Post List

  • March 19, 2010
  • 05:22 PM

Voracious damsels, helpless midges, facilitative shredders…life in a Costa Rican bromeliad:

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Carin’s paper pick o’ the week, March 19, 2010:
Much of what we know about food web structure comes from work that focuses on negative interactions between trophic levels (e.g. predation and competition).  However, facilitative (positive) interactions should not be ignored when it comes to elucidating the importance of food-web interactions.  The work outlined in this [...]... Read more »

  • March 19, 2010
  • 05:01 PM

Your Friday Dose of Weird: Male pipefish show the dark side of male pregnancy

by Laelaps in Laelaps

At almost every aquarium I have ever visited with a seahorse exhibit, the plaque in front of the tank says the same thing: in seahorses and their relatives, males, not females, carry the babies. It is always interesting to watch the reactions of visitors to this curious fact. Adult men, for instance, sometimes seem unsettled by the thought of male pregnancy, but the reproductive reversal among the fish is often seen as kinda cute ("How sweet. A fishy dad taking care of his kids!"). As shown........ Read more »

  • March 19, 2010
  • 04:03 PM

Slow Burn

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Prescribed fires could lower western US carbon emissions

... Read more »

  • March 19, 2010
  • 03:45 PM

Estimating a renowned man's character

by Daniel Simons in The Invisible Gorilla

You might think that reputations would be made based on the sum total of a person’s life work, but a recent study by Newman et al (2010) shows that their actions just before their death are most important.... Read more »

Newman GE, Lockhart KL, & Keil FC. (2010) "End-of-life" biases in moral evaluations of others. Cognition, 115(2), 343-9. PMID: 20138612  

  • March 19, 2010
  • 03:28 PM

Linking Footballers, Fingers and Sexual Selection

by Isabelle Winder in Going Ape

Footballers, particularly those who play at national or international levels, sometimes seem to have it all: celebrity, fitness, money and success. But rather than just supposing that this is the result of football's cultural status and importance, researchers have also suggested that it is the result of natural selection - not the survival of the fittest, as modern medicine and cultural systems ensure that in the Western world at least, most people have the chance to live, but perhaps the succe........ Read more »

Manning JT, & Taylor RP. (2001) Second to fourth digit ratio and male ability in sport: implications for sexual selection in humans. Evolution and human behavior : official journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, 22(1), 61-69. PMID: 11182575  

  • March 19, 2010
  • 03:00 PM

Winter getting you down? It might also be making you unhealthy

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

Do the long nights and shoddy weather over the winter months make you feel low? If so, you could also be at raised risk of cardiovascular disease and being overweight, according to new research in PLoS ONE.

This study of 11,545 Norwegian adults found that people who were classified as having considerable variations in mood [...]... Read more »

  • March 19, 2010
  • 02:22 PM

GMOs could render important antibiotics worthless

by Anastasia Bodnar in Biofortified

That headline catches your eye, doesn’t it?
We’ve seen such claims made in popular media such as the March 2010 Fury as EU approves GM potato: Critics claim plant could spread antibiotic-resistant diseases to humans in the Independent: “Opponents fear bacteria inside the guts of animals fed the GM potato – which can cause human diseases [...]... Read more »

Dona, A., & Arvanitoyannis, I. (2009) Health Risks of Genetically Modified Foods. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 49(2), 164-175. DOI: 10.1080/10408390701855993  

Hotopp JC, Clark ME, Oliveira DC, Foster JM, Fischer P, Torres MC, Giebel JD, Kumar N, Ishmael N, Wang S.... (2007) Widespread lateral gene transfer from intracellular bacteria to multicellular eukaryotes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 317(5845), 1753-6. PMID: 17761848  

  • March 19, 2010
  • 02:10 PM

The plight of Hawaiian birds

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Just last week, two Hawaiian bird species from the island of Kaua’i and their respective habitats were put on the endangered species list along with a Hawaiian fly and 45 types of Hawaiian plants. However, while the action signifies movement from the Obama Administration toward protecting at-risk species and their habitats, the listing does not come a second too soon: Recent research shows U.S. birds, especially in Hawaii, are in great peril.... Read more »

  • March 19, 2010
  • 01:40 PM

New analysis of pesticides and bee colony collapse disorder

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

European bee populations are on the decline worldwide.   Who cares?  These bees are major pollinators of crops and therefore perform, for free, a vital ecological service worth about $U.S. 14 billion per year.  Not to mention the many other species of non-crop flowering plants that reproduce with the help of insects like this.
The recent kind [...]... Read more »

Christopher A. Mullin, Maryann Frazier, James L. Frazier, Sara Ashcraft, Roger Simonds, Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Jeffery S. Pettis. (2010) High Levels of Miticides and Agrochemicals in North American Apiaries: Implications for Honey Bee Health. PLoS ONE. info:/

  • March 19, 2010
  • 12:15 PM

Not enough, rather than too much fat, causes metabolic problems of obesity

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

That's right - contrary to what many religiously believe, it is the inability to grow more fat during times of energy surpluss, rather than the excess of fat which appears to directly contribute to the metabolic consequence often associated with obesity.

A recent article in the New Scientist shines some light on this issue;

Obesity kills, everyone knows that. But is it possible that we've been looking at the problem in the wrong way? It seems getting fatter may be part of........ Read more »

  • March 19, 2010
  • 11:41 AM

Organic matter processing and retention

by JL in Analyze Everything

I've already mentioned one of the papers from the big 25th anniversary issue of JNABS.  I've now read a handful of these papers, and they continue to be very interesting and a little bit annoying.  Why are they annoying?  Well, I like the review aspect of the papers, I don't like the "JNABS played X role in the development of X concept", because, really?  Who the hell cares?  This is a perfect ... Read more »

Tank, J.L., Rosi-Marshall, E.J., Griffiths, N.A., Entrekin, S.A., & Stephen, M.L. (2010) A review of allochthonous organic matter dynamics and metabolism in streams. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 29(1), 118-146. info:/10.1899/08-170.1

  • March 19, 2010
  • 11:22 AM

Exquisitely-Preserved Skeleton Introduces a New Velociraptor Relative

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Between 84 million and 75 million years ago, near the end of the Cretaceous, part of the land now known as the Gobi Desert was host to a variety of raptors. There were two species of Velociraptor, a similar predator named Tsaagan mangas, a tiny feathered dinosaur called Mahakala omnogovae, and, as just announced in [...]... Read more »

XING XU, JONAH CHOINIERE, MICHAEL PITTMAN, QINGWEI TAN, DONG XIAO,, & ZHIQUAN LI, LIN TAN, JAMES M. CLARK, MARK A. NORELL, DAVID W. E. HONE, CORWIN SULLIVAN. (2010) A new dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Wulansuhai Formation of Inner Mongolia, China. Zootaxa, 1-9. info:/

  • March 19, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

Size Matters -- Bigger is Better, Even for Male Pipefish

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: New research shows evidence for cryptic mate choice in Gulf pipefish. ... Read more »

  • March 19, 2010
  • 10:15 AM

Friday Weird Science: Why does asparagus make your pee smell?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Early spring is a good time of year. Sci starts feeling a little more motivated, it's finally warm enough to feel comfortable running outside again (not that Sci ran inside, she was just very uncomfortable outside), and it's asparagus season!

When Sci was wee and her mother would try to feed her asparagus, Sci turned up her little nose at such nonsense. Why on earth would anyone eat something that was that green and looked like it had hair!?

(You can see my issue here)

I seem to remember a........ Read more »

Waring RH, Mitchell SC, & Fenwick GR. (1987) The chemical nature of the urinary odour produced by man after asparagus ingestion. Xenobiotica; the fate of foreign compounds in biological systems, 17(11), 1363-71. PMID: 3433805  

  • March 19, 2010
  • 09:23 AM

Managing adolescent illness: Make it a game!

by agoldstein in WiSci

Re-Mission and Didget are two games created and proven to help children manage their illnesses.... Read more »

  • March 19, 2010
  • 08:30 AM

Basketballs and Brains

by Caroline Sober in Promega Connections

Well, it’s NCAA basketball tournament time and, as this post hits the blog, we’re heading into the second day of “March Madness,” one of my favorite times of the collegiate sports year. Raise your hand if your brackets are already in shambles! Yeah, mine too.*
Tournament fever aside, it’s also Global Brain Awareness Week, so I [...]... Read more »

Botzung A, Rubin DC, Miles A, Cabeza R, & Labar KS. (2010) Mental hoop diaries: emotional memories of a college basketball game in rival fans. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(6), 2130-7. PMID: 20147540  

  • March 19, 2010
  • 07:38 AM

Am Manic, will focus; Am sad, will drift

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image by wazari via Flickr

Attention can be focused or it can be diffused. Attentional focus has been shown to be affected by mood or affect; with positive affect leading to a broadening of attentional focus;  and negative affect, in general been shown to be associated with a narrowing of focus.
However, Gable and Harmon-Jones argue that More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Entrepreneurial rollercoaster- am happy, have vision; am sad, will focus on task There is a rec........ Read more »

  • March 19, 2010
  • 06:14 AM

Measles week, Part V: What about the vaccine?

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Measles infection in a brain cell nucleus

Having gone through Parts I, II, III, and IV of Measles week, let’s finish up by asking what this means for measles vaccine.
We know that measles death rates dropped spectacularly well before the vaccine was introduced in 1963 (the first version; a more effective version was released later). [...]... Read more »

MUSCAT, M., BANG, H., WOHLFAHRT, J., GLISMANN, S., & MOLBAK, K. (2009) Measles in Europe: an epidemiological assessment. The Lancet, 373(9661), 383-389. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61849-8  

Filia, A., Brenna, A., Panà, A., Maggio Cavallaro, G., Massari, M., & Ciofi degli Atti, M. (2007) Health burden and economic impact of measles-related hospitalizations in Italy in 2002–2003. BMC Public Health, 7(1), 169. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-7-169  

  • March 19, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Rare fossil annelid unearthed in downtown Ottawa

by Ian Randall in The Palaeo Pad

One of the rarest fossils has been found in the most unexpected of locations – the capital city of Canada. Described in the current issue of Palaeontology, the 450 million year old specimen of the annelid machaeridian worm Plumulitids canadensis is one of only eight such finds in the world. ... Read more »

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