Post List

  • December 7, 2010
  • 10:53 AM

Extraordinary claims attract extraordinary blogging

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Since its publication, the paper about bacteria using arsenic instead of phosphorous has been criticized by several different sources. First for the media pre-publication stoking, which lead many journalists to speculate about microbes from Titan while the paper was still embargoed (titanic microbes?), when ultimately it was revealed that we are dealing with earthlings, although with a rather unusual biochemistry. This let-down was only enabled by a rather unfortunate build-up which should not ........ Read more »

Wolfe-Simon F, Blum JS, Kulp TR, Gordon GW, Hoeft SE, Pett-Ridge J, Stolz JF, Webb SM, Weber PK, Davies PC.... (2010) A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 21127214  

  • December 7, 2010
  • 10:11 AM

Thomas Henry Huxley and the Dinobirds

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Evolution never got much time in my elementary school science classes. When the topic came up, inevitably near the end of the term, the standard, pre-packaged historical overview came along with it. Charles Darwin was the first person to come up with the idea of evolution, and, despite the ravings of religious leaders offended at [...]... Read more »

Switek, B. (2010) Thomas Henry Huxley and the reptile to bird transition. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 343(1), 251-263. DOI: 10.1144/SP343.15  

  • December 7, 2010
  • 09:21 AM

Pregnant While Already Pregnant

by Nature Education in Student Voices

Ladies, lo and behold, here come the super-mothers! A study recently published i...... Read more »

  • December 7, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Not all species interactions are (co)evolved equal

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Biologists have long thought that coevolutionary interactions between species help to generate greater biological diversity. This idea goes all the way back to The Origin of Species, in which Darwin proposed that natural selection generated by competition for resources helped cause species to diverge over time:Natural selection, also, leads to divergence of character; for more living beings can be supported on the same area the more they diverge in structure, habits, and constitution, of which w........ Read more »

Yoder, J., & Nuismer, S. (2010) When does coevolution promote diversification?. The American Naturalist, 176(6), 802-17. DOI: 10.1086/657048  

  • December 7, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Technical Difficulties Decrease Learning, Motivation in Training

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

Technical difficulties in training lead to higher attrition rates and reduced learning, all with a clever study design.... Read more »

  • December 7, 2010
  • 08:36 AM

Bites: Lassa fever

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

Lassa fever is a common disease in West Africa and endemic in several countries including Sierra Leone and parts of Nigeria. There are 300–500,000 cases of Lassa fever each year, causing about 5000 deaths. Though 80 per cent of infections elicit no symptoms, if they do occur, they can be nasty. Starting with a fever, this [...]... Read more »

Qi, X., Lan, S., Wang, W., Schelde, L., Dong, H., Wallat, G., Ly, H., Liang, Y., & Dong, C. (2010) Cap binding and immune evasion revealed by Lassa nucleoprotein structure. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09605  

  • December 7, 2010
  • 08:28 AM

Sea Lions and Adoption

by Uncharted Atolls in Uncharted Atolls

Alloparental care among animal populations, or parents caring for young who are not directly related, is well known in mammal and bird species; however, the role of alloparental behavior on population demographics is largely unknown.  Does such care actually allow … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 7, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Sedentary Physiology Part 2 – Can Sitting Too Much Kill You?

by Travis Saunders, MSc, CEP in Obesity Panacea

Photo by independentman.

Welcome to our 5-part series delving into the fascinating research being performed in the emerging field of sedentary physiology.  Today in Part 2, we look at some of the health effects associated with excess sedentary behaviour.  For an introduction to the basics of sedentary physiology, check out Part 1.

Over the past few years research has suggested that being sedentary (e.g. sitting or lying down) for extended periods of time has a negative impact on your healt........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

How long is a cell, and why?

by Becky in It Takes 30

A mammalian cell looks blobby and unstructured when you look at it in a tissue culture dish.  The question of “why is it that shape?” tends not to leap to mind, in much the same way as it doesn’t when you look at a fried egg.  And yet, there are real constraints on the shapes [...]... Read more »

  • December 7, 2010
  • 04:04 AM

Trying to create an impression can alter your perception of others

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When we’re socialising and we try to make a certain impression – to appear confident, say, or smart – doing so affects our perception of the person we’re talking to, leading us to think they have less of the same trait that we’re trying to demonstrate in ourselves. Bryan Gibson and Elizabeth Poposki showed this in five experiments involving hundreds of undergrads.

In each experiment participants watched a short film before discussing it with another student (actually a stooge working........ Read more »

Gibson B, & Poposki EM. (2010) How the adoption of impression management goals alters impression formation. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 36(11), 1543-54. PMID: 20921279  

  • December 7, 2010
  • 02:00 AM

US nuclear safety claim is a “dangerous fantasy”

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

How US strategic antimissile defense could be made to work From Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Contrary to a new nuclear strategy adopted by the US government in April 2010, that relies on assumptions that the current missile defense systems will reliably protect the continental United States in the extreme circumstances of nuclear-armed combat, now research [...]... Read more »

  • December 7, 2010
  • 01:37 AM

Gaming used for teaching psychopharmacolgy

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Teaching psychopharmacology to med students can be very dull. Often tried ways of teaching this subject were through lectures or in smaller groups during seminars. At the University of Minnesota Medical School they tested the use of gaming compared to the ordinary lectures. The study was conducted during a 6-week psychiatry clerkship of third year [...]

Related posts:Gaming is good for you
Teaching With Twitter
Healthy Online Gaming and Browser Gaming
... Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 10:09 PM

Breathe deep?

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

Winter has come to the Great Lakes, no matter what the calendar says.  This morning I walked out the door to take out the trash and the cold took my breath away.   I warmed up the car while I had breakfast, perhaps not the most environmentally friendly practice, but… On my way to work, depending [...]... Read more »

Raghuraj P, Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR, & Telles S. (1997) Pranayama increases grip strength without lateralized effects. Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology, 41(2), 129-33. PMID: 9142556  

Pramanik, T., Sharma, H., Mishra, S., Mishra, A., Prajapati, R., & Singh, S. (2009) Immediate Effect of Slow Pace on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate . The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(3), 293-295. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2008.0440  

Bhargava R, Gogate MG, & Mascarenhas JF. (1988) Autonomic responses to breath holding and its variations following pranayama. Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology, 32(4), 257-64. PMID: 3215678  

Pratap V, Berrettini WH, & Smith C. (1978) Arterial blood gases in Pranayama practice. Perceptual and motor skills, 46(1), 171-4. PMID: 25412  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 07:08 PM

Pouches, pockets and sacs in the heads, necks and chests of mammals, part VI: guttural pouches, false nostrils and preorbital fossae in horses, tapirs and rhinos

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

Back to the series on pouches, pockets and sacs (for previous articles see links below). The previous article finished by looking at the guttural pouches present in the Mongolian gazelle Procapra gutturosa. This links us nicely to the select group of mammals - perissodactyls, hyraxes, bats and rodents - that possess air-filled structures (called guttural pouches) located in the upper respiratory tract, pressed up close to the tympanic region at the back of the skull. In this article, I'm only ........ Read more »

Baptiste KE, Naylor JM, Bailey J, Barber EM, Post K, & Thornhill J. (2000) A function for guttural pouches in the horse. Nature, 403(6768), 382-3. PMID: 10667779  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 06:03 PM

Half the world's population is infected by cats!

by DJ Busby in Astronasty

2 to 3 billion people, about half the world's population, have a brain parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which causes a disease called toxoplasmosis. ... Read more »

Flegr J. (2007) Effects of toxoplasma on human behavior. Schizophrenia bulletin, 33(3), 757-60. PMID: 17218612  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 05:54 PM

Another Gender Gap Closed by a Well-Timed Bit of Encouragement

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Last summer I described how psychologists at Rutgers closed the usual gap between higher boys' and lower girls' scores on high-school chemistry tests. When the students used a textbook whose pictures depicted only women scientists, the girls outscored boys. A few days ago, this paper in Science ...Read More
... Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 05:37 PM

Saturn’s rings get spontaneously shaken up

by Kelly Oakes in Basic Space

From far away Saturn’s rings look pretty solid – I’m sure I’m not the only person who, as a child, imagined it’d be possible to skate around the planet on them. In reality, though, they’re made up of millions and … Continue reading →... Read more »

Joseph N. Spitale, & Carolyn C. Porco. (2010) Free Unstable Modes and Massive Bodies in Saturn's Outer B Ring. Astron.J.140:1747-1757,2010. arXiv: 0912.3489v2

  • December 6, 2010
  • 04:58 PM

Let there be Light !... Bioluminescence part 2

by DefectiveBrayne in The Defective Brain

The roles that bioluminescence plays in the lives of organisms today is fascinating. How did this trait evolve? This is a complex question, because bioluminescence is believed to have evolved around 50 different times in different species of animals.
So how do living creatures produce light? Well, the actual question that needs to be asked is how do living creatures produce visible light.

To ... Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 04:58 PM

Let there be Light !... Bioluminescence part 2

by db in Defectivebrain @ FOS

The roles that bioluminescence plays in the lives of organisms today is fascinating. How did this trait evolve? This is a complex question, because bioluminescence is believed to have evolved around 50 different times in different species of animals.
So how do living creatures produce light? Well, the actual question that needs to be asked is how do living creatures produce visible light.

To fully work out the evolutionary roots of bioluminescence, we must look into the very earliest stage........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2010
  • 04:52 PM

Health reporters: between accuracy and deadlines

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

"What's new, fresh, exciting, different, what people are going to say 'Gee, is that right'? (Newspaper medical reporter, Leask et al., p. 4)Being a health journalist isn't easy. There's the deadline, there's the expert who still hasn't called you back, the editor who wants a nice picture to go with the report...The authors of "Media coverage of health issues and how to work more effectively with journalists" interviewed sixteen Australian reporters, editors and producers in print, radio and TV ........ Read more »

Nelkin, D. (1995) Government Printing Office. Nelkin, D. (1995). Selling science: How the press covers science and technology (rev. ed.). New York: Freeman. info:/

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