I just want to say a few words about a short paper I read last week, and a paper that is a few years old now but related to it.
The first is out in advanced access in Nucleic Acids Research:
HMMConverter 1.0: a toolbox for hidden Markov models
Lam and Meyer
Hidden Markov models (HMMs) and their variants [...]... Read more »
Lam, T., & Meyer, I. (2009) HMMCONVERTER 1.0: a toolbox for hidden Markov models. Nucleic Acids Research. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp662
Despite everything else you've heard and read (and watched on ABC) recently, the answer is yes. Or maybe. At least in Scotland. Antidepressants might be UNDERprescribed by General Practitioners, according to a new study published in the British Journal of General Practice (Cameron et al., 2009). The authors conducted a chart review of 898 adults screened for anxiety and depression in a general practice setting. They concluded:Rather than prescribing indiscriminately (as has been widely assumed........ Read more »
Cameron, I., Lawton, K., & Reid, I. (2009) Appropriateness of antidepressant prescribing: an observational study in a Scottish primary-care setting. British Journal of General Practice, 59(566), 644-649. DOI: 10.3399/bjgp09X454061
Macdonald, S., Morrison, J., Maxwell, M., Munoz-Arroyo, R., Power, A., Smith, M., Sutton, M., & Wilson, P. (2009) ‘A coal face option’: GPs' perspectives on the rise in antidepressant prescribing. British Journal of General Practice, 59(566), 299-307. DOI: 10.3399/bjgp09X454106
Despite past conflicts between wind power and habitat, scientists make the case that offshore renewable energy might be good for marine biodiverisity...read more... Read more »
Inger, R., Attrill, M., Bearhop, S., Broderick, A., James Grecian, W., Hodgson, D., Mills, C., Sheehan, E., Votier, S., Witt, M.... (2009) Marine renewable energy: potential benefits to biodiversity? An urgent call for research. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01697.x
There is a recent article by foo et al, that shows , using Experience Sampling method, that entrepreneurs, when in a negative mood (not necessarily sad, but including anger, irritability etc...sorry for misleading headline:-) are more likely to be focusing on the task at hand; while those same entrepreneurs , when they were in a happy or positive mood would be more likely to be spending efforts on tasks that are more future directed. They interpret their finding in terms of the affect-as-inform........ Read more »
Foo MD, Uy MA, & Baron RA. (2009) How do feelings influence effort? An empirical study of entrepreneurs' affect and venture effort. The Journal of applied psychology, 94(4), 1086-94. PMID: 19594247
Sci is sick today. She's cuddled up with her tea, and desperately hoping she has a cold rather than the flu. But the weird science CALLS US, precious. No matter how sick. It calls.
Judging from the vast number of commercials out there hawking various pills and diets and whatnot, you'd think that erectile dysfunction (ED) was the scourge of mankind. Whether or not it leaves the species begging for help is certainly a matter of debate, but there is definitely a quality of life issue to be ........ Read more »
Salama, N. (2004) Satisfaction with the malleable penile prosthesis among couples from the middle east—is it different from that reported elsewhere?. International Journal of Impotence Research, 16(2), 175-180. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901150
As you or perhaps your parents get older, would you want to be at home when recovering from an illness? Would the choice between home rehabilitation or visits to a day hospital make a difference to your recovery and health? [...]... Read more »
Parker SG, Oliver P, Pennington M, Bond J, Jagger C, Enderby PM, Curless R, Chater T, Vanoli A, Fryer K.... (2009) Rehabilitation of older patients: day hospital compared with rehabilitation at home. A randomised controlled trial. Health technology assessment (Winchester, England), 13(39), 1. PMID: 19712593
Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated into Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my inaugural post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that... Read more »
Moltedo, B., Lopez, C., Pazos, M., Becker, M., Hermesh, T., & Moran, T. (2009) Cutting Edge: Stealth Influenza Virus Replication Precedes the Initiation of Adaptive Immunity. The Journal of Immunology, 183(6), 3569-3573. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900091
Gupta, P., Onder, T., Jiang, G., Tao, K., Kuperwasser, C., Weinberg, R., & Lander, E. (2009) Identification of Selective Inhibitors of Cancer Stem Cells by High-Throughput Screening. Cell, 138(4), 645-659. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.06.034
Sarcopenia is the name (fairly recently) given to age-related muscle loss, a situation that most people find themselves in with advancing age. In past years, researchers have investigated whether this might related to tendencies for diet to change with age, such as reduced protein intake for example. Interestingly, however, there is also solid evidence for the practice of calorie restriction to slow the process of sarcopenia. Back in 2005, one group of scientists painted a fairly convincing argu........ Read more »
Rieu I, Magne H, Savary-Auzeloux I, Averous J, Bos C, Peyron MA, Combaret L, & Dardevet D. (2009) Reduction of low grade inflammation restores blunting of postprandial muscle anabolism and limits sarcopenia in old rats. The Journal of physiology. PMID: 19752122
Would you let the general public do your work for you? How about just the bits that are fundamentally important but would take you months of repetitive effort to get through on your own? In 2007, the GalaxyZoo team did exactly that and its been a massive success. They had images of a million galaxies [...]... Read more »
M. Jordan Raddick, Georgia Bracey, Pamela L. Gay, Chris J. Lintott, Phil Murray, Kevin Schawinski, Alexander S. Szalay, & Jan Vandenberg. (2009) Galaxy Zoo: Exploring the Motivations of Citizen Science Volunteers. to be published in Astronomy Education Review. arXiv: 0909.2925v1
A clever series of experiments is reported in the Journal of Consumer Research dealing with how people respond to advertising in context. Researchers Hao Shen, Yuwei Jiang, and Rashmi Adaval had people read pages from a mock magazine that contained articles (movie reviews for a film festival) and an ad (for a watch). Participants were [...]... Read more »
Shen, H., Jiang, Y., & Adaval, R. (2009) Contrast and Assimilation Effects of Processing Fluency. Journal of Consumer Research, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1086/612425
Winkielman P, & Cacioppo JT. (2001) Mind at ease puts a smile on the face: psychophysiological evidence that processing facilitation elicits positive affect. Journal of personality and social psychology, 81(6), 989-1000. PMID: 11761320
The evolutionary history of mammals can be reviewed as the evolutionary history of tooth loss. The early mammals had many teeth, and every now and then in evolutionary time, a tooth is lost wiht subsequent species arriving from that n-1 toothed form having that smaller number of teeth. With ver few exceptions, no mammals have added a tooth during the history of mammals. (Excepting maybe the very very earliest period, but probably not.)
Well, the loss of enamel itself is also an evolutionary ........ Read more »
Meredith, R., Gatesy, J., Murphy, W., Ryder, O., & Springer, M. (2009) Molecular Decay of the Tooth Gene Enamelin (ENAM) Mirrors the Loss of Enamel in the Fossil Record of Placental Mammals. PLoS Genetics, 5(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000634
A paper by researchers from Princeton University, just published in the open access journal PLoS One, describes a new virus-based technique for probing the connections between neurons while simultaneously monitoring their activity in live animals. Various methods are available for studying the activity of neurons and how they are connected to one another, but examining the co-ordinated activity of multiple nerve cells in neural circuits has, until now, posed a big challenge, because none of them........ Read more »
Granstedt, A., Szpara, M., Kuhn, B., Wang, S., & Enquist, L. (2009) Fluorescence-Based Monitoring of In Vivo Neural Activity Using a Circuit-Tracing Pseudorabies Virus. PLoS ONE, 4(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006923
Introduced and invasive species are a hot topic in ecology. Even when brought in for good reason, introduced species can have unforeseen negative impacts on the environment and the species around them. Take Cane Toads, for example. They were introduced to Australia to control a particular bug, but ended up eating everything they could fit in their mouths, especially native, endangered species. Or look at the mongoose, brought to Hawaii to control rat populations. While it does enjoy the invasive........ Read more »
Leonard A. Freed, & Rebecca L. Cann. (2009) Negative Effects of an Introduced Bird Species on Growth and Survival in a Native Bird Community. Current Biology. info:/
Mirror neurons are cells in monkey frontal area F5 that respond both during the execution of action and during the perception of action. Explaining why these cells respond during action execution is easy and uncontroversial: they are motor cells in a motor area -- they respond during action execution because they are involved in the coding of actions. The perceptual response is more difficult to explain. Think first about "canonical neurons", neighbors of mirror neurons in F5. Like mirror neuro........ Read more »
Hickok, G. (2009) Eight Problems for the Mirror Neuron Theory of Action Understanding in Monkeys and Humans. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(7), 1229-1243. DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21189
Teens who routinely exercise (especially in organized activities like team sports) are less likely to smoke or abuse drugs or alcohol. This fact alone might make it seem like a no-brainer to include physical activities in substance-abuse prevention and treatment programs, but in fact little research has been done to figure out whether exercising actually causes people to be less interested in drugs and alcohol. It's also possible that potential substance-abusers are just uninterested in exercise........ Read more »
Smith, M., Schmidt, K., Iordanou, J., & Mustroph, M. (2008) Aerobic exercise decreases the positive-reinforcing effects of cocaine. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 98(1-2), 129-135. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.05.006
A prominent scholar of the CLK-1 story has called the coroner on the mitochondrial free radical theory of aging (MFRTA). From Lapointe & Hekimi:
When a theory of aging ages badly
According to the widely acknowledged mitochondrial free radical theory of aging (MFRTA), the macromolecular damage that results from the production of toxic reactive oxygen species [...]... Read more »
I found an interesting study by Wang et. al investigating how the current emotional state that we find ourselves in modulates the auditory response of speech early in the sensory processing stream at the cortical level. Here's their abstract.In order to understand how emotional state influences the listener's physiological response to speech, subjects looked at emotion-evoking pictures while 32-channel EEG evoked responses (ERPs) to an unchanging auditory stimulus (“danny”) were collected. T........ Read more »
Wang J, Nicol T, Skoe E, Sams M, & Kraus N. (2009) Emotion modulates early auditory response to speech. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 21(11), 2121-8. PMID: 18855553
A big buzz over the discovery of a skeleton of an early Sauropod dinosaur in Niger. The finding looks amazing even to my paleontologically-ignorant eyes. It is beautifully intact and well-ordered, as opposed to the mixed jumble of bone fragments that are usually found. It has that lovely aesthetic quality that would cause anyone to [...]... Read more »
Remes, K., Ortega, F., Fierro, I., Joger, U., Kosma, R., Marín Ferrer, J., , ., , ., Ide, O., & Maga, A. (2009) A New Basal Sauropod Dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Niger and the Early Evolution of Sauropoda. PLoS ONE, 4(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006924
Reading a pair of papers recently published in PLoS ONE, you might be forgiven for thinking that ecologists don't know whether or not interactions between species matter. Both examine the effects of climate change on ecological communities -- but where one assumes that species in a community are as interchangeable as bricks in a wall, the other concludes that the presence of competitors is pretty important.
First, Stralberg et al. attempt to predict what will happen to the birds of California u........ Read more »
Adler, P., Leiker, J., & Levine, J. (2009) Direct and indirect effects of climate change on a prairie plant community. PLoS ONE, 4(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006887
Pelini, S., Dzurisin, J., Prior, K., Williams, C., Marsico, T., Sinclair, B., & Hellmann, J. (2009) Translocation experiments with butterflies reveal limits to enhancement of poleward populations under climate change. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 106(27), 11160-5. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0900284106
Post, E., & Pedersen, C. (2008) Opposing plant community responses to warming with and without herbivores. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 105(34), 12353-8. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0802421105
Stralberg, D., Jongsomjit, D., Howell, C., Snyder, M., Alexander, J., Wiens, J., & Root, T. (2009) Re-shuffling of species with climate disruption: A no-analog future for California birds?. PLoS ONE, 4(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006825
Visser, M., Holleman, L., & Gienapp, P. (2005) Shifts in caterpillar biomass phenology due to climate change and its impact on the breeding biology of an insectivorous bird. Oecologia, 147(1), 164-172. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-005-0299-6
Evolution of coperation is one of my main interests and I think it is a topic that could be very relevant to cancer researchers as I discussed a while ago.
Rand DG, Dreber A, Ellingsen T, Fudenberg D, & Nowak MA (2009). Positive interactions promote public cooperation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325 (5945), 1272-5 PMID: 19729661
Cooperation in nature occurs mostly between individuals that are closely related from a genetic point of view. In most other instances cooperation happens ........ Read more »
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