Post List

  • January 28, 2010
  • 10:09 AM
  • 778 views

by Robert Badgett in ClinDx

Accuracy of physical examination in subacromial impingement syndrome
In this study of 55 patients, the authors studied five findings and concluded, “The cut point of 3 or more positive of 5 tests can confirm the diagnosis…, while less than 3 positive of 5 rules out.” If you look at the accuracies and the predictive values below, [...]... Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 443 views

Minimizing the impact of approaching boats on nesting shorebirds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

If you ever walked along an empty stretch of beach and flushed away a flock of frightened shore birds, you might have wondered to yourself whether you just committed a horrible ecological sin.

Perhaps you asked yourself, "Where are those birds going? Did they just abandon their nestlings? How long until they come back? Or better yet, will they ever come back?"

A new study tries to answer these types of questions with respect to the impact of recreational boaters on nesting colonies of bla........ Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 07:05 AM
  • 769 views

Therapeutic Gene Silencing Strategies: An Introduction

by Rick Scavetta in DNA Dude


There has been quite a buzz circulating about the possibility of therapeutic gene silencing strategies. Today I want to take a first look at what these therapies mean.
One great example where gene silencing could be used is in polyglutamine disorders. This includes several disorders where genes accumulate, by replication errors, a repeat expansion of the [...]... Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 05:30 AM
  • 474 views

Santa's OK! Over 70 and overweight possibly a good idea.

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

There have been a number of studies of late that have concluded that being overweight (not obese, overweight) and elderly is in fact a good combination.Well, here's another.This study, published today in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society has Leon Flicker and his colleagues discussing the impact of weight on mortality over a 10 year period in 9,240 Australian men and women.Their findings?The minimum mortality risk was found at a BMI of 26.6 and as BMI decreased from there, risk i........ Read more »

Flicker, L., McCaul, K., Hankey, G., Jamrozik, K., Brown, W., Byles, J., & Almeida, O. (2010) Body Mass Index and Survival in Men and Women Aged 70 to 75. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58(2), 234-241. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02677.x  

  • January 28, 2010
  • 05:27 AM
  • 1,341 views

Our very own Tree of Eukaryotes

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Time to unveil what I've been up to for the past several Friday nights. I figured that after nearly a year and a half, and almost 20K page views, it's time for our blog to grow up a bit. What we need is our very own tree.Remember how I often refer to the Keeling et al 2005 tree when pointing out where some obscure organism lies on the 'map'? Well, that tree is 5 years out of date now. In fields like molecular biology and genomics, a lot can change in five years; compounded with how the protistan........ Read more »

James, T., Kauff, F., Schoch, C., Matheny, P., Hofstetter, V., Cox, C., Celio, G., Gueidan, C., Fraker, E., Miadlikowska, J.... (2006) Reconstructing the early evolution of Fungi using a six-gene phylogeny. Nature, 443(7113), 818-822. DOI: 10.1038/nature05110  

KEELING, P., BURGER, G., DURNFORD, D., LANG, B., LEE, R., PEARLMAN, R., ROGER, A., & GRAY, M. (2005) The tree of eukaryotes. Trends in Ecology , 20(12), 670-676. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2005.09.005  

Lewis, L., & McCourt, R. (2004) Green algae and the origin of land plants. American Journal of Botany, 91(10), 1535-1556. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.91.10.1535  

PAWLOWSKI, J., & BURKI, F. (2009) Untangling the Phylogeny of Amoeboid Protists. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 56(1), 16-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2008.00379.x  

Taylor, F., Hoppenrath, M., & Saldarriaga, J. (2007) Dinoflagellate diversity and distribution. Biodiversity and Conservation, 17(2), 407-418. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-007-9258-3  

  • January 28, 2010
  • 05:00 AM
  • 1,970 views

The paradoxes of the Endangered Species Act (and how to fix them)

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

In a recent article in the journal Environmental Management, conservation biologist George Wilhere argues that the Endangered Species Act and its provision for habitat conservation plans are hampered by three main paradoxes: the Train Wreck Paradox, the Jeopardy Paradox, and the Maximum Mitigation Paradox. We interview George Wilhere and ask him how we can fix the problem...... Read more »

Wilhere, G. (2009) Three Paradoxes of Habitat Conservation Plans. Environmental Management, 44(6), 1089-1098. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-009-9399-0  

  • January 28, 2010
  • 03:41 AM
  • 1,776 views

wait, can planets reproduce by budding?

by Greg Fish in weird things

Or at least according to a new paper by a physicist and a geologist who propose that a giant bubble of molten heavy metal was ejected from a young Earth after a nuclear meltdown within its innards and formed the Moon. Forget the notion of a wandering world plowing into our planet and ejecting the [...]... Read more »

R. J. de Meijer, & W. van Westrenen. (2010) An alternative hypothesis for the origin of the Moon. Earth, Moon and Planets. arXiv: 1001.4243v1

  • January 27, 2010
  • 10:13 PM
  • 1,028 views

XMRV infection is enhanced by prostatic protein fragments

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Fragments of an abundant protein produced by the prostate form amyloid fibrils that enhance infection of cells by human immunodeficiency virus type 1. These fibrils, called semen-derived enhancer of virus infection (SEVI), have been found to boost infection of prostate cells by the retrovirus XMRV. Is this evidence that XMRV causes prostate cancer?
Because most HIV-1 [...]... Read more »

  • January 27, 2010
  • 09:30 PM
  • 782 views

Rapidly Diagnosing Lethal Blood-Based Fungal Infections

by Michael Long in Phased

Dominique Mazier (Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris, France) and coworkers have used mass spectrometry to rapidly and unambiguously diagnose a blood-based fungal infection, faster than is possible through conventional diagnostics. This news feature was written on January 27, 2010.... Read more »

Marinach-Patrice, C., Fekkar, A., Atanasova, R., Gomes, J., Djamdjian, L., Brossas, J.-Y., Meyer, I., Buffet, P., Snounou, G., Datry, A.... (2010) Rapid Species Diagnosis for Invasive Candidiasis Using Mass Spectrometry. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008862  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 08:21 PM
  • 492 views

Flower Power

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Thoreau's records help reveal plants' responses to climate change

... Read more »

  • January 27, 2010
  • 07:46 PM
  • 965 views

Finding Fair Lineups

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

You might never find yourself in the situation (although I might for not being able to figure out rb.org posting), but in case you were wondering how to make lineups fairer for suspects with distinct features, here's the deal...+find the anagrams... Read more »

Zarkadi T, Wade KA, & Stewart N. (2009) Creating Fair Lineups for Suspects With Distinctive Features. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS. PMID: 19883492  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 07:00 PM
  • 452 views

Whose demons?

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

"...It never was our guise To slight the poor, or aught humane despise: For Jove unfold our hospitable door, 'Tis Jove that sends the stranger and the poor..."---Homer: The Odyssey, Translation by Alexander PopeA few weeks ago, Drugmonkey wrote a piece about perceptions of drug users.  Specifically, the study looked at how mental health providers perceive people with substance use disorders depending on whether the patients were referred to being a "substance abuser" vs. havi........ Read more »

  • January 27, 2010
  • 05:36 PM
  • 863 views

God's will and beliefs are your own, not god's

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

I've written before about how religious beliefs probably are grounded in brain mechanisms that we use for other purposes, primarily social interactions. There is no "god spot" in the brain, rather we think of supernatural all-powerful agents much in the same way as we think of the people we interact with. It suggests that religious belief is a secondary effect of basic or general mechanisms that guide social cognition, although it is not definitely proven. That study dealt with god's perceived ........ Read more »

Epley N, Converse BA, Delbosc A, Monteleone GA, & Cacioppo JT. (2009) Believers' estimates of God's beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people's beliefs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(51), 21533-8. PMID: 19955414  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 05:18 PM
  • 1,146 views

Even Mutualists Have To Constantly Fight To Stay Friends

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

As soon as you put more than one species in an ecosystem, you have species interactions. There are many kinds of these relationships, each defined by what each side gets out of the deal. Many of these you've heard of, though you might not have strict definitions for, like Competition or the Antagonism of predator and prey. One of the most fascinating relationships animals can have, though, is what is called Mutualism, where both sides benefit from the interaction.Mutualism is very common: the cl........ Read more »

  • January 27, 2010
  • 05:11 PM
  • 1,058 views

Dysbiosis - What Have We Learned?

by Michael Ash in Nutri-Link Ltd - Clinical Education

Michael Ash BSc(Hons) DO, ND, FDipION reviews some of the last 12 months of published research.

The human body has some 10 trillion human cells—but 10 times that number of microbial cells. So what happens when such an important part of our bodies goes missing or never develops?

Plus what can we do to limit any adverse consequences linked to microbial disruption – referred to as dysbiosis?... Read more »

Martin FP, Sprenger N, Yap IK, Wang Y, Bibiloni R, Rochat F, Rezzi S, Cherbut C, Kochhar S, Lindon JC.... (2009) Panorganismal gut microbiome-host metabolic crosstalk. Journal of proteome research, 8(4), 2090-105. PMID: 19281268  

Ley RE, Lozupone CA, Hamady M, Knight R, & Gordon JI. (2008) Worlds within worlds: evolution of the vertebrate gut microbiota. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 6(10), 776-88. PMID: 18794915  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 04:26 PM
  • 479 views

Now That's Change I Can Believe In!

by Neuropsych15 in The MacGuffin

In this week's issue of the Medical Letter (1), a brief review regarding medical marijuana is included, which concluded that, "Medical marijuana may be effective for treatment of nausea, anorexia, pain and some other conditions, but published data supporting its efficacy for treating patients with intractable cancer pain are limited, dosage is not well standardized, and cannabis is often poorly tolerated, especially by older patients. " (Jan 25 issues, 2010)This conclusion was based on a re........ Read more »

Medical Letter, Inc. (2010) Medical Marijuana. The Medical Letter, 52(1330). info:/

  • January 27, 2010
  • 03:22 PM
  • 946 views

If I was a running shoe manufacturer, I would be worried…

by aimee in misc.ience

This is brilliant.  I’ve heard intimations of it on various websites for the last few months, but it’s always good to see a published paper backing it up.

In short, it says that running shoes are not actually necessary for runners.  In fact, they may do more to cause damage than to protect.

So, the paper, published [...]

[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »

Lieberman, D., Venkadesan, M., Werbel, W., Daoud, A., D’Andrea, S., Davis, I., Mang’Eni, R., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2010) Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature, 463(7280), 531-535. DOI: 10.1038/nature08723  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 01:56 PM
  • 2,090 views

Constraining Evolution

by Lucas in thoughtomics


The 19th century must have been an exciting time to be a biologist, or a natural historian, adhering to the terminology of that time. These were the naturalists who unearthed fossils of giant reptiles and discovered what living cells are made off under their microscopes. One of the finest natural historians to have ever lived, [...]... Read more »

Milinkovitch, M., Helaers, R., & Tzika, A. (2009) Historical Constraints on Vertebrate Genome Evolution. Genome Biology and Evolution, 13-18. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evp052  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 01:21 PM
  • 1,400 views

Doctor Who and the Silver Spiral

by Megan in Rigel

Far across the universe, something big was about to happen. The explosion would outshine an entire galaxy and be visible billions of kilometres away. Its light would travel across the universe for millions of years but, aside from a few astronomers, it would go unnoticed on the Earth.With a grating, wheezing noise, a small blue box flickered into existence."So, where are we?""Have a look..." the Doctor replied, tapping a control, "but... don't step outside."The door of the TARDIS clicked open, a........ Read more »

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  

Crockett, R., Maund, J., Smartt, S., Mattila, S., Pastorello, A., Smoker, J., Stephens, A., Fynbo, J., Eldridge, J., Danziger, I.... (2008) The Birth Place of the Type Ic Supernova 2007gr. The Astrophysical Journal, 672(2). DOI: 10.1086/527299  

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  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 12:40 PM
  • 1,296 views

Human grid cells tile the environment

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

HOW does the brain encode the spatial representations which enable us to successfully navigate our environment? Four decades of research has identified four cell types in the brains of mice and rats which are known to be involved in these processes: place cells, grid cells, head direction cells and, most recently, border cells. Although the functions of most of these cell types are well characterized in rodents, it remains unclear whether they are also found in humans. A new functional neuroimag........ Read more »

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