Post List

  • October 20, 2010
  • 09:58 AM

The werewolf is dead, long live the werewolf, or: The co-existence of lycanthropy and Cotard’s syndrome

by Matt Soniak in

“I speak, breathe and eat but I am dead,” said the patient. The man, a 32-year-old high school dropout, laborer and family man, had been brought to Kerman Psychiatric Hospital in southern Iran by his relatives after he refused to go to work for two straight weeks. Two years before that, the symptoms started. At [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 09:50 AM

We're Walking Here - and feeling much better as a result: walking to rep in performance improvements

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

Walking is an action most of us take for granted. It's such an automatic, effortless, thoughtless practice that we tend to forget it's actually a learned, practiced, skill. But it's this natural effortlessness of this deeply rep'ed & acquired practice that makes it so valuable for locking in better movement practice - what we practice when say working with a coach to tune dynamic joint movements... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 09:45 AM

Running With Arenahippus

by Laelaps in Laelaps

No matter what you call them – Eohippus, Hyracotherium, or something else – most everyone is familiar with the diminutive “dawn horses” of the Eocene. Sure, dinosaurs get better press, but the connection of these small hoofed mammals to the modern horse (Equus) has turned them into minor paleontological celebrities. In fact, these horses have [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 09:12 AM

Young Children Hear It to Believe It

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny…you name it and little kids believe it. However, a new study of three-year-olds, published in Psychological Science, finds that they aren’t just ... Read more »

Jaswal, V.K., Croft, A.C., Setia, A.R., & Cole, C.A. (2010) Young children have a specific, highly robust bias to trust testimony. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 20855905  

  • October 20, 2010
  • 09:09 AM

Tip of the Week: Comparing Microbial Databases

by Jennifer in OpenHelix

A few weeks ago a commenter asked me to compare IMG (Integrated Microbial Genomes) to the UCSC Microbial Genome browser. I’ve been exploring & thinking since then & am going to give a very brief comparison of those two resources in today’s tip & I’ll expand the comparison to other resources here in the text of this post.
Each of these resources could (and does in many cases) have an hour long tutorial devoted to it so I will only be able to give the briefest of ove........ Read more »

Schneider, K. (2006) The UCSC Archaeal Genome Browser. Nucleic Acids Research, 34(90001). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkj134  

Markowitz, V., Chen, I., Palaniappan, K., Chu, K., Szeto, E., Grechkin, Y., Ratner, A., Anderson, I., Lykidis, A., Mavromatis, K.... (2009) The integrated microbial genomes system: an expanding comparative analysis resource. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp887  

Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Szeto, E., Palaniappan, K., Chu, K., Dalevi, D., Chen, I., Grechkin, Y., Dubchak, I., Anderson, I.... (2007) IMG/M: a data management and analysis system for metagenomes. Nucleic Acids Research, 36(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkm869  

Davidsen, T., Beck, E., Ganapathy, A., Montgomery, R., Zafar, N., Yang, Q., Madupu, R., Goetz, P., Galinsky, K., White, O.... (2009) The comprehensive microbial resource. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp912  

Sayers, E., Barrett, T., Benson, D., Bolton, E., Bryant, S., Canese, K., Chetvernin, V., Church, D., DiCuccio, M., Federhen, S.... (2009) Database resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp967  

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:43 AM

Earthquakes and Volcanoes in Saudi Arabia!

by geophilo in Traversing the Razor

Many people might not associate Saudi Arabia with volcanoes and earthquakes. A more common image might be miles upon miles of sandy desert. However, the Arabian region is home to some large fields of volcanoes that have erupted in the last thousand years or so. In May 2009, 40,000 people were evacuated from the Harrat [...]... Read more »

Pallister, J., McCausland, W., Jónsson, S., Lu, Z., Zahran, H., Hadidy, S., Aburukbah, A., Stewart, I., Lundgren, P., White, R.... (2010) Broad accommodation of rift-related extension recorded by dyke intrusion in Saudi Arabia. Nature Geoscience, 3(10), 705-712. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo966  

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:39 AM

Did I mention that Caperea is really, really weird? [Tetrapod Zoology]

by Darren Naish in Food Matters

The recent discussion of Caperea's skeletal morphology (Caperea = Pygmy right whale) inspired Joy Reidenberg to send these photos of a Caperea skeleton, taken in New Zealand and used here with her permission.

In this view of the whale's thoracic region (we're standing beneath the whale, looking up into its ribcage), you can see that the transverse processes (the wing-shaped structures that project from both sides of each vertebra) are proportionally huge: so big that many of them overlap. ........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:38 AM

Lessons of Dodge Ball: Pay Attention and Keep Your Hands Up

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

If you have ever had the luxury of participating in a good old fashioned game of dodge ball in gym class or just happen to a fan of the movie DodgeBall, you are probably aware that keeping your hands ready to catch a ball is key to staying in the game.  You may not look as [...]... Read more »

Reed, C., Betz, R., Garza, J., & Roberts, R. (2009) Grab it! Biased attention in functional hand and tool space. Attention, Perception , 72(1), 236-245. DOI: 10.3758/APP.72.1.236  

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:32 AM

Did I mention that Caperea is really, really weird?

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

The recent discussion of Caperea's skeletal morphology (Caperea = Pygmy right whale) inspired Joy Reidenberg to send these photos of a Caperea skeleton, taken in New Zealand and used here with her permission.

In this view of the whale's thoracic region (we're standing beneath the whale, looking up into its ribcage), you can see that the transverse processes (the wing-shaped structures that project from both sides of each vertebra) are proportionally huge: so big that many of them overlap. ........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:30 AM

Dietary nitrate ameliorates metabolic syndrome in mice

by Colby in

I became interested in nitrate because early studies have been consistently showing that it may improve exercise performance by lowering the oxygen cost of exercise, and this research is in humans.  Reading through other literature, it seems there is a paradigm … Continue reading →... Read more »

Carlström M, Larsen FJ, Nyström T, Hezel M, Borniquel S, Weitzberg E, & Lundberg JO. (2010) Dietary inorganic nitrate reverses features of metabolic syndrome in endothelial nitric oxide synthase-deficient mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(41), 17716-20. PMID: 20876122  

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:20 AM

Should you try online jury research?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I mean really. How do you know who is out there as your sample mock jury? There are a number of companies offering online jury research these days. And, as they say, it’s cheaper, it’s fast, and it gives you a window into the potential reactions to your case. Obviously, we have some bias about [...]

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  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Gender Differences in Trauma and Addictions

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

This week, I am attending a Scientific Symposium called “Recovery From Addiction“, organised as part of the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative of the Norlien Foundation. My interest in this meeting (where, for once, I am not a speaker on the program), comes from the close links between mental health, addictions and obesity that I regularly [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Grampa Hagfish: say hello to your greatest uncle

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

Image from
Today is Hagfish Day! Who knew?
What is a hagfish?
Hagfish are primitive eel-like chordates make famous for their relative unattractiveness*, profuse production of slime, and charismatic ability to tie themselves in knots. They are perhaps the only ‘fish’ that possesses a skull, but no vertebral column. But the question “What is a hagfish?” goes [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 07:48 AM

Number Needed to Ban: a new tool for calculating the benefits of banning particular dog breeds

by The Dog Zombie in The Dog Zombie

A study published this month in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association (JAVMA) takes on the issue of whether breed-specific legislation (BSL) is effective. BSL is a tool used by some communities to attempt to reduce injuries from dog bites. The idea is that particular breeds of dogs are responsible for more than their share of injuries, so banning or otherwise controlling those breeds will result in a reduction in injuries. The group of breeds collectively known as “pit bulls” re........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 06:33 AM

The Matthew Effect Strikes Again

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

The new Bornmann, de Moya Anegón and Leydesdorff paper, published in PLOS ONE, shows that highly cited papers tend to reference other highly cited papers more often. That is true especially for the life science and health science disciplines. Ms. Corbyn from Nature News saved me the need to summarize the paper by writing an excellent article about it. Based on their findings, Bornmann et al. suggested to concentrate funding on already highly-cited researchers and research groups ("A concentrati........ Read more »

Bornmann, L., de Moya Anegón, F., & Leydesdorff, L. (2010) Do Scientific Advancements Lean on the Shoulders of Giants? A Bibliometric Investigation of the Ortega Hypothesis. PLOS ONE, 5(10). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0013327

  • October 20, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Trick of the trade: Face mask ventilation in edentulous patients

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

Can you imagine trying to bag-valve-mask ventilating this patient without teeth? Edentulous patients can cause BVM problems because air tends to leak out the sides of the mouth, because the cheeks don't contact the mask as well. You can do a jaw-thrust and/or place an oropharyngeal airway to help. What else can you do?Trick of the trade:"Lower lip" face mask repositioningReposition the mask more superiorly to improve the BVM seal. Normally the inferior edge of the mask sites between the lower li........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 05:38 AM

You Read It Here First...Again

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A couple of months ago I pointed out that a Letter published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, critiquing a certain paper about antidepressants, made very similar points to the ones that I did in my blog post about the paper. The biggest difference was that my post came out 9 months sooner.Well, it's happened again. Except I was only 3 months ahead this time. Remember my post Clever New Scheme, criticizing a study which claimed to have found a brilliant way of deciding which antidepressan........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

The rehabilitation aim of probation officers at odds with UK Government punishment agenda

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Attitudes and beliefs of trainee probation officers: A ‘new breed’? From Probation Journal In recent years the UK Government has been placing less emphasis on the idea of probation as a form of rehabilitation, instead re-framing it as ‘punishment in the community,’ with a focus on protecting the public. It has promoted the idea that [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 05:29 AM

Genetic watersheds on the Great Himalayas

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

One of the great geological landmarks on earth are the Himalayas. Not only are the Himalayas of importance in the domain of physical geography, but they are important in human geography as well. Just as South Asians and non-South Asians agree that the valley of the Indus and its tributaries bound the west of the [...]... Read more »

Shilpi Aggarwal, Sapna Negi, Pankaj Jha, Prashant K. Singh, Tsering Stobdan, M. A. Qadar Pasha, Saurabh Ghosh, Anurag Agrawal, Indian Genome Variation Consortium, Bhavana Prasher.... (2010) EGLN1 involvement in high-altitude adaptation revealed through genetic analysis of extreme constitution types defined in Ayurveda . PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1006108107

  • October 20, 2010
  • 05:20 AM

Speakers with a foreign accent are perceived as less credible - and not just because of prejudice

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Speakers with a foreign accent are perceived as less believable than native speakers. A new study shows this isn't just because of prejudice towards 'outsiders'. It also has to do with the fluency effect, one manifestation of which is our tendency to assume that how easily a message is processed is a mark of its truthfulness. The effort required to understand an accented utterance means that the same fact is judged as less credible when uttered by an accented speaker, compared with a native spea........ Read more »

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