Post List

  • March 19, 2010
  • 03:59 AM

How to give advice

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

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 »

Dalal, R., & Bonaccio, S. (2010) What types of advice do decision-makers prefer?. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2009.11.007  

  • March 19, 2010
  • 03:12 AM

How is ECT depicted in the British Press?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

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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  • March 19, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

Glucagon for weight loss?

by David Bradley in Reactive Reports Chemistry Blog

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  

  • March 18, 2010
  • 11:14 PM

The D225G change in 2009 H1N1 influenza virus

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 »

  • March 18, 2010
  • 10:02 PM

The Eco-Elite

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

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  

  • March 18, 2010
  • 08:12 PM

Germs in Tobacco

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

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 »

  • March 18, 2010
  • 05:05 PM

Parkinsonian emotion recognition impairment better accounted for by sleep deprivation

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

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 »

  • March 18, 2010
  • 04:25 PM

Death by human stampede

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

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  

  • March 18, 2010
  • 03:54 PM

Unique Fossils Record the Dining Habits of Ancient Sharks

by Laelaps in Laelaps

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 »


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  

  • March 18, 2010
  • 02:12 PM

“Skunk bear” snowfall ecology (a.k.a what wolverines want)

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

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  

  • March 18, 2010
  • 01:51 PM

On the Origins of Polar bears

by TwoYaks in Gene Flow

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  

  • March 18, 2010
  • 01:48 PM

LRR proteins help neurons find a partner

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

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 »

  • March 18, 2010
  • 01:43 PM

Birth Control: Desire on Schedule

by agoldstein in WiSci

Oral contraceptives can actually change a woman's mate preference...with detrimental consequences.... Read more »

Wedekind C, Seebeck T, Bettens F, & Paepke AJ. (1995) MHC-dependent mate preferences in humans. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 260(1359), 245-9. PMID: 7630893  

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  

  • March 18, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

And The Winner Is…

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 »

  • March 18, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Qualitative exercise adherence studies - participants with back pain and knee pain

by PhD Blogger in Exercise Psychology

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 »

  • March 18, 2010
  • 11:32 AM

Antibiotics Can Cause Gut Related Diseases

by Michael Ash in Nutri-Link Ltd - Clinical Education

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 »

Hooper LV. (2009) Do symbiotic bacteria subvert host immunity?. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 7(5), 367-74. PMID: 19369952  

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  

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  

  • March 18, 2010
  • 11:30 AM

Tasmanian devil colony shows immunity against cancer

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

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 »

  • March 18, 2010
  • 11:19 AM

When population booms in poor nations

by Dave in The Daily Monthly

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/

  • March 18, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Quality vs. quantity in protecting habitat for birds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

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 »

  • March 18, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Are big brains better for long trips?

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

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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