Post List

  • July 20, 2010
  • 06:23 PM

Hail Marys on the Subway

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

There is probably little that can happen on the NYC subway that would surprise commuters. My friend Wendy once saw Spiderman (his spidey-web thing must have not been working properly). What did she do? She took a picture, of course. As further proof of the unflappable nature of subway riders, let's take a look at this video:
(I'm a big fan of Improv Everywhere—their Ghostbusters mission is a

... Read more »

Kiernan, J.P. (1977) Public Transport and Private Risk: Zionism and the Black Commuter in South Africa. Journal of Anthropological Research, 33(2), 214-226. info:/

  • July 20, 2010
  • 05:06 PM

The amazing Life History Strategy of Pacific Island Inverts: Tahiti, Samoa and Fiji oh my!

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

Just when you thought you couldn’t learn anything more incredible about invertebrates…
Amphidromy is a specialized form of anadromy, where a species lives for its juvenile and adult life in a tropical stream habitat but releases its larvae to the open ocean for development.  Yes, you read that right:  several species of molluscs and crustaceans (snails [...]... Read more »

  • July 20, 2010
  • 05:05 PM

“Privatizing” the Reviewer Commons?

by jebyrnes in I'm a chordata, urochordata!

Let’s face it. The current journal system is slowly breaking down – in Ecology if not in other disciplines as well. The number of submissions is going up exponentially. At the same time, journals are finding it harder and harder to find reviewers. Statistics such as editors contacting 10 reviewers to [...]... Read more »

  • July 20, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

Specific Functional Impacts of Antiviral MicroRNA

by Michael Long in Phased

Amy Buck (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom) and coworkers have unraveled the specific physiological effects of a microRNA molecule that inhibits viral propagation. This news feature was written on July 20, 2010.... Read more »

Santhakumar, D., Forster, T., Laqtom, N. N., Fragkoudis, R., Dickinson, P., Abreu-Goodger, C., Manakov, S. A., Choudhury, N. R., Griffiths, S. J., Vermeulen, A.... (2010) Combined agonist-antagonist genome-wide functional screening identifies broadly active antiviral microRNAs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008861107  

  • July 20, 2010
  • 03:20 PM

Motivation: Extrinsic or Intrinsic?

by agoldstein in WiSci

You run ten miles; you practice the guitar; you sweep the floor; you write a poem. Regardless of what it is, every task requires motivation. That motivation is driven by the promise of some sort of reward, whether it be a rush of endorphins or a $25,000 check. The question is: are the most powerful rewards extrinsic or intrinsic?... Read more »

Richard A. Blocker, R. P. Edwards. (2006) The effects of extrinsic reinforcement on intrinsic motivation. Psychology in the Schools, Volume 19(Issue 2), 260-268. info:/

  • July 20, 2010
  • 02:42 PM

Why is the world vivid in mania, but bleak in depression?

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image by ParanoidMonk via Flickr No, I am not speaking metaphorically. Quite literally,there has been accumulating evidence that sense are sharpened and have great acuity in mania while they are dulled in depression and the effects can be seen within the same individual over time as he/she suffers from manic/depressive episodes. The latest study to More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Depression not only has bland taste but bland sense of smell too In one of my earlier post on........ Read more »

  • July 20, 2010
  • 01:41 PM

Librarians need to publish in non-library journals

by bjms1002 in the Undergraduate Science Librarian

Now that I’ve convinced everyone to stop going to library conferences, I’d like to make the argument that we also need to start publishing in non-library journals.  Luckily, someone has already made the point for me, in a 2007 journal article that I just came across in the Journal of Academic Librarianship by Christy Stevens. [...]... Read more »

  • July 20, 2010
  • 01:30 PM

Towards an Automated, Unbiased Diagnosis of Autism

by Michael Long in Phased

Kimbrough Oller (University of Memphis, United States, and Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Austria) and coworkers have utilized a small recording device that clips into a shirt pocket towards accurately diagnosing autism, based only on speech patterns. This news feature was written on July 20, 2010.... Read more »

Oller, D. K., Niyogi, P., Gray, S., Richards, J. A., Gilkerson, J., Xu, D., Yapanel, U., & Warren, S. F. (2010) Automated vocal analysis of naturalistic recordings from children with autism, language delay, and typical development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003882107  

  • July 20, 2010
  • 10:49 AM

Cognitive control: when less is more!

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Yesterday I wrote a post about ADHD and creativity and how the frontal lobes hypo-function and dopamine may be the mediating factors involved.  Today I serendipitously came across this article by Thomson-Schill et al in which they posit that frontal cortex hypofunction during childhood is beneficial, on average, as it enables convention learning and thus More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Autism:a cognitive style and not a deficit Continuing with the theme of my last post, ........ Read more »

Thompson-Schill, S., Ramscar, M., & Chrysikou, E. (2009) Cognition Without Control: When a Little Frontal Lobe Goes a Long Way. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(5), 259-263. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01648.x  

  • July 20, 2010
  • 10:46 AM

Garbage in, Garbage out

by gameswithwords in Games with Words

While watching television, have you ever had a fatal heart attack?

If you answered "yes" to this question, you would have been marked as a "bad participant" in Experimental Turk's recent study. The charitable assumption would be that you weren't paying attention. Importantly for those interested in using Amazon Mechanical Turk for research, participants recruited through AMT were no more likely to answer "yes" than participants tested in a traditional lab-based setting (neither group was l........ Read more »

Oppenheimer, D. M., Meyvis, T., & Davidenko, N. (2009) Instructional manipulation checks: Detecting satisficing to increase statistical power. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 867-872. info:/

  • July 20, 2010
  • 09:38 AM

Stayin' Alive

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

A small primate which was classified as endangered by the IUCN sixty years ago, and is endemic to Sri Lanka. It was seen only four times since 1937, and was thought to be extinct as it was not observed between 1939 and 2002. Living in the forest, the main cause for its endangerment is habitat destruction — logging, etc. Today, the Zoological Society of London published the first pictures in a long time of this little eusive fella. They also captured it briefly, and measured it before rel........ Read more »

Saman Gamage, James T. Reardon, U.K.G.K. Padmalal, & S.W. Kotagama1. (2010) First physical examination of the Horton Plains slender loris, Loris tardigradus nycticeboides, in 72 years . Primate Conservation. info:/

  • July 20, 2010
  • 09:25 AM

by Lars Fischer in EuCheMS 2010 Blog

I have been on to self-healing materials for some time, usually writing about them in my german blog or for newspapers and magazines. Self-healing is what makes biology superior to technology. Organisms don’t just have astonishing properties – materials have, too – but they retain them by constant regeneration and while doing so even adapt [...]... Read more »

Li, Y., Li, L., & Sun, J. (2010) Bioinspired Self-Healing Superhydrophobic Coatings. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201001258  

  • July 20, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

We Believe Because We Evolved That Way part two

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Why we have a placebo effect – Part II By Peter Blanch continued…. Bruce Hood (Hood 2009) in his book “Supersense: why we believe in the unbelievable” makes a couple of quite pertinent points. He outlines a simple experiment he uses in his presentations where he presents to the audience ‘the pen’ (he admits to stretching [...]... Read more »

Granger, G. L. a. R. (2008) Big Brain: The origins and future of human intelligence. New York, Palgrave MacMillan. info:other/

  • July 20, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Just say no to sunscreen nanophobia!

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Once again we’re at a pivotal point in human development, where a novel technology might allow us to improve the lot of millions, perhaps billions of people across the globe and yet activists are invoking the precautionary principle and informing consumers of the possible dangers therein. As happened with vaccines, nuclear energy, genetically modified crops, [...]Just say no to sunscreen nanophobia! is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Thomas Faunce. (2010) Exploring the safety of nanoparticles in Australian sunscreens. Int. J. Biomed. Nanosci. Nanotechnol., 1(1), 87-94. info:/

  • July 20, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Determining the phylogeny of Panthera palaeosinensis.

by EcoPhysioMichelle in C6-H12-O6 (old)

The feline subfamily Pantherinae is comprised of the so-called “big cats” and includes the four extant species of the Panthera genus (tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards), which are set apart by their unique ability to roar, and also the two species of clouded leopards and the snow leopard. There is some debate as to whether [...]... Read more »

  • July 20, 2010
  • 07:09 AM

Why you REALLY can’t trust small studies: the small study effect

by Michael Slezak in Good, Bad, and Bogus

You’ll often see loony zealots refer you to a study showing how effective their preferred treatment is — there usually is some small study supporting the use of almost any treatment.
You’ll also often hear people reply that the study was only small, so shouldn’t be trusted. But why shouldn’t you trust small studies? Sure, they [...]... Read more »

  • July 20, 2010
  • 05:11 AM

Pronghorn, "designed by committee" (pronghorns part I)

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

The Pronghorn or Pronghorn antelope* Antilocapra americana is a strikingly unique artiodactyl, endemic to western North America. Historically, it ranged from southern Manitoba and Washington in the north to northern Mexico in the south, and to western Iowa in the east. Between 40 and 50 million Pronghorns were alive in 1850; excessive hunting had reduced this number to 13000 by 1920. Subsequent conservation efforts have resulted in substantial recovery: there are currently between half a mil........ Read more »

Lindstedt SL, Hokanson JF, Wells DJ, Swain SD, Hoppeler H, & Navarro V. (1991) Running energetics in the pronghorn antelope. Nature, 353(6346), 748-50. PMID: 1944533  

  • July 20, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

A qualified success?

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

Why do some people fail to do things that would enhance their employability, and what can we do about it?... Read more »

  • July 20, 2010
  • 02:55 AM

Requirements for becoming a professor in ecology and evolution

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

Oh boy! If you're thinking about landing a tenure track job or similar in ecology or evolutionary biology, here's a kicker for you.

A study of 181 recently hired faculty members shows that to be competitive in ecology and evolutionary biology, the requirements are stiff as hell.... Read more »

Marshall, J., Buttars, P., Callahan, T., Dennehy, J., Harris, D., Lunt, B., Mika, M., & Shupe, R. (2009) Letter to the Editors. Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution, 55(4), 381-392. DOI: 10.1560/IJEE.55.4.381  

  • July 20, 2010
  • 02:28 AM

The Myth of the Humboldt Squid

by Mike Mike in Cephalove

I recently got a request (thanks to arvindpillai at Fins to Feet) to do a post on the shoaling and predatory behavior of Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas (also known as the Jumbo squid, and by those who don't know any better, the giant squid.)  I decided that this would be a good thing to do, because I hadn't read much about the predatory behavior of D. gigas.  So I spent a week searching the literature for scientific studies on Humboldt squid predatory behavior, and guess what?  I........ Read more »

Gilly, W., Markaida, U., Baxter, C., Block, B., Boustany, A., Zeidberg, L., Reisenbichler, K., Robison, B., Bazzino, G., & Salinas, C. (2006) Vertical and horizontal migrations by the jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas revealed by electronic tagging. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 1-17. DOI: 10.3354/meps324001  


James A. Cosgrove, & Kelly A. Sendall. (2005) First Records of Dosidicus gigas, the Humboldt Squid in the Temperate North-eastern Pacific. Archives of the British Columbia Royal Museum. info:/

Zeidberg LD, & Robison BH. (2007) Invasive range expansion by the Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas, in the eastern North Pacific. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(31), 12948-50. PMID: 17646649  

Byard RW, Gilbert JD, & Brown K. (2000) Pathologic features of fatal shark attacks. The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology : official publication of the National Association of Medical Examiners, 21(3), 225-9. PMID: 10990281  

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