Post List

  • June 10, 2010
  • 08:03 AM

Does Darth Vader meet the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In a brazen act of arm-chair diagnosis, Eric Bui and colleagues at Toulouse University Hospital in France have written a short academic article arguing that the Star Wars character Darth Vader probably meets the diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD). The authors point to Anakin Skywalker's (as he was originally known) life history, including fatherly absence, early maternal separation and infantile illusions of omnipotence. They go on to claim that Skywalker meets six of ........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Why do urbanized watersheds lead to amphibian declines?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • June 10, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Mimics without models: Allopatric Batesians

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

I was imitating Jean Chrétien a while ago to tell an anecdote to one of my students.

I could have done the greatest, most perfect, most spot-on, hysterical impersonation of Chrétien ever.* It all would have been lost on this student. An American undergraduate would be unlikely to recognize a Canadian prime minister, no matter how distinctive his speaking style was. (And it was. Oh, how it was.)

That’s the problem with imitation: it only works if both parties recognize what&........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2010
  • 07:39 AM

Autism genetics, how do you copy?

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

Subtitle: Recent research identifies many changes in copy number that may point to genes that cause or are associated with autism.
In order to verify that important information has been conveyed over radio, the sender might ask “how do you copy” or, more briefly, “how copy” asking the receiver to tell the sender the information they [...]... Read more »

Pinto, D., Pagnamenta, A., Klei, L., Anney, R., Merico, D., Regan, R., Conroy, J., Magalhaes, T., Correia, C., Abrahams, B.... (2010) Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09146  

  • June 10, 2010
  • 06:29 AM

The Evolution of a Short Back

by zinjanthropus in A Primate of Modern Aspect

One of the issues raised by the recent Sarmiento comments is that of the Miocene apes and the evolution of a short back. All extant apes possess a “short back,” by which we mean a reduction in the lumbar spine combined with an upward elongation of the blades of the pelvis.  This back is a nice, [...]... Read more »

  • June 10, 2010
  • 05:37 AM

University of Toronto Scientist Driving Cell Culture Revolution

by aviwener in Canadian Biotechnologist 2.0

Dr. Aaron Wheeler from the University of Toronto has developed the first microfluidic system for “complete” cell culture (with passaging), powered by digital microfluidics. This system offers the advantage of using only a fraction of reagents usually required in cell culture and of automating and accelerating tedious manual tasks. In a review article published in [...]... Read more »

  • June 10, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Dairy prevents heart attacks?

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

A sarcastic thank you to Scott Gavura from Science Based Medicine and Science Based Pharmacy whose tweet lead me to suffer through reading the latest in a never ending stream of Big Milk sponsored published info-studies.This one?Funded by Big Milk with a first author who has had speaking gigs with the Swedish Dairy Association and the International Dairy Federation this study has been reported as being proof that dairy consumption reduces the risk of heart attacks.The study?The authors, via a pr........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2010
  • 01:57 AM

Metformin Raises Risk of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog

A recent study out of the Netherlands shows that type 2 diabetics taking insulin and metformin are at risk of clinically significant vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 deficiency may cause anemia, nerve damage (neuropathy), and dementia, among other problems. Metformin is the cornerstone of drug therapy for type 2 diabetes.  One reason is that it’s associated [...]... Read more »

  • June 9, 2010
  • 05:59 PM

Gulf Oil Spill Disaster: Spawn of the Living Dead for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna?

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

A recently published study suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct.... Read more »

Steven L. H. Teo, & Barbara A. Block. (2010) Comparative Influence of Ocean Conditions on Yellowfin and Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Catch from Longlines in the Gulf of Mexico. PLoS ONE, 5(5). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0010756

  • June 9, 2010
  • 05:41 PM

Religion and the case of the disappearing right-brain

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Studies of brain damage give a unique insight into how the mind works. If your behaviour changes when a specific lump is taken out, then that's pretty good evidence for the function of that particular lump.

So what happens when half your brain starts to rot away? Dennis Chan, a neurologist at the Institute of Neurology in London, decided to find out.

'Right temporal lobe atrophy' is a rare condition in which a major part of the right side of the brain simply withers away. You can see a particu........ Read more »

Chan, D., Anderson, V., Pijnenburg, Y., Whitwell, J., Barnes, J., Scahill, R., Stevens, J., Barkhof, F., Scheltens, P., Rossor, M.... (2009) The clinical profile of right temporal lobe atrophy. Brain, 132(5), 1287-1298. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awp037  

  • June 9, 2010
  • 05:03 PM

Southeast Asia in the Pleistocene, from grassland to rain forest

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate

I’ve been trying to keep up with the Gulf situation, so most of my reading of late has been dominated by those details, and the unread numbers in my RSS folders were a little intimidating, but I finally found some time to read some of the papers I’ve earmarked in the past month or so.

This study...

... Read more »

  • June 9, 2010
  • 03:56 PM

Understanding the Switch Process in Bipolar Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

(Brain Post Note: Hannah Dunbar is a summer research student from Oral Roberts University. Today she will be summarizing some of the key issues in the neurobiology of the switch process in bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a somewhat unique mental disorder in that the onset of a mood swing can be quite dramatic--a patient with bipolar disorder can be fine one day and manic the next. It is important to try to understand the pathophysiology behind this rapid switch mechanism.)Introduction:........ Read more »

Salvadore G, Quiroz JA, Machado-Vieira R, Henter ID, Manji HK, & Zarate CA Jr. (2010) The neurobiology of the switch process in bipolar disorder: a review. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 20492846  

  • June 9, 2010
  • 03:24 PM

New Zealand’s productivity paradox: Part VI

by Shaun Hendy in A Measure of Science

This is the last post in my series on Philip McCann’s paper [1], which considers New Zealand’s productivity paradox: why, despite being ranked very highly for the factors that are normally thought by economists to drive economic growth, is New Zealand’s economy is just an average performer? In the previous post, I discussed why McCann [...]... Read more »

  • June 9, 2010
  • 03:00 PM

The disc in sitting – much ado about nothing

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Then I went through physio school, I remember feeling more and more aware of how I sat, as the course went on. We were clearly learning our stuff – we knew, that back pain was caused in no small part by discs bulging – HANG ON! Let me start at the beginning (for as Mary [...]... Read more »

  • June 9, 2010
  • 12:48 PM

Counting Chinese Words

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

It has been said that "word frequency" is the most important variable in language research, despite the belief by many that it can't be used as a variable because no one really knows what a word is. (see: Minifalsehood: We can't tell what a word is!?!? and A run in my stocking ...)

A recent study in PLoS looks at a heretofore under investigated area, word/character use in Chinese. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • June 9, 2010
  • 12:38 PM

Positive emotions increase with old age; while negative emotions decline

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image via Wikipedia

As per a new study reported in PNAS, positive emotions and hedonic well being, like happiness and enjoyment, increase past the age of 50 (after reaching a nadir at that age)  , while negative emotions , like stress, worry and anger decline with age throughout.
This is the conclusion that Stone et al reached More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Schizophrenia and plasticity/neurogenisis: a case for positive selection? A recent s........ Read more »

Stone, A., Schwartz, J., Broderick, J., & Deaton, A. (2010) A snapshot of the age distribution of psychological well-being in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(22), 9985-9990. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003744107  

  • June 9, 2010
  • 12:17 PM

A new target for hepatitis C virus

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

When infection with hepatitis C virus goes from acute to chronic, severe liver disease may occur which requires organ transplantation. Nearly 200 million people are chronically infected with HCV, necessitating approaches to preventing and treating infections. No HCV vaccine is available, and current antiviral therapy consists of administration of interferon plus ribavirin, a combination that [...]... Read more »

Gao M, Nettles RE, Belema M, Snyder LB, Nguyen VN, Fridell RA, Serrano-Wu MH, Langley DR, Sun JH, O'Boyle DR 2nd.... (2010) Chemical genetics strategy identifies an HCV NS5A inhibitor with a potent clinical effect. Nature, 465(7294), 96-100. PMID: 20410884  

  • June 9, 2010
  • 11:08 AM

Galarraga's Almost Perfect Game and the Flash Lag Illusion

by Brad Walters in Cortical Hemming and Hawing

There's been a big sports story that has been getting a lot of press lately.  Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers was on his way to pitching a perfect game, that is, he had pitched 8 and 2/3 innings and hadn't let a single person get on base (no hits, no walks, just 3 batters up and 3 down, every inning).  Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay recently pitched a perfect game against the Florida Marlins, but don't be fooled... his perfect game was only the 20th in the history o........ Read more »

  • June 9, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

The "Big Four," part IV: Migration

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

This post is the last in a special series about four fundamental forces in evolution: natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, and migration.

It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that we got here, but it's just—it's just there it's a little different.
— Vincent, Pulp FictionDifferent places are different from each other. This is a truism bordering on tautology, but it also has real implications for the ways in which life evolves and diversifies. The spec........ Read more »

Good J.M., Hird S., Reid N., Demboski J.R., Steppan S.J., Martin-Nims T.R., & Sullivan J. (2008) Ancient hybridization and mitochondrial capture between two species of chipmunks. Molecular ecology, 17(5), 1313-27. PMID: 18302691  

Wright, S.J. (1943) Isolation by distance. Genetics, 139-56. info:other/PMC1209196

  • June 9, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

The Lies That Data Tell

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

Without a clear rationale for doing so, statistical significance testing on sample-level statistics can mislead and confuse. Schmidt (2010) provides a clear explanation of how to avoid this problem through psychometric meta-analysis.... Read more »

Schmidt, F. (2010) Detecting and correcting the lies that data tell. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 233-242. DOI: 10.1177/1745691610369339  

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