Post List

  • May 12, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Pepsi Refresh adapts Big Tobacco marketing playbook for the 21st century.

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

Have you heard about Pepsi Refresh? If not, I promise you will, probably from your friends.Pepsi Refresh is Pepsi's latest brilliant marketing campaign.The premise is simple. Each month for a year consumers will be asked to submit and vote for Pepsi funded grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 in one of six areas: Health, arts and culture, food and shelter, the planet, neighborhoods and education. 1,000 applications are accepted monthly and applicants use their own social networks to rally for ........ Read more »

  • May 12, 2010
  • 05:07 AM

Sunday Protist -- Tachyblaston: A suctorian parasite of suctorians

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

[it's totally still Sunday in someone's mind somewhere...right?]Reading old protistology books can be quite a frustrating exercise: image you come across a really cool-looking organism, try to follow up on what happened to it since, and discover it's only been written up once in the distant past and neglected ever since. This happens to a very annoying percentage of organisms described in those older books (newer books tend to forget the phantom and near-phantom species). Now this organism in pa........ Read more »

Martin, CH. (1909) Some Observations on Acinetaria: Part I.—The " Tinctin-kbrper " of Acinetaria and the Conjugation of Acineta papillifera. Quarterly journal of microscopical science, 53(2), 351-389. info:/

  • May 12, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Measuring the "naturalness" of landscapes: a look at the U.S.

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study in the journal Landscape Ecology presents an approach for measuring the level of naturalness across a region. Colorado State University researcher David Theobold tests this approach on the lower 48 states of the U.S. to determine the naturalness of the nation and how it is projected to change over the next 20 years.... Read more »

  • May 12, 2010
  • 03:30 AM

What IS the dentate gyrus doing to CA3?

by Jason Snyder in Functional Neurogenesis

A fundamental property of the hippocampus is its ability to rapidly encode memories while simultaneously keeping them distinct. Recording from hippocampal neurons one can clearly see that different populations of neurons are active as a rat explores two environments. This is thought to be one mechanism by which information is kept distinct in the brain.
For [...]... Read more »

  • May 12, 2010
  • 01:09 AM

Walking and Obesity: The City Life vs the Country Life

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci rather wishes this study were done in mice, if only so she could write "the city mouse and the country mouse" in her title. But it was done in humans, which was really probably a good thing.

This post has some background. Sci was sitting around with her lab one day, shootin' the breeze like you do when it's Friday and science has you cross-eyed, and we were talking about going to meetings in exotic locales. We were talking about one especially large city, and one person in the group said........ Read more »

  • May 11, 2010
  • 11:30 PM

Sleep, Dreams, Death

by Allison in Dormivigilia

An overview of sleep deprivation contribution to psychosis, death, and other deleterious physical and physiological problems using the characters of A Nightmare on Elm Street as a ploy.... Read more »

Everson CA, Bergmann BM, & Rechtschaffen A. (1989) Sleep deprivation in the rat: III. Total sleep deprivation. Sleep, 12(1), 13-21. PMID: 2928622  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 07:38 PM

Senses Of The Deep Sea

by Daniel Bassett in Chew the Fat

The most abundant life on this planet is found deep beneath the waves at depths that sunlight hardly penetrates. Species that live at these depths are impossible to capture for behavioural studies where questions can then be asked about how fish at these depths 'see' the world.... Read more »

Wagner, H. (2001) Sensory Brain Areas in Mesopelagic Fishes. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 57(3), 117-133. DOI: 10.1159/000047231  

Wagner, H. (2001) Brain Areas in Abyssal Demersal Fishes. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 57(6), 301-316. DOI: 10.1159/000047249  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 06:38 PM


by Julien Riel-Salvatore in A Very Remote Period Indeed

By now, unless you live under a rock, you should have heard the news: New genetic studies indicate that Neanderthals and modern humans likely interbred: Among the findings, published in the May 7 issue of Science, is evidence that shortly after early modern humans migrated out of Africa, some of them interbred with Neanderthals, leaving bits of Neanderthal DNA sequences scattered through the genomes of present-day non-Africans. "We can now say that, in all probability, there was gene flow fro........ Read more »

Burbano, H., Hodges, E., Green, R., Briggs, A., Krause, J., Meyer, M., Good, J., Maricic, T., Johnson, P., Xuan, Z.... (2010) Targeted Investigation of the Neandertal Genome by Array-Based Sequence Capture. Science, 328(5979), 723-725. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188046  

ESWARAN, V., HARPENDING, H., & ROGERS, A. (2005) Genomics refutes an exclusively African origin of humans. Journal of Human Evolution, 49(1), 1-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2005.02.006  

Green, R., Krause, J., Briggs, A., Maricic, T., Stenzel, U., Kircher, M., Patterson, N., Li, H., Zhai, W., Fritz, M.... (2010) A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome. Science, 328(5979), 710-722. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188021  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 05:52 PM

Isolation of RNA from breast cancer FFPE tissues

by epibio in EpiCentral

In order to develop guidelines for clinical diagnostic tests using gene expression profiling based on qRT-PCR analyses of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues, Sánchez-Navarro et al.* compared the performance of different normalization strategies in the correlation of quantitative data between fresh-frozen (FF) and FFPE tissues.  A significant challenge to expression analysis of FFPE samples is the substantial degradation of RNA extracted from these tissues, resulting in a shif........ Read more »

Sánchez-Navarro, I. et al. (2010) Comparison of gene expression profiling by reverse transcription quantitative PCR between fresh frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded breast cancer tissues. BioTechniques, 48(May 2010), 389-397. info:/10.2144/000113388

  • May 11, 2010
  • 05:34 PM

Recombination between cellular and viral RNA produces a pathogenic virus

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Bovine viral diarrhea virus is an economically important animal pathogen that may cause a fatal gastrointestinal disease in beef and dairy herds. Infection of a fetus with this virus during the first trimester leads to the birth of animals that are persistently infected for life. Some animals remain healthy, while others develop severe mucosal disease. [...]... Read more »

  • May 11, 2010
  • 04:49 PM

Smell, not sight, guides fly and wasp flower selection (or why stinky flowers attract flies)

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Picture this: a luscious green mountain range littered off and on with flowers of every type. Lower in the mountains is green vegetation, higher up are grasslands. Eucomis, or pineapple lilies, have a striking, colorful appearance and grow at varying altitudes along the mountainside. But there tends to be one surpising difference: Two species of the higher altitude pineapple lilies have, not the delicate scent of coconut as do some of the other species, but the much more alarming scent of carrio........ Read more »

  • May 11, 2010
  • 03:57 PM

Off the prehistoric coast of Panama, a mega-toothed shark nursery

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The jaws of C. megalodon as restored by Bashford Dean for the AMNH in 1909. Image from the American Museum Journal.

My early elementary reading school choices often got me into trouble. Every week I would pass over the recommended, grade-appropriate sections for the few shelves containing the books about dinosaurs, sharks, and alligators - if it was big and hard sharp teeth, I wanted to learn about it. The school librarian was not too pleased with this, even calling my parents in on one occ........ Read more »

  • May 11, 2010
  • 03:48 PM

Empathy for pain in doctors versus synesthetes

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

A common warning given to students interested in a career in medicine is “you better have a tough stomach.” Luckily for physician-wannabes who tense up at the sight of blood, a new study published in NeuroImage suggests that it may be possible to change your brain’s response to watching pain being inflicted on others. The findings are nicely summarized at the BPS Research Digest blog:Decety's team used electroencephalography (EEG) to monitor the electrical activity arising from the brains ........ Read more »

Fitzgibbon BM, Giummarra MJ, Georgiou-Karistianis N, Enticott PG, & Bradshaw JL. (2010) Shared pain: from empathy to synaesthesia. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, 34(4), 500-12. PMID: 19857517  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 02:04 PM

The Cancer Drug That Needs a Cuff

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

There’s no such thing as a perfect drug. Physicians know that for every treatment benefit a drug provides, there will also be side effects that must be taken into consideration. Ideally, these side effects can be controlled with careful dosing of the drug or close monitoring of the patient, such that the drug’s good side [...]... Read more »

  • May 11, 2010
  • 01:18 PM

What One Short Night’s Sleep does to your Glucose Metabolism

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

As a blogger I regularly sleep 3-5 hours just to finish a post. I know that this has its effects on how I feel the next day. I also know short nights don’t promote my clear-headedness and I also recognize short-term effects on  memory, cognitive functions, reaction time and mood (irritability), as depicted in the [...]... Read more »

Donga E, van Dijk M, van Dijk JG, Biermasz NR, Lammers GJ, van Kralingen KW, Corssmit EP, & Romijn JA. (2010) A Single Night of Partial Sleep Deprivation Induces Insulin Resistance in Multiple Metabolic Pathways in Healthy Subjects. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. PMID: 20371664  

Donga E, van Dijk M, van Dijk JG, Biermasz NR, Lammers GJ, van Kralingen K, Hoogma RP, Corssmit EP, & Romijn JA. (2010) Partial sleep restriction decreases insulin sensitivity in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes care. PMID: 20357381  

Nielsen LS, Danielsen KV, & Sørensen TI. (2010) Short sleep duration as a possible cause of obesity: critical analysis of the epidemiological evidence. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. PMID: 20345429  

Monasta L, Batty GD, Cattaneo A, Lutje V, Ronfani L, van Lenthe FJ, & Brug J. (2010) Early-life determinants of overweight and obesity: a review of systematic reviews. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. PMID: 20331509  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 12:41 PM


by Sarah in Biofortified

Terrifying, painful, exhausting. When I have spoken with people who identify as having Morgellons disease, these are the words I hear. Most researchers and medical professionals consider Morgellons Disease (MD) to be synonymous with Delusory Parasitosis (DP), a false, unshakable belief that insects are living in or on your skin or inside your body. Yet, [...]... Read more »

de Barros N, D'Avila MS, de Pace Bauab S, Issa FK, Freitas FJ, Kim SJ, Chala LF, & Cerri GG. (2001) Cutaneous myiasis of the breast: mammographic and us features-report of five cases. Radiology, 218(2), 517-20. PMID: 11161171  

Harvey WT, Bransfield RC, Mercer DE, Wright AJ, Ricchi RM, & Leitao MM. (2009) Morgellons disease, illuminating an undefined illness: a case series. Journal of medical case reports, 8243. PMID: 19830222  

Hinkle, N. (2000) Delusory Parasitosis. American Entomologist, 46(1), 17-25. info:/

Khansari, D., Murgo, A., & Faith, R. (1990) Effects of stress on the immune system. Immunology Today, 170-175. DOI: 10.1016/0167-5699(90)90069-L  

Murase JE, Wu JJ, & Koo J. (2006) Morgellons disease: a rapport-enhancing term for delusions of parasitosis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 55(5), 913-4. PMID: 17052509  

Robles DT, Romm S, Combs H, Olson J, & Kirby P. (2008) Delusional disorders in dermatology: a brief review. Dermatology online journal, 14(6), 2. PMID: 18713583  

Savely G, & Leitao MM. (2005) Skin lesions and crawling sensations: disease or delusion?. Advance for nurse practitioners, 13(5), 16-7. PMID: 15898309  

Savely VR, Leitao MM, & Stricker RB. (2006) The mystery of Morgellons disease: infection or delusion?. American journal of clinical dermatology, 7(1), 1-5. PMID: 16489838  

Savely, V., & Stricker, R. (2007) Morgellons disease: the mystery unfolds. Expert Review of Dermatology, 2(5), 585-591. DOI: 10.1586/17469872.2.5.585  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 12:03 PM

A Formula for Dosing Humans with Rat Poison

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

In 1920, a mysterious epidemic broke out in the cattle populations of the United States and Canada.  It was a severe disease of internal hemorrhaging that struck quickly and inexplicably; ranchers were soon distraught at the losses to their herds.  Two years later, Frank Schofield connected the disease to sweet clover hay, which had been [...]... Read more »

Lenzini P, Wadelius M, Kimmel S, Anderson JL, Jorgensen AL, Pirmohamed M, Caldwell MD, Limdi N, Burmester JK, Dowd MB.... (2010) Integration of genetic, clinical, and INR data to refine warfarin dosing. Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, 87(5), 572-8. PMID: 20375999  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 11:38 AM

Affordances, Part 2: Affordances are relations between organism and environment

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

In an attempt to formalise Gibson's (1979) concept of affordances, Turvey (1992) defined them as real, dispositional properties of the environment. Two other authors have instead characterised them as real relational properties, defined across an organism-environment system.... Read more »

Chemero, A. (2003) An Outline of a Theory of Affordances. Ecological Psychology, 15(2), 181-195. DOI: 10.1207/S15326969ECO1502_5  

Stoffregen, T. (2000) Affordances and Events. Ecological Psychology, 12(1), 1-28. DOI: 10.1207/S15326969ECO1201_1  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

Bio-Rad Real-Time PCR Workshop Coming to Your Neighbourhood

by aviwener in Canadian Biotechnologist 2.0

The tech note that was written last year entitled: “A practical approach to RT-qPCR – Publishing data that conform to the MIQE guidelines” by Sean Taylor, Michael Wakem, Greg Dijkman, Marwan Alsarraj and Marie Nguyen has been published in Methods (2010 Apr;50(4):S1-5.). To support the MIQE Guidelines and best practices for qPCR experiments, Bio-Rad has [...]... Read more »

  • May 11, 2010
  • 09:45 AM

Are we becoming immune to daily gene announcements?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

The other day I clicked on a link someone shared on Twitter about new findings in breast cancer genes, which sounded really cool and interesting. On clicking through it turned out to be a rather disappointing Reuters release on several...... Read more »

Turnbull, C., Ahmed, S., Morrison, J., Pernet, D., Renwick, A., Maranian, M., Seal, S., Ghoussaini, M., Hines, S., Healey, C.... (2010) Genome-wide association study identifies five new breast cancer susceptibility loci. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.586  

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