A critique submitted by Brett Moore for the Evolution class.Aquatic macroinvertebrates have received and are continuing to receive considerable amounts of scientific attention. The large amount of diversity within macroinvertebrates allows them to be present in almost all natural freshwater environments (Resh and Rosenberg 1984). The evolutionary adaptations that created the diversity within the group also created the great variety of life histories and physiological requirements, which promote........ Read more »
Andrew J. Boulton. (2003) Parallels and contrasts in the effects of drought on stream macroinvertebrate assemblages. Freshwater Biology, 48(7), 1173-1185. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2427.2003.01084.x
J. Bruce Wallace. (1990) Recovery of lotic macroinvertebrate communities from disturbance. Environmental Management, 14(5), 605-620. DOI: 10.1007/BF02394712
Have you ever found yourself staring into a half-filled cup of water at a straw--wondering what kind of kooky laws light obeys that can result in this shattered view? Maybe not, but I bet Xiquan Cui and colleagues at...... Read more »
X. Cui, L. M. Lee, X. Heng, W. Zhong, P. W. Sternberg, D. Psaltis, & C. Yang. (2008) Lensless high-resolution on-chip optofluidic microscopes for Caenorhabditis elegans and cell imaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(31), 10670-10675. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0804612105
We know a bunch of ways by which tumors avoid the immune system. Lots of tumors are defective in antigen presentation and natural killer cell recognition (that is, they should be poorly recognized by cytotoxic lymphocytes). These probably usually arise quite early in tumor development, before the tumor becomes detectable. By the [...]... Read more »
S. A. Quezada, K. S. Peggs, T. R. Simpson, Y. Shen, D. R. Littman, & J. P. Allison. (2008) Limited tumor infiltration by activated T effector cells restricts the therapeutic activity of regulatory T cell depletion against established melanoma. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 205(9), 2125-2138. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20080099
Oh, let's go back to the start... --Coldplay, "The Scientist"
A decade ago, a paper by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues was published in The Lancet, detailing the cases of 12 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Anecdotal reports from parents of several of these children suggested that the onset of their condition followed receipt of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Wakefield concluded following this research that the MMR vaccine was unsafe, and could play a causative ........ Read more »
Mady Hornig, Thomas Briese, Timothy Buie, Margaret L. Bauman, Gregory Lauwers, Ulrike Siemetzki, Kimberly Hummel, Paul A. Rota, William J. Bellini, John J. O'Leary.... (2008) Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study. PLoS ONE, 3(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003140
Building upon the paper written by Jelen et al. (1993) that I wrote about a few days ago, I'd like to bring to your attention a more recent paper by Dutch researchers. It also addresses attitudes toward abortion in Western Europe, but does so in a rather more advanced manner.
As might be expected from an article written 15 years later, much developments have been made in the research on public opinion regarding induced abortion, both on a theoretical level, as well as on a methodological ........ Read more »
Ariana Need, Wout Ultee, Mark Levels, & Marike van Tienen. (2008) Mening over abortus in West-Europa, 1981-2000. Mens en Maatschappij, 83(1), 5-22.
This is getting to be monotonous, but it's a monotony that I like, as should anyone who supports scientific medicine and hates the resurgence of infectious diseases that antivaccinationists have been causing of late with their fearmongering about vaccines that frightens parents into refusing to vaccinate their children. It's the drumbeat of studies, seemingly coming out every few months, that fail to find even a whiff of a link or correlation between vaccines, thimerosal-containing or otherwise,........ Read more »
Mady Hornig, Thomas Briese, Timothy Buie, Margaret L. Bauman, Gregory Lauwers, Ulrike Siemetzki, Kimberly Hummel, Paul A. Rota, William J. Bellini, John J. O'Leary.... (2008) Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study. PLoS ONE, 3(9), 1-8. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003140
Patients with Cushing's and/or hypothyroidism have a tendency to have low ferritin, and it seems to be almost impossible to raise the levels of it. They often do not realize there is a problem until it becomes very depleted. Ferritin is an iron-storage protein measured via a blood test which basically measures the iron stored for future use. One can have a “normal” iron serum level with a low ferritin level.
UCLA researchers and a San Diego-based bio-tech company, Intrinsic L........ Read more »
I have many memories of being sick as a child. I remember lying on the couch watching movies with our rented VCR and putting sympathy stickers given to me by my older sisters in my sticker book. I remember stopping by the meat market to buy a BBQ burger and bag of Cheetos before heading [...]... Read more »
B. Roehr. (2008) Antibiotics account for 19% of emergency department visits in US for adverse events. BMJ, 337(aug15 2). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.a1324
File this one under the "who woulda thunk it?", or "why didn't I think of this?" or simply "whaaa...?!" categories! Quick, can you tell which way is north in this picture?Do you think of asking the cow for directions? Why not? For it seems that cow probably knows which way north is!You know, these big dumb-seeming large mammals you pass by every day, these big walking, grazing cheese-producing happy cows dotting the picturesque landscapes of California's grassy hillsdes, or their scrawnier but h........ Read more »
S Begall, J Cerveny, J Neef, O Vojtcch, & H Burda. (2008) Magnetic alignment in grazing and resting cattle and deer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803650105
You may have heard of the idea that people can only remember seven things at a time -- a seven-digit phone number, a license-plate, etc. While the size of working memory actually varies from person to person (it usually ranges from 6 to 8 items), and while people can use strategies like "chunking" to remember more, this observation is basically true.
Except when it's not true. In the 1970s, researchers found that there are actually at least two different and distinct areas of working memory, ea........ Read more »
Lehnert, Günther, & Zimmer, Hubert D. (2006) Auditory and visual spatial working memory. Memory , 34(5), 1080-1090.
I often find myself frustrated with the stupidity of computers. If I’m performing a simple but repetitive task such as resizing pictures or uploading files, I begin to wonder why the computer can’t do it for me. All you have to do is click there, then drag that, then check this - surely the computer [...]... Read more »
Adam Coates, Pieter Abbeel, & Andrew Y. Ng. (2008) Learning for Control from Multiple Demonstrations. ICML. DOI: http://heli.stanford.edu/papers/coatesabbeelng_icml2008.pdf
Stable is simply "able" with a "st"Wow. This is a first for me. Three of the heavyweights in theoretical and computational chemistry have published a set of prescriptions in Angewandte Chemie for theoretical chemists claiming to have discovered new, "stable" molecules. In response, Gernot Frenking who is a well-known chemist himself has not just published a piercing and trenchant critique in reply to this article, but they actually seem to have reproduced the text of his referee's comments as a ........ Read more »
Roald Hoffmann, Paul von Ragué Schleyer, & Henry F. Schaefer III. (2008) Predicting Molecules - More Realism, Please!. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 47(38), 7164-7167. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200801206
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) currently
is under investigation for treatment of sever, treatment-resistant
depression (TRD). It is not really news. I wrote
about it in 2005. The background information in the
earlier post still is pertinent, so I won't repeat that now.
Briefly, though, the treatment consists of surgical
implantation of a pacemaker-like device. The device has wires
that go into the brain (area 25, the subgenual cingulate area).
The study report........ Read more »
A LOZANO, H MAYBERG, P GIACOBBE, C HAMANI, R CRADDOCK, & S KENNEDY. (2008) Subcallosal Cingulate Gyrus Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression. Biological Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.05.034
Here's a fascinating paper that got some attention when first published a few months ago, although mostly in short blog pieces that quote the abstract in full and assert "this is cool". Here's an attempt to be more detailed. The paper finds that relatively specific differences in life circumstances are associated with differences in cognitive processing styles. I say that the differences in life circumstances were specific because the research subjects were from the same national, geographic, et........ Read more »
A. K. Uskul, S. Kitayama, & R. E. Nisbett. (2008) Ecocultural basis of cognition: Farmers and fishermen are more holistic than herders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(25), 8552-8556. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803874105
Moayyad Sher Shah, Peter Cunningham (2008). Fences as a threat to Sand Cats, Felis margarita Loche, 1858, in Saudi Arabia. Zoology in the Middle East, 44: 104-106Sand cats (Felis margarita) are in danger of getting trapped while attempting to force themselves to go thru metal fences in a wildlife reserve in Saudi Arabia. Since 2003, Shah & Cunningham found 2 dead and 2 live sand cats all of which had their heads stuck in a diamond mesh fence that was erected in 2003 to keep livestock out of ........ Read more »
Moayyad Sher Shah, & Peter Cunningham. (2008) Fences as a threat to Sand Cats, Felis margarita Loche, 1858, in Saudi Arabia. Zoology in the Middle East, 104-106.
Research shows we're better at recollecting events that occurred during our teens and early twenties than during any other period in our lives - an anomaly that experts call the "reminiscence bump". One explanation for the bump, according to Steve Janssen and colleagues, is that our memories work more efficiently during our teens and early adulthood relative to other periods in our lives.The problem with testing that biological account, however, is that it is possible events are more memorable f........ Read more »
Many people have a general familiarity to the obvious symptoms of stroke complications: paralysis, thinking and concentration deficits, speech problems, emotional difficulties, and daily living problems. However, many are unaware of the possible pain complications.
A 29 year old stroke victim in the magazine Stroke Connection provided vivid detail of his stroke pain,
Someone is ripping [...]... Read more »
P. Hansson. (2004) Post-stroke pain case study: clinical characteristics, therapeutic options and long-term follow-up. European Journal of Neurology, 11(s1), 22-30. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0552.2004.00793.x
P. D. McGeoch, L. E. Williams, R. R. Lee, & V. S Ramachandran. (2008) Behavioural evidence for vestibular stimulation as a treatment for central post-stroke pain. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery . DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.2008.146738
It's a truism that biologists have cataloged only a fraction of the living things on Earth. This is a major problem for conservationists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists, because many of the questions we want to answer ("Which parcel of rain forest should we preserve?" or "How do species interactions play out over millions of years?") hinge how we count species.
One solution is DNA... Read more »
M.A. Smith, J.J. Rodriguez, J.B. Whitfield, A.R. Deans, D.H. Janzen, W. Hallwachs, & P.D.N. Hebert. (2008) Extreme diversity of tropical parasitoid wasps exposed by iterative integration of natural history, DNA barcoding, morphology, and collections. PNAS, 105(34), 12359-64. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0805319105
How do athletes in Olympic level endurance completions do it? Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Jonathan Esteve-Lanao, Alejandro Lucia, Jos J. deKoning, Carl Foster, & Conrad P. Earnest. (2008) How Do Humans Control Physiological Strain during Strenuous Endurance Exercise?. PLoS ONE, 3(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002943
This is the last of the five papers that were part of my Ph.D. thesis, and at ten journal pages in length, it's the longest thing I wrote. It was also the longest-running experiment of any of the things I did, with the data being taken over a period of about three years, between and around other experiments. As usual for this series of posts, I can sum up the key result in one graph:
(No spiffy color figure this time, as the experiment never made it onto the old web page, and my original figur........ Read more »
C. Orzel, M. Walhout, U. Sterr, P. S. Julienne, & S. L. Rolston. (1999) Spin polarization and quantum-statistical effects in ultracold ionizing collisions. Physical Review A, 59(3), 1926-1935. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.59.1926
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