Post List

  • November 10, 2010
  • 09:39 AM

Transparency in peer review

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

As an editor of a scientific journal, one of my key duties is to organise the peer review of submitted scientific papers. There, I ask other experts to take a look at a paper and let me know their opinion on technical correctness of their findings, and perhaps also what the importance and impact of [...]... Read more »

  • November 10, 2010
  • 09:35 AM

Blinded by Border Bias

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

State borders are clearly shown on maps, but quite often the only tangible indication of one is a sign. Yet borders are important constructs: A recent study published in Psychological ... Read more »

Mishra, A., & Mishra, H. (2010) Border Bias: The Belief That State Borders Can Protect Against Disasters. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 20943938  

  • November 10, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

It’s nothing personal, it’s just that my brain is bigger than yours

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Now you may be thinking that lemurs are all just the same. You know, cute and cuddly adorableness. But let me tell you, you would be mistaken.

Look at Maurice here. Very efficient, smart enough to be recognizing true greatness in his kingly kind when he sees such magnificence presented in front of his eyeballs.

But now we have Mort. Mort is, shall we say, easily swayed by shiny objects. I blame the extreme difference in the seasons where... Mort? Mort! Do not be touching the feet of the kin........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2010
  • 07:32 AM

Eggs, KFC Double Downs, and Heart Disease

by Melinda Moyer in Body Politic

Last week, my husband sent me a link to a press release. (He loves sending me press releases that he thinks will incense me.) This one was a doozy: “One Egg Yolk Worse than a KFC Double Down When it Comes to Cholesterol,” the headline read. Um. Wow.
Intrigued (and, I’ll admit, a little incensed), I looked up the study—which actually turned out to be a review article—published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. I also looked up what I could find in the scientific literat........ Read more »

JD Spence, DJ Jenkins, J Davignon. (2010) Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: Not for patients at risk of vascular disease. The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 26(9). info:/

Dawber TR, Nickerson RJ, Brand FN, & Pool J. (1982) Eggs, serum cholesterol, and coronary heart disease. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 36(4), 617-25. PMID: 7124663  

Song WO, & Kerver JM. (2000) Nutritional contribution of eggs to American diets. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 19(5 Suppl). PMID: 11023007  

  • November 10, 2010
  • 06:36 AM

The mysteries of blood

by Becky in It Takes 30

Be honest — would you have guessed that red blood cells are mysterious?  No, I wouldn’t have either.  They’re the simplest cells in our bodies, for goodness sake — they don’t even have DNA.  All they do is carry hemoglobin around, picking up oxygen as they pass the lungs and gradually dumping it everywhere else.  [...]... Read more »

  • November 10, 2010
  • 06:13 AM

If-then plans help protect us from the 'to hell with it' effect

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

You're probably familiar with what I call the 'to hell with it' effect. It's when (as demonstrated by lots of research) a bad mood causes us to take risky decisions or engage in risky behaviour. Like when you're feeling down and you drive home dangerously fast or go out and get drunk. Now a team led by Thomas Webb at the University of Sheffield says that we can protect ourselves from this effect by forming 'if-then' implementation decisions in advance. These are self-made plans which state that ........ Read more »

Webb TL, Sheeran P, Totterdell P, Miles E, Mansell W, & Baker S. (2010) Using implementation intentions to overcome the effect of mood on risky behaviour. The British journal of social psychology / the British Psychological Society. PMID: 21050527  

  • November 10, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Trick of the Trade: Ultrasound-guided supraclavicular central line

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

Emergency physicians are procedural experts in central venous access. The subclavian vein is the best site for such access, because it has been shown to have the lowest rate of iatrogenic infections and deep venous clots.Bedside ultrasonography has really revolutionized how we obtain vascular access over the past 10 years. Identifying the subclavian vein using ultrasonography, however, is still technically challenging. The vein is located just posterior to the clavicle, which often gets in the w........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2010
  • 05:11 AM

Active case finding in tuberculosis

by Bernt Lindtjorn in International Health Research

Even if 36 million patients with tuberculosis were successfully treated, and up to 6 million lives were saved during the past 15 years, tuberculosis remains a major public health problem. More than 9 million cases occur every year. Unfortunately, only a little more that half of the expected cases are identified yearly and receive proper [...]... Read more »

  • November 10, 2010
  • 04:51 AM

NCRI conference: The hallmarks of cancer

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

There are over 200 different types of cancer that affect virtually every organ in the body. They can seem bewilderingly different but all cancers share certain features that make them… well, cancer. In January 2000, US cancer experts Doug Hanahan and Bob Weinberg published a seminal paper called “The Hallmarks of Cancer”, which outlined six [...]... Read more »

Hanahan, D., & Weinberg, R. (2000) The Hallmarks of Cancer. Cell, 100(1), 57-70. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81683-9  

  • November 10, 2010
  • 04:36 AM

Does my brain look big in this?

by Alice Bell in Through the Looking Glass

According to an oft-cited paper by Marcel LaFollette, a 1926 magazine once introduced an eminent medical researcher as a woman whose mahogany furniture “gleams”. From the same study, but a 1950 magazine, a senior figure in the Atomic Energy Commission was praised for sewing her own clothes. Later, via Dorothy Nelkin, Maria Mayer (Nobel physics [...]... Read more »

  • November 10, 2010
  • 04:30 AM

Reconsidering culture and poverty

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

From ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Historically scholars have been cautious when discussing links between culture and poverty. The concept of a “culture of poverty” reemerged briefly in the 60’s, but it was a short-lived headline for most as the idea that attitudes and behavior patterns kept people poor was avoided. [...]... Read more »

Mario Luis Small, David J. Harding and Michèle Lamont. (2010) Reconsidering Culture and Poverty. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , 629(6). info:/10.1177/0002716210362077

  • November 10, 2010
  • 03:43 AM

Risk from the Managers Perspective (Part 1)

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Today I finally read one of the most cited articles on subjective risk in general. In 1987 March and Shapira set out to shake up the existing theories on the perception and processing of risks by managers. Accordingly, they aggregated the information from various surveys on this topic.

The article is called "Managerial Perspectives on Risk and Risk Taking" and it can be downloaded here as PDF and I really recommend reading it.
In the first part I will analyze major empirical findings on ho........ Read more »

March, J., & Shapira, Z. (1987) Managerial Perspectives on Risk and Risk Taking. Management Science, 33(11), 1404-1418. DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.33.11.1404  

  • November 10, 2010
  • 12:12 AM

CV Raman on drums

by Croor Singh in Learning to be Terse

A paper from 1920 that describes why a class of Indian percussion musical instrument can produce harmonic overtones.... Read more »

RAMAN, C., & KUMAR, S. (1920) Musical Drums with Harmonic Overtones. Nature, 104(2620), 500-500. DOI: 10.1038/104500a0  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 10:45 PM

Could “hairier” crops help mitigate climate warming?

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

In an interesting new article in Climatic Change, Christopher Doughty and colleagues at Stanford consider whether raising crop albedo (reflectivity) could decrease solar  absorption at the Earth’s surface and cool regional climates.  One might consider this a kind of climate “bio”engineering.
How could you do this, and would it work?
Many desert plants have hair-like projections that [...]... Read more »

  • November 9, 2010
  • 09:35 PM

Proxy Measures of Scientific Output Fail Once Again

by Michael Long in Phased

A small number of cancer disciplines dominate the most prestigious medical journals. Scientists working on other cancer types may be at a professional disadvantage, e.g. for promotion and funding.... Read more »

  • November 9, 2010
  • 07:54 PM

European man of many faces: Cain vs. Abel

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

When it comes to the synthesis of genetics and history we live an age of no definitive answers. L. L. Cavalli-Sforza’s Great Human Diasporas would come in for a major rewrite at this point. One of the areas which has been roiled the most within the past ten years has been the origin and propagation [...]... Read more »

Wolfgang Haak, Oleg Balanovsky, Juan J. Sanchez, Sergey Koshel, Valery Zaporozhchenko, Christina J. Adler, Clio S. I. Der Sarkissian, Guido Brandt, Carolin Schwarz, Nicole Nicklisch.... (2010) Ancient DNA from European Early Neolithic Farmers Reveals Their Near Eastern Affinities. PLoS Biology. info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000536

  • November 9, 2010
  • 07:06 PM

Sexual Intimidation in Chimpanzees…Are Males Taking Away a Girl’s Right to Choose?

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

Females in the animal kingdom are generally referred to as the ‘choosy’ sex.  We produce the expensive gametes (eggs) and we put a good deal of consideration into selection of an appropriate male to fertilize them. The evolution of sexual strategies resulting from choosy females is evident in a multitude of male adornments, dances, songs [...]... Read more »

  • November 9, 2010
  • 05:36 PM

The Wednesday Post (10/11/10) - Everything you know about immunology is wrong

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

One of the central tenets of immunology as proposed by Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet is that each lymphocyte contains an individual and specific receptor that allows it to selection based on the appearance of its specific and individual epitope. This specific interaction allows the immune system to only expand cell populations that can respond to the particular invader and not others, also known as the theory of clonal selection and expansion.... Read more »

Chaudhri, G., Quah, B., Wang, Y., Tan, A., Zhou, J., Karupiah, G., & Parish, C. (2009) T cell receptor sharing by cytotoxic T lymphocytes facilitates efficient virus control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(35), 14984-14989. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906554106  

Quah, B., Barlow, V., McPhun, V., Matthaei, K., Hulett, M., & Parish, C. (2008) Bystander B cells rapidly acquire antigen receptors from activated B cells by membrane transfer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(11), 4259-4264. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0800259105  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 05:21 PM

End users and the cloud in bioinformatics

by Mary in OpenHelix

Today I began an exchange on some issues of “In silico research in the era of cloud computing” based on this tweet:
@mndoci: …. only thing missing is a service component (cc @mza) #bioinformatics
My first answer was this, but there was a bit more back/forth subsequently:
@OpenHelix: Also missing: end user support | RT @mndoci: …. only thing missing is a service component (cc @mza) #bioinformatics
I’m going to explain this a ........ Read more »

  • November 9, 2010
  • 04:19 PM

What the Lungfish Heard: Clues to the ear's evolution

by clark in Now Hear This

For life on Earth, the successful transition from sea to land demanded adaptation: notably, legs (or at least the loss of flippers) and air-breathing lungs. It also put selective pressure on the ears. Sound propagates differently through air than it does through water, and it takes a certain kind of ear to detect it. That ear -- the tympanic ear, featuring a membrane (or “eardrum”) that receives airborne vibrations and relays them to the bones of the inner ear -- began to appear in four-legg........ Read more »

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