Post List

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:44 PM

Land consumption and open space loss across U.S. cities

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

The issue of land use change is a complex, with many factors being important historically, such as

population growth (more land required for more people)
technology (e.g., automobiles made suburban expansion feasible)
economics (cheaper land and rents in suburbs compared to cities)
policy (things like 30-yr mortgages, mortgage insurance, and FHA loans had a large impact on urban sprawl [...]... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:08 PM

Using the physical exam to direct chronic treatment of heart failure

by Robert Badgett in ClinDx

A randomized controlled trial of using NT-proBNP to guide treatment shows that targeting a clinical score also reduced mortality as compared to usual care and the reduction was similar to the use of the NT-proBNP.... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 06:01 PM

A darwinian legacy OR Why we need fluorescent rabbits

by 96well in Reportergene

My post about fluorescent rabbits is gaining a momentum on the Flickr group 'Bunny Lovers Unite' and in the Rabbitmatch's blog. Most people ask itself: WHY making fluorescent bunnies? And others feel outraged.

Animal research is long debated, and my hope is that the development of new reporter probes would allow to reconsider current research protocols while increasing the scientific significance of the experiments done, this is the focus of my current research. Here, a take opportunity of this........ Read more »

Ciana, P., Raviscioni, M., Mussi, P., Vegeto, E., Que, I., Parker, M., Lowik, C., & Maggi, A. (2002) In vivo imaging of transcriptionally active estrogen receptors. Nature Medicine, 9(1), 82-86. DOI: 10.1038/nm809  

Maggi A, & Rando G. (2009) Reporter mice for the study of intracellular receptor activity. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 307-16. PMID: 19763513  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 05:26 PM

How can we predict world population growth?

by Dave in The Daily Monthly

Predicting the future is always difficult. Who could have known in the year 1775 that 100 years from then, ships and trains powered by coal would allow people to circle the earth in weeks rather than years? Who could have predicted that in another 100 years, the human voice—and moving images—would be able travel that [...]... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 04:20 PM

EVEN MORE on the complex interaction between us and our environment

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Here is some more groovy stuff - Scientific American just alerted us to a new article in J Neuroscience.  It is right up Charles Spence’s alley but I am stealing his thunder by passing it on now.  Charles showed in humans that potato crisps taste better when you hear a crackling noise (I think he might have [...]... Read more »

Wesson DW, & Wilson DA. (2010) Smelling sounds: olfactory-auditory sensory convergence in the olfactory tubercle. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(8), 3013-21. PMID: 20181598  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 03:34 PM

Robot Lizard Push-ups!

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Have you ever been walking through the forest and thought to yourself, “Damn, its loud here…it’s really, really hard to hear anything anybody else is saying”? Well, maybe that’s what prompted Terry J. Ord and Judy A. Stamps, respectively from Harvard and UC Davis to investigate lizard exercise routines.
You ask: What do lizard calisthenics and [...]... Read more »

Ord TJ, & Stamps JA. (2008) Alert signals enhance animal communication in "noisy" environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(48), 18830-5. PMID: 19033197  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 02:52 PM

Is Your Brain A Communist?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Capitalists beware. No less a journal than Nature has just published a paper proving conclusively that the human brain is a Communist, and that it's plotting the overthrow of the bourgeois order and its replacement by the revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat even as we speak.Kind of. The article, Neural evidence for inequality-averse social preferences, doesn't mention the C word, but it does claim to have found evidence that people's brains display more egalitarianism than people thems........ Read more »

Tricomi E, Rangel A, Camerer CF, & O'Doherty JP. (2010) Neural evidence for inequality-averse social preferences. Nature, 463(7284), 1089-91. PMID: 20182511  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 01:00 PM
  • 1,000 views Storm in a teacup 2.0?

by The Twenty-first floor in The Twenty-first floor

Anyone in the skeptical and atheist community who hasn't heard of the row that erupted over changes to forum probably still uses a 56K modem and a dialup connection.
This post summarises the fallout and explores the issue of online communities: are they real or illusory?... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 12:52 PM

The Dangerous Edge of Gene Doping

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Please welcome Laurel Mylonas-Orwig, author of today’s post and a new contributor to the blog!
Every two years, the best athletes in the world gather to compete in the modern Olympic Games. Against a backdrop of sand or snow, these seemingly superhuman competitors push their bodies to perform feats that would be impossible for the average [...]... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 12:49 PM

Bejeweling bugs to inspire bioadhesives?

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Remember those perhaps gross but cool insect jewelry artists I mentioned before? Now, their incredible tube-making skill might be used in an entirely different field: medicine.Dr. Russell Stewart, an assistant professor at the University of Utah, has been studying natural adhesives for years. He was drawn to the caddisfly because it's one of the few creatures in this world to have accomplished a very difficult feat: it sticks things together underwater.Creating an adhesive that works when wet is........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 12:35 PM

Depression’s Upside?

by Michael Bishop in Permutations

The superficial summary is that depression is an evolutionary adaptation, and that is still helping us solve problems in modern society. Is this true? These are two very distinct claims and while each may have some merit, saying it like that may obscure as much as it enlightens. ... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 11:57 AM

From the Community: February edition

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Fruit fly behavior mapped, resilience theory in an urban setting, changing the universe’s birthdate and genetic diversity in an all-female species. Here are extra news stories and studies on ecological science for the month of February.... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 10:19 AM

Molecular machines and memorable African genomes in my Picks of the Week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Clements, A., Bursac, D., Gatsos, X., Perry, A., Civciristov, S., Celik, N., Likic, V., Poggio, S., Jacobs-Wagner, C., Strugnell, R.... (2009) The reducible complexity of a mitochondrial molecular machine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(37), 15791-15795. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908264106  

Schuster SC, Miller W, Ratan A, Tomsho LP, Giardine B, Kasson LR, Harris RS, Petersen DC, Zhao F, Qi J.... (2010) Complete Khoisan and Bantu genomes from southern Africa. Nature, 463(7283), 943-7. PMID: 20164927  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 10:09 AM

Reparative Therapy Can Cure Homosexuality

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Karten and Wade's (2010) research study finds that some men conflicted by their homosexual feelings and behaviours who engage in 'sexual orientation change efforts' (SOCE)later report a decrease in those feelings and behaviours. ... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 09:44 AM

Prehistoric Snake Fed on Baby Dinosaurs

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

When discussing dinosaurs, the topic of what they ate often comes up, but what about the creatures that ate them? Obviously some dinosaurs ate other dinosaurs, but the famous prehistoric archosaurs were not immune to predation from other kinds of hunters, especially when the archosaurs were babies. In 2005, for example, paleontologists described a specimen [...]... Read more »

Jeffrey A. Wilson, Dhananjay M. Mohabey, Shanan E. Peters, Jason J. Head. (2010) Predation upon Hatchling Dinosaurs by a New Snake from the Late Cretaceous of India. PLoS Biology, 8(3). info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000322

  • March 2, 2010
  • 09:42 AM

The Curious Case of Kerrie Wooltorton

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

Kerry Wooltorton
If you have not heard of Kerrie Wooltorton, then you are either living in a box (like me) or an Indian medical student (again. like me, sigh!)...
So here is the deal.
Kerrie Wooltorton was a 26 year old woman who was suffering from an "untreatable" emotionally unstable personality disorder, infertility and depression. She drunk anti freeze and waved an advance directive in the face of the doctors when she was pushed into the ER. It said (1):

14/09/2007 To whom this may c........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:38 AM

Consent: Darkness ‘Neath the Lamp

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

I am not always a big fan of the articles by BMJ’s Ethics Man Daniel Sokol because I think his articles are, more often than not, inclined towards the ideal without much regard for the practical, at least, from the perspective that I have, of working in a developing world medical institution. However, in this case, I must admit that he has nailed the issue head on. Apparently, it is not just the developing world where consent taking is a rather lowly menial work relegated to the junior most me........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:31 AM

Doctors, Be Warned!

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

The former Health Minister, House of Lords, in this rather short and pithy correspondence, warns doctors to steer clear of the rather controversial issue of assisted death. Maybe its just me, or maybe the streak of rebelliousness that I harbor within that makes me look at this article with a lot of distaste and disgust. Well, here is the disclaimer: I hate to be told what to do or what not to, and this letter sure does look a lot like being told to stay clear of fields where our involvement migh........ Read more »

Cumberlege, J. (2009) Doctors, steer clear. BMJ, 339(aug25 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b3422  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:27 AM

The Face(book) Behind the Mask!

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

In this rather poignant article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the author discusses his doubts and vacillations when a patient from 3 years ago befriends him on the popular social networking site, Facebook. At once he is interested to know how her baby girl (whom he delivered) is doing, and is cowed by the fact that he will be breaching the wall that separates his public life from the private one. He is worried that the patient will have access to his blogs, his photographs, h........ Read more »

Jain, S. (2009) Practicing Medicine in the Age of Facebook. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(7), 649-651. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp0901277  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

Frogs and jumping viruses

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

“Batrachia”, by Ernst Haeckel
(Kunstformen der Natur, 1904)

There’s a constant viral assault on us humans, as there is on just about all other species. We as a species have to contend not only with the vast pool of human pathogens, those viruses that constantly circulate among humanity; but also with the continual probes on our defenses [...]... Read more »

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