Post List

  • December 18, 2009
  • 05:15 PM

Overproduction of Th1 and Th17 Cytokines may be the Clue to why some H1N1 Patients get very ill

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

The present H1N1 influenza virus (nvH1N1, nv=new variant) behaves very differently from other influenza strains. The majority of nvH1N1 infections are mild and self-limiting in nature, but a small percentage of the patients require hospitalization and sometimes emergency care. Unlike the seasonal flu virus, the people who seem to suffer serious complications from this [...]... Read more »

Bermejo-Martin, J., Ortiz de Lejarazu, R., Pumarola, T., Rello, J., Almansa, R., Ramirez, P., Martin-Loeches, I., Varillas, D., Gallegos, M., Seron, C.... (2009) Th1 and Th17 hypercytokinemia as early host response signature in severe pandemic influenza. Critical Care, 13(6). DOI: 10.1186/cc8208  

Wynn, T. (2005) TH-17: a giant step from TH1 and TH2. Nature Immunology, 6(11), 1069-1070. DOI: 10.1038/ni1105-1069  

Park, H., Li, Z., Yang, X., Chang, S., Nurieva, R., Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Hood, L., Zhu, Z., Tian, Q.... (2005) A distinct lineage of CD4 T cells regulates tissue inflammation by producing interleukin 17. Nature Immunology, 6(11), 1133-1141. DOI: 10.1038/ni1261  

  • December 18, 2009
  • 02:55 PM

Learning Styles Are Meaningless

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

Compelling empirical evidence for the use of learning styles in education and training simply does not exist.... Read more »

Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., & Bjork, R. (2009) Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3), 105-119. DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6053.2009.01038.x  

  • December 18, 2009
  • 02:48 PM

Malaria: Forcing us to destroy our own brains...

by thegiantsquid in Research i find awesome

From a recent PLOSOne study, some interesting findings on malaria pathogenesis. What we know is that getting cerebral malaria is both very bad and very unpredictable, so that it's very difficult to decide which patient will require closer monitoring than others. Management is non-specific and supportive, and we still don't exactly know why it happens. There are a lot of theories out there, many of which center around the sludging of blood in the cerebral vessels, causing decreased brain blood fl........ Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 12:25 PM

Santa Claus: Advocating an Unhealthy Lifestyle?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

So suggests an intriguing and witty editorial in the British Medical Journal.

Given Santa’s tremendous popularity, particularly among children, the authors argue the public should become aware of some of the less-than-ideal lifestyle practices apparently advocated by jolly St. Nick.

Their basic thesis is the following: “Santa’s behaviour and public image are at odds with contemporary accepted public health messages.”... Read more »

Grills, N., & Halyday, B. (2009) Santa Claus: a public health pariah?. BMJ, 339(dec16 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b5261  

  • December 18, 2009
  • 11:57 AM

Hot and Cold Mountain

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Climate threat to alpine species may be overstated

... Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 11:56 AM

Preventing release of alarm pheromones increases homosexual pairing in bed bugs.

by Cheshire in Cheshire

I really don’t think it’s possible to write a boring post on bed bugs. The way in which they reproduce is simply one of the most bizzarre…and brutal…methods of insemination in the animal kingdom. One of my favorite webcomics, Dinosaur Comics described their reproduction quite well:

I also like writing about the biological basis behind sexual [...]... Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 11:32 AM

Two Drugs Are Better Than One?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

According to a study just out in the American Journal of Psychiatry, starting depressed people on two antidepressants leads to much better results than starting them on just one - Combination of Antidepressant Medications From Treatment Initiation for Major Depressive Disorder. But how reliable is it?Currently accepted practice is to prescribe one antidepressant to begin with, and if the patient doesn't feel better after about 6 weeks, to either change to a different antidepressant (switching) o........ Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 11:12 AM

Is Time on Your Side?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Physicians are under mounting pressure to increase efficiency in the provision of medical care. That is, see more patients in less time for less money. But, since speed and accuracy do not always go hand-in-hand, does this increased physician efficiency lead to quality medical care? A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine [...]... Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 08:31 AM

Viruses and journalism: Poliovirus, HIV, and sperm

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

In the summer of 1989, two papers about viruses were published in high-profile journals. One described the engineering of a recombinant poliovirus bearing on its surface an antigen from HIV-1. The second paper claimed that transgenic mice could be made by adding DNA to sperm before using them to fertilize eggs. Both reports played a [...]... Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

'Why are wind farms so deadly for bats,' scientists ask

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists Paul Cryan and Robert Barclay tackle a perplexing question in the newest issue of the Journal of Mammalogy. "Why are wind farms so deadly for bats?" Their article, a synthesis of the research on the topic should be required reading for anyone working on bat conservation, wind development, or for those with a strong interest in either topic...... Read more »

  • December 18, 2009
  • 07:10 AM

Rick Santorum: the High Priests of Darwinism went berserk

by Johnny in Ecographica

Another Science Lesson from Rick Santorum...

I think that I ruffled Rick Santorum’s feathers. Last week I published an article in which Christian fundamentalist and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum was used as a metaphor to dispel one of the commonly held misconceptions about biological evolution.... Read more »

Scott, E. (2009) Science Standards Evolve. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 2(3), 538-540. DOI: 10.1007/s12052-009-0153-0  

  • December 18, 2009
  • 05:04 AM

What does a doodle do? It boosts your memory and concentration

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

You know you're bored when you start shading in the squares of your notebook. Apparently it's a habit that could be helping you to concentrate. In a neat little experiment, Jackie Andrade asked forty participants to listen to a monotone two and a half minute phone message about arrangements for a party. They were told the message would be dull, that there was no need to memorise it, but that they should write down the names of the people who would be able to attend the party. Crucially, half the........ Read more »

Andrade, J. (2010) What does doodling do?. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24(1), 100-106. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1561  

  • December 18, 2009
  • 02:19 AM

Kittens in the Operating Room

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Facing a difficult surgery to remove that pesky medial sphenoid wing meningioma? Be sure your neurosurgeon looks at pictures of cute kittens and puppies before scrubbing up. Or so implies a goofy study by Sherman et al. (2009):Infantile physical morphology—marked by its “cuteness”—is thought to be a potent elicitor of caregiving, yet little is known about how cuteness may shape immediate behavior. To examine the function of cuteness and its role in caregiving, the authors tested whether ........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2009
  • 10:49 PM

BOGUS: Today Tonight on Fish Oil, Weight Loss and Holograms

by Michael Slezak in Good, Bad, and Bogus

I’ve been reluctant to call bogus on science reporting from shows like Today Tonight or A Current Affair because, well, it’s just too easy. That, and I don’t watch them.
It feels kind of cheap picking on Today Tonight when they feel the necessity to put at the bottom of the idiotic reporting on their website [...]... Read more »

Hagen KB, Byfuglien MG, Falzon L, Olsen SU, & Smedslund G. (2009) Dietary interventions for rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 19160281  

Leon, H., Shibata, M., Sivakumaran, S., Dorgan, M., Chatterley, T., & Tsuyuki, R. (2008) Effect of fish oil on arrhythmias and mortality: systematic review. BMJ, 337(dec23 2). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.a2931  

  • December 17, 2009
  • 10:22 PM

A Doublet of Solid Tumor Genomes

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

Nature this week published two papers describing the complete sequencing of a cancer cell line (small cell lung cancer (SCLC) NCI-H209 and melanoma COLO-829) each along with a "normal" cell line from the same individual. I'll confess a certain degree of disappointment at first as these papers are not rich in the information of greatest interest to me, but they have grown on me. Plus, it's rather churlish to complain when I have nothing comparable to offer myself.Both papers have a good deal of........ Read more »

Pleasance, E., Stephens, P., O’Meara, S., McBride, D., Meynert, A., Jones, D., Lin, M., Beare, D., Lau, K., Greenman, C.... (2009) A small-cell lung cancer genome with complex signatures of tobacco exposure. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08629  

Pleasance, E., Cheetham, R., Stephens, P., McBride, D., Humphray, S., Greenman, C., Varela, I., Lin, M., Ordóñez, G., Bignell, G.... (2009) A comprehensive catalogue of somatic mutations from a human cancer genome. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08658  

  • December 17, 2009
  • 09:53 PM

Neti Pots for Sinus Congestion: Validated science?

by Scott in Science-Based Pharmacy

Neti pots have moved from the fringe to the mainstream over the past few years. Traditionally used to treat sinus problems, their popularity exploded in 2007 when Oprah covered them on her show. Requests flooded the pharmacy I worked at. The pharmacy’s owner ordered in a case, and they  disappeared in days. Given Oprah’s poor record at identifying credible sources of medical information, [...]... Read more »

Pynnonen, M., Mukerji, S., Kim, H., Adams, M., & Terrell, J. (2007) Nasal Saline for Chronic Sinonasal Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 133(11), 1115-1120. DOI: 10.1001/archotol.133.11.1115  

  • December 17, 2009
  • 08:30 PM

What’s More Potent, Testosterone or the Power of Belief?

by David DiSalvo in Neuronarrative

When most people think of testosterone, words like “aggression,” “dominance,” and “violence” usually come to mind. Those words are memetically linked with testosterone the way “expensive” is linked with diamonds, and most of us have adopted the linkage without thinking much about it. Collectively, we’ve adopted a “folk hypothesis” about testosterone–a generalized presupposition grounded in folk wisdom assumed to be correct........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2009
  • 05:46 PM

Mapping our microbes

by geekheartsscience in geek!

Researchers have successfully mapped the different microbial communities over the whole body according to research by Costello and colleagues published in Science this week.
The human body is home to trillions of bacteria, so many that in fact bacteria outnumber our own cells by 10 to 1. The human body’s microbiota (the microorganisms that live inside [...]... Read more »

Costello, E., Lauber, C., Hamady, M., Fierer, N., Gordon, J., & Knight, R. (2009) Bacterial Community Variation in Human Body Habitats Across Space and Time. Science, 326(5960), 1694-1697. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177486  

  • December 17, 2009
  • 04:54 PM

Feeling the pain of others

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

HOW do you react when you see somebody else in pain? Most of us can empathize with someone who is sick or has been injuered - we can quite easily put ourselves "in their shoes" and understand, to some extent, what they are feeling. We can share their emotional experience, because observing their pain activates regions of the brain which are involved in processing the emotional aspects of pain.
But can seeing somebody else in pain actually cause pain in the observer? People with mirror-touch syna........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2009
  • 04:48 PM

How many slices does it take to accurately judge personality and intelligence?

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

Suppose your organization is interviewing candidates for an important job. Would it be better for one trusted person to have an extended interview with them, or for several people to talk to them for less time? How many people would you need to conduct the interviews? Would three be enough? Would ten be too many? If ten is good, wouldn't twenty be even better?

We've discussed thin-slicing studies before -- the idea that a few brief exposures to an individual can give just as accurate an impress........ Read more »

Borkenau, P., Mauer, N., Riemann, R., Spinath, F., & Angleitner, A. (2004) Thin Slices of Behavior as Cues of Personality and Intelligence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86(4), 599-614. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.86.4.599  

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