Post List

  • August 18, 2010
  • 01:07 PM


by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Recent activity in academia and the blogosphere has been encouraging scientists and everyday people to get out of the mono-mindset. Is monolingualism a legitimate abstraction for scientists or is bilingualism a fundamental part of language?... Read more »

Otsuji, E., & Pennycook, A. (2010) Metrolingualism: fixity, fluidity and language in flux. International Journal of Multilingualism, 7(3), 240-254. DOI: 10.1080/14790710903414331  

  • August 18, 2010
  • 12:01 PM

Snowball Earth no problem for sponges

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

Evidence from numerous sources seems to be converging to suggest that sponges - the first animals - emerged much earlier than the beginning of the Cambrian, and apparently sailed through severe climatic events in the Cryogenian without much trouble at all. Continue reading →... Read more »

Maloof, A., Rose, C., Beach, R., Samuels, B., Calmet, C., Erwin, D., Poirier, G., Yao, N., & Simons, F. (2010) Possible animal-body fossils in pre-Marinoan limestones from South Australia. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo934  

  • August 18, 2010
  • 11:23 AM

Could The Planck Satellite Discover A New Species Of Neutrino?

by Joseph Smidt in The Eternal Universe

It has been known for some time that the WMAP data is more consistant with the existence of four neutrino species than three. Nevertheless, most cosmologists shrug this off as three is by no means ruled out. However, Hamann et al. 2010 demonstrate that such a dismissal may be a mistake.

It turns out, when WMAP 7 year data is combined with Sloan data, the three neutrino species model is ruled

... Read more »

Jan Hamann, Steen Hannestad, Georg G. Raffelt, Irene Tamborra, & Yvonne Y. Y. Wong. (2010) Cosmology seeking friendship with sterile neutrinos. Eprint. arXiv: 1006.5276v1

  • August 18, 2010
  • 11:22 AM

Vitamin D

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

Vitamin D is a fascinating molecule with a fascinating story.  Historically, “vitamins” were defined as chemicals that humans required from their environment that were “vital” to human health.  These chemicals were needed only in very small amounts to prevent disease; an absence of a particular vitamin in the diet led to a specific deficiency disease: [...]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 11:22 AM

Can Energy Sector Workers Serve as Influential Public Ambassadors?

by Matthew C. Nisbet in Age of Engagement

Earlier today, in response to Sheril Kirshenbaum’s query at Discover’s Intersection blog, I spotlighted the key influence of opinion-leaders on energy related behavior.  As a follow up, let’s take a look at a new study out this month, co-authored by John Besley, an assistant professor of Communication at the University of South Carolina (and a friend of mine from our doctoral studies together at Cornell.)
In the study appearing at the International Journal of Hydrogen Ener........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 11:06 AM

Penetrated Male Survivors Shun Counselling Support...

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Monk-Turner and Light (2010) hypothesise that men who are penetrated during the act of being sexually assaulted will be more likely to seek out professional help. Truth, alas, is even stranger than fiction...... Read more »

Monk-Turner E, & Light D. (2010) Male sexual assault and rape: who seeks counseling?. Sexual abuse : a journal of research and treatment, 22(3), 255-65. PMID: 20713746  

  • August 18, 2010
  • 09:52 AM

Is the cancer research paradigm changing?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Over the weekend, a reader (a scientist in translational medicine) kindly sent me the link to a paper on PARP inhibition and asked: "Is this a sign of the new wave of oncology drug development? Rather than basing treatment on...... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 09:47 AM

The many (scientific) uses of penguin poop (Part I)

by Sam W in From C to Carnivore

Tracking penguins in (& from) space Penguins are charismatic animals with a large role in popular culture. They are seen as cuddly (though personally, I think that penguins are from the dark side). Regardless of personal inclination regarding cuddliness, it is easy to see that penguins are unique animals. Something your average penguin fan will [...]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 09:30 AM

Developmental Dyscalculia Explained: Strategy, Memory, Attention

by Jason Goldman in Child's Play

Nearly everyone has heard of developmental dyslexia – a learning disorder characterized by poor reading skills despite otherwise sufficient schooling – but have you heard of developmental dyscalculia? Many people have not. Here is part 3 in a week-long series on this lesser-known learning disorder. (See parts one, and two, and a companion post at [...]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 09:04 AM

Cash, Crops & Climate

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Climate change could hold some surprises for some of the world’s poorest people. Even under scenarios that envision widespread crop failures due to warming, farmers in some poor nations could benefit, according to a new study. The finding highlights how a shifting climate could ripple across the global economy in unexpected ways.
Numerous studies have […] Read More »... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 08:20 AM

GFP gets flashier yet

by Becky in It Takes 30

A recent report in Chemistry & Biology (Subach et al 2010 Red fluorescent protein with reversibly photoswitchable absorbance for photochromic FRET.  Chem Biol. 17 745-55. PMID: 20659687) describes the discovery of the first red fluorescent protein that has switchable absorbance spectra. The switch is thought to happen because the chromophore undergoes a cis-trans isomerization in [...]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Dude looks like a lady? Male lizards courting males

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Oh, mistaken gender identity. Are you ever not funny?

Sudden change creates uncertainty. This is as true in evolution as it is in financial crises. Evolutionarily speaking, the eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus is in a moment of sudden and fast chance – some of them, at least.

These lizards find themselves in a situation rather like some mice I’ve talked about before (here and here). A couple of thousand years ago, a new habitat opens up with very light coloured sand. Humans, in........ Read more »

Robertson JM, & Rosenblum EB. (2010) Male territoriality and ‘sex confusion’ in recently adapted lizards at White Sands. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. info:/

  • August 18, 2010
  • 07:37 AM

Warming caves: A stop-gap prevention to thwart white-nose syndrome?

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

I’ve been trying to tune into developments with white-nose syndrome because it’s one of the worst emerging pathogens to hit North American wildlife in recent history. Ever since the first breakout in a New York cave in February 2006, this white fungus has killed off well more than a million bats from six different species. [...]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 07:35 AM

Market Mavens: A Two Step Flow of Influence on Energy Choices

by Matthew C. Nisbet in Age of Engagement

Over at Discover magazine’s terrific Intersection blog, Sheril Kirshenbaum asks readers: “How might we shift public attitudes to be less wasteful and save energy on a massive scale?”
A major finding from social science research is that individual behavior choices are often shaped by perceptions of what other people are doing, especially our peers and other trusted individuals.  A key agent in this process are what researchers call opinion-leaders, special individuals acros........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 06:56 AM

International drug trials underline the future of cancer treatment

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

As we reported on our news feed yesterday, two new international trials are reporting yet more benefits from a new experimental cancer drug called olaparib. At Cancer Research UK we’re very optimistic about this drug, which our scientists played a key role in developing. It’s a new type of cancer drug, called a PARP inhibitor, [...]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

Environmental Constraints on Colour Term Evolution

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Continuing my series on the Evolution of Colour terms, this post reviews evidence for environmental constraints on colour perception.... Read more »

Regan, B., Julliot, C., Simmen, B., Vienot, F., Charles-Dominique, P., & Mollon, J. (2001) Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 356(1407), 229-283. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2000.0773  

Clarke, B.C. (1979) The evolution of genetic diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 453-474. info:/

Webster, M., Webster, S., Bharadwaj, S., Verma, R., Jaikumar, J., Madan, G., & Vaithilingham, E. (2002) Variations in normal color vision. III. Unique hues in Indian and United States observers. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19(10), 1951. DOI: 10.1364/JOSAA.19.001951  

LAENG, B., BRENNEN, T., ELDEN, A., GAAREPAULSEN, H., BANERJEE, A., & LIPTON, R. (2007) Latitude-of-birth and season-of-birth effects on human color vision in the Arctic. Vision Research, 47(12), 1595-1607. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2007.03.011  

Dowman, M. (2007) Explaining Color Term Typology With an Evolutionary Model. Cognitive Science: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 30(1), 99-132. DOI: 10.1207/s15516709cog3101_4  

Griffin LD. (2006) Optimality of the basic colour categories for classification. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society, 3(6), 71-85. PMID: 16849219  

  • August 18, 2010
  • 05:59 AM

Hunting the successful psychopath

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Put aside the dramatic Hollywood portrayals. Suited, married, high achieving, some of them walk among us. No, not vampires or super-heroes but 'successful psychopaths'. Like their criminally violent cousins - the standard psychopaths - these people are ruthless, callous, fearless and arrogant. But thanks to their superior self-control and conscientiousness, rather than landing in prison, they end up as company chief executives, university chancellors and Queen's Council barristers. Well, that's ........ Read more »

Mullins-Sweatt, S., Glover, N., Derefinko, K., Miller, J., & Widiger, T. (2010) The search for the successful psychopath. Journal of Research in Personality, 44(4), 554-558. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2010.05.010  

  • August 18, 2010
  • 04:00 AM

Increase Vit D RDA’s Say Scientists

by Michael Ash in Nutri-Link Ltd - Clinical Education

On July the 28th 2010 the Journal Experimental Biology and Medicine published an article looking at the levels of Vitamin D in the general population and made recommendations concerning the RDA levels needed to limit osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children.[1] This they say is because scientists and nutritionists from many countries agree that [...]... Read more »

Norman AW, & Bouillon R. (2010) Vitamin D nutritional policy needs a vision for the future. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.). PMID: 20667908  

  • August 18, 2010
  • 03:50 AM

Vitamin A: The Key to A Tolerant Immune System?

by Michael Ash in Nutri-Link Ltd - Clinical Education

By Michael Ash, BSc(Hons). DO. ND. FellowDipION Vitamin D and Vitamin A are essential co-partners in immunological and bone health.[1],[2] I’m particularly excited about vitamin A because of its profound effects on the gut mucosal immune system—a specialty of mine. Just as vitamin D has attracted attention for its ability to increase antimicrobial peptides and [...]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 12:27 AM

Conversations really DO take two.

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

You’ve all heard it takes two to tango. And it certainly takes two (or more) to argue. And now, apparently it really does take two to have a conversation. Stephens et al. “Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication” PNAS, 2010. We know that real verbal communications requires both a speaker and a listener (often they [...]... Read more »

Stephens GJ, Silbert LJ, & Hasson U. (2010) Speaker-listener neural coupling underlies successful communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(32), 14425-30. PMID: 20660768  

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