Three months ago, I ran the post that appears below. This post got lots of comments, and there were a fair number of misunderstandings, so let me up-front here make clear what I mean by facilitated communication in the hopes these misunderstandings do not occur again. We teach our children many skills by using hand-over-hand techniques. I'm not talking about teaching your child how to type, how to hold a pencil, how to do things. I'm talking specifically about the facilitated communication as Bi........ Read more »
Finn, P. (2005) Science and Pseudoscience in Communication Disorders: Criteria and Applications. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 14(3), 172-186. DOI: 10.1044/1058-0360(2005/018)
Wegner, D., Fuller, V., & Sparrow, B. (2003) Clever hands: Uncontrolled intelligence in facilitated communication. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(1), 5-19. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.199
Ziring, P., Brazdziunas, D., Cooley, W., Kastner, T., Kummer, M., De Pijem, L., & et al. (1998) Auditory integration training and facilitated communication for autism. American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Children with Disabilities. Pediatrics, 102(2 Pt 1), 431-3. PMID: 9685446
Our planet is an intriguing concoction of variables that meld together for successes spanning the organization of life (species, populations, communities, and ecosystems). It is literally an evolutionary process that is ecologically driven. And as a genotypic sex determined species, we seem to have an inherent fascination with the mysterious adaptive significance of environmental sex [...]... Read more »
HAYS, G., FOSSETTE, S., KATSELIDIS, K., SCHOFIELD, G., & GRAVENOR, M. (2010) Breeding Periodicity for Male Sea Turtles, Operational Sex Ratios, and Implications in the Face of Climate Change. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01531.x
Offering people free lentils and metal food dishes substantially improves the number of young children that receive a full course of childhood immunisations in resource poor areas, and is more cost effective than just improving the vaccine services available in the region, according to a new study published free in the British Medical Journal. Abhijit [...]... Read more »
Banerjee, A., Duflo, E., Glennerster, R., & Kothari, D. (2010) Improving immunisation coverage in rural India: clustered randomised controlled evaluation of immunisation campaigns with and without incentives. BMJ, 340(may17 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c2220
Painters create networks. The subject of the piece, even if it’s a simple splotch of color, garners the most attention, but without a descriptive background or other kinds of supporting elements to contextualize the portion of the painting where the artist wants you to look, the intended focus is...
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Meijer, H., Van Den Hoek Ostende, L., Van Den Bergh, G., & De Vos, J. (2010) The fellowship of the hobbit: the fauna surrounding Homo floresiensis. Journal of Biogeography, 37(6), 995-1006. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02308.x
by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog
The influenza virus neuraminidase (NA) protein is required for virus release from the cell, a property exploited by the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamavir (Relenza). During clinical testing of oseltamivir in 2001, some individuals shed drug-resistant viruses with an amino acid change from histidine to tyrosine (H274Y) in NA. Such viruses are not inhibited [...]... Read more »
Bloom JD, Gong LI, & Baltimore D. (2010) Permissive secondary mutations enable the evolution of influenza oseltamivir resistance. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5983), 1272-5. PMID: 20522774
I saw this and could think of nothing but the alien from the movie Predator.
This is a frontal view of the head of a male Branchinecta brushi. This species of fairy shrimp is interesting in several ways. First, it is a species new to science, having just been described in a paper last week.
Second, this is one of the two highest crustacean species on the planet. There is one other crustacean found in the same pools that B. brushi is found in.
I also have to give this paper credit for the bes........ Read more »
Hegna, T., & Lazo-Wasem, E. (2010) Branchinecta brushi n. sp. (Branchiopoda: Anostraca: Branchinectidae) from a Volcanic Crater in Northern Chile (Antofagasta Province): A New Altitude Record for Crustaceans. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 30(3), 445-464. DOI: 10.1651/09-3236.1
Chimpanzees have culture (or not) depending on your definition.Image: Irish Wildcat / Creative Commons
Author's Note: The following is an expansion on my reply to anthropologist Dan Sperber on the PLoS ONE article "Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees."
Culture is like art or pornography, it's hard for people to define but everyone knows it when they see it. Cultural anthropologists have long struggled to develop a consistent definition of the very thing that they study, a proble........ Read more »
How the hell did seals get into Lake Baikal? Actually, if you're a long-time reader you'll know the answers that have been put forward (note there that I didn't say "you'll know the answer"), as I covered this issue back in 2006 on Tet Zoo ver 1. In the interests of recycling old stuff and saving myself valuable time and effort, here's that article again...
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
PALO, J., & VAINOLA, R. (2006) The enigma of the landlocked Baikal and Caspian seals addressed through phylogeny of phocine mitochondrial sequences. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 88(1), 61-72. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2006.00607.x
There's been much excitement about the latest big genetic study into autism, published in Nature : the grandly titled Autism Genome Project, brought to you by a crack team of no fewer than 177 researchers.For a good summary of the research take a look here, and for a longer account here. In a nutshell, the authors examined DNA from almost 1000 people with an autism spectrum disorder. They were looking for deletions and duplications of segments of DNA: so-called copy number variations (CNVs). A C........ Read more »
Pinto, D., Pagnamenta, A., Klei, L., Anney, R., Merico, D., Regan, R., Conroy, J., Magalhaes, T., Correia, C., Abrahams, B.... (2010) Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09146
... Read more »
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), referred to in Hindi as Methi, is a common ingredient in South Asian cuisine. Its seeds are an essential component of curry powder - its leaves are eaten as a vegetable.
Traditional Indian medicine has long attributed medicinal properties to fenugreek, especially for the treatment of diabetes.
Now, Taku Uemura and colleagues from Kyoto [...]... Read more »
Uemura T, Hirai S, Mizoguchi N, Goto T, Lee JY, Taketani K, Nakano Y, Shono J, Hoshino S, Tsuge N.... (2010) Diosgenin present in fenugreek improves glucose metabolism by promoting adipocyte differentiation and inhibiting inflammation in adipose tissues. Molecular nutrition . PMID: 20540147
This maybe just what we need to start moving deep cognitive understandings of the Web Ergonomics of users into a form that can help us simulate and apply this knowledge to instances of Web Interactivity, sort of a CogTool on steroids.... Read more »
Dominik Heckmann, & Antonio Krueger. (2003) A User Modeling Markup Language (UserML) for Ubiquitous Computing . LNCS User Modeling 2003, 1(1), 148. info:/10.1007/3-540-44963-9_55
Dominik Heckmann, Tim Schwartz, Boris Brandherm, Michael Schmitz, & Margeritta von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. (2005) Gumo – The General User Model Ontology . User Modeling 2005, 1(1), 428-432. info:/10.1007/11527886_58
This is a post that aims to go through the evolution of the “Hockey Stick” from 1990 to the present day. It naturally misses out parts of the story, which deserve far more analysis, simply to keep the post short. Comments that expand on the bits I’ve omitted are welcome! What is the “Hockey Stick” [...]... Read more »
Mann ME, Zhang Z, Hughes MK, Bradley RS, Miller SK, Rutherford S, & Ni F. (2008) Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(36), 13252-7. PMID: 18765811
Our brains’ internal representations of ourselves are not, it would appear, quite as accurate as one would have thought.
That, at least, is the conclusion of paper which just came out in the dangerously-acronymed PNAS*.
To introduce the subject, then, let’s agree that it’s important for the brain to know where all our various physical bits are. [...]
[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »
Matthew R. Longo and Patrick Haggard. (2010) An implicit body representation underlying human position sense. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1003483107
Extreme dieting and fasting can increase the risk for binge eating. For some individuals, binge eating seems to be a compensatory mechanism for weight restoration. The variability in binge eating behaviors following food restriction has been unknown. Now, a study suggests brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) may play a role in binge eating.Akkermann and colleagues from Estonia examined the relationship between BNDF polymorphism status and binge eating behavior. BNDF. BDNF gene alleles a........ Read more »
Akkermann K, Hiio K, Villa I, & Harro J. (2010) Food restriction leads to binge eating dependent upon the effect of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism. Psychiatry research. PMID: 20537407
Parents experience wide variety of emotions ranging from love and happiness to anger and frustration. Learn 3 practical implications to help you balance the extreme emotions of parenting. ... Read more »
Gorchoff SM, John OP, & Helson R. (2008) Contextualizing change in marital satisfaction during middle age: an 18-year longitudinal study. Psychological Science, 19(11), 1194-200. PMID: 19076493
Kahneman, D., Krueger, A.B., Schkade, D.A., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A.A. (2004) A Survey Method for Characterizing Daily Life Experience: The Day Reconstruction Method. Science, 306(5702), 1776-1780. DOI: 10.1126/science.1103572
Lyubomirsky, S., & Boehm, J. (2010) Human Motives, Happiness, and the Puzzle of Parenthood: Commentary on Kenrick et al. (2010). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(3), 327-334. DOI: 10.1177/1745691610369473
Repost from March 26, 2010.I recently wrote a research-based blog on facilitated communication. It was a rather long article, I'll admit, but I thought it important to provide as much information about facilitated communication and what the overwhelming majority of studies and meta-analyses showed regarding it. It has, despite its popularity in some sectors of the autism community and its fervent supporters, been shown that the communication comes not from the individual who is nonverbal but fro........ Read more »
Schlosser, R., & Wendt, O. (2008) Effects of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention on Speech Production in Children With Autism: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17(3), 212-230. DOI: 10.1044/1058-0360(2008/021)
A drop in the bucket - a massive pile of bison skulls about to be ground into fertilizer, photographed circa 1870. From Wikipedia.
From almost the very start, wolves were not welcome in Yellowstone. When the national park was established by the United States government in 1872 the bison population had crashed - a victim of westward expansion, the fur trade, and the desire to deprive native people of an animal important to their existence - leaving the area's wolves little recourse but to beg........ Read more »
Elmhagen, B., Ludwig, G., Rushton, S., Helle, P., & Lindén, H. (2010) Top predators, mesopredators and their prey: interference ecosystems along bioclimatic productivity gradients. Journal of Animal Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01678.x
Johnson, C. (2010) Red in tooth and claw: how top predators shape terrestrial ecosystems. Journal of Animal Ecology, 79(4), 723-725. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01706.x
One of the questions addressed in this space is, "what makes a particular condition susceptible to quackery?" Some of the common features we've seen over time are: Diverse and protean symptoms: fatigue, "brain fog", diffuse pain, and other vague symptoms are often used as diagnostic criteria for controversial entities such as morgellons and chronic Lyme disease. Lack of diagnostic certainty: there are no definitive tests to make the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease or morgellons ........ Read more »
Lanphear BP, Hornung R, Khoury J, Yolton K, Baghurst P, Bellinger DC, Canfield RL, Dietrich KN, Bornschein R, Greene T.... (2005) Low-level environmental lead exposure and children's intellectual function: an international pooled analysis. Environmental health perspectives, 113(7), 894-9. PMID: 16002379
Hu, H., Shih, R., Rothenberg, S., & Schwartz, B. (2006) The Epidemiology of Lead Toxicity in Adults: Measuring Dose and Consideration of Other Methodologic Issues. Environmental Health Perspectives, 115(3), 455-462. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.9783
Shih, R., Glass, T., Bandeen-Roche, K., Carlson, M., Bolla, K., Todd, A., & Schwartz, B. (2006) Environmental lead exposure and cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults. Neurology, 67(9), 1556-1562. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000239836.26142.c5
Liu X, Dietrich KN, Radcliffe J, Ragan NB, Rhoads GG, & Rogan WJ. (2002) Do children with falling blood lead levels have improved cognition?. Pediatrics, 110(4), 787-91. PMID: 12359796
One of the key challenges facing any theories of the molecular origins of life concerns the synthesis, stability polymerization and self-assembly of early life's molecular components. If you cannot explain the chemical origin of these components, you cannot really explain the origin of life. In case of life as we know it, this boils down to explaining the origin of the building blocks of living organisms, namely nucleotides and amino acids.The simplest principles and quirks of chemistry could ha........ Read more »
Choudhary, A., Kamer, K., Powner, M., Sutherland, J., & Raines, R. (2010) A Stereoelectronic Effect in Prebiotic Nucleotide Synthesis. ACS Chemical Biology, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/cb100093g
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