The following is a guest post by Stephanie Zvan. In this post, Zvan addresses a recent study of "reaction times" and IQ measurements two study groups distinguished by race. I'll let the post speak for itself, but it is worth nothing that in the ongoing discussion of race and intelligence, the complaint is commonly made that critiques of mainstream psychometrics do not pay much attention to the recent literature. This would be a case of that not happening. Read the rest of this post... | Read........ Read more »
PESTA, B., & POZNANSKI, P. (2008) Black–White differences on IQ and grades: The mediating role of elementary cognitive tasks. Intelligence, 36(4), 323-329. DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2007.07.004
Tuch, D. (2005) Choice reaction time performance correlates with diffusion anisotropy in white matter pathways supporting visuospatial attention. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(34), 12212-12217. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0407259102
Is there a gene for long life?Boston-based group Sebastiani et al say they've found not one but two, in RNA Editing Genes Associated with Extreme Old Age in Humans and with Lifespan in C. elegans.They took 4 groups of "oldest old" people: from New England, Italy, and Japan, and American Ashkenazi Jews. All were aged 90 or more, and many of them were 100, centenarians. As control groups, they used random healthy people who weren't especially old. The total sample size was an impressive 2105 old v........ Read more »
Sebastiani P, Montano M, Puca A, Solovieff N, Kojima T, Wang MC, Melista E, Meltzer M, Fischer SE, Andersen S.... (2009) RNA editing genes associated with extreme old age in humans and with lifespan in C. elegans. PloS one, 4(12). PMID: 20011587
What are males good for? ... mitochondrial genomes of a freshwater snail species in order to compare the rates at which genetic mutations accumulate during sexual and asexual reproduction.
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Neiman, M., Hehman, G., Miller, J., Logsdon, J., & Taylor, D. (2009) Accelerated Mutation Accumulation in Asexual Lineages of a Freshwater Snail. Molecular Biology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msp300
A quote from Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel in the December 11 issue of Science reminded me of a short article by David Glanzman covering a remarkable paper on pan-neuronal (aka 'intrinsic') plasticity and its involvement in learning and memory. Here is the quote:Q: Synaptic plasticity is a central concept in your work on memory. You've been working with Aplysia since 1962. What else do you think we can learn from these lowly snails? With almost all kinds of synaptic changes, there is a parallel ch........ Read more »
Pulver, S., & Griffith, L. (2009) Spike integration and cellular memory in a rhythmic network from Na /K pump current dynamics. Nature Neuroscience, 13(1), 53-59. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2444
Fig 1 (Firth et al., 2009). X ray pictures can easily detect an ingested coin. Position of coin on lateral view (left), relative to anterior (right) or posterior picture affects size of image on film.Every year, BMJ has a special Christmas issue with spoof articles and silly studies. Today's feature examines the relationship between the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the value of coins swallowed by children (Firth et al., 2009):Main outcome measures Total value of coins ingested and number of ........ Read more »
Firth, P., Zheng, H., & Biller, J. (2009) Ingested foreign bodies and societal wealth: three year observational study of swallowed coins. BMJ, 339(dec04 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b5066
In California's Jurupa Mountains, there is a very unusual group of tree - a Palmer's oak. Unlike the mighty trees that usually bear the oak name, this one looks like little more than a collection of small bushes. But appearances can be deceiving. This apparently disparate group of plants are all clones of a single individual, and a very old one at that.
By repeatedly cloning itself, the Palmer's oak has lived past the separation of Britain from continental Europe, the demise of the mammoths an........ Read more »
May, M., Provance, M., Sanders, A., Ellstrand, N., & Ross-Ibarra, J. (2009) A Pleistocene Clone of Palmer's Oak Persisting in Southern California. PLoS ONE, 4(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008346
Dieter Braun (Ludwig Maximilians Universitat Munchen, Germany) and coworkers have probed the kinetics of DNA hybridization in living cells, and have found behavior which is more complex than what is observed in typical experiments performed in test tubes. This news feature was written on December 25, 2009.... Read more »
Camera calibration is a process of determining intrinsic (like principal point or focal length) and extrinsic (position and orientation in space) parameters of a camera, which is often described by the pinhole camera model. In computer vision we usually perform calibration by analyzing images taken from camera. The most widely used approach to camera calibration is based on this paper by Zhengyou Zhang. It involves chessboard (or some other planar calibration pattern) and consists of the followi........ Read more »
Ram Krishan Kumar, Adrian Ilie, Jan-Michael Frahm, & Marc Pollefeys. (2008) Simple calibration of non-overlapping cameras with a mirror. 2008 IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. info:/
Once upon a time, a lively old man named Santa Claus worked very hard — all by himself, not exploiting animals or short people — to make safe, educational toys to deliver to children all over the world on Christmas Eve. Santa exercised regularly, and ate a balanced diet of whole grains and plenty of [...]... Read more »
In a nice piece of cross-pollination between disciplines, scientists have proposed a new method for measuring the Earth’s magnetic field strength using technology developed for ground-based observational astronomy. As it turns out, the laser guide stars astronomers use to sense the turbulence high up in the atmosphere can be used as cheap and efficient magnetometers.
To [...]... Read more »
I’ve been wondering what would be an appropriate Christmas post for the Language on the Move blog. Seeing that I’m deeply skeptical about all those claims about the wonderful advantages of bilingualism, a good news story à la “bilingualism helps to ward off dementia” was never going to be an option. That’s when the first [...]... Read more »
Abdelmajid Hannoum. (2009) The Harraga of Tangier. Encounters: an international journal for the study of culture and society, 231-246. info:/
Also posted over at Paramedicine 101. Go check out the rest of what is there.This study has received a lot of attention. I will interchangeably use the terms the IV (IntraVenous) group and the epinephrine group depending on the terminology I think is more relevant at the time. The distinction is not one that I believe is important. This is a study of IV medication in cardiac arrest. Epinephrine is the stated focus of the study.There has never been any evidence to suggest that medication leads im........ Read more »
Olasveengen TM, Sunde K, Brunborg C, Thowsen J, Steen PA, & Wik L. (2009) Intravenous drug administration during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a randomized trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 302(20), 2222-9. PMID: 19934423
It’s been a busy couple weeks, and tomorrow we’re heading out for a week’s vacation. I don’t know what my internet access will be like, but probably not too good, so this might be the last Mystery Rays post for 2009.
Quick notes from a series of articles in New England Journal of Medicine on disease [...]... Read more »
Cao, B., Li, X., Mao, Y., Wang, J., Lu, H., Chen, Y., Liang, Z., Liang, L., Zhang, S., Zhang, B.... (2009) Clinical Features of the Initial Cases of 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection in China. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(26), 2507-2517. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0906612
Janice K. Louie, Meileen Acosta, Denise J. Jamieson, Margaret A. Honein, & for the California Pandemic (H1N1) Working Group. (2009) Severe 2009 H1N1 Influenza in Pregnant and Postpartum Women in California. New England Journal of Medicine. info:/
Chien, Y., Klugman, K., & Morens, D. (2009) Bacterial Pathogens and Death during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(26), 2582-2583. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc0908216
Prejudice...we've all experienced it at one point or another. Defined as a preconceived belief, opinion, or judgment toward a group or person because of race, social class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc., it also means a priori beliefs that include any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence. It's been the cause of countless wars and an infinite amount of unnecessary suffering. It must be put to an end once and for all! So how does today........ Read more »
Crisp, R., & Turner, R. (2009) Can imagined interactions produce positive perceptions?: Reducing prejudice through simulated social contact. American Psychologist, 64(4), 231-240. DOI: 10.1037/a0014718
Cunningham, W., Johnson, M., Raye, C., Chris Gatenby, J., Gore, J., & Banaji, M. (2004) Separable Neural Components in the Processing of Black and White Faces. Psychological Science, 15(12), 806-813. DOI: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00760.x
Greenwald, A. (2003) Targets of discrimination: Effects of race on responses to weapons holders. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39(4), 399-405. DOI: 10.1016/S0022-1031(03)00020-9
Harris, L., & Fiske, S. (2006) Social groups that elicit disgust are differentially processed in mPFC. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2(1), 45-51. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsl037
Olsson, A. (2005) The Role of Social Groups in the Persistence of Learned Fear. Science, 309(5735), 785-787. DOI: 10.1126/science.1113551
Steckenfinger SA, & Ghazanfar AA. (2009) Monkey visual behavior falls into the uncanny valley. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(43), 18362-6. PMID: 19822765
Wiekens, C., & Stapel, D. (2008) The Mirror and I: When private opinions are in conflict with public norms. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(4), 1160-1166. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2008.02.005
In a recent article in Science, Julio Mercader, of the University of Calgary, discusses his discovery of “starch granules” on surfaces of stone tools dating back to 105,000 years ago at a cave site in Mozambique. In other words, in contrast to the idea that Homo sapiens relied on a cereal-less diet of nuts, roots, [...]... Read more »
Mercader, J. (2009) Mozambican Grass Seed Consumption During the Middle Stone Age. Science, 326(5960), 1680-1683. DOI: 10.1126/science.1173966
I have a tendency to root for the underdog. I rooted for the Phillies throughout the 90s, when my heroes Lenny Dykstra and Darren Dalton could rarely lead them to a win. It’s a mixture of a desire for upheaval, that the unexpected can happen, as well as pure sympathy for the ones who [...]... Read more »
Wingate, L., Ogee, J., Cuntz, M., Genty, B., Reiter, I., Seibt, U., Yakir, D., Maseyk, K., Pendall, E., Barbour, M.... (2009) The impact of soil microorganisms on the global budget of 18O in atmospheric CO2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905210106
As many as 10% of children suffer from attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neuropsychiatric behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD can cause significant functional, social, and psychological impairment in children and adults. ADHD treatment in children has been controversial, since the mainstay of treatment is stimulant medications, including methylphenidate and amphetamines. Parents [...]... Read more »
Biederman, J., Monuteaux, M., Spencer, T., Wilens, T., MacPherson, H., & Faraone, S. (2008) Stimulant Therapy and Risk for Subsequent Substance Use Disorders in Male Adults With ADHD: A Naturalistic Controlled 10-Year Follow-Up Study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(5), 597-603. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.07091486
Mannuzza, S., Klein, R., Truong, N., Moulton, J., Roizen, E., Howell, K., & Castellanos, F. (2008) Age of Methylphenidate Treatment Initiation in Children With ADHD and Later Substance Abuse: Prospective Follow-Up Into Adulthood. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(5), 604-609. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.07091465
...published a letter in which other California based scientists have extrapolated the shifting niche model in order to estimate the anticipated ‘velocity’ of temperature change across different biomes...or through the advent of novel life-history strategies, the ability of an organism to accommodate ecological variability is essential.... Read more »
A few years ago, a study explored the strange genitals of waterfowl and found that females typically had complex vaginas if males of the same species had complex phalluses. Waterbirds are among the few bird species that have phalluses at all. Duck species in the Anas, Clangula, and Oxytura genera take this to an extreme, with very long, twisting genitals, sometimes equipped with spines. Phalluses twist counterclockwise, and vaginas twist clockwise. (You can see some examples at the post linked a........ Read more »
Brennan, P., Clark, C., & Prum, R. (2009) Explosive eversion and functional morphology of the duck penis supports sexual conflict in waterfowl genitalia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2139
Brennan, P., Prum, R., McCracken, K., Sorenson, M., Wilson, R., & Birkhead, T. (2007) Coevolution of Male and Female Genital Morphology in Waterfowl. PLoS ONE, 2(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000418
Discussion of the background to a recent Nature paper ... Read more »
Wu, D., Hugenholtz, P., Mavromatis, K., Pukall, R., Dalin, E., Ivanova, N., Kunin, V., Goodwin, L., Wu, M., Tindall, B.... (2009) A phylogeny-driven genomic encyclopaedia of Bacteria and Archaea. Nature, 462(7276), 1056-1060. DOI: 10.1038/nature08656
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