Post List

  • September 7, 2009
  • 02:59 AM

Did Salvador Dali suffer from Mental Illness?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Based on two psychiatric assessment procedures, a computer program investigating the presence of a psychotic disorder and a personality questionnaire, Salvador Dali was found to have a personality disorder for DSM Cluster A and B. He was also found to meet the diagnostic criteria for psychotic illnesses.
You can’t diagnose psychiatric illness without doing a face [...]... Read more »

  • September 6, 2009
  • 07:09 PM

I TOLD you you're all mutants

by David in The Atavism

Recently I tried to make this case that a mutation in my mitochondrial DNA
didn't make me so very different than the rest of you:

Our typical conception of mutation is drawn from the tragic effects of those
relatively rare mutations, induced in our bodies or passed on through germ
cells, that lead to diseases (or, in movies to super powers). In fact, we
are, each of us, mutants. DNA replication is not perfect, we are born with about
6 or 7 new mutations...

Well, a paper published last ........ Read more »

  • September 6, 2009
  • 07:00 PM

The Craigslist of Antibiotic Resistance

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

In their most recent article, Sommer, Dantas and Church have hit upon the craigslist for antibiotic resistance used by bacteria living in the human body. The basic genomic material needed for antibiotic resistance is readily available at your local bacterial community. Resistance genes are everywhere, and it is clear that, despite transmission barriers between species, they are transmitted. Bacteria have a large pool form which to draw new resistance genes. The arms race between drug developer........ Read more »

  • September 6, 2009
  • 03:32 PM

Pacing and avoidance in fibromyalgia

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

The recent emergence of study into ‘pacing’ or activity regulation in pain management is a welcome addition to our knowledge of this coping strategy. Although pacing has been described and included in many self-help books as well as clinical texts as an effective strategy for people with chronic pain to use, the research base [...]... Read more »

  • September 6, 2009
  • 01:42 PM

Looking for some science on swine flu

by Catarina Vicente in The Y.O.R.F.

As a medical association in Spain has recently communicated to the press, more than anything there seems to be an epidemic of fear going on. As I am currently living in Portugal, I do not know what the situation is in other countries, but I can tell you how the situation is here. Every news bulletin starts with more news about the flu, even though no one has died here yet. It then finishes with a previously recorded warning on how one should wash hands frequently and keep 1m away from other peop........ Read more »

Garten RJ, Davis CT, Russell CA, Shu B, Lindstrom S, Balish A, Sessions WM, Xu X, Skepner E, Deyde V.... (2009) Antigenic and genetic characteristics of swine-origin 2009 A(H1N1) influenza viruses circulating in humans. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5937), 197-201. PMID: 19465683  

Garten, R., Davis, C., Russell, C., Shu, B., Lindstrom, S., Balish, A., Sessions, W., Xu, X., Skepner, E., Deyde, V.... (2009) Antigenic and Genetic Characteristics of Swine-Origin 2009 A(H1N1) Influenza Viruses Circulating in Humans. Science, 325(5937), 197-201. DOI: 10.1126/science.1176225  

Maines TR, Jayaraman A, Belser JA, Wadford DA, Pappas C, Zeng H, Gustin KM, Pearce MB, Viswanathan K, Shriver ZH.... (2009) Transmission and pathogenesis of swine-origin 2009 A(H1N1) influenza viruses in ferrets and mice. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5939), 484-7. PMID: 19574347  

Itoh, Y., Shinya, K., Kiso, M., Watanabe, T., Sakoda, Y., Hatta, M., Muramoto, Y., Tamura, D., Sakai-Tagawa, Y., Noda, T.... (2009) In vitro and in vivo characterization of new swine-origin H1N1 influenza viruses. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08260  

  • September 6, 2009
  • 12:50 PM

The tantalising potential of mobile phones for social research

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Nearly everyone seems to carry a mobile phone these days. What if social scientists could exploit this technology to spy on our social behaviour: who we speak to and who we spend time with? It turns out they already are. Nathan Eagle, named recently as a leading young innovator by Technology Review, and his colleagues, have published one of the first studies into social network analysis using spy software loaded onto Nokia smartphones.For nine months, Eagle's team recorded data from the phones ........ Read more »

Eagle, N., Pentland, A., & Lazer, D. (2009) Inferring friendship network structure by using mobile phone data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0900282106  

  • September 6, 2009
  • 09:54 AM

A few anthropological notes, or, why we're fearful and rude

by nuclear.kelly in Miss Atomic Bomb

Here are two stories involving recent psychological/anthropological/biological research:In Future, Science Could Erase Traumatic Memories (NPR)The Culture of Being Rude (Smithsonian Magazine)As to the first, while describing an interesting study, the story itself is characteristically media. We can pinpoint the amygdala as being the "source" of the flight-or-fight (ie, fear) response, and we have now learned that as we (or, at least, as rats) grow, a "protective molecular sheath" coats the cells........ Read more »

Gogolla N, Caroni P, Lüthi A, & Herry C. (2009) Perineuronal nets protect fear memories from erasure. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5945), 1258-61. PMID: 19729657  

Fincher CL, Thornhill R, Murray DR, & Schaller M. (2008) Pathogen prevalence predicts human cross-cultural variability in individualism/collectivism. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 275(1640), 1279-85. PMID: 18302996  

  • September 6, 2009
  • 02:41 AM

Erasing phobias early in life

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

The model of fear extinction originated from the Pavlovian classical conditioning paradigm in the early 1900s. Defined as a reduction in a conditioned fear response following a non reinforced exposure to a feared conditioned stimulus, fear extinction is known to involve the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). It's also a frequently striven-for goal in cognitive behavioral therapy during the treatment of various phobias including arachibutyrophobia; the fear of peanut butter sticking to........ Read more »

  • September 6, 2009
  • 12:51 AM

Protected minke whales from unreported bycatch sold on Japanese markets

by hilaryml in Chicken or Egg blog

Japan kills over a hundred minke whales each year under the guise of “scientific whaling”, and much of the meat ends up in the commercial markets destined for Japanese dinner plates.  Now a study just published in Animal Conservation indicates that a similar number of whales are killed as “bycatch” in Japanese coastal waters, [...]... Read more »

  • September 5, 2009
  • 04:46 PM

By their faces you will recognize them

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Does this look like a religious woman to you? According to a study by Prof Richard Wiseman in the New Scientist in February this year (hey, I've only just read it, OK?), this is a typical face of a religious person in the UK.What they did was to ask readers to send in photos of themselves, along with a rating of their personality. They digitised the key features, and produced an average of each personality type. When other people were asked to guess the personality based on face alone, they wer........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2009
  • 04:25 PM

Checking postural hypotension in patients with syncope

by Robert Badgett in ClinDx

The authors report that in 2106 consecutive patients 65 years or older admitted for syncope, "Postural blood pressure (BP) recording, performed in only 38% of episodes, had the highest yield with respect to affecting diagnosis (18%-26%) or management (25%-30%) and determining etiology of the syncopal episode (15%-21%)...... Read more »

Mendu ML, McAvay G, Lampert R, Stoehr J, & Tinetti ME. (2009) Yield of diagnostic tests in evaluating syncopal episodes in older patients. Archives of internal medicine, 169(14), 1299-305. PMID: 19636031  

  • September 5, 2009
  • 11:53 AM

Particle sorting with a miniature light railway

by Stuart Watson in Optical Futures

Lasers which can control the movement of particles are still confined to the microscopic world, but if you have an over-reactive imagination, you might wonder just what the limits are on the size of bodies which these devices can control and whether science fiction's tractor beams are becoming a reality. Today's technology may not be capable of producing force fields that lock on to starships and guide them in to land, but the size of particles which can be manipulated by light are getting large........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2009
  • 01:37 AM

Search Me

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Google-like algorithm pinpoints key species in food web

... Read more »

  • September 4, 2009
  • 06:27 PM

The Role of Transforming Growth Factor-Beta -Mediated Tumor-Stroma Interactions in Prostate Cancer Progression: An Integrative Approach

by David Basanta in Cancerevo: Cancer evolution

Can biologists and mathematicians accomplish more together than working separately? My answer to that question has always been a resounding yes but today I am backing up that statement with a piece of research: the result of a collaboration involving mathematicians and biologists (and a pathologist) in Tampa, Nashville and Houston.

Basanta, D., Strand, D., Lukner, R., Franco, O., Cliffel, D., Ayala, G., Hayward, S., & Anderson, A. (2009). The Role of Transforming Growth Factor- -M........ Read more »

  • September 4, 2009
  • 04:03 PM

What if Robert Heath is right? Attention, emotion, and advertising

by Steve Genco in Lucid Thoughts

I admit it, I”m a sucker for any argument that turns an established paradigm on its head.  It’s hard to beat that little thrill you get when you realize everything we thought we knew may be wrong!
My favorite iconoclast in the advertising research world is Robert Heath, a former ad man turned academic whose home [...]... Read more »

Du Plessis, E., & Hollis, N. (2002) Low involvement processing - is it HIP enough?. Admap, July 2002(Issue 430), 36-38. info:/

  • September 4, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

The confounding role of sensory perception in calorie restriction and ageing research

by Colby in

My first post to this blog will begin with a thought provoking paper on how the olfactory system fits in to the longevity promoting effects of calorie restriction.

Calorie restriction is the most studied and reliable way to extend secondary and maximal lifespan, tested in many species since the 1930’s up to recently in rhesus monkeys and preliminary human data.

Why the mechanisms of calorie restriction have been so well conserved throughout species is still an enigma; species in natu........ Read more »

Pletcher, S. (2009) The Modulation of Lifespan by Perceptual Systems. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1170(1), 693-697. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04926.x  

  • September 4, 2009
  • 11:13 AM

XML training in Oxford

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

The XML Summer School returns this year at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford from 20th-25th September 2009. As always, it’s packed with high quality technical XML training for every level of expertise, from the Hands-on Introduction through to special classes devoted to XQuery and XSLT, Semantic Technologies, Open Source Applications, Web 2.0, Web Services and Identity. [...]... Read more »

  • September 4, 2009
  • 11:00 AM

Dogs and babies prone to same classic mistake

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

pDomestic dogs are very different from their wolf ancestors in their bodies and their behaviour. They're more docile for a start. But man's best friend has also evolved a curious sensitivity to our communication signals - a mental ability that sets them apart from wolves and that parallels the behaviour of human infants. Dogs and infants are even prone to making the same mistakes of perception.

Like infants less than a year old, dogs fail at a seemingly easy exercise called the "object permane........ Read more »

  • September 4, 2009
  • 10:54 AM

Teachers’ Views of Homework and Effects on Students

by Kristen DiCerbo in Connections Research Blog

What do teachers think is the primary purpose of homework? How much do they think parents should be involved? How do those attitudes effect student effort and achievement?
A group of researchers studying teachers in Switzerland (hey! a non-US study!) conducted a survey of 93 teachers of French as a second language. Their survey included scales [...]... Read more »

  • September 4, 2009
  • 09:23 AM

Predicting Antidepressant Response with EEG

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

One of the limitations of antidepressants is that they don't always work. Worse, they don't work in an unpredictable way. Some people benefit from some drugs, and others don't, but there's no way of knowing in advance what will happen in any particular case - or of telling which pill is right for which person.As a result, drug treatment for depression generally involves starting with a cheap medication with relatively mild side-effects, and if that fails, moving onto a series of other drugs unti........ Read more »

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