Post List

  • November 8, 2010
  • 06:33 AM

For better health, it pays to stay in school

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

It is well-documented that those who are better educated have better physical health than those who are less educated. This is true throughout the world despite differences in healthcare systems. But why is this the case? Dr Wendy Johnson, from the University of Edinburgh, and colleagues including Wellcome Trust research fellow Dr David Batty, studied [...]... Read more »

Johnson W, Kyvik KO, Mortensen EL, Skytthe A, Batty GD, & Deary IJ. (2010) Education reduces the effects of genetic susceptibilities to poor physical health. International journal of epidemiology, 39(2), 406-14. PMID: 19861402  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Article review: The "Good" Dean's Letter

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

'Tis the season. Residency interview season, that is.Faculty are trying to sort out the piles of ERAS applications, trying not to zone-out while reading their 50th personal statement over the past 4 hours. Does it seem that medical students are getting more and more amazing every year?! I'm glad I got in when I did.Student forums are abuzz with residency program and interview etiquette questions.Students are second-guessing themselves about why they haven't heard from their first-choice pro........ Read more »

Kiefer CS, Colletti JE, Bellolio MF, Hess EP, Woolridge DP, Thomas KB, & Sadosty AT. (2010) The "good" dean's letter. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(11), 1705-8. PMID: 20881821  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 05:07 AM

For group creativity, two narcissists are better than one

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

"God is really an artist, like me ... I am God, I am God, I am God." Pablo PicassoSome experts have suggested there's a link between narcissism and creativity. They've wondered if the self-obsession and self-belief create the necessary time and space for originality to flourish. On the contrary, Jack Goncalo at Cornell University has just published results from three experiments which show that narcissists on their own aren't any more creative than usual, even though they think they are. However........ Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 04:21 AM

The Secret Loves of Trees

by Torah Kachur in Science in Seconds

Falling in love is so romantic, so blissful, so cherished in our lives.  Most people will fall in love more than once, first with the 'wait until we're married' sterilizer, then with the 'jealous defender' and finally you hit an age where want to settle down and find the 'practical answer'.  And then, after imminent divorce you find yourself with some gold digger who just can't wait for you to die and leave him or her everything.


That darling of a fairy tale also applies to trees. ........ Read more »

Palmer TM, Doak DF, Stanton ML, Bronstein JL, Kiers ET, Young TP, Goheen JR, & Pringle RM. (2010) Synergy of multiple partners, including freeloaders, increases host fitness in a multispecies mutualism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(40), 17234-9. PMID: 20855614  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 02:27 AM

Bruno Bettelheim: A Life of Care & Controversy

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

Bruno Bettelheim is both a controversial and fascinating individual. Below is a Horizon documentary about Bettelheim from 1986. It gives an excellent overview of his life and work. Bettelheim is well-known for his work at the The Orthogenic School. However, Bettelheim is also known as a controversial character. Some suggest his treatment of children in his care was questionable, others maintain he lied about aspects of his past. As well as this, his death by suicide, although sad, seems to ........ Read more »

Angres, R. (1990) Who, really, was Bruno Bettelheim?. Commentary, 90(4), 26-30. info:/

Ekstein, R. (1991) Bruno Bettelheim (1903-1990): Obituary. American Psychologist, 46(10), 1080-1080. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.46.10.1080  

  • November 7, 2010
  • 10:12 PM

Are beached whales and dolphins deaf?

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

In New Zealand reports of whales stranding on the beaches make headlines, such as the recent stranding of pilot whales at Spirits Bay.[1] They’re mammals like us and New Zealanders have grown up with news stories of whales and their inquisitive cousins, dolphins. It’s pitiful to see these creatures sprawled helpless on the sand.
Frequent readers will know [...]... Read more »

Mann, D., Hill-Cook, M., Manire, C., Greenhow, D., Montie, E., Powell, J., Wells, R., Bauer, G., Cunningham-Smith, P., Lingenfelser, R.... (2010) Hearing Loss in Stranded Odontocete Dolphins and Whales. PLoS ONE, 5(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013824  

  • November 7, 2010
  • 09:21 PM

The Necessities of Dopamine Receptors and Nonopiod Sigma Receptors for Cocaine Frenzy

by Allison in Dormivigilia

First off, I hope that everyone is enjoying the extra hr of today. I spent it at a Cleveland Browns game watching them upset Brady Douche and the Patriots. The best part about daylight savings time is that the sun rises at a more normal time (~7 AM) instead of around 8 AM, which for [...]... Read more »

Navarro G, Moreno E, Aymerich M, Marcellino D, McCormick PJ, Mallol J, Cortés A, Casadó V, Canela EI, Ortiz J.... (2010) Direct involvement of sigma-1 receptors in the dopamine D1 receptor-mediated effects of cocaine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(43), 18676-81. PMID: 20956312  

  • November 7, 2010
  • 06:03 PM

Fear Will Keep Them in Line

by Chuck in Ya Like Dags?

As a lifelong shark lover whose thesis research happens to be on the subject of predation, I’m a little obsessed with the ecology of predation.  Earlier I posted on trophic cascades and debate over whether they are a strong enough … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 7, 2010
  • 01:37 PM

Happy happy! Joy joy! Increasing positive experiences to improve mood

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I am sure there will be people who read today’s post who will feel like giving me a bit of a slapping. “How”, they will say, “Are you supposed to get happy when you’re feeling bad?” And I would have been one of these people a few years ago too, given my history of low … Read more... Read more »

  • November 7, 2010
  • 11:08 AM

Where does desert sand come from?

by Vivienne in Outdoor Science

Sand is a great traveller. Go to the seaside for the day and it’ll ride home on your shoes or sneak into your picnic sandwiches. You may wonder, as you shake sand from your bag on the beach: ‘where did all this sand come from and how long’s it been here?’ Dr Pieter Vermeesch and colleagues had the same question about the sand in the Namib Sand Sea – one of …... Read more »

  • November 7, 2010
  • 09:19 AM

Why your proteome is not acting its age

by avi_wener in The European Biotechnologist

In an article published “”in press” this week in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics (MCP), scientists from the Department of Proteomics and Signal Transduction at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Germany report that accurate quantification of more than 4,000 mouse tissue proteins reveals minimal proteome changes during aging. The authors Dirk Walther and Matthias Mann [...]... Read more »

  • November 7, 2010
  • 07:49 AM

Life in the dark

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

My wife, along with her many other jobs – paid and unpaid – is the local director of a campus exchange program that brings US students to Wollongong, New South Wales.  Because of her background in outdoor education and adventure therapy, she does a great job taking visiting Yanks on weekend activities that get the students to see a side of life in Australia that they might not otherwise see.  From Mystery Bay on the South Coast, to Mount Guluga with an Aboriginal guide, to abseiling (rapel........ Read more »

  • November 7, 2010
  • 06:30 AM

Just got vaccinated... again

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

I chose to get vaccinated for the seasonal flu this year as well! This is my post from last year. I think it's a good idea to get vaccinated, even if you're young and healthy. If nothing else, I'm making it a yearly statement in the face of the anti-vaccination loonies. Last year I got vaccinated for both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 or "swine" flu. Understandably last year's relative hysteria about swine flu is nowhere to be seen this year. But whatever happened after that? Wonder no more, the........ Read more »

Turner, S., Doherty, P., & Kelso, A. (2010) Q. BMC Biology, 8(1), 130. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-130  

  • November 7, 2010
  • 02:56 AM

Rolling and Slipping of Euler’s Disk – Spin a coin and watch it roll!

by Croor Singh in Learning to be Terse

An experimental study of the motion of Euler's disk. It is shown that the major energy dissipation mechanism in the problem is the friction from the surface and not viscous drag.... Read more »

Caps, H., Dorbolo, S., Ponte, S., Croisier, H., & Vandewalle, N. (2004) Rolling and slipping motion of Euler’s disk. Physical Review E, 69(5). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.69.056610  

  • November 7, 2010
  • 01:53 AM

Boys Equal to Girls in Math Performance

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

A big meta-analysis by Lindberg et al. (2010) tells the truth yet again: given the right conditions, boys and girls perform equally well in math. What the authors (2010) wonder, and I do too, is how come such stridently sexist stereotypes persist about the capabilities of females to do math, when in fact there is no substance whatsoever to promulgate or sustain such stereotypes? Liberating news for women who like to count and for men, who like me, love poetry…... Read more »

Lindberg, S., Hyde, J., Petersen, J., & Linn, M. (2010) New trends in gender and mathematics performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 136(6), 1123-1135. DOI: 10.1037/a0021276  

  • November 6, 2010
  • 07:57 PM

Can Sea Snakes Predict The Future? What About Hurricanes? Lottery Numbers?

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

Undoubtedly you have heard that dogs can sense earthquakes before the tremors occur. While anecdotes are common, experimental evidence supporting these claims remains elusive. The USGS in the 1970′s even examined the ability of animal prediction “but nothing concrete came out of [these experiments]“.
Cueing on changes in the weather is frequent among the animal kindgom.  Indeed, . . . → Read More: Can Sea Snakes Predict The Future? What About Hurricanes? Lottery Num........ Read more »

Liu, Y., Lillywhite, H., & Tu, M. (2010) Sea snakes anticipate tropical cyclone. Marine Biology, 157(11), 2369-2373. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-010-1501-x  

  • November 6, 2010
  • 05:32 PM

Autism and Genetics: It's Complicated

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

Evidence from a 2007 genomic study of 264 families suggests that autistic people have a higher rate of spontaneous mutation than non-autistic people, and that autistic people without any autistic family members have the highest mutation rate of all... Read more »

Sebat, J., Lakshmi, B., Malhotra, D., Troge, J., Lese-Martin, C., Walsh, T., Yamrom, B., Yoon, S., Krasnitz, A., Kendall, J.... (2007) Strong Association of De Novo Copy Number Mutations with Autism. Science, 316(5823), 445-449. DOI: 10.1126/science.1138659  

  • November 6, 2010
  • 02:00 PM

Towards Sniffing Out Melanoma

by Michael Long in Phased

Three volatile chemicals are preferentially present in melanoma, possibly pointing the way towards early diagnosis and treatment of a particularly deadly variant of skin cancer.... Read more »

  • November 6, 2010
  • 01:31 PM

Saturday Review: Vaccines and the Immune System

by Kevin Bonham in Food Matters

I have a love/hate relationship with Nature Reviews: Immunology. It comes out once per month, and is usually packed with easy to read articles about fascinating (to me) topics, and each is filled with tons of great references so I can dig into the issue more. On the one hand, I get really excited about all the great things to read and new ways to expand my knowledge. On the other hand - that's a lot of reading. My Instapaper queue is about 80% Nature Reviews (15% other papers, and 5% random crap........ Read more »

  • November 6, 2010
  • 12:35 PM

Tracking Ecstasy Abuse with Google Trends

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I’ve been interested in the possibility of using Google Trends to monitor patterns of drug abuse in the U.S. and throughout the world.  My hypothesis is that drug abuse patterns will be reflected by the number and geographic distribution of Google searches for a drug key word. Google Trends monitors the number of search engine key words.  Countries and cities are ranked based on the relative number of searches.  If a country or city has more than their expected number of searche........ Read more »

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