Post List

  • December 20, 2009
  • 08:01 PM

Getting through it

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Some of you may know that I’ve just had surgery, and I’m gently recovering from the comfort of my own home over the next few weeks.  Posts on here will be intermittent but I find myself considering aspects of pain management from a ‘patient’s’ perspective today as it’s about 5 days since surgery and my [...]... Read more »

  • December 20, 2009
  • 06:07 PM

"Why we twitter: understanding Microblogging usage and Communities" by Java et al.

by David Brenes in Nobody's Papers

One year and a half ago I spent lot of times reading those foundational papers about Web Information Retrieval where first analysis of usage on search engines (main information retrieval systems for Web) were performed.

Those papers showed that the average user on the web search for information in a very different way, hardly describing their goals, visiting few alternatives and spending not much time.

Some months ago I was thinking about the quality and quantity of information that a search e........ Read more »

Akshay Java, Xiaodan Song, Tim Finin, & Belle Tseng. (2007) Why we twitter: understanding microblogging usage and communities. Proceedings of the 9th WebKDD and 1st SNA-KDD 2007 workshop on Web mining and social network analysis, 56-65. info:/10.1145/1348549.1348556

  • December 20, 2009
  • 04:46 PM

« How come it’s BLUE? » The origins of James Cameron’s Avatar

by ---a in

Superheroes, virtual worlds and hindu gods: a visual genealogy of James Cameron's Avatar - based on my article "Les Avatars Bleus" (Communications, 2005). For those who don't speak French. Also, for those who simply can't be bothered to go through 30 pages of socio-babbling ;) ... Read more »

Antonio A. Casilli. (2005) [Blue Avatars, about three strategies of cultural borrowing at the heart of computer culture] Les avatars bleus, Autour de trois stratégies d’emprunt culturel au cœur de la cyberculture. Communications, 77(1), 183-209. info:/

  • December 20, 2009
  • 04:33 PM

Increased cancer risk following computed tomography scans

by Martin Fenner in Gobbledygook @ Nature Network

Two papers and an editorial in the latest issue of Archives of Internal Medicine examine the cancer risks associated with the use of computed tomography (CT) examinations.... Read more »

  • December 20, 2009
  • 02:07 PM

Wetland Plant of the Week #38: Iva frutescens and hydrochory

by Johnny in Ecographica

...lineage of Iva frutescens specifically, proximity to tidally influenced waters has selected achenes with a tolerance for saltwater and a proven ability to stay afloat while in a non-dormant condition. In fact, research published just this year has shown that the achenes of Iva frutescens can stay ... Read more »

Elsey-Quirk, T., Middleton, B., & Proffitt, C. (2009) Seed flotation and germination of salt marsh plants. Aquatic Botany, 91(1), 40-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.aquabot.2009.02.001  

  • December 20, 2009
  • 11:54 AM

Why, Mr. Anderson, why, why do you persist?

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my fascination with Carol Dweck and her entity versus incremental theory of intelligence/ability that I have blogged about extensively in the past. To recap, people (children usually in her studies) can have a fixed entity view of intelligence that it is a stable trait whihc can/does not [...]Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Theories of Intelligence : Entity Vs Incremental theory I have blogged previously about Carol Dweck&#........ Read more »

Carol, Dweck S; Daniel, Molden C. (2008) Self-Theories: The Construction of Free Will. Are We free, 44-65. info:/

  • December 20, 2009
  • 08:30 AM

Lincoln's Illness at Gettysburg

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

A discussion of Abraham Lincoln's illness at Gettysburg. ... Read more »

Goldman AS, & Schmalstieg FC Jr. (2007) Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg illness. Journal of medical biography, 15(2), 104-10. PMID: 17551612  

  • December 19, 2009
  • 08:57 PM

On the perils of Lake Sarez (Usoi) in Tajikistan

by Dr Dave in Dave's Landslide Blog

Science this week has an article (Stone 2009) on the perils associated with Lake Sarez in the Pamirs. Sarez is a huge lake (56 km long and with a volume of 17 billion cubic metres of water) that was formed by a landslide triggered by the 1911 earthquake in Tajikistan (see image below).Google Earth image of Lake Sarez. The landslide dam is to west (left).Google Earth image of the landslide dam at Usoi. The source of the landslide was to the north of the current deposit.The landslide dam (see i........ Read more »

Stone, R. (2009) Peril in the Pamirs. Science, 326(5960), 1614-1617. DOI: 10.1126/science.326.5960.1614  

  • December 19, 2009
  • 07:00 PM

The Effect of Ebola on Gorilla Genetics

by Michael Long in Phased

Pascaline Le Gouar (CNRS, France) and coworkers predict that recent Ebola outbreaks are not a long-term threat to the survival of Western lowland gorillas, as long as enough gorillas remain after the initial high mortality event, and the population has a chance to rebound. This news feature was written on December 19, 2009.... Read more »

Le Gouar, P. J., Vallet, D., David, L., Bermejo, M., Gatti, S., Levréro, F., Petit, E. J., & Ménard, N. (2009) How Ebola Impacts Genetics of Western Lowland Gorilla Populations. PLoS ONE, 4(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008375  

  • December 19, 2009
  • 01:55 PM

Probable vCJD in an individual who was heterozygous at codon 129 of PRNP

by Brian Appleby in CJD Blogger

This week’s Lancet features an article entitled, “Variant CJD in an individual heterozygous for PRNP codon 129” by Kaski and colleagues.  The authors report the first case of probable variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in an individual who is heterozygous at codon 129 of the prion protein gene (PRNP).  To date, all symptomatic cases have occurred in individuals who are homozygous for methionine at codon 129.  As we know from other studies (Brown P, 1994), the incubatio........ Read more »

Kaski, D., Mead, S., Hyare, H., Cooper, S., Jampana, R., Overell, J., Knight, R., Collinge, J., & Rudge, P. (2010) Variant CJD in an individual heterozygous for PRNP codon 129. The Lancet, 374(9707), 2128-2128. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61568-3  

  • December 19, 2009
  • 11:04 AM

The Splendor of a Saprotrophic Stinkhorn

by Johnny in Ecographica

While in field last week, I encountered a species of fungus with a rather unique set of morphological and ecological characteristics. The aptly named ‘stinkhorn’ fungus (Clathrus columnatus) belongs to the Phallaceae Family of fungi and produces a distinctive gelatinous spore mass that gives off a lovely perfume. Well, lovely to insects anyway, to me it reeked of rotting meat and dung. The stinkhorn’s ‘aroma’ serves as an attractant for flies and other insects vit........ Read more »

  • December 19, 2009
  • 08:44 AM

Non-Singular Black Holes

by Brian Koberlein in Upon Reflection

The basic model of a black hole can be summed up as follows: gravity wins. The root cause of all black holes—be they tiny primordial black holes, solar mass black holes, or supermassive galactic black holes—is gravity. Squeeze enough mass...... Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 09:20 PM

Careful – She’s Cute!

by Wayne Hooke in The Psychology of Beauty

Sherman, Haidt & Coan (2009) have found evidence that exposure to cute stimuli improves fine motor performance. In brief, subjects were exposed to images of cats/dogs or puppies/kittens and then they played the children’s game, Operation. Both studies reported in this paper found that exposure to cuteness increased subjects’ ability to successfully play Operation. Sherman [...]... Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 05:15 PM

Overproduction of Th1 and Th17 Cytokines may be the Clue to why some H1N1 Patients get very ill

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

The present H1N1 influenza virus (nvH1N1, nv=new variant) behaves very differently from other influenza strains. The majority of nvH1N1 infections are mild and self-limiting in nature, but a small percentage of the patients require hospitalization and sometimes emergency care. Unlike the seasonal flu virus, the people who seem to suffer serious complications from this [...]... Read more »

Bermejo-Martin, J., Ortiz de Lejarazu, R., Pumarola, T., Rello, J., Almansa, R., Ramirez, P., Martin-Loeches, I., Varillas, D., Gallegos, M., Seron, C.... (2009) Th1 and Th17 hypercytokinemia as early host response signature in severe pandemic influenza. Critical Care, 13(6). DOI: 10.1186/cc8208  

Wynn, T. (2005) TH-17: a giant step from TH1 and TH2. Nature Immunology, 6(11), 1069-1070. DOI: 10.1038/ni1105-1069  

Park, H., Li, Z., Yang, X., Chang, S., Nurieva, R., Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Hood, L., Zhu, Z., Tian, Q.... (2005) A distinct lineage of CD4 T cells regulates tissue inflammation by producing interleukin 17. Nature Immunology, 6(11), 1133-1141. DOI: 10.1038/ni1261  

  • December 18, 2009
  • 02:55 PM

Learning Styles Are Meaningless

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

Compelling empirical evidence for the use of learning styles in education and training simply does not exist.... Read more »

Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., & Bjork, R. (2009) Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3), 105-119. DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6053.2009.01038.x  

  • December 18, 2009
  • 02:48 PM

Malaria: Forcing us to destroy our own brains...

by thegiantsquid in Research i find awesome

From a recent PLOSOne study, some interesting findings on malaria pathogenesis. What we know is that getting cerebral malaria is both very bad and very unpredictable, so that it's very difficult to decide which patient will require closer monitoring than others. Management is non-specific and supportive, and we still don't exactly know why it happens. There are a lot of theories out there, many of which center around the sludging of blood in the cerebral vessels, causing decreased brain blood fl........ Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 12:25 PM

Santa Claus: Advocating an Unhealthy Lifestyle?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

So suggests an intriguing and witty editorial in the British Medical Journal.

Given Santa’s tremendous popularity, particularly among children, the authors argue the public should become aware of some of the less-than-ideal lifestyle practices apparently advocated by jolly St. Nick.

Their basic thesis is the following: “Santa’s behaviour and public image are at odds with contemporary accepted public health messages.”... Read more »

Grills, N., & Halyday, B. (2009) Santa Claus: a public health pariah?. BMJ, 339(dec16 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b5261  

  • December 18, 2009
  • 11:57 AM

Hot and Cold Mountain

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Climate threat to alpine species may be overstated

... Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 11:56 AM

Preventing release of alarm pheromones increases homosexual pairing in bed bugs.

by Cheshire in Cheshire

I really don’t think it’s possible to write a boring post on bed bugs. The way in which they reproduce is simply one of the most bizzarre…and brutal…methods of insemination in the animal kingdom. One of my favorite webcomics, Dinosaur Comics described their reproduction quite well:

I also like writing about the biological basis behind sexual [...]... Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 11:32 AM

Two Drugs Are Better Than One?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

According to a study just out in the American Journal of Psychiatry, starting depressed people on two antidepressants leads to much better results than starting them on just one - Combination of Antidepressant Medications From Treatment Initiation for Major Depressive Disorder. But how reliable is it?Currently accepted practice is to prescribe one antidepressant to begin with, and if the patient doesn't feel better after about 6 weeks, to either change to a different antidepressant (switching) o........ Read more »

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