Post List

  • March 15, 2010
  • 03:33 AM

The Neuroscience of Anorexia Nervosa

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

One of the most striking features of those suffering from anorexia nervosa is their perception of their bodies. You can put them in front of a mirror and they will still tell you they’re to fat when in fact they’re skinny. A recent publication in Nature Proceedings has an explanation.
This explanation is based on the [...]

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Riva, Guiseppe. (2010) Neuroscience and Eating Disorders: The role of the medial-temporal lobe. Nature Proceedings. info:/

  • March 14, 2010
  • 11:50 PM

Science blogs and public engagement with science: practices, challenges, and talking out of your ass

by Isis the Scientist in On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess...

This week a couple of my Sciblings have been abuzz about an article published in some journal I'd never heard of... a minor impact journal...the Journal of Who Gives a Fuck Science Communication.  Bora has a great break down of some of the major criticisms.  Drugmonkey, one of the subjects of the "analysis" in this article, is also displeased and critical of the author's conclusions.I've
since read the offending article and can only tell you this - I have no
idea what the balls the aut........ Read more »

Inna Kouper. (2010) Science blogs and public engagement with science: practices, challenges, and opportunities. Journal of Science Communication, 9(1). info:/

  • March 14, 2010
  • 11:45 PM

The Cove, Dolphins, and Mercury

by Bluegrass Blue Crab in Southern Fried Science

thanks to
The Cove has recently collected a long list of awards including most notably an Oscar for best documentary.  These well-deserved accolades reward the filmmakers for risky and groundbreaking filming in a highly protected cove in Japan where a dolphin fishery thrives, both to feed the aquarium trade and citizens wishing to enjoy [...]... Read more »

  • March 14, 2010
  • 05:24 PM

If graves could talk, Patrick Wall’s would be screaming (oh, and genes affect pain)

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

In 1986, Pat Wall and Steve McMahon commented on the folly of talking about nociception as though it is pain -
‘the labelling of nociceptors as pain fibres was not an admirable simplification but an unfortunate trivialization’ and
‘…pain is an integrated package of analysed results related to meaning, significance and imperative action’ [1]
Almost 25 years have [...]... Read more »

[2] Reimann, F., Cox, J., Belfer, I., Diatchenko, L., Zaykin, D., McHale, D., Drenth, J., Dai, F., Wheeler, J., Sanders, F.... (2010) Pain perception is altered by a nucleotide polymorphism in SCN9A. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913181107  

  • March 14, 2010
  • 03:00 PM

'Wasabi protein' responsible for the heat-seeking sixth sense of rattlesnakes

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

Take a whiff of mustard or wasabi and you'll be hit with a familiar burning sensation. That's the result of chemicals in these pungent foods hitting a protein called TRPA1, a molecular alarm that warns us about irritating substances. The same protein does a similar job in other animals, but rattlesnakes and vipers have put their version of TRPA1 to a more impressive and murderous purpose. They use it to sense the body heat of their prey.

Pit vipers are famed for their ability to detect the infr........ Read more »

Gracheva, E., Ingolia, N., Kelly, Y., Cordero-Morales, J., Hollopeter, G., Chesler, A., Sánchez, E., Perez, J., Weissman, J., & Julius, D. (2010) Molecular basis of infrared detection by snakes. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08943  

  • March 14, 2010
  • 02:59 PM

The Cocaine Conundrum

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Effective treatment remains elusive.
For addiction to cocaine, amphetamine, and other stimulants, the treatment picture has been complicated by the lack of any truly significant anti-craving medications. (See post, “No Pill for Stimulant Addiction"). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has yet to approve any medications for the treatment of either cocaine or amphetamine addiction.
Take the case of cocaine. Partly the problem stems from the direct effect cocaine has on dopamine transm........ Read more »

  • March 14, 2010
  • 02:20 PM

Maintaining change

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I’m sure we’ve all seen it. The person comes into a pain management programme, gets excited, does really well during each session, enjoys the company and makes huge gains – then the programme ends and — FIZZLE! It all stops.
Some critics suggest that any change obtained during a short-term programme (such as a three-week [...]... Read more »

  • March 14, 2010
  • 07:59 AM

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, Diet Coke & Health. Part I.

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

At Medical and Technology of Joseph Kim, the upcoming Grand Rounds host, I saw the blog post “Need your help on Facebook to get Diet Coke to Donate $50,000 to the Foundation for NIH”.
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has started a national campaign in the US, The Heart Truth®. They issued a challenge in [...]... Read more »

Litsa K Lambrakos, Pamela Coxson, Lee Goldman, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo. (2010) Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption and the Attributable Burden to Diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease. Circulation. info:other/

Malik VS, Schulze MB, & Hu FB. (2006) Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 84(2), 274-88. PMID: 16895873  

Wolff E, & Dansinger ML. (2008) Soft drinks and weight gain: how strong is the link?. Medscape journal of medicine, 10(8), 189. PMID: 18924641  

Janssen I, Katzmarzyk PT, Boyce WF, Vereecken C, Mulvihill C, Roberts C, Currie C, Pickett W, & Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Obesity Working Group. (2005) Comparison of overweight and obesity prevalence in school-aged youth from 34 countries and their relationships with physical activity and dietary patterns. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 6(2), 123-32. PMID: 15836463  

  • March 14, 2010
  • 12:40 AM

Say Hello to My Little Friend

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

What looks like a worm, is completely symmetrical in cross-section, and in the words of  Dr. Peter Holland:
“It has no mouth, no gut, no brain and no nerve cord. It doesn’t have a left or right side or a top or bottom – we can’t even tell which end is the front!” (quoted from Physorg)
Its [...]... Read more »

Jimenez-Guri, E., Okamura, B., & Holland, P. (2007) Origin and evolution of a myxozoan worm. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 47(5), 752-758. DOI: 10.1093/icb/icm026  

  • March 13, 2010
  • 05:45 PM

Brain scans read memories

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

FORMATION of a memory is widely believed to leave a 'trace' in the brain - a fleeting pattern of electrical activity which strengthens the connections within a widely distributed network of neurons, and which re-emerges when the memory is recalled. The concept of the memory trace was first proposed nearly a century ago, but the nature of the trace, its precise location in the brain and the underlying neural mechanisms all remain elusive. A new study by researchers from University College London ........ Read more »

Chadwick, M. J., et al. (2010) Decoding Individual Episodic Memory Traces in the Human Hippocampus. Curr. Biol. info:/

  • March 13, 2010
  • 04:16 PM

The most hated journal in science?

by Andrew Sun in On The Road

Enserink, M. (2010). Elsevier to Editor: Change Controversial Journal or Resign Science, 327 (5971), 1316-1316 DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5971.1316A non-peer-reviewed journal called Medical Hypotheses is facing possibly its end as reported by Science, because it contains science related contents that are not...... Read more »

  • March 13, 2010
  • 03:37 PM

Taking an Artificial Leaf Out of Nature’s Book

by calvinus in Post Tenebras Lux

Solar cells can be thought of as an artificial leaf, turning sunlight into energy. Mimicking the surface of lotus leaves takes this analogy one step further.... Read more »

  • March 13, 2010
  • 03:23 PM

Looking for a post-coital snack?

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Sexual partners do not always represent a healthy meal…

Sexual cannibalism, where a female preys on her male partner subsequent to copulation, is exhibited in several insect and arachnid species. Many hypotheses about the evolution of such a practice suggest that it is part due to the nutritional benefits to be had from chowing down [...]... Read more »

  • March 13, 2010
  • 03:02 PM

Soft, wet and rather tough

by Lars Fischer in EuCheMS 2010 Blog

Hydrogels are the only materials that have the potential to be used as a replacement material for functional tissues like cartilage, sinews or muscles. However, while the biological wet and soft materials have impressive mechanical properties and are generally very tough, conventional hydrogels are rather brittle and tend to disintegrate under duress. With one exception, [...]... Read more »

  • March 13, 2010
  • 02:08 PM

Evolving from Promiscuity to Monogamy

by Johnny in Ecographica

...despite the fact that promiscuous mating systems are the prevailing strategy in nature, environmental factors can push typically promiscuous species towards monogamy... case in point, a report published in the April issue of The American Naturalist details how the ‘mimic poison dart frog’ (Ranitomeya imitator) parted ways with promiscuity to adapt a lifestyle as the first scientifically recognized genetically monogamous amphibian. ... Read more »

  • March 13, 2010
  • 12:29 PM

High Arctic soil carbon underestimated

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

Most people have heard about the potential positive feedback of soil carbon on climate: As temperatures warm, soil microbes are more active and permafrost begins to thaw–both of which can hasten decomposition and the release of CO2 to the atmosphere.  This, in turn, has the potential to accelerate warming.
A lot of us who study climate [...]... Read more »

Burnham, J. H., and R. S. Sletten. (2010) Spatial Distribution of Soil Organic Carbon in Northwest Greenland and Underestimates of High Arctic Carbon Stores. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. info:/10.1029/2009GB003660

  • March 13, 2010
  • 11:06 AM

The evidence is: status, communication training, and intrinsic rewards are positively associated with scientists communicating with the media

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

Myths abound about how scientists do not talk with the media or communicate with the public and if they do so, it is only because they are required to by funders' "broader impact" requirements. The evidence, however, does not support this view. This article is another in a series of communications based on a multi-national study of how scientists in several fields communicate with the media. (you might have seen [1] or [2]). This article only uses data from US scientists who were re........ Read more »

Dunwoody, S., Brossard, D., . (2009) Socialization or rewards? Predicting U.S. scientist-media interactions. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 86(2), 299-314. info:/

  • March 13, 2010
  • 09:35 AM

AMS Climate briefing rundown

by Callan Bentley in Mountain Beltway

Yesterday I attended a climate change briefing hosted by the American Meteorological Society (in conjunction with NSF, AGU, AAAS, and the American Statistical Association). It was in the Hart Senate Office Building, but I didn’t see any senators at the briefing.
It was an interesting format: 3 talented speakers giving 3 “fifteen-minute” presentations (really more like [...]... Read more »

Solomon, S., Plattner, G., Knutti, R., & Friedlingstein, P. (2009) Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(6), 1704-1709. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0812721106  

  • March 13, 2010
  • 08:08 AM

Cell Cycle Visualization in Development

by AndrewHires in Brain Windows

Atsushi Miyawaki’s lab has developed a series of neat tools for visualizing cell cycle progress.... Read more »

Sugiyama, M., Sakaue-Sawano, A., Iimura, T., Fukami, K., Kitaguchi, T., Kawakami, K., Okamoto, H., Higashijima, S., & Miyawaki, A. (2009) Illuminating cell-cycle progression in the developing zebrafish embryo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(49), 20812-20817. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906464106  

  • March 13, 2010
  • 06:10 AM

On emerging viruses

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Investigators face a daunting black box with emerging viruses: the challenge of developing a universal therapeutic agent to combat a genetically proficient virus that quite likely has many more options for emergence than we have yet considered.

–Graham, R., & Baric, R. (2009). Recombination, Reservoirs, and the Modular Spike: Mechanisms of Coronavirus Cross-Species [...]... Read more »

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