Post List

  • January 24, 2011
  • 01:26 AM

Movies and The Smoking Brain

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Sci saw this paper come out last week, it made it big in the mainstream media, and a couple of blogs covered it. Whenever something like this comes up in the news, I just have to get the paper myself and make sure whether it’s all really true. And now I have it, so here [...]... Read more »

Wagner DD, Dal Cin S, Sargent JD, Kelley WM, & Heatherton TF. (2011) Spontaneous action representation in smokers when watching movie characters smoke. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(3), 894-8. PMID: 21248113  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 12:34 AM

Preventing Shingles

by Debajyoti Datta in Medicine...Life

Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, usually occurs in elderly adults. It is characterized by painful eruption of vesicular lesions that follow a dermatomal distribution. The thoracic and lumbar roots are most commonly affected.
Pain precedes the appearance of the lesions and is severe and debilitating. The incidence and severity of herpes zoster increases with increasing age... Read more »

Tseng HF, Smith N, Harpaz R, Bialek SR, Sy LS, & Jacobsen SJ. (2011) Herpes zoster vaccine in older adults and the risk of subsequent herpes zoster disease. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 305(2), 160-6. PMID: 21224457  

  • January 23, 2011
  • 11:49 PM

Gurgling or Death Rattle? Does it predict pneumonia?

by Christian Sinclair, MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

The physical exam is an important skill for the practitioner of palliative medical arts because we may be working with patients in their home where technical diagnostic options are limited or in a treatment mode that has been defined by avoiding further diagnostic tests.  So I am particularly interested by any article that discusses clinical examination skills relevant to palliative medicine.  Of course the title did not hurt in causing me to pause.  "Gurgling ........ Read more »

Vazquez, R., Gheorghe, C., Ramos, F., Dadu, R., Amoateng-Adjepong, Y., & Manthous, C. (2010) Gurgling Breath Sounds May Predict Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia. Chest, 138(2), 284-288. DOI: 10.1378/chest.09-2713  

  • January 23, 2011
  • 11:35 PM

Holy Wars in Holy Lands

by teofilo in Gambler's House

In the year AD 1098 a spruce tree was chopped down in the Chuska Mountains, which run roughly along what is now the border between Arizona and New Mexico.  We don’t know who cut it down, exactly, since the people living in the area at the time had no system of writing and have therefore [...]... Read more »

Rubenstein, J. (2008) Cannibals and Crusaders. French Historical Studies, 31(4), 525-552. DOI: 10.1215/00161071-2008-005  

  • January 23, 2011
  • 09:30 PM

Music and the Brain: Dopamine

by Luc Duval in The Pedagogic Verses

An overview and analysis of the recent work linking dopamine to emotional arousal caused by listening to music.... Read more »

  • January 23, 2011
  • 04:10 PM

the bottom line on hypothermia

by Michael Lombardi in a New Life in the Sea

This 2010/2011 winter has been brutally cold here in the Northeast, and unarguably colder than most. As time has passed over the years, it's become harder and harder to jump in the water this time of year. But, therein lies no choice if one is to continue working as a diving contractor in New England. There is nothing pleasant about it, and all you can do is plan well in advance for the elements.

For the majority of the winter months, say late November through early March, we use hotwater suits........ Read more »

  • January 23, 2011
  • 09:18 AM

No, Bounce Fabric Softener will NOT protect you from bugs

by bug_girl in Bug Girl's Blog

I usually like Lifehacker, but in this case, FAIL.  Here’s a story they ran 2 weeks ago: Bounce Fabric Softener Keeps Mosquitoes and Gnats Away Some people have sworn by the power of Bounce dryer sheets—and specifically Bounce, too—to keep mosquitoes away from them, and gnats out of their garden. Now scientists have proven the [...]... Read more »

Raymond A. Cloyd, et al. (2010) Bounce® Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets Repel Fungus Gnat, Bradysia sp. nr. coprophila (Diptera: Sciaridae), Adults. HortScience, 1830-1833. info:other/

  • January 23, 2011
  • 01:52 AM

An evolutionary explanation of consumption

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

Since Thorstein Veblen’s 1899 book Theory of the Leisure Class, the economics profession has taken a somewhat mixed approach to consumption. In areas such signalling theory, Veblen’s argument that conspicuous consumption must be wasteful and expensive to be a reliable signal of wealth is well recognised. Conspicuous consumption has a purpose as a signal. However, [...]... Read more »

  • January 23, 2011
  • 01:08 AM

Psychology’s Frenemies

by Jenika in ionpsych

It’s a lot like watching a reality television show, only without Simon Cowell providing amusing commentary.  But the essential ingredients are all there: shifting alliances, suspicions, competition for resources, and perhaps even frenemies.  Yes, watching neuroscience interact with clinical psychology … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 23, 2011
  • 12:28 AM

Uganda’s 2006 Plague Outbreak

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

People are sometimes surprised to learn that the plague still exists today. They ask me why they  have never heard about it in the news. Well, it is occasionally in the news for a day and then we go on to the next crisis. Today plague outbreaks occur in parts of the world that don’t [...]... Read more »

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2009) Bubonic and pneumonic plague - Uganda, 2006. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 58(28), 778-81. PMID: 19629028  

  • January 22, 2011
  • 11:18 PM

Sacred Ridge

by teofilo in Gambler's House

The best-known of the various instances of alleged cannibalism in the prehistoric Southwest are a set of several that occurred around AD 1150 in the area around the modern town of Cortez, Colorado.  There are also scattered examples of similar assemblages dating to both before and after this and located both in southwestern Colorado and [...]... Read more »

  • January 22, 2011
  • 06:56 PM

It’s Official – North Pacific Dogfish a Different Species

by Chuck in Ya Like Dags?

A while back I posted on the possibility of spiny dogfish in the North Pacific (think California up to Alaska, across to Kamchatka and the upper parts of Japan) being a different species, based on differences in both life history … Continue reading →... Read more »

Ebert, D.A., White, W.T., Goldman, K.J., Compagno, L.J.V., Daly-Engel, T.S., & Ward, R.D. (2010) Resurrection and redescription of Squalus suckleyi (Girard, 1854) from the North Pacific, with comments on the Squalus acanthias subgroup (Squaliformes: Squalidae). Zootaxa, 22-40. info:/

  • January 22, 2011
  • 06:26 PM

Surprises found in the “Science Hall of Fame”

by Anna Goldstein in Berkeley Science Review Blog

Breaking news from the world of culturomics! The most famous scientist of the past two centuries is Bertrand Russell, whose fame clocks in at a stunning 1500 milliDarwins. If you’re like me and have never heard the word “culturomics” before … Continue reading →... Read more »

Michel JB, Shen YK, Aiden AP, Veres A, Gray MK, Google Books Team, Pickett JP, Hoiberg D, Clancy D, Norvig P.... (2011) Quantitative analysis of culture using millions of digitized books. Science (New York, N.Y.), 331(6014), 176-82. PMID: 21163965  

  • January 22, 2011
  • 04:38 PM

Weekend Short Stories

by Matthew DiLeo in The Scientist Gardener

Some pretty cool links for your weekend:

Jurassic Park beer:

Fossil Fuels Brewing Co. makes beer with an Eocene-era yeast, formerly encased in a 45 million year old chunk of amber! Incredible, but apparently true. Viable Bacillus spores were discovered first in 25-40 million year old amber by Raul Cano (these spores are so tough you can't kill them with an autoclave). He then founded a startup (Ambergene) with the hopes of discovering ancient antibiotics (this was back during the natural ........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2011
  • 04:22 PM

Did Intestinal parasites and poor hygiene protect us from autoimmune diseases?

by ABK in Environment and Health

Autoimmune diseases are troubling, and often frustrating and painful for health care practitioners and patients. As far as I know, celiac disease is the only autoimmune disorder with a specific and identified trigger: the protein gluten. It has also been pointed out that the incidence of Celiac Disease, the formal name for gluten-triggered autoimmune reactions in the bowel, appears to have been increasing. Some have claimed that humans are not adapted to consumption of plant proteins like glu........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2011
  • 01:50 PM

New Year--New Fossils--New Papers!!!

by Paleochick in Paleochick's Digs

Dearest readers,
I hope all of you had a warm and happy holiday season! I’ve missed you! It...... Read more »

Lu, J., Unwin, D., Deeming, D., Jin, X., Liu, Y., & Ji, Q. (2011) An Egg-Adult Association, Gender, and Reproduction in Pterosaurs. Science, 331(6015), 321-324. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197323  

  • January 22, 2011
  • 12:46 PM

When "Healthy Brains" Aren't

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

There's a lot of talk, much of it rather speculative, about "neuroethics" nowadays.But there's one all too real ethical dilemma, a direct consequence of modern neuroscience, that gets very little attention. This is the problem of incidental findings on MRI scans.An "incidental finding" is when you scan someone's brain for research purposes, and, unexpectedly, notice that something looks wrong with it. This is surprisingly common: estimates range from 2–8% of the general population. It will hap........ Read more »

Cramer SC, Wu J, Hanson JA, Nouri S, Karnani D, Chuang TM, & Le V. (2011) A system for addressing incidental findings in neuroimaging research. NeuroImage. PMID: 21224007  

  • January 22, 2011
  • 12:38 PM


by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

Thomas Metzinger wrote an outline of his book, ‘Being No One’, which puts his theory of consciousness in a very brief, compact form. He puts forward a list of constraints that any system must have to be conscious. The first three constrains gives a simple form of consciousness which he then elaborates with further constrains. [...]... Read more »

Thomas Metzinger. (2005) Precis of - Being No One. Psyche - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Consciousness, 11(5). info:/

  • January 22, 2011
  • 10:10 AM

Kinky evolution: did we evolve from PVC?

by Gemma Atkinson in Protein evolution and other musings

PVC may have played a big part in our evolution... But, no I'm not talking about polyvinyl chloride (sorry to dissapoint!), I'm talking about the Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, Chlamydiae (PVC) bacterial superphylum. And I'm talking waaaay back, when the Chlamydiae were much more innocent and hadn't got into that whole sexually transmitted disease scene.In a Science article, Devos and Reynaud discuss the possibility that that The PVC bugs, which appear to be a monophyletic group forming their ........ Read more »

Devos, D., & Reynaud, E. (2010) Intermediate Steps. Science, 330(6008), 1187-1188. DOI: 10.1126/science.1196720  

Fuerst JA, & Webb RI. (1991) Membrane-bounded nucleoid in the eubacterium Gemmatata obscuriglobus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 88(18), 8184-8. PMID: 11607213  

Lonhienne, T., Sagulenko, E., Webb, R., Lee, K., Franke, J., Devos, D., Nouwens, A., Carroll, B., & Fuerst, J. (2010) From the Cover: Endocytosis-like protein uptake in the bacterium Gemmata obscuriglobus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(29), 12883-12888. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001085107  

  • January 22, 2011
  • 09:09 AM

The causes you “like” on Facebook may actually matter

by Janelle Ward in Janelle's research blog

The book manuscript I’m currently working on for Hampton Press involves an updated section on social media. When I started my dissertation research in 2003, websites were all the rage – and the only rage. Now, organizations of all types … Continue reading →... Read more »

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