Post List

  • September 15, 2009
  • 06:40 PM

The Link Between Depression and Dreams

by Ryan Hurd in Dream Studies Portal

explores the cognitive similarities between depression and dreaming, emphasizing the role of brain chemistry but also taking depth psychology into account. ... Read more »

  • September 15, 2009
  • 04:32 PM

Beyond change blindness: Change deafness works almost the same way

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

We've talked a lot on Cognitive Daily about change blindness: the inability to spot visual differences between images and even real people and objects right before our eyes. The most dramatic demonstration might be Daniel Simons' "experiment" that took place before participants even knew they were being studied:

More recently researchers have uncovered a similar phenomenon for sounds: Change deafness. Listeners are asked to listen to two one-second clips separated by 350 milliseconds of white........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2009
  • 04:31 PM

A multisensory cortical network for understanding speech in noise

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

It’s kind of ironic that we spend so much time and effort trying to eliminate the noise problem in fMRI research on auditory speech perception when we do most of our everyday speech comprehension in noisy environments. In fact, one could argue that we are getting a more veridical picture of the neural networks supporting speech perception when we use standard pulse sequences than when we use sparse or clustered acquisition. (I am TOTALLY going to use this argument the next time a reviewer sa........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2009
  • 04:23 PM

Pitcher-plants: Nature's toilet bowl.

by Kevin Emerson in skeetersays

Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants, that unlike active traps such as the Venus Fly Trap, passively gain nutrients from animal sources. In general, the pitchers produce nectar that attract insects and other small animals (I have found frogs and salamanders in Sarracenia purpurea leaves), which then fall into the pitchers, drown, and decompose. The plant is then able to absorb nutrients from this decomposing material. Generally decomposition within the pitchers is aided by an inquiline commu........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2009
  • 04:16 PM

The intimate connection between religion and authoritarianism

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

It's well known that religious people are more likely to be authoritarian than non-religious people. By 'authoritarian' I mean someone who's predisposed to follow the dictates of a strong leader and traditional, conventional values.But, in a secular society, this leads to a potential for conflict. How do religious people respond if the government authority contradicts religious authority? A new study suggests that it depends on how firm their moral convictions are.First off, let me just quote fr........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2009
  • 03:46 PM

New evidence for the Mozart effect?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Last week an interesting study was published (online) that provides evidence that music exposure facilitates neuroplasticity in rats. While I feel quite uncomfortable with using animals for these studies (especially if you read the explicit method sections of these kind of neurobiological papers :-\) , the results could well contribute to a better insight in how music might be functional in the neurohabilitation of humans.About sixty rats were divided in four groups, two of which had callosotomy........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2009
  • 03:27 PM

The myth of core stability: part 2

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Following on from yesterday’s post about core stability, today I want to look at training, back pain prevention and rehabilitation as it relates to core stability.
Motor learning moves from conscious attention to make certain movements through to movements that are basically over-learned or automatic. There are considerable differences in how a beginning learner carries [...]... Read more »

Lederman, E. (2009) The myth of core stability. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2009.08.001  

  • September 15, 2009
  • 10:25 AM

IV heroin – I predict a RIOTT

by Euan in Dr Euan Lawson| Doctor Writer

There is almost a sad inevitability about the discussion in the media around the issue of giving heroin to heroin users. When it come to heroin-assisted treatment (HAT) it is inevitable that any reasonable discussion will be drowned out by the clamouring commentariat.
The UK has been using heroin as part of the treatment of users [...]... Read more »

Oviedo-Joekes E, Brissette S, Marsh DC, Lauzon P, Guh D, Anis A, & Schechter MT. (2009) Diacetylmorphine versus methadone for the treatment of opioid addiction. The New England journal of medicine, 361(8), 777-86. PMID: 19692689  

  • September 15, 2009
  • 08:24 AM

H1N1 Vaccine Study Summaries: Single Dose Provides Protection

by Walter Jessen in Highlight HEALTH

Preliminary results from two studies published online last week by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) show that a single dose of the H1N1 vaccine will offer protection for most adults within three weeks of vaccination [1-2]. This is [...]... Read more »

Greenberg, M., Lai, M., Hartel, G., Wichems, C., Gittleson, C., Bennet, J., Dawson, G., Hu, W., Leggio, C., Washington, D.... (2009) Response after One Dose of a Monovalent Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Vaccine -- Preliminary Report. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0907413  

Clark, T., Pareek, M., Hoschler, K., Dillon, H., Nicholson, K., Groth, N., & Stephenson, I. (2009) Trial of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent MF59-Adjuvanted Vaccine -- Preliminary Report. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0907650  

  • September 15, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

What if influenza virus did not reassort?

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Would influenza virus be the same pathogen if it could not undergo reassortment of its segmented RNA genome? This is the question being asked in the wake of the development of a method to prevent the free assortment of influenza viral RNAs.... Read more »

  • September 15, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

An experiment gone wrong in Hong Kong?

by Zen Faulkes in Marmorkrebs

I was re-reading the recent paper on the introduction of marbled crayfish in Italy, and noticed this:

"The authors even raised the hypothesis that Procambarus sp. is a transgenic species created by laboratories in Hong Kong."

I’d like to think I would have remembered a claim that marbled crayfish were the result of a scientific experiment gone wrong.... Read more »

Marzano FN, Scalici M, Chiesa S, Gherardi F, Piccinini A, & Gibertini G. (2009) The first record of the marbled crayfish adds further threats to fresh waters in Italy. Aquatic Invasions, 4(2), 401-404. DOI: 10.3391/ai.2009.4.2  

  • September 15, 2009
  • 03:02 AM

Evaluating wetland mitigation banks...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Mitigation banks have emerged as a preferred alternative for complying with the Clean Water Act's stated goal of no net loss' of wetlands. But are they working?... Read more »

  • September 15, 2009
  • 02:01 AM

Chocolate Saves Your Teeth

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Really, the polyphenolen in cocoa inhibit the growth of bacteria responsible for the creation of plaques. Polyphenolen from cocao significantly reduce biofilm formation and acid production by these bacteria. The acid production from sucrose was significantly inhibited resulting in a reduction of localized demineralization. . Be aware that chocolate not only contains cacao but also [...]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2009
  • 12:21 AM

Coffee on the brain, spatial memory impairment, and how the immune system may help

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

I'm constantly on the lookout for new research findings further substantiating sleep's significant effects on memory...perhaps in an attempt to finally convince myself that continuously misplacing my keys is NOT a normal part of young adulthood...and that 5 hours of shut-eye just isn't cutting it anymore (note to self: resist late night treks to Starbucks). Coffee-drinking women on the other hand have an 18% lower chance of having visual and spatial memory declines according to a 2007 study by R........ Read more »

Ritchie, K., Carriere, I., de Mendonca, A., Portet, F., Dartigues, J., Rouaud, O., Barberger-Gateau, P., & Ancelin, M. (2007) The neuroprotective effects of caffeine: A prospective population study (the Three City Study). Neurology, 69(6), 536-545. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000266670.35219.0c  

Girardeau1,G, Benchenane1, K, Wiener, S I, Buzsáki G, . (2009) Selective suppression of hippocampal ripples impairs spatial memory. . Nature Neuroscience . info:/10.1038/nn.2384

Ron-Harel N, Segev Y, Lewitus GM, Cardon M, Ziv Y, Netanely D, Jacob-Hirsch J, Amariglio N, Rechavi G, Domany E.... (2008) Age-dependent spatial memory loss can be partially restored by immune activation. Rejuvenation research, 11(5), 903-13. PMID: 18803478  

  • September 15, 2009
  • 12:02 AM

Codon Optimization is Not Bunk?

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

In a previous post I asked "Is Codon Optimization Bunk?", reflecting on a paper which showed that the typical rules for codon optimization appeared not to be highly predictive of the expression of GFP constructs. A paper released in PLoS One sheds new light on this question.A quick review. To the first approximation, the genetic code consists of 3 nucleotide units called codon; there are 64 possible codons. Twenty amino acids plus stop are specified by these codons (again, 1st approximation)......... Read more »

Mark Welch, Sridhar Govindarajan, Jon E. Ness, Alan Villalobos, Austin Gurney, Jeremy Minshull1, Claes Gustafsson. (2009) Design Parameters to Control Synthetic Gene Expression in Escherichia coli. PLoS One, 4(9). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0007002

  • September 14, 2009
  • 08:35 PM

Addicted to DNA…

by Jim Caryl in mental indigestion

BACTERIA can find themselves in the rather undesirable position of being addicted to parasites. The parasites in question are not of the blood-sucking sort however, but rather of the gene-sucking sort.
In nature there are numerous genetic entities, various forms of DNA, that parasitise bacteria:

bacteriophages (viruses that infect only bacteria),
plasmids (usually a circular strand of DNA [...]... Read more »

  • September 14, 2009
  • 07:31 PM

Homeotic Mutationism

by AK in AK's Rambling Thoughts

The guest post a while back by Dr.  Filler brought up the issue of "adaptationism" vs.  "homeotic mutationism".  It seems to me that this issue is an example of the simplistic use of formulas in science (which I recently decried) where a more thoughtful approach would end up without the controversy.Summarizing from most of the various papers I read (see Links), the foundation of "adaptationism" is the assumption that the genetic variation on which Darwinian selection operates inv........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2009
  • 06:41 PM

Targeting cancer stem cells: chemical style

by Francisco Barriga in MolBio Research Highlights

In a previous post I tried to summarize the major points underlying the Cancer Stem Cell Hypothesis, which states that tumors are hierarchically structured and that a particular subpopulation of cells, cancer stem cells (CSCs), are capable of initiating and sustaining the growth of the tumor [Cancer Stem Cells: the root of all evil?]. This has obvious clinical implications since eliminating ... Read more »

MANI, S., GUO, W., LIAO, M., EATON, E., AYYANAN, A., ZHOU, A., BROOKS, M., REINHARD, F., ZHANG, C., & SHIPITSIN, M. (2008) The Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition Generates Cells with Properties of Stem Cells. Cell, 133(4), 704-715. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.03.027  

  • September 14, 2009
  • 03:43 PM

Faked videos can change eyewitness accounts

by Jacob Aron in Just A Theory

In a world where anyone can edit a movie and stick it up on YouTube, can we still trust video evidence of a crime? Research from the University of Warwick suggests maybe not. By altering video footage, Kimberley Wade and colleagues were able to convince people they witnessed an event that never actually occurred.
In a [...]... Read more »

  • September 14, 2009
  • 03:27 PM

The myth of core stability

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Fads come and fads go, and no more so than in managing back pain. One of the more durable fads has been the plethora of exercises to ’strengthen the core’. I’ve been searching for a good review of the literature on core stability, and surprisingly found one in a journal I rarely read: [...]... Read more »

Lederman, E. (2009) The myth of core stability. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2009.08.001  

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