Post List

  • December 22, 2010
  • 06:10 PM

DNA Reveals the Story of a Mysterious Group of Ancient Humans

by Dan Bailey in Smells Like Science

At the end of the last ice age modern humans were migrating out of Africa, Neanderthals roamed Europe, and new research has shown that a previously unknown population of ancient humans lived in Asia. All that remains of this mysterious group is a section of finger bone and a wisdom tooth. The group has been named the Denisovans after Denisova Cave in Siberia where the tooth and bone segment were found. A few months ago researchers completed an analysis of mitochondrial DNA from the finger bone a........ Read more »

Reich, D., Green, R., Kircher, M., Krause, J., Patterson, N., Durand, E., Viola, B., Briggs, A., Stenzel, U., Johnson, P.... (2010) Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia. Nature, 468(7327), 1053-1060. DOI: 10.1038/nature09710  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 06:03 PM

Using Blood Pressure Cuffs to Enhance Sports Performance

by Brian Mossop in The Decision Tree

Over at Wired Playbook, I have a new article highlighting a sports performance-enhancing technique where blood flow is temporarily reduced to a limb, in order to prime the muscle for future stress during exercise: The study builds off research first conducted in the 1980s by cardiovascular pioneer Keith Reimer that examined infarcts, areas of dead [...]... Read more »

Jean-St-Michel E, Manlhiot C, Li J, Tropak M, Michelsen MM, Schmidt MR, McCrindle BW, Wells GD, & Redington AN. (2010) Remote Preconditioning Improves Maximal Performance in Highly-Trained Athletes. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. PMID: 21131871  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 05:41 PM

(Merry) Christmas Disease

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

So I was feeling a little lazy and thought I should find a disease related to Christmas, that way it’d be topical and I’d look like a genius. Well maybe not a genius, as all I did was type “Christmas” and “disease” into google and it returned “Christmas disease”. Don’t worry though, the disease itself is pretty cool!

Contrary to popular belief Christmas disease is not limited to public drunkenness

Unfortunately for me my attempt at topical blogging reveals that Christmas di........ Read more »

Rogaev EI, Grigorenko AP, Faskhutdinova G, Kittler EL, & Moliaka YK. (2009) Genotype analysis identifies the cause of the "royal disease". Science (New York, N.Y.), 326(5954), 817. PMID: 19815722  

BIGGS R, DOUGLAS AS, MACFARLANE RG, DACIE JV, PITNEY WR, & MERSKEY. (1952) Christmas disease: a condition previously mistaken for haemophilia. British medical journal, 2(4799), 1378-82. PMID: 12997790  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 04:31 PM

Fetal Testosterone and Autistic Traits - Part V: Visuospatial Abilities

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

Part of an ongoing series examining the empirical support for Simon Baron-Cohen's "extreme male brain" theory of autism... Read more »

  • December 22, 2010
  • 03:08 PM

Driving and distraction - California survey

by Daniel Simons in The Invisible Gorilla

An interesting survey of drivers in California provides some data about beliefs in the dangers of phone conversations and texting while driving as well as data about actual self-reported behavior.... Read more »

Strayer, D., Drews, F., & Crouch, D. (2006) A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 48(2), 381-391. DOI: 10.1518/001872006777724471  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 01:33 PM

Echinacea not as helpful as once thought?

by Science Exploiter in Science Exploits

To anyone shopping at a natural health food store, echinacea will certainly make its way to their 'to buy' list.  Along with the likes of St. John's Wort and fish oil, it has become a staple of the natural health movement.  While previous studies have shown a benefit to the supplement, recent research calls these claims into question.  The study, funded by the NIH and the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, found an average duration of sickness of 7.03 days........ Read more »

Bruce Barrett, MD, PhD, Roger Brown, PhD, Dave Rakel, MD, Marlon Mundt, PhD, Kerry Bone, Dip Phyto, Shari Barlow, BA, & Tola Ewers, MS. (2010) Echinacea for Treating the Common Cold, randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 153(12), 769-777. info:/

  • December 22, 2010
  • 01:19 PM

Fat rats and cocaine

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Every so often, Sci comes across a study that at first looks incredibly exciting…and then kind of becomes a bit of a let down. Not because it was a BAD study, mind, but because I want MORE. Thus was this study. So let’s talk about high fat diets, and let’s talk about coke. But mostly [...]... Read more »

  • December 22, 2010
  • 01:19 PM

Astronomy bottlenecks…

by Emma in we are all in the gutter

Guess what’s the largest hurdle impeding scientific progress in astronomy? Lack of money? Governmental disinterest? Nope, according to a paper published yesterday it’s our bad programming skills. Modern astronomers are much more likely to be found in front of a computer these days than behind a telescope. We spend our time analysing our data and [...]... Read more »

Igor Chilingarian, & Ivan Zolotukhin. (2010) The True Bottleneck of Modern Scientific Computing in Astronomy. Astronomical Societ of the Pacific. arXiv: 1012.4119v1

  • December 22, 2010
  • 01:17 PM

Which is Worse? The Glass Ceiling or Cliff

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Things are not how they used to be: there are male nurses, Stay-at-home dads and female crane operators. Many people hold jobs that aren’t traditionally associated with their genders. However, ... Read more »

Brescoll, V.L., Dawson, E., & Uhlmann, E.L. (2010) Hard won and easily lost: the fragile status of leaders in gender-stereotype-incongruent occupations. Psychological Science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS, 21(11), 1640-2. PMID: 20876882  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 12:41 PM

Am I lactose intolerant?

by Aaron Berdanier in Biological Posteriors

Lactose intolerance is a common condition; 70% of humans experience lactose intolerance worldwide, with abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas, and diarrhea coming from the consumption of dairy products. I have a hunch that I might be lactose intolerant, but I do not know, so I'm going to learn a little bit about lactose intolerance and do a study to assess the correlation between my eating habits and abdominal issues.... Read more »

Burger, J., Kirchner, M., Bramanti, B., Haak, W., & Thomas, M. (2007) Absence of the lactase-persistence-associated allele in early Neolithic Europeans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(10), 3736-3741. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0607187104  

Swagerty DL Jr, Walling AD, & Klein RM. (2002) Lactose intolerance. American family physician, 65(9), 1845-50. PMID: 12018807  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 12:02 PM

New place, new view, slow reactions and the origins of life

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

I have been unable to blog for the past few days because I was busy moving to Chapel Hill for a postdoc at UNC Chapel Hill. I am very excited about this move and my upcoming research which is going to involve protein design and folding. Regular blogging will resume soon. Until then, happy holidays, and I will leave you with the following interesting paper published by a group from my new institution.One of the abiding puzzles in the origin of life is to explain how life arose in the relatively s........ Read more »

  • December 22, 2010
  • 11:55 AM

Eugene Goldwasser & The Unforeseen Legacy of Epo

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

When Eugene Goldwasser launched the project that would become his life’s work, he thought it would only take a matter of months. Since the early 20th century, biologists had predicted that a hormone they named erythropoietin must exist to promote the production of red blood cells when the body was running low. But in 1955, [...]... Read more »

Goldwasser E. (1996) Erythropoietin: a somewhat personal history. Perspectives in biology and medicine, 40(1), 18-32. PMID: 8946758  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 11:30 AM

Is habituation permissible from a biocentric perspective?

by seriousmonkeybusiness in This is Serious Monkey Business

Habituation: a necessary method for primate research, but is it ethical from a biocentric perspective?... Read more »

Doran-Sheehy, D., Derby, A., Greer, D., & Mongo, P. (2007) Habituation of western gorillas: the process and factors that influence it. American Journal of Primatology, 69(12), 1354-1369. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20442  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 11:21 AM

Happy Christmas Lectures 2010

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

As Tom Lehrer once sang on his winterval carol: “Christmas time is here, by golly, Disapproval would be folly, Deck the halls with hunks of holly, Fill the cup and don’t say ‘when.’ Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens, Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens, Even though the prospect sickens, Brother, here we go [...]... Read more »

  • December 22, 2010
  • 09:27 AM

Reindeer in Britain: ecology, conservation and welfare outside their native range

by davesbrain in Dave Hubble's ecology spot

Known as caribou in North America, reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) were once widespread in Europe reaching as far south as Spain, but are now mainly found in Norway and parts of Russia, in some cases being found wild alongside domesticated herds. Whilst their bones occur frequently in prehistoric middens, the last reliable record in Britain was approximately 8,300 years ago after which they disappeared (later records are uncertain), probably due to climate change, although hunting pressure may have........ Read more »

Hughes, J., Albon, S., Irvine, R., & Woodin, S. (2008) Is there a cost of parasites to caribou?. Parasitology, 136(02), 253-265. DOI: 10.1017/S0031182008005246  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 07:13 AM

New study shows that cancer survival is improving, but there’s more work to be done

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

In 2007 the UK government published its landmark Cancer Reform Strategy.  As with previous government strategies, such as the 2000 NHS Cancer Plan, the report aimed to tackle the fact that the country’s cancer survival lagged behind other similar countries. But unlike previous cancer strategies, which focused on improving patients’ access to the latest cancer [...]... Read more »

  • December 22, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Trespassing Viruses Will Be Killed on Contact

by Sharon Neufeldt in I Can Has Science?

It’s the holiday season, which means it’s time to start thinking about the flu! The flu is notoriously tricky to prevent with vaccines, partly because there are so many strains of influenza virus, and each strain is constantly undergoing genetic … Continue reading →... Read more »

Bryan B. Hsu, Sze Yinn Wong, Paula T. Hammond, Jianzhu Chen, and Alexander M. Klibanov. (2010) Mechanism of inactivation of influenza viruses by immobilized hydrophobic polycations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1017012108

  • December 22, 2010
  • 05:26 AM

Diamonds are forever – suppliers not

by Jan Husdal in

Today I am taking a closer look at how buyer-supplier relationships evolve over time. This is the buyer-supplier relationship life cycle, where supply chains are dynamic and  where supply chain partners are constantly changing: New suppliers are added, others are  contractually terminated, cease to exist or become obsolete. Needless to say, nurturing and honing these relationships also improves supply chain performance. However, as Stephan Wagner points out in his recently published article on........ Read more »

Wagner, S. (2011) Supplier development and the relationship life-cycle. International Journal of Production Economics, 129(2), 277-283. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2010.10.020  

  • December 22, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

Email Overload

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Email overload is the feeling of being overwhelmed by a large volume of incoming messages. Email overload makes the management of the Inbox necessary. Wouldn’t it be great if the inbox itself could filter the email by prioritization, information structuring and work-flow management?
Now the user has to assess and prioritize the message based on [...]

Related posts:9 Email Tips
Raindrop, The New Google Wave or Email Heaven?
Hand Written Letter or Email in Health Care
... Read more »

  • December 22, 2010
  • 02:00 AM

Why ‘chavvy’ external illuminated Christmas displays are embraced by the working class

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Illuminations, class identities and the contested landscapes of Christmas From Sociology In the last two decades, illuminating the outside of a house with multi-colored lights has become a popular British Christmas practice. Whereas in the US these illuminations typically cover large middle-class homes, in Britain they have been largely adopted within working-class neighborhoods.  This article investigates [...]... Read more »

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