Barton (2010) covers familiar territory, in showing up that life for GLBTI people in the Bible Belt in the US is harsh. However, the liberationist methodology she employed in her research gives a fresh, insightful and deeply personal view of what it means to be hated for being who you are. ... Read more »
A new species of plant-eating dinosaur, which sports a grapefruit sized mass of bone on the top of its skull, has been uncovered in Texas’ Big Bend National Park. The find, which would have lived 70 to 80 million years ago, is reported in the latest issue of Cretaceous Research.... Read more »
Longrich, N., Sankey, J., & Tanke, D. (2010) Texacephale langstoni, a new genus of pachycephalosaurid (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the upper Campanian Aguja Formation, southern Texas, USA. Cretaceous Research, 31(2), 274-284. DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2009.12.002
I realized after the last post that we haven’t actually spent much time discussing brain differences between dyslexic and nonimpaired readers. So today, I’m covering an earlier experiment by the...
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Shaywitz, B. (2002) Disruption of posterior brain systems for reading in children with developmental dyslexia. Biological Psychiatry, 52(2), 101-110. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3223(02)01365-3
Last year a study was released suggesting that kids who bought lunch at school tended to eat less healthy foods than kids who brought their own lunch from home. Since the National School Lunch Program in the US is supposed to encourage children to eat better, this was quite a blow. If kids don’t eat [...]... Read more »
Hastert TA, & Babey SH. (2009) School lunch source and adolescent dietary behavior. Preventing chronic disease, 6(4). PMID: 19754993
Wojcicki, J., & Heyman, M. (2006) Healthier Choices and Increased Participation in a Middle School Lunch Program: Effects of Nutrition Policy Changes in San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health, 96(9), 1542-1547. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.070946
One in every eight hospitals in the USA is a religious foundation. As with faith schools in the UK, they receive government funding (in the form of Medicare and Medicaid payments, as well as tax-exempt bonds), but they're allowed to set their own policies to conform with their religious principles.So, for example, some religious hospitals stop their doctors from providing legal medical treatment, such as contraception, abortion, and certain end-of-life treatment options.This poses a potential di........ Read more »
Stulberg, D., Lawrence, R., Shattuck, J., & Curlin, F. (2010) Religious Hospitals and Primary Care Physicians: Conflicts over Policies for Patient Care. Journal of General Internal Medicine. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-010-1329-6
Significant research focuses on the identification of biomarkers in a a variety of psychiatric disorders. A biomarker can be any biological variable that is associated with an illness. Biomarkers are important because they provide an opportunity to identify high-risk individuals prior to disease onset. Early intervention in these individuals may reduce the risk of illness or reduce the severity and impairment of the disorder. Biomarkers may also be valuable in identifying genes associated wi........ Read more »
Roberts ME, Tchanturia K, & Treasure JL. (2010) Exploring the neurocognitive signature of poor set-shifting in anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Journal of psychiatric research. PMID: 20398910
Nature reports on the Dissection of genetically complex traits with extremely large pools of yeast segregants.Ehrenreich et al have a new way of mapping the genetic basis of complex traits in yeast, "complex" being what geneticists call anything which isn't controlled by one single gene. They dub their approach "Extreme QTL mapping". This suggests images of geneticists running experiments atop Everest, or perhaps collecting blood samples from lions with their bare hands, but actuallyExtreme QTL ........ Read more »
Ehrenreich IM, Torabi N, Jia Y, Kent J, Martis S, Shapiro JA, Gresham D, Caudy AA, & Kruglyak L. (2010) Dissection of genetically complex traits with extremely large pools of yeast segregants. Nature, 464(7291), 1039-42. PMID: 20393561
Why is it so hard for us to eat a healthy diet? It would appear to be the easiest solution in the world. Just choose wisely at the grocery store and - Poof! - you can feel better, lose weight, and look fantastic. Of course, we all know that eating healthy is never as easy as it sounds. So what is in the way of making good food choices?... Read more »
Zeinstra, G., Koelen, M., Kok, F., & de Graaf, C. (2007) Cognitive development and children's perceptions of fruit and vegetables; a qualitative study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 4(1), 30. DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-4-30
WESTCOMBE, A. (1997) Influence of Relative Fat Content Information on Responses to Three Foods. Appetite, 28(1), 49-62. DOI: 10.1006/appe.1996.0066
Kearney, J., & McElhone, S. (2007) Perceived barriers in trying to eat healthier – results of a pan-EU consumer attitudinal survey. British Journal of Nutrition, 81(S1). DOI: 10.1017/S0007114599000987
Eikenberry, N., & Smith, C. (2004) Healthful eating: perceptions, motivations, barriers, and promoters in low-income minnesota communities. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 104(7), 1158-1161. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2004.04.023
A recent paper has presented the results of a bunch of trials looking at interventions for ankle sprains. Main result? if someone's had an ankle injury - like a sprain - then tape or brace doesn't seem to show a difference: both seem to cut down reinjury. What's troublesome on a metalevel, is first how sort of accepted the notion of this level of injury seems to be, and second how nascent in the approach described here is the model that for folks who haven't been injured - as a preventitive - th........ Read more »
Dizon, J., & Reyes, J. (2010) A systematic review on the effectiveness of external ankle supports in the prevention of inversion ankle sprains among elite and recreational players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 13(3), 309-317. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2009.05.002
If you want to rile up a biologist and have no pointed stick handy, try this: Tell her that chemistry or physics are "harder," more fundamentally "sciencey" sciences than hers. "You can't use the standards of one science to judge another," she might say. "Physics is different from biology, not better." Not so, you answer: There must be standards common to all the sciences, which some meet better than others do. You're now set up for a seemingly........ Read more »
Fanelli, D. (2010) “Positive” Results Increase Down the Hierarchy of the Sciences. PLoS ONE, 5(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010068
When we think about the vast diversity of life in the ocean, we automatically picture pristine coral reefs teeming with life. This is especially true for rich, tropical locations like Hawaii. What we don't think of are the deep, dark depths of the canyons that lie just beyond the shallow paradises we know and love. Scientists have known for years that these deep water locations may contain a wide variety of species, but don't talk about them as much because no one had ever explored them to see w........ Read more »
Vetter, E., Smith, C., & De Leo, F. (2010) Hawaiian hotspots: enhanced megafaunal abundance and diversity in submarine canyons on the oceanic islands of Hawaii. Marine Ecology, 31(1), 183-199. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0485.2009.00351.x
WHEN talking about our feelings, we often use expressions that link emotions with movements or positions in space. If, for example, one receives good news, they might say that their "spirit soared", or that they are feeling "on top of the world". Conversely, negative emotions are associated with downward movements and positions - somebody who is sad is often said to be "down in the dumps", or feeling "low".
According to a new study published in this month's issue the journal Cognition, expressi........ Read more »
It seems my Catholic mother may have been onto something when she said religion helps with pain. According to an Oxford study, invoking one’s religious beliefs for pain relief has some scientific backing.
Researchers at The Oxford Center for Science of the Mind gave atheists and Roman Catholics electric shocks while they looked at two paintings, [...]... Read more »
Dezutter, J., Luyckx, K., Schaap-Jonker, H., Büssing, A., Corveleyn, J., & Hutsebaut, D. (2010) God Image and Happiness in Chronic Pain Patients: The Mediating Role of Disease Interpretation. Pain Medicine. DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.00827.x
Wiech, K., Farias, M., Kahane, G., Shackel, N., Tiede, W., & Tracey, I. (2008) An fMRI study measuring analgesia enhanced by religion as a belief system. Pain, 139(2), 467-476. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2008.07.030
The archerfish’s long distance spitting can fire a bug off of a branch and send it down to the water’s surface, and the nearly-blind pistol shrimp uses its gigantic claw to stun its prey with a bubble nearly as hot as the Sun. However, if the archerfish didn’t have keen eyes enabling it to detect an insect against a vegetative background, and if the pistol shrimp lacked its protective eye covers, called orbital hoods, these animals might never have developed the ballistic mechanisms that ........ Read more »
Temple, S., Hart, N., Marshall, N., & Collin, S. (2010) A spitting image: specializations in archerfish eyes for vision at the interface between air and water. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0345
Anker, A., Ahyong, S., Noël, P., & Palmer, A. (2006) MORPHOLOGICAL PHYLOGENY OF ALPHEID SHRIMPS: PARALLEL PREADAPTATION AND THE ORIGIN OF A KEY MORPHOLOGICAL INNOVATION, THE SNAPPING CLAW. Evolution, 60(12), 2507. DOI: 10.1554/05-486.1
When I lived in Sioux City, IA, I had the opportunity of hanging out with a zoologist who studied the Plains Spadefoot Toad (Spea bombifrons). I would go out with her on nighttime listening surveys, and we would slowly drive the gravel farm roads in the middle of nowhere, weaving from one side to [...]... Read more »
Richardson, C., Gomez, D., Durieux, R., Thery, M., Joly, P., Lena, J., Plenet, S., & Lengagne, T. (2010) Hearing is not necessarily believing in nocturnal anurans. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0038
Richardson, C., & Lengagne, T. (2009) Multiple signals and male spacing affect female preference at cocktail parties in treefrogs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1685), 1247-1252. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1836
In this week’s tip I’m going to introduce you to a suite of motif discovery tools, and show you (briefly) how to use one of the tools. The MEME suite is a comprehensive collection of tools for analysis of both protein and DNA motifs. As described on the MEME Suite homepage, or in the citation that I reference below, this set of tools allows one to use as much or as little of the suite as meets their research needs. A user can initially find motifs with either the MEME or GLAM2 algor........ Read more »
Bailey, T., Boden, M., Buske, F., Frith, M., Grant, C., Clementi, L., Ren, J., Li, W., & Noble, W. (2009) MEME SUITE: tools for motif discovery and searching. Nucleic Acids Research, 37(Web Server). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp335
The numbers of international students taking on graduate degrees is on the increase, partly due to the advent of rapid communication and information tools and partly due to the recognition that globalisation is taking over the world. Hah!
Supervisors I’ve spoken to over the years have always seen the mix of cultures in their laboratories as [...]Understanding online students and virtual supervisors is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Kenneth David Strang. (2010) Improving supervision of cross-cultural postgraduate university students. Int. J. Learning and Change, 4(2), 181-202. info:/
A new study on the threatened grasshopper sparrow in New Jersey demonstrates that farmland conservation programs can potentially play an important role in reducing the extinction risk of grassland birds.
Researchers Alison Seigel and Julie Lockwood projected that a conservation program that paid farmers to delay mowing their hayfields until later in the season could reduce the bird's local extinction risk from near certainty to 10% if it enrolled 50% of the hayfields in the region.
In the ........ Read more »
Seigel, A., & Lockwood, J. (2010) How increasing levels of private land enrollment in conservation agreements affect the population viability of grassland birds. Biodiversity and Conservation. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-010-9837-6
This seems to have become unofficial volcano week, here at ScienceBlogs. If you haven't been following the coverage of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption at Erik Klemetti's Eruptions blog, you should consider doing so. Also, Dr. Isis has a post on how the eruption has fouled up all nuclear imaging plans at her place of research, and Ethan explains how volcanic lightening works.
Our benevolent overlords have further commented: "Eyjafjallajökull's ill temper has been an unexpected object lesson in t........ Read more »
Susan Claire Edwards,, Wieslaw Jedrychowski,, Maria Butscher,, David Camann,, Agnieszka Kieltyka,, Elzbieta Mroz,, Elzbieta Flak,, Zhigang Li,, Shuang Wang,, Virginia Rauh,.... (2010) Prenatal Exposure to Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Children’s Intelligence at Age 5 in a Prospective Cohort Study in Poland. Environmental Health Perspectives. info:/10.1289/ehp.0901070
Skupińska K, Misiewicz I, & Kasprzycka-Guttman T. (2004) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: physicochemical properties, environmental appearance and impact on living organisms. Acta poloniae pharmaceutica, 61(3), 233-40. PMID: 15481250
[since I had to write this up elsewhere for a class, might as well double post this here anyway]Here's another story of how alleviated selective pressures can enable increased complexity, without said increase in complexity needing to be driven by positive selection; the paper later relates this to its implications for language evolution:Ritchie & Kirby 2005 Evol Ling Comm Selection, domestication, and the emergence of learned communication systems(Also see Ritchie & Kirby 2007 Emergence........ Read more »
Ritchie GRS, & Kirby S. (2007) A Possible Role for Selective Masking in the Evolution of Complex, Learned Communication Systems. Emergence of Communication and Language, 387-401. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-84628-779-4_20
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