Post List

  • February 17, 2010
  • 02:04 PM

Oxytocin versus autism: A cure for altruism

by Michelle Dawson in The Autism Crisis

The widespread message arising from Andari et al. (in press) is that the hormone oxytocin "may be a powerful weapon in fighting autism" or words to that effect. The heart of this study is a computer game version of catch which appears to involve four human players. When a player is thrown the ball, he must then throw it to another player of his choice. Every time a player receives the ball, he receives a bit of money.In Andari et al. (in press), small groups of autistic and nonautistic adults ("........ Read more »

Andari, E., Duhamel, J., Zalla, T., Herbrecht, E., Leboyer, M., & Sirigu, A. (2010) Promoting social behavior with oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910249107  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 01:25 PM

Do patients take their medications?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I don’t often write about medications, not because I don’t believe in their use but because that’s not my focus.  However, just to put the record straight: medications and medical management of chronic pain has a place in the model of pain management I use.  After all, it is the ‘bio-psychosocial’ model, not the psychosocial [...]... Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 01:11 PM

Molecular surgery: playing with network edges

by 96well in Reportergene

Protein X interacts with protein Y, what are the phenotypic consequences? And what is the impact of the X-Y partnership in the whole protein-protein interaction network? To address this question, scientists often remove specific network nodes by eliminating (knock-out) or downregulating (knock-down) the gene encoding one protein product (i.e. X). This is a poor strategy, because usually X interacts not only with Y, but also with P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W and Z. Thus, X-KO strategy is too much invas........ Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 12:15 PM

How does TV watching increase health risk?

by (Travis Saunders) in Obesity Panacea / CC BY 2.0
Yesterday morning I came across a very interesting study on Dr Yoni Freedhoff's blog Weighty Matters.  Yoni described a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health which suggests that the amount of commercial television (e.g. television with advertisements) that children watch before the age of 6 is associated with increased body weight 5 years down the road, even after adjustment for other important variables including phy........ Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 11:07 AM

The Case of the Missing Retrovirus

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

In October 2009, a team led by Vincent C. Lombardi of the Whittemore Peterson Institute reported the presence of a recently discovered virus, XMRV, in 67% of the blood samples from 101 American patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). XMRV had previously been linked to some cases of prostate cancer.This sparked intense interest amongst many people and much discussion. But in January this year, Erlwein et al reported that they did not find any evidence of XMRV in the blood of 186 British CFS........ Read more »

Harriet Groom, et al. (2010) Absence of xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus in UK patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Retrovirology. info:/

  • February 17, 2010
  • 11:05 AM

Surface reconstruction in platinum covered with CO

by Lars Fischer in EuCheMS 2010 Blog

Surfaces are full of surprises, and of course mysteries. Ertl described the intricacies of ammonia formation on flat platin surfaces decades ago and won a Nobel for it, but what happens between real catalysts and the reactions they accelerate remains largely unknown. When it comes to the behavior of steps, kinks and other surface features [...]... Read more »

Tao, F., Dag, S., Wang, L., Liu, Z., Butcher, D., Bluhm, H., Salmeron, M., & Somorjai, G. (2010) Break-Up of Stepped Platinum Catalyst Surfaces by High CO Coverage. Science, 327(5967), 850-853. DOI: 10.1126/science.1182122  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Caught between birds and squirrels, limber pines go both ways

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Responding to natural selection often means compromising between different selective forces. A brief paper published online early at Evolution documents one such case – limber pine trees' compromise between protecting their seeds from squirrels, and making them accessible to the birds that disperse them. Pulled between these conflicting selective sources, some limber pine populations grow cones in a wider variety of shapes [$a].

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  • February 17, 2010
  • 09:34 AM

Malaria and the Boy Pharaoh

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

A discussion of a medical analysis of several Egyptian mummies including 'King Tut'... Read more »

Hawass Z, Gad YZ, Ismail S, Khairat R, Fathalla D, Hasan N, Ahmed A, Elleithy H, Ball M, Gaballah F.... (2010) Ancestry and pathology in King Tutankhamun's family. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 303(7), 638-47. PMID: 20159872  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 09:20 AM

Turning the Lights Up: Transcriptional Analysis Shows Genetic “Dialog” Between Squid and Bacteria

by Promega Corporation in Promega Connections

Sometimes in our daily lives as scientists we loose sight of what attracted us to science in the first place. It is easy to get lost in the demands and deadlines and never stop to marvel at the amazing complexity of it all.   I am as guilty as anyone of forgetting the things that made [...]... Read more »

Wier AM, Nyholm SV, Mandel MJ, Massengo-Tiassé RP, Schaefer AL, Koroleva I, Splinter-Bondurant S, Brown B, Manzella L, Snir E.... (2010) Transcriptional patterns in both host and bacterium underlie a daily rhythm of anatomical and metabolic change in a beneficial symbiosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(5), 2259-64. PMID: 20133870  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 08:33 AM

The Almighty Fungi: The Revolutionary Neurospora crassa

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

On January 11 2010, a new series of blog posts was born over at Benchfly: BenchFly’s Model Organism Week. The idea was to invite fellow science bloggers to discuss and present some of the many model organism used in biology to the rest of the science blogosphere.In that post, a poll was displayed asking people´s model organism of choice, and offered the following alternatives:* Mice* Flies* Rats*... Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Interview with David J Newman (Pt. II)

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

This is Part II of the unabridged transcript of an interview with Dr David Newman, Chief at the Natural Products Branch of the NCI in Maryland. The interview was conducted for a new quarterly newsletter – Chemistry Matters. You can read Part I in which Dr Newman discussed how natural products can lead to novel [...]Interview with David J Newman (Pt. II) is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Measuring Quality in Primary Care

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Increasing attention is focused on the quality of healthcare provided in the United States, as well as options for controlling costs. Quality and cost measurements are important in assessing access to and satisfaction with healthcare services and managing cost and payment practices; a sufficient sample size of patients is necessary to reliably interpret the results [...]... Read more »

Gosden T, Forland F, Kristiansen IS, Sutton M, Leese B, Giuffrida A, Sergison M, & Pedersen L. (2000) Capitation, salary, fee-for-service and mixed systems of payment: effects on the behaviour of primary care physicians. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 10908531  

Gosden, T., Forland, F., Kristiansen, I., Sutton, M., Leese, B., Giuffrida, A., Sergison, M., & Pedersen, L. (2001) Impact of payment method on behaviour of primary care physicians: a systematic review. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 6(1), 44-55. DOI: 10.1258/1355819011927198  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 06:28 AM

Boys Can Read, Too...

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Is it really true that boys are falling behind academically because girls are getting ahead? Or is it slightly more complicated than that? Hodgetts and Lecouteur (2010) would go for the latter and I would tend to agree with them.... Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 06:24 AM

Effects of Self-Efficacy on Exercise - Email study

by PhD blogger in Exercise Psychology

Self-efficacy is a major part of my PhD research. (Bandura, 1986) describes Self-efficacy as , "one's self-judgements of personal capabilities to initiate and successfully perform specified tasks at designated levels, expend greater effort, and persevere in the face of adversity". It's an important area in physical activity research as not many people will attempt an activity they don't think they are capable of, never mind stick to it. Luszczynska and Tryburcy (2008) ex........ Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 06:11 AM

Obsessive driving fanatics are prone to drive aggressively

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Here's one for the boys at Top Gear to think about - apparently having an obsessive passion for driving can predispose people towards aggression behind the wheel. The idea is that for these people, driving has become an overpowering compulsion, such that an obstacle - for example, a slow driver in front - provokes great frustration, which leads to anger, which explains why they sometimes drive right up your bumper and flash their headlights.Frederick Philippe and his colleagues make their claims........ Read more »

FL Philippe, RJ Vallerand, I Richer, E Vallieres, & J Bergeron. (2009) Passion for Driving and Aggressive Driving Behavior: A Look at Their Relationship. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 3020-3043. info:/

  • February 17, 2010
  • 05:22 AM

“Codon” is now a four lettered word

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

As part of the process of manufacturing  a new car,  the designers will take the blueprints to the factory floor. There they will set up an experimental assembly line, tinkering with the manufacturing process of the prototype until it is ready for mass-production. Can we do the same with the machinery of life – the assembly [...]... Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Citizen science: recreational divers monitoring marine biodiversity

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

Goffredo, S., Pensa, F., Neri, P., Orlandi, A., Scola Gagliardi, M., Velardi, A., Piccinetti, C., & Zaccanti, F. (2010) UNITE RESEARCH WITH WHAT CITIZENS DO FOR FUN: "RECREATIONAL MONITORING" OF MARINE BIODIVERSITY. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-1546  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 03:52 AM

When relics are not what they have been proclaimed to be

by Björn Brembs in

It is still unusual when the Catholic church allows a scientific study of one of their relics. So I was surprised to find the manuscript describing the study of the DNA of the remains of one of Europe's patron saints, St. Birgitta (Bridget of Sweden) in my PLoS One inbox one fine day in May, 2008. I'm a neurogeneticist by training, so I felt competent to take this manuscript on as academic editor. The manuscript stated that they had found through both DNA analysis and carbon dating that not only........ Read more »

Nilsson, M., Possnert, G., Edlund, H., Budowle, B., Kjellström, A., & Allen, M. (2010) Analysis of the Putative Remains of a European Patron Saint–St. Birgitta. PLoS ONE, 5(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008986  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 01:49 AM

The Misuse of Quetiapine

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

A lot of medication gets misused, as is the right expression, meaning not used for the intention or indication it was developed for in the first place. This reminded me of one of my first publications on the abuse of anticholinergics.
From case reports it appears that quetiapine is sought after for recreational use and inappropriate [...]

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  • February 16, 2010
  • 07:33 PM

Pinacol boronates from arylamines

by Crystallinity in Chemical Crystallinity

Pinacol boronates are important synthetic building blocks used predominantly in the Suzuki-Miyura coupling reaction. Instead of a boronic acid, R-B(OH)2, the hydroxyls are substituted with a cyclic organic moiety, commonly pinacol. These compounds are often generated via iridium catalysis with alcohols and diboron starting materials; the use of metals in their synthesis complicates industry synthesis, however, as boronic acids and esters at time can be unstable and thus difficult to purify. Pri........ Read more »

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