The first maps of the global distribution of the ease of subsurface water flow have been produced, and they are based on maps of rock type. Continue reading →... Read more »
Gleeson, T., Smith, L., Moosdorf, N., Hartmann, J., Dürr, H., Manning, A., van Beek, L., & Jellinek, A. (2011) Mapping permeability over the surface of the Earth. Geophysical Research Letters, 38(2). DOI: 10.1029/2010GL045565
Back in October I blogged about a recent paper by Ng et al. suggesting evidence for paternal programming of genes passed to offspring. Overall, the study wasn’t very convincing (in my humble opinion). But recently Carone et al. give some more … Continue reading →... Read more »
Carone BR, Fauquier L, Habib N, Shea JM, Hart CE, Li R, Bock C, Li C, Gu H, Zamore PD.... (2010) Paternally induced transgenerational environmental reprogramming of metabolic gene expression in mammals. Cell, 143(7), 1084-96. PMID: 21183072
According to a new study in Europe there are just five types of social network user. Indeed, the types apply equally as well to any social networking site, these are: Sporadics, Lurkers, Socializers, Debaters, and Actives. As social networking sites become more and more prevalent and more and more a part of our daily lives (viz 600 million Facebook users [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkDoes it matter what kind of online networker you are?
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Petter Bae Brandtzæg, & Jan Heim. (2011) A typology of social networking sites users. Int. J. Web Based Communities, 7(1), 28-51. info:/
Markel Vigo is taking up a research position spending two years with us here in Manchester and then a final year with Julio Abascal at the University of the Basque Country.... Read more »
Darren Lunn and Eleni Michailidou and Simon Harper. (2007) Observational Notes Acquired from Henshaws' Skillstep to Success Class: Observation Period 1. WEL Technical Reports, SADIe Technical Report 5(61). info:other/http://wel-eprints.cs.manchester.ac.uk/61/
Darren Lunn and Eleni Michailidou and Simon Harper. (2008) Observational Notes Acquired from Henshaws' Skillstep to Success Class: Observation Period 2. WEL Technical Reports, SADIe Technical Report 8(64). info:other/http://wel-eprints.cs.manchester.ac.uk/64/
While robots aren’t yet conquering the world and won’t be anytime soon, they’re finally learning to walk, and in the near future, the kind of bipedal locomotion that’s a major part of what makes humanoid robots such an enormous engineering and maintenance challenge, may get a lot easier. And not only are they learning how [...]... Read more »
Bongard J. (2011) Morphological change in machines accelerates the evolution of robust behavior. PNAS. PMID: 21220304
Bongard, J., Zykov, V., & Lipson, H. (2006) Resilient Machines Through Continuous Self-Modeling. Science, 314(5802), 1118-1121. DOI: 10.1126/science.1133687
Over the last 20 years or so we’ve been realizing that even bacteria don’t always live alone. Instead, individual cells often stick to each other to make a biofilm, secreting a substance colloquially known as slime (also known to biologists as extracellular matrix). Slime sounds wet, or sticky; but new work from Joanna Aizenberg’s lab [...]... Read more »
Epstein AK, Pokroy B, Seminara A, & Aizenberg J. (2011) Bacterial biofilm shows persistent resistance to liquid wetting and gas penetration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(3), 995-1000. PMID: 21191101
Scent of a woman men’s testosterone responses to olfactory ovulation cues From Psychological Science According to this research, odors can be a subtle factor affecting human mating, similar to the behavior of other animals. Monitoring the responses of men after smelling t-shirts worn by ovulating women, non-ovulating women and some not worn at all, they [...]... Read more »
Miller, S., & Maner, J. (2009) Scent of a Woman: Men's Testosterone Responses to Olfactory Ovulation Cues. Psychological Science, 21(2), 276-283. DOI: 10.1177/0956797609357733
Original antigenic sin - will getting the flu shot make you more susceptible to an epidemic?... Read more »
Kim, J., Skountzou, I., Compans, R., & Jacob, J. (2009) Original Antigenic Sin Responses to Influenza Viruses. The Journal of Immunology, 183(5), 3294-3301. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900398
Does tracking your food intake and your exercise habits help you lose and maintain weight? A recent paper by Burke et al, published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, reviews the collective research to date on the benefits of … Continue reading →... Read more »
Burke LE, Wang J, & Sevick MA. (2011) Self-monitoring in weight loss: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111(1), 92-102. PMID: 21185970
Birds have some awesomely descriptive names. Like the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), a North American woodpecker that specializes in drilling “sap wells” in trees to feed on their sugary phloem sap. Or the Brown Trembler (Cinclocerthia ruficauda), a Caribbean relative of the mockingbird that shakes its wings violently to communicate with other members of its [...]... Read more »
Nunn, C., Ezenwa, V., Arnold, C., & Koenig, W. (2011) MUTUALISM OR PARASITISM? USING A PHYLOGENETIC APPROACH TO CHARACTERIZE THE OXPECKER-UNGULATE RELATIONSHIP. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01212.x
The insecticide DDT (dichlorodiphenytrichloroethane) has been in the public mind ever since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in 1962. Growing awareness of its environmental effects, persistence, biomagnification in food chains, and presence in humans (including in breast milk) led to severe restrictions being placed on its use, particularly in the developed world. However, its [...]... Read more »
Bouwman, H., van den Berg, H., & Kylin, H. (2011) DDT and Malaria Prevention: Addressing the Paradox. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002127
by Janel Kopp in the Node
The Node’s staff has kindly given me the opportunity to write a background piece, placing into context the results of our studies described in the paper, “Sox9 ductal cells are multipotent progenitors throughout development but do not produce new endocrine cells in the normal or injured adult pancreas” (released today in Development; http://dev.biologists.org/lookup/doi/10.1242/dev.056499). For many [...]... Read more »
Janel L. Kopp, Claire L. Dubois, Ashleigh E. Schaffer, Ergeng Hao, Hung Ping Shih, Philip A. Seymour, Jenny Ma, & Maike Sander. (2011) Sox9 ductal cells are multipotent progenitors throughout development but do not produce new endocrine cells in the normal or injured adult pancreas . Development, 138(4), 653-665. info:/10.1242/dev.056499
We all know of men's warm, protective feelings for nuts, but why all the male interest in Brazil nuts? It might be the shape, if not the texture, but I think the answer lies in the Brazil nut's high concentration of selenium. Selenium is protective against prostate cancer, and good for testicular development (fetal period . . . sorry guys) and possibly protective against other oxidative-stress-induced ailments, testicular or not. On the other hand, selenium, at high concentrations can res........ Read more »
Chang, J. (1995) Selenium content of Brazil nuts from two geographic locations in Brazil. Chemosphere, 30(4), 801-802. DOI: 10.1016/0045-6535(94)00409-N
ATIF, F., YOUSUF, S., & AGRAWAL, S. (2008) Restraint stress-induced oxidative damage and its amelioration with selenium. European Journal of Pharmacology, 600(1-3), 59-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.09.029
Brozmanová J, Mániková D, Vlčková V, & Chovanec M. (2010) Selenium: a double-edged sword for defense and offence in cancer. Archives of toxicology, 84(12), 919-38. PMID: 20871980
A moderately unforgiving critique of an interesting theory of music cognition. Are musical preferences based on the brain's enjoyment of auditory compressibility?... Read more »
Nicholas J Hudson. (2011) Musical beauty and information compression: Complex to the ear but simple to the mind?. BioMed Central. info:/10.1186/1756-0500-4-9
The discovery of Mirror Neurons in Macaque monkeys has lead to theories of the neurophysiological substrate of speech perception being grounded in mirror neurons. This is also relevant to the evolution of speech as if ability to perceive a rapid stream of phonemes is present in species such as macaques then this provides a foundation on which . . . → Read More: Are mirror neurons the basis of speech perception?... Read more »
Rogalsky, C., Love, T., Driscoll, D., Anderson, S., & Hickok, G. (2011) Are mirror neurons the basis of speech perception? Evidence from five cases with damage to the purported human mirror system. Neurocase, 1-10. DOI: 10.1080/13554794.2010.509318
Research published in Biological Invasions shows that Australian redback spiders are invading New Zealand and could become established in many urban areas around major ports.
The paper, The invasive Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell 1870 (Araneae: Theridiidae): current and potential distributions, and likely impacts, details recorded sightings of redback spiders in New Zealand, then used biological and climatic information to reveal where redbacks could establish. War........ Read more »
Cor J. Vink, José G. B. Derraik, Craig B. Phillips, & Phil J. Sirvid. (2010) The invasive Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell 1870 (Araneae: Theridiidae): current and potential distributions, and likely impacts . Biological Invasions. info:/
Science has a lot of problems. Or rather, scientometrics has a lot of problems. Scientific careers are built off the publish or perish foundation of citation counts. Journals are ranked by impact factors. There are serious problems with this system, and many ideas have been offered on how to change it, but so far little has actually been affected. Many journals, including the PLoS and Frontiers series, are making efforts to bring about change, but they are mostly taking a social tactic: ranking ........ Read more »
Robinson KA, & Goodman SN. (2011) A systematic examination of the citation of prior research in reports of randomized, controlled trials. Annals of Internal Medicine, 154(1), 50-5. PMID: 21200038
Our brains have evolved to be good at certain things: seeing, hearing, learning language, and interacting with other similar brains, to name a few examples. But say you want it to do something new – look at symbols...
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Dehaene S, Pegado F, Braga LW, Ventura P, Nunes Filho G, Jobert A, Dehaene-Lambertz G, Kolinsky R, Morais J, & Cohen L. (2010) How learning to read changes the cortical networks for vision and language. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1359-64. PMID: 21071632
Researchers in this week's Journal of Neuroscience have identified the neurophysiological and sensory properties of EVOO, which strangely enough, activate the same oral/throat cells that ibuprofen do.... Read more »
Peyrot des Gachons C, Uchida K, Bryant B, Shima A, Sperry JB, Dankulich-Nagrudny L, Tominaga M, Smith AB 3rd, Beauchamp GK, & Breslin PA. (2011) Unusual pungency from extra-virgin olive oil is attributable to restricted spatial expression of the receptor of oleocanthal. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(3), 999-1009. PMID: 21248124
Biologists don’t know a whole lot about sexual selection in Koala bears; however, there are clear reasons for our knowledge gap. First, these notoriously cute and cuddly little marsupials spend a good deal of their time high in the treetops chewing on Eucalyptus leaves (rather than engaging in complicated courtship battles). Indeed – in [...]... Read more »
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