Post List

  • January 16, 2011
  • 06:25 PM

Don't Advocate from a Position of Hate

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - On some days, just watching the news can stop us cold. Those who work in law should be proud to be part of a system that, however imperfectly, resolves disputes with appeals to reason and judgment rather than force. But the opposite end of the spectrum was seen in last week's devestating shooting in Tucson that left six dead and fourteen injured. While the motives of the shooter remain hazy at the time of writing, one element seems clear: for whatever twisted reason, the........ Read more »

Blatt B, LeLacheur SF, Galinsky AD, Simmens SJ, & Greenberg L. (2010) Does perspective-taking increase patient satisfaction in medical encounters?. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(9), 1445-52. PMID: 20736672  

Wayne Brockriede. (1972) Arguers as Lovers. Philosophy and Rhetoric, 1-11. info:/

Horberg, E., Oveis, C., Keltner, D., & Cohen, A. (2009) Disgust and the moralization of purity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(6), 963-976. DOI: 10.1037/a0017423  

  • January 16, 2011
  • 04:32 PM

P is happy and N is sad – a biological universal?

by Maria Wolters in Speech and Science

Twitter has been abuzz recently with news of a paper that claims to have found universal sound correlates of happiness and sadness: Auracher, J., Albers, S., Zhai, Y., Gareeva, G., & Stavniychuk, T. (2011). P Is for Happiness, N Is for Sadness: Universals in Sound Iconicity to Detect Emotions in Poetry Discourse Processes, 48 (1), [...]... Read more »

  • January 16, 2011
  • 04:24 PM

CFTR aids Listeria escape into cell cytosol

by geekheartsscience in geek!

The intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes must escape the vacuole formed during entry into the host cell to replicate in its preferred environment—the cell cytosol—and continues its life cycle. Although the pore-forming bacterial toxin listeriolysin O is vital for Listeria escape … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 16, 2011
  • 09:18 AM

Targeting dormant bacteria

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Antibiotics are effective against bacteria because they target and knock out specific functions that are vital for bacterial survival. As most bacterial infections involve rapid growth and division of the invading bacteria, many commercial antibiotics currently target metabolically active cells, by blocking enzymes needed for growth, reproduction, or cell wall synthesis. While these will kill acute bacterial infections they are often far less effective against dormant bacteria in longer-term per........ Read more »

  • January 16, 2011
  • 08:37 AM

What is Science?

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

Reading this Lubos’ post about a very good site (this one) I entered into the comment area and I have found the following declaration by him: Science is a meritocracy where answers are determined by objective criteria, and for most of the difficult questions, only one or a few people know the right answer and [...]... Read more »

D. Dudal, M. S. Guimaraes, & S. P. Sorella. (2010) Glueball masses from an infrared moment problem and nonperturbative Landau gauge. arxiv. arXiv: 1010.3638v3

  • January 15, 2011
  • 10:58 PM

A Genlisean Effort: A Tale of Two Trans-Atlantic Dispersal Events in the Carnivorous Plant Genus Genlisea

by Ryan Kitko in Cunabulum

An illustration from 1858 on the closed and open Atlantic Ocean.South America and Africa look like they fit together snuggly, like puzzle pieces. It's so intuitive that children can grasp this notion without the aid of a formal education in geology. As an accepted theory, plate tectonics draws on evidence from several supporting disciplines, including paleontology and biogeography. Paleontology and geology are, of course, the primary fields where evidence for continental drift arises, ........ Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 10:31 PM

Does mathematical training increase our risk tolerance?

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

Humans are inherently risk averse. When offered a coin toss with a reward of $10,000 for heads but a loss of $10,000 for tails, most people would decline. They would likely agree to pay a significant sum to avoid the gamble, despite the expected value of the gamble being zero. When economists describe the preferences [...]... Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 04:00 PM

Neury Thursday: Thalamic and Raphe Signaling

by Allison in Dormivigilia

In this week's Journal of Neuroscience, scientists have uncovered the importance of the raphe nuclei in reward processing and have characterized the physical properties of thalamocortical waves... Read more »

Miyazaki K, Miyazaki KW, & Doya K. (2011) Activation of dorsal raphe serotonin neurons underlies waiting for delayed rewards. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(2), 469-79. PMID: 21228157  

Slézia A, Hangya B, Ulbert I, & Acsády L. (2011) Phase Advancement and Nucleus-Specific Timing of Thalamocortical Activity during Slow Cortical Oscillation. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(2), 607-17. PMID: 21228169  

  • January 15, 2011
  • 03:50 PM

IRS Serine Phosphorylation and Insulin Sensitivity?

by Dave Bridges in Dave's Blog

This is part of my last year in science series. Click here for the rationale.Insulin signalling passes through a cascade of signaling proteins starting with the recruitment of the Insulin Receptor Substrate (IRS) to the Insulin Receptor.  Insulin resistance, or impaired insulin signaling is a hallmark of obesity and diabetes.  One of the ways in which was thought to happen was through phosphorylation of Serine 307 on IRS, a phosphorylation event which has been proposed to be inhibitor........ Read more »

Copps KD, Hancer NJ, Opare-Ado L, Qiu W, Walsh C, & White MF. (2010) Irs1 serine 307 promotes insulin sensitivity in mice. Cell metabolism, 11(1), 84-92. PMID: 20074531  

  • January 15, 2011
  • 03:26 PM

Ketogenic Diets

by ABK in Environment and Health

To my friends whom I love dearly and whom are trying to follow ketogenic diets in order to lose weight:I would advocate moderation in just about everything, except for fun and other adrenaline release-provoking activities. Ketogenic diets have proven helpful to people with uncontrolled epilepsy and may be of benefit to epileptics in general, to victims of stroke and other forms of brain injury and possibly cancer. They come with other effects that may not be worth the discomfort or unintended ri........ Read more »

Kossoff, E., Zupec-Kania, B., & Rho, J. (2009) Ketogenic Diets: An Update for Child Neurologists. Journal of Child Neurology, 24(8), 979-988. DOI: 10.1177/0883073809337162  

  • January 15, 2011
  • 11:43 AM

Of autistic mice and men

by Jon Brock in Cracking the Enigma

Studies looking at potential environmental and genetic causes of autism are pretty much always correlational. They may identify risk factors, but they can only ever show that people exposed to a particular risk factor are more likely to have autism. They don’t show whether it actually causes autism. Eating ice cream is a risk factor for getting sunburnt, but (unless you get your ice cream and your sunscreen mixed up) there’s no sense in which ice cream causes sunburn. Even if we are confiden........ Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 11:18 AM

Photoreception in Animals

by Marc in Teaching Biology

An introduction to the biochemistry and diversity of photoreceptors in animals.... Read more »

Montell, C. (1999) Visual Transduction in Drosophila. Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology, 15(1), 231-268. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.cellbio.15.1.231  

  • January 15, 2011
  • 10:21 AM

Cottonmouth Myths I: Snakes Dropping Into Boats

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife

            Some animals just can’t get a break.  Cottonmouths, Agkistrodon piscivorus, (aka water moccasins) would like nothing more than spend their lives within their local swamp or river, either coiled up under a bunch of vegetation waiting for a hapless frog to paddle by, or perhaps patrolling the water’s edge at night looking for some other tasty morsel.  But, we all ... Read more »

M. S. Mills, C. J. Hudson, & H. J. Berna. (1995) Spatial ecology and movements of the brown water snake (Nerodia taxispilota). . Herpetologica , 412-423. info:/

  • January 15, 2011
  • 08:43 AM

Imagine the Possibilities

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Researchers have discovered a way for people to eat less: imagine eating. Better than any diet pill, workout routine or all-cabbage-all-the-time regimen, simply thinking about eating food will make a person eat less. The work is based on a process called habituation — a phenomenon that decreases the responsiveness to and motivation for obtaining food. [...]... Read more »

Epstein LH, Robinson JL, Roemmich JN, Marusewski AL, & Roba LG. (2010) What constitutes food variety? Stimulus specificity of food. Appetite, 54(1), 23-9. PMID: 19765625  

Epstein LH, Robinson JL, Temple JL, Roemmich JN, Marusewski A, & Nadbrzuch R. (2008) Sensitization and habituation of motivated behavior in overweight and non-overweight children. Learning and motivation, 39(3), 243-255. PMID: 19649135  

Epstein LH, Robinson JL, Temple JL, Roemmich JN, Marusewski AL, & Nadbrzuch RL. (2009) Variety influences habituation of motivated behavior for food and energy intake in children. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 89(3), 746-54. PMID: 19176724  

Epstein LH, Temple JL, Roemmich JN, & Bouton ME. (2009) Habituation as a determinant of human food intake. Psychological review, 116(2), 384-407. PMID: 19348547  

Morewedge CK, Huh YE, & Vosgerau J. (2010) Thought for food: imagined consumption reduces actual consumption. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6010), 1530-3. PMID: 21148388  

Myers Ernst M, & Epstein LH. (2002) Habituation of responding for food in humans. Appetite, 38(3), 224-34. PMID: 12071689  

  • January 15, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Is a Deep throat a Sore throat ?

by DefectiveBrayne in The Defective Brain

 One of the reasons that I blog on Streptococcus pyogenes so often is because it is such a fascinating and adaptable pathogen. It causes so many different diseases. Diseases as different as a sore throat, and necrotizing fasciitis (The flesh eating disease !).  It's even been implicated in tourettes syndrome. This is a hardy and adaptable pathogen, that primarily colonises the throat and the ... Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 06:24 AM

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) JKD6229, freaking out and deadly

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

Stringent response, as I wrote here, here, and here, and here, is a central regulator of bacterial physiology, which decides whether to grow happily churning out new proteins without a care or to shut down all of the unnecessary systems, relocate all  resources to amino acid production and put up a fight. So what happens if a mutation hyper-activates it in Staphylococcus aureus? Wonder no more - the pathogen goes berserk!The strain in question is call........ Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 04:53 AM

Autistic Children In The Media

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Emory University's Jennifer Sarrett offers an interesting although sadly brief analysis of the way in which autism is treated in the mass media: Trapped Children.She examines media depictions of children with autism, first in the 1960s, and then today. In those 40 years, professionals radically changed their minds about autism: in the 60s, a lot of people thought it was caused by emotionally distant refrigerator mothers; nowadays, we think it's a neural wiring disorder caused by deleted genes.Y........ Read more »

  • January 14, 2011
  • 11:32 PM


by Julia Whitty in Deep Blue Home

Inspired by a new science paper, I attempt to distill it to a haiku.   Thermometers rise—plowing crooked furrows straightsocieties fallBased on the paper, "2500 Years of European Climate Variability and Human Susceptibility" in Science. The abstract:Climate variations have influenced the agricultural productivity, health risk, and conflict level of preindustrial societies. Discrimination between environmental and anthropogenic impacts on past civilizations, however, remains difficult beca........ Read more »

Buntgen, U., Tegel, W., Nicolussi, K., McCormick, M., Frank, D., Trouet, V., Kaplan, J., Herzig, F., Heussner, K., Wanner, H.... (2011) 2500 Years of European Climate Variability and Human Susceptibility. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197175  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 09:27 PM

The Mischief of Plants, the Birds & the Bees

by Linda Lin in Oz Blog No. 159

When it wasn't too quirky, the biological analogies and references in Adaptation were quite creative. The scene here wonderful illustrates the deception of bees by orchids. I wonder how many know that flowers are all geared to lure in...... Read more »

Baldwin, I. (2010) Plant volatiles. Current Biology, 20(9). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.02.052  

Howe, G., & Jander, G. (2008) Plant Immunity to Insect Herbivores. Annual Review of Plant Biology, 59(1), 41-66. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.59.032607.092825  

Ratnieks, F., & Carreck, N. (2010) Clarity on Honey Bee Collapse?. Science, 327(5962), 152-153. DOI: 10.1126/science.1185563  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 04:58 PM

The inevitable rise of Amish machines

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

About 20 years ago I lived for a year in a rural area where Amish were a common feature of country roads and farmers’ markets. My parents, being Muslims, would sometimes buy chickens from the local Amish and slaughter them according to halal. We had a relationship with a particular family. They were nice people, [...]... Read more »

Rowthorn R. (2011) Religion, fertility and genes: a dual inheritance model. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 21227968  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit