Post List

  • December 6, 2010
  • 05:54 PM

Another Gender Gap Closed by a Well-Timed Bit of Encouragement

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Last summer I described how psychologists at Rutgers closed the usual gap between higher boys' and lower girls' scores on high-school chemistry tests. When the students used a textbook whose pictures depicted only women scientists, the girls outscored boys. A few days ago, this paper in Science ...Read More
... Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 05:37 PM

Saturn’s rings get spontaneously shaken up

by Kelly Oakes in Basic Space

From far away Saturn’s rings look pretty solid – I’m sure I’m not the only person who, as a child, imagined it’d be possible to skate around the planet on them. In reality, though, they’re made up of millions and … Continue reading →... Read more »

Joseph N. Spitale, & Carolyn C. Porco. (2010) Free Unstable Modes and Massive Bodies in Saturn's Outer B Ring. Astron.J.140:1747-1757,2010. arXiv: 0912.3489v2

  • December 6, 2010
  • 04:58 PM

Let there be Light !... Bioluminescence part 2

by DefectiveBrayne in The Defective Brain

The roles that bioluminescence plays in the lives of organisms today is fascinating. How did this trait evolve? This is a complex question, because bioluminescence is believed to have evolved around 50 different times in different species of animals.
So how do living creatures produce light? Well, the actual question that needs to be asked is how do living creatures produce visible light.

To ... Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 04:58 PM

Let there be Light !... Bioluminescence part 2

by db in Defectivebrain @ FOS

The roles that bioluminescence plays in the lives of organisms today is fascinating. How did this trait evolve? This is a complex question, because bioluminescence is believed to have evolved around 50 different times in different species of animals.
So how do living creatures produce light? Well, the actual question that needs to be asked is how do living creatures produce visible light.

To fully work out the evolutionary roots of bioluminescence, we must look into the very earliest stage........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 04:52 PM

Health reporters: between accuracy and deadlines

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

"What's new, fresh, exciting, different, what people are going to say 'Gee, is that right'? (Newspaper medical reporter, Leask et al., p. 4)Being a health journalist isn't easy. There's the deadline, there's the expert who still hasn't called you back, the editor who wants a nice picture to go with the report...The authors of "Media coverage of health issues and how to work more effectively with journalists" interviewed sixteen Australian reporters, editors and producers in print, radio and TV ........ Read more »

Nelkin, D. (1995) Government Printing Office. Nelkin, D. (1995). Selling science: How the press covers science and technology (rev. ed.). New York: Freeman. info:/

  • December 6, 2010
  • 02:55 PM

Rich Folks Bad At Reading Emotions

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

The rich seem to have it all — fancy cars, nice homes, luxurious vacations. Although the educated and wealthy (who constitute the upper-classes in the United States) may seem to outperform ... Read more »

Kraus, M.W., Côté, S., & Keltner, D. (2010) Social class, contextualism, and empathic accuracy. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS, 21(11). PMID: 20974714  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 01:41 PM

Economics and Inequality

by Julian Friedland in Business Ethics Memo

Cornell Economics and Management Professor Robert R. Frank draws attention here to the disconnect between economic research and ethical thinking, specifically on the notion of growing US inequality:"Economists who say we should relegate questions about inequality to philosophers often advocate policies, like tax cuts for the wealthy, that increase inequality substantially. That greater inequality causes real harm is beyond doubt."It's refreshing to hear this criticism from an economics and ........ Read more »

Julian Friedland. (2005) The Utility of Offshoring: A Rawlsian Critique. Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, 10(1), 9-13. info:/

  • December 6, 2010
  • 01:14 PM

new paper from my lab: IRiS

by Giovanni Marco Dall'Olio in BioinfoBlog!

The latest paper published by people in my lab describes a method to reconstruct past Recombination Events: Melé M, Javed A, Pybus M, Calafell F, Parida L, Bertranpetit J, & The Genographic Consortium (2010). A New Method to Reconstruct Recombination … Continue reading →

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Melé M, Javed A, Pybus M, Calafell F, Parida L, Bertranpetit J, & The Genographic Consortium. (2010) A New Method to Reconstruct Recombination Events at a Genomic Scale. PLoS computational biology, 6(11). PMID: 21124860  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 12:20 PM

Vaccinating the Billion-Brain Parasite

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

If a parasite infected the brains of 2 to 3 billion people, up to one-half of the world’s population, one would probably consider it a pretty serious public health emergency. But such a situation already exists, with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the cause of the disease toxoplasmosis. The parasite is the most common infectious cause [...]... Read more »

Hutson SL, Mui E, Kinsley K, Witola WH, Behnke MS, El Bissati K, Muench SP, Rohrman B, Liu SR, Wollmann R.... (2010) T. gondii RP Promoters . PloS one, 5(11). PMID: 21124925  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

A Role for Prions in Alzheimer’s Disease?

by S. Marvin Friedman in Small Things Considered

Three-dimensional configuration of a prion protein. Left = normal folding. Right = protein with the disease-associated amyloid folding. Source. What if there were a connection between the diseases caused by prions and Alzheimer’s? If that were the case, we'd expect a substantial increase in our understanding of both. Indeed, as we will see below, there is...... Read more »

Meyer-Luehmann M, Coomaraswamy J, Bolmont T, Kaeser S, Schaefer C, Kilger E, Neuenschwander A, Abramowski D, Frey P, Jaton AL.... (2006) Exogenous induction of cerebral beta-amyloidogenesis is governed by agent and host. Science (New York, N.Y.), 313(5794), 1781-4. PMID: 16990547  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 11:58 AM

Teen Driving and Fatal Crashes

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Reducing motor vehicle accident rates and deaths in the teenage population is a public health priority.  Efforts to reduce the rates of fatal injuries in young drivers include graduated driving license privileges and reduced legal blood alcohol for teen drivers.  States have variable legal BAC generally any level or a level below 0.01 or 0.02 g/dL compared to .08 to 1.0 g/dL for adults.  Additionally, the hazard related to using a telephone and texting while driving is significant........ Read more »

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010) Drivers aged 16 or 17 years involved in fatal crashes --- United States, 2004-2008. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 59(41), 1329-34. PMID: 20966895  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 10:26 AM

Is My Child Behind in His Development?

by Brandon in Notes on Parenting

By BrandonDevelopmental Milestones: Fact or Myth?As parents, we are almost constantly comparing our child to someone else's child (or even to our own children who have already gone through that phase of life), and there always seems to be something to fret about. Are you worried that your child isn't saying enough words yet, or isn't walking and he's already a year old? These are common concerns, especially for new parents.

In my undergraduate and graduate training (and as a parent) I have lear........ Read more »

Thelen, E. (1995) Motor development: A new synthesis. American Psychologist, 50(2), 79-95. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.50.2.79  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 10:26 AM

Leading by Design

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Is there consensus about the role of product design as the leading function in the supply chain? Not yet! This article introduces the topic of integrating decisions in product and supply chain design and gives a short glimpse on the "how to implement" part.

Case study
During the last weeks I conducted the following case study on the impact of product design on supply chains using literature and expert interviews, looking for an answer to the basic question: What are the advantages of integ........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 10:15 AM

The Evolutionary Roots of Talking With Our Hands

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Human and bonobo ape hands. © SPL

New Yorkers are hand talkers—we often use gestures to add emphasis to our conversations. Whether we're pointing to direct tourists, or waving to demonstrate our exasperation with traffic, drivers, or pedestrians, or trying to interject (New Yorkers don't interrupt!) we're gesticulating. We're not the only ones to do this, of course, but in my experience we do tend to employ this element of communication fairly frequently.
The role of gestures in communicat........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Rice Weevil – how far does its polyphagy go?

by davesbrain in Dave Hubble's ecology spot

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE ... Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 08:28 AM

Can Arsenic Replace Phosphorus? One Bacterium Says “Yes”

by A. Goldstein in WiSci

Up until a few days ago, scientists believed that all life forms on Earth were composed of six elements: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus. Then, on December 2, 2010, NASA researchers made a discovery that forced scientists everywhere to reconsider this belief: a bacterium that can replace phosphorus with arsenic.1 Typically, arsenic is [...]... 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 6, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Searching for scientific abbreviations

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Ambiguous abbreviations and acronyms are annoyances when it comes to text search and data mining. As a writer-editor, I was always taught to spell out the long form (LF) of a short form (SF) at first mention in a document so that the reader would know that when I mentioned EBV I was referring to [...]Searching for scientific abbreviations is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Min Song. (2010) LFXtractor: Text chunking for long form detection from biomedical text. International Journal of Functional Informatics and Personalised Medicine, 3(2), 89-102. info:/

  • December 6, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

non-Traditional family structures and genomics

by Trey in OpenHelix

As I and my family await our 23andme kit to scan our genomes, family history has come back to the forefront of my thoughts. I used to be very fascinated by my own genealogy, and with adopted children, the concepts of descent, biology and culture have taken adjusted meanings for me. It’s why we have a ‘family map’ instead of a ‘family tree’. The difference between our cultural genealogy and our genetic genealogy has been become quite clear to me. Obtaining our family........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Your yawns and your dogs

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

In humans, yawning is contagious. Heck, I’ll bet just looking at the title and first sentence of that post triggered a couple of yawns somewhere in the blogosphere.

A couple of years ago, a report that dogs could “catch” the yawns of their human owners made a big splash in the news media. Here’s a particularly provocative headline:

Dogs ‘may be able to read their owner’s minds’
When you yawn, and then I yawn, you know that I am reading your mind.

While the headline is over the t........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Is the Future Bisexual?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Last week, I heard a girl on the radio, who was talking about how she would have no problem doing a threesome with another girl, if her boyfriend desired it. The girl’s carefree attitude, revealing to hundreds of thousands of strangers that she was open to a bisexual experience reminded me of a certain 2005 study [...]... Read more »

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