It's nearing that spooky time of year again. The traditions of Halloween actually come from countries such as Ireland, Scotland and England. According to Kelley (1919) "Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Hallowe'en customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries". This Special Edition focuses on the Brief History & Psychology of Halloween.According to Ke........ Read more »
Dodd, M. (2007) Bumps in the Night. Working Mother, 30(7). info:/
SCHWARTZ, M., CHEN, E., & BROWNELL, K. (2003) Trick, Treat, or Toy: Children Are Just as Likely to Choose Toys as Candy on Halloween. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 35(4), 207-209. DOI: 10.1016/S1499-4046(06)60335-7
Obesity is one of the most misunderstood issues in health care. And, apologies in advance, one of the biggest.
It's defined, along with "overweight" and "underweight" purely by BMI. And while most would agree that the height to weight ratio is probably not the best determinant of health, it doesn't stop most of us from using it as a measure of the general chubbiness of the population.... Read more »
Boutelle, K., Cafri, G., & Crow, S. (2010) Parent-Only Treatment for Childhood Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obesity. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2010.238
Ever wondered how pure mathematicians have fun? The following is from the 1967 paper Modern Research in Mathematics by A. K. Austin, from the Department of Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield. It's a send-up, by the way...
A note on piffles by A. B. Smith
A. C. Jones in his paper "A Note on the Theory of Boffles," Proceedings of the National Society, 13, first defined a Biffle to be a non-definite Boffle and asked if every Biffle was reducible.
C. D. Brown in "On a paper by A. ........ Read more »
Farlow, S. (1980) Three Mathematical Satires A rebuke of A. B. Smith's paper, 'A Note on Piffles'. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 11(2), 285-304. DOI: 10.1080/0020739800110222
“Gene therapy”… …oooooh… Sounds very cool, doesn’t it? Sounds like the FUTURE! Where’s my JETPACK!!!?!?! But of course “gene therapy” is kind of a buzzword. A lot of people throw it around, but it seems like a lot of people don’t know what it really MEANS, and what it can be used for. But it [...]... Read more »
Alexander B, Warner-Schmidt J, Eriksson T, Tamminga C, Arango-Llievano M, Ghose S, Vernov M, Stavarche M, Musatov S, Flajolet M.... (2010) Reversal of Depressed Behaviors in Mice by p11 Gene Therapy in the Nucleus Accumbens. Science translational medicine, 2(54). PMID: 20962330
Sporotrichosis is caused by the thermally dimorphic (can grow in one of two different forms depending on the environmental temperature) fungus Sporothrix schenckii and is characterised by subcutaneous nodules that can blister and ulcerate resulting in satellite lesions developing around the initial site of infection.... Read more »
Dooley DP, Bostic PS, & Beckius ML. (1997) Spook house sporotrichosis. A point-source outbreak of sporotrichosis associated with hay bale props in a Halloween haunted-house. Archives of internal medicine, 157(16), 1885-7. PMID: 9290549
by WhySharksMatter and Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science
Earth is facing a biodiversity crisis so severe that many conservation scientists refer to it as a mass extinction event. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a professional network of 11,000 volunteer scientists belonging to more than 1,000 government and NGO agencies in 160 countries, evaluates species worldwide and determines their risk of [...]... Read more »
Hoffmann, M. et al. (2010) The impact of conservation on the world's vertebrates. Science. info:/
[Wherein our hero considers how he might think himself smarter. Yet it appears Brain-Training might just be woo.]At this time of year I start wondering how to get an edge in my exams. Is studying really the best way about it? Last exam period I examined the best way to use caffiene, and I ran a series of informal experiments to figure my own personal method out [here]. This time round I w; (read more)
Source: Rift - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »
Jaeggi SM, Buschkuehl M, Jonides J, & Perrig WJ. (2008) Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(19), 6829-33. PMID: 18443283
Dahlin, E., Nyberg, L., Bäckman, L., & Neely, A. (2008) Plasticity of executive functioning in young and older adults: Immediate training gains, transfer, and long-term maintenance. Psychology and Aging, 23(4), 720-730. DOI: 10.1037/a0014296
Carretti, B., Borella, E., & De Beni, R. (2007) Does Strategic Memory Training Improve the Working Memory Performance of Younger and Older Adults?. Experimental Psychology (formerly "Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie"), 54(4), 311-320. DOI: 10.1027/1618-322.214.171.1241
Twenty five years ago two budding scientists, Roberto Car and Michele Parrinello, used their expert knowledge, coupled with enthusiasm and a healthy dose of naivety, to develop a groundbreaking method for computer simulation. ... Read more »
Car, R., & Parrinello, M. (1985) Unified Approach for Molecular Dynamics and Density-Functional Theory. Physical Review Letters, 55(22), 2471-2474. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.55.2471
Why are some genomes so big? I mean, seriously. Why would the marbled lungfish with a genome weighing 132.83 picograms (pg) need an estimated 130,000,000,000 bp? It may have to do with that fact that these fish undergo metamorphosis, and the large developmental coding this could entail.
Then there is the genome of Paris japonica, a rare plant whose genome weighs 152.23 pg, making its genome the largest known so far, at a whopping estimated 150,000,000,000 bp. (Humans have a genome size of 3,........ Read more »
Fischer, M., Allen, M., Wilson, W., & Suttle, C. (2010) Giant virus with a remarkable complement of genes infects marine zooplankton. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1007615107
An ‘enigmatic’ disorder – this is what Perry Nicassio calls fibromyalgia. I hadn’t thought of it that way, because so many chronic pain problems seem to be equally ‘enigmatic’! It’s a common disorder, affects many more women than men, has a multiplicity of effects on people ranging from fatigue, poor sleep, widespread aching, other pain … Read more... Read more »
Nicassio, P. (2010) Psychological approaches are effective for fibromyalgia: Remaining issues and challenges. Pain, 151(2), 245-246. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.08.011
Glombiewski, J., Sawyer, A., Gutermann, J., Koenig, K., Rief, W., & Hofmann, S. (2010) Psychological treatments for fibromyalgia: A meta-analysis. Pain, 151(2), 280-295. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.06.011
Stefan Pukatzki (University of Alberta, Canada) and coworkers have found that the bacterium which causes cholera attacks other bacteria common to the human stomach and intestines. This finding may help scientists treat and vanquish cholera outbreaks.... Read more »
MacIntyre, D. L., Miyata, S. T., Kitaoka, M., & Pukatzki, S. (2010) The Vibrio cholerae type VI secretion system displays antimicrobial properties. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1012931107
Marijuana and the munchies.
It’s no secret that marijuana very reliably increases appetite. Recently, research published in Nature has teased out an apparent mechanism by which internal cannabinoids are involved with gut microbiota. This affects inflammation, the metabolism of adipose tissue, and other factors implicated in obesity.
In addition, research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and blogged about by Neuroskeptic, showed that CB1 cannabinoid receptors ........ Read more »
Mahler, S., Smith, K., & Berridge, K. (2007) Endocannabinoid Hedonic Hotspot for Sensory Pleasure: Anandamide in Nucleus Accumbens Shell Enhances ‘Liking’ of a Sweet Reward. Neuropsychopharmacology, 32(11), 2267-2278. DOI: 10.1038/sj.npp.1301376
Here he is “late in life.” Everyone already thinks he’s wrong wrong WRONG. We know him now as the Wrongest Biologist Ever. When we say “Lamarckian” we mean the idea that acquired characteristics can be inherited. I can almost hear him crying from the grave, “I produced a lifetime of ideas on all kinds of [...]... Read more »
Remy, J. (2010) Stable inheritance of an acquired behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. Current Biology, 20(20). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.08.013
Information, facts and images of the frightening, deep sea Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni).
... Read more »
Nilsson DE, Warrant EJ, Johnsen S, Hanlon RT, & Shashar N. (2013) The giant eyes of giant squid are indeed unexpectedly large, but not if used for spotting sperm whales. BMC evolutionary biology, 187. PMID: 24010674
Cherel Y, & Hobson KA. (2005) Stable isotopes, beaks and predators: a new tool to study the trophic ecology of cephalopods, including giant and colossal squids. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 272(1572), 1601-7. PMID: 16048776
Two weeks of news in one!
Astrophysics and Gravitation:
Did We Already Have the Data to Show Dark Matter Annihilation?
Dan Hooper, & Lisa Goodenough (2010). Dark Matter Annihilation in The Galactic Center As Seen by the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope arXiv arXiv: 1010.2752v1
Analyzing old data from the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope, the authors have noticed gamma ray emissions consistent with predictions for a certain type of dark matter. Unfortunately, these things are never nice, clea........ Read more »
Dan Hooper, & Lisa Goodenough. (2010) Dark Matter Annihilation in The Galactic Center As Seen by the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope. arXiv. arXiv: 1010.2752v1
Champion, D., Hobbs, G., Manchester, R., Edwards, R., Backer, D., Bailes, M., Bhat, N., Burke-Spolaor, S., Coles, W., Demorest, P.... (2010) MEASURING THE MASS OF SOLAR SYSTEM PLANETS USING PULSAR TIMING. The Astrophysical Journal, 720(2). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/720/2/L201
Poznanski, D., Nugent, P., & Filippenko, A. (2010) TYPE II-P SUPERNOVAE AS STANDARD CANDLES: THE SDSS-II SAMPLE REVISITED. The Astrophysical Journal, 721(2), 956-959. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/956
Lopes, I., & Silk, J. (2010) Neutrino Spectroscopy Can Probe the Dark Matter Content in the Sun. Science, 330(6003), 462-462. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196564
Lehnert, M., Nesvadba, N., Cuby, J., Swinbank, A., Morris, S., Clément, B., Evans, C., Bremer, M., & Basa, S. (2010) Spectroscopic confirmation of a galaxy at redshift z . Nature, 467(7318), 940-942. DOI: 10.1038/nature09462
Major, S. (2010) Shape in an atom of space: exploring quantum geometry phenomenology. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 27(22), 225012. DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/27/22/225012
Sachdev, S. (2010) Holographic Metals and the Fractionalized Fermi Liquid. Physical Review Letters, 105(15). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.151602
Henrique Gomes, Sean Gryb, & Tim Koslowski. (2010) Einstein gravity as a 3D conformally invariant theory. arXiv. arXiv: 1010.2481v1
It’s a while since I’ve written about multiple myeloma, but after this interesting paper popped up in The Lancet Oncology, I couldn’t resist. Many cancers occur more frequently in the elderly, a testament to the extended lifestyle many of us … Continue reading →... Read more »
Mateos MV, Oriol A, Martínez-López J, Gutiérrez N, Teruel AI, de Paz R, García-Laraña J, Bengoechea E, Martín A, Mediavilla JD.... (2010) Bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone versus bortezomib, thalidomide, and prednisone as induction therapy followed by maintenance treatment with bortezomib and thalidomide versus bortezomib and prednisone in elderly patients with untreated multiple myelom. The lancet oncology, 11(10), 934-41. PMID: 20739218
I've just learned of a new online application, Time Tree, with which you can search on two species/taxa and get the time since they diverged from each other.... Read more »
Hedges SB, Dudley J, & Kumar S. (2006) TimeTree: a public knowledge-base of divergence times among organisms. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 22(23), 2971-2. PMID: 17021158
From rising temperatures to rising seas, the consequences of global warming are here now, and predictions for the future are dire. In his review “Drought under global warming,” UCAR author Aiguo Dai indicates that yet another consequence is already affecting our planet and, over time, will almost certainly become more severe: worldwide drought. Wait, drought [...]... Read more »
Dai, A., Trenberth, K., & Qian, T. (2004) A Global Dataset of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 1870–2002: Relationship with Soil Moisture and Effects of Surface Warming. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 5(6), 1117. DOI: 10.1175/JHM-386.1
Dai, A., Qian, T., Trenberth, K., & Milliman, J. (2009) Changes in Continental Freshwater Discharge from 1948 to 2004. Journal of Climate, 22(10), 2773-2792. DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2592.1
Part 8 of my series examining research evidence for the value of video games. This time: serious video games and their use to improve civic engagement.... Read more »
Bers, M. (2010) Let the games begin: Civic playing on high-tech consoles. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 147-153. DOI: 10.1037/a0019490
Experiments on coordinated rhythmic movement had suggested that relative phase could be visually perceived. In a series of careful experiments, Bingham & colleagues established that not only was in perceivable, but it was perceived in a way that mirrored the movement phenomena.... Read more »
Bingham GP, Schmidt RC, & Zaal FT. (1999) Visual perception of the relative phasing of human limb movements. Perception , 61(2), 246-58. PMID: 10089759
Bingham, G., Zaal, F., Shull, J., & Collins, D. (2001) The effect of frequency on the visual perception of relative phase and phase variability of two oscillating objects. Experimental Brain Research, 136(4), 543-552. DOI: 10.1007/s002210000610
Zaal, F., Bingham, G., & Schmidt, R. (2000) Visual perception of mean relative phase and phase variability. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 26(3), 1209-1220. DOI: 10.1037/0096-15126.96.36.1999
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