Diversity facilitates cooperation according to research published in the latest Nature. The paper fits well into the literature in evolutionary game theory on the prisoner's dilemma and public goods games. I'll give a very brief look at some of the points I found pertinent in the paper.Santos, Santos and Pacheco's main assertion is that diversity promotes cooperation, specifically:[C]ooperation is promoted by the diversity associated with the number and size of the public goods ........ Read more »
Francisco Santos, Marta D Santos, & Jorge M Pacheco. (2008) Social diversity promotes the emergence of cooperation in public goods games. Nature, 454(7201), 213-216. DOI: 10.1038/nature06940
Some recent research has given me the chance to combine the sort of topic I used to write about with my more recent focus. It’s research headed by Jennifer Crocker of the University of Michigan, on how writing about your important values affects how you feel about yourself, how you feel about other people, and what influence that has on your acceptance of potentially threatening information. If you’d just like to read about the research itself, Science Daily has a good summary. I’m going t........ Read more »
Jennifer Crocker, Yu Niiya, & Dominik Mischkowski. (2008) Why Does Writing About Important Values Reduce Defensiveness? Self-Affirmation and the Role of Positive Other-Directed Feelings. Psychological Science, 19(7), 740-747. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02150.x
The article I’m focusing on in this post is one recently published in The Anatomical Record by Alfred Rosenberger @ City University New York and Anthony Pagano @ the American Museum of Natural History. In the article the authors are asking the important question of whether or not a fused metopic (often called ‘frontal’) suture is a synapomorphic (shared derived) character of anthropoid primates.... Read more »
Alfred L. Rosenberger, & Anthony S. Pagano. (2008) Frontal Fusion: Collapse of Another Anthropoid Synapomorphy. The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology, 291(3), 308-317. DOI: 10.1002/ar.20647
There may be an underlying psychological mechanism behind the title. Have you ever thought that your item was better than someone else's, even though it was pretty much identical to others? Perhaps your new 3G iPhone is better than your friend's? Maybe your spag bol tasted better than someone else's? Or was it the new dress you just bought for a special occasion - looking better than hers???Sound familiar?This is called The Endowment Effect. An individual possesses a higher value ........ Read more »
Owen Jones, & Sarah F Brosnan. (2008) Law, Biology, and Property: A New Theory of the Endowment Effect. William .
This week's column from Olivia Judson gives some examples of recent, rapid evolutionary change. She cites the evolutionary change seen in the beak size of Darwin's finches [$-a], the flowering time of Californian field mustard [$-a], and the head shape and diet of Croatian wall lizards [$-a], but misses one of my favorite recent cases: the weed Crespis sancta.
This little plant recently moved... Read more »
P. R. Grant. (2006) Evolution of Character Displacement in Darwin's Finches. Science, 313(5784), 224-226. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.1128374
S. J. Franks, S. Sim, & A. E. Weis. (2007) Rapid evolution of flowering time by an annual plant in response to a climate fluctuation. PNAS, 104(4), 1278-1282. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0608379104
A. Herrel, K. Huyghe, B. Vanhooydonck, T. Backeljau, K. Breugelmans, I. Grbac, R. Van Damme, & D. J. Irschick. (2008) Rapid large-scale evolutionary divergence in morphology and performance associated with exploitation of a different dietary resource. PNAS, 105(12), 4792-4795. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0711998105
P.-O. Cheptou, O. Carrue, S. Rouifed, & A. Cantarel. (2008) Rapid evolution of seed dispersal in an urban environment in the weed Crepis sancta. PNAS, 105(10), 3796-3799. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0708446105
The phrase "genomic imprinting" has come to refer the turning off of a gene (a particular instance of a gene on a particular chromosome duplicated across the cells in a body) so that the gene is not expressed at all, with the turning off of the gene not caused in the body in question, but rather, during the previous generation by a process happening in the soma of one of the parents. A maternally imprinted gene is passed on to junior, but will not be expressed in junior. a paternally........ Read more »
Carol Edwards, Andrew J Mungall, Lucy Matthews, Edward Ryder, Dionne J Gray, Andrew J Pask, Geoffrey Shaw, Jennifer AM Graves, Jane Rogers, Ian Dunham.... (2008) The Evolution of the DLK1-DIO3 Imprinted Domain in Mammals. PLoS Biology, 6(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060135
The first experiment I ran on the Web has finally made it into print. Rather fittingly, it has been published in a Web-based journal: The Public Library of Science One.Visual Memory is a Scrawny CreatureThat experiment, The Time Course of Visual Short-Term Memory, was part of a larger study probing a fundamental question about memory: why is visual working (short-term) memory so lousy? In recent years, visual memory folk like Edward Vogel and George Alvarez have debated whether we can store as m........ Read more »
Joshua Hartshorne. (2008) Visual working memory capacity and proactive interference. Public Library of Science One. www.plosone.org
A recent study in JAMA reported that patients treated for type 2 diabetes are at risk for developing depression. The study also reported that patients with depression are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The study confirmed what other studies have reported, and clinicians have seen in practice, that symptoms of depression place patients at ... Read more »
L BROWN, S MAJUMDAR, & J JOHNSON. (2008) Type of antidepressant therapy and risk of type 2 diabetes in people with depression. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 79(1), 61-67. DOI: 10.1016/j.diabres.2007.07.009
S Golden, M Lazo, M Carnethon, A G Bertoni, P J Schreiner, A V Roux, H B Lee, & C Lyketsos. (2008) Examining a Bidirectional Association Between Depressive Symptoms and Diabetes. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 299(23), 2751-2759. DOI: 10.1001/jama.299.23.2751
R Rubin, Y Ma, D G Marrero, M Peyrot, E L Barrett-Connor, S E Kahn, S M Haffner, D W Price, & W C Knowler. (2007) Elevated Depression Symptoms, Antidepressant Medicine Use, and Risk of Developing Diabetes During the Diabetes Prevention Program. Diabetes Care, 31(3), 420-426. DOI: 10.2337/dc07-1827
No I don’t think so. For several reasons. Empathy is a process with different steps. Especially feeling what the patients feels is a quality not every doctor has. And if they do it is not always appropriate nor possible to be sensitive enough to use it. Moreover this process not only needs the quality it ... Read more »
Jochanan Benbassat, & Ruben Baumal. (2004) What Is Empathy, and How Can It Be Promoted during Clinical Clerkships?. Academic Medicine, 79(9), 832-839. info:PMID/15326005
by in Chance and Necessity
Kids all across the United States turn up their noses and push their plates away when Brussels sprouts are placed in front of them. But to a caterpillar, Brussels sprouts are good eating. So much so that Brussels sprouts plants need to defend themselves. Plant defense options are somewhat limited—grow someplace it’s difficult for the herbivore to reach; release chemicals that repel herbivores; make the plant itself difficult to eat (e.g., thorns); or accumulate chemical toxins tha........ Read more »
N Fatouros, C Broekgaarden, G Bukovinszkine'Kiss, J J van Loon, R Mumm, M E Huigens, M Dicke, & M Hilker. (2008) From the Cover: Male-derived butterfly anti-aphrodisiac mediates induced indirect plant defense. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(29), 10033-10038. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0707809105
The first paper to contain data collected at my website (technically, at the old website) has just been published. The experiment in question was The Time Course of Visual Short-Term Memory.This is the first of hopefully two papers using that data. The second paper will look at individual differences and aging. That paper is still in preparation and will hopefully be submitted in August.I will explain the results and import of the just-published paper in an upcoming post.--------Hartshorne, J.K......... Read more »
Joshua Hartshorne. (2008) Visual working memory capacity and proactive interference. Public Library of Science One. www.plosone.org
Back in the day when I was a postdoc at the University of Bristol I was involved in a project to build the first supertree for non-avian dinosaurs (Pisani et al. 2002). Now our initial efforts have been thoroughly superseded by a new supertree created by a new team, also from Bristol, headed up by Graeme Lloyd. What is a supertree? Basically its a very large phylogenetic tree stitched together from smaller trees made from standard cladistic analyses of a feasible size (known as source trees). Th........ Read more »
Graeme Lloyd, Katie E Davis, Davide Pisani, James E Tarver, Marcello Ruta, Manabu Sakamoto, David WE Hone, Rachel Jennings, & Michael J Benton. (2008) Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, -1(-1), -1--1. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0715
Most people show a slight bias to the left-hand side of space. In other words, presented with a horizontal line and asked to identify its midway point, most of us will mark a position slightly too far to the left. Increasingly, however, research is showing that individuals vary in the side of space to which they are biased - a minority are biased to the right. What's more, our spatial bias could be tied in intriguing ways to our personality type.Rachel Tomer used the sensitive grey scales task t........ Read more »
R TOMER. (2008) Attentional bias as trait: Correlations with novelty seeking. Neuropsychologia, 46(7), 2064-2070. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.02.005
PLoS Biology reports today on WikiPathway. The paper entitled “WikiPathways: Pathway editing for the people,” announces a new wiki for the ‘public curation’ of pathway data. The authors argue that
Â The exponential growth of diverse types of biological data presents the research community with an unprecedented challenge to keep the flood of biological data as accessible, ... Read more »
Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Hughes, L., McIntyre, S., Lindenmayer, D.B., Parmesan, C., Possingham, H.P., Thomas, C.D. (2008). ECOLOGY: Assisted Colonization and Rapid Climate Change. Science, 321(5887), 345-346. DOI: 10.1126/science.1157897In last Friday’s Science, Hoegh-Guldberg et al., discuss various conservation measures to save those species that may otherwise go extinct as a result of global warming if they can’t migrate on their own or evolve quickly enough to adapt to altered climate........ Read more »
O Hoegh-Guldberg, L Hughes, S McIntyre, D Lindenmayer, C Parmesan, H Possingham, & C Thomas. (2008) ECOLOGY: Assisted Colonization and Rapid Climate Change. Science, 321(5887), 345-346. DOI: 10.1126/science.1157897
tags: bpr3.org/?p=52, dichromatism, mating system, plumage color, sex allocation, eclectus parrots, Eclectus roratus, ornithology, birds, avian, parrots
Elektra, my female solomon islands eclectus parrot, Eclectus roratus solomonensis.
This is the smallest and most distinctively marked of the ten subspecies of Eclectus parrots.
Image: GrrlScientist 4 July 2008 [larger view].
Some of you might recall the recent story about scientists learning to identify plumage coloration from fossilize........ Read more »
Robert Heinsohn,. (2008) Ecology and Evolution of the Enigmatic Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus). Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 22(2), 146-150. http://www.bioone.org/perlserv/?request
Plants and their herbivores have an interesting and complex relationship. It has been true for quite some time (many tens of millions of years) that terrestrial plants do not move around while animal herbivores do (though I've got friends from Texas who claim that there is a Texan tree that will move from one side of your yard to the other if it is pleased to do so). Generally speaking, a plant can not avoid being consumed by the herbivores by running away. So, it must have a defensive s........ Read more »
Anurag Agrawal, & Mark Fishbein. (2008) Phylogenetic escalation and decline of plant defense strategies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(29), 10057-10060.
Within a cell, ATP is both the energy currency inside and an extracellular messenger outside. Recent data show that adenosine concentration is much higher in the insterstitium (outside) of solid tumors compared to healthy tissues, and this information corroborates the growing awareness that tumor cells build up a 'self-advantage' micro-environment that limits the anti-tumor immune response. Thus, understanding ATP concentration dynamics outside the cells is a must for upcoming cancer r........ Read more »
Pellegatti, P., Raffaghello, L., Bianchi, G., Piccardi, F., Pistoia, V., & Di Virgilio, F. (2008) Increased Level of Extracellular ATP at Tumor Sites: In Vivo Imaging with Plasma Membrane Luciferase. PLoS ONE, 3(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002599
Here’s another reason to enjoy your coffee. A recent study in the July edition of the Journal Hepatology found a significant inverse association (meaning opposingly related; an increase in one variable results in a decrease in another) between coffee drinking and the risk of primary liver cancer . The study also found that serum levels [...]ShareThis... Read more »
Gang Hu, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Eero Pukkala, Timo Hakulinen, Riitta Antikainen, Erkki Vartiainen, & Pekka Jousilahti. (2008) Joint effects of coffee consumption and serum gamma‐glutamyltransferase on the risk of liver cancer. Hepatology, 48(1), 129-136. DOI: 10.1002/hep.22320
A number of studies have found that older adults aren't as good at certain visual tasks compared to younger adults. Mental rotation, for example, is both slower and less accurate. But other studies have found that for certain types of mental rotation, older adults do just as well as younger adults. The dividing line, these researchers argued, was based on whether the viewer was rotating or the objects themselves were rotating.
So in a classic mental rotation task like Shepard and Metzler's, old........ Read more »
Mélanie Joanisse, Sylvain Gagnon, Joshua Kreller, & Marie-Claude Charbonneau. (2008) Age-related differences in viewer-rotation tasks: Is mental manipulation the key factor?. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 63B(3), 193-200. http://psychsoc.gerontologyjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/63/3/P193
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