Yes, but not necessarily because it is wrong.
Some time ago researchers proposed that the modern DNA signal indicated that chimps and humans continued to interbreed long after they split in evolutionary time. A new study refutes this, and as the author states, this new study is more correct because it "simpler and hence more likely".
Wow. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Presgraves, D., & Yi, S. (2009) Doubts about complex speciation between humans and chimpanzees. Trends in Ecology . DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.04.007
Dolgin, Elie. (2009) Human-chimp interbreeding challenged. Nature News. info:/
One thing men are really good at is making mistakes—just ask any woman. When it comes to mutations we are ten times better than women at ensuring the evolution of the species. Knowing the actual rate of mutation in humans—or any other species—is important for many reasons. For one thing, it tells us about the maximum possible rate of evolution. For another, it gives us an important clue about ... Read more »
Xue, Y., Wang, Q., Long, Q., Ng, B., Swerdlow, H., Burton, J., Skuce, C., Taylor, R., Abdellah, Z., & Zhao, Y. (2009) Human Y Chromosome Base-Substitution Mutation Rate Measured by Direct Sequencing in a Deep-Rooting Pedigree. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.07.032
From the regulation and reproduction in bacteria colonies (Bassler, 2002) to complex smell and taste systems of humans (Van Toller & Dodd, 1988), the ability of sensing chemical stimuli, known as chemosensation, is believed to be the most basic and ubiquitous of senses (Bhutta, 2007). One strain of thought places chemosensation as merely an evolved [...]... Read more »
The librarians I’ve met at workshops, at conferences, and on the web, are generally strong supporters of open access. My impression has always been that our professional philosophy of providing information to our users free of charge (to them) fits very nicely with the philosophy of the open access movement.
Recently, I’ve started to wonder [...]... Read more »
Kristi L. Palmer, Emily Dill, & Charlene Christie. (2009) Where There's a Will There's a Way?: Survey of Academic Librarian Attitudes about Open Access. College and Research Libraries, 70(4), 315-335. info:/
Smell is the oldest and most basic sense. Smell is the detection of external chemicals, which bacteria, without even having neurons (because they are one-celled), are able to do with ease. Taste is a mere spin-off of smell, as it is also about detection of chemicals, just those in a little higher concentrations a little closer to the body.
A new paper by Shah and colleagues blurs the already fuzzy line between small, taste, and even nociception (detection of tissue damaging stimuli). They exa........ Read more »
Shah, A., Ben-Shahar, Y., Moninger, T., Kline, J., & Welsh, M. (2009) Motile Cilia of Human Airway Epithelia Are Chemosensory. Science, 325(5944), 1131-1134. DOI: 10.1126/science.1173869
Note: Prinsloo has edited his website in light of our criticisms, but the version of his site that I responded to is still available on Google cache.
A Pretoria-based homeopath, one Dr. JP Prinsloo, has taken on some local skeptics, including Owen and Angela. I'll have more to say about him in the next while, but for the moment I want to do three things: point to Owen's superb (and damn funny) response, address one of Prinsloo's arguments and demonstrate he misinterprets the medical literat........ Read more »
Shang, A., Huwiler-Müntener, K., Nartey, L., Jüni, P., Dörig, S., Sterne, J., Pewsner, D., & Egger, M. (2005) Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. The Lancet, 366(9487), 726-732. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67177-2
Most of us are familiar with pictures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the human brain; indeed, these black-and-white images have achieved almost iconic status at this stage. From popular television programmes, and regrettably from common experience, the use of these images to detect lesions, such as tumours or the effects of stroke, is well known. Classic MRI can distinguish grey and white matter based on their different cellular composition but cannot go very far beyond that, because ........ Read more »
Wedeen, V., Wang, R., Schmahmann, J., Benner, T., Tseng, W., Dai, G., Pandya, D., Hagmann, P., D'Arceuil, H., & de Crespigny, A. (2008) Diffusion spectrum magnetic resonance imaging (DSI) tractography of crossing fibers. NeuroImage, 41(4), 1267-1277. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.03.036
Schmahmann, J., Pandya, D., Wang, R., Dai, G., D'Arceuil, H., de Crespigny, A., & Wedeen, V. (2007) Association fibre pathways of the brain: parallel observations from diffusion spectrum imaging and autoradiography. Brain, 130(3), 630-653. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awl359
Perrin, M., Cointepas, Y., Cachia, A., Poupon, C., Thirion, B., Rivière, D., Cathier, P., El Kouby, V., Constantinesco, A., Le Bihan, D.... (2008) Connectivity-Based Parcellation of the Cortical Mantle Using q-Ball Diffusion Imaging. International Journal of Biomedical Imaging, 1-19. DOI: 10.1155/2008/368406
Klein, J., Behrens, T., Robson, M., Mackay, C., Higham, D., & Johansen-Berg, H. (2007) Connectivity-based parcellation of human cortex using diffusion MRI: Establishing reproducibility, validity and observer independence in BA 44/45 and SMA/pre-SMA. NeuroImage, 34(1), 204-211. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.08.022
Vietnam has "exported" its logging to other countries
... Read more »
Meyfroidt, P., . (2009) Forest transition in Vietnam and displacement of deforestation abroad. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/
Described as cold, heartless, manipulative, selfish, and low anxiety, primary psychopaths frankly scare the bejesus out of most people including myself. Look at the case of John Wayne Gacy Jr., the American serial killer who took the lives of 33 boys and young men between 1972 to 1978; burying most of the bodies in his crawl space beneath his home. During his sentencing he was quoted to have morbidly joked that the only thing he was guilty of was "running a cemetery without a license". How fucke........ Read more »
Zeier JD, Maxwell JS, & Newman JP. (2009) Attention moderates the processing of inhibitory information in primary psychopathy. Journal of abnormal psychology, 118(3), 554-63. PMID: 19685952
Right, it’s about time this blog went extragalactic again. As Douglas Adams wrote, “Space…is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space”. With all that Universe available [...]... Read more »
Schoenmakers, A., de Bruyn, A., Rottgering, H., van der Laan, H., & Kaiser, C. (2000) Radio galaxies with a 'double-double morphology' - I. Analysis of the radio properties and evidence for interrupted activity in active galactic nuclei. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 315(2), 371-380. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2000.03430.x
There are some days I despair that the biopsychosocial model will EVER take hold in the died-in-the-wool medical interventionist strongholds.
This quote from a discussion with a colleague might help you join in my pity party…The conversation is about a case of a young woman with 18 month history of neck pain post-MVA, she has been [...]... Read more »
Pincus T, Vlaeyen JW, Kendall NA, Von Korff MR, Kalauokalani DA, & Reis S. (2002) Cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychosocial factors in low back pain: directions for the future. Spine, 27(5). PMID: 11880850
The practice of growing food and keeping livestock was invented numerous times throughout the world. One 'center' of agriculture is said to be the Middle East. Despite the fact that calling the Middle East a "center" in this context is a gross oversimplification, it is true that agriculture was practiced in Anatolia and the Levant for quite some time before it was practiced in Europe, and it seems that the practice more or less spread from the middle east across Europe over a fairly long perio........ Read more »
Pinhasi, R., & von Cramon-Taubadel, N. (2009) Craniometric Data Supports Demic Diffusion Model for the Spread of Agriculture into Europe. PLoS ONE, 4(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006747
Gravlee, C., Bernard, H., & Leonard, W. (2003) Heredity, Environment, and Cranial Form: A Reanalysis of Boas's Immigrant Data. American Anthropologist, 105(1), 125-138. DOI: 10.1525/aa.2003.105.1.125
If we accept that language is not only a conveyer of cultural information, but it is itself a socially learned and culturally transmitted system, then an individual’s linguistic knowledge is the result of observing the linguistic behaviour of others. This well attested process of language acquisition is often termed Iterated Learning, and it opens up [...]... Read more »
Swarup, S., & Gasser, L. (2009) The Iterated Classification Game: A New Model of the Cultural Transmission of Language. Adaptive Behavior, 17(3), 213-235. DOI: 10.1177/1059712309105818
Dediu, D. (2009) Genetic biasing through cultural transmission: Do simple Bayesian models of language evolution generalise?. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 259(3), 552-561. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2009.04.004
Kirby S, Dowman M, & Griffiths TL. (2007) Innateness and culture in the evolution of language. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(12), 5241-5. PMID: 17360393
Reali F, & Griffiths TL. (2009) The evolution of frequency distributions: relating regularization to inductive biases through iterated learning. Cognition, 111(3), 317-28. PMID: 19327759
Niamh Daeid (University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom) and coworkers have identified the chemical impurities which arise from different synthetic routes to methamphetamine, aiding efforts aimed at drug network disruption. This news feature was written on August 31, 2009.... Read more »
Kunalan, V., Nic Daéid, N. N., Kerr, W. J., Buchanan, H. A. S., & McPherson, A. R. (2009) Characterization of Route Specific Impurities Found in Methamphetamine Synthesized by the Leuckart and Reductive Amination Methods. Analytical Chemistry, 81(17), 7342-7348. DOI: 10.1021/ac9005588
This one’s an old bit of research, but a favourite of mine. It’s not groundbreaking science, but when I first heard about it, I just went ‘oh, wow’, in amazement at what natural selection can come up with! In short, it’s a flower shaped to reflect sonar so that bats can find it.
Flowers can be [...]... Read more »
von Helversen, D., & von Helversen, O. (2003) Object recognition by echolocation: a nectar-feeding bat exploiting the flowers of a rain forest vine. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, 189(5), 327-336. info:/10.1007/s00359-003-0405-3
Good morning and welcome to another installment of "The Falsehoods." Today's falsehood is the assertion that the poor have more babies than the rich, or that the poor just have more babies to begin with. In comparison to ... whatever.
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Essock-Vitale SM. (1984) The reproductive success of wealthy Americans. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5(1), 45-54. info:other/
Image via Wikipedia Scientists have published an interesting article in the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). Basically, a gene therapy vector is used to deliver a therapeutic gene or a portion of DNA into a cell...... Read more »
Glover, D., Ng, S., Mechler, A., Martin, L., & Jans, D. (2009) Multifunctional protein nanocarriers for targeted nuclear gene delivery in nondividing cells. The FASEB Journal, 23(9), 2996-3006. DOI: 10.1096/fj.09-131425
Arnaud Magrez (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland), Beat Schwaller (University of Fribourg, Switzerland), and coworkers have shown that titanium nanofilaments can be toxic, serving as a further warning that the toxicity of nanomaterials needs to be fully investigated for the sake of public health and the environment. This news feature was written on August 31, 2009.... Read more »
What do stunted coconut palms, misshapen potato tubers, and peach trees with necrotic branches have in common? They are three of the numerous crops stricken with diseases caused by viroids, an astonishing group of minimalist plant pathogens. There isn't much to a viroid, just one single-stranded, circular RNA molecule. The largest viroid genome so far is 399 nucleotides, the smallest a mere 246—about one tenth the size of the smallest viruses (hepadnavirus LINK 2) and one hundredth the size of........ Read more »
Räty & Carlsson-Kanyama show that energy consumption differ according to gender. Not surprisingly, men eat more meat, drink more alcohol and buy and drive more expensive and fuel-intensive cars, and women use more energy on hygiene and clothes. This might not be news, but it’s still nice to have some number on it. Even if those numbers are only (very reasonable!) guesstimations based on a small subset of the population (singles) and inferring energy use from expenditure numbers&hellip........ Read more »
Räty, R., & Carlsson-Kanyama, A. (2009) Energy consumption by gender in some European countries. Energy Policy. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2009.08.010
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