An earlier post looked at the connection in the USA between religion and a high teen pregnancy rate. High fertility and religion often goes together, and whenever this topic comes up the immediate question is: will the religious inexorably 'out-breed' the nonreligious?The answer to that rather depends on how religion (or lack of it) is transmitted through the generations. Luckily enough, there's just been a very nice study on this by Vern Bengston, Professor of Sociology at the University of Sou........ Read more »
Bengtson, V., Copen, C., Putney, N., & Silverstein, M. (2009) A Longitudinal Study of the Intergenerational Transmission of Religion. International Sociology, 24(3), 325-345. DOI: 10.1177/0268580909102911
As a species we are consumed by love. Ask yourself, how many cultural productions (films, stories, songs, dances, arts) do not have love, the loss of love or the absence of love as their central theme? Would you be satisfied with what was left over? That fact that love has so much power over us is just one reason why evolutionary research is so fascinating.
A well-worn trope of human culture is mens obsession with female infidelity. Othello. Madame Bovary. Desperate Housewives. These are........ Read more »
LAENG, B., & FALKENBERG, L. (2007) Women's pupillary responses to sexually significant others during the hormonal cycle. Hormones and Behavior, 52(4), 520-530. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2007.07.013
Some seabirds are eating much more plastic than others
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Young, L., Vanderlip, C., Duffy, D., Afanasyev, V., & Shaffer, S. (2009) Bringing Home the Trash: Do Colony-Based Differences in Foraging Distribution Lead to Increased Plastic Ingestion in Laysan Albatrosses?. PLoS ONE, 4(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007623
“I found a cure for the plague of the 20th century, and now I’ve lost it!” Perhaps it was the connotation of the quote itself or a combination of the fervor in Dr. Robert Campbell’s voice that made it stick in my mind after all these years, but in any case that early 90s Sean [...]... Read more »
LAWRENCE, A., AFIFI, R., AHMED, M., KHALIFA, S., & PAGET, T. (2009) Bioactivity as an Options Value of Sea Cucumbers in the Egyptian Red Sea. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01294.x
FOLLOWING the surgical removal of a body part, amputees often report sensations which seem to originate from the missing limb. This is thought to occur because the brain's model of the body (referred to as the body image) still contains a representation of the limb, and this leads to the experience that their missing limb is still attached to their body. Occasionally, amputees say that they cannot move their phantom limbs. They are perceived to be frozen in space, apparently because they cannot ........ Read more »
Moseley, G., & Brugger, P. (2009) Interdependence of movement and anatomy persists when amputees learn a physiologically impossible movement of their phantom limb. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0907151106
You can read my previous posts on this drug here (1, 2).The Research: Part 2The second study published on the efficacy of agomelatine was by Kennedy and Emsley (2006, 3).This was a 6-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 212 patients. Dosage ranged from 25-50mg/day (dose adjustment at week 2 for poor responders). No other active comparator (e.g., paroxetine) was used in this study. Similar to the previous study (Loo et al, 2002), the efficacy of agomelatine on a seve........ Read more »
KENNEDY, S., & EMSLEY, R. (2006) Placebo-controlled trial of agomelatine in the treatment of major depressive disorder. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 16(2), 93-100. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2005.09.002
Pierre Olié, J., & Kasper, S. (2007) Efficacy of agomelatine, a MT1/MT2 receptor agonist with 5-HT2C antagonistic properties, in major depressive disorder. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 10(05). DOI: 10.1017/S1461145707007766
Understand why neck pain is such a reoccurring problem in the health care field. Are you treating the pain or the cause?... Read more »
O’Leary, S. (2009) Muscle Dysfunction in Cervical Spine Pain: Implications for Assessment and Management. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. DOI: 10.2519/jospt.2009.2872
This recent mini-review by Stein et al. focuses on the mechanisms that enable dynamic, transient, short lived interactions in cellular networks. Of special interest are the always popular "motif recognition domain"-"short flexible peptide" interactions. However, post translational modifications and regulation by disorder are also discussed. We concise the review further to some basic/interesting/anecdotal/"pondering worthy" points.
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Stein, A., Pache, R., Bernadó, P., Pons, M., & Aloy, P. (2009) Dynamic interactions of proteins in complex networks: a more structured view. FEBS Journal, 276(19), 5390-5405. DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07251.x
By: Rosemary Stephen, Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence
Every year millions of people go on pilgrimages. Pilgrims are classified into three groups: ‘religious pilgrims’ who visit religious shrines, ‘cultural pilgrims’ who visit places of cultural significance and ‘notable pilgrims’ high ranking individuals and leaders who travel for personal and political reasons . Religious pilgrims, in particular, are [...]... Read more »
Rosemary Stephen. (2009) Pilgrims and H1N1. Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence. info:/
A new Nature letter has the potential to abnormally extend (until extinction) the whole spectrum of reporter genes. So far, "reporters" were those genes coding for an easily detectable product (i.e., those coding for fluorescent or luminescent proteins). Wei Min and other Harvard's colleagues introduced a new technique, namely stimulated emission microscopy, that seems able to turn into mini-lasers any non-fluorescent light-absorbing molecule. It means that several chromophores, such as haemog........ Read more »
Min, W., Lu, S., Chong, S., Roy, R., Holtom, G., & Xie, X. (2009) Imaging chromophores with undetectable fluorescence by stimulated emission microscopy. Nature, 461(7267), 1105-1109. DOI: 10.1038/nature08438
A critically endangered northern muriqui in Brazil. Photo by Carla B. Possamai, provided by K.B. Strier
A study out today in Biology Letters shows that global warming will likely drive several species of primates closer to extinction by increasing the severity and frequency of El Niño and La Niña events (the El Niño Southern Oscillation, ENSO).
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Ruscena Wiederholt, & Eric Post. (2009) Tropical warming and the dynamics of endangered primates. Biology Letters. info:/
According to a study in the Journal of Health Psychology, I have just increased the likelihood that you will...... Read more »
Godin, G., Sheeran, P., Conner, M., & Germain, M. (2008) Asking questions changes behavior: Mere measurement effects on frequency of blood donation. Health Psychology, 27(2), 179-184. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6188.8.131.52
Distinguishing the skulls of juveniles and adults of the same species, and sometimes different species, can be a prickly thing in the fossil record. The result is that paleontology is littered with juvenile fossils that have been considered adults at some time or another. The crested duck-billed dinosaur Corythosaurus has also been known under names like Procheneosaurus, the famous Monoclonius is actually a juvenile of adult Centrosaurus, Styracosaurus, and kin, and the debate still continues on........ Read more »
Horner, J., & Goodwin, M. (2009) Extreme cranial ontogeny in the Upper Cretaceous dinosaur Pachycephalosaurus. PLoS ONE, 4(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007626
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
This past week, while supervising the neuropsychology rotation of our doctoral students, I asked a student to clarify on a report whether the birth weight of a patient was “below or at expectation” for his gestational age. I explained that in most cases, it is not whether the baby was born prematurely, but whether his [...]... Read more »
Buchmayer, S., Johansson, S., Johansson, A., Hultman, C., Sparen, P., & Cnattingius, S. (2009) Can Association Between Preterm Birth and Autism be Explained by Maternal or Neonatal Morbidity?. PEDIATRICS, 124(5). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-3582
Our deepening knowledge of the immune evasion mechanisms of malaria is revealing the parasite’s ability to orchestrate the human immune response. … It would thus seem futile to test novel antigens or vaccine platforms without first incorporating features designed to circumvent parasite immune evasion strategies. … The prominent feature of a successful vaccine targeting [...]... Read more »
Casares, S., & Richie, T. (2009) Immune evasion by malaria parasites: a challenge for vaccine development. Current Opinion in Immunology, 21(3), 321-330. DOI: 10.1016/j.coi.2009.05.015
Remembered for both his lucid writing ability and his tedious nature, the Greek historian Herodotus has often been criticized for the habit of adding unnecessary embellishment to his otherwise candid historical accounts. Focused primarily on the Greco-Persian Wars and personal travels around the Mediterranean, Herodotus’ works also included – on occasion – particulars that many of his 5th Century B.C. contemporaries considered questionable. ... Read more »
Gibbs, H., & Mackessy, S. (2009) Functional basis of a molecular adaptation: Prey-specific toxic effects of venom from Sistrurus rattlesnakes. Toxicon, 53(6), 672-679. DOI: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2009.01.034
To be told that your symptoms have no identifiable physical cause can be at once both a relief and a curse. In one sense the doctor is giving you a clean bill of health. But there's the chance they have made a mistake. What's more, if the symptoms persist without explanation, you face the stigma and frustration of people suspecting your problems are "merely" psychological or, worse still, made up. A new study has investigated neurology patients who were told that their symptoms had no identifiab........ Read more »
Stone J, Carson A, Duncan R, Coleman R, Roberts R, Warlow C, Hibberd C, Murray G, Cull R, Pelosi A.... (2009) Symptoms 'unexplained by organic disease' in 1144 new neurology out-patients: how often does the diagnosis change at follow-up?. Brain : a journal of neurology, 132(Pt 10), 2878-88. PMID: 19737842
If you have not read my first post on agomelatine, do so now (1).This is my usual shtick wherein I review research articles and crap all over them. The main questions I am seeking to answer through the next series of posts are:Is agomelatine superior to SSRI anti-depressants? And,Does it have a more tolerable side-effect profile?Before I address those questions through the available literature, I want to bring a certain bias to everyone's attention. The bias is not mine, but rather Stuart A. Mon........ Read more »
Loo, H., Hale, A., & D'haenen, H. (2002) Determination of the dose of agomelatine, a melatoninergic agonist and selective 5-HT2C antagonist, in the treatment of major depressive disorder: a placebo-controlled dose range study. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 17(5), 239-247. DOI: 10.1097/00004850-200209000-00004
An intriguing title caught my eye today: Supply chain risk in turbulent environments. This is the first time I have encountered the term turbulent environments in my research on supply chain risk, so I decided to take a closer look at it. What is it really…simply old wine in new bottles or something profoundly new?... Read more »
Trkman, P., & McCormack, K. (2009) Supply chain risk in turbulent environments—A conceptual model for managing supply chain network risk. International Journal of Production Economics, 119(2), 247-258. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2009.03.002
Purple-loosestrife may be considered enemy plant # 1. But an ecologist argues that this is the product of undeserved media hype...read more... Read more »
Lavoie, C. (2009) Should we care about purple loosestrife? The history of an invasive plant in North America. Biological Invasions. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-009-9600-7
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