Post List

  • December 14, 2010
  • 04:21 PM

Ever Get Lost in a Building?

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Why do some people get lost in buildings and others always know north from south? Differences in spatial skills, experience, and preferred strategies for finding our way are part of ... Read more »

Carlson, L.A., Hölscher, C., Shipley, T.F., & Dalton, R.C. (2010) Getting Lost in Buildings. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(5). info:/

  • December 14, 2010
  • 03:53 PM

Looking at you, looking at me: The effect of clinical encounters

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I’ve been browsing the databases for information on clinical encounters. I do this because while I’m well aware of many papers produced on the topic of patient-related predictors of outcome, the swing towards considering clinician characteristics as predictors of outcome means I hope to see more published on this incredibly important topic. A wee while … Read more... Read more »

  • December 14, 2010
  • 02:51 PM

Where can we find arsenic in a DNA structure?

by Sandra Porter in Discovering Biology in a Digital World

It's been interesting to watch as microbiology's own cold fusion debate has been raging. It began with an extraordinary claim about bacteria using arsenate as a replacement when phosphate concentrations are low (1). 

It progressed when at least two scientist / bloggers ( here, and here) (not bloggers! the horrror! how uncivil!) gave public "journal club" presentations on blogs (envision dripping slime).

It continued with the science journalists lamenting about having swallowed the hype......... Read more »

Wolfe-Simon, F., Blum, J., Kulp, T., Gordon, G., Hoeft, S., Pett-Ridge, J., Stolz, J., Webb, S., Weber, P., Davies, P.... (2010) A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197258  

  • December 14, 2010
  • 11:53 AM

Putting leukaemia stem cells into reverse

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Stem cells are ‘starter’ cells that produce all the organs and tissues of the body. As a baby grows in the womb, its stem cells churn out brand new specialised cells that will form an entire body, from lungs, liver and brain to head, shoulders, knees and toes. And as adults, we still have stem [...]... Read more »

Yeung, J., Esposito, M., Gandillet, A., Zeisig, B., Griessinger, E., Bonnet, D., & So, C. (2010) β-Catenin Mediates the Establishment and Drug Resistance of MLL Leukemic Stem Cells. Cancer Cell, 18(6), 606-618. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2010.10.032  

  • December 14, 2010
  • 11:20 AM

Acupuncture for treatment of lazy eye

by Tantalus Prime in Tantalus Prime

Non-traditional medical treatments in the news always perk my ears. And if the rearchers were looking for, and found, no difference between the traditional and non-traditional treatments, I get a little suspicious (1). And when I see that a reviewer for a popular medical website calls the research sound, I see that as a challenge. Such is the case with Zhao et al. (2010). Researchers compared standard treatment of lazy eye, a patch over the sound eye and daily near vision exercises, with acu........ Read more »

Jianhao Zhao, MD; Dennis S. C. Lam, MD, FRCOphth; Li Jia Chen, PhD; Yunxiu Wang, BMed; Chongren Zheng, DEpid; Qiaoer Lin, DN; Srinivas K. Rao, FRCS; Dorothy S. P. Fan, FRCS; Mingzhi Zhang, MD; Ping Chung Leung, MD; Robert Ritch, MD, FRCOphth. (2010) Randomized Controlled Trial of Patching vs Acupunct Children Aged 7 to 12 Years. Archives of Opthalmology, 128(10), 1510-1517. info:/10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.306

  • December 14, 2010
  • 10:54 AM

What Do We Know About Spinosaurs?

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

When I was a kid, Spinosaurus was one of my favorite dinosaurs. There was something so wonderfully odd about a massive predator with a sail on its back, but the trouble was that no one had a good idea what this animal looked like. Spinosaurs have been known to paleontologists since 1820. The trouble was [...]... Read more »

Bertin, Tor. (2010) A Catalogue of Material and Review of the Spinosauridae. PalArch's Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 7(4), 1-39. info:/

  • December 14, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Coevolutionary constraints may divide Joshua trees

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Scientists love it when the real world validates our more theoretical predictions. It helps, of course, if those predictions are rooted in the real world to begin with. This is more or less what happened in my own research, with results reported in two just-published scientific papers. In the first, which I discussed last week, my coauthor and I showed that some kinds of species interactions can reduce the diversity of the interacting species [PDF]. Today, I'm turning to the second, in which my ........ Read more »

Godsoe, W., Yoder, J.B., Smith, C.I, Drummond, C., & Pellmyr, O. (2010) Absence of population-level phenotype matching in an obligate pollination mutualism. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23(12), 2739-46. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02120.x  

Yoder, J.B., & Nuismer, S. (2010) When does coevolution promote diversification?. The American Naturalist, 176(6), 802-817. DOI: 10.1086/657048  

  • December 14, 2010
  • 09:04 AM

other universes, found only on the arxiv blog…

by Greg Fish in weird things

Is it just me or is the CMBR becoming more like a Rorschach test for some theoretical physicists as of late? I mean, first we have Roger Penrose seeing traces of past Big Bangs and assembling them into a somewhat shaky and dubious model of cyclical cosmology, and now we have a team of astronomers [...]... Read more »

Stephen M. Feeney, Matthew C. Johnson, Daniel J. Mortlock, & Hiranya V. Peiris. (2010) First Observational Tests of Eternal Inflation. n/a. arXiv: 1012.1995v1

  • December 14, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

W4A Paper Deadline is ‘Danger Close’ – #accessibility #a11y #w4a11

by Simon Harper in Thinking Out Loud

So we are coming very close to the W4A Paper deadline for the 2011 edition, indeed, it is on the 10-Jan-2011.... Read more »

Vigo, Markel and Arrue, Myriam and Brajnik, Giorgio and Lomuscio, Raffaella and Abascal, Julio. (2007) Quantitative metrics for measuring web accessibility. Proceedings of the 2007 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility, 1(1), 99-107. info:/10.1145/1243441.1243465

Bigham, Jeffrey P. and Ladner, Richard E. (2007) Accessmonkey: a collaborative scripting framework for web users and developers. Proceedings of the 2007 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility , 1(1), 25-34. info:/10.1145/1243441.1243452

  • December 14, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Charting the depths of RNAi

by Linda in Oz Blog No. 159

If you haven't heard of RNA interference yet, rest assured. You will the next 5-10 years to come. The Pharmaceutical industry is already hailing it as the next big thing in medicine since the advent of antibiotics. However, with all it's promise, there's still heaps we don't know about it. It's like exploring the "new world" looking for resources. ... Read more »

  • December 14, 2010
  • 04:39 AM

Electroneuronography in determining the prognosis of Bell’s Palsy

by Debajyoti Datta in Medicine...Life

Bell’s palsy or idiopathic facial nerve palsy is the commonest cause of facial nerve paralysis. It is sudden in onset and unilateral. The cause of Bell’s palsy remains controversial.... Read more »

  • December 14, 2010
  • 02:00 AM

Are internet daters more likely to lie about themselves?

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Strategic misrepresentation in online dating: The effects of gender, self-monitoring, and personality traits   From Journal of Social and Personal Relationships  Internet dating is a growing trend, but can we trust the information that people provide about themselves via online dating services? The researchers in this study investigated over 5000 individuals dating online, using surveys [...]... Read more »

  • December 14, 2010
  • 12:07 AM

Talk About a Global Obesity Problem: Animals Are Getting Fatter Too

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Obesity is a growing global health problem, and we all know why, don't we? It's the fault of corporations that sell corn syrup, and a starkly unequal society (why would you want to quit smoking if you're trapped below the poverty level?) Or, if you prefer a different flavor of self-righteousness ...Read More
... Read more »

Klimentidis, Y., Beasley, T., Lin, H., Murati, G., Glass, G., Guyton, M., Newton, W., Jorgensen, M., Heymsfield, S., Kemnitz, J.... (2010) Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1890  

Keith, S., Redden, D., Katzmarzyk, P., Boggiano, M., Hanlon, E., Benca, R., Ruden, D., Pietrobelli, A., Barger, J., Fontaine, K.... (2006) Putative contributors to the secular increase in obesity: exploring the roads less traveled. International Journal of Obesity, 30(11), 1585-1594. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803326  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 09:25 PM

Squid-eating Whales Pay the Price in Pollutants

by Danna Staaf in Squid A Day

All this talking I've been doing about those nasty ol' sperm whales hunting down and devouring poor defenseless squid (okay, they're not quite defenseless, but still) might make you think I'm a whale-hater. Not so! In fact, I harbor (heh heh) considerable sympathy for the cetaceans of the world, especially with regard to their tragic toxic burden.
read more... Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 06:27 PM

John Everett, part IV.0: Things and Things’ Changing, dva

by csoeder in Topologic Oceans

People who minimize or deny the threat of climate change (or ocean acidification, as in part IV of Dr. Everett’s testimony) will often demand that the change be “unprecedented” – that nothing like it has ever happened before in Earth history. (eg, here) The reasoning seems to be that if there have been ecological events like [...]... Read more »

Barrett RD, Paccard A, Healy TM, Bergek S, Schulte PM, Schluter D, & Rogers SM. (2010) Rapid evolution of cold tolerance in stickleback. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 20685715  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 04:48 PM

At a Loss for Words: Modern Lessons From a Lost Language

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

It's hard to imagine that knowledge could be lost today. Technology seems to have put the ability to know almost everything within our grasp. So when researchers announced that they had "found" a previously unknown Peruvian language earlier this year, it was strangely tantalizing. Here was knowledge that we couldn't Google. We could plumb the archives and look for clues that might offer answers, but true understanding would not be easily attainable. And in all likelihood, we would have to resign........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 04:28 PM


by ABK in Environment and Health

Congratulations to Walid D. Fakhouri, Joseph L. Nuñez, and Frances Trail for their recently published work on reduction of growth hormone production by the herbicide Atrazine.  Growth hormone is important, as will sound obvious, because it plays a key role in growth (cell proliferation) but also because it influences production of many other hormones including those important in sexual development and reproduction. Changes in growth hormone produce a range of effects that extend far b........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 02:46 PM

Can Asthma Inhalers Enhance Athletic Performance?

by Brian Mossop in The Decision Tree

My latest story for Wired Playbook highlights new research that investigates whether the common asthma medication, salbutamol/albuterol, could enhance athletic performance when taken in extremely large doses. A research team led by Jimmi Elers at the Respiratory Research Unit at Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen was curious: Although taking a few puffs of salbutamol hasn’t shown [...]... Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 01:52 PM

Don’t Understand a Foreigner? Be a Copycat

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

In conversation, we often imitate each other’s speech style and may even change our accent to fit that of the person we’re talking to. A recent study in Psychological Science, ... Read more »

Adank, P., Hagoort, P., & Bekkering, H. (2010) Imitation Improves Language Comprehension. Psychological Science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 21135202  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 01:31 PM

Knowing how is not equal to doing

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

There have been several attempts to develop a standardised approach to self management – one of the most popular in New Zealand is the Flinders Program (TM). This is a programme developed in Australia from the 1990 Australian Coordinated Care Trials. It’s based on cognitive behavioural therapy, includes problem solving and motivational interviewing techniques, and … Read more... Read more »

M Horsburgh, J Bycroft, F Goodyear-Smith, D Roy, F Mahony, E Donnell, D Miller. (2010) The Flinders Program of Chronic Condition Self-Management in New Zealand: Survey findings. Journal of Primary Health Care, 2(4), 288-293. info:/

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