Today I point you toward a fascinating review article by Walker and van der Helm looking at the crucial function of sleep on emotional regulation. Here is a snippet of their abstract:This review surveys an array of diverse findings across basic and clinical research domains, resulting in a convergent view of sleep-dependent emotional brain processing. On the basis of the unique neurobiology of sleep, the authors outline a model describing the overnight modulation of affective neural systems and ........ Read more »
Walker, M., & van der Helm, E. (2009) Overnight therapy? The role of sleep in emotional brain processing. Psychological Bulletin, 135(5), 731-748. DOI: 10.1037/a0016570
Gravity affects not just our bodies and our behaviours, but our very thoughts. That's the fascinating conclusion of a new study which shows that simply holding a heavy object can affect the way we think. A simple heavy clipboard can makes issues seem weightier - when holding one, volunteers think of situations as more important and they invest more mental effort in dealing with abstract issues.
In a variety of languages, from English to Dutch to Chinese, importance is often described by words p........ Read more »
In a headline-grabbing recent study, the NHTSA revealed that talking on a cell phone–even with a hands free headset–is effectively the same as driving with a .08 blood alcohol reading, or legal intoxication. Texting is even worse, but a poll released yesterday showed that a majority (52%) of the world’s drivers often have their thumbs [...]... Read more »
Dux, P., Tombu, M., Harrison, S., Rogers, B., Tong, F., & Marois, R. (2009) Training Improves Multitasking Performance by Increasing the Speed of Information Processing in Human Prefrontal Cortex. Neuron, 63(1), 127-138. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.06.005
This post isn’t quite about ecology. But it’s about a phenomenon that many ecologists have ample experience with. A study out last week in Current Biology found that when people get lost in the wilderness, they actually do walk in circles.
Jan Souman of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany, and his [...]
... Read more »
A minor landslide of research from the past few years points to a dismaying fact about memory — it can be manipulated, far more often and extensively than previously thought. One implication of this realization is that eyewitness testimony, a stanchion of our criminal justice system, is no longer beyond reproach. Another is that in a world dominated by endlessly plyable electronic media, you can never be 100% sure that what you’re seeing is what really happened. Two recent studies fr........ Read more »
Wade, K., Green, S., & Nash, R. (2009) Can fabricated evidence induce false eyewitness testimony?. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1607
Nash, R., & Wade, K. (2009) Innocent but proven guilty: Eliciting internalized false confessions using doctored-video evidence. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 23(5), 624-637. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1500
by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog
In temperate climates, influenza displays distinct seasonality: infections mainly occur from November through March in the northern hemisphere, and from May to September in the southern hemisphere. The results of experiments in guinea pigs have revealed that aerosol transmission of influenza virus is most efficient in cold and dry conditions, and completely blocked at warm [...]... Read more »
Lowen, A., & Palese, P. (2009) Transmission of influenza virus in temperate zones is predominantly by aerosol, in the tropics by contact. PLoS Currents Influenza. info:other/
Lowen AC, Mubareka S, Steel J, & Palese P. (2007) Influenza virus transmission is dependent on relative humidity and temperature. PLoS pathogens, 3(10), 1470-6. PMID: 17953482
Could a simple dietary change that increases glutathione, or indeed supplementation with this tripeptide be all you need to boost your immune system and ward of influenza?
Evidence mounted for glutathione itself in 2000, when Emory University researchers led by Dean Jones reported that a lozenge or oral spray containing glutathione might help prevent infection with [...]... Read more »
FRIEL, H., & LEDERMAN, H. (2006) A nutritional supplement formula for influenza A (H5N1) infection in humans☆. Medical Hypotheses, 67(3), 578-587. DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.02.040
The latest issue of EEO is out!
This issue has several essays by teachers in public schools. I was especially struck by this one:
I am a special education teacher in a middle school, though, and not an education policy expert or cabinet level economic advisor. Although I care deeply about the future of our planet and [...]... Read more »
In a survey commissioned by BioData, 94 researchers from 74 institutions worldwide were asked a series of questions regarding their management of research data. The survey’s purpose was to learn about and prove the need for knowledge management systems in academic research. 80% of the researchers surveyed believe their labs are not run efficiently.... Read more »
Noble, W. (2009) A Quick Guide to Organizing Computational Biology Projects. PLoS Computational Biology, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000424
Speciation by polyploidy (see here for a general description of polyploidy) is one of the mechanisms of speciation and evolutionary diversification. We all learn about it in Bio 101, right after allopatry and sympatry. It is thought to be an especially important driver of speciation in plants, and anecdotal evidence, such as the origination of the invasive polyploid, Spartina anglica in the UK in the 1800's, reinforced that view. But how important has been unanswered until now.In a new publicati........ Read more »
Wood, T., Takebayashi, N., Barker, M., Mayrose, I., Greenspoon, P., & Rieseberg, L. (2009) The frequency of polyploid speciation in vascular plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(33), 13875-13879. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0811575106
A recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) hints at a future where a daily multi-vitamin could be replaced with a personalized vitamin that would work with the unique genetic makeup of an individual’s genome [...]... Read more »
Marini, N., Gin, J., Ziegle, J., Keho, K., Ginzinger, D., Gilbert, D., & Rine, J. (2008) The prevalence of folate-remedial MTHFR enzyme variants in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(23), 8055-8060. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0802813105
Graveyard shifts and all-night cram sessions are probably some of the worst things you can do to your brain and body. I know because sadly I've done both more times than I can count. It is well known in the sleep field that chronic sleep deprivation accelerates the adverse effects of aging (damn these premature wrinkles), causes emotional dysregulation, and significantly impairs memory. However, Chua et al. over at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore seem to have discovered a mirac........ Read more »
Chuah LY, & Chee MW. (2008) Cholinergic augmentation modulates visual task performance in sleep-deprived young adults. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 28(44), 11369-77. PMID: 18971479
So what did you do in science class while you were waiting for all those chemical reactions to happen? Did you sit around and chit-chat with your lab partner? What did you talk about? Does it matter?
Del Carlo & Bodner think it does matter. They completed a participant observation of four chemistry classes over the [...]... Read more »
Del Carlo, D. I., & Bodner, G. M. (2009) The "Chemistry Mafia": The Social Structure of Chemistry Majors in Lab. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 13(1). info:/
Ah, the joys of a tropical getaway. There's warm, clear waters, soft, sandy beaches, and of course, a whole ton of amazing parasites waiting to gorge on your delicious flesh.Anyone who has traveled out of the US has been told horror stories of the disgusting creatures that await them. Take a nice trip to Brazil for some sightseeing, for example, and you might find yourself at the mercy of a small, intracellular protozoan parasite of the genus Leishmania. There are many species of Leishmania livi........ Read more »
Rogers, M., Kropf, P., Choi, B., Dillon, R., Podinovskaia, M., Bates, P., & Müller, I. (2009) Proteophosophoglycans Regurgitated by Leishmania-Infected Sand Flies Target the L-Arginine Metabolism of Host Macrophages to Promote Parasite Survival. PLoS Pathogens, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000555
Poinar Jr, G. (2007) Early Cretaceous trypanosomatids associated with fossil sand fly larvae in Burmese amber. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 102(5). DOI: 10.1590/S0074-02762007005000070
Homo Sapiens – humans – by one measure at least – are the most asymmetric of all the great apes. Frederick and Gallup (2007), using previously published data, compared fluctuating asymmetry in the teeth of humans with that of great apes and a number of fossil hominins. Humans showed more dental fluctuating asymmetries than orangutans, [...]... Read more »
Michael J. Frederick, & Gordon G. Gallup, Jr. (2007) Fluctuating Dental Asymmetry in Great Apes, Fossil Hominins, and Modern Humans: Implications for Changing Stressors during Human Evolution. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 39(3), 489-494. info:/
The proportion of Americans using antidepressants in a given year nearly doubled from 5.8% in 1996 to 10.1% in 2005, according to a paper just published: National Patterns in AntidepressantMedication Treatment, by Mark Olfson and Steven Marcus.That means about 15 million more Americans were medicated in '05 than a decade previously. A huge increase in anyone's book. But the doubling in antidepressant use is not the only interesting result in this paper. In no particular order, here are some oth........ Read more »
Olfson M, & Marcus SC. (2009) National patterns in antidepressant medication treatment. Archives of general psychiatry, 66(8), 848-56. PMID: 19652124
After studying supply chain risk research for some time I have begun to realize that much of the supply chain risk literature lacks direction and that each researcher or strand of researchers have their own presuppositions as to what supply chain risk is and how it should be addressed. Fortunately, this article provides a clear direction for further research and practical application as to how companies can evaluate and plan for catastrophic risk in supply chains.... Read more »
After studying supply chain risk research for some time I have begun to realize that much of the supply chain risk literature lacks direction and that each researcher or strand of researchers have their own presuppositions as to what supply chain risk is and how it should be addressed. In Knemeyer, A. M., Zinn, W. [ ... ]... Read more »
Let me start by saying this post is conjecture, but based both on observing patients, and after reading an interesting paper on ’subtle avoidance and safety behaviours relevant to social anxiety’.
First some definitions: I hope you’re all familiar with the term ‘kinesiophobia’, or ‘fear of movement’ – it’s the fear and avoidance of movements that [...]... Read more »
Cuming, S., Rapee, R., Kemp, N., Abbott, M., Peters, L., & Gaston, J. (2009) A self-report measure of subtle avoidance and safety behaviors relevant to social anxiety: Development and psychometric properties. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2009.05.002
Last Saturday, The Royal Institution of Great Britain hosted a conference called Science Online London (#solo09) co-organised by Mendeley.com and network.nature.com. The event, centred around the fantastic Faraday Theatre “this beautiful, historic theatre has deeply raked seating that creates an intimate atmosphere, even when full to capacity.” Just like last year, this event attracted delegates [...]... Read more »
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