

Epstein LH, Robinson JL, Temple JL, Roemmich JN, Marusewski A, & Nadbrzuch R. (2008) Sensitization and habituation of motivated behavior in overweight and non-overweight children. Learning and motivation, 39(3), 243-255. PMID: 19649135  

Epstein LH, Robinson JL, Temple JL, Roemmich JN, Marusewski AL, & Nadbrzuch RL. (2009) Variety influences habituation of motivated behavior for food and energy intake in children. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 89(3), 746-54. PMID: 19176724  

Epstein LH, Temple JL, Roemmich JN, & Bouton ME. (2009) Habituation as a determinant of human food intake. Psychological review, 116(2), 384-407. PMID: 19348547  

Morewedge CK, Huh YE, & Vosgerau J. (2010) Thought for food: imagined consumption reduces actual consumption. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6010), 1530-3. PMID: 21148388  

Myers Ernst M, & Epstein LH. (2002) Habituation of responding for food in humans. Appetite, 38(3), 224-34. PMID: 12071689  

  • January 15, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Is a Deep throat a Sore throat ?

by DefectiveBrayne in The Defective Brain

 One of the reasons that I blog on Streptococcus pyogenes so often is because it is such a fascinating and adaptable pathogen. It causes so many different diseases. Diseases as different as a sore throat, and necrotizing fasciitis (The flesh eating disease !).  It's even been implicated in tourettes syndrome. This is a hardy and adaptable pathogen, that primarily colonises the throat and the ... Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 06:24 AM

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) JKD6229, freaking out and deadly

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

Stringent response, as I wrote here, here, and here, and here, is a central regulator of bacterial physiology, which decides whether to grow happily churning out new proteins without a care or to shut down all of the unnecessary systems, relocate all  resources to amino acid production and put up a fight. So what happens if a mutation hyper-activates it in Staphylococcus aureus? Wonder no more - the pathogen goes berserk!The strain in question is call........ Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 04:53 AM

Autistic Children In The Media

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Emory University's Jennifer Sarrett offers an interesting although sadly brief analysis of the way in which autism is treated in the mass media: Trapped Children.She examines media depictions of children with autism, first in the 1960s, and then today. In those 40 years, professionals radically changed their minds about autism: in the 60s, a lot of people thought it was caused by emotionally distant refrigerator mothers; nowadays, we think it's a neural wiring disorder caused by deleted genes.Y........ Read more »

  • January 14, 2011
  • 11:32 PM


by Julia Whitty in Deep Blue Home

Inspired by a new science paper, I attempt to distill it to a haiku.   Thermometers rise—plowing crooked furrows straightsocieties fallBased on the paper, "2500 Years of European Climate Variability and Human Susceptibility" in Science. The abstract:Climate variations have influenced the agricultural productivity, health risk, and conflict level of preindustrial societies. Discrimination between environmental and anthropogenic impacts on past civilizations, however, remains difficult beca........ Read more »

Buntgen, U., Tegel, W., Nicolussi, K., McCormick, M., Frank, D., Trouet, V., Kaplan, J., Herzig, F., Heussner, K., Wanner, H.... (2011) 2500 Years of European Climate Variability and Human Susceptibility. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197175  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 09:27 PM

The Mischief of Plants, the Birds & the Bees

by Linda Lin in Oz Blog No. 159

When it wasn't too quirky, the biological analogies and references in Adaptation were quite creative. The scene here wonderful illustrates the deception of bees by orchids. I wonder how many know that flowers are all geared to lure in...... Read more »

Baldwin, I. (2010) Plant volatiles. Current Biology, 20(9). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.02.052  

Howe, G., & Jander, G. (2008) Plant Immunity to Insect Herbivores. Annual Review of Plant Biology, 59(1), 41-66. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.59.032607.092825  

Ratnieks, F., & Carreck, N. (2010) Clarity on Honey Bee Collapse?. Science, 327(5962), 152-153. DOI: 10.1126/science.1185563  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 04:58 PM

The inevitable rise of Amish machines

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

About 20 years ago I lived for a year in a rural area where Amish were a common feature of country roads and farmers’ markets. My parents, being Muslims, would sometimes buy chickens from the local Amish and slaughter them according to halal. We had a relationship with a particular family. They were nice people, [...]... Read more »

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

  • January 14, 2011
  • 01:18 PM

Ribosome-assisted protein UN-folding

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

"Stand still, do not move! I gave you life, I will also kill you!" said Taras, and, retreating a step backwards, he brought his gun up to his shoulder. Andrii was white as a sheet; his lips moved gently, and he uttered a name; but it was not the name of his native land, nor of his mother, nor his brother; it was the name of the beautiful Pole. Taras fired.Taras Bulba, Nikolai Vasilievich GogolRibosome makes proteins, we all know that. But producing a string of amino acids is just a half it. In o........ Read more »

O'Brien EP, Christodoulou J, Vendruscolo M, & Dobson CM. (2011) New Scenarios of Protein Folding Can Occur on the Ribosome. Journal of the American Chemical Society. PMID: 21204555  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 12:07 PM

Brain Trauma: Getting the Best Care

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

An under-reported issue in the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords is availability and access to high level trauma care. If you are going to survive a brain gun shot wound or other serious trauma it is crucial to quickly access specialized trauma hospitals and physicians to maximize your chance of survival.Fortunately for Representative Giffords and the other survivors of the Tucson Arizona shootings, the incident occurred within only a few miles of a level I adult a trauma center. U........ Read more »

MacKenzie, E., Rivara, F., Jurkovich, G., Nathens, A., Frey, K., Egleston, B., Salkever, D., & Scharfstein, D. (2006) A National Evaluation of the Effect of Trauma-Center Care on Mortality. New England Journal of Medicine, 354(4), 366-378. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa052049  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 11:16 AM

a good reason not to try sex in space. yet.

by Greg Fish in weird things

Reproduction is a complicated business, and for many creatures on our world, its a rather lethal and painful experience, complete with disembowelment and impalement on genitals that could double as weapons in a typical Medieval arsenal. Thankfully, we humans tend to have it relatively easy and generally have the making babies thing down so much [...]... Read more »

  • January 14, 2011
  • 11:05 AM

Dangerous Science?

by Jörg Friedrich in Reading Nature

These days the year of chemistry begins, and this is nature in the first issue from 06/01/2011 a number of contributions worth. For me the contribution of the chemist David Nichols on page 7 was of special interest. Nichols looks … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 14, 2011
  • 10:45 AM

Computer-enhanced images with almost perfect resolution

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

I used to laugh at those TV series and movies where crime investigators could take a surveillance camera photo, however fuzzy and blurred, and enhance its resolution beyond belief to the point where every possible (and impossible) detail becomes visible. I stopped laughing last week at a conference when I became aware of a 2009 [...]... Read more »

  • January 14, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Eodromaeus Adds Context to Dinosaur Origins

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Tracking the origin of the dinosaurs has been one of the most difficult tasks paleontologists have faced, but since the 1990s, multiple discoveries in South America have provided scientists with a look at what some of the earliest dinosaurs were like. Eoraptor, Herrerasaurus and the recently-described Panphagia are among the oldest representatives of the famous [...]... Read more »

Martinez, R., Sereno, P., Alcober, O., Colombi, C., Renne, P., Montanez, I., & Currie, B. (2011) A Basal Dinosaur from the Dawn of the Dinosaur Era in Southwestern Pangaea. Science, 331(6014), 206-210. DOI: 10.1126/science.1198467  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 09:19 AM

Sailing: Relaxing Pastime or Dangerous Sport?

by Terri Sundquist in Promega Connections

Sailing has always struck me as a civilized, relaxing way to spend a beautiful summer day. I imagine sitting on the boat’s deck in a sundress with a big floppy hat to keep the sun off of my face, a cold beverage in hand and perhaps a picnic basket of sandwiches at my feet. What [...]... Read more »

Nathanson AT, Baird J, & Mello M. (2010) Sailing injury and illness: results of an online survey. Wilderness , 21(4), 291-7. PMID: 21168780  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 08:40 AM

Cervical neck rotation for headache diagnosis

by Robert Badgett in ClinDx

Patients with less than 30 degrees of cervical rotation during neck flexion were less likely to have migraine headaches and more likely to have cervicogenic headache.... Read more »

  • January 14, 2011
  • 08:03 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Keep them from going with the immoral flow!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This isn’t a ‘feel good’ post about research into how we are driven to do good. Instead, it’s a post about how we don’t mind doing bad if it’s easier than doing (the more difficult) good. Those folks who advertise with the ‘easy’ button know a good thing when they see it. And it’s an [...]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: On caffe........ Read more »

Teper, R., & Inzlicht, M. (2010) Active transgressions and moral elusions: Action framing influences moral behavior. Social Psychological and Personality Science. info:/

Johnson, E. (2003) MEDICINE: Do Defaults Save Lives?. Science, 302(5649), 1338-1339. DOI: 10.1126/science.1091721  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 07:19 AM

Performance Anxiety? Try Writing About It.

by Sharon Neufeldt in I Can Has Science?

Choking under pressure can happen to the best of us. Students with test anxiety often perform below their abilities, and baseball pitchers can let ruin a perfect game. But a new study published in Science suggests that taking a few … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 14, 2011
  • 06:47 AM

Agricultural biodiversity crucial to the agricultural “revolution”

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

I’ve started dabbling in the marshy shallows around the deep pool of my ignorance of the modern history of agriculture, and one thing has become even more obvious. Mixed farming — mixed species of crop as well as mixed kingdoms of plants and animals — was without a doubt the sine qua non of both [...]... Read more »

  • January 14, 2011
  • 06:00 AM

Paucis Verbis card: Workup for first-time seizure

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

How do you workup adult patientsm who present with a new-onset seizure and now neurologically back to normal?There unfortunately is very little recent literature about the best workup approach. In 1994, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) published a Clinical Policy based on expert consensus. The EM Clinics of North America series also just published a review on the topic. The bottom-line is that there are two types of workup approaches.For the uncomplicated cases (age less ........ Read more »

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