Figure 1: Two models of Newton's universe. Newtonian gravity predicts that stars were packed together tightly in the beginning, and expanded out into space. Over time, the stars either would collapse back together or expand forever. (Source: John D. Norton)...... Read more »
Hubble, E. (1929) A Relation between Distance and Radial Velocity among Extra-Galactic Nebulae. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 15(3), 168-173. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.15.3.168
Every so often this cocaine vaccine issue rears its head again. I saw it again just the other day. The problem is, of course, the tendency of the media (ain't it always the media) to say something like "OMG THIS IS TEH CURE FOR EVERYTHING!" in response to one small study. And who knows, the cocaine vaccine may indeed be the cure for everything, but Sci needs to see some big trials before she gets her hopes up. As it is, the studies I have seen provide some interesting clues, but also provide........ Read more »
Haney, M., Gunderson, E., Jiang, H., Collins, E., & Foltin, R. (2010) Cocaine-Specific Antibodies Blunt the Subjective Effects of Smoked Cocaine in Humans. Biological Psychiatry, 67(1), 59-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.08.031
In the movie Roxanne, Steve Martin’s Cyrano-esque character has a scene where he’s supposed to drink from a small fluted wine glass, but his character’s large schnoz makes it impossible. That’s sort of the task faced by several birds species with large, lengthy bills.
Feeding is no small task for birds. Keep in mind that birds have no hands to manipulate their food, and a bird’s bill is completely inflexible. Imagine trying to eat without moving your lips.
Hornbills (like Aceros cass........ Read more »
Baussart, S., & Bels, V. (2010) Tropical hornbills (Aceros cassidix, Aceros undulatus, and Buceros hydrocorax) use ballistic transport to feed with their large beaks . Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology. DOI: 10.1002/jez.590
Turkeys have long been an important foodstuff in many parts of the world. In the U.S., not only has our post-colonial society been fueled by this fowl; historically, turkey meat, feathers, and bones have provided important uses for pre-contact Native Americans. But where did these birds come from? By examining the remains of turkeys from [...]... Read more »
Speller, C., Kemp, B., Wyatt, S., Monroe, C., Lipe, W., Arndt, U., & Yang, D. (2010) Ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals complexity of indigenous North American turkey domestication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909724107
A recent study in the American Academy of Neurology found that people with Alzheimer’s disease have a significantly reduced risk of being hospitalized for cancer.... Read more »
Roe CM, Fitzpatrick AL, Xiong C, Sieh W, Kuller L, Miller JP, Williams MM, Kopan R, Behrens MI, & Morris JC. (2010) Cancer linked to Alzheimer disease but not vascular dementia. Neurology, 74(2), 106-12. PMID: 20032288
This week, the headlines have made bold claims about a possible link between drinking too many fizzy drinks and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
The claims were based on a new study, led by Mark Pereira from the University of Minnesota and colleagues in Singapore. It was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and [...]... Read more »
Mueller, N., Odegaard, A., Anderson, K., Yuan, J., Gross, M., Koh, W., & Pereira, M. (2010) Soft Drink and Juice Consumption and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: The Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers , 19(2), 447-455. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0862
Predators lag prey in climate change adaptations
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Thackeray, S.J. et al. (2010) Trophic level asynchrony in rates of phenological change for marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02165.x
For anyone who has spent any time around a gym or even around fervent gym goers, you have probably heard the adage that chocolate milk is the ideal drink of choice post exercise to aid in recovery. In fact, dairy companies have put out commercials advertising the purported athletic benefits of drinking chocolate milk post exercise. I must admit that I personally love a 500ml carton of chocolate milk after my workouts. But is there any evidence to support all the hype?
Now, before I go any fur........ Read more »
... Read more »
SUTELA, T., & VEHANEN, T. (2009) Responses of fluvial fish assemblages to agriculture within the boreal zone. Fisheries Management and Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2400.2009.00711.x
[This post is based a question I got in response to a previous post but thought it deserved a short post on its own as there's a few interesting points.]
There’s been a lot of bad press recently for climate science but a lot of has focused on very minor issues. For example, most of [...]... Read more »
A recent blog post at National Public Radio’s “Cosmos And Culture” by astrophysicist Adam Frank has raised my hackles. The post, titled “The Evolution Debate Is Over; It's Time To Move Forward,” argues that “it's time to put the prejudices that drag down discussion between science and the domains of human spiritual endeavor aside.”
... Read more »
Sopona, the Yoruba god of smallpox
A while ago I listed a number of reasons why smallpox was eradicated, whereas other diseases haven’t been (yet). One of the reasons was that the vaccine against smallpox1 is so effective. Vaccinia immunization induces immunity for an extraordinarily long time — memory immune responses have been shown for [...]... Read more »
Liu, L., Zhong, Q., Tian, T., Dubin, K., Athale, S., & Kupper, T. (2010) Epidermal injury and infection during poxvirus immunization is crucial for the generation of highly protective T cell–mediated immunity. Nature Medicine, 16(2), 224-227. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2078
MAHNKE, K., JOHNSON, T., RING, S., & ENK, A. (2007) Tolerogenic dendritic cells and regulatory T cells: A two-way relationship. Journal of Dermatological Science, 46(3), 159-167. DOI: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2007.03.002
Roukens, A., Vossen, A., Bredenbeek, P., van Dissel, J., & Visser, L. (2008) Intradermally Administered Yellow Fever Vaccine at Reduced Dose Induces a Protective Immune Response: A Randomized Controlled Non-Inferiority Trial. PLoS ONE, 3(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001993
Scientists have examined how well our planet's biodiversity and carbon stocks overlap. The findings from their study could have major implications for the future of global conservation work...... Read more »
Strassburg, B., Kelly, A., Balmford, A., Davies, R., Gibbs, H., Lovett, A., Miles, L., Orme, C., Price, J., Turner, R.... (2010) Global congruence of carbon storage and biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2009.00092.x
There are two main kinds of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) - the ones that involve actually doing stuff, and the ones that don't.Things like herbal medicine, chiropractic, and acupuncture could plausibly make someone better, as more than just a placebo, given what we know about physics and chemistry, because they involve physically acting on the body. I don't claim to know whether they do in fact work, but in theory, they could.Other CAM techniques, however, are just magic. Homeopa........ Read more »
Shang, A., Huwiler-Müntener, K., Nartey, L., Jüni, P., Dörig, S., Sterne, J., Pewsner, D., & Egger, M. (2005) Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. The Lancet, 366(9487), 726-732. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67177-2
To the growing list of small-molecule drugs that have a measurable effect on lifespan or healthspan (e.g., resveratrol and rapamycin) we should add metformin, an anti-diabetic drug that has shown promise as a calorie restriction mimetic. Onken & Driscoll determined some of the genetic requirements for metformin’s anti-aging properties in the worm C. elegans:
Metformin induces [...]... Read more »
Onken, B., & Driscoll, M. (2010) Metformin Induces a Dietary Restriction–Like State and the Oxidative Stress Response to Extend C. elegans Healthspan via AMPK, LKB1, and SKN-1. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008758
How many of you have headed off to ‘Therapy Worksheets’ blog? Yes, that’s the one I’ve linked to in my roundup of the best CBT resources on the internet. Will Baum, the editor of that blog is also the author of where the client is, a blog about professional private practice in mental health care. [...]... Read more »
YUNUS, M. (2007) Fibromyalgia and Overlapping Disorders: The Unifying Concept of Central Sensitivity Syndromes. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, 36(6), 339-356. DOI: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2006.12.009
This video is about mirror neurons. These mirror neurons are the key to many aspects of social interaction. It allows us to understand the actions, feelings of others. In a way to “read their minds”. Possibly mirror neurons play an important role in empathy , an important asset for physicians.
But were do they come from [...]
Related posts:About Mirror Neurons Mirror Neurons are important for imitation and emulation but...
The Hidden and Informal Curriculum During Medical Educati........ Read more »
An important Canadian study has shown that the use of paroxetine (Paxil) in breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen is associated with an increased risk of death from breast cancer. These findings, which were published this week in the British Medical Journal, add to a growing body of evidence that certain (but not all) SSRI antidepressants neutralize tamoxifen's beneficial effects in treating breast cancer by interfering with it's metabolism.First, a few things about the study -The study was d........ Read more »
Kelly, C., Juurlink, D., Gomes, T., Duong-Hua, M., Pritchard, K., Austin, P., & Paszat, L. (2010) Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and breast cancer mortality in women receiving tamoxifen: a population based cohort study. BMJ, 340(feb08 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c693
You may never heard of LSDG (although some of you may have heard of LSD but I make no judgement here) but a lot scientific thought and time is spent contemplating it. In fact Google Scholar returns 113,000 published papers on the subject. Why are there millions of pages dedicated to this subject? Because it [...]... Read more »
Rex, M., Stuart, C., Hessler, R., Allen, J., Sanders, H., & Wilson, G. (1993) Global-scale latitudinal patterns of species diversity in the deep-sea benthos. Nature, 365(6447), 636-639. DOI: 10.1038/365636a0
Hillebrand, H. (2004) On the Generality of the Latitudinal Diversity Gradient. The American Naturalist, 163(2), 192-211. DOI: 10.1086/381004
Yasuhara, M., Hunt, G., Cronin, T., & Okahashi, H. (2009) Temporal latitudinal-gradient dynamics and tropical instability of deep-sea species diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(51), 21717-21720. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910935106
My field of natural products pharmacology was founded by indigenous cultures who recognized that plants and fungi contain compounds that produce altered states of consciousness, leading to their most common use in religious ceremonies. While we may most often associate these naturally-occurring drugs with hallucinogens, the arguably most common natural product in use today is marijuana or Cannabis sativa. Indigenous to India and China, Cannabis has been the subject of increasing decriminalizati........ Read more »
Aung MM, Griffin G, Huffman JW, Wu M, Keel C, Yang B, Showalter VM, Abood ME, & Martin BR. (2000) Influence of the N-1 alkyl chain length of cannabimimetic indoles upon CB(1) and CB(2) receptor binding. Drug and alcohol dependence, 60(2), 133-40. PMID: 10940540
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