Post List

  • March 2, 2010
  • 02:52 PM

Is Your Brain A Communist?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Capitalists beware. No less a journal than Nature has just published a paper proving conclusively that the human brain is a Communist, and that it's plotting the overthrow of the bourgeois order and its replacement by the revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat even as we speak.Kind of. The article, Neural evidence for inequality-averse social preferences, doesn't mention the C word, but it does claim to have found evidence that people's brains display more egalitarianism than people thems........ Read more »

Tricomi E, Rangel A, Camerer CF, & O'Doherty JP. (2010) Neural evidence for inequality-averse social preferences. Nature, 463(7284), 1089-91. PMID: 20182511  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 01:00 PM
  • 1,034 views Storm in a teacup 2.0?

by The Twenty-first floor in The Twenty-first floor

Anyone in the skeptical and atheist community who hasn't heard of the row that erupted over changes to forum probably still uses a 56K modem and a dialup connection.
This post summarises the fallout and explores the issue of online communities: are they real or illusory?... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 12:52 PM

The Dangerous Edge of Gene Doping

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Please welcome Laurel Mylonas-Orwig, author of today’s post and a new contributor to the blog!
Every two years, the best athletes in the world gather to compete in the modern Olympic Games. Against a backdrop of sand or snow, these seemingly superhuman competitors push their bodies to perform feats that would be impossible for the average [...]... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 12:49 PM

Bejeweling bugs to inspire bioadhesives?

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Remember those perhaps gross but cool insect jewelry artists I mentioned before? Now, their incredible tube-making skill might be used in an entirely different field: medicine.Dr. Russell Stewart, an assistant professor at the University of Utah, has been studying natural adhesives for years. He was drawn to the caddisfly because it's one of the few creatures in this world to have accomplished a very difficult feat: it sticks things together underwater.Creating an adhesive that works when wet is........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 12:35 PM

Depression’s Upside?

by Michael Bishop in Permutations

The superficial summary is that depression is an evolutionary adaptation, and that is still helping us solve problems in modern society. Is this true? These are two very distinct claims and while each may have some merit, saying it like that may obscure as much as it enlightens. ... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 11:57 AM

From the Community: February edition

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Fruit fly behavior mapped, resilience theory in an urban setting, changing the universe’s birthdate and genetic diversity in an all-female species. Here are extra news stories and studies on ecological science for the month of February.... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 10:19 AM

Molecular machines and memorable African genomes in my Picks of the Week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Clements, A., Bursac, D., Gatsos, X., Perry, A., Civciristov, S., Celik, N., Likic, V., Poggio, S., Jacobs-Wagner, C., Strugnell, R.... (2009) The reducible complexity of a mitochondrial molecular machine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(37), 15791-15795. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908264106  

Schuster SC, Miller W, Ratan A, Tomsho LP, Giardine B, Kasson LR, Harris RS, Petersen DC, Zhao F, Qi J.... (2010) Complete Khoisan and Bantu genomes from southern Africa. Nature, 463(7283), 943-7. PMID: 20164927  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 10:09 AM

Reparative Therapy Can Cure Homosexuality

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Karten and Wade's (2010) research study finds that some men conflicted by their homosexual feelings and behaviours who engage in 'sexual orientation change efforts' (SOCE)later report a decrease in those feelings and behaviours. ... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 09:44 AM

Prehistoric Snake Fed on Baby Dinosaurs

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

When discussing dinosaurs, the topic of what they ate often comes up, but what about the creatures that ate them? Obviously some dinosaurs ate other dinosaurs, but the famous prehistoric archosaurs were not immune to predation from other kinds of hunters, especially when the archosaurs were babies. In 2005, for example, paleontologists described a specimen [...]... Read more »

Jeffrey A. Wilson, Dhananjay M. Mohabey, Shanan E. Peters, Jason J. Head. (2010) Predation upon Hatchling Dinosaurs by a New Snake from the Late Cretaceous of India. PLoS Biology, 8(3). info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000322

  • March 2, 2010
  • 09:42 AM

The Curious Case of Kerrie Wooltorton

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

Kerry Wooltorton
If you have not heard of Kerrie Wooltorton, then you are either living in a box (like me) or an Indian medical student (again. like me, sigh!)...
So here is the deal.
Kerrie Wooltorton was a 26 year old woman who was suffering from an "untreatable" emotionally unstable personality disorder, infertility and depression. She drunk anti freeze and waved an advance directive in the face of the doctors when she was pushed into the ER. It said (1):

14/09/2007 To whom this may c........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:38 AM

Consent: Darkness ‘Neath the Lamp

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

I am not always a big fan of the articles by BMJ’s Ethics Man Daniel Sokol because I think his articles are, more often than not, inclined towards the ideal without much regard for the practical, at least, from the perspective that I have, of working in a developing world medical institution. However, in this case, I must admit that he has nailed the issue head on. Apparently, it is not just the developing world where consent taking is a rather lowly menial work relegated to the junior most me........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:31 AM

Doctors, Be Warned!

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

The former Health Minister, House of Lords, in this rather short and pithy correspondence, warns doctors to steer clear of the rather controversial issue of assisted death. Maybe its just me, or maybe the streak of rebelliousness that I harbor within that makes me look at this article with a lot of distaste and disgust. Well, here is the disclaimer: I hate to be told what to do or what not to, and this letter sure does look a lot like being told to stay clear of fields where our involvement migh........ Read more »

Cumberlege, J. (2009) Doctors, steer clear. BMJ, 339(aug25 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b3422  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:27 AM

The Face(book) Behind the Mask!

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

In this rather poignant article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the author discusses his doubts and vacillations when a patient from 3 years ago befriends him on the popular social networking site, Facebook. At once he is interested to know how her baby girl (whom he delivered) is doing, and is cowed by the fact that he will be breaching the wall that separates his public life from the private one. He is worried that the patient will have access to his blogs, his photographs, h........ Read more »

Jain, S. (2009) Practicing Medicine in the Age of Facebook. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(7), 649-651. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp0901277  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

Frogs and jumping viruses

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

“Batrachia”, by Ernst Haeckel
(Kunstformen der Natur, 1904)

There’s a constant viral assault on us humans, as there is on just about all other species. We as a species have to contend not only with the vast pool of human pathogens, those viruses that constantly circulate among humanity; but also with the continual probes on our defenses [...]... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Plant a tree to save a fish: riparian woodlands as stream temperature regulators

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Hot housed Chinese schoolkids are getting ill from the stress

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

A third of Chinese children experience high levels of school-related stress, and these kids are about five times more likely to have the physical symptoms of stress – that is, headache or abdominal pain – then their less frazzled peers.
Thanks to the combination of China’s recent economic growth – with the increased opportunities for upward [...]... Read more »

Hesketh, T., Zhen, Y., Lu, L., Dong, Z., Jun, Y., & Xing, Z. (2010) Stress and psychosomatic symptoms in Chinese school children: cross-sectional survey. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 95(2), 136-140. DOI: 10.1136/adc.2009.171660  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 02:49 AM

Personalized Medical Education

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Medical Schools or medical education is mainly done in universities. Medical education in universities especially undergraduate education in North America as well as in Europe are full with very basic science such as chemistry, physics, but also laboratory branches such as biochemical education. I can still remember long afternoons using a pipette in endless rows [...]

Related posts:Empathy for the Mentally Ill in Medical Education Empathy is an important asset for a doctor. This...
The Hidd........ Read more »

Curry RH, & Montgomery K. (2010) Toward a liberal education in medicine. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(2), 283-7. PMID: 20107358  

Thornhill JT 4th, & Tong L. (2006) From Yoda to Sackett: the future of psychiatry medical student education. Academic psychiatry : the journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry, 30(1), 23-8. PMID: 16473990  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 02:02 AM

Beewolf wasps culture their own antibiotics

by Michael Bok in Arthropoda

Humans have been aware of the antibiotic properties of some molds and plants for thousands of years. In classical times, fungal molds were used to treat infections. However, the true antibiotic renaissance began in 1928, when Alexander Fleming first isolated penicillin from the fungus, Penicillium notatum. Since then, penicillin and other powerful [...]... Read more »

Kroiss, J., Kaltenpoth, M., Schneider, B., Schwinger, M., Hertweck, C., Maddula, R., Strohm, E., & Svatoš, A. (2010) Symbiotic streptomycetes provide antibiotic combination prophylaxis for wasp offspring. Nature Chemical Biology. DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.331  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 12:15 AM

Intelligence, Monogamy and Journalistic Licence

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

Last week news came out about a study linking intelligence with liberal attitudes and atheistic beliefs, oh and in men an increased tendency for monogamy. Today I read the NZ Herald’s short take on the study, a semi-chauvinistic piece pointing out how we evolved intelligent men can think our way to monogamy while those sexually [...]... Read more »

  • March 1, 2010
  • 10:10 PM

Superoxygenation: how to prevent alcohol’s nasty side-effects

by aimee in misc.ience

This is great news for all of us drinkers.  And, frankly, if I was just a little better at actual chemistry, how I’d make my first couple of fortunes*
And now I have the song ‘Tiny Bubbles‘ stuck, unfortunately, in my head. (When I first heard it, though it was an Aero jingle.  Possibly)

So yes.  To [...]

[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »

In-hwan Baek, Byung-yo Lee, and Kwang-il Kwon. (2010) Influence of Dissolved Oxygen Concentration on the Pharmacokinetics of Alcohol in Humans . Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. info:/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01155.x

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