Post List

  • March 16, 2010
  • 08:08 PM

Mad Neanderthals, peer review and scholarly publication

by Julien Riel-Salvatore in A Very Remote Period Indeed

There's been a growing rumble in the world of scientific publishing for the past several months, focusing especially on the nature and practices of the journal Medical Hypotheses. Briefly put, MH is a non-peer-reviewed journal that publishes original, controversial and thought-provoking ideas ("hypotheses" defined in the broadest possible sense, I guess you could say) about the medical realm sensu lato. Now, as reported by Science Insider, MH's editor, Bruce Charlton (here's his blog presenting ........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 07:55 PM

On the evolution of toilets

by Thomas Kluyver in Thomas' Plant-Related Blog

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you learn about something completely unexpected. In this case, it’s a new way to get nitrogen, an important nutrient for all living things. Where the soil is poor in nitrogen, various plants have developed ways to trap insects and the like, among them the pitcher plants. Now [...]... Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 05:36 PM

To be here, or not to be

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

The feeling that ‘I’ am ‘here’ is a central component of our personal identity and sense of self. In a recent study[1], we asked what would happen to the representation of the body if we disrupted the feeling of the body being located at a single point in space. We used an illusion [...]... Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 04:53 PM

Earth's forgotten youth - and beyond

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

The further back in time we go, the more and more fragmented the Earth's geological record becomes. Whilst not exactly common, rocks with ages up to about 3.5 billion years old are found at multiple points on the Earth's surface. However, rocks older than this are much less common. Extensive outcrops older than about 3.8 billion years are exceptionally rare, possibly because a series of very large meteorite impacts prior to this time - the Late Heavy Bombardment - largely destroyed any older ........ Read more »

Goldblatt, C., Zahnle, K. J., Sleep, N. H., & Nisbet, E. G. (2010) The Eons of Chaos and Hades. Solid Earth, 1-3. info:/

  • March 16, 2010
  • 12:45 PM

A new test of the Light:Nutrient hypothesis

by JL in Analyze Everything

To review: I love ecological stoichiometry (ES). I find it a fascinating subject and a useful framework for understanding ecological phenomena. However, ES is still relatively new, with a lot of the empirical work restricted to plankton (esp. Daphnia and algae). So it is always interesting to see theories developed predominantly in the pelagic system examined in other habitats.One of the more... Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 11:07 AM

Sea Change

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Iron fertilization could increase toxin production in ocean

... Read more »

Trick, C.G. et al. (2010) Iron enrichment stimulates toxic diatom production in high-nitrate, low-chlorophyll areas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.0910579107

  • March 16, 2010
  • 10:54 AM

Do infants prefer music over speech?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

In this weeks online edition of PNAS Marcel Zentner and Tuomas Eerola report on a study in which they carried out two experiments with a total of 120 infants, aged between 5 and 24 months. The infants were exposed to various musical and rhythmic stimuli, including isochronous drumbeats. Control stimuli consisted of adult- and infant-directed speech. The researchers could show that infants engage significantly more in rhythmic movement to music, and other rhythmically regular sounds, than to spee........ Read more »

Zentner, M., & Eerola, T. (2010) Rhythmic engagement with music in infancy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1000121107  

  • March 16, 2010
  • 10:09 AM

Remote control of peptide screw sense

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

As is well-known, peptides helices can be right or left handed. Many details of structure, amino acid identity and orientation can control this screw sense, and sometimes the controlling factors can be quite subtle. In a JACS communication, Jonathan Clayden (yes, the co-author of the amazing organic chemistry textbook) and his group uncover a surprising factor that controls the helical screw sense and also incorporate a neat "reporter group" to monitor the screw sense.But this reporter group is ........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 10:08 AM

Zebrafish used to visualize blood stem cell generation

by Mason Posner in A Fish Eye View

Understanding how blood cells are formed is not only important for developing treatments against numerous diseases, but also teaches us more about the fascinating process of turning stem cells into their specialized descendants.  Recent work suggests that the initial stem cell that produces all of our blood’s formed elements (cells) comes in two flavors.  But [...]... Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 10:03 AM

What is "Self Transcendence"?

by Neural Outlaw in Neural Interface

A recent study by Italian researchers uncovered the fact that neurosurgery involving certain brain structures can effect personality changes that make one feel more "spiritual". 88 patients underwent pre- and post-surgical personality assessments while treated for tumours, and the results were combined with lesion mapping procedures (to precisely locate lesions) after surgery to measure changes in a personality construct called Self-Transcendence (ST). It was found that patients with p........ Read more »

Cloninger CR, Svrakic DM, & Przybeck TR. (1993) A psychobiological model of temperament and character. Archives of General Psychiatry, 50(12), 975-90. PMID: 8250684  

  • March 16, 2010
  • 09:43 AM

Editorial Support, CME, and the Primary Care Companion

by CL Psych in Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry

By now, everyone who has been paying attention should know that a journal article which lists "editorial support" is an article that was ghostwritten. Yet the average reader of these articles is apparently uninformed enough to not care. Why else would so many articles get published which feature "editorial support provided by [insert name of ghostwriter here]." One my my favorite journals, under the "so bad, it's good" category, is the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical P........ Read more »

Thase, M., Gaynes, B., Papakostas, G., Shelton, R., & Trivedi, M. (2009) Tackling Partial Response to Depression Treatment. The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 11(4), 155-162. DOI: 10.4088/PCC.8133ah3c  

  • March 16, 2010
  • 09:06 AM

Research roundup

by Elements Science in Elements Science

Sexual ambiguity crosses species in this week's research roundup.... Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

My Nephew and his Brain, Part 2 – Revealed to be Complicated

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Continued from Part 1. After we had arrived at the new hospital and my nephew had been placed into the Pediatric ICU (PICU), the doctors started running more tests, and in conjunction with what the ER doctor had found out, my nephew was diagnosed with a seizure disorder or, as it is more commonly known, [...]... Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 07:14 AM

Spotlight on Inactivity

by PhD Blogger in Exercise Psychology

A report published yesterday in the UK by Professor Sir Liam Donaldson the UK Government's Chief Medical Officer, and the professional head of all medical staff in England, draws attention to the role of inactivity in the nations health. The report states that "the benefits of regular physical activity to health, longevity, well being and protection from serious illness have long been established. They easily surpass the effectiveness of any drugs or other medical treatment. The challenge f........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Reducing the negative ecological impacts from biofuel production

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Two new articles in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment show that dramatic expansion of biofuel agriculture may reduce biodiversity and promote the spread of invasive species. The articles also make a number of recommendations for reducing the ecological impact from biofuel production. ... Read more »

Davis, A., Cousens, R., Hill, J., Mack, R., Simberloff, D., & Raghu, S. (2010) Screening bioenergy feedstock crops to mitigate invasion risk. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/090030  

  • March 16, 2010
  • 06:53 AM

Measles week, part II: Emerging disease

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Symptoms of small pox, scarlet fever, measles, miliary fever, petechiae, rank itch and watery itch.
from Domestic medicine. Or, a treatise on the prevention and cure of diseases, by regimen and simple medicines.
by William Buchan (T. Nelson,London. 1846)

This is part II of “Measles Week”; see Part I for an explanation of what this is about, [...]... Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 06:44 AM

Warning: Global English may harm your mental health

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

About ten years ago an overseas student from South Korea who was about to fail a unit I was teaching left a suicide note under my office door. She described herself as a “loser” who – in contrast to other overseas students – hadn’t got enough English to cope with her course. She wrote how [...]... Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

A healthy life leads to a healthy sex life

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

Being in good or excellent health increases the quality and quantity of sex for middle aged and older people, according to a big study that delved into the sex lives of 6,000 American adults aged 25-85.  Plus being fit can keep you sexually active into a ripe old age, unlike your unhealthy peers.
The study also [...]... Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Don't eat on a full brain

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

Here's a interesting study. Simple experimental design. Take 165 undergraduate students and enroll them in a study you tell them is about memory and where as part of their reward for inclusion, they'll be given a snack. Ask half of them to memorize a 2 digit number and the other half a 7 digit number and once they've memorized their numbers ask them to go into a second room where they are faced with their snack choice - either a piece of chocolate cake or a cup of fruit salad. Track choice a........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

When land managers unintentionally create ecological traps

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Sometimes the well-intentioned efforts of land managers can have unintended negative consequences for threatened species. In a new case study, researchers from Israel show how efforts by the national forestry agency to improve scrubland habitat in the Negev desert actually created an ecological trap for a highly endangered, endemic lizard...... Read more »

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