Some of the first organisms found on a newly risen or recently destroyed island are spiders. On mainlands, spiderlings of smaller species weave a tiny drag chute, perched atop the highest point in their immediate area – the leaf of an herb or the very tip of a blooming meadow grass – and let the breeze, even the slightest one, carry them away. Most only travel short distances, remaining in the ecosystem in which they were born, but some are spun upwards in varying winds, and swept into jet s........ Read more »
Whittaker, R., Triantis, K., & Ladle, R. (2008) A general dynamic theory of oceanic island biogeography. Journal of Biogeography, 35(6), 977-994. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2008.01892.x
Cardoso, P., Arnedo, M., Triantis, K., & Borges, P. (2010) Drivers of diversity in Macaronesian spiders and the role of species extinctions. Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02264.x
Do you think your teenager will drink alcohol? On a scale from 1 to 10, how likely do you think it your child will drink alcohol regularly as a teenager?Moms who underestimate the chances may actually prevent kids from drinking. That's good news, believing your kid won't drink can discourage your teen from drinking. But the opposite is also true... Moms who overestimate their kid's risk can end up promoting more drinking. We're talking self-fulfilling prophecy here. That's fancy talk........ Read more »
Madon, S., Guyll, M., Buller, A., Scherr, K., Willard, J., & Spoth, R. (2008) The mediation of mothers' self-fulfilling effects on their children's alcohol use: Self-verification, informational conformity, and modeling processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(2), 369-384. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.119
It's really hard for me to write about sharks. It makes me angry. Unlike with so many species under the threat of extinction, when I try to talk to people about sharks, the message just doesn't get through. Show them a movie about Taji and they get infuriated. Have them look into the eyes of a tiger cub and they are overwhelmed with emotion. Maybe it's that sharks aren't warm and fuzzy enough - maybe if they had hair, people wouldn't be so leery of them. Maybe it's too many childhood memories of........ Read more »
It is often suggested that breakfast consumption is key facet of a healthful diet, especially when attempting to lose weight. However, while breakfast may be ‘the most important meal of the day’ the composition of that breakfast must not be overlooked.
Particularly, diets high in fiber are known to be associated with better control of body weight as well as glucose homeostasis. For example, a prior meta-analysis suggests that consumption of greater than 14 g/d of dietary fiber for........ Read more »
Hamedani, A., Akhavan, T., Samra, R., & Anderson, G. (2009) Reduced energy intake at breakfast is not compensated for at lunch if a high-insoluble-fiber cereal replaces a low-fiber cereal. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26827
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that children who were obese were almost twice as likely to die before 55 years of age than those who were not obese. Moreover, children whose weight was in the top 25% out of nearly 5,000 kids were 2.3 times more likely to [...]... Read more »
Franks, P., Hanson, R., Knowler, W., Sievers, M., Bennett, P., & Looker, H. (2010) Childhood Obesity, Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors, and Premature Death. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(6), 485-493. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0904130
When you drink alcohol and get drunk, are you getting drunk on alcohol?Well, obviously, you might think, and so did I. But it turns out that some people claim that the alcohol (ethanol) in drinks isn't the only thing responsible for their effects - they say that acetaldehyde may be important, perhaps even more so.South Korean researchers Kim et al report that it's acetaldehyde, rather than ethanol, which explains alcohol's immediate effects on cognitive and motor skills. During the metabolism of........ Read more »
Kim SW, Bae KY, Shin HY, Kim JM, Shin IS, Youn T, Kim J, Kim JK, & Yoon JS. (2009) The Role of Acetaldehyde in Human Psychomotor Function: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study. Biological psychiatry. PMID: 19914598
How do you explain the phenomenon of incomplete penetrance, which happens when individuals carrying an allele for a given phenotype don’t always express the phenotype? For instance, individuals carrying the same mutation associated with a genetic disease do not always develop that disease.
Sometimes environment influences gene expression and plays a role, or other genetic differences [...]... Read more »
Raj, A., Rifkin, S., Andersen, E., & van Oudenaarden, A. (2010) Variability in gene expression underlies incomplete penetrance. Nature, 463(7283), 913-918. DOI: 10.1038/nature08781
Raj A, van den Bogaard P, Rifkin SA, van Oudenaarden A, & Tyagi S. (2008) Imaging individual mRNA molecules using multiple singly labeled probes. Nature methods, 5(10), 877-9. PMID: 18806792
The coconut tree’s large seed is
better adapted to drought and
shade than smaller seeds.
It is generally believed that, when competing for the same resources, large plant seeds beat out small seeds regardless of the growing conditions. But according to researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, large seeds actually have the advantage in stressful conditions—such as [...]
... Read more »
Muller-Landau, H. (2010) The tolerance-fecundity trade-off and the maintenance of diversity in seed size. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911637107
See? Cartoon cute.It may be easy to put a kitten up as the weekly dose of cute, but look at him - he may be the cutest kitten ever. Cuter, perhaps, than even that little ocelot kitten, which, until now, has earned the title of cutest kitten ever. I mean, look at him! His eyes are cartoon adorable. I didn't know cat eyes could actually look like Puss N Boots! How could I resist showcasing this unbelievable exhibition of pure cuteness?
Anyhow, this six-week-old cutest kitten competitor was born ........ Read more »
It's not every day that you hear about spy missions that involve a lack of sex, but clearly parasitic wasps don't pay much attention to Hollywood clichés.
These insects merge the thriller, science-fiction and horror genres, They lay their eggs inside other animals, turning them into slaves and living larders that are destined to be eaten inside-out by the developing grubs. To find their victims, they perform feats of espionage worthy of any secret agent, tapping into their mark's communication........ Read more »
Huigens, M., Woelke, J., Pashalidou, F., Bukovinszky, T., Smid, H., & Fatouros, N. (2010) Chemical espionage on species-specific butterfly anti-aphrodisiacs by hitchhiking Trichogramma wasps. Behavioral Ecology. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arq007
My first encounter with informed medical consent came as a young law student. I was assigned to assist a lawyer in the defense of an older man who had refused treatment for leukemia. His daughter objected, and asked the court to appoint her to be his conservator so she could compel him to undergo treatment. When [...]... Read more »
Buchanan, A. (2004) Mental capacity, legal competence and consent to treatment. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 97(9), 415-420. DOI: 10.1258/jrsm.97.9.415
We sometimes forget that guys don't end up being big ugly brutes just because that's what guys like. Sometimes, as Taylor and Quayle (2010) discovered, that's what women like too.... Read more »
Talbot, K., & Quayle, M. (2010) The Perils of Being a Nice Guy: Contextual Variation in Five Young Women's Constructions of Acceptable Hegemonic and Alternative Masculinities. Men and Masculinities. DOI: 10.1177/1097184X09350408
Researchers have developed and tested a new method for evaluating the potential ecological impact of the invasive species at a site. Their approach, called the Index of Alien Impact - is innovative for a couple of reasons...... Read more »
Magee, T., Ringold, P., Bollman, M., & Ernst, T. (2010) Index of Alien Impact: A Method for Evaluating Potential Ecological Impact of Alien Plant Species. Environmental Management. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-010-9426-1
Psychologists have used an inventive combination of techniques to show that the left half of the brain has more self-esteem than the right half. The finding is consistent with earlier research showing that the left hemisphere is associated more with positive, approach-related emotions, whereas the right hemisphere is associated more with negative emotions. Ryan McKay and colleagues used a version of the self-esteem 'implicit association test' (IAT). This compares how readily participants associa........ Read more »
McKay, R., Arciuli, J., Atkinson, A., Bennett, E., & Pheils, E. (2010) Lateralisation of self-esteem: An investigation using a dichotically presented auditory adaptation of the Implicit Association Test. Cortex, 46(3), 367-373. DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2009.05.004
Why are genetically identical monozygotic twins not phenotypically identical? They are obviously much more similar than people who do not share all their DNA, but even in outward physical appearance are not really identical. And when it comes to psychological traits or psychiatric disorders, they can be quite divergent (concordance between monozygotic twins for schizophrenia for example is only around 50%). What is the source of this phenotypic variance? Why are the effects of a mutation........ Read more »
Raj, A. (2010) Variability in Gene Expression Underlies Incomplete Penetrance in C. Elegans: Using Single Molecules To Study the Development of Single Cells. Biophysical Journal, 98(3), 14-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.12.087
First, I should say that the Supernova Cosmology Group and others using Type Ia supernova as standard candles are very precise in their work and I don't seriously doubt their results as they have been very consistent with other observations. There is though the one dark shadow looming over all their results and that is systematic error. Cosmologists use Type Ia supernova as a lighthouse in the dark because we can assume that all lighthouses have the same intrinsic luminosity and therefore any di........ Read more »
We hereby take a break from the female reproductive cycle to ask:
How's your sex life?
How do you FEEL about your sex life?
(If Sci were a psychiatrist, she would have to have this as her computer background.)
More importantly, how does your SEX THERAPIST feel about your sex life?
Corty EW, Guardiani JM. "Canadian and American sex therapists' perceptions of normal and abnormal ejaculatory latencies: how long should intercourse last?" Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2008.
Read the rest of........ Read more »
Corty, E., & Guardiani, J. (2008) Canadian and American Sex Therapists' Perceptions of Normal and Abnormal Ejaculatory Latencies: How Long Should Intercourse Last?. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5(5), 1251-1256. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00797.x
First, I should say that the Supernova Cosmology Group and others using Type Ia supernova as standard candles are very precise in their work and I don't seriously doubt their results as they have been very consistent with other observations. There is though the one dark shadow looming over all their results and that is systematic error.... Read more »
By: Rosemary Stephen PMed, (cert) EOH, IPM, Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence
When I was doing research for this blog, I was not sure what information I would find; aside from lab animals like mice and rats are there instances where animals and insects are used to protect people from hazardous tasks? Everyone has heard [...]... Read more »
Rosemary Stephen PMed, (cert) EOH, IPM. (2010) At Your Service.. Part III. Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence. info:/
Case studies have unjustifiably acquired a reputation for being semi-anecdotal investigations of the small details of individual circumstances, research that is incapable of generating significant empirical or theoretical advances in knowledge. It is argued that the case study is, at … Continue reading →... Read more »
Leo, C. (2006) Deep Federalism: Respecting Community Difference in National Policy. Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique, 39(03). DOI: 10.1017/S0008423906060240
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