Post List

  • January 28, 2010
  • 02:33 PM
  • 746 views

The British Media's "Blonde Moment"

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Ten days ago, the Sunday Times - Britain's "newspaper of record" - recorded thatBlonde women born to be warrior princessesWomen with fair hair are more aggressive and determined to get their own way than brunettes or redheads, according to a study by the University of California... “We expected blondes to feel more entitled than other young women — this is southern California, the natural habitat of the privileged blonde,” said Aaron Sell, who led the study...Well who'da thought it. Ot........ Read more »

Sell A, Tooby J, & Cosmides L. (2009) Formidability and the logic of human anger. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(35), 15073-8. PMID: 19666613  

  • January 28, 2010
  • 12:54 PM
  • 619 views

Mirror The Body, Mirror The Emotion

by Cole Bitting in Fable

In their study, Evidence for mirror systems in emotions,1 Bastiaansen et al., examine the relationship between mirror systems and embodied simulation.

This examination highlights and advances the connections between body changes, emotions and the simulation of body changes and emotions. These systems also play a significant role in the creation of consciousness.2 The neuroscientific sense of body-mind connection provides great insight into the development of resilience and cultivation of well-b........ Read more »

Bastiaansen JA, Thioux M, & Keysers C. (2009) Evidence for mirror systems in emotions. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 364(1528), 2391-404. PMID: 19620110  

  • January 28, 2010
  • 11:31 AM
  • 751 views

Presence of prion proteins in non-neuronal tissue in a case of variant CJD

by Brian Appleby in CJD Blogger

A recent article in the journal PLOS One describes a novel finding of abnormal prion proteins (PrPres) in additional non-neuronal tissues of a variant CJD (vCJD) patient.  The study comes from the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, located at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio.  Prior to this study, there was evidence that PrPres was present in some non-neuronal tissues as shown below. The present study examined other tissues for the possible presence o........ Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 11:14 AM
  • 1,188 views

Is Homo floresiensis really that strange?

by zinjanthropus in A Primate of Modern Aspect

BMC Biology has recently published a paper (It’s Open Access!) which explores trends in brain size in the Primates.  A trend toward a larger brain is usually considered one of the “hallmarks” of the Primates, but Stephen Montgomery and his colleagues have shown that in many lineages, there is a trend towards secondarily “shrunken” brains.
The [...]... Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 11:05 AM
  • 1,744 views

How Can Haiti Be Sustainable?

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

As I wrote yesterday in my piece for The Huffington Post, the history of Western financial involvement in Haiti has been one of growing the nation's textile industry despite the fact that 70% of Haiti's annual income comes from agriculture. By emphasizing programs such as HOPE and HOPE II, the United States has increased the profits of American companies, but the livelihood of Haitian workers has decreased at nearly the same rate.

[A] 2009 report by the Congressional Research Service found th........ Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 11:00 AM
  • 693 views

Financial Risks and Reward Centers

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Stanfordian scientists have attributed age-related financial risks with differential accumbal activity. Honestly, this begs a philosophical conversation of how we can control financial risks of the elderly without jeopardizing their basic human rights.... Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 11:00 AM
  • 1,198 views

Climate change drying up streams, reducing the reproductive success of bats in the Rockies

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate

Bats, as this article in Ecology explains, are particularly sensitive to these changes and, due to their enormous numbers, are integral to food webs as predator and prey. They may be that indicator ecologists are looking for.... Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 10:41 AM
  • 662 views

Where is paleontology?

by Andrew Farke in The Open Source Paleontologist

Last week, many of the leading journals in evolutionary biology - including The American Naturalist, Molecular Ecology, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, and a number of others - announced a data archiving policy. In short, this policy states that the data behind the results of a paper should be publicly archived in well-known respositories such as Data Dryad, GenBank, or TreeBASE. Do you notice anything missing in this illustrious list of publications?Not a single one of those journal........ Read more »

Whitlock, M., McPeek, M., Rausher, M., Rieseberg, L., & Moore, A. (2010) Data Archiving. The American Naturalist, 175(2), 145-146. DOI: 10.1086/650340  

  • January 28, 2010
  • 10:09 AM
  • 814 views

by Robert Badgett in ClinDx

Accuracy of physical examination in subacromial impingement syndrome
In this study of 55 patients, the authors studied five findings and concluded, “The cut point of 3 or more positive of 5 tests can confirm the diagnosis…, while less than 3 positive of 5 rules out.” If you look at the accuracies and the predictive values below, [...]... Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 474 views

Minimizing the impact of approaching boats on nesting shorebirds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

If you ever walked along an empty stretch of beach and flushed away a flock of frightened shore birds, you might have wondered to yourself whether you just committed a horrible ecological sin.

Perhaps you asked yourself, "Where are those birds going? Did they just abandon their nestlings? How long until they come back? Or better yet, will they ever come back?"

A new study tries to answer these types of questions with respect to the impact of recreational boaters on nesting colonies of bla........ Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 07:05 AM
  • 810 views

Therapeutic Gene Silencing Strategies: An Introduction

by Rick Scavetta in DNA Dude


There has been quite a buzz circulating about the possibility of therapeutic gene silencing strategies. Today I want to take a first look at what these therapies mean.
One great example where gene silencing could be used is in polyglutamine disorders. This includes several disorders where genes accumulate, by replication errors, a repeat expansion of the [...]... Read more »

  • January 28, 2010
  • 05:30 AM
  • 507 views

Santa's OK! Over 70 and overweight possibly a good idea.

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

There have been a number of studies of late that have concluded that being overweight (not obese, overweight) and elderly is in fact a good combination.Well, here's another.This study, published today in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society has Leon Flicker and his colleagues discussing the impact of weight on mortality over a 10 year period in 9,240 Australian men and women.Their findings?The minimum mortality risk was found at a BMI of 26.6 and as BMI decreased from there, risk i........ Read more »

Flicker, L., McCaul, K., Hankey, G., Jamrozik, K., Brown, W., Byles, J., & Almeida, O. (2010) Body Mass Index and Survival in Men and Women Aged 70 to 75. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58(2), 234-241. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02677.x  

  • January 28, 2010
  • 05:27 AM
  • 1,377 views

Our very own Tree of Eukaryotes

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Time to unveil what I've been up to for the past several Friday nights. I figured that after nearly a year and a half, and almost 20K page views, it's time for our blog to grow up a bit. What we need is our very own tree.Remember how I often refer to the Keeling et al 2005 tree when pointing out where some obscure organism lies on the 'map'? Well, that tree is 5 years out of date now. In fields like molecular biology and genomics, a lot can change in five years; compounded with how the protistan........ Read more »

James, T., Kauff, F., Schoch, C., Matheny, P., Hofstetter, V., Cox, C., Celio, G., Gueidan, C., Fraker, E., Miadlikowska, J.... (2006) Reconstructing the early evolution of Fungi using a six-gene phylogeny. Nature, 443(7113), 818-822. DOI: 10.1038/nature05110  

KEELING, P., BURGER, G., DURNFORD, D., LANG, B., LEE, R., PEARLMAN, R., ROGER, A., & GRAY, M. (2005) The tree of eukaryotes. Trends in Ecology , 20(12), 670-676. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2005.09.005  

Lewis, L., & McCourt, R. (2004) Green algae and the origin of land plants. American Journal of Botany, 91(10), 1535-1556. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.91.10.1535  

PAWLOWSKI, J., & BURKI, F. (2009) Untangling the Phylogeny of Amoeboid Protists. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 56(1), 16-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2008.00379.x  

Taylor, F., Hoppenrath, M., & Saldarriaga, J. (2007) Dinoflagellate diversity and distribution. Biodiversity and Conservation, 17(2), 407-418. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-007-9258-3  

  • January 28, 2010
  • 05:00 AM
  • 2,099 views

The paradoxes of the Endangered Species Act (and how to fix them)

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

In a recent article in the journal Environmental Management, conservation biologist George Wilhere argues that the Endangered Species Act and its provision for habitat conservation plans are hampered by three main paradoxes: the Train Wreck Paradox, the Jeopardy Paradox, and the Maximum Mitigation Paradox. We interview George Wilhere and ask him how we can fix the problem...... Read more »

Wilhere, G. (2009) Three Paradoxes of Habitat Conservation Plans. Environmental Management, 44(6), 1089-1098. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-009-9399-0  

  • January 28, 2010
  • 03:41 AM
  • 1,811 views

wait, can planets reproduce by budding?

by Greg Fish in weird things

Or at least according to a new paper by a physicist and a geologist who propose that a giant bubble of molten heavy metal was ejected from a young Earth after a nuclear meltdown within its innards and formed the Moon. Forget the notion of a wandering world plowing into our planet and ejecting the [...]... Read more »

R. J. de Meijer, & W. van Westrenen. (2010) An alternative hypothesis for the origin of the Moon. Earth, Moon and Planets. arXiv: 1001.4243v1

  • January 27, 2010
  • 10:13 PM
  • 1,062 views

XMRV infection is enhanced by prostatic protein fragments

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Fragments of an abundant protein produced by the prostate form amyloid fibrils that enhance infection of cells by human immunodeficiency virus type 1. These fibrils, called semen-derived enhancer of virus infection (SEVI), have been found to boost infection of prostate cells by the retrovirus XMRV. Is this evidence that XMRV causes prostate cancer?
Because most HIV-1 [...]... Read more »

  • January 27, 2010
  • 09:30 PM
  • 825 views

Rapidly Diagnosing Lethal Blood-Based Fungal Infections

by Michael Long in Phased

Dominique Mazier (Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris, France) and coworkers have used mass spectrometry to rapidly and unambiguously diagnose a blood-based fungal infection, faster than is possible through conventional diagnostics. This news feature was written on January 27, 2010.... Read more »

Marinach-Patrice, C., Fekkar, A., Atanasova, R., Gomes, J., Djamdjian, L., Brossas, J.-Y., Meyer, I., Buffet, P., Snounou, G., Datry, A.... (2010) Rapid Species Diagnosis for Invasive Candidiasis Using Mass Spectrometry. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008862  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 08:21 PM
  • 516 views

Flower Power

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Thoreau's records help reveal plants' responses to climate change

... Read more »

  • January 27, 2010
  • 07:46 PM
  • 1,000 views

Finding Fair Lineups

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

You might never find yourself in the situation (although I might for not being able to figure out rb.org posting), but in case you were wondering how to make lineups fairer for suspects with distinct features, here's the deal...+find the anagrams... Read more »

Zarkadi T, Wade KA, & Stewart N. (2009) Creating Fair Lineups for Suspects With Distinctive Features. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS. PMID: 19883492  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 07:00 PM
  • 480 views

Whose demons?

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

"...It never was our guise To slight the poor, or aught humane despise: For Jove unfold our hospitable door, 'Tis Jove that sends the stranger and the poor..."---Homer: The Odyssey, Translation by Alexander PopeA few weeks ago, Drugmonkey wrote a piece about perceptions of drug users.  Specifically, the study looked at how mental health providers perceive people with substance use disorders depending on whether the patients were referred to being a "substance abuser" vs. havi........ Read more »

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