Post List

  • December 13, 2010
  • 08:33 AM

BDNF and Depression

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

I’ve written a bunch of posts in the past on serotonin, the serotonin theory of depression (and why it’s probably wrong), and some stuff on current antidepressant treatments. And I even talked before a little bit about the serotonin theory vs the BDNF theory. But I’ve never really COVERED what the BDNF theory IS and [...]... Read more »

Schmidt HD, & Duman RS. (2010) Peripheral BDNF Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects in Cellular and Behavioral Models. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 21085113  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The lonely places: Where could life exist, but doesn’t?

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Our planet is covered with life. Birds fly over Mount Everest; ecosystems thrive at hot vents at the bottom of the ocean. And the more we have looked, the more and more weird places we find organisms living in places we thought was completely uninhabitable.

Given all the interest in the idea that life could exist without phosphorus, this new article by Cockell is extremely timely. Cockell points out that if we want to understand life, we have to pay attention not just to where life is present, ........ Read more »

Cockell CS. (2011) Vacant habitats in the Universe. Trends in Ecology . info:/10.1016/j.tree.2010.11.004

  • December 13, 2010
  • 07:12 AM

Arsenic-based life and the nature of science

by Kent in Uncommon Ground

If you read this blog, you probably read about the report in Science describing a claim that scientists had isolated a bacterium from Mono Lake in California that substitutes arsenic for phosphorus to sustain its growth. Our data show evidence...... Read more »

Wolfe-Simon, F., Blum, J., Kulp, T., Gordon, G., Hoeft, S., Pett-Ridge, J., Stolz, J., Webb, S., Weber, P., Davies, P.... (2010) A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197258  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

December 13, 2010

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

It is always exciting to read a paper that describes a fascinating discovery. It is even more exciting when that discovery opens the door to so many interesting questions. The paper that brought us today’s image is a great example of this.... Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 06:07 AM

When cross-examination [of the expert witness] offends

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Your witnesses can make your case. They can also make your case a dog.  I was called several months ago to do witness preparation for trial on a commercial case that was, before our key witnesses flamed out in deposition, viewed as a mid-7 figure case.  After a dismal deposition performance, the plaintiff attorneys that [...]

Related posts:Overdoing it: Is there such a thing as too little anxiety in your witness?
“I didn’t know truth had a gender”
Tattoos: When should you clean up your........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 05:45 AM

Redefining Great Britain

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

This research paper describes a clever way to redefine and redraw geographical areas using telephone communication networks... Read more »

Carlo Ratti, Stanislav Sobolevsky, Francesco Calabrese, Clio Andris, Jonathan Reades, Mauro Martino, Rob Claxton, & Steven H. Strogatz. (2010) Redrawing the Map of Great Britain from a Network of Human Interactions. . PLoS ONE, 5(12). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0014248

  • December 13, 2010
  • 05:28 AM

When and how psychological data is collected affects the kind of students who volunteer

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Psychology has a serious problem. You may have heard about its over-dependence on WEIRD participants - that is, those from Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich Democracies. More specifically, as regular readers will be aware, countless psychology studies (especially those with a social bent) involve undergraduate students, often those studying psychology. Apart from the obvious fact that this limits the generalisability of the findings, Edward Witt and his colleagues provide evidence in a new........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 05:14 AM

Enablers and Barriers to Risk Mitigation

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Everybody concerned with the task of developing risk mitigation strategies has a list in his mind of different factors influencing a company's exposure to risk and if you think about it: those factors are probably related.
Example: The number of suppliers for one component can have a huge impact on risk, but the necessity of a high number of (redundant) suppliers may itself be affected by the trust you built with your main supplier. Both trust and having multiple suppliers affect supply cha........ Read more »

Faisal, M. N., Banwet, D.K., & Shankar, R. (2006) Supply Chain Risk Mitigation: Modeling the Enablers. Business Process Management Journal, 12(4), 535-552. info:/

  • December 13, 2010
  • 04:54 AM

Live not by visualization alone

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Synthetic map
In the age of 500,000 SNP studies of genetic variation across dozens of populations obviously we’re a bit beyond lists of ABO blood frequencies. There’s no real way that a conventional human is going to be able to discern patterns of correlated allele frequency variations which point to between population genetic differences on this [...]... Read more »

Olivier François, Mathias Currat, Nicolas Ray, Eunjung Han, Laurent Excoffier, & John Novembre. (2010) Principal Component Analysis under Population Genetic Models of Range Expansion and Admixture. Mol Biol Evol . info:/

  • December 13, 2010
  • 03:52 AM

Novel, fast DNA nanopore detector features integrated tunneling electrodes

by Michael Berger in nanowerk

Researchers worldwide are working on fast and low-cost strategies to sequence DNA, that is, to read off the content of our genome. Particularly promising for future genome sequencing are devices that measure single molecules. In this respect, the creation of nanochannels or nanopores in thin membranes has attracted much interest due to the potential to isolate and sense single DNA molecules while they translocate through the highly confined channels. Particularly interesting are techniques that ........ Read more »

Ivanov, A., Instuli, E., McGilvery, C., Baldwin, G., McComb, D., Albrecht, T., & Edel, J. (2010) DNA Tunneling Detector Embedded in a Nanopore. Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/nl103873a  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 01:56 AM

How to run a succesful research faculty

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Besides patient care and education, research is also an important part of a med school. Funding and keeping a research department alive in medicine is very complicated. Below are some suggestions from a approach as published in a recent article from the Advances in Health Sciences Education. It’s my own interpretation of the suggestions made [...]

Related posts:On Leading a Research Group
16 Factors that could Make a Portfolio Succesful in Medical Education?
Under-representation of wome........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 12:43 AM

Study: Dialysis Death Risk Is Higher in For-Profit Clinics

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

A majority of Americans who've suffered kidney failure go to Medicare-certified treatment centers three times weekly for dialysis. Many of these are part of large chains, that are for-profit businesses. According to this study, that's unfortunate: It found that patients at for-profit centers had a ...Read More
... Read more »

  • December 12, 2010
  • 10:41 PM

Not Miley Cyrus: A small human trial of salvinorin A

by David J Kroll in Terra Sigillata

Some interesting news came out last week regarding Salvia divinorum, the hallucinogenic mint plant, whose primary active constituent, salvinorin A, is a highly selective kappa opioid receptor agonist that is remarkable as a nonnitrogenous psychoactive compound. However, my interest had nothing to do with the widely-discussed video at showing actress and singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus doing a [...]... Read more »

  • December 12, 2010
  • 07:45 PM

Work Habits of Highly Cited Scientists

by Samuel Arbesman in

In a recent paper in Scientometrics, a group of scientists examined what the social properties are of the most highly cited scientists in the fields of environmental science and ecology. They asked highly cited scientists (determined using to complete an online survey, and collected a wide variety of information, from demographics to perspectives on [...]... Read more »

  • December 12, 2010
  • 05:35 PM

Psycasm - Sharing: Part I - Emotions

by Rift in Psycasm

[Wherein our Hero whether sharing = caring, and what, exactly, do we get out of it?]Sharing is caring, so they say (or at least 13 million hits on google says so). In my experience that phrase is used regarding the sharing of emotions and thoughts, rather than things and objects. And I've never really understood it. Why, if I share my feelings with you, does that show I care? Surely 'lis; (read more)

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

  • December 12, 2010
  • 05:34 PM

Speaking of Ester Boserup

by teofilo in Gambler's House

The paper I discussed earlier on the connection between plow-based agriculture and highly inegalitarian gender roles was based on a theory proposed by Ester Boserup.  Boserup was a Danish economist who had a lot of interesting ideas about the relationship between population growth and agricultural intensification.  She’s best known for arguing that intensification of agricultural [...]... Read more »

  • December 12, 2010
  • 04:45 PM

Fetal Testosterone and Autistic Traits - Part III: Empathy

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

Looks at two studies by Simon Baron-Cohen's research group that look for relationships between testosterone levels during gestation (as measured in mothers' amniotic fluid) and children's development of empathy. Empathy is assessed three ways: children's versions of the Empathy Quotient (which the parents answer about the children) and the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test), and by tracking children's use of mentalizing language in their narration of a wordless computer-........ Read more »

KNICKMEYER, R., BARONCOHEN, S., RAGGATT, P., TAYLOR, K., & HACKETT, G. (2006) Fetal testosterone and empathy. Hormones and Behavior, 49(3), 282-292. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.08.010  

  • December 12, 2010
  • 04:31 PM

It's just a stage. A phylotypic stage. Part II: The flies

by SFMatheson in Quintessence of Dust

The controversy about the existence of the phylotypic stage is more than some bickering about whether one blobby, slimy fish-thing looks more like a Roswell alien than another one does. It's about whether the phylotypic stage means something, whether it tells us something important about development and how developmental changes contribute to evolution. To answer such a question, we need more than another set of comparisons of the shape and movements of embryos and their parts. We need a complet........ Read more »

Kalinka, A., Varga, K., Gerrard, D., Preibisch, S., Corcoran, D., Jarrells, J., Ohler, U., Bergman, C., & Tomancak, P. (2010) Gene expression divergence recapitulates the developmental hourglass model. Nature, 468(7325), 811-814. DOI: 10.1038/nature09634  

  • December 12, 2010
  • 04:11 PM

What Is Systemizing?

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

A close look at the surprisingly elusive concept central to Simon Baron-Cohen's extreme male brain theory of autism... Read more »

Baron-Cohen, S. (2002) The extreme male brain theory of autism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(6), 248-254. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-6613(02)01904-6  

Baron-Cohen, S., Richler, J., Bisarya, D., Gurunathan, N., & Wheelwright, S. (2003) The systemizing quotient: an investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism, and normal sex differences. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 358(1430), 361-374. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2002.1206  

  • December 12, 2010
  • 03:31 PM

Facebook, physical activity and comparison

by Exercise psychology in Exercise Psychology

This article is of interest to me as it combines physical activity, in this case, pedometer step counts and comparison. The author used Facebook as a means of enabling participants to compare their step counts with those of others in a workplace group. The intervention reports that the comparison opportunities led to the participants increasing their step counts. ... Read more »

Buunk BP, Collins RL, Taylor SE, VanYperen NW, & Dakof GA. (1990) The affective consequences of social comparison: either direction has its ups and downs. Journal of personality and social psychology, 59(6), 1238-49. PMID: 2283590  

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