Post List

  • October 15, 2010
  • 04:24 AM
  • 604 views

The where, when, how and why

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts


A recent review article by Friedemann Pulvermuller looks at what is known about the neurobiology of language. He uses the question of what recent progress has been in the where, when, how and why of language processing in the brain. He does a masterful job and yet I am, personally, disappointed. In what way I [...]... Read more »

Friedemann Pulvermuller. (2010) Brain-Language Research: Where is the Progress. Biolinguistics, 4(2), 255-288. info:/

  • October 15, 2010
  • 04:11 AM
  • 850 views

The rise and crash of civilizations

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

One of the questions of interest in the study of the evolution of culture is whether there is a direction in history in terms of complexity. As I have noted before in the pre-modern era many felt that the direction of history was of decline. That is, the ancients were wise and subtle beyond compare [...]... Read more »

Currie, Thomas E., Greenhill, Simon J., Gray, Russell D., Hasegawa, Toshikazu, & Mace, Ruth. (2010) Rise and fall of political complexity in island South-East Asia and the Pacific. Nature. info:/10.1038/nature09461

  • October 15, 2010
  • 02:00 AM
  • 772 views

Friday Weird Science: That MotherF**king HURTS!!!

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

This Friday we are continuing coverage of the most recent IgNobel prizes, those awesome prizes given to celebrate the truly odd, yet wonderful findings in scientific research. Sci LOVES these prizes. In fact, someday I want to be invited, so I can LIVE BLOG these prizes. Interview the winners! Have hilarious conversations! YES! You should [...]... Read more »

Stephens, R., Atkins, J., & Kingston, A. (2009) Swearing as a response to pain. NeuroReport, 1. DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32832e64b1  

  • October 14, 2010
  • 08:03 PM
  • 1,552 views

Should I lick this?

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

When I lived in Northern California, I would often hear stories about people scouring the back country for psychedelic toads.  In popular imagination, these toad wranglers would then gather around bonfires and with great ceremony and earnestness, they would lick hapless bufoids until they (the humans) fell into ecstatic trances—and then vomited profusely. These stories, [...]... Read more »

  • October 14, 2010
  • 07:19 PM
  • 1,061 views

CO2 is the biggest climate control knob

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



At the 2009 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, renowned climate scientist Richard Alley (Penn State) gave a keynote address, The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon dioxide in Earth’s Climate History, in which he used a variety of paleoclimatological proxy data to show how CO2 changes over much of Earth history have exerted a strong influence [...]... Read more »

  • October 14, 2010
  • 06:23 PM
  • 953 views

One, two, three...ten long-tailed tits

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

This time of year, the shrill 'see,see,see' contact calls of Long-tailed tit flocks, coming from all directions from the tree canopy. These fluffy, tiny birds have a fascinating breeding system - facultative co-operative breeding - by which individuals may help rear up offspring of others depending of the circumstances. Their breeding season is rather short, and they are only able to rear a single brood per season. In the spring, all individuals pair up and attempt breeding, if breeding fails ea........ Read more »

Nam, K., Simeoni, M., Sharp, S., & Hatchwell, B. (2010) Kinship affects investment by helpers in a cooperatively breeding bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1698), 3299-3306. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0737  

  • October 14, 2010
  • 06:01 PM
  • 1,078 views

When a comet’s not a comet after all

by Emma in we are all in the gutter

Back in January the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey saw something a bit odd amongst the asteroids in the main asteroid belt (found between Mars and Jupiter). Initially the mystery object, P/2010 A2, was designated as a main-belt comet (a rare object found within this region of the Solar System, unlike the majority [...]... Read more »

Jewitt, D., Weaver, H., Agarwal, J., Mutchler, M., & Drahus, M. (2010) A recent disruption of the main-belt asteroid P/2010 A2. Nature, 467(7317), 817-819. DOI: 10.1038/nature09456  

Snodgrass, C., Tubiana, C., Vincent, J., Sierks, H., Hviid, S., Moissl, R., Boehnhardt, H., Barbieri, C., Koschny, D., Lamy, P.... (2010) A collision in 2009 as the origin of the debris trail of asteroid P/2010 A2. Nature, 467(7317), 814-816. DOI: 10.1038/nature09453  

  • October 14, 2010
  • 06:00 PM
  • 1,156 views

Another day, another drug company cover up

by Michael Slezak in Good, Bad, and Bogus

It seems that hardly a month goes by without another shocking example of drug companies hiding, manipulating or lying about data in order to mislead consumers about the safety or...... Read more »

  • October 14, 2010
  • 05:08 PM
  • 561 views

Changing range boundaries in a changing environment

by Aaron Berdanier in Biological Posteriors

There are two neat articles about species distributions in the October issue of Ecology Letters, and they complement one another in an interesting way.

The first, by Murphy et al. (2010), examines the abundance of eastern North American tree species at their northern and southern limits. The second, a study by Burton et al. (2010), discusses the importance of evolution at the advancing edge.... Read more »

  • October 14, 2010
  • 04:41 PM
  • 1,011 views

Abandoned Females in the Animal Kingdom: Is Single Mommydom Worth It?

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Single moms all over the animal kingdom do their best to raise offspring without the support of a partner…but is it enough?
Not if you’re a Nicaraguan cichlid. Recent research shows that adjustment of brood care in the absence of a mate is not enough to account for the care that would be provided by [...]... Read more »

  • October 14, 2010
  • 03:57 PM
  • 1,769 views

The Knobe Effect

by melodye in Child's Play

As an avid reader of Language Log, my interest was recently piqued by a commenter asking for a linguist’s eye-view on the “Knobe Effect”: “Speaking of Joshua Knobe, has any linguist looked into the Knobe Effect? The questionnaire findings are always passed off as evidence for some special philosophical character inherent in certain concepts like intentionality [...]... Read more »

Ramscar, M., Matlock, T., & Dye, M. (2010) Running down the clock: the role of expectation in our understanding of time and motion. Language and Cognitive Processes, 25(5), 589-615. info:/

  • October 14, 2010
  • 03:53 PM
  • 571 views

Psycasm - Smoking (maybemightcould) is Good.

by Rift in Psycasm


[Wherein our hero lights up, and discusses why smoking is good. Do you smell the controversy?]   Smoking is bad. Right?Yes!It's a filthy habit, it smells, it's addictive.It kills.Smoking's bad, right?Yes... but...I like smoking. It feels good. It makes my ideas flow quicker and it takes the edge off when I'm overloaded. It goes great with a few beers, and is a; (read more)

Source: Rift - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »

Perkins, K., Grobe, J., Stiller, R., Scierka, A., Goettler, J., Reynolds, W., & Jennings, J. (1994) Effects of nicotine on thermal pain detection in humans. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2(1), 95-106. DOI: 10.1037//1064-1297.2.1.95  

Domino EF, Ni L, Thompson M, Zhang H, Shikata H, Fukai H, Sakaki T, & Ohya I. (2009) Tobacco smoking produces widespread dominant brain wave alpha frequency increases. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, 74(3), 192-8. PMID: 19765621  

  • October 14, 2010
  • 03:44 PM
  • 1,162 views

Thursday Threads: Disruption in Library Acquisitions, Publishing, and Remedial Education plus Checking Assumptions of Cloud Computing and a National Digital Library

by Peter Murray in Disruptive Library Technology Jester

If it is Thursday it must mean it is time for another in this series of Thursday Threads posts. This week there are an abundance of things that could fall into the category of “disruptive innovation” in libraries and higher education. If you find these interesting, you might want to subscribe to my FriendFeed stream [...]Post from: Disruptive Library Technology JesterThursday Threads: Disruption in Library Acquisitions, Publishing, and Remedial Education plus Checking Assumptions of ........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2010
  • 02:11 PM
  • 977 views

Climate Change & Human Population

by Michael Windelspecht in RicochetScience


A Night View of Planet Earth (Image Courtesy of NASA )

What will it take to curb carbon dioxide emissions? Over 90% of the light being emitted in the picture above was generated using fossil fuels. The facts are that, on average, each person on the planet requires 1,819 kg of oil per year.   So there are two choices - reduce the carbon footprint of each person, or reduce the total number of people. Since the world population is not expected to decline, there has been a real effort to........ Read more »

O'Neill BC, Dalton M, Fuchs R, Jiang L, Pachauri S, & Zigova K. (2010) Global demographic trends and future carbon emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(41), 17521-6. PMID: 20937861  

  • October 14, 2010
  • 02:03 PM
  • 938 views

Bacteria using bacteria

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

There are lots of things I enjoy about studying bacteria. I love their biochemistry and the secret inner workings of their metabolic pathways. I love that everything they do the manage within the confines of a single cell, and I love that you can go in there with a wrench and hit some genes until they make what you want.But what I'm really enjoying exploring at the moment is more ecological bacteriology; how bacteria interact with their environment. How they respond to changes to stresses and, m........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2010
  • 01:14 PM
  • 458 views

Hide and Seek

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Want to rediscover an “extinct” mammal? Start by looking for a critter that researchers believe was done in by habitat loss within the last 100 years. Your odds of bringing it back from the dead aren’t too bad, concludes a provocative new study. It also suggests that conservation biologists stop wasting their time and money […] Read More »... Read more »

  • October 14, 2010
  • 01:13 PM
  • 903 views

The link between coffee and acute ischemic stroke onset

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Do you drink coffee on a regular basis? I do. And what does drinking coffee have to do with acute ischemic stroke? In a study published in Neurology, Mostofsky and colleagues investigated the relationship between drinking caffeinated coffee and the risk of acute ischemic stroke in the next hour. Using a case-crossover design, each subject served as his/her own control. All the subjects were patients with a confirmed diagnosis of ischemic stroke. Coffee consumption information one hour before the........ Read more »

Mostofsky E, Schlaug G, Mukamal KJ, Rosamond WD, & Mittleman MA. (2010) Coffee and acute ischemic stroke onset: The Stroke Onset Study. Neurology. PMID: 20881275  

  • October 14, 2010
  • 12:53 PM
  • 1,524 views

Brain Tutor HD iPad App Review

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I have previously posted a review of the brain imaging applications Brain Tutor and 3D Brain.  My original review of the two applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch is located here and a review of the applications for the iPad are located here.The original iPad review noted that the iPad versions of both applications were essentially the iPhone version with the common 2x modification that essential doubles the size of the image to accommodate the larger screen with the iPad.  There ........ Read more »

Estevez ME, Lindgren KA, & Bergethon PR. (2010) A novel three-dimensional tool for teaching human neuroanatomy. Anatomical sciences education. PMID: 20939033  

  • October 14, 2010
  • 12:36 PM
  • 706 views

Fitter Kids = Bigger Brains

by agoldstein in WiSci

Parents take note: if you want your kids to grow bigger brains, think twice about letting schools cut recess or skimp on physical education.

Animal and human studies have long shown that exercise increases neurogenesis, especially in memory- and learning-related areas of the brain. More recently, research on human adolescents has not only confirmed these findings, but highlighted the importance of physical activity for children.... Read more »

Chaddock, L., Erickson, K., Prakash, R., VanPatter, M., Voss, M., Pontifex, M., Raine, L., Hillman, C., & Kramer, A. (2010) Basal Ganglia Volume Is Associated with Aerobic Fitness in Preadolescent Children. Developmental Neuroscience, 32(3), 249-256. DOI: 10.1159/000316648  

van Praag, H., Lucero, M., Yeo, G., Stecker, K., Heivand, N., Zhao, C., Yip, E., Afanador, M., Schroeter, H., Hammerstone, J.... (2007) Plant-Derived Flavanol (-)Epicatechin Enhances Angiogenesis and Retention of Spatial Memory in Mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 27(22), 5869-5878. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0914-07.2007  

  • October 14, 2010
  • 12:29 PM
  • 1,511 views

What they found in the virtual screening jungle

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

If successful, virtual screening (VS) promises to become an efficient way to find new pharmaceutical hits, competitive with high-throughput screening (HTS). Briefly, virtual screening screens libraries of millions of compounds to find new and diverse hits, either based on similarity to a known active or by complementarity to a protein binding site. The former protocol is called ligand-based VS (LBVS) and the latter is called structure-based VS (SBVS). In a typical VS campaign, either LBVS or SBV........ Read more »

Ripphausen, P., Nisius, B., Peltason, L., & Bajorath, J. (2010) Quo Vadis, Virtual Screening? A Comprehensive Survey of Prospective Applications. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/jm101020z  

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