Post List

  • February 17, 2010
  • 08:39 PM

Sneezing at the sun

by thegiantsquid in Research i find awesome

From the consequential to the less so...About a quarter of humanity will sneeze after being in the dark and then being exposed to the sun. Why we do this has yet to be understood, and, really, hasn't had much investigation, for understandable reasons. In this week's PLOS One, investigators from Switzerland tried to figure this out. In a simple experiment, they took ten known 'photic sneezers' and matched them by age and sex with non-photic sneezers. They then showed them a checkerboard display o........ Read more »

Nicolas Langer*, Gian Beeli, Lutz Jäncke. (2010) When the Sun Prickles Your Nose: An EEG Study Identifying Neural Bases of Photic Sneezing. PLOS One. info:/

  • February 17, 2010
  • 07:24 PM

Journalists Are the in the Business of Gathering Eyeballs, Not Truth

by Reason in Fight Aging!

One of the nice things about writing online is that if you procrastinate on a topic for long enough, someone else will write that post for you. Often it will be far better than the one you would have turned out, had you been more motivated. The topic for today, and one I've been meaning to discuss for a while, is what happens to science when it passes through the mangler of journalism; in particular, what happens to aging and longevity science. Let me point you to a well-written reminder that pr........ Read more »

Passos, J., Nelson, G., Wang, C., Richter, T., Simillion, C., Proctor, C., Miwa, S., Olijslagers, S., Hallinan, J., Wipat, A.... (2010) Feedback between p21 and reactive oxygen production is necessary for cell senescence. Molecular Systems Biology. DOI: 10.1038/msb.2010.5  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 07:10 PM

Pop Goes the Pulsar

by Brian Koberlein in Upon Reflection

Note: This entry is a bit different from most of my posts. It is more mathematical, and uses MathML extensively to display equations. If you see gibberish instead of equations, then your browser isn't capable of viewing them. If you...... Read more »

HEWISH, A., BELL, S., PILKINGTON, J., SCOTT, P., & COLLINS, R. (1968) Observation of a Rapidly Pulsating Radio Source. Nature, 217(5130), 709-713. DOI: 10.1038/217709a0  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 05:37 PM


by Wayne Hooke in The Psychology of Beauty

About two years ago, Elliot & Niesta (2008), concluded that the color red makes men find women more attractive. Essentially, they found that men – but not women – rated black and white photos of women about a point higher in physical attractiveness (on a 9-point scale) when the photos were presented on a red [...]... Read more »

Elliot, A., & Niesta, D. (2008) Romantic red: Red enhances men's attraction to women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1150-1164. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.95.5.1150  

Moller, A., Elliot, A., & Maier, M. (2009) Basic hue-meaning associations. Emotion, 9(6), 898-902. DOI: 10.1037/a0017811  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 04:29 PM

African trypanosomes just love social networking

by geekheartsscience in geek!

The procyclic form of african trypanosomes move together as a group when grown on a semisolid surface, according to new research from US scientists published in the journal PLoS Pathogens. This “social motility” is mediated by their flagellum and is a surprising new feature in trypanosome biology.
The African trypanosome, Trypansoma brucei, is a parasite which [...]... Read more »

Michael Oberholzer, Miguel A. Lopez, Bryce T. McLelland, & Kent L. Hill. (2010) Social motility in African Trypanosomes. PLoS Pathogens, 6(1). info:/doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000739

  • February 17, 2010
  • 02:04 PM

Oxytocin versus autism: A cure for altruism

by Michelle Dawson in The Autism Crisis

The widespread message arising from Andari et al. (in press) is that the hormone oxytocin "may be a powerful weapon in fighting autism" or words to that effect. The heart of this study is a computer game version of catch which appears to involve four human players. When a player is thrown the ball, he must then throw it to another player of his choice. Every time a player receives the ball, he receives a bit of money.In Andari et al. (in press), small groups of autistic and nonautistic adults ("........ Read more »

Andari, E., Duhamel, J., Zalla, T., Herbrecht, E., Leboyer, M., & Sirigu, A. (2010) Promoting social behavior with oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910249107  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 01:25 PM

Do patients take their medications?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I don’t often write about medications, not because I don’t believe in their use but because that’s not my focus.  However, just to put the record straight: medications and medical management of chronic pain has a place in the model of pain management I use.  After all, it is the ‘bio-psychosocial’ model, not the psychosocial [...]... Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 01:11 PM

Molecular surgery: playing with network edges

by 96well in Reportergene

Protein X interacts with protein Y, what are the phenotypic consequences? And what is the impact of the X-Y partnership in the whole protein-protein interaction network? To address this question, scientists often remove specific network nodes by eliminating (knock-out) or downregulating (knock-down) the gene encoding one protein product (i.e. X). This is a poor strategy, because usually X interacts not only with Y, but also with P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W and Z. Thus, X-KO strategy is too much invas........ Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 12:15 PM

How does TV watching increase health risk?

by (Travis Saunders) in Obesity Panacea / CC BY 2.0
Yesterday morning I came across a very interesting study on Dr Yoni Freedhoff's blog Weighty Matters.  Yoni described a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health which suggests that the amount of commercial television (e.g. television with advertisements) that children watch before the age of 6 is associated with increased body weight 5 years down the road, even after adjustment for other important variables including phy........ Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 11:07 AM

The Case of the Missing Retrovirus

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

In October 2009, a team led by Vincent C. Lombardi of the Whittemore Peterson Institute reported the presence of a recently discovered virus, XMRV, in 67% of the blood samples from 101 American patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). XMRV had previously been linked to some cases of prostate cancer.This sparked intense interest amongst many people and much discussion. But in January this year, Erlwein et al reported that they did not find any evidence of XMRV in the blood of 186 British CFS........ Read more »

Harriet Groom, et al. (2010) Absence of xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus in UK patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Retrovirology. info:/

  • February 17, 2010
  • 11:05 AM

Surface reconstruction in platinum covered with CO

by Lars Fischer in EuCheMS 2010 Blog

Surfaces are full of surprises, and of course mysteries. Ertl described the intricacies of ammonia formation on flat platin surfaces decades ago and won a Nobel for it, but what happens between real catalysts and the reactions they accelerate remains largely unknown. When it comes to the behavior of steps, kinks and other surface features [...]... Read more »

Tao, F., Dag, S., Wang, L., Liu, Z., Butcher, D., Bluhm, H., Salmeron, M., & Somorjai, G. (2010) Break-Up of Stepped Platinum Catalyst Surfaces by High CO Coverage. Science, 327(5967), 850-853. DOI: 10.1126/science.1182122  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Caught between birds and squirrels, limber pines go both ways

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Responding to natural selection often means compromising between different selective forces. A brief paper published online early at Evolution documents one such case – limber pine trees' compromise between protecting their seeds from squirrels, and making them accessible to the birds that disperse them. Pulled between these conflicting selective sources, some limber pine populations grow cones in a wider variety of shapes [$a].

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  • February 17, 2010
  • 09:34 AM

Malaria and the Boy Pharaoh

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

A discussion of a medical analysis of several Egyptian mummies including 'King Tut'... Read more »

Hawass Z, Gad YZ, Ismail S, Khairat R, Fathalla D, Hasan N, Ahmed A, Elleithy H, Ball M, Gaballah F.... (2010) Ancestry and pathology in King Tutankhamun's family. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 303(7), 638-47. PMID: 20159872  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 09:20 AM

Turning the Lights Up: Transcriptional Analysis Shows Genetic “Dialog” Between Squid and Bacteria

by Promega Corporation in Promega Connections

Sometimes in our daily lives as scientists we loose sight of what attracted us to science in the first place. It is easy to get lost in the demands and deadlines and never stop to marvel at the amazing complexity of it all.   I am as guilty as anyone of forgetting the things that made [...]... Read more »

Wier AM, Nyholm SV, Mandel MJ, Massengo-Tiassé RP, Schaefer AL, Koroleva I, Splinter-Bondurant S, Brown B, Manzella L, Snir E.... (2010) Transcriptional patterns in both host and bacterium underlie a daily rhythm of anatomical and metabolic change in a beneficial symbiosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(5), 2259-64. PMID: 20133870  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 08:33 AM

The Almighty Fungi: The Revolutionary Neurospora crassa

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

On January 11 2010, a new series of blog posts was born over at Benchfly: BenchFly’s Model Organism Week. The idea was to invite fellow science bloggers to discuss and present some of the many model organism used in biology to the rest of the science blogosphere.In that post, a poll was displayed asking people´s model organism of choice, and offered the following alternatives:* Mice* Flies* Rats*... Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Interview with David J Newman (Pt. II)

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

This is Part II of the unabridged transcript of an interview with Dr David Newman, Chief at the Natural Products Branch of the NCI in Maryland. The interview was conducted for a new quarterly newsletter – Chemistry Matters. You can read Part I in which Dr Newman discussed how natural products can lead to novel [...]Interview with David J Newman (Pt. II) is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Measuring Quality in Primary Care

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Increasing attention is focused on the quality of healthcare provided in the United States, as well as options for controlling costs. Quality and cost measurements are important in assessing access to and satisfaction with healthcare services and managing cost and payment practices; a sufficient sample size of patients is necessary to reliably interpret the results [...]... Read more »

Gosden T, Forland F, Kristiansen IS, Sutton M, Leese B, Giuffrida A, Sergison M, & Pedersen L. (2000) Capitation, salary, fee-for-service and mixed systems of payment: effects on the behaviour of primary care physicians. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 10908531  

Gosden, T., Forland, F., Kristiansen, I., Sutton, M., Leese, B., Giuffrida, A., Sergison, M., & Pedersen, L. (2001) Impact of payment method on behaviour of primary care physicians: a systematic review. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 6(1), 44-55. DOI: 10.1258/1355819011927198  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 06:28 AM

Boys Can Read, Too...

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Is it really true that boys are falling behind academically because girls are getting ahead? Or is it slightly more complicated than that? Hodgetts and Lecouteur (2010) would go for the latter and I would tend to agree with them.... Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 06:24 AM

Effects of Self-Efficacy on Exercise - Email study

by PhD blogger in Exercise Psychology

Self-efficacy is a major part of my PhD research. (Bandura, 1986) describes Self-efficacy as , "one's self-judgements of personal capabilities to initiate and successfully perform specified tasks at designated levels, expend greater effort, and persevere in the face of adversity". It's an important area in physical activity research as not many people will attempt an activity they don't think they are capable of, never mind stick to it. Luszczynska and Tryburcy (2008) ex........ Read more »

  • February 17, 2010
  • 06:11 AM

Obsessive driving fanatics are prone to drive aggressively

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Here's one for the boys at Top Gear to think about - apparently having an obsessive passion for driving can predispose people towards aggression behind the wheel. The idea is that for these people, driving has become an overpowering compulsion, such that an obstacle - for example, a slow driver in front - provokes great frustration, which leads to anger, which explains why they sometimes drive right up your bumper and flash their headlights.Frederick Philippe and his colleagues make their claims........ Read more »

FL Philippe, RJ Vallerand, I Richer, E Vallieres, & J Bergeron. (2009) Passion for Driving and Aggressive Driving Behavior: A Look at Their Relationship. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 3020-3043. info:/

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