Post List

  • March 24, 2010
  • 07:22 PM
  • 1,429 views

Megarachne, the Giant Spider That Wasn't

by Laelaps in Laelaps



Megarachne, (changed to Mesothelae for broadcast) restored as an enormous spider in the series Before the Dinosaurs: Walking With Monsters.





Imagine that you are are standing in a massive junkyard with the remains of cars strewn all about you. A few are relatively complete, but most of the heap is made up of bits and pieces of models from the entire history of automotive innovation. If you were to reach down and pick up one of the scraps, would you be able to tell the make and model of the........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 07:22 PM
  • 877 views

Voodoo and Type II: Debate between Piotr Winkielman and Matt Lieberman

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

"Voodoo correlations in social neuroscience" was the original title of a paper that first caused a stir in late December 2008, when a manuscript accepted by Perspectives on Psychological Science was made available on the authors' websites. Vul, Harris, Winkielman, and Pashler produced a "bombshell of a paper" that questioned the implausibly high correlations observed in some fMRI studies in the field of Social Neuroscience. Ed Vul et al. surveyed the authors of 54 papers to determine the an........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:55 PM
  • 2,039 views

newsflash: most of missing universe found

by Greg Fish in weird things


The universe as we know it is mostly empty, with light years separating most stars and great voids stretching for millions of light years between large galaxies. But there was also a major chunk of the universe missing, a chunk to the tune of 90% which physics said should be there and yet, no telescope [...]... Read more »

Hayes, M., Östlin, G., Schaerer, D., Mas-Hesse, J., Leitherer, C., Atek, H., Kunth, D., Verhamme, A., de Barros, S., & Melinder, J. (2010) Escape of about five per cent of Lyman-α photons from high-redshift star-forming galaxies. Nature, 464(7288), 562-565. DOI: 10.1038/nature08881  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:29 PM
  • 645 views

Seducing Scientists into Science Communication

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

When it comes to science communication I (and I assume many of the bloggers I am aware of though I’d rather not put words in their mouths) do so because of a perceived lack in the mainstream media (MSM). Along with this is a frustration with the amount of unscientific thinking among the general public, [...]... Read more »

Van Eperen, L., Marincola, F., & Strohm, J. (2010) Bridging the divide between science and journalism. Journal of Translational Medicine, 8(1), 25. DOI: 10.1186/1479-5876-8-25  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:27 PM
  • 685 views

How Blind is Double-Blind?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

There's a rather timely article in the current American Journal of Psychiatry: Assuring That Double-Blind Is Blind.Generally, when the list of the authors' conflicts of interest (550 words) is nearly as long as the text of the paper (740 words), it's not a good sign, but this one isn't bad. Perlis et al remind us that if you do a double-blind placebo controlled trial:The blind may be compromised in a variety of ways, however, beginning with differences in medication taste or smell. Of partic........ Read more »

Perlis RH, Ostacher M, Fava M, Nierenberg AA, Sachs GS, & Rosenbaum JF. (2010) Assuring that double-blind is blind. The American journal of psychiatry, 167(3), 250-2. PMID: 20194487  

Moncrieff J, Wessely S, & Hardy R. (2004) Active placebos versus antidepressants for depression. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 14974002  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 05:44 PM
  • 660 views

Heavy drinking tonight won’t affect exam scores tomorrow

by Jacob Aron in Just A Theory


Students and alcohol are never far apart, but most manage to hold off the booze when they’ve got an important test the next morning. Now it seems they needn’t worry, as researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health have found that combining last-minute revision with a couple of beers isn’t a problem. Heavy [...]... Read more »

Howland, J., Rohsenow, D., Greece, J., Littlefield, C., Almeida, A., Heeren, T., Winter, M., Bliss, C., Hunt, S., & Hermos, J. (2010) The effects of binge drinking on college students' next-day academic test-taking performance and mood state. Addiction, 105(4), 655-665. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02880.x  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 04:56 PM
  • 1,470 views

Weak link in TB bacteria cell wall

by geekheartsscience in geek!

The Mycobacterium tuberculosis protein LdtM2, involved in making “nonclassical” crosslinks in the bacterial cell wall, is required for virulence and antibiotic resistance. The study results, published online in Nature Medicine, could help identify new treatment combinations to tackle chronic tuberculosis infections.
Tuberculosis is a major global health threat. Drug resistance in TB is becoming a monumental [...]... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 03:34 PM
  • 1,019 views

Symptoms, Suffering, Parents and Pediatric Palliative Care in End-Stage Cancer, Part 2

by Brian McMichael, MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

On an Australian study of retrospective cross-sectional surveys of parents whose children died of cancer at least one year previously.... Read more »

Heath JA, Clarke NE, Donath SM, McCarthy M, Anderson VA, & Wolfe J. (2010) Symptoms and suffering at the end of life in children with cancer: an Australian perspective. The Medical journal of Australia, 192(2), 71-5. PMID: 20078405  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 03:28 PM
  • 889 views

Chronic back pain – when research comes out of the blue

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Something potentially amazing just happened. I’m not being flippant, a randomised controlled trial (RCT: still the only research method that can genuinely tell whether a treatment works) from China has just produced results in chronic back pain that can only be described as amazing. The temptation is to say “unbelievable”. This trial published in the [...]... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 01:46 PM
  • 517 views

More on future-proofing germplasm collections

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

A reply to Walck & Dixon from Brian Forde-Lloyd, Nigel Maxted and Luigi Guarino.
In Walck and Dixon’s opinion (Nature 462: 721, 2009) it’s ‘time to future-proof plants in storage’, but how novel and useful is this idea? Few would argue with the principle that we need to maximise the range of genetic diversity conserved ex [...]... Read more »

Walck, J., & Dixon, K. (2009) Time to future-proof plants in storage. Nature, 462(7274), 721-721. DOI: 10.1038/462721a  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 01:12 PM
  • 1,115 views

Drinking Doesn't Decimate Test Scores

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

The latest study from Boston University has college students everywhere popping open a brewski and saying "I told you so." Researchers found that getting drunk the night before a test had no effect on the student's performance, although it left them feeling rotten on test day.

What college student hasn't chosen to blow off last minute studying in favor of a few drinks? Binge drinking is common on U.S. campuses, and the effects of such behavior on the student's performance are poorly understood......... Read more »

Howland, J., Rohsenow, D., Greece, J., Littlefield, C., Almeida, A., Heeren, T., Winter, M., Bliss, C., Hunt, S., & Hermos, J. (2010) The effects of binge drinking on college students' next-day academic test-taking performance and mood state. Addiction, 105(4), 655-665. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02880.x  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 11:31 AM
  • 1,659 views

Physical Activity Reduces the Risk fo Childhood Fat Gain

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Over the next few months, Peter and I will be re-posting some of our favourite posts from our Obesity Panacea archives.  The following article was originally posted on December 2, 2009.



Image by Mike Baird.



There is a surprising amount of controversy about the ability of physical activity to prevent the development of obesity. Sure, obese individuals tend to perform less physical activity than their lean counterparts, but that doesn't prove causation. And almost every week it seems th........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 11:18 AM
  • 646 views

Seitaad ruessi, the “Sand Monster” of the Navajo Sandstone

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Even though the first dinosaurs had evolved by 228 million years ago, it was not until the early Jurassic (about 201 million to 176 million years ago) that they were established as the dominant large vertebrates on land. It was during this time that various groups of dinosaurs diversified and began to be adapted in [...]... Read more »

Joseph J. W. Sertich, Mark A. Loewen. (2010) A New Basal Sauropodomorph Dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic Navajo Sandstone of Southern Utah. PLoS One, 5(3). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0009789

  • March 24, 2010
  • 11:04 AM
  • 1,393 views

Cooling a "Macroscopic" Object to Its Quantum Ground State

by Chad Orzel in Uncertain Principles

Several people have sent me links to news stories about last week's Nature paper, "Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator." (It was also presented at the March Meeting, but I didn't go to that session). This is billed as the first observation of quantum phenomena with a "macroscopic" or "naked eye visible" object.

Of course, there's a nice bit of irony in a story about quantum effects in a "naked eye visible" object that is accompanied by an image of the object........ Read more »

O’Connell, A., Hofheinz, M., Ansmann, M., Bialczak, R., Lenander, M., Lucero, E., Neeley, M., Sank, D., Wang, H., Weides, M.... (2010) Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08967  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 10:13 AM
  • 703 views

Understanding Our Bodies – Fiber!

by Christie Wilcox in Nutrition Wonderland

Most of us already know that we should be eating fiber - according to the Institute of Medicine, adults should be eating 20-35 grams of it per day. But why? What's so important about fiber anyway? What does it do for us physiologically? And does it matter what kind of fiber we eat? (Image Credit: Sami Taipale, flickr)... Read more »

Ruottinen S, Lagström HK, Niinikoski H, Rönnemaa T, Saarinen M, Pahkala KA, Hakanen M, Viikari JS, & Simell O. (2010) Dietary fiber does not displace energy but is associated with decreased serum cholesterol concentrations in healthy children. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 91(3), 651-61. PMID: 20071642  

Brown L, Rosner B, Willett WW, & Sacks FM. (1999) Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 69(1), 30-42. PMID: 9925120  

MELLEN, P., WALSH, T., & HERRINGTON, D. (2008) Whole grain intake and cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 18(4), 283-290. DOI: 10.1016/j.numecd.2006.12.008  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 10:08 AM
  • 784 views

Whole Genome Sequencing Diagnostics

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics










This month in the New England Journal of Medicine, James Lupski and colleagues sequenced the complete genome of an individual with familial Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT) disease. The “individual” is Lupski himself - he not only led the study, but served as patient zero. From conversations with some of my colleagues at Baylor, it’s clear that [...]... Read more »

Lupski JR, Reid JG, Gonzaga-Jauregui C, Rio Deiros D, Chen DC, Nazareth L, Bainbridge M, Dinh H, Jing C, Wheeler DA.... (2010) Whole-Genome Sequencing in a Patient with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Neuropathy. The New England journal of medicine. PMID: 20220177  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 10:00 AM
  • 450 views

Riparian Restoration: More important than ever with climate change

by JL in Analyze Everything

For people in the conservation/restoration community, trying to deal with climate change is a tough assignment.  Years and years of training and conventional wisdom preaches the value of restoring habitat to a 'pristine' state.  In the U.S., that usually translates into Pre-European settlement.  However, the reality is that the pre-settlement environment may simply no longer exist.  Even if those... Read more »

Seavy, N., Gardali, T., Golet, G., Griggs, F., Howell, C., Kelsey, R., Small, S., Viers, J., & Weigand, J. (2009) Why Climate Change Makes Riparian Restoration More Important than Ever: Recommendations for Practice and Research. Ecological Restoration, 27(3), 330-338. DOI: 10.3368/er.27.3.330  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 09:48 AM
  • 1,489 views

That Prozac coffee mug at your Dr.’s office

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

A couple of months ago Newsweek magazine published an article questioning the science of mental health services, and in particular, clinical psychology. The article was based on an opinion piece published in the journal of the Association for Psychological Science, in which a team of clinical scientists promoted a new accreditation system for clinical psychology [...]... Read more »

Penfold RB, Kelleher KJ, Wang W, Strange B, & Pajer K. (2010) Pediatric uptake of a newly available antipsychotic medication. Pediatrics, 125(3), 475-82. PMID: 20142282  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 09:00 AM
  • 852 views

Human rights and a cozy copyright conundrum

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

Internet access is rapidly moving into the domain of human rights. It’s not quite the same as the essential right to food, water, and shelter, but without internet access people and groups can be significantly marginalized within society, excluded opportunity and information, and prevented from taking a holistic role in the democratic process.
Google’s moves out [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkHuman rights and a cozy copyright conundrum
... Read more »

Lateef Mtima. (2010) A vibrant internet community requires a realistic balancing of all of legitimate interests. Int. J. Private Law , 3(3), 197-220. info:/

  • March 24, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 742 views

Survive the A-Bomb, Die Prematurely from Stroke and Heart Disease

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The survivors of the World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have considered themselves lucky, at least at first. Shortly thereafter, however, those who didn’t die from radiation poisoning learned that the radiation from the bombings placed themselves and their children at increased risk of cancer. Now, they can add heart disease [...]... Read more »

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