There are a number of factors, both behavioural and environmental, which are thought to play important roles in the current epidemic of obesity. These range from things like increased soft-drink consumption and decreased physical activity, which are at least nominally under our personal control, to more external factors like viruses, light pollution, and environmental contaminants, over which we have little or no control. How much of a role do these external factors play in the obesity epidemi........ Read more »
Klimentidis, Y., Beasley, T., Lin, H., Murati, G., Glass, G., Guyton, M., Newton, W., Jorgensen, M., Heymsfield, S., Kemnitz, J.... (2010) Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1890
An article was released online Monday in Environmental Health Perspectives which surprised me. For the last five or six years I’ve been enthusiastically extolling the evils of triclosan in the environment, but the connection with human immune dysfunction really caught me by surprise, most likely because I’m a microbiologist (this is probably not news to [...]... Read more »
Clayton, E., Todd, M., Dowd, J., & Aiello, A. (2010) The Impact of Bisphenol A and Triclosan on Immune Parameters in the US Population, NHANES 2003-2006. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002883
Pycke, B., Crabbe, A., Verstraete, W., & Leys, N. (2010) Characterization of Triclosan-Resistant Mutants Reveals Multiple Antimicrobial Resistance Mechanisms in Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(10), 3116-3123. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.02757-09
A surprising new model for studying muscle function was unveiled this week: the couch potato mouse. While these mice maintain normal activity and body weight, they don’t have the energy to exercise. In the December 1 issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, Dr. Daniel Kelly, Dr. Christoph Zechner and their colleagues report what happens when [...]... Read more »
Zechner C, Lai L, Zechner JF, Geng T, Yan Z, Rumsey JW, Collia D, Chen Z, Wozniak DF, Leone TC.... (2010) Total Skeletal Muscle PGC-1 Deficiency Uncouples Mitochondrial Derangements from Fiber Type Determination and Insulin Sensitivity. Cell metabolism, 12(6), 633-42. PMID: 21109195
Fossilized dinosaur tracks can be exceptionally informative traces of prehistoric life, but figuring out what dinosaur made a particular set of footprints can be tricky. Unless an animal literally dies in its tracks, the best we can do is to match the skeletal anatomy of dinosaur feet with the anatomical clues left in the impressions [...]... Read more »
Romilio, A., & Salisbury, S. (2010) A reassessment of large theropod dinosaur tracks from the mid-Cretaceous (late Albian–Cenomanian) Winton Formation of Lark Quarry, central-western Queensland, Australia: A case for mistaken identity. Cretaceous Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2010.11.003
Yesterday I was out with my running group, and chatting with an acquaintance. She was saying that someone at her office had accused her of “eating her feelings” when she was stressed. Her: She accused me of eating my feelings! I’m kind of upset she would say that…so I had a cookie, and then a [...]... Read more »
Ulrich-Lai YM, Christiansen AM, Ostrander MM, Jones AA, Jones KR, Choi DC, Krause EG, Evanson NK, Furay AR, Davis JF.... (2010) Pleasurable behaviors reduce stress via brain reward pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(47), 20529-34. PMID: 21059919
I recently came across a new editorial in Analytics Chemistry by Royce Murray entitled, Science Blogs and Caveat Emptor. The main thesis of the editorial is that you can trust peer-reviewed literature, you can trust mainstream science news, but when it comes to science blogs – caveat emptor. Murray states the following: “I firmly believe... Read more »
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
You know Pollyanna. It’s come to be a label we assign to describe people with optimistic outlooks. But it’s not just optimism. We also often assume gullibility and naïveté. New research from Canadian researchers shows us our stereotypes and assumptions may be quite in error. It turns out the those who tend toward the Pollyanna end [...]
Related posts:Deception Detection: The latest on what we know
Quick trial tips: Blinking, babies and on the left!
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
... Read more »
Carter, N.L., & Weber, J.M. (2010) Not Pollyanna’s: Higher generalized trust predicts lie detection ability. . Social Psychological and Personality Science. info:/
Regular readers of these pages will recall numerous posts on the profound effect of sleep deprivation on appetite and metabolism - a factor, believed by many, to be a major driver of the obesity epidemic (and not just in kids!).
Although epidemiological studies on sleep leave much to be desired both in quality and representativeness, current [...]... Read more »
Quick! How many dots?
You can do that fast, right? You don’t even have to count.
In comparison, as fast as you can, how many dots?
That’s much trickier, isn’t it? Slower. You have to count.
The first, “at a glance” way of determining the number of things is called subitizing.
A new paper by Bisazza and colleagues takes a look at these abilities in guppies. Guppies, like many other fish, have a behaviour that is sensitive to numbers of things: joining a school of other fish. Bisa........ Read more »
Being able to see your unborn child is truly an amazing experience. Ultrasound (diagnostic sonography) is a common diagnostic tool for, among other things, imaging the foetus to determine its age, look for abnormalities and observe blood flow in the umbilical cord. But possibly its most memorable effect is seeing your baby's heart beat - and in 3D/4D ultrasounds, seeing your baby's face.
The term "ultrasound" applies to acoustic energy (sound) with a frequency above the audible range of human h........ Read more »
Kurjak, A., Miskovic, B., Andonotopo, W., Stanojevic, M., Azumendi, G., & Vrcic, H. (2007) How useful is 3D and 4D ultrasound in perinatal medicine?. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 35(1), 10-27. DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2007.002
Carrera, J.M. (2006) Donald School Atlas of Clin. Application of Ultrasound in Obs/ Gyn. www.jaypeebrothers.com. DOI: 10.5005/jp/books/10226
Recently I featured a piece about how turtle hatchlings change their movement strategy several times in just the first few hours of life in order to suit their changing needs as they move across different types of sand. Well, to go from the sublime to the ridiculous (or rather, just from the really small to the truly gargantuan) there’s a new paper out that shows that whale sharks, too, adjust the way they move according to their needs. This new work follow........ Read more »
Gleiss, A., Norman, B., & Wilson, R. (2010) Moved by that sinking feeling: variable diving geometry underlies movement strategies in whale sharks. Functional Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2010.01801.x
Brunnschweiler, J., Baensch, H., Pierce, S., & Sims, D. (2009) Deep-diving behaviour of a whale shark during long-distance movement in the western Indian Ocean . Journal of Fish Biology, 74(3), 706-714. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2008.02155.x
Assuming you're in a heterosexual relationship, which is worse: for your partner to be unfaithful with a person of the opposite or the same sex? According to a pair of US psychologists, the answer depends on whether you're a man or woman. Men, they've found, are less likely to continue a relationship with an unfaithful partner who's had a heterosexual affair, as opposed to a homosexual affair. For women, it's the other way around - they're more troubled by their male partner going off with anoth........ Read more »
Confer, J., & Cloud, M. (2011) Sex differences in response to imagining a partner’s heterosexual or homosexual affair. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(2), 129-134. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.09.007
Special issue Before the holocaust: new approaches to the Nazi concentration camps, 1933-1939 From Journal of Contemporary History The Nazi concentration camps are a potent symbol for the destructive power of modern state. Some two million prisoners lost their lives, including around one million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, in Auschwitz, the largest and [...]... Read more »
Goeschel, C., & Wachsmann, N. (2010) Before Auschwitz: The Formation of the Nazi Concentration Camps, 1933-9. Journal of Contemporary History, 45(3), 515-534. DOI: 10.1177/0022009410366554
Harris, V. (2010) The Role of the Concentration Camps in the Nazi Repression of Prostitutes, 1933-9. Journal of Contemporary History, 45(3), 675-698. DOI: 10.1177/0022009410366705
The following post is what I wrote for the first 2-day essay in my developmental biology course. It covers the potential limitations of mathematical modeling in developmental biology – specfically, the reaction-diffusion systems of the computer scientist, Alan Turing. Perhaps the larger point I try to make is that ideas that are initially and blatantly [...]... Read more »
Kondo S, & Miura T. (2010) Reaction-diffusion model as a framework for understanding biological pattern formation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5999), 1616-20. PMID: 20929839
Maini PK, Baker RE, & Chuong CM. (2006) Developmental biology. The Turing model comes of molecular age. Science (New York, N.Y.), 314(5804), 1397-8. PMID: 17138885
Madzvamuse A, Gaffney EA, & Maini PK. (2010) Stability analysis of non-autonomous reaction-diffusion systems: the effects of growing domains. Journal of mathematical biology, 61(1), 133-64. PMID: 19727733
Sick, S., Reinker, S., Timmer, J., & Schlake, T. (2006) WNT and DKK Determine Hair Follicle Spacing Through a Reaction-Diffusion Mechanism. Science, 314(5804), 1447-1450. DOI: 10.1126/science.1130088
The cane toad (Bufo marinus) was introduced to Australia in what was another failed attempt at biological control. The Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations brought over the first cane toads from Hawaii in June of 1935 in an effort to control the cane beetle, which was destroying the sugar cane crops of northern Queensland. About 100 [...]... Read more »
Llewelyn, J., Phillips, B., Brown, G., Schwarzkopf, L., Alford, R., & Shine, R. (2010) Adaptation or preadaptation: why are keelback snakes (Tropidonophis mairii) less vulnerable to invasive cane toads (Bufo marinus) than are other Australian snakes?. Evolutionary Ecology. DOI: 10.1007/s10682-010-9369-2
[Wherein our Hero discusses why you should be doing voice excercises as well as your morning push-ups]The study I’m running is finally about to get underway. We didn’t completely solve ‘true magnitude sexy’ problem, but we decided to add a few measures to try and explain it a little better.How’d we do that? Well, we’re kind of employing the same methodology to participant’s voice. Th; (read more)
Source: Rift - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »
Hughes, S., Farley, S., & Rhodes, B. (2010) Vocal and Physiological Changes in Response to the Physical Attractiveness of Conversational Partners. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 34(3), 155-167. DOI: 10.1007/s10919-010-0087-9
Watkins, C., Fraccaro, P., Smith, F., Vukovic, J., Feinberg, D., DeBruine, L., & Jones, B. (2010) Taller men are less sensitive to cues of dominance in other men. Behavioral Ecology, 21(5), 943-947. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arq091
Feinberg, D., DeBruine, L., Jones, B., & Little, A. (2008) Correlated preferences for men's facial and vocal masculinity. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29(4), 233-241. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2007.12.008
Vukovic, J., Jones, B., DeBruine, L., Feinberg, D., Smith, F., Little, A., Welling, L., & Main, J. (2010) Women's own voice pitch predicts their preferences for masculinity in men's voices. Behavioral Ecology, 21(4), 767-772. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arq051
Leigh Van Valen (who died last month) is well known for being an original thinker. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that the only way he could publish his most famous idea was to start a journal to print it...... Read more »
Van Valen, L. (1973) A new evolutionary law. Evolutionary Theory, 1-30. info:/
Two recent papers used very different appraoches to shed light on the genetic alterations underlying tumor growth and progression in human cancers. Peter Campbell and colleagues from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute employed Illumina paired-end sequencing to survey the landscape of structural variation in metastatic pancreatic cancer. Ivana Bozic and colleagues from Harvard University took [...]... Read more »
Bozic I, Antal T, Ohtsuki H, Carter H, Kim D, Chen S, Karchin R, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, & Nowak MA. (2010) Accumulation of driver and passenger mutations during tumor progression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(43), 18545-50. PMID: 20876136
Campbell PJ, Yachida S, Mudie LJ, Stephens PJ, Pleasance ED, Stebbings LA, Morsberger LA, Latimer C, McLaren S, Lin ML.... (2010) The patterns and dynamics of genomic instability in metastatic pancreatic cancer. Nature, 467(7319), 1109-13. PMID: 20981101
My latest post at Wired Playbook profiles Mark Drakos, an orthopedic surgeon who uses cadaver legs to test the biomechanics of ACL injuries: At times, Drakos seems like a typical orthopedist: seeing patients, prescribing meds, performing surgery. But in the lab, Drakos — always drawing on his previous athletic experience — turns orthopedic research into [...]... Read more »
Drakos MC, Hillstrom H, Voos JE, Miller AN, Kraszewski AP, Wickiewicz TL, Warren RF, Allen AA, & O'Brien SJ. (2010) The effect of the shoe-surface interface in the development of anterior cruciate ligament strain. Journal of biomechanical engineering, 132(1), 11003. PMID: 20524741
Robogator is a realistic mimic of a predator, enabling scientists to study fear of predation in rats, and possibly to study the effect of drugs designed to address human psychological disorders related to risk perception.... Read more »
Choi, J.-S., & Kim, J. J. (2010) Amygdala regulates risk of predation in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1010079108
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