Post List

  • December 31, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Radiation from CT scans: Balancing risks and benefits

by Orac in Respectful Insolence

NOTE: Orac is on semi-vacation this week, trying very hard to recharge his Tarial cells. Actually, although he is at home, he is spending much of his time in his Sanctum Sanctorum (i.e., his home office) working on an R01 for the February submission cycle. Given that the week between Christmas and New Years Day tends to be pretty boring, both from a blogging and blog traffic standpoint, he's scaling back the new, original stuff and mixing in some "best of" reruns, as well as some more recent stu........ Read more »

  • December 31, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Predicting forest beetle outbreaks

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • December 31, 2009
  • 05:30 AM

When new psychological symptoms emerge after a head injury

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

If a patient with a complicated psychiatric history suffers a traumatic brain injury and then develops new psychological problems, how do you know whether the new problems are related to the head injury or the prior psychiatric diagnoses? This dilemma forms the latest 'complex case' to appear in the journal Personality and Mental Health where it is accompanied by five expert commentaries. The complex case is described by psychiatrist Kathleen Diehl at the University of Michigan. She undertook se........ Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 08:25 PM

Towards Rugged Protein-Based Drugs

by Michael Long in Phased

Jinbo Hu (Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry) and coworkers have synthesized the Z isomer of monofluoroalkenes in high yield, which will be useful towards designing protein-based drugs that resist degradation within the body. This news feature was written on December 30, 2009.... Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 06:11 PM

Death and Taxes: It's Shaping Up to be a Busy Year

by Eric Widera in GeriPal

Death elasticity and the estate tax.... Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 03:49 PM

A useful guide for the bioinformatics tool builders

by Sandra Porter in Discovering Biology in a Digital World

I often get questions about bioinformatics, bioinformatics jobs and career paths. Most of the questions reflect a general sense of confusion between creating bioinformatics resources and using them. Bioinformatics is unique in this sense. No one confuses writing a package like Photoshop with being a photographer, yet for some odd reason, people seem to expect this of biologists. In the same respect, even the programmers and database administrators who work in bioinformatics, are unfairly ass........ Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 02:04 PM


by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Demand from aquarium enthusiasts may fuel invertebrate fishery collapse

... Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 01:58 PM

Languages of the heart

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

While my Christmas post was of the gloomy kind, most blogs I follow had more heart-warming stories. Sociolingo Africa picked up a press release coming out of Orlando, Florida issued by who-I-don’t-know, about new translations of the Christmas story becoming available just in time for this year’s event. According to the press release, the Wycliffe [...]... Read more »

Errington, Joseph. (2008) Linguistics in a colonial world: a story of language, meaning, and power. Blackwell Publishing. info:/

  • December 30, 2009
  • 01:50 PM

Black Soot is Accelerating Tibetan Glacier Melting

by Michael Long in Phased

James Hansen (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York) and coworkers have determined why glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau are quickly melting, and offer possible solutions for preserving this essential water source for future generations. This news feature was written on December 30, 2009.... Read more »

Xu, B., Cao, J., Hansen, J., Yao, T., Joswia, D. R., Wang, N., Wu, G., Wang, M., Zhao, H., Yang, W.... (2009) Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(52), 22114-22118. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910444106  

  • December 30, 2009
  • 12:59 PM

Using Mosquitoes to ‘Smartbomb’ Breeding Grounds

by Cheshire in Cheshire

So let’s continue the theme of the AWESOME papers I ran across this semester and didn’t get to blog about. I find every aspect of this paper to be simply cool. There’s also something which kind of ground my gears a bit, but I’ll get to that later if I have time this week.
Controlling mosquitoes [...]... Read more »

Devine, G., Perea, E., Killeen, G., Stancil, J., Clark, S., & Morrison, A. (2009) Using adult mosquitoes to transfer insecticides to Aedes aegypti larval habitats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(28), 11530-11534. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0901369106  

  • December 30, 2009
  • 12:58 PM

The Poetry of the Convergent Lizards

by Johnny in Ecographica

Whiptails and fencers scurry and make haste,
cross White Sands their paths converge and pace.
Tho' differing by both origin and type,
their causal genotypes follow trace.

Independent mutations had aligned,
and were by adaptation refined.
... Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 12:46 PM

T-Cells: Beyond the Resolution Line

by Bryan in Imaging Geek

I have a diverse set of research interests - high-end microscopy, immunology, infectious disease, cancer, etc.  Its rare that a paper hits the "awesome" end of the scale in most of those categories, but this week Nature Immunology published a paper that got the nerd senses tingling.  In this tour-de-force, Mark Davis's group uses a new form of microscopy to analyse how T-cells work.As usual, a bit of background first.T-cells are the major regulatory cell of our immune system.  The........ Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 12:20 PM

17 Protein disorder prediction servers

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

Over the past decade it has become evident that many proteins have disordered regions, even in their native states. Moreover, entire proteins were found to be intrinsically disordered. We present here 17 webservers intended to predict disordered regions from protein sequence. Is your protein folded ?

... Read more »

Linding R, Jensen LJ, Diella F, Bork P, Gibson TJ, & Russell RB. (2003) Protein disorder prediction: implications for structural proteomics. Structure (London, England : 1993), 11(11), 1453-9. PMID: 14604535  

Romero P, Obradovic Z, Li X, Garner EC, Brown CJ, & Dunker AK. (2001) Sequence complexity of disordered protein. Proteins, 42(1), 38-48. PMID: 11093259  

Galzitskaya OV, Garbuzynskiy SO, & Lobanov MY. (2006) FoldUnfold: web server for the prediction of disordered regions in protein chain. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 22(23), 2948-9. PMID: 17021161  

Vucetic, S., Brown, C., Dunker, A., & Obradovic, Z. (2003) Flavors of protein disorder. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Genetics, 52(4), 573-584. DOI: 10.1002/prot.10437  

  • December 30, 2009
  • 10:05 AM

Escaping the "poverty trap" of infectious disease

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Even in the twenty-first century, infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, cholera, and AIDS remain widespread in much of the developing world, at tremendous cost to human life and economic productivity. Poorer nations lack the resources for more effective public health measures; but widespread infectious disease may slow or prevent the economic development that can provide those resources. A new paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society tries to sort out this chicken-and-egg problem, ........ Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 09:38 AM

Indulging in wasteful eating habits

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

 As many of us once again rouse ourselves from festivities filled with an overabundance of food, it might be sombering to ponder that a recent PLoS ONE study suggests that nearly 40 percent of food in the United States is wasted.  As noted in a recent ScienceNOW article, physiologist Kevin Hall and mathematician Carson Chow, [...]

... Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Conceding extinction: a look at rare birds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

When do you throw in the towel and concede that a rare species has gone extinct? A new study presents a methodology for helping conservationists answer this difficult question...... Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Computer skills linked to math talent

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

Businesses and the economy as a whole rely increasingly on computing, but many potential users are not entirely confident of the technology. A research study published in January suggests that an individual’s computer self-efficacy is influenced by their competence in mathematics. I asked the author Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems Franklin Morris of The [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkComputer skills linked to math talent
... Read more »

R. Franklin Morris, Jr., & Evelyn H. Thrasher. (2010) Implications for e-commerce: the influence of math and computer confidence on computer self-efficacy. International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 3(1), 15-37. info:/

  • December 30, 2009
  • 06:45 AM

2010, the year when 20/10 vision was promised

by Pablo Artal in Optics confidential

The promise of perfect "20/10" vision for everybody appeared to be a real possibility in the early 2000's. 2010 is already here and your doctor cannot offer you yet supervision...... Read more »

Santamaria, Artal, Bescos. (1987) Determination of the point spread function of human eyes using a hybrid optical-digital method. J.Opt.Soc.Am.A., 1109. info:/

  • December 29, 2009
  • 08:19 PM

Looking Younger…. Looking Less Masculine?

by Wayne Hooke in The Psychology of Beauty

Egan & Cordan (2008) digitally altered the faces of 17-year-old girls (n=10) to look either younger (morphed to appear similar to the prototype of 10-year-old girls – top row) or older (similar to the prototype of 20-year-old women – bottom row). Additionally, some stimuli were altered by adding digital make-up (right column). The authors had [...]... Read more »

  • December 29, 2009
  • 06:38 PM

Economists (don’t) prove that money can buy you happiness… And news outlets prove they’re crap.

by Michael Slezak in Good, Bad, and Bogus

... Read more »

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