Post List

  • October 25, 2010
  • 05:01 PM
  • 758 views

Absolutely Confabulous

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Confabulation is a striking symptom of some kinds of brain damage. Patients tell often fantastic stories about things that have happened to them, or that are going on now. It's a classic sign of Korsakoff's syndrome, a disorder caused by vitamin B1 deficiency due to chronic alcoholism.Korsakoff's was memorably illustrated on House (Season 1 Episode 10, to be exact). Here's a clip; unfortunately, it's overdubbed in Russian, but you can hear the original if you pay attention.Why does confabulation........ Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 04:28 PM
  • 1,283 views

Landslides, forests and pandas - conservation and the Wenchuan earthquake

by Dr Dave in Dave's Landslide Blog

The vast number of  landslides triggered by the May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, and in its aftermath has been extensively described, not least on this blog.  One of the documented impacts of these landslides was the well-documented loss of habitat of the giant panda (A. melanoleuca) due to extensive forest loss.  However, there is a great deal more to that story than meets the eye, as a newly-published paper by Vina et al (2010) describes.  The research is very interesting, and........ Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 03:22 PM
  • 734 views

Head Shots

by Michele in Promega Connections

When the 1996 Olympics were being held in Atlanta, I remember Muhammad Ali lighting the torch at the opening ceremonies, and how he shook from the Parkinson disease that devastated his body. Since the 1920s, repetitive head trauma has been recognized as a cause of loss of neurological function in boxers, a condition originally called [...]... Read more »

McKee AC, Gavett BE, Stern RA, Nowinski CJ, Cantu RC, Kowall NW, Perl DP, Hedley-Whyte ET, Price B, Sullivan C.... (2010) TDP-43 proteinopathy and motor neuron disease in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology, 69(9), 918-29. PMID: 20720505  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 02:29 PM
  • 822 views

What matters to people with persistent pain?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I’ve read many written expectations of people coming for pain management – and without a doubt, the majority of people want to get on with life, go back to doing what they enjoy, and feel better in themselves. The only problem with that? Most of them preface their goals with ‘reduce my pain so I … Read more... Read more »

Turk, D., Dworkin, R., Revicki, D., Harding, G., Burke, L., Cella, D., Cleeland, C., Cowan, P., Farrar, J., & Hertz, S. (2008) Identifying important outcome domains for chronic pain clinical trials: An IMMPACT survey of people with pain. Pain, 137(2), 276-285. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2007.09.002  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 01:53 PM
  • 857 views

The Search for a Better Stem Cell Model

by avi_wener in The European Biotechnologist

Scientists often struggle to find an ideal model for a given research study or drug discovery program. While many models have features that make them a “best fit” for a particular set of experiments, they frequently suffer from other drawbacks that prevent them from being defined as the “perfect fit.” In recent years, much progress [...]... Read more »

Andrews PD, Becroft M, Aspegren A, Gilmour J, James MJ, McRae S, Kime RA, Allcock RW, Abraham A, Jiang Z.... (2010) High content screening of feeder-free human embryonic stem cells to identify pro-survival small molecules. The Biochemical journal. PMID: 20854259  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 01:00 PM
  • 1,791 views

Organic pesticides aren’t necessarily more sustainable than synthetic

by Colby Vorland in Biofortified

From Nutritional Blogma It would seem illogical that organic compounds are all more sustainable than synthetics, or vice versa.  The term “organic” has a health halo, biasing many people toward believing organic growing techniques are best for the environment.  I’ve already covered analyses suggesting that there isn’t enough evidence that suggests organic foods are better for your health, so is the higher cost justified by a lessened environmental impact?  Bahlai et al. published a C........ Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 01:00 PM
  • 1,312 views

The Twist in the Story

by Kevin D. Young in Small Things Considered

by Kevin D. Young

My grandmother took a lot of pills. Each week she arranged them in little piles that she dropped into the compartments of a multi-well device, a way to be sure she took each group on the right day and at the right time. The neat thing (to a kid) was their range of colors and shapes–round ones, ovals, squares, triangles and even hot dog shapes, of every primary color and several pastels. Simply magical. But, of course, appearances were irrelevant. Pill size, shape, and colo........ Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 12:50 PM
  • 4,794 views

Anatomy of a Superstition: When Your Eye "Jumps"

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice


The eye sees all, and can possibly warn
of danger in Trinidadian folklore.
Credit: Wikipedia
Trinidadians have a rich collection of superstitions, many of which found their way to the island via colonialism. These beliefs reflect the ways ideas and explanations have been blended here—and elsewhere—in the face of globalization. There is one, however, that I have grown up with that seems unique to Trinidadians. It concerns an involuntary eye spasm known colloquially as when your eye "ju........ Read more »

Kowal L, Davies R, & Kiely PM. (1998) Facial muscle spasms: an Australian study. Australian and New Zealand journal of ophthalmology, 26(2), 123-8. PMID: 9630292  

Matthews, B. (1945) West Indian Beliefs and Superstitions. The American Catholic Sociological Review, 6(3), 139. DOI: 10.2307/3707527  

Roberts, H. (1927) Louisiana Superstitions. The Journal of American Folklore, 40(156), 144. DOI: 10.2307/534893  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 12:00 PM
  • 918 views

Chinese giant salamander

by beredim in Strange Animals

Information, facts, images and videos of the now endagered chinese giant salamander... Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 11:15 AM
  • 711 views

Robot Lizard Push-ups [The Thoughtful Animal]

by Jason G. Goldman none@example.com in Food Matters

Have you ever been walking through the forest and thought to yourself, "Damn, its loud here...it's really, really hard to hear anything anybody else is saying"? Well, maybe that's what prompted Terry J. Ord and Judy A. Stamps, respectively from Harvard and UC Davis to investigate lizard exercise routines.

You ask: What do lizard calisthenics and communication have in common? Patience, grasshopper.

Dinosaurs also might have survived if they weren't eaten by giant snakes.


A noisy environment m........ Read more »

Ord TJ, & Stamps JA. (2008) Alert signals enhance animal communication in "noisy" environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(48), 18830-5. PMID: 19033197  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 11:12 AM
  • 1,018 views

How does an anthropological perspective contribute to our understanding of birth control? Part I

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

This is a heavily revised version of a series I wrote for my LEE Blog on biological anthropology and hormonal contraception. This post deals with contraindications for hormonal contraceptives.... Read more »

Burkman RT, Fisher AC, Wan GJ, Barnowski CE, & LaGuardia KD. (2009) Association between efficacy and body weight or body mass index for two low-dose oral contraceptives. Contraception, 79(6), 424-427.

Morin-Papunen L, Martikainen H, McCarthy MI, Franks S, Sovio U, Hartikainen AL, Ruokonen A, Leinonen M, Laitinen J, Järvelin MR.... (2008) Comparison of metabolic and inflammatory outcomes in women who used oral contraceptives and the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device in a general population. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 199(5), 5290-2147483647. PMID: 18533124  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 10:49 AM
  • 1,208 views

Robot Lizard Push-ups

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Have you ever been walking through the forest and thought to yourself, "Damn, its loud here...it's really, really hard to hear anything anybody else is saying"? Well, maybe that's what prompted Terry J. Ord and Judy A. Stamps, respectively from Harvard and UC Davis to investigate lizard exercise routines.

You ask: What do lizard calisthenics and communication have in common? Patience, grasshopper.

Dinosaurs also might have survived if they weren't eaten by giant snakes.


A noisy environment m........ Read more »

Ord TJ, & Stamps JA. (2008) Alert signals enhance animal communication in "noisy" environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(48), 18830-5. PMID: 19033197  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 10:42 AM
  • 772 views

Fins to limbs and beyond

by miko in Reaction Norm

Last week I wrote about an important constraint on phenotypic variation—the dependence of chromosomal position on recombination rates. This type of “genomic constraint” is a relatively recently recognized phenomenon, but constraints on variation have been noted for a long time. Developmental constraints are perhaps the most intuitive. For example, beyond engineering considerations, a winged horse [...]... Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 10:30 AM
  • 630 views

The Science of Catching: Those Good Vibrations

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

I’m no Randy Moss, and as klutzy and uncoordinated as I am it was always a surprising miracle in high school when I managed to actually catch that football. When you really consider it, the simple ability to catch something out of the air at all is a pretty spectacular feat involving an incredible amount of sensory information and nearly instantaneous processing, and particularly during high-speed athletic events it can be difficult to comprehend how our visual systems manage to keep up. M........ Read more »

Bastin, J., Calvin, S., & Montagne, G. (2006) Muscular Proprioception Contributes to the Control of Interceptive Actions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 32(4), 964-972. DOI: 10.1037/0096-1523.32.4.964  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 09:41 AM
  • 579 views

How Much do You Confide in Friends?

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

In the United States, friends often share intimate details of their lives and problems, but in Japan this degree of self-disclosure between friends is much less common. A new study ... Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 08:48 AM
  • 1,281 views

50% Lower cal MIXED carb with Moderate Protein better than Higher Carb alone for Endurance

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

Want to stay out on your bike longer? There's a nice new study that has entered the energy drink fray, returning to the question of what's a ratio of protein to carbs that's optimal? In this case one measure of optimal is Time to Exhaustion or TTE. Also checked is optimal for what level of effort (below or near ventilatory threshold or VT). Turns out that half the calories (of the right blend of... Read more »

Ferguson-Stegall L, McCleave EL, Ding Z, Kammer LM, Wang B, Doerner PG, Liu Y, & Ivy JL. (2010) The effect of a low carbohydrate beverage with added protein on cycling endurance performance in trained athletes. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 24(10), 2577-86. PMID: 20733521  

Martínez-Lagunas V, Ding Z, Bernard JR, Wang B, & Ivy JL. (2010) Added protein maintains efficacy of a low-carbohydrate sports drink. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 24(1), 48-59. PMID: 19924010  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 08:46 AM
  • 1,245 views

50% Lower cal MIXED carb with Moderate Protein better than Higher Carb alone for Greater Endurance

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

Want to stay out on your bike longer? There's a nice new study that has entered the energy drink fray, returning to the question of what's a ratio of protein to carbs that's optimal? In this case one measure of optimal is Time to Exhaustion or TTE. Also checked is optimal for what level of effort (below or near ventilatory threshold or VT). Turns out that half the calories (of the right blend of carb types with protein) can give greater, go longer, harder results.

The authors of this study man........ Read more »

Ferguson-Stegall L, McCleave EL, Ding Z, Kammer LM, Wang B, Doerner PG, Liu Y, & Ivy JL. (2010) The effect of a low carbohydrate beverage with added protein on cycling endurance performance in trained athletes. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 24(10), 2577-86. PMID: 20733521  

Martínez-Lagunas V, Ding Z, Bernard JR, Wang B, & Ivy JL. (2010) Added protein maintains efficacy of a low-carbohydrate sports drink. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 24(1), 48-59. PMID: 19924010  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 08:24 AM
  • 643 views

Hard to be a woman? The beat goes on….

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

If you like to keep track of such things, we’ve written a number of times on how it’s hard to be a woman. Tammy Wynette did the original (although it’s better if you don’t listen to the lyrics too closely) and the hits just keep on coming! You may remember the controversy around Clarence Thomas’ [...]

Related posts:Redux: Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman (with appreciation to Tammy Wynette, Linda Ronstadt and Anne Reed)

“I didn’t know truth had ........ Read more »

  • October 25, 2010
  • 08:04 AM
  • 1,238 views

Meteorite tea, and the failures of genius

by Lab Lemming in Lounge of the Lab Lemming

In the early 1970’s, Io, the innermost large moon of Jupiter, was somewhat of an enigma. Unlike Europa and Ganymede, it did not exhibit water ice adsorption bands it its IR spectra. Its density suggested that it was a rock and metal planet, but the surface reflectance was unlike anything known to science. This problem was addressed brilliantly in a Science paper by Fanale, Johnson, and Matson,... Read more »

Fanale, F., Johnson, T., & Matson, D. (1974) Io: A Surface Evaporite Deposit?. Science, 186(4167), 922-925. DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4167.922  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,106 views

Free Will is NOT An Illusion

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many scientists think that free-will is an illusion. That is, intentions, choices, and decisions are made by subconscious mind, which only lets the conscious mind know what was willed after the fact. This argument was promoted long ago by scholars like Darwin, Huxley, and Einstein. Many modern scientists also hold that position and have even [...]... Read more »

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