Post List

  • January 7, 2010
  • 03:06 AM

Internet Use Has No Negative Influence on Well-being

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

A recent meta-analysis examined the relationship between various Internet uses and well being. The studies published until know is mostly about the discussion whether using Internet for communication with e-mail replaces other forms of communication such as using the phone, chat or face to face contact. Contact through e-mail, facebook, twitter and such replaces real [...]

Related posts:Internet Cool Tools for Physicians This is an excellent book for physicians to read...
Will Online Chat Al........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 06:53 PM

getting information from a black hole’s maw

by Greg Fish in weird things

Physicists are loath to break the laws by which the universe works when putting together their equations. They don’t fear a trip to physics jail or anything like that, but if their work requires a massive rearrangement of what we seem to understand, they tend to take it as a sign that somewhere along the [...]... Read more »

Gerard 't Hooft. (2009) Quantum gravity without space-time singularities or horizons. Erice Summerschool of Subnuclear Physics. arXiv: 0909.3426v1

  • January 6, 2010
  • 05:15 PM

Atonement, self-punishment, and guilt

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Atonement is a funny concept. Essentially, it's the idea that you can cancel out a wrongdoing not by doing a good deed, but by engaging in some act of self-punishment.Although the classic example comes from Christianity (the tortured death of Jesus) similar concepts of penance are widespread in other religions. Penance goes beyond the more normal concepts of justice (revenge and punishment) because it's voluntary.Perhaps there's more going on here than meets the eye. Rob Nelissen and Marcel Zeel........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 05:10 PM

Ancient Tracks Question Ideas About Tetrapod Origins

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Tiktaalik is practically a household name. Since its description in 2006 the flat-headed "fishapod" has appeared in books, on t-shirts, and has even starred in its own music video. Hailed as a "missing link", Tiktaalik has become a poster child fossil for evolution, but it is hardly the first such creature to be given this honor. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

Niedźwiedzki, G., Szrek, P., Narkiewicz, K., Narkiewicz, M., & Ahlberg, P. (2010) Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland. Nature, 463(7277), 43-48. DOI: 10.1038/nature08623  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 03:30 PM

Innovation in Health: Socialism and Innovation

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

What's the motivation for innovation in healthcare, and does any degree of socialization at any level have an impact?... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 01:57 PM

Looking to the Jersey Shore for CO2 sequestration

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Riding on the heels of Copenhagen, a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlined one way the United States might address enormous CO2 emission levels. Not surprisingly, the researchers propose carbon sequestration; it is the location, however, that makes this study unique.
The scientists have pinpointed volcanic rock, namely [...]

... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 12:32 PM

#PLoSOne paper keywords revealing: (#Penis #Microbiome #Circumcision #HIV); press release misleading

by Jonathan Eisen in The Tree of Life


A new paper just showed up on PLoS One and it has some serious potential to be important The paper (PLoS ONE: The Effects of Circumcision on the Penis Microbiome) reports on analyses that show differences in the microbiota (which they call the microbiome - basically what bacterial species were present) in men before and after circumcision. And they found some significant differences. It is a nice study of a relatively poo........ Read more »

Price, L., Liu, C., Johnson, K., Aziz, M., Lau, M., Bowers, J., Ravel, J., Keim, P., Serwadda, D., Wawer, M.... (2010) The Effects of Circumcision on the Penis Microbiome. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008422  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 12:23 PM

Finding Recurrent CNVs in Cancer

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Copy number aberrations (CNAs) represent one of the most prevalent genetic alterations in cancer cells. There is considerable interest in finding CNAs that affect the same chromosomal region in multiple tumor samples. Recurrent CNA (RCNA) implies the presence of key cancer genes; on chromosome 7, for example, we often see amplification of the region containing [...]... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 11:45 AM

Reduced Sleep Means Reduced Physical Activity

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

In the past, I have mentioned that physical activity and sleep time are positively related - the more physical activity you perform, the more sleep you are likely to get. Now most of these past studies have been observational, so we have a bit of a chicken and egg problem. By that I mean that we don't know whether:

A) Sleep deprivation causes reductions in physical activity,
B) High levels of physical activity make people sleepier, or
C) Some combination of A & B

Fortunately, an in........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 11:17 AM

Running Shoes as Single Factor Thinking

by MC in begin to dig (b2d)

This is a post about Shoes not as evil, but as it seems a Great Feat of Misdirection. It's a wee bit about our biases towards single factor solutions for complex problems, and the arguments we will have around the Chosen Factor rather than pulling up and back to consider the wider view. In science, there's a strong bias towards studying the effect of a single factor in various circumstances, but you'll rarely find a scientist who will say that single factor study or finding is The........ Read more »

Kerrigan, D., Franz, J., Keenan, G., Dicharry, J., Della Croce, U., & Wilder, R. (2009) The Effect of Running Shoes on Lower Extremity Joint Torques. PM, 1(12), 1058-1063. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2009.09.011  

Knapik JJ, Swedler DI, Grier TL, Hauret KG, Bullock SH, Williams KW, Darakjy SS, Lester ME, Tobler SK, & Jones BH. (2009) Injury reduction effectiveness of selecting running shoes based on plantar shape. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 23(3), 685-97. PMID: 19387413  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 10:22 AM

“My daddy is off to war” – Children of military families struggle to adjust.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

December was a good month for the US military in Iraq; not a single casualty was reported. Unfortunately, the story was not as rosy in Afghanistan, where 20 service members died -not including the 7 CIA officers who tragically died last week.  When we see footage of military funerals on films (e.g., Kavin Bacon’s “Taking Chance”), [...]... Read more »

Chandra, A., Lara-Cinisomo, S., Jaycox, L., Tanielian, T., Burns, R., Ruder, T., & Han, B. (2009) Children on the Homefront: The Experience of Children From Military Families. PEDIATRICS, 125(1), 16-25. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1180  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Inferential Models of Bilingualism

by Sean Roberts in The Adventures of Auck

Inferential models of language learning specify how perceptual maps can be divided up to be labelled with words. However, no models currently allow bilingualism. Some proposals are made as to how to achieve this.... Read more »

DEBOER, B. (2000) Self-organization in vowel systems. Journal of Phonetics, 28(4), 441-465. DOI: 10.1006/jpho.2000.0125  

Healey, E. and Scarabela, B. (2009) Are children willing to accept two labels for one object?. Proceedings of the Child Language Seminar. University of Reading. info:/

  • January 6, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

Four Scary Words: Cancer-Specific Chimeric Transcripts

by Rick Scavetta in DNA Dude

Studying the genetics of cancer often involves looking specifically at cancerous cells (that is, tumor cells) and asking what is different about those cells than the regular cells they were before.
For example, what mutations are present in the DNA of a cancer cell, that could be the cause of the cancer? Also… different genes could [...]... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 09:46 AM

How could vaccinia virus block T helpers?

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Smallpox pustules
(R. Carswell, 1831)

In contrast to the many viruses that block antigen presentation by MHC class I, only a handful appear to block presentation by MHC class II.  I don’t understand why any would try to block MHC class II in the first place, but another example of it has just been published.
A little [...]... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Gut disorders and autism: A new consensus statement

by Orac in Respectful Insolence

One of the key claims of the "autism biomedical" movement is that something about autism derives from or is exacerbated by the gut; i.e., that there is some sort of link between GI problems, particularly inflammatory diseases of the GI tract, and autism. Although I may not be as versed in the history of this claim as I could be, as far as I can tell, even if this idea didn't originate with Andrew Wakefield, he certainly did a lot to popularize it. Indeed, a common misconception about his misbego........ Read more »

Buie, T., Campbell, D., Fuchs, G., Furuta, G., Levy, J., VandeWater, J., Whitaker, A., Atkins, D., Bauman, M., Beaudet, A.... (2010) Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Individuals With ASDs: A Consensus Report. PEDIATRICS, 125(Supplement). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1878C  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 08:17 AM

Ask an Entomologist: Snow Fleas

by bug_girl in Bug Girl's Blog

What? Fleas in Winter???
If you’ve seen a tiny assortment of purple, bouncing specks in your snow, you might be looking at springtails.  Don’t worry, they aren’t real fleas–they just bounce around in a similar way.
Also, they are probably the cutest dang little things you’ve ever seen! Their tiny size is why you probably don’t know [...]... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 07:59 AM

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in "not caused by single virus" shock!

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Late last year, Science published a bombshell - Lombardi et al's Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. This paper reported the presence of a recently-discovered virus in 67% of the blood samples from 101 people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).The question of whether people with CFS are suffering from an organic illness, or whether their condition is partially or entirely psychological in nature, is the Israel vs. Palestine........ Read more »

Erlwein, O., Kaye, S., McClure, M., Weber, J., Wills, G., Collier, D., Wessely, S., & Cleare, A. (2010) Failure to Detect the Novel Retrovirus XMRV in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008519  

Lombardi VC, Ruscetti FW, Das Gupta J, Pfost MA, Hagen KS, Peterson DL, Ruscetti SK, Bagni RK, Petrow-Sadowski C, Gold B.... (2009) Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Science (New York, N.Y.), 326(5952), 585-9. PMID: 19815723  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 07:52 AM

Astronomical Units

by Brian Koberlein in Upon Reflection

Figure 1: Aristarchus measured the angle between the Sun and the Moon when the moon was half full, then used trigonometry to measure the distance to the Sun. (Source: Wikipedia) In an earlier post I wrote about how astronomers can...... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 07:50 AM

Rumours of War

by Richard Grant in Faculty of 1000

In all the Christmas festivities, snow-induced transport chaos, knicker-bombers and New Year-induced academic slackness you might have missed a new report on a forgotten but important conflict in Sumatra (published in Cambridge University Press’s Oryx; your Athens login should get you in).
Turns out that humans and pachyderms are locked in a deadly struggle for survival, [...]... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

The impact of beach grooming on coastal habitat

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study from Southern California affirms that the long-standing management practice of beach grooming is contributing to the loss of coastal strand habitat. Coastal strand plant communities grow along the edge of the high tide line and are comprised largely of endemic species adapted to grow in the dynamic, environment of loose, shifting sand...... Read more »

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