You have probably seen those cute pictures of the blue mice by now. I first saw it on Neatorama, which linked to an article at Wired. Both said in their headlines that a Food Dye was responsible for reducing the damage from spinal cord injuries. To be fair, both sites mentioned in the articles themselves that the actual molecule used was similar to the food dye FD&C blue No. 1, but it was not in fact the dye used in blue M&M's.The compound used in the Spinal Injury study was Coomassie........ Read more »
Peng, W., Cotrina, M., Han, X., Yu, H., Bekar, L., Blum, L., Takano, T., Tian, G., Goldman, S., & Nedergaard, M. (2009) From the Cover: Systemic administration of an antagonist of the ATP-sensitive receptor P2X7 improves recovery after spinal cord injury. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(30), 12489-12493. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0902531106
If you follow obesity research with even a passing interest, there is a good chance that you have seen the now infamous editorial by Margaret Wente which was published in the Globe and Mail earlier this week. In her editorial, Ms Wente describes a recent study in Obesity which examined the links between body mass index and mortality in a group of 12,000 Canadians. Ms Wente makes several arguments - many of which are completely refuted by the available evidence - and I think that both her edito........ Read more »
Orpana, H., Berthelot, J., Kaplan, M., Feeny, D., McFarland, B., & Ross, N. (2009) BMI and Mortality: Results From a National Longitudinal Study of Canadian Adults. Obesity. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2009.191
Who uses textbooks? Do students actually read the text? A study out in Teaching Educational Psychology by Derryberry & Wininger looked at the relationship between student motivation and textbook selection and use.
The authors combine a group of measures to create a group of “internal motivation” measures, including need for cognition (enjoying effortful thinking), mastery goal [...]... Read more »
Derryberry, W. P., & Wininger, S. R. (2008) Relationships among textbook usage and cognitive-motivational constructs. Teaching Educational Psychology, 3(2), 1-11. info:/
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
Back in June I commented on an article that examined the mechanisms behind the type of cognitive disabilities experienced by very preterm children. That study showed marked impairment among premature kids, which is consistent with a long line of research showing significantly increased risks for cognitive deficits among children born under 30-week gestation. However, most [...]... Read more »
Johnson, S., Fawke, J., Hennessy, E., Rowell, V., Thomas, S., Wolke, D., & Marlow, N. (2009) Neurodevelopmental Disability Through 11 Years of Age in Children Born Before 26 Weeks of Gestation. PEDIATRICS, 124(2). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-3743
The herb St John's Wort is as effective as antidepressants while having milder side effects, according to a recent Cochrane review, St John's wort for major depression.Professor Edzard Ernst, a well-known enemy of complementary and alternative medicine, wrote a favorable review of this study in which he comments that given the questions around the safety and effectiveness of antidepressants, it is a mystery why St John's Wort is not used more widely.When Edzard Ernst says a herb works, you shoul........ Read more »
Klaus Linde, Michael M Berner, Levente Kriston. (2008) St John's wort for major depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. info:/
Ernst, E. (2009) Review: St John's wort superior to placebo and similar to antidepressants for major depression but with fewer side effects. Evidence-Based Mental Health, 12(3), 78-78. DOI: 10.1136/ebmh.12.3.78
Many occupations can make you feel like you are losing your mind, but new evidence suggests that long working hours may actually lead to cognitive decline. Notably, cognitive impairment in midlife is already established as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. A new report from the Whitehall II Study, published [...]... Read more »
Elovainio, M., Ferrie, J., Singh-Manoux, A., Gimeno, D., De Vogli, R., Shipley, M., Vahtera, J., Brunner, E., Marmot, M., & Kivimaki, M. (2009) Cumulative exposure to high-strain and active jobs as predictors of cognitive function: the Whitehall II study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 66(1), 32-37. DOI: 10.1136/oem.2008.039305
Elovainio, M., Kivimaki, M., Ferrie, J., Gimeno, D., De Vogli, R., Virtanen, M., Vahtera, J., Brunner, E., Marmot, M., & Singh-Manoux, A. (2009) Physical and cognitive function in midlife: reciprocal effects? A 5-year follow-up of the Whitehall II study. Journal of Epidemiology , 63(6), 468-473. DOI: 10.1136/jech.2008.081505
Virtanen, M., Singh-Manoux, A., Ferrie, J., Gimeno, D., Marmot, M., Elovainio, M., Jokela, M., Vahtera, J., & Kivimaki, M. (2008) Long Working Hours and Cognitive Function: The Whitehall II Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 169(5), 596-605. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwn382
Wilson, R., Hebert, L., Scherr, P., Barnes, L., Mendes de Leon, C., & Evans, D. (2009) Educational attainment and cognitive decline in old age. Neurology, 72(5), 460-465. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000341782.71418.6c
Yaffe, K., Fiocco, A., Lindquist, K., Vittinghoff, E., Simonsick, E., Newman, A., Satterfield, S., Rosano, C., Rubin, S., Ayonayon, H.... (2009) Predictors of maintaining cognitive function in older adults: The Health ABC Study. Neurology, 72(23), 2029-2035. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181a92c36
Sciencebase has been focusing on various environmental and third world problems recently. I say third world, because much of what is euphemistically described as the developing world is sadly not developing at all. If the switch from third to developing has done nothing but salve the conscience of the so-called developed world, then it is, [...]We must stamp our ecological feet is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »
Crawford Spence. (2009) Organisational resistance to ecological footprinting . Int. J. Management Concepts and Philosophy, 3(4), 362-377.
Sci will admit that the sperm paper she picked for this week really is an excuse to use this image:
But really, sperm swimming is an important questions in terms of fertility. An ovum is only viable for about 24 hours, and a female only produces one per month. Sperm are viable for a little longer than that, but still, timing is rough. And once you get past the timing, you get into sperm getting lost, sperm swimming in circles, sperm getting stuck in the vaginal mucosa, and sper........ Read more »
Force, A., Grizard, G., Giraud, M., Motta, C., Sion, B., & Boucher, D. (2001) Membrane fluidity and lipid content of human spermatozoa selected by swim-up method. International Journal of Andrology, 24(6), 327-334. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2605.2001.00309.x
Who'd ever have thought it could be so difficult to measure happiness? Most large-scale studies rely on so-called "global measures". People are asked to rate how satisfied they are with their life, or something similar. The problems here are obvious: people's answers are likely to be swayed by their current mood, and we probably all interpret labels like "satisfied" in our own way. So along came Nobel prize-winning uber psychologist Daniel Kahneman, with his "day reconstruction method" (DRM). Pa........ Read more »
This doesn't happen very often in scientific journals, and when it does, it's always a shock. A paper I wrote about a little while ago, where scientists claimed to have derived sperm from stem cells, has been pulled by the publisher for plagiarism. The editor of the publishing journal, Stem Cells and Development, decided to retract the paper because the authors had basically copied the first two paragraphs of the paper from another paper which was published in Biology of Reproduction in 2006 (bo........ Read more »
Nayernia, K., Lee, J., Lako, M., Armstrong, L., Herbert, M., Li, M., Engel, W., Elliott, D., Stojkovic, M., Parrington, J.... (2009) In Vitro Derivation of Human Sperm from Embryonic Stem Cells. Stem Cells and Development, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/scd.2009.0063
Nagano, M. (2006) In Vitro Gamete Derivation from Pluripotent Stem Cells: Progress and Perspective. Biology of Reproduction, 76(4), 546-551. DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod.106.058271
High-throughput screening (HTS) is now a mainstay of drug discovery and usually the starting point for most drug discovery projects. Industry usually has a lot of resources invested in HTS and therefore needs to be aware of false positives and false negatives that could hamper useful results and lead one down an erroneous path.Among the many factors responsible for false positives in HTS, one of the most startling and important factors recently unearthed is the non-specific and potent inhibition........ Read more »
Ferreira, R., Bryant, C., Ang, K., McKerrow, J., Shoichet, B., & Renslo, A. (2009) Divergent Modes of Enzyme Inhibition in a Homologous Structure−Activity Series. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/jm9009229
I'm sure you all know by now that restricting the amino acid methionine in the diet provides many of the health and longevity benefits of calorie restriction - in mice, at least. This is only the case for methionine, not any of the other essential amino acids that must be obtained through diet, and the resulting changes in biochemistry are not exactly the same as calorie restriction. This suggests that, for example, the loss of visceral fat associated with calorie restriction also plays an impor........ Read more »
Gomez, J., Caro, P., Sanchez, I., Naudi, A., Jove, M., Portero-Otin, M., Lopez-Torres, M., Pamplona, R., & Barja, G. (2009) Effect of methionine dietary supplementation on mitochondrial oxygen radical generation and oxidative DNA damage in rat liver and heart. Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes. DOI: 10.1007/s10863-009-9229-3
Seda Dural et.al. (2008) used eye tracking combined with attractiveness ratings to explore the effect of altering waist-hip ratio and body fat levels in figures generated from 3D modeling software.
The stimuli were presented individually to 50 males and 50 females aged 18-22 (probably Turkish college students) on an LCD screen for viewing and rated for [...]... Read more »
Dural, Seda, Cetinkaya, Hakan, Gulbetekin, Evrim. (2008) The role of waist-to-hip ratio in evaluation of female physical attractiveness: Eye-tracker data. Kadinin fiziksel cekiciliinin deerlendirilmesinde bel-kalca-oraninin rolu: Goz-izleme sistemi verileri. Turk Psikoloji Dergisi, 75-88. info:/
Child abuse of any sort is difficult to understand, but the homicide of infants by caretakers is beyond most people's imagination. A new study sheds some light on who commits these acts.
... Read more »
What is it? Open Notebook means “no insider information” You lab notebook is on a wiki, out there for everyone to see. Negative results & all. You share your research process with the world as you go along. There are many shades to this process: you may share some of your data, edit it, [...]... Read more »
Hoffmann, R. (2008) A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics, 40(9), 1047-1051. DOI: 10.1038/ng.f.217
Sagotsky, J., Zhang, L., Wang, Z., Martin, S., & Deisboeck, T. (2008) Life Sciences and the web: a new era for collaboration. Molecular Systems Biology. DOI: 10.1038/msb.2008.39
by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog
A few weeks ago I asked readers to find the errors in the following statement concerning an experimental influenza vaccine produced by Protein Sciences which involves synthesis of the viral HA protein in insect cells.
They warned that the virus could mutate during the southern hemisphere’s flu season before returning north in a more lethal form in [...]... Read more »
Ross, T., Mahmood, K., Crevar, C., Schneider-Ohrum, K., Heaton, P., & Bright, R. (2009) A Trivalent Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Elicits Protective Immune Responses against Seasonal Influenza Strains in Mice and Ferrets. PLoS ONE, 4(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006032
Advocates for evidence based care feel our ears perk up when we hear about a new Cochrane systematic review. Cochrane Review = Evidence! Right? Indeed, systematic reviews represent the top of the “evidence pyramid” and Cochrane systematic reviews are the gold standard for their rigor and transparency. A Cochrane review can even conclusively settle important [...]... Read more »
Ohlsson A, & Shah VS. (2009) Intrapartum antibiotics for known maternal Group B streptococcal colonization. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 19588432
Our weekly compilation of science news for the week of July 26, 2009.... Read more »
Feuerer, M., Herrero, L., Cipolletta, D., Naaz, A., Wong, J., Nayer, A., Lee, J., Goldfine, A., Benoist, C., Shoelson, S.... (2009) Lean, but not obese, fat is enriched for a unique population of regulatory T cells that affect metabolic parameters. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2002
Kajimura, S., Seale, P., Kubota, K., Lunsford, E., Frangioni, J., Gygi, S., & Spiegelman, B. (2009) Initiation of myoblast to brown fat switch by a PRDM16–C/EBP-β transcriptional complex. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08262
Orso, G., Pendin, D., Liu, S., Tosetto, J., Moss, T., Faust, J., Micaroni, M., Egorova, A., Martinuzzi, A., McNew, J.... (2009) Homotypic fusion of ER membranes requires the dynamin-like GTPase Atlastin. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08280
Page, R., Ambady, S., Holmes, W., Vilner, L., Kole, D., Kashpur, O., Huntress, V., Vojtic, I., Whitton, H., & Dominko, T. (2009) Induction of Stem Cell Gene Expression in Adult Human Fibroblasts without Transgenes. Cloning and Stem Cells, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/clo.2009.0015
Gentleman, E., Swain, R., Evans, N., Boonrungsiman, S., Jell, G., Ball, M., Shean, T., Oyen, M., Porter, A., & Stevens, M. (2009) Comparative materials differences revealed in engineered bone as a function of cell-specific differentiation. Nature Materials. DOI: 10.1038/nmat2505
Child abuse of any sort is difficult to understand, but the homicide of infants by caretakers is beyond most people's imagination. A new study sheds some light on who commits these acts.Fujiwara, T., Barber, C., Schaechter, J., & Hemenway, D. (2009). Characteristics of Infant Homicides: Findings From a U.S. Multisite Reporting System PEDIATRICS, 124 (2) DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-3675The study reports on 72 cases drawn from the National Violent Injury Statistics System. The system was developed to p........ Read more »
So if you purchase organically grown food (crops and meat) because you think they are more nutritious, then you might be disappointed to learn that there is no evidence that it is.In a huge survey of the literature on organic food from the last 50 years, the overall message is that no difference in nutritional value is to be found between organically and conventionally grown foods.  (By the ... Read more »
Dangour, A., Dodhia, S., Hayter, A., Allen, E., Lock, K., & Uauy, R. (2009) Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28041
Pettersson, I., & Berg, C. (2007) ENVIRONMENTALLY RELEVANT CONCENTRATIONS OF ETHYNYLESTRADIOL CAUSE FEMALE-BIASED SEX RATIOS IN XENOPUS TROPICALIS AND RANA TEMPORARIA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 26(5), 1005. DOI: 10.1897/06-464R.1
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