Post List

  • June 16, 2010
  • 03:13 PM

The Evolution of Hip Hop (by Natural Selection)

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

When most people think of evolutionary biology the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't lyrical poetry. However one of the earliest proponents of evolution, none other than Charles Darwin's grandfather Erasmus, presented his vision for the origin of life in the form of an epic poem in 1803. In his critically acclaimed work The Temple of Nature Darwin mused on the natural history of human beings:

Imperious man, who rules the bestial crowd,
Of language, reason, and reflection proud,
........ Read more »

Craze, P. (2010) The hip-hop Richard Dawkins?. Trends in Ecology , 25(7), 385-386. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.04.008  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 02:36 PM

Pooping for the Planet

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Sperm whale feces triggers carbon removal from atmosphere

... Read more »

Lavery, T.J. et al. (2010) Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. info:/10.1098/rspb.2010.0863

  • June 16, 2010
  • 12:49 PM

Is your best friend’s relationship advice/decision really the best for you?

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

When you have a relationship decision to make and you are at a loss as to which is your best available option, are your friends the ones you turn to? If your answer is yes, the following article may make you think twice in the future.In the article Risk-Taking in Relationships: Difference in deciding for Oneself Versus for a Friend, the authors explored the idea that people tend to make riskier decisions or give riskier advice for their friends as opposed to when they are making one for themselv........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 12:37 PM

Sorry, what's your name again? - How stress impairs our social memory.

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Ever felt that someone hasn't been paying attention to what you were saying in previous conversations because he/she forgets biographic information about you that you had mentioned countless times? Well, it turns out that it might just be that they're stressed out by something else.In their paper, Stress Impairs Retrieval of Socially Relevant Information, Merz, Wolf & Hennig (2010) investigated the hypothesis that parts of our social memory (memory about names, birth dates, parts o........ Read more »

Merz, C., Wolf, O., & Hennig, J. (2010) Stress impairs retrieval of socially relevant information. Behavioral Neuroscience, 124(2), 288-293. DOI: 10.1037/a0018942  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 10:57 AM

The intimate coupling of hydrologic and geomorphic evolution of basalt landscapes

by Anne Jefferson in Highly Allochthonous

How does a landscape go from looking like this...

~1500 year old basaltic lava landscape with no surface drainage

to looking like this?

2 Million year old landscape on basaltic lava. Note steep slopes and incised valleys

Find out in my new paper in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.

Hint: Using a chronosequence of watersheds in the Oregon Cascades, we argue that the rates and processes of landscape evolution are driven by whether the water sinks into the lava flows ........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 10:44 AM

Sleep Markers Support New Animal Model of Depression

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

By Hannah Dunbar(Hannah Dunbar is an Oral Roberts University student providing a guest post reviewing a study of a mouse model of depression.) Sleep disturbances are one of the most common clinical features in major depression. Patients commonly report problems with insomnia and daytime fatigue and sleepiness. These sleep symptoms have been the source of study in sleep laboratories. Several comparison studies between healthy subjects and major depression document abnormalities in the sleep........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 10:25 AM

Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo, YouTube and Scientific Discovery

by Isobel Maciver in Promega Connections

This is probably old news for neuroscientists and YouTube regulars, but it was news to me. I thought I would write a post about it, in case, like me, you are not one of the 4 million or so who have already seen the video of Snowball, the dancing Cockatoo, or heard about how he [...]... Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 10:17 AM

Once More into the Breach of Autism and Intellectual Disability (tweaked)

by KWombles in Countering...

Written before the important Nature study by Pinto et al. (2010), this post takes several posts I've done in the past on autism and intellectual disability, as well as responses to an individual who is positing an 80% rate of ID in autistic disorder, and synthesizes them into one large post while hopefully streamlining it some slight bit.Citing Berkel et al. (2010) as proof that ID is present in autistic disorder 80% of the time is not an accurate use of the research by bloggers. Researcher........ Read more »

Dawson, M., Soulieres, I., Ann Gernsbacher, M., & Mottron, L. (2007) The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence. Psychological Science, 18(8), 657-662. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01954.x  

Yeargin-Allsopp, M. (2003) Prevalence of Autism in a US Metropolitan Area. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(1), 49-55. DOI: 10.1001/jama.289.1.49  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Not just babble: Cooperating birds talk it through

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

For cooperation to work, everyone involved needs to know what the others are willing to contribute in order to decide what she will contribute. You might think that only humans can achieve that kind of back-and-forth negotiation, but a paper recently published online by Proceedings of the Royal Society suggests otherwise. In it, ornithologists decode the negotiations [$a] that allow sociable birds to share the task of watching for predators.

.flickr-photo { }.flickr-frameright { float: right; t........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 09:46 AM

A Link Between Liver Development, Regeneration, and Carcinogensis

by David Braxton in StemPath

The liver has long been recognized as having marked capacity for regeneration. However, it is only lately that we have been able to characterize and define the stem cell populations that contribute to the regeneration of the liver. Several new biomarkers have enabled a new understanding of human hepatic stem cells which has changed the way we think about the relationship between liver development, regeneration, and carcinogenesis. The following is a summary of recent advances in the field o........ Read more »

Limaye PB, Alarcón G, Walls AL, Nalesnik MA, Michalopoulos GK, Demetris AJ, & Ochoa ER. (2008) Expression of specific hepatocyte and cholangiocyte transcription factors in human liver disease and embryonic development. Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology, 88(8), 865-72. PMID: 18574450  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 09:37 AM

Life in the Machine

by Brit Trogen in Science in Seconds

New advances in nanoelectronics could change the way we view organic matter.... Read more »

Lipton-Duffin, J., Miwa, J., Kondratenko, M., Cicoira, F., Sumpter, B., Meunier, V., Perepichka, D., & Rosei, F. (2010) Step-by-step growth of epitaxially aligned polythiophene by surface-confined reaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1000726107  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 09:28 AM

Aircraft can cause precipitation by "seeding" clouds

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

In a paper that is about to be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, researchers Andrew Heymsfield, Patrick Kennedy, Steve Massie, Crl Schmitt, Zhien Wang, Samuel Haimov and Art Rangno make the claim that "The production of holes and channels in altocumulus clouds by two commercial turboprop aircraft is documented for the first time. ... Holes and channels in supercooled altocumulus clouds can be the result of homogeneous ice nucleation induced by turboprop and jet ai........ Read more »

Heymsfield, A., Kennedy, P., Massie, S., Schmitt, C., Wang, Z., Haimov, S., & Rangno, A. (2008) Aircraft-Induced Hole Punch and Canal Clouds: Inadvertent Cloud Seeding. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, preprint(2009), 1. DOI: 10.1175/2009BAMS2905.1  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:49 AM

Were The Americas Settled Twice?

by in

A team of paleoanthropologists report in PLoS One analyzed the skulls of several dozen 11,000 year old Paleoamericans and compared them to the skulls of more than 300 1,000 year old Amerindians. They concluded that based on the morphology, there were two distinct waves of colonizers from Asia. While we know from a couple genetic [...]... Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:48 AM

Snake in the grass

by admin in U+003F

One aim of this blog was to advocate and advertise the use of open science. Which is somewhat at odds with my advocation and advertisement of Matlab – a popular, powerful, but ultimately pricey piece of software. I’ve spent some time working with Octave – a language that is identical in every way to Matlab, [...]... Read more »

Michael Barnsley, John E. Hutchinson, & Örjan Stenflo. (2003) V-variable fractals and superfractals. -. arXiv: math/0312314v1

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:47 AM

Paper of the Week : A Whale of the waste matter

by Sarah Stephen in An ecological oratorio

The way by which living organisms in our planet are intricately connected is beautiful beyond comprehension. Like pieces in a puzzle they all fit together with the activities of each organism however trivial it may appear to be, affecting the existance of others. We will never fully understand this marvel, but a noteworthy example is the elegant finding by Lavery et al published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society (Biological Sciences)- Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon expo........ Read more »

Lavery, T., Roudnew, B., Gill, P., Seymour, J., Seuront, L., Johnson, G., Mitchell, J., & Smetacek, V. (2010) Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0863  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:45 AM

Tip of the Week: Biocatalogue for finding web services

by Mary in OpenHelix

A couple of years back at a conference I was introduced to Biocatalogue.  It seemed to me to be a really useful idea: locate bioinformatics tools and databases that are web-accessible, and that also have a mechanism to use the web service features to access the tool/server using strategies that don’t require the main web interface of the site.  There are some introductions  to the concept of web services out there–some of them are more for introduction, but most are aimed at prog........ Read more »

Bhagat, J., Tanoh, F., Nzuobontane, E., Laurent, T., Orlowski, J., Roos, M., Wolstencroft, K., Aleksejevs, S., Stevens, R., Pettifer, S.... (2010) BioCatalogue: a universal catalogue of web services for the life sciences. Nucleic Acids Research. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq394  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:30 AM

Sugar preference: beyond the tongue

by Colby in

In studies, rodents generally prefer sugars over amino acids/proteins when given the choice, and this seems to reflect their ability to bind to the sweet T1R2/T1R3 receptor on the tongue.  Postingestion, however, nutrients obviously differentially effect hormones involved in fuel mobilization (e.g. insulin and glucagon), so mechanisms should exist to influence appetite for specific macronutrients. [...]... Read more »

Ren, X., Ferreira, J., Zhou, L., Shammah-Lagnado, S., Yeckel, C., & de Araujo, I. (2010) Nutrient Selection in the Absence of Taste Receptor Signaling. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(23), 8012-8023. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5749-09.2010  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:01 AM

The impact of vessel traffic on riverine fish

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Obesity Compounds Pain in Fibromyalgia

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

As blogged before, overweight and obese patients frequently present with fibromyalgia, characterized by chronic pain, fatigue and depressed mood.
A paper by Akiko Okifuji from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, just published in the Journal of Pain, examines the relationship between fibromyalgia and obesity in pain, function, mood, and sleep.
The study examines the impact [...]... Read more »

Okifuji A, Donaldson GW, Barck L, & Fine PG. (2010) Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Obesity in Pain, Function, Mood, and Sleep. The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society. PMID: 20542742  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 07:45 AM

How Specific Are The Social Skills of Dogs?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Dogs are particularly good at tasks that involve communicating or cooperating with humans, which has led some researchers to speculate that they are really good at solving social tasks, more generally. For example, dogs can figure out where a human's attention is, are really good at picking up on eye-gaze and finger pointing cues, distinguish among different individual humans (by contrast, humans are really bad at distinguishing among different individual monkeys, for example), and at least in o........ Read more »

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