Post List

  • February 22, 2010
  • 09:49 AM

Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotland - A Route Map Towards Healthy Weight

by PhD Blogger in Exercise Psychology

The Scottish Government has published a paper called Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotland - A Route Map Towards Healthy Weight ', Published 22nd Feb2010. Give it a read! We don't do much well. But we certainly known how to do obesity!

Scottish Government (2010). Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotland - A Route Map Towards Healthy Weight Government Publication

... Read more »

Scottish Government. (2010) Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotland - A Route Map Towards Healthy Weight. Government Publication. info:/

  • February 22, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Study links mercury contamination with changes in birdsongs

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study in the journal Auk finds evidence that mercury contamination can modify the singing behavior of birds.

Kelly Hallinger and fellow researchers from William and Mary's Cristol Lab recorded and analyzed bird songs from four species at sites along the mercury-contaminated South River in Virginia. They also studied birds of the same species at nearby uncontaminated sites.... Read more »

Hallinger, K., Zabransky, D., Kazmer, K., & Cristol, D. (2010) Birdsong Differs between Mercury-polluted and Reference Sites. The Auk, 127(1), 156-161. DOI: 10.1525/auk.2009.09058  

  • February 22, 2010
  • 07:49 AM

Ancient shark was a shell-crushing giant

by Laelaps in Laelaps

An outline of the upper jaw of Ptychodus mortoni showing the position of the new fragment, and a comparison of the size of the shark next to an adult human. (From Shimada et al., 2010)

The study of prehistoric sharks is no easy task. Specialists in other branches of vertebrate paleontology at least have the reasonable hope of discovering complete skeletons of their subjects; except in instances of exceptional preservation the scientists who study sharks typically only have teeth and a few ........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

Rabbits, virulence, history, and connections

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Man chasing rabbit
(From “Fliegende Blätter”, Munich, 1889)

Everyone knows about rabbits in Australia. Introduced in the mid-1800s, they multiplied ridiculously and are their way across the country, leaving barren devastation behind them.
Myxomavirus, a poxvirus that originated in South America, was introduced in the early 1950s and temporarily controlled the rabbit population, cutting their numbers [...]... Read more »

Kerr, P., Kitchen, A., & Holmes, E. (2009) Origin and Phylodynamics of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus. Journal of Virology, 83(23), 12129-12138. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01523-09  

  • February 22, 2010
  • 04:26 AM

Building a Motivated Research Group

by Susan Steinhardt in BioData Blogs

Uri Alon, a PI in the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, recently published an article in Molecular Cell where he discusses how to build a motivated research group.

Motivation in a research group is very important as that is the way that work actually gets done. Its not enough to go uninspired through the motions and conduct experiments because if it doesn’t work out – what is going to push you to keep trying? I personally have spoken to many involved in research asking what i........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2010
  • 04:24 AM

At what age do children recognise the difference between sarcasm and irony?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

People hold strong feelings about the meanings of irony and sarcasm. Just look at the reaction to Alanis Morissette's global hit 'ironic' - despite commercial success, the apparent misunderstanding of irony conveyed by the song provoked a chorus of derision (at least everyone agreed that this state of affairs was ironic). So I'd say it's with some courage that Melanie Glenwright and Penny Pexman have chosen to investigate the tricky issue of when exactly children learn the distinction between sa........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2010
  • 02:15 AM

Dwarf galaxies start making sense

by Charles Daney in Science and Reason

Cosmology has, for a decade, had its "standard model", which largely explains most of the cosmological phenomena that astronomers are able to observe. Except for a relatively small number of things that don't seem to make sense in the model. Prominent among the latter are dwarf galaxies – by one definition, galaxies having less than 10% of the total mass of the Milky Way.The standard model of cosmology is known officially as the Λ-cold-dark-matter model – ΛCDM. (This th........ Read more »

Governato, F., Brook, C., Mayer, L., Brooks, A., Rhee, G., Wadsley, J., Jonsson, P., Willman, B., Stinson, G., Quinn, T.... (2010) Bulgeless dwarf galaxies and dark matter cores from supernova-driven outflows. Nature, 463(7278), 203-206. DOI: 10.1038/nature08640  

  • February 22, 2010
  • 02:02 AM

How Risky Are Social Networking Sites for Kids

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

This article discussed in this post, isn’t recent but the conclusion is very nuanced which isn’t always the case with publications especially in news media about social networking and kids or adolescents. Seems that politicians are advocating measures to restrict social networking for children in order to prevent assumed online sexual exploitation and Internet harassment.
Broad [...]

Related posts:Searching Dating Sites Reduces Decision Quality Dating sites as well as social netw........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2010
  • 12:23 AM

Latest 'Coping With Cancer' publications

by Drew Rosielle MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

A few analyses from the Coping With Cancer Study have been published recently, all in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. We've published extensively about the CWCS (see here for more). Briefly, it was a prospective, US multi-institutional study of several hundred advanced cancer patients (& their family caregivers) which measured at baseline, among many things, characteristics of patient coping, communication with clinicians, and care preferences. Patients were followed through death, and ........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2010
  • 12:22 AM

2/3 of the truth

by Drew Rosielle MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

NEJM has an editorial discussing withholding information from patients. It's a practical, casual discussion of 1) the fact that in real life we withhold information from patients all the time (e.g. don't go into all the details as they can be confusing, overwhelming, or superfluous), and 2) the fact that we decide all the time to withhold certain major pieces information out of a desire to protect the patient emotionally. It's the latter that is the real issue (e.g. not talking with a leuke........ Read more »

Epstein RM, Korones DN, & Quill TE. (2010) Withholding information from patients--when less is more. The New England journal of medicine, 362(5), 380-1. PMID: 20130252  

Schapira, L., Butow, P., Brown, R., & Boyle, F. (2009) Pessimism Is No Poison. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 28(4), 705-707. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2009.25.0027  

  • February 21, 2010
  • 07:08 PM

More on the M2 Channel Structure Controversy

by Nick Anthis in The Scientific Activist

Last year, I wrote about a scientific controversy over the structure of the influenza M2 proton channel, particularly over the protein's binding site for adamantane type anti-flu drugs. The Schnell/Chou model, based on solution NMR, had the drug binding to the outside of the channel, within the membrane (at a 4:1 drug:protein ratio). On the other hand, the Stouffer/DeGrado model had the drug binding inside the channel (1:1 ratio), based on X-ray crystallography studies.

A new study was recently........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2010
  • 06:19 PM

Cumulative Culture Evolved to Rapidly Coordinate Novel Behaviours

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo

In the deliberations over humanity and its perceived uniqueness, a link is frequently made between our ability to support a rich, diverse culture and the origin of complex human behaviour. Yet what is often overlooked in our view of these two, clearly connected phenomena is the thread that weaves them together: the ability to coordinate [...]... Read more »

Chater, N. . (2009) Language Acquisition Meets Language Evolution. Cognitive Science. info:/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01049.x

  • February 21, 2010
  • 05:38 PM

Of Mice and Methamphetamine

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Diabetes drug being tested for addiction.
It’s a mouthful: peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR-gamma). 
Peroxisomes are specialized subunits inside cells that help metabolize various substances, including fatty acids and certain toxins. A blockbuster member of this drug family—Avandia—is a much disputed but immensely lucrative diabetes medicine that may cause heart failure.
(Partial Agonist Ppar Gamma Cocrystal)--------->
PPAR gamma agonists belong to a class ........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2010
  • 05:20 PM

The Good Jeans Hypothesis

by Wayne Hooke in The Psychology of Beauty

Just about every article I read on women’s preferences for sexual dimorphism in men points out that the data are consistent with the good genes hypothesis. There are a couple of technical variations of this hypothesis, but they all are based on the reasonably well-established connection between testosterone and impeded immune system functioning. The idea [...]... Read more »

  • February 21, 2010
  • 04:38 PM

Is that training diary doing anything?

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

One really cool aspect of using a software program like Recognise, is that you can keep tabs on whether or not patients actually do what we ask them to do.  This is an important issue because any treatment that involves home exercises or training depends on people doing it!  Historically, clinicians have used a training [...]... Read more »

  • February 21, 2010
  • 04:24 PM

Does Coenzyme Q10 Relieve Statin-Induced Muscle Pain?

by Scott in Science-Based Pharmacy

Editor’s Note:
Today’s guest post is from a pharmacist who blogs under the pseudonym Avicenna, who looks at the evidence supporting the use of Coenzyme Q10 to treat statin-related muscle pain.

My pharmacy stocks plenty of natural health products (NHPs) and ensuring they can be used safely is challenging, given the limited information available on safety, quality, [...]... Read more »

MARCOFF, L., & THOMPSON, P. (2007) The Role of Coenzyme Q10 in Statin-Associated MyopathyA Systematic Review. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 49(23), 2231-2237. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2007.02.049  

CASO, G., KELLY, P., MCNURLAN, M., & LAWSON, W. (2007) Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Myopathic Symptoms in Patients Treated With Statins. The American Journal of Cardiology, 99(10), 1409-1412. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2006.12.063  

  • February 21, 2010
  • 03:04 PM

Of fairy rings and other mysteries

by steffi suhr in Science behind the scenes

I just came back up from our cellar, where I was looking through a couple of cardboard boxes that I hadn’t opened since we moved from Colorado. The boxes are full of research papers on benthic foraminifera, left over from my days of doing science. I ventured down there because a researcher from Sweden wants to have a reprint of one of my papers, and I don’t have an electronic file of it (I will after this).
Turns out the paper wasn’t in either of the two boxes, but in ........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2010
  • 02:47 PM

Psst!… Pass it on! Cortical communication via the thalamus

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

Many neuroscientists think of the thalamus – a compact structure lying right in the centre of the brain – simply as a relay station, where sensory information from the periphery converges and is then passed on to the cortex.  The cortex is thought to be the site of perception and cognition, with different cortical areas specialized to subserve different functions.  Communication between cortical areas can be mediated by axonal tracts running in the white matter of the cortex.  This leads ........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2010
  • 01:33 PM

People with high risk factors for disability get more biomedical information

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

For a couple of years now, the focus of researchers on factors that identify ‘high risk’ of ongoing disability has turned from patients and onto providers. I’ve written before that health provider’s own beliefs about pain, particularly pain-related anxiety and avoidance, can change the advice they give. This can lead to less ‘reassurance’ about [...]... Read more »

Shaw WS, Pransky G, Winters T, Tveito TH, Larson SM, & Roter DL. (2009) Does the presence of psychosocial "yellow flags" alter patient-provider communication for work-related, acute low back pain?. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 51(9), 1032-40. PMID: 19687758  

  • February 21, 2010
  • 12:47 PM

How Many Children Need Mental Health Treatment and Get It?

by Child Psych in Child Psych

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt
There's more evidence that many children have a mental health disorder and not enough get help. The first representative survey of children in the United States found that 13% of children ages 8 to 15 had at least one psychiatric disorders during one year. The data comes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a collaboration between the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers f........ Read more »

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