Post List

  • February 2, 2011
  • 04:48 PM

Why is Broca's area active during speech perception?

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

A now-common finding in the functional imaging literature on speech perception is that Broca's area is active during the perception of speech. The activation magnitude is sometimes not as strong or consistent as one finds in auditory cortex, but it is there and so requires some explanation. There are a few possibilities. (I'm talking about Broca's area as if it were one functional region, which it isn't, but we'll gloss over that for now.)1. Broca's area drives the analysis of speech sounds (........ Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 04:23 PM


by AK in AK's Rambling Thoughts

Yesterday's occurrence of thundersnow in Chicago had me looking for explanations. Wiki gave a lightweight summary, with just enough technical jargon to make it hard for a typical reader. Subsequent searching lead me to a bunch of good peer-reviewed data on the electrification of thunderstorms, but little of use understanding thundersnow.[3] [4] [5] [6]I finally found a very recent survey by David M. Schultz and R. James Vavrek,[1] which while somewhat technical, gave me the insight I was looki........ Read more »

Schultz, D., & Vavrek, R. (2009) An overview of thundersnow. Weather, 64(10), 274-277. DOI: 10.1002/wea.376  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 02:56 PM

Is the M3 Receptor a Target for Obesity Drug Development?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Acetylcholine (ACH) is a key neurotransmitter involved in modulating a variety of central and peripheral nervous systems.  ACH acts on two types of receptors-nicotinic receptors and muscarinic receptors.  There are at least 5 submits of the muscarinic receptor (M1 through M5).  Each receptor appears to have specific functions.Knockout mice (mice with absence of a specific gene) can provide some insight into the function of individual neurotransmitter receptors.  But translati........ Read more »

Pomper JK, Wilhelm H, Tayebati SK, Asmus F, Schüle R, Sievert KD, Haensch CA, Melms A, & Haarmeier T. (2011) A novel clinical syndrome revealing a deficiency of the muscarinic M3 receptor. Neurology, 76(5), 451-5. PMID: 21282591  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 02:03 PM

Extra Armor Gave Glyptodon an Edge

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Killing a glyptodont was no easy task. Prehistoric, bad-ass cousins of modern armadillos, these large mammals were protected by bony shielding on almost every part of their body. Some, such as Hoplophorus, even had modified tail clubs tipped with mace-like arrangements of spikes. Saber-toothed cats like Smilodon were surely formidable predators, but even they would [...]... Read more »

Zurita, A., Soibelzon, L., Soibelzon, E., Gasparini, G., Cenizo, M., & Arzani, H. (2010) Accessory protection structures in Glyptodon Owen (Xenarthra, Cingulata, Glyptodontidae). Annales de Paléontologie, 96(1), 1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.annpal.2010.01.001  

Gillette, D., and Ray, Clayton. (1981) Glyptodonts of North America. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, 1-255. info:/

  • February 2, 2011
  • 01:59 PM

Address the Most Dangerous Feature of Your Product: Dishonesty

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - One stereotype of the litigious American society suggests that jurors are willing to hold manufacturers and sellers responsible for even the most obvious product dangers: a ladder that allows its user to fall, or a cup of coffee that turns out to be hot. While anecdotes abound -- some true, and some false -- our experience is that product danger alone rarely drives a verdict. Instead, jurors need to see something else in order to generate sufficient anger to delivery any........ Read more »

Mazanov, Jason . (2007) Changes in adolescent smoking behaviour and knowledge of health consequences of smoking. Australian Journal of Psychology, 59(3), 176-180. info:/

  • February 2, 2011
  • 01:05 PM

The ultimate x-ray machines are ready to go

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

When you go to the doctor for an x-ray, the nurse or doctor briefly disappear behind a screen, presses a button for a brief moment, and you’re all set. It seems an x-ray takes about a second but the actual exposure times is much faster. Milliseconds more likely. Such speeds seem like almost an eternity [...]... Read more »

Seibert, M., Ekeberg, T., Maia, F., Svenda, M., Andreasson, J., Jönsson, O., Odić, D., Iwan, B., Rocker, A., Westphal, D.... (2011) Single mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser. Nature, 470(7332), 78-81. DOI: 10.1038/nature09748  

Chapman, H., Fromme, P., Barty, A., White, T., Kirian, R., Aquila, A., Hunter, M., Schulz, J., DePonte, D., Weierstall, U.... (2011) Femtosecond X-ray protein nanocrystallography. Nature, 470(7332), 73-77. DOI: 10.1038/nature09750  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 11:00 AM

Rethinking Circadian Clock Machinery

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers at Cambridge have discovered a non-transcriptional clock in the human red blood cell, raising questions about the precise definition of a circadian clock... Read more »

O'Neill JS, & Reddy AB. (2011) Circadian clocks in human red blood cells. Nature, 469(7331), 498-503. PMID: 21270888  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 10:40 AM

Oxytocin, ethnocentrism and evolution (pt. 2)

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

I didn't want to risk making my previous post too long, and I wanted to keep it focused on "hormonal determinism", so I set aside a whole branch of my commentary on the link between the hormone oxytocin and ethnocentrism for another post. The findings I comment on were presented by De Dreu and co-workers in the latest edition of PNAS (see reference below).

So, today I want to talk briefly about bad evolutionary arguments.Continue after the jump »

... Read more »

De Dreu CK, Greer LL, Van Kleef GA, Shalvi S, & Handgraaf MJ. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(4), 1262-6. PMID: 21220339  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 09:40 AM

Grow That Big Brain You’ve Always Dreamed Of, With Just 3x Per Week

by Sharon Neufeldt in I Can Has Science?

Whether you’re young or post-young, there’s no time like the present to get into an exercise routine. Besides helping with weight loss and improving cardiovascular fitness, more and more evidence suggests that aerobic exercise can delay – and even reverse … Continue reading →... Read more »

Erickson, K., Voss, M., Prakash, R., Basak, C., Szabo, A., Chaddock, L., Kim, J., Heo, S., Alves, H., White, S.... (2011) Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015950108  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 09:33 AM

Can we predict when cancer will spread?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Can we predict cancer metastasis and spread using a biomarker? In Loh's research, CPE-ΔN tended to be present and have high levels in tumours that have metastasised. Continue reading →
... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 09:05 AM

Tip of the Week: RCSB PDB Data Distribution Summaries

by Jennifer in OpenHelix

In today’s tip I will feature the data distribution summaries and their drill down features which you can see from many RCSB PDB searches. We are in the process of updating our full tutorial sponsored by the RCSB PDB team, and as part of that effort I’ve gotten to know and appreciate this new data presentation format. Over the last five years the RCSB PDB has really been working hard at redesigning their resource to be more easily accessed by a wide variety of users. Below you will ........ Read more »

Rose, P., Beran, B., Bi, C., Bluhm, W., Dimitropoulos, D., Goodsell, D., Prlic, A., Quesada, M., Quinn, G., Westbrook, J.... (2010) The RCSB Protein Data Bank: redesigned web site and web services. Nucleic Acids Research, 39(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq1021  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 09:05 AM

Communities within communes: Do bees' social lives influence their gut bacteria?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

As anyone who's trying to sell you probiotic yogurt will tell you, what you can eat often depends on what's living in your gut. For many animals, symbiotic bacterial communities help break down foods that would otherwise be indigestible. Perhaps most famously, termites would be unable to eat wood without specialized microbes in their guts [$a], but many other animals host bacteria that break down cellulose, the tough structural sugar of plant tissue, or to supply nutrients lacking in their diet......... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 08:46 AM

Decision Support for Supply Chain, Product and Process Design

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Many companies are struggling with the idea to use modern optimization techniques to support decision making in strategic supply chain management.

But beside mathematical modeling of the supply chain there are other methods as well, such as network based approaches. In their 2005 paper Blackhurst, Wu and O'Grady present a more intuitive decision support method with the goal to improve decisions within the supply chain context.

Figure 1: Example Product Chain Decision Model (Bl........ Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 08:46 AM

Putting Hypsipetes in the passerine tree

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

One of my long-running plans on Tet Zoo has been to review passerine phylogeny. After decades of people saying that oscine passerines are (except larks and corvids) far too alike for anyone to construct a sensible phylogeny, a flurry of (mostly molecular) studies have meant that - as I like to say - the passerine tree is finally coming together. Alas, I'm nowhere near able to review current hypotheses of passerine evolution in depth (and didn't I say something recently about not starting any n........ Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Why Men and Women Gain Weight

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

In my interactions with patients, I always ask them to tell me when their weight problems began and what they believe contributed to their weight gain.
Broadly speaking, there are two categories: people, who were big (or were considered big by others) as long as they can remember and those, who can often clearly pinpoint when [...]... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Who knew we’d be such grumpy (but NOT old!) men and women?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You probably intuited this already but age is simply not settling well on our largest generation. From the exuberance of youth (“don’t trust anyone over 30”) to the contemplation of approaching 65—Boomers feel anxious about their futures. They are afraid they will outlive Medicare.  But that isn’t all that is vexing the Boomers. A recent [...]

Related posts:Generation Y (aka the Millennials): Just the facts
The Millennials (aka ‘Gen Y’): On tattoos, TMI, tolerance and technology........ Read more »

D’Vera Cohn, & Paul Taylor. (2010) Baby Boomers Approach 65 – Glumly. Pew Research Center. info:/

  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

New Recipe for iPS Cells

by Sanford- Burnham in Beaker

Generating iPS cells can be an arduous task. Reprogramming differentiated adult cells into iPS cells requires so many steps and so much time that the efficiency rate is very low – you might end up with only a few iPS cells even if you started with a million skin cells. So a team set out to improve the process. In a paper published February 1, 2011 in The EMBO Journal, they uncovered microRNAs (miRNAs) that are important during reprogramming and exploited them to make the transition from skin c........ Read more »

Li, Z., Yang, C., Nakashima, K., & Rana, T. (2011) Small RNA-mediated regulation of iPS cell generation. The EMBO Journal. DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2011.2  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Use and abuse on the web

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

Analysing user statistics across websites is an issue that often comes under scrutiny from privacy advocates worried that marketing companies are exploiting their personal data to track their behaviour and target them with advertising. The issue is, of course, a double-edged sword. Many of us would prefer that our online behaviour is not being monitored [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkUse and abuse on the web
... Read more »

Dong Li, Anne Laurent, & Pascal Poncelet. (2011) WebUser: mining unexpected web usage. Int. J. Business Intelligence and Data Mining, 6(1), 90-111. info:/

  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Willpower, Glucose, and Belief

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The first step to more willpower is a step away from simple nostrums.... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 06:19 AM

Employability viewpoints

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

In my last posting about the E word I focused on various models of employability (the fun bit in my geeky world!). In this post I wanted to look at some of the various definitions of employability and what those definitions say about the people who construct them. Employers The CBI defines employability as… …a [...]... Read more »

McQuaid, R., & Lindsay, C. (2005) The concept of employability. Urban Studies, 42(2), 197-219. DOI: 10.1080/0042098042000316100  

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