Photo by Todd Huffman.
One of the great things about this site is that people often bring products or research to our attention that we otherwise might have missed. This occurred yesterday in the comments section of Peter's recent post on Acai berry scams, when one of our readers brought up the use of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity. The website that we were provided smacks of weight loss gimmickry - notably the promise of an obesity "cure" and "near 100% ........ Read more »
Lijesen GK, Theeuwen I, Assendelft WJ, & Van Der Wal G. (1995) The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 40(3), 237-43. PMID: 8527285
Photo by pugetsoundphotowalks.
Regardless of your shape or size, physical activity has been shown to add years to your life, and life to your years. But believe it or not, the benefits of physical activity are not restricted to exercise performed in the gym. In fact, one of the easiest ways to improve your health may be through increasing the amount of low intensity physical activity you perform throughout the day. For example, simply increasing the number of steps that you take each day is ........ Read more »
Ekelund, U., Brage, S., Froberg, K., Harro, M., Anderssen, S., Sardinha, L., Riddoch, C., & Andersen, L. (2006) TV Viewing and Physical Activity Are Independently Associated with Metabolic Risk in Children: The European Youth Heart Study. PLoS Medicine, 3(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030488
Lachapelle, U., & Frank, L. (2009) Transit and Health: Mode of Transport, Employer-Sponsored Public Transit Pass Programs, and Physical Activity. Journal of Public Health Policy. DOI: 10.1057/jphp.2008.52
Originally, Popeye the Sailor gained strength from rubbing the head of a rare chicken. Not until 1932 and thereafter did Popeye gain superhuman strength and invincibility from downing a can of spinach. Besides being easier to carry than a chicken, spinach was purported to have extremely high levels of iron that would make [...]... Read more »
Jeffreys, R., Lavaleye, M., Bergman, M., Duineveld, G., Witbaard, R., & Linley, T. (2010) Deep-sea macrourid fishes scavenge on plant material: evidence from in situ observations. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2010.01.007
Prion protein (PrP) is the focus of some neurodegenerative diseases. It is believed that misfolded prion protein (PrPsc, or “scrapie”) is the infectious agent responsible for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD), among others. PrPsc propagates by conversion of normal (healthy) prion protein (PrPc).
Several questions arise in the research community. Two of [...]... Read more »
Didier A, Gebert R, Dietrich R, Schweiger M, Gareis M, Märtlbauer E, & Amselgruber WM. (2008) Cellular prion protein in mammary gland and milk fractions of domestic ruminants. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 369(3), 841-4. PMID: 18325321
The higher the temp, the higher the death rate.
As spring approaches, cocaine users might take note of further evidence of a connection between high ambient air temperatures and accidental overdoses.
A study published recently in the journal Addiction used mortality data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City from 1990 to 2006 to determine the frequency of cocaine-related overdoses (itself an enterprise fraught with uncertainty and argument over listed causes of death)......... Read more »
Bohnert, A., Prescott, M., Vlahov, D., Tardiff, K., & Galea, S. (2010) Ambient temperature and risk of death from accidental drug overdose in New York City, 1990-2006. Addiction. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02887.x
Also posted over at Paramedicine 101. Go check out the rest of what is there.In Intravenous drug administration during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a randomized trial,,  I missed some important information. I think I expected more detail to be in the text, than in the charts and figures, so I did not read Figure 2 carefully enough. Regardless of the reason, I did miss some important information.In response, Anonymous left this comment - RM: I was doing some reading on this article and c........ Read more »
Olasveengen TM, Sunde K, Brunborg C, Thowsen J, Steen PA, & Wik L. (2009) Intravenous drug administration during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a randomized trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 302(20), 2222-9. PMID: 19934423
Can contingency planning increase flexibility and minimize risk exposure to supply chain disruptions? Obviously yes, but what is it about the contingency planning process that relates to flexibility? That question is asked by Joseph B Skipper and Joe B Hanna in Minimizing supply chain disruption risk through enhanced flexibility. Surprisingly, this article suggests that only [ ... ]... Read more »
Skipper, J., & Hanna, J. (2009) Minimizing supply chain disruption risk through enhanced flexibility. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 39(5), 404-427. DOI: 10.1108/09600030910973742
This is not a rheology post (yet).The recent Nature editorial:Editorial (2010). Do scientists really need a PhD? Nature, 464 (7285), 7-7 DOI: 10.1038/464007a caught Chinese readers eyes slightly more than usual, because it mentioned in detail a China based commercial...... Read more »
Sex might be fun but it's not without risks. As your partner exposes themselves to you, they also expose you to whatever bacteria, viruses or parasites they might be carrying. But some animals have a way around that. Ekaterina Litvinova has found that when male mice get a whiff of female odours, their immune systems prepare their airways for attack, increasing their resistance to flu viruses.
Litvinova worked with a group of mice that were exposed to bedding that had previously been soiled by ........ Read more »
Litvinova, E., Goncharova, E., Zaydman, A., Zenkova, M., & Moshkin, M. (2010) Female Scent Signals Enhance the Resistance of Male Mice to Influenza. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009473
Of the many mysteries surrounding human evolution, the question of why humans, alone out of all the apes, display a strong tendency towards being right-handed is perhaps less well known than uncertainties about our locomotion, brain size and cultural capacity. Yet the fact remains, over 90% of humans are right handed, and strongly so - there are proportionally few left-handed individuals and very few ambidextrous ones. Handedness is a manifestation of laterality - having a behaviourally dominant........ Read more »
Braccini S, Lambeth S, Schapiro S, & Fitch WT. (2010) Bipedal tool use strengthens chimpanzee hand preferences. Journal of human evolution, 58(3), 234-241. PMID: 20089294
by Antonio A. Casilli (Centre Edgar-Morin, Paris) 
By now, you might have heard about Chatroulette, if you are hip and tech-savvy if those two things at the sides of your face are your ears. By the way, I hope you did not click on the link. It’s not safe for work. And by that I [...]... Read more »
Peter M. Todd. (1997) Searching for the next best mate. In R. Conte, R. Hegselmann, and P. Terna (Eds.) Simulating social phenomena, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 419-436. info:/
Often, the cutest things come in small packages. Not so with Ralph - at 42 lbs, he's a record-breaking rabbit.
Ralph comes from a huge family - both his mother and father previously held the world records for largest rabbit in length and weight. And though he's already the biggest bunny in the world, Ralph is still growing! No one knows how immense this ball off fluff will get, but however big he ends up being, he's sure to still be 100% adorable.
... Read more »
Pronk, R., Wilson, D., & Harcourt, R. (2010) Video playback demonstrates episodic personality in the gloomy octopus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(7), 1035-1041. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.040675
Wise, M., Abrahamson, W., & Cole, J. (2010) The role of nodding stems in the goldenrod-gall-fly interaction: A test of the "ducking" hypothesis. American Journal of Botany, 97(3), 525-529. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.0900227
Stewart, R., & Wang, C. (2010) Adaptation of Caddisfly Larval Silks to Aquatic Habitats by Phosphorylation of H-Fibroin Serines. Biomacromolecules, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/bm901426d
We discussed supernovae a bit in this recent post on gamma-ray bursts. There is now interesting new information on the connection between supernovae and gamma-ray bursts from two recently-described supernovae with atypical properties.Let's first review a little. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are identified by detection of relatively brief (usually less than a few minutes) but highly energetic emissions of gamma rays. Although there's a great deal of diversity, most events fall into one of two categori........ Read more »
Soderberg, A., Chakraborti, S., Pignata, G., Chevalier, R., Chandra, P., Ray, A., Wieringa, M., Copete, A., Chaplin, V., Connaughton, V.... (2010) A relativistic type Ibc supernova without a detected γ-ray burst. Nature, 463(7280), 513-515. DOI: 10.1038/nature08714
Paragi, Z., Taylor, G., Kouveliotou, C., Granot, J., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., Bietenholz, M., van der Horst, A., Pidopryhora, Y., van Langevelde, H., Garrett, M.... (2010) A mildly relativistic radio jet from the otherwise normal type Ic supernova 2007gr. Nature, 463(7280), 516-518. DOI: 10.1038/nature08713
I thought i would post the Scottish Physical Activity strategy to demonstrate that a good strategy requires effective implementation. The document Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotlandidentified that Scotland was the third most obese country in the world after the USA and Mexico. This may actually be progress as until the report we were usually named as the second! Let's Make Scotland More Active is actually a very good strategy document. It was published in 2003 but progress has bee........ Read more »
The Scottish Government. (2003) Let's Make Scotland More Active. Government Paper. info:/
I wrote my last three posts on insect respiration specifically because I wanted to talk about a paper that was published in the Journal of Morphology in November 2009 that deals with aquatic insect respiration. Since this is my personal area of expertise, I find this paper fascinating! I hope you find it as interesting [...]... Read more »
Kehl S, & Dettner K. (2009) Surviving submerged--Setal tracheal gills for gas exchange in adult rheophilic diving beetles. Journal of morphology, 270(11), 1348-55. PMID: 19480011
Platek & Singh (2010) report that stimuli depicting optimal waist-hip ratios (~0.70) activate the “reward center” in men’s brains; while stimuli depicting body mass index do not. They conclude that BMI preferences are therefore more culturally determined and, by suggestion, that WHR preferences are the result of evolved psychological mechanisms. I will point-out at the [...]... Read more »
Fliessbach, K., Rohe, T., Linder, N., Trautner, P., Elger, C., & Weber, B. (2010) Retest reliability of reward-related BOLD signals. NeuroImage, 50(3), 1168-1176. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.01.036
MCCABE, D., & CASTEL, A. (2008) Seeing is believing: The effect of brain images on judgments of scientific reasoning☆☆☆. Cognition, 107(1), 343-352. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.07.017
Steven M. Platek, & Devendra Singh. (2010) Optimal Waist-to-Hip Ratios in Women Activate Neural Reward Centers in Men. PLoS ONE. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0009042
Singh, D., & Randall, P. (2007) Beauty is in the eye of the plastic surgeon: Waist–hip ratio (WHR) and women’s attractiveness. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(2), 329-340. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2006.12.003
In a previous post from my series on why people don’t engage climate change, I described my interpretations of work by Susanne Moser and Lisa Dilling1, which suggested that the use of fear can be a poor way to motivate behavioral changes to deal with climate warming:
Challenge 6: Fear can change perception but not willingness [...]... Read more »
Martijn van Zomeren, Russell Spears, Colin Wayne Leach. (2010) Experimental evidence for a dual pathway model analysis of coping with the climate crisis . Journal of Environmental Psychology. info:/10.1016/j.jenvp.2010.02.006
Dennis Kent (Rutgers University) and coworkers have investigated the potential of underground porous basalt formations along the east coast of the United States for secure, long-term storage of carbon dioxide. This news feature was written on March 6, 2010.... Read more »
Goldberg, D. S., Kent, D. V., & Olsen, P. E. (2010) Potential on-shore and off-shore reservoirs for CO2 sequestration in Central Atlantic magmatic province basalts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(4), 1327-1332. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913721107
Nativism and Empiricism
Do we come into the world with an innate understanding of the world, like baby geese seem to (for navigation)? Are the incredible navigational skills of ants and gerbils and other animals learned with experience, or are those animals born with those cognitive constructions of the world? What about for humans?
The fourth fifth [...]... Read more »
Pascalis, O. (2002) Is Face Processing Species-Specific During the First Year of Life?. Science, 296(5571), 1321-1323. DOI: 10.1126/science.1070223
Landau B, Gleitman H, & Spelke E. (1981) Spatial knowledge and geometric representation in a child blind from birth. Science (New York, N.Y.), 213(4513), 1275-8. PMID: 7268438
Quality and availability of bioinformatics resources is always a matter of great debate. HTTP 404 not found is quite frequent phenomenon for bioinformatics researchers looking to use some published web accessible database or analysis tool. A 4-year follow-up survey on the lack of persistence of bioinformatics resources was published in year 2008 by Jonathan D. Wren suggests that approximately 20% of URLs published in MEDLINE abstracts are now inaccessible, and the most common types of inaccessi........ Read more »
Bourne, P., Beran, B., Bi, C., Bluhm, W., Dunbrack, R., Prlić, A., Quinn, G., Rose, P., Shah, R., Tao, W.... (2010) Will Widgets and Semantic Tagging Change Computational Biology?. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000673
Veretnik, S., Fink, J., & Bourne, P. (2008) Computational Biology Resources Lack Persistence and Usability. PLoS Computational Biology, 4(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000136
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