Post List

  • December 1, 2010
  • 12:10 PM

Animal obesity: canary in the coal mine?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

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  

  • December 1, 2010
  • 11:42 AM

The Trouble With Triclosan

by microbialmodus in Microbial Modus

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 »

  • December 1, 2010
  • 11:06 AM

The Couch Potato Effect

by Sanford- Burnham in Beaker

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 »

  • December 1, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

How to Turn a Tyrannosaur Into a Iguanodont

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

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 »

  • December 1, 2010
  • 09:44 AM

Reducing stress via brain reward circuitry. Stress, meet pie.

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

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  

  • December 1, 2010
  • 08:08 AM

Can you trust a science blog?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Science of Blogging

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 »

Royce Murray. (2010) Science Blogs and Caveat Emptor. Analytical Chemistry, 82(21), 8755-8755. DOI: 10.1021/ac102628p  

  • December 1, 2010
  • 08:07 AM

Pollyanna’s are good lie detectors and other new deception findings

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:/

  • December 1, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

How Lack of Sleep Makes You Gain Weight

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

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 »

Van Cauter E, & Ehrmann DA. (2010) Preface. Best practice , 24(5). PMID: 21112018  

  • December 1, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

One fish, two fish... Can fish count?

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

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 »

Bisazza A, Piffer L, Serena G, & Agrillo C. (2010) Ontogeny of numerical abilities in fish. PLoS ONE, 5(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015516  

  • December 1, 2010
  • 07:43 AM

2D / 3D / 4D Baby Ultrasounds

by westius in Mr Science Show

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  

  • December 1, 2010
  • 07:23 AM

A new angle on diving in whale sharks

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow

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 »

  • December 1, 2010
  • 05:40 AM

Which is worse: your partner having a heterosexual or homosexual affair?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

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 »

  • December 1, 2010
  • 02:00 AM

New approaches to the Nazi concentration camps

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

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 »

  • December 1, 2010
  • 01:10 AM

Alan Turing’s Reaction-Diffusion Model – Simplification of the Complex

by Kele in Kele's Science Blog

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 »

  • November 30, 2010
  • 09:17 PM

Bufotoxin Tolerance in Keelback Snakes: recent adaptation to a new threat, or preadaptation from an ancient foe?

by Allie Wilkinson in OH, FOR THE LOVE OF SCIENCE!

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 »

  • November 30, 2010
  • 09:16 PM

Psycasm - What Your Voice Says About You

by Rift in Psycasm

[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 »

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  

  • November 30, 2010
  • 07:42 PM

The Original Red Queen's Hypothesis

by Bob O'Hara in Deep Thoughts and Silliness

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:/

  • November 30, 2010
  • 07:17 PM

Driver Mutations and Metastasis

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

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  

  • November 30, 2010
  • 06:33 PM

Using Cadaver Legs to Study ACL Injuries

by Brian Mossop in The Decision Tree

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  

  • November 30, 2010
  • 05:56 PM

A Lego Robot Uncovers Risk Behavior of Foraging Rats

by Michael Long in Phased

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 »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit