Post List

  • October 27, 2010
  • 05:49 AM

How the leopard got its spots

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

A new study shows why leopards and other big cats are spotted, striped or melanistic -- all black. In short, big cats' patterning and pattern attributes evolved in relation to their ecology and behaviors... Read more »

William L. Allen, Innes C. Cuthill, Nicholas E. Scott-Samuel, & Roland Baddeley. (2010) Why the leopard got its spots: relating pattern development to ecology in felids. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. info:/10.1098/rspb.2010.1734

  • October 27, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

In-house gyms, meditation rooms and on-site laundry services introduced to accommodate changing work values

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Generational differences in work values: Leisure and extrinsic values increasing, social and intrinsic values decreasing From Journal of Management This study examines a US nationally representative sample of young people and measures their values at the same age at different points in time, to observe generational differences in values. It is recognized that today’s workforce [...]... Read more »

  • October 27, 2010
  • 04:20 AM

The History of Halloween & It's Modern Psychological Implications

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

It's nearing that spooky time of year again. The traditions of Halloween actually come from countries such as Ireland, Scotland and England. According to Kelley (1919) "Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Hallowe'en customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries". This Special Edition focuses on the Brief History & Psychology of Halloween.According to Ke........ Read more »

Dodd, M. (2007) Bumps in the Night. Working Mother, 30(7). info:/

  • October 27, 2010
  • 02:31 AM

One Big, Huge Problem

by Brit Trogen in Science in Seconds

Obesity is one of the most misunderstood issues in health care. And, apologies in advance, one of the biggest.

It's defined, along with "overweight" and "underweight" purely by BMI. And while most would agree that the height to weight ratio is probably not the best determinant of health, it doesn't stop most of us from using it as a measure of the general chubbiness of the population.... Read more »

  • October 27, 2010
  • 01:41 AM

The Piffle Paradox - or how pure mathematicians have fun

by westius in Mr Science Show

Ever wondered how pure mathematicians have fun? The following is from the 1967 paper Modern Research in Mathematics by A. K. Austin, from the Department of Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield. It's a send-up, by the way...

A note on piffles by A. B. Smith

A. C. Jones in his paper "A Note on the Theory of Boffles," Proceedings of the National Society, 13, first defined a Biffle to be a non-definite Boffle and asked if every Biffle was reducible.

C. D. Brown in "On a paper by A. ........ Read more »

Austin, A. (1967) 3183. Modern Research in Mathematics. The Mathematical Gazette, 51(376), 149. DOI: 10.2307/3614400  

Farlow, S. (1980) Three Mathematical Satires A rebuke of A. B. Smith's paper, 'A Note on Piffles'. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 11(2), 285-304. DOI: 10.1080/0020739800110222  

  • October 27, 2010
  • 12:20 AM

Depressed mice, gene therapy, and p11

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

“Gene therapy”… …oooooh… Sounds very cool, doesn’t it? Sounds like the FUTURE! Where’s my JETPACK!!!?!?! But of course “gene therapy” is kind of a buzzword. A lot of people throw it around, but it seems like a lot of people don’t know what it really MEANS, and what it can be used for. But it [...]... Read more »

Alexander B, Warner-Schmidt J, Eriksson T, Tamminga C, Arango-Llievano M, Ghose S, Vernov M, Stavarche M, Musatov S, Flajolet M.... (2010) Reversal of Depressed Behaviors in Mice by p11 Gene Therapy in the Nucleus Accumbens. Science translational medicine, 2(54). PMID: 20962330  

  • October 26, 2010
  • 07:51 PM

The Wednesday Post - Halloween Special

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

Sporotrichosis is caused by the thermally dimorphic (can grow in one of two different forms depending on the environmental temperature) fungus Sporothrix schenckii and is characterised by subcutaneous nodules that can blister and ulcerate resulting in satellite lesions developing around the initial site of infection.... Read more »

  • October 26, 2010
  • 06:58 PM

Back from the Brink: Victories in Conservation

by WhySharksMatter and Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

Earth is facing a biodiversity crisis so severe that many conservation scientists refer to it as a mass extinction event. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a professional network of 11,000 volunteer scientists belonging to more than 1,000 government and NGO agencies in 160 countries, evaluates species worldwide and determines their risk of [...]... Read more »

Hoffmann, M. et al. (2010) The impact of conservation on the world's vertebrates. Science. info:/

  • October 26, 2010
  • 05:56 PM

Featured - How not to think yourself smart...

by Rift in Psycasm

[Wherein our hero considers how he might think himself smarter. Yet it appears Brain-Training might just be woo.]At this time of year I start wondering how to get an edge in my exams. Is studying really the best way about it? Last exam period I examined the best way to use caffiene, and I ran a series of informal experiments to figure my own personal method out [here]. This time round I w; (read more)

Source: Rift - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »

Owen, A., Hampshire, A., Grahn, J., Stenton, R., Dajani, S., Burns, A., Howard, R., & Ballard, C. (2010) Putting brain training to the test. Nature, 465(7299), 775-778. DOI: 10.1038/nature09042  

Jaeggi SM, Buschkuehl M, Jonides J, & Perrig WJ. (2008) Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(19), 6829-33. PMID: 18443283  

Carretti, B., Borella, E., & De Beni, R. (2007) Does Strategic Memory Training Improve the Working Memory Performance of Younger and Older Adults?. Experimental Psychology (formerly "Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie"), 54(4), 311-320. DOI: 10.1027/1618-3169.54.4.311  

  • October 26, 2010
  • 05:23 PM

Groundbreaking method for computer simulation: Car-Parrinello Molecular Dynamics turns 25

by Olexandr Isayev in

Twenty five years ago two budding scientists, Roberto Car and Michele Parrinello, used their expert knowledge, coupled with enthusiasm and a healthy dose of naivety, to develop a groundbreaking method for computer simulation. ... Read more »

Editorial. (2010) A model approach to modelling. Nature Materials, 9(9), 687-687. DOI: 10.1038/nmat2852  

Hafner, J. (2010) A joint effort with lasting impact. Nature Materials, 9(9), 690-692. DOI: 10.1038/nmat2838  

  • October 26, 2010
  • 03:40 PM

Now that's a f***ing big genome!

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Why are some genomes so big? I mean, seriously. Why would the marbled lungfish with a genome weighing 132.83 picograms (pg) need an estimated 130,000,000,000 bp? It may have to do with that fact that these fish undergo metamorphosis, and the large developmental coding this could entail.

Then there is the genome of Paris japonica, a rare plant whose genome weighs 152.23 pg, making its genome the largest known so far, at a whopping estimated 150,000,000,000 bp. (Humans have a genome size of 3,........ Read more »

Fischer, M., Allen, M., Wilson, W., & Suttle, C. (2010) Giant virus with a remarkable complement of genes infects marine zooplankton. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1007615107  

PELLICER, J., FAY, M., & LEITCH, I. (2010) The largest eukaryotic genome of them all?. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 164(1), 10-15. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2010.01072.x  

  • October 26, 2010
  • 02:37 PM

‘Psychological therapy’ works for fibromyalgia!

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

An ‘enigmatic’ disorder – this is what Perry Nicassio calls fibromyalgia. I hadn’t thought of it that way, because so many chronic pain problems seem to be equally ‘enigmatic’! It’s a common disorder, affects many more women than men, has a multiplicity of effects on people ranging from fatigue, poor sleep, widespread aching, other pain … Read more... Read more »

  • October 26, 2010
  • 01:43 PM

The Competitive Advantage of Vibrio cholerae

by Michael Long in Phased

Stefan Pukatzki (University of Alberta, Canada) and coworkers have found that the bacterium which causes cholera attacks other bacteria common to the human stomach and intestines. This finding may help scientists treat and vanquish cholera outbreaks.... Read more »

MacIntyre, D. L., Miyata, S. T., Kitaoka, M., & Pukatzki, S. (2010) The Vibrio cholerae type VI secretion system displays antimicrobial properties. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1012931107  

  • October 26, 2010
  • 01:34 PM

Anandamide Hits the “Hedonic Hot Spot.”

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Marijuana and the munchies.
It’s no secret that marijuana very reliably increases appetite. Recently, research published in Nature has teased out an apparent mechanism by which internal cannabinoids are involved with gut microbiota. This affects inflammation, the metabolism of adipose tissue, and other factors implicated in obesity.
In addition, research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and blogged about by Neuroskeptic, showed that CB1 cannabinoid receptors ........ Read more »

  • October 26, 2010
  • 12:47 PM

Again with this Lamarck guy

by miko in Reaction Norm

Here he is “late in life.”  Everyone already thinks he’s wrong wrong WRONG. We know him now as the Wrongest Biologist Ever. When we say “Lamarckian” we mean the idea that acquired characteristics can be inherited. I can almost hear him crying from the grave, “I produced a lifetime of ideas on all kinds of [...]... Read more »

  • October 26, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Colossal Squid

by beredim in Strange Animals

Information, facts and images of the frightening, deep sea Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni).
... Read more »

  • October 26, 2010
  • 11:24 AM

This “Week” in the Universe: October 12th – October 25th

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

Two weeks of news in one!
Astrophysics and Gravitation:
Did We Already Have the Data to Show Dark Matter Annihilation?
Dan Hooper, & Lisa Goodenough (2010). Dark Matter Annihilation in The Galactic Center As Seen by the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope arXiv arXiv: 1010.2752v1
Analyzing old data from the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope, the authors have noticed gamma ray emissions consistent with predictions for a certain type of dark matter.  Unfortunately, these things are never nice, clea........ Read more »

Champion, D., Hobbs, G., Manchester, R., Edwards, R., Backer, D., Bailes, M., Bhat, N., Burke-Spolaor, S., Coles, W., Demorest, P.... (2010) MEASURING THE MASS OF SOLAR SYSTEM PLANETS USING PULSAR TIMING. The Astrophysical Journal, 720(2). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/720/2/L201  

Lehnert, M., Nesvadba, N., Cuby, J., Swinbank, A., Morris, S., Clément, B., Evans, C., Bremer, M., & Basa, S. (2010) Spectroscopic confirmation of a galaxy at redshift z . Nature, 467(7318), 940-942. DOI: 10.1038/nature09462  

Raphael Bousso, Ben Freivogel, Stefan Leichenauer, & Vladimir Rosenhaus. (2010) Eternal inflation predicts that time will end. arXiv. arXiv: 1009.4698v1

Sabine Hossenfelder. (2010) Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity. arXiv. arXiv: 1010.3420v1

Henrique Gomes, Sean Gryb, & Tim Koslowski. (2010) Einstein gravity as a 3D conformally invariant theory. arXiv. arXiv: 1010.2481v1

  • October 26, 2010
  • 11:22 AM

What’s the best treatment for elderly patients with untreated multiple myeloma?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

It’s a while since I’ve written about multiple myeloma, but after this interesting paper popped up in The Lancet Oncology, I couldn’t resist. Many cancers occur more frequently in the elderly, a testament to the extended lifestyle many of us … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 26, 2010
  • 11:21 AM

Time Tree rocks

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

I've just learned of a new online application, Time Tree, with which you can search on two species/taxa and get the time since they diverged from each other.... Read more »

Hedges SB, Dudley J, & Kumar S. (2006) TimeTree: a public knowledge-base of divergence times among organisms. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 22(23), 2971-2. PMID: 17021158  

  • October 26, 2010
  • 11:13 AM

Worldwide Drought: Current Conditions and Future Predictions

by A. Goldstein in WiSci

From rising temperatures to rising seas, the consequences of global warming are here now, and predictions for the future are dire. In his review “Drought under global warming,” UCAR author Aiguo Dai indicates that yet another consequence is already affecting our planet and, over time, will almost certainly become more severe: worldwide drought. Wait, drought [...]... Read more »

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