Information, information, information. That's the message from one of the first studies to look at people's preferences for different forms of advice. Reeshad Dalal and Silvia Bonaccio presented hundreds of students with fictional decision-making scenarios, such as choosing which job to apply for. The students were offered various permutations of advice and asked to say how satisfied they'd be if a friend had given them that advice. The different kinds of advice were: which option to go for; whi........ Read more »
From all the newspapers in the last seven years in British national newspapers about 348 mentioned ECT or electroconvulsive therapy or electroshock and it’s other synonyms. Overall 111 articles (31,9%) portrayed ECT negatively, 198 articles were neutral and 39 were positive. A substantial comment on ECT was published in 44 (12,6%) articles. The negative comments [...]
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Euba R, & Crugel M. (2009) The depiction of electroconvulsive therapy in the British press. The journal of ECT, 25(4), 265-9. PMID: 19444139
Glucagon for weight loss seems to be a common search phrase hitting my science site, so I thought it was time to write a short summary of what glucagon is and what role it might have to play in weight loss and addressing the growing problem of obesity.
Glucagon is a hormone with the opposite action [...]... Read more »
Halford JC, Boyland EJ, Blundell JE, Kirkham TC, & Harrold JA. (2010) Pharmacological management of appetite expression in obesity. Nature reviews. Endocrinology. PMID: 20234354
by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog
Last year a mutation in the HA gene of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus was identified in isolates from patients with severe disease. At the time I concluded that the emergence of this change was not a concern. Recently the Norwegian Institute of Public Health reported that the mutation, which causes a change from the amino [...]... Read more »
Kilander A, Rykkvin R, Dudman SG, & Hungnes O. (2010) Observed association between the HA1 mutation D222G in the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus and severe clinical outcome, Norway 2009-2010. Euro surveillance : bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles , 15(9). PMID: 20214869
Takemae N, Ruttanapumma R, Parchariyanon S, Yoneyama S, Hayashi T, Hiramatsu H, Sriwilaijaroen N, Uchida Y, Kondo S, Yagi H.... (2010) Alterations in receptor-binding properties of swine influenza viruses of the H1 subtype after isolation in embryonated chicken eggs. The Journal of general virology, 91(Pt 4), 938-48. PMID: 20007353
Garcia-Sastre, A. (2010) Influenza Virus Receptor Specificity. Disease and Transmission. American Journal Of Pathology. DOI: 10.2353/ajpath.2010.100066
Consumers may choose green products to boost social status
... Read more »
Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J., & B. Van den Bergh. (2010) Going green to be seen: Status, reputation, and conspicuous conservation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(3), 392-404. DOI: 10.1037/a0017346
Bacteria found in major cigarette brands.
It’s not enough that smoking causes all manner of cardiopulmonary complications, or that more than 3,000 chemicals and heavy metals have been identified as additives. Now comes evidence that tobacco particles extracted from cigarettes contain markers for hundreds of known bacteria. Lung infections in some smokers may be caused by germs on shredded tobacco, rather than the act of smoking itself.
According to a report by Janet Raloff in Science News, Am........ Read more »
Sapkota, A., Berger, S., & Vogel, T. (2009) Human Pathogens Abundant in the Bacterial Metagenome of Cigarettes. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(3), 351-356. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901201
Pauly, J., Smith, L., Rickert, M., Hutson, A., & Paszkiewicz, G. (2009) Review: Is lung inflammation associated with microbes and microbial toxins in cigarette tobacco smoke?. Immunologic Research, 46(1-3), 127-136. DOI: 10.1007/s12026-009-8117-6
The New York Times recently covered a paper by Grey and Tickle-Degnen, published in the journal Neuropsychology, finding that people with Parkinson's Disease (PD) are not able to recognize facial and vocal emotions very well. The article states that it's not clear why this seems to be the case. I briefly reviewed the original meta-analytic paper (the pdf can be found here) and saw that the research team accounted for 1) the emotion recognition tasks used, 2) the medication the participants were ........ Read more »
Gray HM, & Tickle-Degnen L. (2010) A meta-analysis of performance on emotion recognition tasks in Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychology, 24(2), 176-91. PMID: 20230112
Massicotte-Marquez J, Décary A, Gagnon JF, Vendette M, Mathieu A, Postuma RB, Carrier J, & Montplaisir J. (2008) Executive dysfunction and memory impairment in idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder. Neurology, 70(15), 1250-7. PMID: 18216303
Seugnet L, Galvin JE, Suzuki Y, Gottschalk L, & Shaw PJ. (2009) Persistent short-term memory defects following sleep deprivation in a drosophila model of Parkinson disease. Sleep, 32(8), 984-92. PMID: 19725249
Norlinah, M., Afidah, K., Noradina, A., Shamsul, A., Hamidon, B., Sahathevan, R., & Raymond, A. (2009) Sleep disturbances in Malaysian patients with Parkinson's disease using polysomnography and PDSS. Parkinsonism , 15(9), 670-674. DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2009.02.012
Over the past 30 years, stampedes have killed at least 7,000 people and injured another 14,000. That's the conclusion that Edbert Hsu (Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions) and colleagues reached after a painstaking trawl of news reports in the world's English-language media.The real toll is probably even higher, of course, but the data were enough to allow Hsu to work out the characteristics of the most lethal stampedes. They found reports on 215 stampedes, of which 49 occurred at sporting events........ Read more »
Hsieh, Y., Ngai, K., Burkle, F., & Hsu, E. (2009) Epidemiological Characteristics of Human Stampedes. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 3(4), 217-223. DOI: 10.1097/DMP.0b013e3181c5b4ba
A photograph and line drawing (left side) of the fossil dolphin Astadelphis gastaldii. The crescent-shaped line in the line drawing represents the bite of a large shark, with the red portions representing damage done directly to the bone. From Bianucci et al, 2010.
Shark attacks are events of speed and violence. When they have locked on to a prey item sharks seem to come out of nowhere, and though they can be quite gentle with their jaws (as on occasions when they are unsure about whether ........ Read more »
CHRISTY C. VISAGGI and STEPHEN J. GODFREY. (2010) VARIATION IN COMPOSITION AND ABUNDANCE OF MIOCENE SHARK TEETH FROM CALVERT CLIFFS, MARYLAND. Journal of Verterbrate Paleontology, 30(1), 26-35. info:/
Godfrey, S., & Smith, J. (2010) Shark-bitten vertebrate coprolites from the Miocene of Maryland. Naturwissenschaften. DOI: 10.1007/s00114-010-0659-x
BIANUCCI, G., SORCE, B., STORAI, T., & LANDINI, W. (2010) Killing in the Pliocene: shark attack on a dolphin from Italy. Palaeontology, 53(2), 457-470. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00945.x
Recently, the only known wolverine in Michigan passed away. Unlike the life and death of most wild animals, which unfold without human fanfare, her life and death were noticed. Scrutinized even. Rare species catch our attention. Rare species persisting outside their normal range even more so. Wolverines are often characterized as solitary creatures, thinly distributed [...]... Read more »
Copeland, J., McKelvey, K., Aubry, K., Landa, A., Persson, J., Inman, R., Krebs, J., Lofroth, E., Golden, H., Squires, J.... (2010) The bioclimatic envelope of the wolverine (Gulo gulo): do climatic constraints limit its geographic distribution?. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 88(3), 233-246. DOI: 10.1139/Z09-136
From PNAS March 16, 2010 vol. 107 no. 11 5053-5057 "Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear" Lindqvist et al. 2010.
The polar bear has become the flagship species in the climate-change discussion. However, little is known about how past climate impacted its evolution and persistence, given an extremely poor fossil record. Although it is ... Read more »
Lindqvist, C., Schuster, S., Sun, Y., Talbot, S., Qi, J., Ratan, A., Tomsho, L., Kasson, L., Zeyl, E., Aars, J.... (2010) Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(11), 5053-5057. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914266107
Matching 100 billion neurons with their appropriate partners is a daunting task, especially when each neuron can make synaptic contact with about 1,000 other cells. Nevertheless, the developing brain accomplishes this feat with remarkable specificity – neurons from each area of the brain send out axons which follow a stereotyped pathway to find their appropriate targets, guided by signpost proteins along the way. Once in the right general area they have to select specific cell types with whi........ Read more »
Ko J, Fuccillo MV, Malenka RC, & Südhof TC. (2009) LRRTM2 functions as a neurexin ligand in promoting excitatory synapse formation. Neuron, 64(6), 791-8. PMID: 20064387
de Wit J, Sylwestrak E, O'Sullivan ML, Otto S, Tiglio K, Savas JN, Yates JR 3rd, Comoletti D, Taylor P, & Ghosh A. (2009) LRRTM2 interacts with Neurexin1 and regulates excitatory synapse formation. Neuron, 64(6), 799-806. PMID: 20064388
Dolan J, Walshe K, Alsbury S, Hokamp K, O'Keeffe S, Okafuji T, Miller SF, Tear G, & Mitchell KJ. (2007) The extracellular leucine-rich repeat superfamily; a comparative survey and analysis of evolutionary relationships and expression patterns. BMC genomics, 320. PMID: 17868438
Oral contraceptives can actually change a woman's mate preference...with detrimental consequences.... Read more »
Roberts, S., Gosling, L., Carter, V., & Petrie, M. (2008) MHC-correlated odour preferences in humans and the use of oral contraceptives. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1652), 2715-2722. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0825
Garver-Apgar, C., Gangestad, S., Thornhill, R., Miller, R., & Olp, J. (2006) Major Histocompatibility Complex Alleles, Sexual Responsivity, and Unfaithfulness in Romantic Couples. Psychological Science, 17(10), 830-835. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01789.x
Alvergne, A., & Lummaa, V. (2010) Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?. Trends in Ecology , 25(3), 171-179. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.08.003
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
by Elio The transposases! The contest, in case you wonder, was for the most abundant set of genes in the known universe, or at least in the genomic data banks available on Earth. Aziz, Breitbart, and Edwards examined some 10 million genes from 2137 sequenced genomes (47 archaeal, 725 bacterial, 29 eukaryotic and 1336 viral) plus 187 metagenomes, in search...... Read more »
Aziz RK, Breitbart M, & Edwards RA. (2010) Transposases are the most abundant, most ubiquitous genes in nature. Nucleic acids research. PMID: 20215432
Slade et al. (2009) is a qualitative study on people with non-specific chronic low back pain and examines their exercise adherence. It examines their experiences of exercise past and present and also how they felt during the research study programme. Many of the findings are in line with expectations from people who have been unsuccessful at establishing long term exercise behaviour, low exercise self efficacy and feelings of fear and helplessness. The participants also reporte........ Read more »
Slade SC, Molloy E, & Keating JL. (2009) People with non-specific chronic low back pain who have participated in exercise programs have preferences about exercise: a qualitative study. The Australian journal of physiotherapy, 55(2), 115-21. PMID: 19463082
Michael Ash BSc (Hons), DO, ND FDipION reviews the current understanding of the role of antibiotics in the initiation of gut associated inflammation and local and systemic health problems, and briefly explores some strategies to prevent and manage this.... Read more »
Round JL, & Mazmanian SK. (2009) The gut microbiota shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease. Nature reviews. Immunology, 9(5), 313-23. PMID: 19343057
Round JL, O'Connell RM, & Mazmanian SK. (2010) Coordination of tolerogenic immune responses by the commensal microbiota. Journal of autoimmunity, 34(3). PMID: 19963349
Andersson DI, & Hughes D. (2010) Antibiotic resistance and its cost: is it possible to reverse resistance?. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 8(4), 260-71. PMID: 20208551
Belongia EA, & Schwartz B. (1998) Strategies for promoting judicious use of antibiotics by doctors and patients. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 317(7159), 668-71. PMID: 9728003
Wlodarska M, & Finlay BB. (2010) Host immune response to antibiotic perturbation of the microbiota. Mucosal immunology, 3(2), 100-3. PMID: 20016473
Mazmanian SK, Round JL, & Kasper DL. (2008) A microbial symbiosis factor prevents intestinal inflammatory disease. Nature, 453(7195), 620-5. PMID: 18509436
Johansson ME, Phillipson M, Petersson J, Velcich A, Holm L, & Hansson GC. (2008) The inner of the two Muc2 mucin-dependent mucus layers in colon is devoid of bacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(39), 15064-9. PMID: 18806221
Mack DR, Michail S, Wei S, McDougall L, & Hollingsworth MA. (1999) Probiotics inhibit enteropathogenic E. coli adherence in vitro by inducing intestinal mucin gene expression. The American journal of physiology, 276(4 Pt 1). PMID: 10198338
Brandl K, Plitas G, Mihu CN, Ubeda C, Jia T, Fleisher M, Schnabl B, DeMatteo RP, & Pamer EG. (2008) Vancomycin-resistant enterococci exploit antibiotic-induced innate immune deficits. Nature, 455(7214), 804-7. PMID: 18724361
Chang SH, & Dong C. (2007) A novel heterodimeric cytokine consisting of IL-17 and IL-17F regulates inflammatory responses. Cell research, 17(5), 435-40. PMID: 17452998
Hill DA, Hoffmann C, Abt MC, Du Y, Kobuley D, Kirn TJ, Bushman FD, & Artis D. (2010) Metagenomic analyses reveal antibiotic-induced temporal and spatial changes in intestinal microbiota with associated alterations in immune cell homeostasis. Mucosal immunology, 3(2), 148-58. PMID: 19940845
Kotowska M, Albrecht P, & Szajewska H. (2005) Saccharomyces boulardii in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in children: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Alimentary pharmacology , 21(5), 583-90. PMID: 15740542
In the tragic battle against devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), scientists may have found the first “glimmer of hope” near Cradle Mountain in northwestern Tasmania. At least that is what Katherine Belov of the University of Sydney and colleagues are saying about this unique colony that has resisted the disease. The results are paradoxical.... Read more »
Siddle, H., Marzec, J., Cheng, Y., Jones, M., & Belov, K. (2010) MHC gene copy number variation in Tasmanian devils: implications for the spread of a contagious cancer. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2362
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, population isn’t growing evenly across the world. While some areas are growing quickly, other places are stagnating. In nearly every case, population growth is slowest in rich countries and faster in poor countries. These two maps from the UN Population Division perhaps show the trend most dramatically:
As you can [...]... Read more »
Nikos Alexandratos. (2005) Countries with Rapid Population Growth and Resource Constraints: Issues of Food, Agriculture, and Development. Population and Development Review, 31(2), 237-258. info:other/
A new study from South Africa touches on an interesting conservation question about whether we should place greater importance on quality or quantity when it comes to protecting habitat to conserve biodiversity...... Read more »
Dures, S., & Cumming, G. (2010) The confounding influence of homogenising invasive species in a globally endangered and largely urban biome: Does habitat quality dominate avian biodiversity?. Biological Conservation, 143(3), 768-777. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.12.019
For many birds, migration is a major component of life. You'd expect think that migration would have a whole cascade of effects on those birds, including the nervous system. But which way?
On the one hand, migration might be correlated with large brains to handle the the complex navigation tasks. On the other hand, migration might be correlated with small brains that are energetically efficient.
Sol and colleagues compared over six hundred species of birds (measuring over 4,000 skulls). Speci........ Read more »
Sol, D., Garcia, N., Iwaniuk, A., Davis, K., Meade, A., Boyle, W., & Székely, T. (2010) Evolutionary Divergence in Brain Size between Migratory and Resident Birds. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009617
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