Post List

  • January 7, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

How far can a bee fly, and why should we care?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Entomologists from Switzerland have published a study that measures how far three different species of bees can fly to forage for food. Their study is innovative because it uses a new, direct experimental approach in which patches of host plants were moved progressively farther back from the nest over time. Antonia Zurbuchen and fellow authors measured the number of female bees that were able to forage at the patch at each distance. This research question is crucial for addressing the widespread........ Read more »

A. Zurbuchen, L. Landert, J. Klaiber, A. Müller, S. Hein, and S. Dorn. (2010) Maximum foraging ranges in solitary bees: only few individuals have the capability to cover long foraging distances. Biological Conservation. info:/10.1016/j.biocon.2009.12.003

  • January 7, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Cuttlefish camouflage split decision

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

As I've written about before, cephalopods are the masters of camouflage. But what happens if they have to try to match two different backgrounds? Allen and colleague (containing several members who worked on the paper I wrote about earlier) tackle this problem with cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis).

There's a couple of possibilities. Because octopus and squid and such can control colour on each half of their body independently, they'll try to match both sides. Another possibility is........ Read more »

Allen, J., Mathger, L., Barbosa, A., Buresch, K., Sogin, E., Schwartz, J., Chubb, C., & Hanlon, R. (2009) Cuttlefish dynamic camouflage: responses to substrate choice and integration of multiple visual cues. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1694  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 07:59 AM

Darwin's Finches Develop Immunity to Alien Parasites

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: evolutionary biology, immunology, immune response, antibodies, parasite, avian pox virus, Poxvirus avium, nest fly, Philornis downsi, birds, ornithology, Darwin's Finches, Medium Ground Finch, Geospiza fortis, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper

A male Medium Ground Finch, Geospiza fortis, sits on a tree branch in Ecuador's Galapagos Islands.

Image: Jen Koop.

People often view the Hawaiian islands as a tropical paradise, the ide........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

At Your Service….. Part II

by Elements Team in Elements

By: Rosemary Stephen PMed, (cert) EOH, IPM, Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence

In Part I of our three part series, we looked at the contributions animals offer to Public health. Cats and dogs played an important a role in both World Wars, controlling mice and rats in the trenches, and today they are central in numerous beneficial [...]... Read more »

Rosemary Stephen PMed, (cert) EOH, IPM. (2010) At Your Service.. Part II. Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence. info:/

  • January 7, 2010
  • 06:48 AM

Devil’s Facial Tumor: Tracing Origins with Next-Gen Seuqencing

by Rick Scavetta in DNA Dude

Since the mid 90s everyones favourite carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian Devil, has been suffering from an unusual from of cancer called Devil Facial Tumor Disease. What’s so unusual about this cancer is that it’s transmissible. That means it can be passed onto another, unrelated animal. This occurs through biting during mating and feeding when the [...]... Read more »

Murchison, E., Tovar, C., Hsu, A., Bender, H., Kheradpour, P., Rebbeck, C., Obendorf, D., Conlan, C., Bahlo, M., Blizzard, C.... (2009) The Tasmanian Devil Transcriptome Reveals Schwann Cell Origins of a Clonally Transmissible Cancer. Science, 327(5961), 84-87. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180616  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 06:48 AM

Devil’s Facial Tumor: Tracing Origins with Next-Gen Sequencing

by Rick Scavetta in DNA Dude

Since the mid 90s everyones favourite carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian Devil, has been suffering from an unusual from of cancer called Devil Facial Tumor Disease. What’s so unusual about this cancer is that it’s transmissible. That means it can be passed onto another, unrelated animal. This occurs through biting during mating and feeding when the [...]... Read more »

Murchison, E., Tovar, C., Hsu, A., Bender, H., Kheradpour, P., Rebbeck, C., Obendorf, D., Conlan, C., Bahlo, M., Blizzard, C.... (2009) The Tasmanian Devil Transcriptome Reveals Schwann Cell Origins of a Clonally Transmissible Cancer. Science, 327(5961), 84-87. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180616  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 06:11 AM

Roller Coasters Can Be Such A Headache

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Dodonpa roller coaster, 170 feet tall, 106.9 mph. Located in Fuji-Q Highland amusement park in Japan.In case you didn't know, there's a reasonably sized literature on roller coaster headaches. An especially interesting case was reported by Fukutake and colleagues (2000) in Japan. A 24 year old woman frequently visited amusement parks, including Fuji-Q Highland -- home to 3 monster roller coasters (she rode each of them twice):One of these, the Fujiyama, is the world’s highest roller coaster at........ Read more »

Fukutake T, Mine S, Yamakami I, Yamaura A, & Hattori T. (2000) Roller coaster headache and subdural hematoma. Neurology, 54(1), 264. PMID: 10636168  

Pfister, B., Chickola, L., & Smith, D. (2009) Head Motions While Riding Roller Coasters. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 30(4), 339-345. DOI: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e318187e0c9  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 03:13 AM

Don’t put your Patient in a Box

by Chris Nickson in Life in the Fast Lane

The fourth rule of Expensive Scare Medicine: 'If you measure something and it is not normal, make it normal if it is safe to do so'. But beware! This can lead to a dangerous and insatiable desire for 'euboxia' - the pathophysiological state whereby 'all boxes on a pathology print-out are in the normal range'.... Read more »

Reade MC. (2009) Should we question if something works just because we don't know how it works?. Critical care and resuscitation : journal of the Australasian Academy of Critical Care Medicine, 11(4), 235-6. PMID: 20001869  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 03:06 AM

Internet Use Has No Negative Influence on Well-being

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

A recent meta-analysis examined the relationship between various Internet uses and well being. The studies published until know is mostly about the discussion whether using Internet for communication with e-mail replaces other forms of communication such as using the phone, chat or face to face contact. Contact through e-mail, facebook, twitter and such replaces real [...]

Related posts:Internet Cool Tools for Physicians This is an excellent book for physicians to read...
Will Online Chat Al........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 06:53 PM

getting information from a black hole’s maw

by Greg Fish in weird things

Physicists are loath to break the laws by which the universe works when putting together their equations. They don’t fear a trip to physics jail or anything like that, but if their work requires a massive rearrangement of what we seem to understand, they tend to take it as a sign that somewhere along the [...]... Read more »

Gerard 't Hooft. (2009) Quantum gravity without space-time singularities or horizons. Erice Summerschool of Subnuclear Physics. arXiv: 0909.3426v1

  • January 6, 2010
  • 05:15 PM

Atonement, self-punishment, and guilt

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Atonement is a funny concept. Essentially, it's the idea that you can cancel out a wrongdoing not by doing a good deed, but by engaging in some act of self-punishment.Although the classic example comes from Christianity (the tortured death of Jesus) similar concepts of penance are widespread in other religions. Penance goes beyond the more normal concepts of justice (revenge and punishment) because it's voluntary.Perhaps there's more going on here than meets the eye. Rob Nelissen and Marcel Zeel........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 05:10 PM

Ancient Tracks Question Ideas About Tetrapod Origins

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Tiktaalik is practically a household name. Since its description in 2006 the flat-headed "fishapod" has appeared in books, on t-shirts, and has even starred in its own music video. Hailed as a "missing link", Tiktaalik has become a poster child fossil for evolution, but it is hardly the first such creature to be given this honor. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

Niedźwiedzki, G., Szrek, P., Narkiewicz, K., Narkiewicz, M., & Ahlberg, P. (2010) Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland. Nature, 463(7277), 43-48. DOI: 10.1038/nature08623  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 03:30 PM

Innovation in Health: Socialism and Innovation

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

What's the motivation for innovation in healthcare, and does any degree of socialization at any level have an impact?... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 01:57 PM

Looking to the Jersey Shore for CO2 sequestration

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Riding on the heels of Copenhagen, a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlined one way the United States might address enormous CO2 emission levels. Not surprisingly, the researchers propose carbon sequestration; it is the location, however, that makes this study unique.
The scientists have pinpointed volcanic rock, namely [...]

... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 12:32 PM

#PLoSOne paper keywords revealing: (#Penis #Microbiome #Circumcision #HIV); press release misleading

by Jonathan Eisen in The Tree of Life


A new paper just showed up on PLoS One and it has some serious potential to be important The paper (PLoS ONE: The Effects of Circumcision on the Penis Microbiome) reports on analyses that show differences in the microbiota (which they call the microbiome - basically what bacterial species were present) in men before and after circumcision. And they found some significant differences. It is a nice study of a relatively poo........ Read more »

Price, L., Liu, C., Johnson, K., Aziz, M., Lau, M., Bowers, J., Ravel, J., Keim, P., Serwadda, D., Wawer, M.... (2010) The Effects of Circumcision on the Penis Microbiome. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008422  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 12:23 PM

Finding Recurrent CNVs in Cancer

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Copy number aberrations (CNAs) represent one of the most prevalent genetic alterations in cancer cells. There is considerable interest in finding CNAs that affect the same chromosomal region in multiple tumor samples. Recurrent CNA (RCNA) implies the presence of key cancer genes; on chromosome 7, for example, we often see amplification of the region containing [...]... Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 11:45 AM

Reduced Sleep Means Reduced Physical Activity

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

In the past, I have mentioned that physical activity and sleep time are positively related - the more physical activity you perform, the more sleep you are likely to get. Now most of these past studies have been observational, so we have a bit of a chicken and egg problem. By that I mean that we don't know whether:

A) Sleep deprivation causes reductions in physical activity,
B) High levels of physical activity make people sleepier, or
C) Some combination of A & B

Fortunately, an in........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2010
  • 11:17 AM

Running Shoes as Single Factor Thinking

by MC in begin to dig (b2d)

This is a post about Shoes not as evil, but as it seems a Great Feat of Misdirection. It's a wee bit about our biases towards single factor solutions for complex problems, and the arguments we will have around the Chosen Factor rather than pulling up and back to consider the wider view. In science, there's a strong bias towards studying the effect of a single factor in various circumstances, but you'll rarely find a scientist who will say that single factor study or finding is The........ Read more »

Kerrigan, D., Franz, J., Keenan, G., Dicharry, J., Della Croce, U., & Wilder, R. (2009) The Effect of Running Shoes on Lower Extremity Joint Torques. PM, 1(12), 1058-1063. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2009.09.011  

Knapik JJ, Swedler DI, Grier TL, Hauret KG, Bullock SH, Williams KW, Darakjy SS, Lester ME, Tobler SK, & Jones BH. (2009) Injury reduction effectiveness of selecting running shoes based on plantar shape. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 23(3), 685-97. PMID: 19387413  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 10:22 AM

“My daddy is off to war” – Children of military families struggle to adjust.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

December was a good month for the US military in Iraq; not a single casualty was reported. Unfortunately, the story was not as rosy in Afghanistan, where 20 service members died -not including the 7 CIA officers who tragically died last week.  When we see footage of military funerals on films (e.g., Kavin Bacon’s “Taking Chance”), [...]... Read more »

Chandra, A., Lara-Cinisomo, S., Jaycox, L., Tanielian, T., Burns, R., Ruder, T., & Han, B. (2009) Children on the Homefront: The Experience of Children From Military Families. PEDIATRICS, 125(1), 16-25. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1180  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Inferential Models of Bilingualism

by Sean Roberts in The Adventures of Auck

Inferential models of language learning specify how perceptual maps can be divided up to be labelled with words. However, no models currently allow bilingualism. Some proposals are made as to how to achieve this.... Read more »

DEBOER, B. (2000) Self-organization in vowel systems. Journal of Phonetics, 28(4), 441-465. DOI: 10.1006/jpho.2000.0125  

Healey, E. and Scarabela, B. (2009) Are children willing to accept two labels for one object?. Proceedings of the Child Language Seminar. University of Reading. info:/

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