Post List

  • February 16, 2010
  • 04:05 PM

Psych FAIL.

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

I love the show Psych. For those who don't know the show, it's about a guy named Shawn Spencer (actor James Roday) whose uncanny powers of observation allow him to convince the Santa Barbara Police Department that he's a psychic. He's adorable, eccentric, and totally awesome in mostly every way. But I found myself yelling at my television (ok, my computer - I watch it on Hulu every week) while watching the most recent episode. I was really, truly pissed.

Let me explain. In the show, Shawn and c........ Read more »

Price, T., Hurst, G., & Wedell, N. (2010) Polyandry Prevents Extinction. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.01.050  

  • February 16, 2010
  • 03:39 PM

Tradeoff between stability and multispecificity in the design of promiscuous proteins

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

Traditionally, computational protein design efforts have been directed at calculating a single sequence predicted to fold to a particular target structure. Recently, however, a number of conceptual generalizations have been pursued, ranging from the use of backbone flexibility, off-rotamer side chain flexibility, negative design, multi-body potentials, conformational free energy, and prediction of sequence profiles. Below I present our state-of-the-art research whose goal is to understand how pr........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 02:20 PM

Dammit, Jim, I'm a neurobiologist, not a climatologist!

by Björn Brembs in

Clouds, the sun, volcanoes, the earth's orbit around the sun, ill-defined 'natural cycles' - all have been brought up recently by a range of non-scientists arguing against the current scientific consensus that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are responsible for the global warming observed in the last century. I'm a neurobiologist, so my knowledge about climatology is rather limited, which means I don't really understand too much of the complex mechanisms underlying climate variabilities. Howeve........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 01:34 PM

Goals and satisfaction with pain management

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I came across this paper by Rowland Hazard and colleagues amongst a whole lot of papers lying on my desk (those of you who’ve seen my desk will understand what a momentous occasion it was to find something there!). It describes a very useful finding from a study the group conducted on outcome measurement.
There [...]... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 01:26 PM

Pandemic Influenza: the role of pigs

by Atila Iamarino in Influenza A (H1N1) Blog – English

Birds are important in the natural history of Influenza and flu, but there is another character besides us humans. The pigs.

Our knowledge of Influenza in pig dates back to at least 1918 when it was observed that they could also catch the flu during a time when the human flu caused an uneven pandemic. In [...]... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 01:20 PM

Bonobos and the Child-Like Joy of Sharing

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

   Bonobos retain juvenile traits related   to tolerance and cooperation.            Image: Vanessa WoodsHow many times as a kid would your parents tell you to grow up and act your age? It turns out that not acting our age may be the very reason why we're so successful as a species.

Brian Hare and colleagues have just released a video (see below) showing a bonobo juvenile voluntarily helping another indiv........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 12:20 PM

Barefoot Running - even more vid analysis sources

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

Some of us have been just waiting for the moment when barefooting or vff'ing would make it through to the mainstream. THis seems to have happened recently on the cover of nature, with DE Lieberman's research in praise of the unshod. The formal article title is "Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners" ... Read more »

Lieberman, D., Venkadesan, M., Werbel, W., Daoud, A., D’Andrea, S., Davis, I., Mang’Eni, R., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2010) Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature, 463(7280), 531-535. DOI: 10.1038/nature08723  

  • February 16, 2010
  • 11:57 AM

Individual behaviour change strategies

by PhD Blogger in Exercise Psychology

I came across this excellent article today on Individual behaviour change strategies. It is published in the ACSM's Health and fitness journal. It covers how to tailor physical activity behaviour change strategies to make them effective. Its full of good advice and i can see me using the advice in the future. I always get annoyed when we think that getting people through the door of a gym is the end of the journey! Thats the the start, my own area is exercise adherence and i am all too aware of........ Read more »

White, Siobhan M. B.S.; Mailey, Emily L. M.S.; McAuley, Edward. (2010) Individual behaviour change strategies. ACSM's Health , 14(1), 8-15. info:/

  • February 16, 2010
  • 10:34 AM

Do Price Tags Have a Taste of Their Own?

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

Expert wine tasters can supposedly tell the difference between a cheap wine and a more expensive one. But research shows that a measurable portion of the actually perceived taste difference is solely due to a neurological response to knowing the wine's price tag. So I have to ask: What is the Taste of $90?...... Read more »

Plassmann, H., O'Doherty, J., Shiv, B., & Rangel, A. (2008) Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(3), 1050-1054. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0706929105  

  • February 16, 2010
  • 08:56 AM

Foreign nurses face the Kanji hurdle

by Kimie Takahashi in Language on the Move

Japan’s aging population and the growing number of young Japanese shunning ‘3D’ jobs (dirty, dangerous and demanding) has resulted in an increasing demand for foreign nurses and eldercare workers. In response, the Japanese government has recently started to recruit nurses and allied professionals from Indonesia and the Philippines under bilateral economic partnership agreements (EPA).
These Indonesian [...]... Read more »

Piller, I . (2011) Language, Migration, and Human Rights. In Wodak, Ruth, Paul Kerswill and Barbara Johnstone. Eds. Handbook of Sociolinguistics. . info:/

  • February 16, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Citizen science: using birder lists to detect species decline

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 06:43 AM

Getting a sinking feeling yet?

by Stephen in Demon-haunted World

The oceans are the world's largest carbon sink. Are they starting to overflow?... Read more »

Le Quere, C., Rodenbeck, C., Buitenhuis, E., Conway, T., Langenfelds, R., Gomez, A., Labuschagne, C., Ramonet, M., Nakazawa, T., Metzl, N.... (2007) Saturation of the Southern Ocean CO2 Sink Due to Recent Climate Change. Science, 316(5832), 1735-1738. DOI: 10.1126/science.1136188  

Cassar, N., Bender, M., Barnett, B., Fan, S., Moxim, W., Levy, H., & Tilbrook, B. (2007) The Southern Ocean Biological Response to Aeolian Iron Deposition. Science, 317(5841), 1067-1070. DOI: 10.1126/science.1144602  

Sunda WG. (2010) Iron and the carbon pump. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5966), 654-5. PMID: 20133563  

Dalin Shi, Yan Xu, Brian M. Hopkinson, François M. M. Morel. (2010) Effect of Ocean Acidification on Iron Availability to Marine Phytoplankton. Science, 327(5966), 676-679. info:/10.1126/science.1183517

Riebesell U, Zondervan I, Rost B, Tortell PD, Zeebe RE, & Morel FM. (2000) Reduced calcification of marine plankton in response to increased atmospheric CO2. Nature, 407(6802), 364-7. PMID: 11014189  

  • February 16, 2010
  • 06:32 AM

Men Who Can't Stop Hitting People

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Cohn et al. (2010) make some links between men's emotional (dys)regulation, restrictive emotionality and hitting people.... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 06:27 AM

Paper of the Week: The link between snowfall increase in Antarctica and drought in southwest Western Australia

by Sarah Stephen in An ecological oratorio

Tas van Ommen and Vin Morgan, of the Australian Antarctic Division, published a paper ‘Snowfall increase in coastal East Antarctica linked with southwest Western Australian drought’ in Nature Geosciences.Turns out that this region of Australia has been facing a 40-year drought which was attributed to several factors, such as ‘natural variability, changes in land use, ocean temperatures and atmospheric circulation’. After evaluating the precipitation records of the two regions (East Antar........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Are TV commercials solely responsible for screen time weight?

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

What a great study.The authors analyzed the television viewing habits of 2,037 children between the ages of 0 and 12 back and the outcome they were interested in was BMI. Parents were given diaries where they tracked among other things the format of the television their children watched. Formats could be educational viewing on broadcast or cable (shows like Sesame Street), education viewing on DVD or video (same shows as on cable but without advertisements), children's entertainment viewing on........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

The impact of tidal flow restrictions on arid marshes

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

What happens to a wetland when you construct a dyke and cut off tidal flow for over two decades? Silvia Ibarra-Obando and fellow researchers looked at the effects of 22 years worth of tidal exclusion on Estero de Punta Banda, an arid estuary 120 km south of the U.S.-Mexico border...... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 02:52 AM

SIRT3: fighting cancer in the mitochondria

by ouroboros in Ouroboros: Research in the biology of aging

Yesterday we learned that the most well-characterized mammalian sirtuin, SIRT1, is involved in the control of behavior in response to food availability. SIRT1 is just one of seven sirtuins in mammalian genomes, each of which has a characteristic expression pattern, subcellular localization, and physiological importance.
Today we’re going to talk about another member of the [...]... Read more »

  • February 16, 2010
  • 02:06 AM

Vegas casino develops technique for unobtrusive radiofrequency ablation of the amygdala

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the radiofrequency ablation device, adapted from surgical oncology procedures to apply a focal high frequency alternating current to the region of the amygdala.Alternatively, a gamma knife-like TMS application, slyly incorporated into a metal detector, temporarily deactivates the amygdala when each customer enters the casino.Figure 2. Adjustable transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) helmet incorporated into a Metor 200 Walk-Thru Metal Detector.What was the inspir........ Read more »

De Martino, B., Camerer, C., & Adolphs, R. (2010) Amygdala damage eliminates monetary loss aversion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910230107  

  • February 15, 2010
  • 10:46 PM

Far out!

by Charles Daney in Science and Reason

If you're interested in something out of the ordinary, astronomically speaking, the best place to look for the exotic may be as far away (in both space and time) as possible.Perhaps that's why I like to consider really far out stuff, like the most distant gamma-ray burst seen yet. Or maybe I just like to get away from the depressing chaos and confusion of "modern" life.In any case, there's always something new, just beyond the farthest thing we've seen yet. That far-out gamma-ray burst (GRB 0904........ Read more »

R. J. Bouwens, G. D. Illingworth, I. Labbe, P. A. Oesch, M. Carollo, M. Trenti, P. G. van Dokkum, M. Franx, M. Stiavelli, V. Gonzalez.... (2009) Constraints on the First Galaxies: z~10 Galaxy Candidates from HST WFC3/IR. Nature. arXiv: 0912.4263v2

  • February 15, 2010
  • 10:31 PM

Reconsidering the Origins of Marine Life and All Life

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

What is the origin story of deep-sea organisms? For decades, we thought shallow coastal waters were the cradle of marine life repeatedly pumping species into the deep.  This is the simplest story.  The more complex origin story involves multiple anoxic events, catastrophic events, survival of the fittest, so on and so forth with species originating [...]... Read more »

Inoue, J., Miya, M., Miller, M., Sado, T., Hanel, R., Hatooka, K., Aoyama, J., Minegishi, Y., Nishida, M., & Tsukamoto, K. (2010) Deep-ocean origin of the freshwater eels. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0989  

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