Post List

  • November 3, 2010
  • 10:08 AM

Southern Raptors Had Weird Teeth

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Thanks to plenty of good press from movies, documentaries, books and toys, over the past thirty years, Deinonychus and Velociraptor have become the quintessential dromaeosaurid (“raptor”) dinosaurs. They even rival the “Prize Fighter of Antiquity”—Tyrannosaurus rex—in fame these days. But these two sickle-clawed dinosaurs represent only part of a diverse group of animals that were [...]... Read more »

Federico A. Gianechini, Peter J. Makovicky, and Sebastián Apesteguía. (2010) The teeth of the unenlagiine theropod Buitreraptor from the Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina, and the unusual dentition of the Gondwanan dromaeosaurids . Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. info:/

  • November 3, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

population genetics, evolution, and ocean ecosystems (repost) [We Beasties]

by Heather Olins in Food Matters

[This post was originally published at]

I was trained as an Environmental Scientist long before I was at all interested in Microbes. So, I get excited when I come across microbial studies that are environmentally relevant. I get particularly nerd-cited when these studies take place in the ocean. A paper published in PNAS last month describes identifies what may be the key environmental factor distinguishing the evolution of microbial populations in the North Atlantic........ Read more »

Coleman ML, & Chisholm SW. (2010) Ecosystem-specific selection pressures revealed through comparative population genomics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20937887  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

population genetics, evolution, and ocean ecosystems (repost)

by Kevin Bonham in Food Matters

[This post was originally published at]

I was trained as an Environmental Scientist long before I was at all interested in Microbes. So, I get excited when I come across microbial studies that are environmentally relevant. I get particularly nerd-cited when these studies take place in the ocean. A paper published in PNAS last month describes identifies what may be the key environmental factor distinguishing the evolution of microbial populations in the North Atlantic........ Read more »

Coleman ML, & Chisholm SW. (2010) Ecosystem-specific selection pressures revealed through comparative population genomics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20937887  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 09:55 AM

Pitch discrimination in autism - links to language delay?

by Jon Brock in Cracking the Enigma

Until recently, research on perception in autism has focused primarily on the visual modality. However, there is now a growing body of research on auditory processing. Of particular note are two recent studies, both published in the journal Neuropsychologia, which report enhanced auditory discrimination abilities in a subgroup of individuals on the autism spectrum.The first of these studies was conducted by Catherine Jones and colleagues from the Institute of Education in London, who tested 72 a........ Read more »

Bonnel A, McAdams S, Smith B, Berthiaume C, Bertone A, Ciocca V, Burack JA, & Mottron L. (2010) Enhanced pure-tone pitch discrimination among persons with autism but not Asperger syndrome. Neuropsychologia, 48(9), 2465-75. PMID: 20433857  

Jones CR, Happé F, Baird G, Simonoff E, Marsden AJ, Tregay J, Phillips RJ, Goswami U, Thomson JM, & Charman T. (2009) Auditory discrimination and auditory sensory behaviours in autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychologia, 47(13), 2850-8. PMID: 19545576  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 09:15 AM

Tip of the Week: VISTA Enhancer Browser

by Mary in OpenHelix

At the recent (and excellent) Beyond the Genome 2010 conference, Len Pennachio gave a talk about the VISTA Enhancer Browser that reminded me how much I have always liked this project. It’s the kind of project I’d do if I had a lab: it takes the computational data we’ve been accumulating + developmental biology bench techniques = cool new insights into the function of conserved regions of the genome that we previously didn’t know much about.
The foundation of the project ........ Read more »

Visel, A., Blow, M., Li, Z., Zhang, T., Akiyama, J., Holt, A., Plajzer-Frick, I., Shoukry, M., Wright, C., Chen, F.... (2009) ChIP-seq accurately predicts tissue-specific activity of enhancers. Nature, 457(7231), 854-858. DOI: 10.1038/nature07730  

Visel, A., Minovitsky, S., Dubchak, I., & Pennacchio, L. (2007) VISTA Enhancer Browser--a database of tissue-specific human enhancers. Nucleic Acids Research, 35(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkl822  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 09:13 AM

Cola Drinking Frequency Associated with Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a condition we hear about increasingly that relates usually to pre-diabetes (type II), obesity and other factors that create a perfect storm of mainly lifestyle-oriented disease.A recent report that looked at a survey of near 18000 people in Norway shows a pretty strong correlation between something as simple as cola consumption and MetS.The simple take away is: drinking more than one glass of cola a day, coupled with ANY of the risk factors associated with MetS mean........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2010
  • 09:11 AM

Why Are Some Birthdays Easier to Remember Than Others?

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

We’ve all forgotten a friend or family member’s birthday. Isn’t it always easier, though, to remember someone’s birthday if it happens to fall in the same week or month as ... Read more »

  • November 3, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Between two host plants: The middle road doesn't work for hybrid butterflies

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

New species form when separate populations of related organisms are no longer able to interbreed. Reproductive isolation can arise if two populations evolve different mating behaviors, or lifestyles so different that individuals from different populations don't even encounter each other—but it need not mean that matings between the two populations never occur. In fact, speciation can arise in the face of quite a lot of interbreeding, so long as the hybrids produced by interbreeding are less fi........ Read more »

Singer, M.C., & Wee, B. (2005) Spatial pattern in checkerspot butterfly-host plant association at local, metapopulation and regional scales. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 347-61. info:/

  • November 3, 2010
  • 08:56 AM

Magnetic necklaces, Holographic bracelets, and Other Totems in Sports

by Brad Walters in Cortical Hemming and Hawing

If you have watched any of the Major League Baseball playoffs recently, you can't help but notice the twisty, braided necklaces that have become an all too popular fashion accessory for many of the players.  Or maybe you have caught a glimpse of a shiny "power balance" bracelet on your favorite, baseball, football, or basketball player.  Of course, there is absolutely no evidence that any of these things actually have any of the amazing effects they claim (enhanced balance or stamina o........ Read more »

Clark VR, Hopkins WG, Hawley JA, & Burke LM. (2000) Placebo effect of carbohydrate feedings during a 40-km cycling time trial. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 32(9), 1642-7. PMID: 10994918  

Damisch L, Stoberock B, & Mussweiler T. (2010) Keep your fingers crossed!: how superstition improves performance. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(7), 1014-20. PMID: 20511389  

Beedie CJ, Stuart EM, Coleman DA, & Foad AJ. (2006) Placebo effects of caffeine on cycling performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 38(12), 2159-64. PMID: 17146324  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 08:51 AM

Blindfolds and Proprioception: Investigating the Dynamic Position Sense in Right-handed Participants

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

Ever been embarrassed when you missed a high-five in a busy hallway? If you have ever heard of the trick about watching the other person’s elbow to not miss a high-five, you probably use it every time. You probably high-five with your dominant hand also. Have you ever tried to high-five when blindfolded? You cannot use this trick if you are blindfolded!... Read more »

Goble, D.J. . (2010) Upper limb asymmetries in the perception of proprioceptively determined dynamic position sense. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36(3), 768-775. info:/10.1037/a0018392

  • November 3, 2010
  • 08:20 AM

Seeing and Believing and Reducing Prejudice

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Mel Gibson certainly is not the only celebrity to rant racist statements while raving drunk. And we do have evidence that we are less able to censor ourselves when we are run-down and tired. So how (in brief) can you actually reduce prejudicial behavior? We’ve written a lot about race and racism here so it’s [...]

Related posts:Arkansas: If a judge calls you a ‘slut’ in open court, it doesn’t show prejudice
... Read more »

Stewart TL, Latu IM, Branscombe NR, & Denney HT. (2010) Yes We Can!: Prejudice Reduction Through Seeing (Inequality) and Believing (in Social Change). Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS. PMID: 20889931  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 08:08 AM

How To Form A Habit

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

We’ve all wondered how to get our patients to change their life habits (to the better of course…in our minds). In fact, the behavioural and physical therapies depend on us being able to convince patients to develop new habits – to  bend and straighten their knees a few times before getting up from prolonged sitting [...]... Read more »

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C., Potts, H., & Wardle, J. (2009) How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.674  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The Psychology of Poker

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

You are playing poker with a stranger whose betting and bluffing strategies are unknown to you. How do you decide if he is bluffing? Research shows that first impression of opponents’ trustworthiness influences your decision. You fold more often playing against trustworthy-looking opponents than against untrustworthy or poker-faced opponents. ... Read more »

Schlicht, E., Shimojo, S., Camerer, C., Battaglia, P., & Nakayama, K. (2010) Human Wagering Behavior Depends on Opponents' Faces. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011663  

Oosterhof, N., & Todorov, A. (2008) The functional basis of face evaluation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(32), 11087-11092. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0805664105  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Excess Weight Gain in Pregnancy Leads to Bigger Babies

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

Readers of these pages are by now quite familiar with the increasing evidence showing that what happens to the fetus in utero may be a key determinant of obesity risk later in life. Thus, both small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age babies appear at increased risk for becoming obese kids (and adults).
One of the important determinants of infant [...]... Read more »

  • November 3, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Why a lie about sharks beats the truth about mole rats

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

“Sharks don’t get cancer.”

Many people have heard this, and many people believe it, even if they wouldn’t go so far as to buy a cancer treatment from shark materials. Even the BBC fell for this myth. You can find refutations from Nerdy Christie Wilcox, with some additional info from Why Sharks Matter.

I don’t want to rehash the debunking of the myth here. Instead, I want to talk about why people aren’t rushing out to buy naked mole rats.

For animal behaviour researchers, the naked........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2010
  • 07:31 AM

What is it like to be a bat?

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

The question often quoted is “what is it like to be a bat?” but this question will eventually be answered in a scientific way, by artists too, but probably will still worry some philosophers. A recent paper by Greif and Siemers makes a start at a scientific understanding.
Here is the abstract:
In the course of their [...]... Read more »

  • November 3, 2010
  • 07:28 AM

Q&A: Tackling TB in Peru

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

Up to a third of the world’s population are infected with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), according to the World Health Organization. The disease kills about two million people every year – more than any other single infection. Moreover, levels of multidrug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) TB [...]... Read more »

Ramos E, Schumacher SG, Siedner M, Herrera B, Quino W, Alvarado J, Montoya R, Grandjean L, Martin L, Sherman JM.... (2010) Optimizing tuberculosis testing for basic laboratories. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 83(4), 896-901. PMID: 20889887  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 06:55 AM

Children's reasoning about when it's okay to reject their peers

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The playground sight of a group friends rejecting a lone child betrays an ugly side of human nature. An intriguing new cross-cultural study has examined the development of reasoning about social rejection in young children and teenagers, revealing a surprising level of sophistication.

Yoonjung Park and Melanie Killen found that by age ten, children in the USA and South Korea already consider rejecting a peer based on their nationality or gender to be morally worse than peer rejection based on t........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2010
  • 06:14 AM

Shield or target? A downside of immune evasion

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

T cells (green) and herpesvirus-infected cells (red) (from Akiko Iwasaki) We know that lots of viruses, especially herpesviruses, block antigen presentation. The assumption has been that they are thereby preventing T cells from recognizing infected cells, though long-term readers of this blog1 will know that I’ve been puzzled about the details of this for quite [...]... Read more »

  • November 3, 2010
  • 05:55 AM

Organizational Risk Perception and Reduction

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Today I read a rather old article from 1995 about "Organizational Risk Perception and Reduction: A Literature Review" by Vincent-Wayne Mitchell, now at the Cass Business School in London. I present it here since I think most of the concepts and strategies are still valid.

Objective and Methodology
The objective of Mitchell was to show the status of current research on how risks are perceived in organizational buyer behavior and what can be done to reduce these risk. He therefore conducts ........ Read more »

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