Post List

  • January 30, 2010
  • 02:10 PM

Mining Scientific Literature

by Kris in Ge·knit·ics

There’s an interesting piece in the most recent issue of Nature.  Corie Lok discusses how researchers are dealing with the information firehose that is scientific literature.  How big is that firehose? The 19 million citations and abstracts covered by the US National Library of Medicine’s PubMed search engine include nearly 830,000 articles published in 2009, [...]... Read more »

Lok, C. (2010) Literature mining: Speed reading. Nature, 463(7280), 416-418. DOI: 10.1038/463416a  

  • January 30, 2010
  • 02:08 PM

Climate change, invasives and extinction in Thoreau's Woods

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate

The data that Thoreau collected is meticulous enough to be considered a viable, useful data source by modern researchers. Thoreau's records of the area's wildlife have been carried on by others, providing us with over 150 years of data regarding the phenology of Northeast American flora; that is, life cycle events like fruiting or flowering days or migration and how these events are influenced by the seasons and the climate. Simply put, after 150 years of suffering the effects of distu........ Read more »

Willis CG, Ruhfel B, Primack RB, Miller-Rushing AJ, & Davis CC. (2008) Phylogenetic patterns of species loss in Thoreau's woods are driven by climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(44), 17029-33. PMID: 18955707  

  • January 30, 2010
  • 01:46 PM

Static & Dynamic – or is it Static vs. Dynamic?

by Wayne Hooke in The Psychology of Beauty

Most beauty research is done using static stimuli: static photographic images are used rather than, for example, dynamic video depictions. Since most real-world interactions with others do not involve static presentations, it is important to know how similar these two types of attractiveness ratings typically are.
Roberts, (2009) have recently reported finding a positive correlation [...]... Read more »

Roberts, S., Saxton, T., Murray, A., Burriss, R., Rowland, H., & Little, A. (2009) Static and Dynamic Facial Images Cue Similar Attractiveness Judgements. Ethology, 115(6), 588-595. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.2009.01640.x  

  • January 30, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Guest Post - Don't judge a cell by it's coat

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Today's post features a Guest Post from Lucas Brouwers of Thoughtomics. He's written some wonderful science posts (including some great ones about evolution), so I was quite excited when he agreed to write a post for me. Give his blog a look, it's well worth it :)---As a reader of this blog, you have become closely familiar with a wide variety of aspects of the bacterial world. In this guest-post, I would like to take the opportunity to entertain you with a story on the evolution of eukaryotes (........ Read more »

  • January 30, 2010
  • 12:47 PM

CAPRI: Selected Talks III

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

This is the fourth post in the CAPRI series, summarizing the presentations of Paul Bates, Martin Zacharias, and Carlos Camacho, as provided by the speakers. More to appear in the continuation of the series.

... Read more »

  • January 30, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

Which [Flying] Animal Can Drink You Under the Table?

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Syrian hamsters are not the only animals that can "drink you under the table." Frugivorous fruit bats have a high tolerance for alcohol in that marked alcohol consumption does not impair flying and/or echolocation. This high alcohol tolerance, of course, is attributed to fermented fruits being a diet staple.... Read more »

Dara N. Orbach, Nina Veselka, Yvonne Dzal, Louis Lazure, M. Brock Fenton. (2010) Drinking and Flying: Does Alcohol Consumption Affect the Flight and Echolocation Performance of Phyllostomid Bats? . PLOS One, 5(2). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0008993

  • January 30, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

Dynamics of 2ch Discussions

by apeescape in achikule!

The structure of online discussions are partially determined by its platform. Whether it is through blogs, BBS, chat, email and other online platforms, the depth, dynamicity, communicability, accountability, communability and the behavior of the discussions vary. As an easy example, the presence of anonymity limits the responsibility and accountability of the communicator — diluting the constructiveness of the thought into a more emotional one. Huffington Post utilizes a thumbs up/down sys........ Read more »

Matsumura, N., Miura, A., Shibanai, Y., Ohsawa, Y., & Nishida, T. (2004) The dynamism of 2channel. AI , 19(1), 84-92. DOI: 10.1007/s00146-004-0302-5  

  • January 30, 2010
  • 08:44 AM

On simple solutions

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

I didn’t post anything about the recent study1 showing that handwashing + face masks reduces influenza spread, because other blogs covered it fairly extensively (for example, here’s Avian Flu Diary’s commentary). Here’s another study giving a common-sense check:

… in a household setting, simple, readily available products such as 1% bleach, 10% vinegar and 0.01% [...]... Read more »

Greatorex, J., Page, R., Curran, M., Digard, P., Enstone, J., Wreghitt, T., Powell, P., Sexton, D., Vivancos, R., & Nguyen-Van-Tam, J. (2010) Effectiveness of Common Household Cleaning Agents in Reducing the Viability of Human Influenza A/H1N1. PLoS ONE, 5(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008987  

Aiello, A., Murray, G., Perez, V., Coulborn, R., Davis, B., Uddin, M., Shay, D., Waterman, S., & Monto, A. (2010) Mask Use, Hand Hygiene, and Seasonal Influenza‐Like Illness among Young Adults: A Randomized Intervention Trial. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 201(4), 491-498. DOI: 10.1086/650396  

  • January 29, 2010
  • 11:38 PM

Friday Parasite: Changeling Factory

by Diane Kelly in Science Made Cool

Cowbird behavior, brood parasitism, and coevolution.... Read more »

  • January 29, 2010
  • 10:35 PM

Altruism-On-Demand: I’ll help, but only if you ask nicely…

by Kelsey in Mauka to Makai

On Thursday, scientists rescued a dog from the icy waters of the Baltic Sea…In December, a Portland, Maine “secret Santa” gave 100 strangers $100 apiece…And, so far, Americans have donated $29 million to American Red Cross Haiti relief efforts.
Humans are so darn nice. But how exactly did that happen? That’s what scientists at the Primate [...]... Read more »

Yamamoto, S., Humle, T., & Tanaka, M. (2009) Chimpanzees Help Each Other upon Request. PLoS ONE, 4(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007416  

  • January 29, 2010
  • 08:25 PM

Highly Successful Mosquito Attraction with a Synthetic Scent

by Michael Long in Phased

Fredros Okumu (Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania) and coworkers have developed a cheap "synthetic scent" that mosquitoes find to be even more attractive than human scent, which will enable realistic, effective mosquito control in resource-limited nations. This news feature was written on January 29, 2010.... Read more »

Okumu, F. O., Killeen, G. F., Ogoma, S., Biswaro, L., Smallegange, R. C., Mbeyela, E., Titus, E., Munk, C., Ngonyani, H., Takken, W.... (2010) Development and Field Evaluation of a Synthetic Mosquito Lure That Is More Attractive than Humans. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008951  

  • January 29, 2010
  • 07:58 PM

G-spots and Orgasms

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

The 80beats blog at Discover blogs is reporting on a French/British argument over the female G-spot. Personally, I’d assume that the French, who are supposed to be the world’s best lovers are right. (Have I mentioned that I’m half French? My Mom was born in Paris.)
The Brits did a study of 902 twin pairs – [...]... Read more »

  • January 29, 2010
  • 04:12 PM

Social Networking and Guidelines for Life Science Conferences

by Allyson Lister in The Mind Wobbles (Systems Biology and Bioinformatics)

Experiences in participation and guidelines for creating policy for the use of social networking in science conferences.... Read more »

  • January 29, 2010
  • 03:42 PM

Iron-plated Snail

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

This post contributed by Nadine Lymn, ESA Director of Public Affairs
Another example of the ingenuity of nature: researchers are finding inspiration in the extraordinarily strong exoskeleton of a deep-sea snail, Crysomallon squamiferum.  The mollusk’s iron-plated shell is giving researchers insights that could lead to stronger materials for airplane hulls, cars, and military equipment.
Researchers at the National [...]

... Read more »

Yao, H., Dao, M., Imholt, T., Huang, J., Wheeler, K., Bonilla, A., Suresh, S., & Ortiz, C. (2010) Protection mechanisms of the iron-plated armor of a deep-sea hydrothermal vent gastropod. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(3), 987-992. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0912988107  

  • January 29, 2010
  • 03:00 PM

Homology of the habenula in fish and mammals

by Tantalus Prime in Tantalus Prime

The habenula is a highly conserved structure in the vertebrate central nervous system. It doesn't matter if you look at mammals, reptiles, or fish, we all have it. It seems to be a relay center in communication between the forebrain (in mammals) and a whole host of midbrain structures, including the substantia nigra and raphe nuclei. These are the dopaminergic and serotonergic centers of the brain. So, you can understand why some who study addiction, schizophrenia, and/or depression are turn........ Read more »

Amo, R., Aizawa, H., Takahoko, M., Kobayashi, M., Takahashi, R., Aoki, T., & Okamoto, H. (2010) Identification of the Zebrafish Ventral Habenula As a Homolog of the Mammalian Lateral Habenula. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(4), 1566-1574. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3690-09.2010  

  • January 29, 2010
  • 12:11 PM

Science Behind the Warm Fuzzy Feeling

by Anne Welsh in Library Marginalia

Richard L. Hart's article finds no evidence through citation analysis for the higher quality of published articles from collaborative research. However, the quality of manuscripts submitted may be higher, so the author experience may be better.... Read more »

  • January 29, 2010
  • 11:45 AM

Canadian Kids - Heavier and Less Fit Than in 1981

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Image by Mike Baird.
For a couple weeks now I have been waiting to discuss a very important new paper published on data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS).  For nerds researchers like Peter and myself the CHMS is just about the coolest thing ever.  I'm going to go into a few of the many reasons as to why it's so great, but if you're willing to take my word for it, feel free to skip the next paragraph.

The CHMS is a nationally representative survey of 5,000 Canadians, whic........ Read more »

Mark S Tremblay, Margot Shields, Manon Laviolette, Cora L. Craig, Ian Janssen, & Sarah Connor Gorber. (2010) Fitness of Canadian Children and Youth: Results from the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Health Reports, 21(1), 1-7. info:/

  • January 29, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

Parochial conservation

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes


A little bit of conservation wisdom for you this weekend.
In last week’s issue of Nature, well-known conservation planner and all-round smart bloke, Reed Noss (who just happens to be an editor for Conservation Letters and Conservation Biology), provided some words of extreme wisdom. Not pulling any punches in his Correspondence piece entitled Local priorities [...]... Read more »

Smith, R., Veríssimo, D., Leader-Williams, N., Cowling, R., & Knight, A. (2009) Let the locals lead. Nature, 462(7271), 280-281. DOI: 10.1038/462280a  

  • January 29, 2010
  • 09:24 AM

Ginkgo Biloba Ineffective… Again

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many parents have cried “How many times do I have to tell you?” at their young children when trying to get their attention or emphasize specific behaviors. Now, pharmacists and other medical practitioners are beginning to feel like these parents: “How many times do we have to tell you that Ginkgo biloba is not all [...]... Read more »

Leistner, E., & Drewke, C. (2010) and Ginkgotoxin . Journal of Natural Products, 73(1), 86-92. DOI: 10.1021/np9005019  

Snitz, B., O'Meara, E., Carlson, M., Arnold, A., Ives, D., Rapp, S., Saxton, J., Lopez, O., Dunn, L., Sink, K.... (2009) Ginkgo biloba for Preventing Cognitive Decline in Older Adults: A Randomized Trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(24), 2663-2670. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1913  

  • January 29, 2010
  • 09:21 AM

Giant Panda Genome: Answers About the Carnivore that Eats Plants

by Promega Corporation in Promega Connections

They are the cuddly, roly-poly giants that are the face of the wildlife conservation movement. Unfortunately, giant pandas have earned the honor. They are one of the most endangered species on earth. They are also something of an enigma. They are carnivores who subsist almost entirely on a diet of plants. They have opposable thumb-like [...]... Read more »

Li, R., Fan, W., Tian, G., Zhu, H., He, L., Cai, J., Huang, Q., Cai, Q., Li, B., Bai, Y.... (2009) The sequence and de novo assembly of the giant panda genome. Nature, 463(7279), 311-317. DOI: 10.1038/nature08696  

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