Flagellar roots, that is. Tree of phylogenetic roots would be another fun project though...You know when you see a page full of diagrams and get overcome by this urge to map them onto some phylogeny just for the hell of it? Especially when your other option is to actually write up the results and discussion sections your supervisor's sort of waiting for? (wrote two whole paragraphs' worth today, so I can take the rest of the day off, right?) Anyway, here comes Sleigh 1988 BioSystems p279, moder........ Read more »
SLEIGH, M. (1988) Flagellar root maps allow speculative comparisons of root patterns and of their ontogeny. Biosystems, 21(3-4), 277-282. DOI: 10.1016/0303-2647(88)90023-8
You'd sure think so if you'd just been reading headlines.You see a study came out last week in the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine that looked at the impact the initial rate of weight loss had on long term success in 262 women over the course of an 18 month weight management program.The study is a mess. Before I get to the results, let's go over some methodological issues.Firstly the study represents a secondary data analysis of a different randomized controlled tria........ Read more »
Nackers, L., Ross, K., & Perri, M. (2010) The Association Between Rate of Initial Weight Loss and Long-Term Success in Obesity Treatment: Does Slow and Steady Win the Race?. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. DOI: 10.1007/s12529-010-9092-y
Parents of newborn infants are very familiar with the excitement of holding their baby for the first time, staring into his or her little eyes and thinking about the bundle of joy that they has just been bestowed upon them. Then come the barrage of tests and medical procedures. Doctors (or nurses) measure the baby’s [...]... Read more »
Lane JA, & Noble JA. (2010) Maximizing Deoxyribonucleic Acid Yield from Dried Blood Spots. Journal of diabetes science and technology, 4(2), 250-254. PMID: 20307384
Choosing an expensive item like a car can be hard enough. In 2006 Ap Dijksterhuis, a researcher from the University of Amsterdam, made things a bit harder. He gave people various items of information about a selection four of cars and asked them to choose the best option. The information had been engineered so that [...]... Read more »
Dijksterhuis, A. (2006) On Making the Right Choice: The Deliberation-Without-Attention Effect. Science, 311(5763), 1005-1007. DOI: 10.1126/science.1121629
Dijksterhuis, A. (2004) Think Different: The Merits of Unconscious Thought in Preference Development and Decision Making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(5), 586-598. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2066
Dijksterhuis, A., & Vanolden, Z. (2006) On the benefits of thinking unconsciously: Unconscious thought can increase post-choice satisfaction☆. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42(5), 627-631. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2005.10.008
Until recently, there were no known fossil remains of chimpanzees. Then in 2005, anthropologists Sally McBrearty and Nina Jablonski published a paper in the journal Nature describing three fossil chimpanzee teeth that had been unearthed from the Kapthurin Formation, a basalt outcrop west of Lake Baringo in Kenya. This discovery offered new insight into the lives ancestral chimpanzees.
Today, chimpanzees inhabit the tropical forests of West and Central Africa and are absent from the dryer habit........ Read more »
Intact atlatls are rarely found, but when they are it’s usually in the Southwest or the Great Basin, arid regions with good preservation conditions for perishable materials like wood and leather. Some, but not all, of the examples that have been found in these areas have pieces of leather attached as apparent finger loops to [...]... Read more »
Ekholm, G. (1962) U-Shaped "Ornaments" Identified as Finger-Loops from Atlatls. American Antiquity, 28(2), 181. DOI: 10.2307/278375
A case-based Q-and-A on procedural sedation using ketamine to remove a button battery from a child's nose. What would you do? What if laryngospasm occurs?... Read more »
GREEN, S., & JOHNSON, N. (1990) Ketamine sedation for pediatric procedures: Part 2, review and implications. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 19(9), 1033-1046. DOI: 10.1016/S0196-0644(05)82569-7
The skeleton of Megatherium, as figured in William Buckland's Geology and Mineralogy Considered With Reference to Natural Theology.
There is something fantastically weird about giant ground sloths. Creatures from a not-too-distant past, close enough in time that their hair and hide is sometimes found in circumstances of exceptional preservation, these creatures have no living equivalent. Their arboreal cousins still live in the tropics of the western hemisphere, but they can hardly be cons........ Read more »
Bargo, M., Toledo, N., & Vizcaíno, S. (2006) Muzzle of South American Pleistocene ground sloths (Xenarthra, Tardigrada). Journal of Morphology, 267(2), 248-263. DOI: 10.1002/jmor.10399
Yesterday I was following a queen Bombus terrestris, as usual, with the faint hope one will nest in my garden when she landed on a comfrey patch. This was the first time I have seen this species on comfrey, their deep flowers are mostly visited by Bombus pascuorum, B. hypnorum and B. pratorum*, in addition to Anthophora plumipes. The heavy queen landed on top of the flowers, and I was able to approach without disturbing her. She noisily bit the top of a flower and then inserted her ton........ Read more »
Goulson, D., Stout, J., Hawson, S., & Allen, J. (1998) Floral display size in comfrey, Symphytum officinale L. (Boraginaceae): relationships with visitation by three bumblebee species and subsequent seed set. Oecologia, 113(4), 502-508. DOI: 10.1007/s004420050402
Pawan Sinha is an MIT academic engineer who is involved in a combined humanitarian, medical and scientific effort to understand childhood blindness. He has established a program in India called Project Prakash to identify children with congenital cataracts who would benefit for early correction. Early correction is key to prevent persistent blindess as visual plasticity declines over time if the retina and brain are not stimulated. He has challenged the idea that vision cannot be established ........ Read more »
It’s getting cramped in here and I can’t work out why. I’m inside a room labelled ‘how to treat low back pain’ and something enormous is taking up all the space.
Exercise is at the heart of the physical therapies in the treatment of back pain. Most forms of therapeutic exercise boast arguably plausible theories and [...]... Read more »
 van Middelkoop M, Rubinstein SM, Verhagen AP, Ostelo RW, Koes BW, & van Tulder MW. (2010) Exercise therapy for chronic nonspecific low-back pain. Best practice , 24(2), 193-204. PMID: 20227641
 Ferreira ML, Ferreira PH, Herbert RD, & Latimer J. (2009) People with low back pain typically need to feel 'much better' to consider intervention worthwhile: an observational study. The Australian journal of physiotherapy, 55(2), 123-7. PMID: 19463083
 Wood L, Egger M, Gluud LL, Schulz KF, Jüni P, Altman DG, Gluud C, Martin RM, Wood AJ, & Sterne JA. (2008) Empirical evidence of bias in treatment effect estimates in controlled trials with different interventions and outcomes: meta-epidemiological study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 336(7644), 601-5. PMID: 18316340
 Kamper SJ, Maher CG, Hancock MJ, Koes BW, Croft PR, & Hay E. (2010) Treatment-based subgroups of low back pain: a guide to appraisal of research studies and a summary of current evidence. Best practice , 24(2), 181-91. PMID: 20227640
Astute observers will have noticed that there's been something of a crisis in the financial world over the past couple of years. The EU's just coughed up €500 billion in the latest an effort to stem the panic... or, alternatively, to fend off the predators.
And that gets to the heart of the matter. Is the crisis just one of those things - part of a natural economic cycle that is beyond anyone's ability to predict or control? Or is it a result of moral or intellectual failures among those who........ Read more »
Leiser, D., Bourgeois-Gironde, S., & Benita, R. (2010) Human foibles or systemic failure—Lay perceptions of the 2008–2009 financial crisis. Journal of Socio-Economics, 39(2), 132-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2010.02.013
Erin Sheets (University of Minnesota Duluth, United States) and coworkers have utilized peripheral protein clustering to induce lipid clustering in artificial cell membranes, shedding light on the physical basis of lateral organization in living cell membranes. This news feature was written on May 10, 2010.... Read more »
Vats, K., Knutson, K., Hinderliter, A., & Sheets, E. (2010) Peripheral Protein Organization and Its Influence on Lipid Diffusion in Biomimetic Membranes. ACS Chemical Biology, 5(4), 393-403. DOI: 10.1021/cb900303s
My first post to this blog began with a fascinating study by Scott Pletcher that found odor from yeast can accelerate the ageing of dietary restricted Drosophila. His group recently published another study that adds to our understanding (1), which I summarize below.
The investigators chose carbon dioxide (CO2) to study because of its known role [...]... Read more »
Poon PC, Kuo TH, Linford NJ, Roman G, & Pletcher SD. (2010) Carbon dioxide sensing modulates lifespan and physiology in Drosophila. PLoS biology, 8(4). PMID: 20422037
by Merry Youle in Small Things Considered
A double stranded RNA (dsRNA) viral genome, introduced into a host cell, is met by formidable host defenses. The very presence of dsRNA in a eukaryotic or prokaryotic cell announces a viral infection and elicits effective responses, ranging from silencing of the viral mRNAs to apoptosis. Despite that, there are successful dsRNA viruses throughout the biosphere. By...... Read more »
Castón JR, Trus BL, Booy FP, Wickner RB, Wall JS, & Steven AC. (1997) Structure of L-A virus: a specialized compartment for the transcription and replication of double-stranded RNA. The Journal of cell biology, 138(5), 975-85. PMID: 9281577
So, what have we learned so far? That ghrelin production is directly related to appetite in normals, but is unpredictable in post-bariatric surgery patients. And that studies of post-surgical patients in the U.S. and Sweden showed contradictory results. So let's throw in another variable - surgical procedure - as well as another location - Greece - and see what we can add to our narrative.First, a little background from a non-surgeon. Gastric bypass is a procedure in which the stomach is reduced........ Read more »
Karamanakos, S., Vagenas, K., Kalfarentzos, F., & Alexandrides, T. (2008) Weight Loss, Appetite Suppression, and Changes in Fasting and Postprandial Ghrelin and Peptide-YY Levels After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy. Annals of Surgery, 247(3), 401-407. DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e318156f012
Over the years, Cancer Research UK has helped transform breast cancer treatment – now 8 out of 10 women survive their disease for more than 5 years, compared with 5 out of 10 women in the 1970s. Most of this progress has been made in so-called hormone-sensitive cancers – those that are fuelled by the [...]... Read more »
Bouwman, P., Aly, A., Escandell, J., Pieterse, M., Bartkova, J., van der Gulden, H., Hiddingh, S., Thanasoula, M., Kulkarni, A., Yang, Q.... (2010) 53BP1 loss rescues BRCA1 deficiency and is associated with triple-negative and BRCA-mutated breast cancers. Nature Structural . DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1831
A key concept in ecological psychology is that of affordances. There is still uncertainty how to characterise these (slightly odd) properties, and the first formal attempt was by Turvey (1992).... Read more »
Turvey, M. (1992) Affordances and Prospective Control: An Outline of the Ontology. Ecological Psychology, 4(3), 173-187. DOI: 10.1207/s15326969eco0403_3
A psychology study fresh off the presses shows the importance of positive expectations for the successful resolution of awkward negotiations. The results couldn't be more timely as our senior politicians negotiate over terms for a new coalition British government - the first since the 1970s. The finding suggests that the media has a vital role to play. By fostering optimism in the likely success of the negotiations, the media could help increase the likelihood of a successful resolution.In an in........ Read more »
Liberman, V., Anderson, N., & Ross, L. (2010) Achieving difficult agreements: Effects of Positive Expectations on negotiation processes and outcomes☆. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(3), 494-504. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.12.010
What does it mean to be a baseball fan? To exchange high fives with complete strangers utterly swept away with the exhilaration of a win? To sit in your car, despondent, after a devastating loss? What is the fan’s connection to this game—billed as America’s pastime?
Before delving into this post, it’s only fair to report that I myself am a fan. So this is in part a self-reflexive exercise to... Read more »
Karl J. Franklin. (1985) Componential Analysis and the Game of Baseball. Anthropological Linguistics, 27(3), 281-301. info:/
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