Post List

  • September 27, 2009
  • 07:17 AM

Broca’s area and the processing of hierarchically organised sequences pt.1

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo

Ever since its discovery in 1861, Broca’s area (named after its discoverer, Paul Broca) has been inextricably linked with language (Grodzinsky and Santi, 2008). Found in the left hemisphere of the Pre-Frontal Cortex (PFC), Broca’s region traditionally[1] comprises of Broadmann’s areas (BA) 44 and 45 (Hagoort, 2005). Despite being relegated in its status as the [...]... Read more »

Bahlmann J, Schubotz RI, & Friederici AD. (2008) Hierarchical artificial grammar processing engages Broca's area. NeuroImage, 42(2), 525-34. PMID: 18554927  

Musso M, Moro A, Glauche V, Rijntjes M, Reichenbach J, Büchel C, & Weiller C. (2003) Broca's area and the language instinct. Nature neuroscience, 6(7), 774-81. PMID: 12819784  

Hagoort, P. (2005) On Broca, brain, and binding: a new framework. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(9), 416-423. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2005.07.004  

  • September 27, 2009
  • 03:27 AM

optimizing your coffee consumption

by Alex Holcombe in ceptional

We live in an era where students, shift workers, and scientists increasingly consume drugs that modify brain activity in order to enhance cognition. Ethicists are right to fret about this as the number of addictive substances with some ill effects proliferates (DeJong et al. 2008). People will use these things regardless whether or not some [...]... Read more »

  • September 26, 2009
  • 08:38 PM

Scientists: glorified bureaucrats?

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

I found this a while ago, but no one, to my knowledge, seems to have blogged about it:Real Lives and White Lies in the Funding of Scientific ResearchThe granting system turns young scientists into bureaucrats and then betrays themLawrence PA (2009) PLoS Biology 7(9): e1000197 (open access)Go read the article. It's scary. And seems accurate enough even to an undergrad with limited experience. (Shit, I've been jaded already before even going to grad school...)Within the article is thi........ Read more »

  • September 26, 2009
  • 02:52 PM

Vitamin D and sun bed UV

by Stuart Watson in Optical Futures

Light is good for your health. Most notably, there are significant health benefits from vitamin D, which is produced in our bodies by the absorption into the skin of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. There are also dietary sources of vitamin D, but one of the best and most enjoyable involves simply sitting back and soaking up the sun's rays.



† Moan, J., Lagunova, Z.,........ Read more »

Moan, J., Lagunova, Z., Cicarma, E., Aksnes, L., Dahlback, A., Grant, W., & Porojnicu, A. (2009) Sunbeds as Vitamin D Sources. Photochemistry and Photobiology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2009.00607.x  

  • September 26, 2009
  • 10:53 AM

Innate Immune Cells: Mediators of the Angiogenic Switch?

by Varun in Wissenschaft

The role of Matrix metalloprotease type 9 (MMP-9) in the activation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), the induction and maintenance of chronic angiogenesis and early stage tumor growth has been well established. But what is the source of MMP-9 ? In a study published in 2006, Nozawa and co-workers, using the RIP1-Tag2 transgenic mouse as a model, identified two inflammatory cell types, neutrophils and macrophages, as the major sources of MMP-9.The RIP1-Tag2 transgenic mouse is a well ........ Read more »

Nozawa H, Chiu C, & Hanahan D. (2006) Infiltrating neutrophils mediate the initial angiogenic switch in a mouse model of multistage carcinogenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(33), 12493-8. PMID: 16891410  

  • September 26, 2009
  • 10:36 AM

Panic! In the fMRI Scanner

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Continuing the theme of interesting single case reports, I was pleased to see a paper about brain activity in someone who suffered a panic attack in the middle of an fMRI brain scan experiment.The unfortunate volunteer, a 46 year old woman, was taking part in an experiment looking at restless-leg syndrome. The scan lasted 40 minutes, and everything was going smoothly until quite near the end, when out of the blue, she had a panic attack.Obviously, the scan had to be abandoned, but the researcher........ Read more »

Spiegelhalder, K., Hornyak, M., Kyle, S., Paul, D., Blechert, J., Seifritz, E., Hennig, J., Tebartz van Elst, L., Riemann, D., & Feige, B. (2009) Cerebral correlates of heart rate variations during a spontaneous panic attack in the fMRI scanner. Neurocase, 1-8. DOI: 10.1080/13554790903066909  

  • September 26, 2009
  • 10:11 AM

Detecting ancient admixture and estimating demographic parameters in multiple human populations

by Thomas Mailund in Mailund on the Internet

I read this paper on our way back from Leipzig and then again today to see if I missed anything in the first read through (I was pretty tired at the time).
Detecting ancient admixture and estimating demographic parameters in multiple human populations
Wall, Lohmueller and Plagnol, Mol Biol Evo 26(8):1823-1827
We analyze patterns of genetic variation in [...]... Read more »

  • September 26, 2009
  • 09:48 AM

does alt med equal fewer vaccinations?

by Greg Fish in weird things

Did you know that the state of Washington requires insurance companies to cover alternative medicine under a special provision that requires them to compensate all types of medical care? Heh. Forget what I said in my post about why alternative medicine faces a long shot at being covered by insurance companies. Science by damned when [...]... Read more »

  • September 26, 2009
  • 03:10 AM

Bees follow the crowd: Do whole-hive traits override individuals' genetics?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Social insects are often considered prototypes of group selection, in which the evolutionary interests of individual organisms are forced to defer to the needs of their social group. Now, the authors of a new study of honeybees argue that colony-level traits can override the genetic predispositions of individual bees [$-a].

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  • September 26, 2009
  • 12:28 AM

Induced pluripotent stem cells with one transcription factor

by Charles Daney in Science and Reason

Just under three years ago, in October 2006, some important stem cell research was announced by a Japanese scientific team led by Shinya Yamanaka. The team showed how ordinary mouse skin cells could be transformed into cells that turned out to be pluripotent, just like embryonic stem cells (ESCs). The new cells were called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Although "ground-breaking" is an over-used term, this research genuinely deserved the description.Aside from the fact that it could be ........ Read more »

Kim, J., Greber, B., Araúzo-Bravo, M., Meyer, J., Park, K., Zaehres, H., & Schöler, H. (2009) Direct reprogramming of human neural stem cells by OCT4. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08436  

  • September 25, 2009
  • 10:09 PM

Global warming and shifts in food web strucutre

by Marc Cadotte in The EEB and flow

Predicting the effects of global warming on biological systems is of critical importance for informing proactive policy decisions. Most research so far has been on trying to predict shifts in species distributions and changes in interactions within local habitats. But what many of these studies assume is that the basic biological processes and requirements of the individual species will not change -that is their biology is fixed and they simply need to find the place that best suits them. Not so........ Read more »

  • September 25, 2009
  • 09:21 PM

How many genomes did I just squash?

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

Yesterday was a good day for catching up on the literature; not only did I finally get around to the IL28B papers I blogged about yesterday, but I also took a run through the genome fusion paper which is being seen as the fitting marker of the end of the "Communicated by" mechanism of PNAS (sample coverage by In The Pipeline and Science, though the latter requires a subscription).The paper, by Donald Williamson and communicated by Lynn Margulis, takes the position that " in animals that metamor........ Read more »

Williamson DI. (2009) Caterpillars evolved from onychophorans by hybridogenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 19717430  

  • September 25, 2009
  • 11:30 AM

Got Pain? Take Two Photos of Your Loved One and Call Me in the Morning

by David DiSalvo in Neuronarrative

Before our first son was born, my wife and I took labor preparation classes at the hospital. The instructor suggested that when the big day arrived, husbands (or partners) should bring to the hospital a photograph of someone or something that their wives love (kids, pets, family members, etc). While in labor, the instructor said, the photo will help the soon-to-be mother cope with the pain.

This seemed like decent counsel to me, though probably more of a “good feeling” suggesti........ Read more »

Master, S., Eisenberger, N., Taylor, S., Naliboff, B., Shirinyan, D., & Lieberman, M. (2009) A Picture's Worth: Partner Photographs Reduce Experimentally Induced Pain. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02444.x  

  • September 25, 2009
  • 11:30 AM

The psychological impact of adolescent obesity

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

The idea that adolescent obesity may provide a significant psychological burden is not terribly surprising. Adolescence is difficult under ideal circumstances, the physical stress and social discrimination that often accompany obesity could only be expected to exacerbate this situation (the ridiculously discriminatory advertisement at the top of this post may not be tolerable in today's society, but weight discrimination continues to increase in prevalence, with some arguing that it is now ........ Read more »

Fonseca, H., Matos, M., Guerra, A., & Gomes Pedro, J. (2009) Are overweight and obese adolescents different from their peers?. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 4(3), 166-174. DOI: 10.1080/17477160802464495  

  • September 25, 2009
  • 09:38 AM

Religion – A “Natural” Phenomenon?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

All human societies have some phenomenon that can be described as religion. It is difficult to understand why religion is so pervasive in human culture. Some theories suggest that religion is a byproduct of evolution. However, no other animal group has anything that even remotely resembles the concept that has been labeled as religion in [...]... Read more »

Kapogiannis, D., Barbey, A., Su, M., Zamboni, G., Krueger, F., & Grafman, J. (2009) Cognitive and neural foundations of religious belief. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(12), 4876-4881. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0811717106  

  • September 25, 2009
  • 09:19 AM

Why middle-agers shouldn't join the army

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Enlisting in the army is a significant life-changing decision, especially for someone who's middle-aged. Apparently there's an age cap of 42 for active duty. The reasoning behind this seemingly arbitrary number is that it allow for a 20-year military career before retirement. However, perhaps they should look toward a younger cutoff point in light of a recent study investigating the effects of sleep deprivation on arousal levels of middle-aged rats. But before we continue with this line of argum........ Read more »

Wigren HK, Rytkönen KM, & Porkka-Heiskanen T. (2009) Basal forebrain lactate release and promotion of cortical arousal during prolonged waking is attenuated in aging. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 29(37), 11698-707. PMID: 19759316  

  • September 25, 2009
  • 04:26 AM

Outer space research may benefit cancer patients

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

You might think that the US space program doesn’t have anything to do with cancer. But you’d be wrong.
Recent research from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute in Houston, Texas may shed light on a new way to reduce bone damage caused by radiotherapy.

Scientists at the Institute are working to understand exactly how space radiation [...]... Read more »

Willey, J., Lloyd, S., Robbins, M., Bourland, J., Smith-Sielicki, H., Bowman, L., Norrdin, R., & Bateman, T. (2008) Early Increase in Osteoclast Number in Mice after Whole-Body Irradiation with 2 Gy X Rays. Radiation Research, 170(3), 388-392. DOI: 10.1667/RR1388.1  

  • September 25, 2009
  • 03:00 AM

Preventing lethal vessel strikes to endangered right whales

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

The outlook for the endangered North Atlantic right whale may be improving thanks in part to conservation measures aimed at preventing collisions with oceangoing vessels... more... Read more »

  • September 25, 2009
  • 01:55 AM

Friday Weird Science: The Hyena Mating Game

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Today's post comes to you courtesy of Laelaps. Sci's been wanting to cover sex in other species for a while now (I mean, it's so WEIRD!), and Laelaps has kindly provided a whole series of great articles!!! This is good, as Pubmed is not particularly informative on other species. The weird science is flowing today. Or maybe oozing. I imagine weird science likes to ooze.

So. Hyenas. Having sex. Which they don't really seem to do very often. And there's a good reason. The females don't........ Read more »

Szykman, M., Van Horn, R., Engh, A., Boydston, E., & Holekamp, K. (2007) Courtship and mating in free-living spotted hyenas. Behaviour, 144(7), 815-846. DOI: 10.1163/156853907781476418  

  • September 25, 2009
  • 01:27 AM

We're all Fast in Neglecting Context

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

Who feels smarter? The best student in a middling group of peers, or the below average student among top scholars? Often, it appears that we neglect context in evaluating our achievements in comparison to others, which leads to the "big fish small pond effect".... Read more »

Zell E, & Alicke MD. (2009) Contextual neglect, self-evaluation, and the frog-pond effect. Journal of personality and social psychology, 97(3), 467-82. PMID: 19686002  

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