Post List

  • May 18, 2010
  • 11:05 PM

Dopamine, Mental Illness and Creativity

by Maria P. in noustuff

A new study by researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet supports the hypothesis that there is a link between mental illness and creativity. More specifically, they showed that highly creative people – with high scores in divergent thinking – had a lower density of D2 receptors in their thalamus than less creative people. [...]... Read more »

de Manzano, Örjan, Cervenka, Simon, Karabanov, Anke, Farde, Lars, & Ullén, Fredrik. (2010) Thinking Outside a Less Intact Box: Thalamic Dopamine D2 Receptor Densities Are Negatively Related to Psychometric Creativity in Healthy Individuals. PLoS ONE. info:/

  • May 18, 2010
  • 08:24 PM

The incredible leaf-tailed geckos (gekkotans part V)

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

Before I start, allow me to announce that Tet Zoo merchandise is now available! So far, I've only used the Tet Zoo logo for these products, but I might produce additional designs in time.

Anyway... welcome to another article in the Tet Zoo gekkotan series. I really want to get through to the end without too many distractions (like amphiumas, wayward grey whales, manatees, white rhinos, giraffe-necked tortoises), otherwise I might never finish. Look what happened with toads and temnospondyls........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 07:40 PM

Bycatch Claims Sea Turtles By the Millions

by Scott A. in Thriving Oceans

It’s an article packed full of potential contention as it speaks to a variety of issues involving fisheries management.  So thank God we are dealing with a charismatic marine species or we just may be contemplating their extinction.  But then again, perhaps we are doing just that since all 7 species of marine turtles are [...]... Read more »

Wallace, B., Lewison, R., McDonald, S., McDonald, R., Kot, C., Kelez, S., Bjorkland, R., Finkbeiner, E., Helmbrecht, S., & Crowder, L. (2010) Global patterns of marine turtle bycatch. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2010.00105.x  

  • May 18, 2010
  • 07:17 PM

Up (and Down) the Creek

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Yangtze River dolphin maintained large range before extinction

... Read more »

Turvey, S.T. et al. (2010) Spatial and temporal extinction dynamics in a freshwater cetacean. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. info:/10.1098/rspb.2010.0584

  • May 18, 2010
  • 06:59 PM

Ghrelin after Gastric Banding vs. Sleeve Gastrectomy

by Maureen McCormick in GourMind

In the last post, we discussed differences in ghrelin production after gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Today the studies we are going to consider describe the effects of gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy on ghrelin and weight loss variables.Langer et al. randomly assigned (love it!) 20 patients to either gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy. The groups were well-matched on demographics and medical co-morbidities. The researchers measured plasma ghrelin levels at 4 time periods: preo........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 06:49 PM

Multimodal Investigation of Reading in Children: More from Brem and Colleagues

by Livia in Reading and Word Recognition Research

Accessibility: Advanced

Last time we read an article from Brem and colleagues that compared word processing in adolescents (age 15-17) and adults (19-30). In follow-up paper from 2009, Brem expanded the report to include children (9-11).

If you...

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... Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 05:52 PM

Will the financial crisis turn people to religion?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Well, we have a global financial crisis. We also know that religion is a source of solace for a lot of people. So will the financial crisis mean boom times for religion?

The answer is probably yes, but not in a way that's straightforward. That's the message from two new studies, one in the US (which is the topic of this post) and one in Indonesia (which I'll write up in the next post). The Indonesian one is particularly interesting because it's not often we get insights into the role of religi........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 04:35 PM

Personal Genomics, tipping points and a personal perspective

by Trey in OpenHelix

Please indulge a long post from a personal perspective, what genomics is about to do for _me_. This is information that many, if not all, of our readers already know. I’ve been researching and working in either experimental biology or genomics for over 20 years. Ever since the beginning of the Human Genome Project , which coincidently started the same year I started my Ph.D. program, into my postdoctoral research at EMBL and now my work at OpenHelix, I’ve known that someday personal........ Read more »

Ashley, E., Butte, A., Wheeler, M., Chen, R., Klein, T., Dewey, F., Dudley, J., Ormond, K., Pavlovic, A., & Morgan, A. (2010) Clinical assessment incorporating a personal genome. The Lancet, 375(9725), 1525-1535. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60452-7  

  • May 18, 2010
  • 03:52 PM

Here today, gone tomorrow!

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

A complete and utter failure? You decide. Last fall I had the bright idea to track overwinter survival and subsequent spring conditioning for scallops released in different habitats (eelgrass - their preferred habitat, see Thayer and Stuart 1974; Codium fragile - an introduced macroalgae which we think might serve as a suitable alternate substrate in the absence of eelgrass; and unvegetated, as a baseline for comparison). I have examined these habitats for growth in juvenile scallops and have ........ Read more »

Thayer, GW, & Stuart, HH. (1974) The bay scallop makes its bed of seagrass. Marine Fisheries Review, 27-30. info:/

  • May 18, 2010
  • 01:59 PM

How Chefs think about Size - Portion Size that is (another b2d nugget)

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

"Despite the focus on the increase in portion sizes and the possible role in the development of obesity, little is known about how portion sizes are determined in restaurants." This is how an intriguing discussion of Chefs and their restaurant food size practices begins. The study aslo notes that eating out has gone up from 2.3x's a week in 1981 to 5 times in 2000. Within that period we know ... Read more »

Condrasky, M., Ledikwe, J., Flood, J., & Rolls, B. (2007) Chefs’ Opinions of Restaurant Portion Sizes*. Obesity, 15(8), 2086-2094. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2007.248  

Harnack, L., Steffen, L., Arnett, D., Gao, S., & Luepker, R. (2004) Accuracy of estimation of large food portions☆. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 104(5), 804-806. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2004.02.026  

  • May 18, 2010
  • 01:28 PM

Google Flu Trends is not accurate

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Google Flu Trends uses analysis of large numbers of search queries to track influenza-like illness in a population. The idea is that the frequency of certain queries correlates with the percentage of physician visits in which a patient presents with influenza-like symptoms. Google claims that it can accurately estimate the level of weekly influenza activity [...]... Read more »

Ginsberg, J., Mohebbi, M., Patel, R., Brammer, L., Smolinski, M., & Brilliant, L. (2008) Detecting influenza epidemics using search engine query data. Nature, 457(7232), 1012-1014. DOI: 10.1038/nature07634  

  • May 18, 2010
  • 12:10 PM

Time-Space Compression in the Digital Realm

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

My work on time in the digital realm is coming slowly but surely. At the moment I'm thinking of multiple temporalities and the ways in which we occupy these dimensions while adhering to standardized time. Birth (2007) explores these issues with an article that deals with the conflicts that can arise out of a meeting of biology, clock, sun, and sociality. Birth raises a point in particular that

... Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 12:03 PM

Structural differences between Marburg and Ebola viruses

by epibio in EpiCentral

Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV) are related pathogens that cause hemorrhagic fevers. In many cases, viral infections are fatal. Both viruses are native to Africa where outbreaks have been occurring for decades. There is no effective therapy for the hemorrhagic fevers caused by these viruses. EBOV and MARV are in the same taxonomic family and are structurally identical; however, they elicit different antibodies. Enterlein et al.* used the AmpliScribe™ T7 High Yield Transcription Kit........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Punishing Cheaters Promotes the Evolution of Cooperation

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

   Could punishing bad behavior be the origin                  of human cooperation?Humans are one of the most cooperative species on the planet. Our ability to coordinate behavior and work collaboratively with others has allowed us to create the natural world's largest and most densely populated societies, outside of deep sea microbial mats and a few Hymenoptera mega-colonies.

A key problem........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 11:32 AM

Canadian Health Authorities Release New Physical Activity Recommendations

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Last week ParticipACTION and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) released recommendations for updated Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. The previous guidelines were released between 1998 and 2002, and although they were based on the best research available at the time, from what I understand there simply wasn't a tremendous amount of evidence to draw on in some situations. Since then there have been a number of advances in physical activity research, allowing for the........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 09:59 AM

Just like cows, fish chew their cod

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow

Baddum-tish!  OK, they don't chew their cud, but I can never resist a good pun (although I was seriously considering "Ruminations on the way fish eat" - better?).  I just love this new paper by Gintof et al. about how fish chew, mostly because its an idea that I never would have ever considered.  Basically, they explored whether fish just bolt their food, like lizards and snakes, or whether they ... Read more »

Gintof C, Konow N, Ross CF, & Sanford CP. (2010) Rhythmic chewing with oral jaws in teleost fishes: a comparison with amniotes. The Journal of experimental biology, 213(Pt 11), 1868-75. PMID: 20472774  

  • May 18, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

SCAN for privacy in e-government

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

Of fifty US Senate websites, only about fifty percent have a comprehensive privacy policy. Now, in a week when it is revealed that Facebook’s privacy policy has more words than the US constitution is it any wonder that Americans are not so keen to trust e-government sites?
According to a Senior Lecturer in Computing Joanne Kuzma [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkSCAN for privacy in e-government
... Read more »

Joanne Kuzma. (2010) An examination of privacy policies of US Government Senate websites. Electronic Government, An International Journal, 7(3), 270-280. info:/

  • May 18, 2010
  • 08:40 AM

The majestic Megatherium

by Laelaps in Laelaps

A restoration of Megatherium from H.N. Hutchinson's Extinct Monsters.

For over a century and a half dinosaurs have been the unofficial symbols and ambassadors of paleontology, but this was not always so. It was fossil mammals, not dinosaurs, which enthralled the public during the turn of the 19th century, and arguably the most famous was the enormous ground sloth Megatherium. It was more than just a natural curiosity. The bones of the "great beast" represented a world which flourished and ........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 08:01 AM

The impact of cattle grazing exclusion on riparian birds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Impact of Nutritional Status on Body-Contouring Surgery

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

One of the unwanted complications of gaining a lot of weight and then losing it, is the sometimes grotesque amounts of unwanted skin that patients are left with. This excess skin can be both aethetically distressing but also cause functional and dermatological problems.
With the advent of bariatric surgery, a parallel discipline of plastic surgery specialising [...]... Read more »

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