Post List

  • June 23, 2010
  • 11:06 AM

Less Like Poison, More Like Peanut Butter: The Case for Violent Video Games

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

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 »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

Let's bet the Chinese at their own game: Civilization.

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

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/

  • June 23, 2010
  • 10:53 AM

Rapid canyon formation and uniformitarianism

by Brian Romans in Clastic Detritus

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 »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 10:42 AM

Hunger After Gastric Bypass

by Maureen McCormick in GourMind

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  

  • June 23, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

The Family That Eats Together…

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

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 »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

With conspecifics like these, who needs predators?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

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 »

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  

MacArthur, R., Diamond, J., & Karr, J. (1972) Density compensation in island faunas. Ecology, 53(2), 330. DOI: 10.2307/1934090  

  • June 23, 2010
  • 10:01 AM

Spinning Wheels Go Round and Round: Classic Experiments on the Cell Cycle

by Promega Corporation in Promega Connections

While  working on a cell cycle lecture for the Education Resources web at, 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 »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Don't get sick in July? (Revisited)

by Orac in Respectful Insolence

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 »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 07:10 AM

Interdisciplinary Approach Creates New Tools for Protein Scientists

by avi_wener in American Biotechnologist

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  

  • June 23, 2010
  • 05:28 AM

Memory performance boosted while walking

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

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 »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

The vulnerability of species to roadkill

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 02:13 AM

Sequence space and the ongoing expansion of the protein universe

by Victor Hanson-Smith in Evolution, Development, and Genomics

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 »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 01:18 AM

Does Ignoring Small Scale Physics Hurt Cosmology? Probably Not.

by Joseph Smidt in The Eternal Universe

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

  • June 23, 2010
  • 12:55 AM

Here there be dragon drool!!!

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

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

  • June 23, 2010
  • 12:27 AM

Ravens and Empathy: The Role of Bystanders After Conflict

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

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 »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 12:02 AM

Pouring Oil on ‘Troubled Waters’

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

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 »

Franklin, B. (1774) Of the Stilling of Waves by means of Oil. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 445-460. DOI: 10.1098/rstl.1774.0044  

Wyckoff, Lieut. A.B. (1886) The use of oil in storms at sea. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 23(123), 383-388. info:/

  • June 22, 2010
  • 10:17 PM

Cocaine, Cannabis and Sleep Architecture

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

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 »

  • June 22, 2010
  • 07:53 PM

Revoking Previous Post: I Didn't Love My Head This Weekend

by Allison in Dormivigilia

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 »

  • June 22, 2010
  • 06:07 PM

Will Nano-Publications & Triplets Replace The Classic Journal Articles?

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

“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  

  • June 22, 2010
  • 05:58 PM

Neurogenesis: Learning & Memory

by neurobites in Neurobites

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 »

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