Post List

  • February 8, 2010
  • 02:34 PM

Barnacle Sex

by Kelsey in Mauka to Makai

Sad but true: Barnacles (critters who spend the majority of their lives with their heads glued to a hard surface) may be getting more action than you are.
Of course, that depends on how you quantify “action.” Barnacles have a fairly short mating season—compared to our non-stop mating season—but they cram a whole lotta nooky into [...]... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 01:56 PM

Mazel tov! You should have such long telomeres

by ouroboros in Ouroboros: Research in the biology of aging

A study of Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians by Atzmon et al. has revealed that telomere length is correlated with longer lifespan and slower biological aging (reflected in measurements of several biomarkers of aging). Both lifespan and telomere length are, in turn, correlated with polymorphisms at the hTERT and hTERC loci, two genes that respectively encode the [...]... Read more »

Atzmon, G., Cho, M., Cawthon, R., Budagov, T., Katz, M., Yang, X., Siegel, G., Bergman, A., Huffman, D., Schechter, C.... (2009) Evolution in Health and Medicine Sackler Colloquium: Genetic variation in human telomerase is associated with telomere length in Ashkenazi centenarians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(suppl_1), 1710-1717. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906191106  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 01:49 PM

Methods Monday: Maximum Likelihood in SAS using PROC NLP

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

I've been working on fitting some excess relative risk (ERR) models to case-control data on occupational exposures lately. ERR models are of the form:RR=1+β*XIn SAS, unfortunately, we don't have unlimited freedom in defining the form of the model we want to fit, but a recent paper by Langholz and Richardson [behind firewall] describes a way that we can solve for parameters once we specify the likelihood function. (For those interested, the likelihood function can be thought of as the ........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 01:32 PM

How do you establish who will do well with pain management?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Some people just won’t do well with pain management.  In just the same way as a surgeon selects good candidates for surgery, so people need to be selected for self management.  Although there is some truth that getting even a little pain management is good for everyone, the cost of doing so in staff energy [...]... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 12:16 PM

MolBio Pick of the Week!: Tumour cell ecosystems, electrical crayfish and fluorescing corals

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

This week, I'm hosting the MolBio Pick Of the Week, usually hosted on the MolBio Research Highlights Blog. The picks of the week are taken from, which contains a number of great science blog posts from all areas, however this post only chooses topics aggregated under 'biology'1) Tumour cells are cells in the body that have escaped the control system of the surrounded cells and are therefore about to diversify and mutate to a far greater extent than the cells surrounding the........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 11:58 AM

Wanted: The Tomb of the Father of Modern Astronomy

by Promega Corporation in Promega Connections

What do Swedish war booty, the Frombork Cathedral in Poland, and Napoleon all have in common? Answer: Nicholaus Copernicus. While much is known about the cleric and astronomer, the location of his burial site and the identity of his possible remains were cloaked in mystery. Over the last 200 years, many have searched for Copernicus’s [...]... Read more »

Bogdanowicz W, Allen M, Branicki W, Lembring M, Gajewska M, & Kupiec T. (2009) Genetic identification of putative remains of the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(30), 12279-82. PMID: 19584252  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 11:55 AM

Nintendo Wii - Is It Really Physical Activity?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Last Friday, Peter wrote a post about Wii-related injuries which generated some interesting discussion. Essentially, some readers felt that we were being too hard on the Wii, with one commenter going so far as to suggest that the post was "anti-Wii" (hard to dispute, given that the post was focused on Wii-related injuries!). Although we've mentioned the Wii in passing on Obesity Panacea before, we've never had a full discussion of the pros and cons, and I thought that this would be an excellen........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 09:35 AM

All Current Evidence for Second Life in Business and Education

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

I decided to examine the full extent of scholarly literature supporting (or not) the use of virtual worlds for education and training. It's not a long list.... Read more »

Lester, P.M. . (2009) Analog vs. Digital Instruction and Learning: Teaching Within First and Second Life Environments. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14(3), 457. info:/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01449.x

Edirisingha, P., Nie, M., Pluciennik, M., & Young, R. (2009) Socialisation for learning at a distance in a 3-D multi-user virtual environment. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(3), 458-479. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00962.x  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Species vulnerability to climate change: sharks and sting rays in the Great Barrier Reef

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists have developed an innovative model for predicting the vulnerability of multiple species in a geographic area to climate change. They tested the model  on sharks and sting rays in the Great Barrier though the approach really is applicable to a wide range of ecosystems...... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 07:30 AM

Origins and evolution of pathogens

by stajich in The Hyphal Tip

An article in PLoS Pathogens by Morris et al describe a hypothesis about the evolution and origins of plant pathogens applying the parallel theories to the emergence of medically relevant pathogens. The authors highlight the importance of understanding the evolution of organisms in the context of emerging pathogens like Puccinia Ug99 for our ability [...]... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Pectoralis Minor Stretch

by Mike Reinold in

The Best Stretch for the Pectoralis Minor?
This post came about from some of the live Q&A that we had following my webinar last week on “assessing asymmetry in the overhead athlete – does asymmetry mean pathology?” (the webinar is now recorded and available for download if you couldn't make the live session).  We discussed some asymmetries with the scapula and talked about stretching the pectoralis minor.  I thought this would be...


... Read more »

Borstad, J., & Ludewig, P. (2006) Comparison of three stretches for the pectoralis minor muscle. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 15(3), 324-330. DOI: 10.1016/j.jse.2005.08.011  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Urban airports, a key refuge for insect conservation

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 04:51 AM

MapReduce goes evolutionary

by Abhishek Tiwari in Fisheye Perspective

Scientists from Texas A&M University have developed a new algorithm MrsRF (MapReduce Speeds up Robinson-Foulds) for analyzing large collection of evolutionary trees using MapReduce framework. Matthews et. al, have used their MapReduce algorithm to compute all-to-all Robinson-Foulds (RF) distance matrix on multi-core computing platforms. Calculation of all possible Robinson-Foulds distance pairs is a computationally intensive task. The results show that a significant speedup can be achieved ........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 04:30 AM

How framing affects our thought processes

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A take-away restaurant near my house offers customers free home delivery or a ten per cent discount if you pick up. It sounds much better than saying you get no discount for picking up and suffer a ten per cent fee for delivery – this is the power of ‘framing’. Now David Hardisty and colleagues have dug a little deeper into framing, to show first, that these kinds of effects can interact with people's political persuasion, and second, that they can act by altering the order of people's tho........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2010
  • 03:37 AM

Bad to the bone; altered connections in the brains of psychopaths

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

The manipulative con-man.  The guy who lies to your face, even when he doesn’t have to.  The child who tortures animals.  The cold-blooded killer.  Psychopaths are characterised by an absence of empathy and poor impulse control, with a total lack of conscience.  About 1% of the total population can be defined as psychopaths, according to a detailed psychological profile checklist.  They tend to be egocentric, callous, manipulative, deceptive, superficial, irresponsible and parasitic, ev........ Read more »

Craig, M., Catani, M., Deeley, Q., Latham, R., Daly, E., Kanaan, R., Picchioni, M., McGuire, P., Fahy, T., & Murphy, D. (2009) Altered connections on the road to psychopathy. Molecular Psychiatry, 14(10), 946-953. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2009.40  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 02:42 AM

The Cosmological Constant and the Dark Sector

by The Astronomist in The Astronomist.

What is the phenomenology of the dark sector? That is my question. The dark sector refers to dark energy and dark matter, which are two distinct phenomena which seem to have no direct connection other than in name. In this post I am going to talk about the cosmological constant, dark energy, and look at some landmark literature on the subject. I am going to show the origin of the 10120 order of magnitude error that results from the quantum field theory prediction and cosmological observation. I ........ Read more »

Carroll, Sean M., Press, William H., & Turner, Edwin L. (1992) The cosmological constant. ARA, 499-542. info:/

Will J. Percival, Beth A. Reid, Daniel J. Eisenstein, Neta A. Bahcall, Tamas Budavari, Joshua A. Frieman, Masataka Fukugita, James E. Gunn, Zeljko Ivezic, Gillian R. Knapp.... (2009) Baryon Acoustic Oscillations in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 Galaxy Sample. MNRAS. arXiv: 0907.1660v3

  • February 8, 2010
  • 02:26 AM

The Hidden and Informal Curriculum During Medical Education

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Both the hidden and informal curriculum take place after or next to the theoretical teaching, the formal teaching and has an important part in the shaping of the medical students’ professionalism and professional values. Moreover, these forms of the curriculum have a major impact on the learning potential of med students. Yet little is known [...]

Related posts:Blog writing for professionalism in medical education Had an idea to use writing of a blog...
Empathy for the Mentally Ill in ........ Read more »

Karnieli-Miller O, Vu TR, Holtman MC, Clyman SG, & Inui TS. (2010) Medical students' professionalism narratives: a window on the informal and hidden curriculum. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(1), 124-33. PMID: 20042838  

  • February 8, 2010
  • 12:36 AM

Urban Uprising

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

More city-dwellers means more deforestation

... Read more »

DeFries, R.S., Rudel, T., Uriarte, M., & M. Hansen. (2010) Deforestation driven by urban population growth and agricultural trade in the twenty-first century. Nature Geoscience. info:/10.1038/NGEO756

  • February 7, 2010
  • 11:22 PM

Drink up! Beer benefits bones…

by aimee in misc.ience

I can hear the whoops of joy emanating around the world.  Joined, of course, by mine.

For years, we’ve known that a glass or two of the vino has its benefits.  However, I’ve never heard of anything particularly beneficial coming as a result of drinking beer (apart from general joi de vivre, of course).

But now, praise [...]

[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »

Casey, T., & Bamforth, C. (2010) Silicon in beer and brewing. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.3884  

  • February 7, 2010
  • 10:14 PM

I say tomato…

by Anastasia Bodnar in Biofortified

Researchers at the National Institute of Plant Genome Research in India have found a surprisingly simple way to extend the shelf life of fresh tomatoes. Most tomatoes will last about 10-15 days before going unappealingly squishy. The enhanced tomatoes last 45 days or more and are firmer than unmodified tomatoes, which I imagine makes for [...]... Read more »

Meli, V., Ghosh, S., Prabha, T., Chakraborty, N., Chakraborty, S., & Datta, A. (2010) Enhancement of fruit shelf life by suppressing N-glycan processing enzymes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909329107  

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