Post List

  • November 18, 2009
  • 09:16 PM

The Benefits of Increased PGC-1alpha Expression

by Reason in Fight Aging!

A short introduction to the gene PGC-1alpha: this is one of a number of genes of interest involved in the biochemical changes, resistance to age-related disease, and extended healthy life span brought about by calorie restriction (CR). It favorably changes the operation of mitochondria, and based on the effects of other genes and proteins involved in these mechanisms, I would expect enhanced expression of PCG-1alpha to have at least some modest beneficial effect on life span. That said, I'm not ........ Read more »

Wenz T, Rossi SG, Rotundo RL, Spiegelman BM, & Moraes CT. (2009) Increased muscle PGC-1{alpha} expression protects from sarcopenia and metabolic disease during aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 19918075  

  • November 18, 2009
  • 06:35 PM

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a Real Pain in the Neck??

by Dr. Wayne Button in Sport Injuries and Wellness

New research to show carpal tunnel syndrome may be linked to Neck Pain.... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 05:26 PM

Tobacco harm reduction - no smoke without fire

by Martin Robbins in The Lay Scientist

Smoking kills millions of people every year and yet the medical community seems pathologically opposed to any measure to tackle the issue other than through the promotion of total abstinence. Carl Phillips suggests in his paper in the Harm Reduction Journal this month that smoking for just one month is more dangerous than switching to a smokeless nicotine product for a lifetime.
Take a moment to take a deep drag on a few breathtaking statistics.
Across the world approximately 1........ Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 05:18 PM

Tobacco harm reduction – no smoke without fire

by Euan in Dr Euan Lawson| Doctor Writer

Smoking kills millions of people every year and yet the medical community seems pathologically opposed to any measure to tackle the issue other than through the promotion of total abstinence.  Carl Phillips suggests in his paper in the Harm Reduction Journal this month that smoking for just one month is more dangerous than switching to a smokeless nicotine [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 04:41 PM

Carbon Guzzler

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Ocean absorbs billions of tons of man-made carbon each year

... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 03:40 PM

Media Attention May Indirectly Fuel Drug Abuse

by Michael Long in Phased

John Brownstein (Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston) and coworkers have documented that deaths by opioid abuse in the United States peak between two and six months after peaks in media reports on opioid abuse. This news feature was written on November 18, 2009.... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 03:25 PM

Oh no! Ideophones are not response cries!

by Mark D. in The Ideophone

In their commentary on Evans & Levinson's recent hotly debated Myth of Language Universals paper, Pinker & Jackendoff briefly mention ideophones — and erroneously shelve them away as 'response cries'. It seems this error is a particularly easy one to make for speakers of SAE languages. In this post I flesh out why this might be so, and explain what's the difference between response cries (also known as interjections) and ideophones.... Read more »

Pinker, S., & Jackendoff, R. (2009) The reality of a universal language faculty. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32(05), 465. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X09990720  

  • November 18, 2009
  • 02:29 PM

Not just a pretty face: The facial ruff of barn owls and sound localisation

by kubke in Building Blogs of Science

Barn owls are the subject of many studies on auditory neuroscience because of their exquisite ability to localize sound. The auditory system is interesting from a neuronal computation point of view because the inner ear, where sounds are detected, relays no information to the brain as to the location of the sound source in space. [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 01:30 PM

The challenge of passively restoring farmland to natural fields

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Researchers from the University of Sweden demonstrates that the passive restoration of abandoned farms to semi-natural grassland can take a very long time - greater than 50 years. However, the study also finds that sowing a mix of grassland seeds can aid establishment...... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 01:02 PM

Stress: The final frontier (executive functions)

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

It’s visceral. Stress – hits you in the guts. Some of us cope well, some of us don’t – some of our stress lingers, sometimes it’s just the little things, those ‘daily hassles’ that end up tripping the switch. And I don’t think anyone would disagree that chronic pain is an enormous stressor. [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 12:19 PM

Why do Toucans have large bill

by Arunn in nOnoScience (a.k.a. Unruled Notebook)

What can one do with the nose? If one were Cleopatra of Egypt, she could rule Rome. If one were the unfortunate Sphinx of Egypt, his form minus the nose could become the wonderment of the World. If one were Tycho Brahe, he could remove the nose, for polishing amidst a heated debate or duel, [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 10:40 AM

Unraveling the Bacterial Rope Assembly Mystery

by Michael Long in Phased

Ferran Garcia-Pichel and Martin Wojciechowski (Arizona State University) propose that the capacity to colonize unstable soil is the evolutionary advantage of bacterial assembly into ropes. This news feature was written on November 18, 2009.... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 10:11 AM

Motility of Cancer Cells

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Cancer is a disease of multicellular organisms. In order to become multicellular, a certain amount of control needs to be exerted over each individual cell, cells can no longer move around, grow, and divide when they want too. Instead they must obey signals from the surrounding environment (including their fellow cells) which tell them what to do. Cancer, like anarchy, is what happens when the control breaks down, and individual cells start growing and dividing regardless.Uncontrolled growth lea........ Read more »

SAHAI, E. (2005) Mechanisms of cancer cell invasion. Current Opinion in Genetics , 15(1), 87-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.gde.2004.12.002  

  • November 18, 2009
  • 09:52 AM

Genes-Environment interactions in predicting adolescent depression: Effects of sex and stress type.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

Many of you have probably heard that studies have identified specific gene variations that when interacting with stressors in the environment increase the risk of developing depression. This interaction has been used by researchers and clinicians to explain why some people become depressed when exposed to stressful events, while others appear resilient. The argument is [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 09:22 AM

One Pill Makes Your Libido Larger

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

It's every man's dream - a pill to make women want more sex. According to Boehringer Pharmaceuticals, that dream could be a reality in a few years, in the form of the strangely-named flibanserin. But is it the latest wonder-drug or just a glorified sleeping pill? Read on.Flibanserin was originally developed as an antidepressant, but in clinical trials against depression it reportedly failed to perform better than placebo. The standard for getting approved as an antidepressant is low, s........ Read more »

Borsini F, Evans K, Jason K, Rohde F, Alexander B, & Pollentier S. (2002) Pharmacology of flibanserin. CNS drug reviews, 8(2), 117-42. PMID: 12177684  

  • November 18, 2009
  • 08:47 AM

A New Look at Medical Errors in Residency Training

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

It’s a phenomenon that medical educators have long suspected but haven’t been able to prove: a rise in medical errors when newly-hatched physicians begin their residency training programs in July. This suspected occurrence has been studied several times, but until recently, no conclusive evidence existed that it actually was true. For the first time, a [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

The impacts of wild horses on a desert ecosystem

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Bands of wild horses roaming the remote deserts of the southwestern United States conjure up an iconic image in many people's minds. But for conservationists, the introduced equines have fueled controversy over their impacts to desert ecosystems.... Read more »

Ostermann-Kelm, S., Atwill, E., Rubin, E., Hendrickson, L., & Boyce, W. (2009) Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment. BMC Ecology, 9(1), 22. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6785-9-22  

  • November 18, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Internet against government corruption

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

Can the internet prevent government corruption? You’re probably never going to meet an entirely honest politician, but according to a statistical study by US researchers of 170 countries the internet could provide the tools necessary to reduce corruption significantly.
Martha García-Murillo of the School of Information Studies, at Syracuse University, New York, modeled political, economic and [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkInternet against government corruption
... Read more »

Martha García-Murillo. (2010) The effect of internet access on government corruption. Electronic Government, An International Journal, 7(1), 22-40. info:/

  • November 18, 2009
  • 07:46 AM

Tracking the Niche, A Project of Grinnellian Proportions

by Johnny in Ecographica

Grinnell’s philosophy of scientific inquiry focused intently on the task of accumulating as much raw data as possible. For example, during the biological survey he carried out in Yosemite National Park between the years 1914 and 1920, Grinnell and his field crews collected 817 photographs, nearly 3000 animal specimens and more than 2000 pages of notes! Being organized and detail oriented is one thing, but Grinnell’s drive for thoroughness approached the obsessive.
... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 06:00 AM

Viruses and journalism: Off-the-shelf chemicals

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

I have had many opportunities to speak with journalists of different kinds during the more than 30 years that I have studied viruses. I wrote previously about my negative experience with CNN. I’d like to relate a much more positive encounter with newspaper reporters.
As a postdoctoral fellow in David Baltimore’s laboratory I was fortunate to [...]... Read more »

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