Should the government protect society from the bad effects of violent videogames? Game-makers invoke freedom of speech to stave off such laws—including California's 2005 attempt to ban violent-game sales to minors, which the U.S. Supreme Court will take up this fall. But maybe there's a better defense: According to this paper (pdf), published this month in the Review of General Psychology, there's nothing to protect against, because violent games have no bad effects.
Studies to ........ Read more »
Ferguson, C. (2010) Blazing angels or resident evil? Can violent video games be a force for good?. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 68-81. DOI: 10.1037/a0018941
Ferguson, C., & Kilburn, J. (2010) Much ado about nothing: The misestimation and overinterpretation of violent video game effects in Eastern and Western nations: Comment on Anderson et al. (2010). Psychological Bulletin, 136(2), 174-178. DOI: 10.1037/a0018566
Bushman, B., Rothstein, H., & Anderson, C. (2010) Much ado about something: Violent video game effects and a school of red herring: Reply to Ferguson and Kilburn (2010). Psychological Bulletin, 136(2), 182-187. DOI: 10.1037/a0018718
How can a nation call itself civilized if it executes its own citizens? Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Liebman, James S. (2007) Slow dancing with death: The supreme court nd capital punishment, 1963-2006. Columbia Law Review, 107(1), 1-130. info:other/
In 2002, flood waters from Canyon Lake dam reservoir in central Texas were diverted into an emergency spillway at nearly 200 times the normal flow rate. The resulting flood event, which lasted for six weeks, removed trees and sediment and excavated a 7 m deep and >1 km long canyon into the limestone bedrock. A [...]... Read more »
Lamb, M., & Fonstad, M. (2010) Rapid formation of a modern bedrock canyon by a single flood event. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo894
I just attended another fabulous conference, The 24th Annual International Conference on Practical Approaches to the Treatment of Obesity. I learned a lot about new surgical techniques and heard an intriguing new way to understand the honeymoon period after gastric bypass. I'll write about that when I have an article to discuss.Today we turn to the experience of hunger. During the first 12-24 months after gastric bypass, most patients report a drastic change in their experiences of hunger and ta........ Read more »
Lowe MR, Butryn ML, Didie ER, Annunziato RA, Thomas JG, Crerand CE, Ochner CN, Coletta MC, Bellace D, Wallaert M.... (2009) The Power of Food Scale. A new measure of the psychological influence of the food environment. Appetite, 53(1), 114-8. PMID: 19500623
Attaining a healthy weight is often billed as an individual pursuit, with television commercials eagerly encouraging customers to take hold of their habits. But for all the calorie-counting and exercise schedules you can give a person, their struggle with weight doesn’t occur in isolation. Family members and friends can negatively influence your diet, whether it’s [...]... Read more »
Bao, J., Desai, V., Christoffel, K., Smith-Ray, P., & Nagle, A. (2009) Prevalence of Obesity Among Children and/or Grandchildren of Adult Bariatric Surgery Patients. Obesity Surgery, 19(7), 833-839. DOI: 10.1007/s11695-009-9835-5
There's something special about islands. After moving to islands, plants adapted to rocky outcrops evolve to grow in rainforests and alpine meadows, and finches evolve to behave like woodpeckers. But why? Islands contain new food sources and habitats, they often lack predators, and they can provide more geographic barriers to generate reproductive isolation—to name just a few possibilities. A newly published ecological experiment now provides evidence that one group of island lizards diversfi........ Read more »
Calsbeek, R., & Cox, R. (2010) Experimentally assessing the relative importance of predation and competition as agents of selection. Nature, 465(7298), 613-6. DOI: 10.1038/nature09020
Givnish, T., Millam, K., Mast, A., Paterson, T., Theim, T., Hipp, A., Henss, J., Smith, J., Wood, K., & Sytsma, K. (2009) Origin, adaptive radiation and diversification of the Hawaiian lobeliads (Asterales: Campanulaceae). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276(1656), 407-16. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.1204
Losos, J. (1990) Ecomorphology, performance capability, and scaling of West Indian Anolis lizards: an evolutionary analysis. Ecological Monographs, 60(3), 369-88. DOI: 10.2307/1943062
Pinto, G., Mahler, D., Harmon, L., & Losos, J. (2008) Testing the island effect in adaptive radiation: rates and patterns of morphological diversification in Caribbean and mainland Anolis lizards. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1652), 2749-57. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0686
While working on a cell cycle lecture for the Education Resources web at Promega.com, I reread some classic papers describing classic cell-cycle experiments. Two of these papers describe the experiments by Murray and Kirschner showing that cyclin B synthesis and degradation are required for cycling in Xenopus oocyte extracts. When I took my first graduate-level [...]... Read more »
Murray AW, & Kirschner MW. (1989) Cyclin synthesis drives the early embryonic cell cycle. Nature, 339(6222), 275-80. PMID: 2566917
Murray AW, Solomon MJ, & Kirschner MW. (1989) The role of cyclin synthesis and degradation in the control of maturation promoting factor activity. Nature, 339(6222), 280-6. PMID: 2566918
Lund E, Liu M, Hartley RS, Sheets MD, & Dahlberg JE. (2009) Deadenylation of maternal mRNAs mediated by miR-427 in Xenopus laevis embryos. RNA (New York, N.Y.), 15(12), 2351-63. PMID: 19854872
June is almost over. If you work in an academic medical center, as I do, that can mean only one thing.
The new interns are coming, and existing residents will soon be advancing to the next level. The joy! The excitement! The trepidation! And it's not all just the senior residents and the faculty feeling these emotions. It's the patients too. At least, it's the patients feeling the trepidation. The reason is the longstanding belief in academic medical centers, a belief that has diffused out of t........ Read more »
Phillips, D., & Barker, G. (2010) A July Spike in Fatal Medication Errors: A Possible Effect of New Medical Residents. Journal of General Internal Medicine. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-010-1356-3
One of my favorite pastimes is reading about situations where experts from different (and seemingly divergent) disciplines get together to discuss interdisciplinary cooperation and mutual progress. All too often scientists segregate themselves according to their area of expertise and only make use of the techniques that they are familiar with or have access to in [...]... Read more »
Finney, L., Chishti, Y., Khare, T., Giometti, C., Levina, A., Lay, P., & Vogt, S. (2010) Imaging Metals in Proteins by Combining Electrophoresis with Rapid X-ray Fluorescence Mapping. ACS Chemical Biology, 5(6), 577-587. DOI: 10.1021/cb1000263
Psychologists usually think of attention as a limited resource. The more of it you use on one task, they say, the less you have left over for others. Supporting this, countless studies have shown that performance deteriorates under dual-task versus single-task conditions. But what if, rather than having one pool of attention to share around, we have multiple pools for fueling different types of activity. By this account, if two tasks are different enough from each other, there should be no perfo........ Read more »
Schaefer, S., Lovden, M., Wieckhorst, B., & Lindenberger, U. (2010) Cognitive performance is improved while walking: Differences in cognitive-sensorimotor couplings between children and young adults. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 7(3), 371-389. DOI: 10.1080/17405620802535666
... Read more »
Rytwinski, T., & Fahrig, L. (2010) Reproductive rate and body size predict road impacts on mammal abundance. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/10-0968.1
Posted by Victor Hanson-Smith Check-out this paper by Inna S. Povolotskaya and Fyodor A. Kondrashov. (It’s a closed-access Nature article; I’m sorry if you do not have a subscription!) The premise of this paper begins with two claims. First, protein-sequence space is finite. Second, proteins have been evolving away from one other (“expanding in sequence [...]... Read more »
Povolotskaya, I., & Kondrashov, F. (2010) Sequence space and the ongoing expansion of the protein universe. Nature, 465(7300), 922-926. DOI: 10.1038/nature09105
When cosmologists study the universe they usually assume it is homogeneous and isotropic with linear perturbations. On large scales this turns out to be a very good approximation. Fortunately, these assumptions greatly simplify the math since:
The equations are linear and therefore easily solvable.
(Related to #1.) Fourier modes decouple meaning you can solve for each mode independent of the
... Read more »
Daniel Baumann, Alberto Nicolis, Leonardo Senatore, & Matias Zaldarriaga. (2010) Cosmological Non-Linearities as an Effective Fluid. eprint. arXiv: 1004.2488v1
Sci was going to save this one for a Friday Weird Science, but it's just so awesome that she couldn't bring herself to save it. She had to blog it NOW! It's not neuroscience, but it's awesome. Also, there's dragons.
Not this kind:
(Anyone else think Dragon Age Origins is really awesome?! Well, Sci spends a lot of her time wondering why the ladies are so dang naked. You're climbing a high mountain pass in the winter! Your cleavage will suffer frostbite!!!)
It's this kind:
(Aieee!!!!)........ Read more »
Bull JJ, Jessop TS, Whiteley M. (2010) Deathly Drool: Evolutionary and Ecological Basis of Septic Bacteria in Komodo Dragon Mouths. PLoS ONE, 5(6). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0011097
At the same time as we were learning that Vegetarians and Vegans might be more empathic than Omnivores we were also discovering the nature of empathy in Ravens. Published in PLoS One recently was a paper called “Do Ravens Show Consolation? Responses to Distressed Others” looking at the behaviour of Ravens and the implications for [...]... Read more »
Fraser, O., & Bugnyar, T. (2010) Do Ravens Show Consolation? Responses to Distressed Others. PLoS ONE, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010605
We love getting interesting emails from our readers. Some are complaints about our (mostly mine) colorful language, many are emails telling us how they appreciate what we do, several even come from our colleagues who would like us to know about some recent research or a new expedition, and we get many readers asking us specific . . . → Read More: Pouring Oil on ‘Troubled Waters’... Read more »
MacDonald, I., Leifer, I., Sassen, R., Stine, P., Mitchell, R., & Guinasso, N. (2002) Transfer of hydrocarbons from natural seeps to the water column and atmosphere. Geofluids, 2(2), 95-107. DOI: 10.1046/j.1468-8123.2002.00023.x
Wyckoff, Lieut. A.B. (1886) The use of oil in storms at sea. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 23(123), 383-388. info:/
By Hannah Dunbar(Brain Post Note: Hannah Dunbar is a summer research student who attends Oral Roberts University. She is providing some guest posts on her topic of interest--sleep in bipolar disorder). Bipolar disorder commonly is complicated by concurrent illicit substance abuse. Since drugs of abuse have their own effects on sleep it is important to understand these effects. We will review the effects of cocaine and cannabis on sleep. Sleep effects of drugs may be quite different during a........ Read more »
Schierenbeck T, Riemann D, Berger M, & Hornyak M. (2008) Effect of illicit recreational drugs upon sleep: cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. Sleep medicine reviews, 12(5), 381-9. PMID: 18313952
Head trauma experienced from high speed roller coaster rides is extremely common, but with too many G forces, can increase risk of short or long-term brain damage.... Read more »
Smith, D., & Meaney, D. (2002) Roller Coasters, G Forces, and Brain Trauma: On the Wrong Track?. Journal of Neurotrauma, 19(10), 1117-1120. DOI: 10.1089/08977150260337921
“Libraries and journals articles as we know them will cease to exists” said Barend Mons at the symposium in honor of our Library 25th Anniversary (June 3rd). “Possibly we will have another kind of party in another 25 years”…. he continued, grinning. What he had to say the next half hour intrigued me. And although [...]... Read more »
van Haagen HH, 't Hoen PA, Botelho Bovo A, de Morrée A, van Mulligen EM, Chichester C, Kors JA, den Dunnen JT, van Ommen GJ, van der Maarel SM.... (2009) Novel protein-protein interactions inferred from literature context. PloS one, 4(11). PMID: 19924298
Hi everyone! Rim here, so sorry for the late update guys! World Cup fever! Priorities priorities. We were introduced to neurogenesis a couple of blogs ago. The birth of neurons in the adult brain has opened the floodgates to a broad range of topics for researchers. One of the most dominant types, are those who [...]... Read more »
Deng, W., Aimone, J., & Gage, F. (2010) New neurons and new memories: how does adult hippocampal neurogenesis affect learning and memory?. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(5), 339-350. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2822
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