Post List

  • September 23, 2009
  • 12:34 PM

Indications of failure

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

A group of over 20 biodiversity experts from a slew of international conservation agencies have a paper out in Science bemoaning the state of the biodiversity indicators agreed in 2006. These indicators are important because they are supposed to be used to track progress towards fulfillment of the promise made by Parties under the Convention [...]... Read more »

Walpole, M., Almond, R., Besancon, C., Butchart, S., Campbell-Lendrum, D., Carr, G., Collen, B., Collette, L., Davidson, N., Dulloo, E.... (2009) Tracking Progress Toward the 2010 Biodiversity Target and Beyond. Science, 325(5947), 1503-1504. DOI: 10.1126/science.1175466  

  • September 23, 2009
  • 10:58 AM

Gender Gap

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Female monarch butterflies are dwindling in parts of North America

... Read more »

Davis, A.K., & Rendón-Salinas, E. (2009) Are female monarch butterflies declining in eastern North America? Evidence of a 30-year change in sex ratios at Mexican overwintering sites. Biology Letters. info:/10.1098/rsbl.2009.0632

  • September 23, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

The Antikythera Mechanism: Art or Science?

by alun in AlunSalt

ome posts take quite a while to write. This is a response to Candy Minx and Martin Rundkvist who were discussing the Antikythera Mechanism in 2006. Candy Minx thought the Antikythera Mechanism was an expression of what was already known and embedded in a society through things like myth and ritual. Martin thought that the mechanism was far more complex. Originally I planned to write a fence-sitting compromise. Here it is. This is science turned up to 11.... Read more »

Freeth, T., Bitsakis, Y., Moussas, X., Seiradakis, J., Tselikas, A., Mangou, H., Zafeiropoulou, M., Hadland, R., Bate, D., Ramsey, A.... (2006) Decoding the ancient Greek astronomical calculator known as the Antikythera Mechanism. Nature, 444(7119), 587-591. DOI: 10.1038/nature05357  

  • September 23, 2009
  • 08:45 AM

Tip of the week: JBrowse, a game changer?

by Mary in OpenHelix

In most of software and database development the changes that are coming along all the time seem to be tweaks and polishes on the existing strategies. Every so often, though, there’s a big shift in the strategy or mechanism. This week the JBrowse paper I read made me realize that is now firmly underway. Today’s tip of the week will introduce JBrowse, and here I’ll describe some of the reasons this is a game changer.... Read more »

Skinner, M., Uzilov, A., Stein, L., Mungall, C., & Holmes, I. (2009) JBrowse: A next-generation genome browser. Genome Research, 19(9), 1630-1638. DOI: 10.1101/gr.094607.109  

  • September 23, 2009
  • 08:07 AM

Hedgehog signalling and new cancer therapies

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Having written about hedgehog signalling in cancer a few times on this blog (see here, here and here for examples), including it's potential role in CML, it came as no surprise to see some very exciting new data presented in...... Read more »

Von Hoff, D., LoRusso, P., Rudin, C., Reddy, J., Yauch, R., Tibes, R., Weiss, G., Borad, M., Hann, C., Brahmer, J.... (2009) Inhibition of the Hedgehog Pathway in Advanced Basal-Cell Carcinoma. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(12), 1164-1172. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0905360  

Rudin, C., Hann, C., Laterra, J., Yauch, R., Callahan, C., Fu, L., Holcomb, T., Stinson, J., Gould, S., Coleman, B.... (2009) Treatment of Medulloblastoma with Hedgehog Pathway Inhibitor GDC-0449. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(12), 1173-1178. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0902903  

Dlugosz, A., & Talpaz, M. (2009) Following the Hedgehog to New Cancer Therapies. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(12), 1202-1205. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe0906092  

  • September 23, 2009
  • 03:20 AM

Istanbul on the Rhine

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Good news for sun-loving Germans. By 2071-2080 parts of their country are going to have the climate that parts of Greece have now. That’s according to a paper in Plant Ecology which ran a bunch of climate change models for Europe. Have a look at the money map.

On the left are today’s Germany-like climates in [...]... Read more »

  • September 23, 2009
  • 03:00 AM

Comparing natural, restored, and created wetlands...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

How do natural, restored, and created wetlands match up when it comes to vegetation and soil properties? A new study looks at wetlands in more... Read more »

  • September 23, 2009
  • 02:44 AM

Prevention of Winter Depression

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or Winter Depression can be succesfully treated with bright light therapy. Across studies, 53% of cases of SAD remit with bright light therapy. This involves sitting in front of full-spectrum lights that mimic sunlight on a regular basis — typically for about 30 minutes to 60 minutes each morning. Sometimes one [...]

Related posts:Winter Depression Or Seasonal Affective Disorder It’s the time of year again, the time for...Prevention of the onset of D........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2009
  • 01:48 AM

A Balloon in your Stomach and your Brain

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci is still tracking her caloric intake every day for the goddess (well, mostly for herself, but also for the goddess). It's very long, slow haul. Sci still considers days when she eats no more than 2000 calories (preferably a little less) as good days. That may not seem like much of a diet, but compared to my previous intake, it's quite a big cut. And many days I just don't make it.

But obviously, this has stayed on my mind. I can't help thinking about how we register food in the brain........ Read more »

Tomasi D, Wang GJ, Wang R, Backus W, Geliebter A, Telang F, Jayne MC, Wong C, Fowler JS, & Volkow ND. (2009) Association of body mass and brain activation during gastric distention: implications for obesity. PloS one, 4(8). PMID: 19718256  

  • September 23, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Physiognomy redux? Link found between facial appearance and aggression

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Physiognomy - inferring personality traits from facial features - was outlawed by King George II in 1743, and has for many years been dismissed as a pseudoscience. However, modern research is showing not only that observers readily make inferences about other people's traits based on their facial appearance, but that these inferences are often highly accurate. For example, people can use facial appearance to judge a man or woman's sexual orientation and to predict the success of chief executives........ Read more »

Carré JM, McCormick CM, & Mondloch CJ. (2009) Facial Structure Is a Reliable Cue of Aggressive Behavior. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS. PMID: 19686297  

  • September 22, 2009
  • 10:36 PM

Bioinformatics: A recipe-based approach is biggest curse

by Abhishek Tiwari in Fisheye Perspective

Some time back Deepak Singh wrote an interesting post The curse of BLAST describing how BLAST has become synonymous to the bioinformatics. Although his article highlights a general perception about bioinformatics especially within bench scientists it does not account for the reason which lead us to generalize bioinformatics with BLAST or any other protocol. I was reading an article by Pavel A. Pevzner, Educating Biologists in the 21st Century: Bioinformatics Scientists vs. Bioinformatics Techni........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2009
  • 06:22 PM

The Man With Half A Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A lovely new paper reports in fascinating detail on a man who lost a uniquely large portion of his brain: Bilateral limbic system destruction in man.The authors, Feinstein et al from Iowa City, have studied the patient, "Roger", for 14 years. Roger was born in 1952, and lived a fairly uneventful life until he contracted herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) at the age of 28.HSE is an extremely rare condition in which the herpes virus infects the central nervous system. Untreated, it is fatal in 70% ........ Read more »

Feinstein, J., Rudrauf, D., Khalsa, S., Cassell, M., Bruss, J., Grabowski, T., & Tranel, D. (2009) Bilateral limbic system destruction in man. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 1-19. DOI: 10.1080/13803390903066873  

  • September 22, 2009
  • 05:59 PM

We are going to freeze dry you all!

by Aydin Örstan in Snail's Tales

Pereira, T., & Lopes-Cendes, I. (2009). Cryptic anhydrobiotic potential in man: Implications in medicine Medical Hypotheses, 73 (4), 506-507 DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.06.012The Elsevier journal Medical Hypotheses has been in publication since 1975. I am not familiar with the journal's requirements for manuscripts, but judging from this particular paper, they don't appear to be stringent at all. I get the impression that if you include in your manuscript some buzz words and phrases, such as, "........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2009
  • 05:01 PM

Does rewarding altruism squelch it?

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

Imagine your neighbor has a dog that regularly escapes her yard. One day you see the dog escape and return it to her. She thanks you by giving you a piece of delicious home-made apple pie. This happens several days in a row. Then one day when you return the dog, there's no pie, no thanks, and no explanation. Would you return the dog the next time it escapes?

You might be disinclined. But what if there had never been any reward? Wouldn't returning her dog be the right thing to do?

Children as y........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2009
  • 03:25 PM

Sexual Selection and Hyla gratiosa: Barking Fast and Barking Long

by Johnny in Ecographica

In regards to sexual reproduction, the selection of potential mates can generally be thought of as functioning along one of four lines; through identifying Good Genes, receiving Direct Benefit, via Sensory Bias and by Fisherian Runaway. However, even though most species have adapted to one of the core strategies listed above, the methods of selection themselves are far from being restrictive. In fact, these strategies of mate choice may operate independently, collectively or in conjunction wit........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2009
  • 03:14 PM

Chronic pain after surgery

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Surgery is supposed to hurt. Well maybe not ’supposed’ to, but most people expect some pain after surgery – as one doctor said to me, it’s really ‘planned trauma’. The problem for some people is that the pain doesn’t settle afterwards – and up to 50% of people undergoing surgery can fail to [...]... Read more »

Hinrichs-Rocker, A., Schulz, K., Järvinen, I., Lefering, R., Simanski, C., & Neugebauer, E. (2009) Psychosocial predictors and correlates for chronic post-surgical pain (CPSP) – A systematic review. European Journal of Pain, 13(7), 719-730. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpain.2008.07.015  

  • September 22, 2009
  • 03:00 PM

Policing after the “financial crisis”

by Kevin Karpiak in Anthropoliteia: the anthropology of policing

what we’ve learned from the literature on neoliberalism is that it doesn’t make much sense to call it a “retreat of the state”. But how else to make sense of “financial crisis’” affect on municipal policing?... Read more »

Wacquant, L. (2008) The Body, the Ghetto and the Penal State. Qualitative Sociology, 32(1), 101-129. DOI: 10.1007/s11133-008-9112-2  

Wacquant, L. (2001) The Penalisation of Poverty and the rise of Neo-Liberalism . European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 9(4), 401-412. DOI: 10.1023/A:1013147404519  

Rose, N., O'Malley, P., & Valverde, M. (2006) Governmentality. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 2(1), 83-104. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.lawsocsci.2.081805.105900  

  • September 22, 2009
  • 02:30 PM

If You Want to Catch a Liar, Make Him Draw

by David DiSalvo in Neuronarrative

A man accused of a crime is brought into a police interrogation room and sits down at an empty table. There’s no polygraph equipment in sight, and the typical two-cop questioning team isn’t in the room either. Instead, one officer enters the room with a piece of paper and a pencil in his hands. He sets them in front of the suspect, steps back, and calmly says, “draw.”

That’s a greatly oversimplified description of what could happen in more actual interrogation ........ Read more »

Vrij, A., Leal, S., Mann, S., Warmelink, L., Granhag, P., & Fisher, R. (2009) Drawings as an innovative and successful lie detection tool. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1627  

  • September 22, 2009
  • 02:18 PM

In Too Deep

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Deltas are becoming more vulnerable to flooding

... Read more »

Syvitski, J., Kettner, A., Overeem, I., Hutton, E., Hannon, M., Brakenridge, G., Day, J., Vörösmarty, C., Saito, Y., Giosan, L.... (2009) Sinking deltas due to human activities. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo629  

  • September 22, 2009
  • 02:00 PM

The A, B, and C of influenza virus

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Influenza A viruses tend to garner most of the attention, but let’s not forget that there are two other virus types, B and C.... Read more »

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