Post List

  • December 21, 2010
  • 04:13 AM

Self-organising principles in the nervous system

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

The circuitry of the brain is too complex to be completely specified by genetic information – at least not down to the level of each connection. There are hundreds of billions of neurons in your brain, each making an average of 1,000 connections to other cells. There are simply not enough genes in the genome to specify all of these connections. What the genetic program can achieve is a very good wiring diagram of initial projections between neurons in different brain areas (or layers or bet........ Read more »

Kaschube M, Schnabel M, Löwel S, Coppola DM, White LE, & Wolf F. (2010) Universality in the evolution of orientation columns in the visual cortex. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6007), 1113-6. PMID: 21051599  

  • December 21, 2010
  • 03:29 AM

My article « A History of Virulence » finally published in Body and Society

by ---a in

Sage journal Body and Society vol 16, n. 4 is finally out! Pardon my enthusiasm, but this issue features my 30-page essay A History of Virulence: The Body and Computer Culture in the 1980s: a killer mix of hackerdom, virality and computer nostalgia that also happens to be IMHO one hell of a contribution to [...]... Read more »

  • December 21, 2010
  • 02:00 AM

Love ballads leave women more open to romance

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

‘Love is in the air’: Effects of songs with romantic lyrics on compliance with a courtship request From Psychology of Music If you’re having trouble getting a date, French researchers suggest that picking the right soundtrack could improve the odds. There’s plenty of research indicating that the media affects our behavior but this study specifically [...]... Read more »

  • December 21, 2010
  • 01:22 AM

Dark Chocolate Receptor

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

They tested the protection of epicatechin on heart infarct size in mice. Epicatechin is a flavinoid and a major component of dark chocolate. It has antioxydant effects associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart failure. Epicatechin can bind to opiod receptors that can induce heart protection, moreover it can induce cardiac protection from [...]

Related posts:Dark Chocolate to prevent Hypertension?
Dark Chocolate More Flavonoids
Dark Chocolate Improves Coronary Blood Flow
... Read more »

Panneerselvam, M., Tsutsumi, Y., Bonds, J., Horikawa, Y., Saldana, M., Dalton, N., Head, B., Patel, P., Roth, D., & Patel, H. (2010) Dark chocolate receptors: epicatechin-induced cardiac protection is dependent on  -opioid receptor stimulation. AJP: Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 299(5). DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00073.2010  

  • December 20, 2010
  • 05:47 PM

Has the online search displaced the friend as the preferred first information source?

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

Review of a JASIST article looking at selection of information sources: co-workers or electronic resources.... Read more »

  • December 20, 2010
  • 04:15 PM

Is Beauty More Rewarding for Men II?

by whooke in The Psychology of Beauty

It’s been too long since I have made regular postings to the Beauty Blog.  I am happy to report that I am back and ready to go!  Just to get started, I have decided that every so often I will be revisiting the topics of earlier postings, emphasizing how subsequent research supports – and does [...]... Read more »

  • December 20, 2010
  • 03:26 PM

Two stars merge on camera

by Professor Astronomy in Professor Astronomy

No, it's not the latest celebrity scandal.  But a group of astronomers think they may have seen two stars in space spiral together, combine in a rare type of stellar eruption, and combine to make a single star.

Our story begins with a type of event called a nova (plural: novae).   Novae are typically thought to be nuclear explosions on the surface of white dwarf stars.  White dwarfs are the remains of stars that have used all of their nuclear fuel.  If a white dwarf can........ Read more »

R. Tylenda, M. Hajduk, T. Kamiński, A. Udalski, I. Soszyński, M. K. Szymański, M. Kubiak, G. Pietrzyński, R. Poleski, Ł. Wyrzykowski.... (2010) V1309 Scorpii: merger of a contact binary. Astronomy . arXiv: 1012.0163v1

  • December 20, 2010
  • 03:00 PM

Exposing Your Toddler to More Diverse Objects Accelerates Learning

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Say you want to teach a toddler what a cup is. One toddler sees three nearly identical cups, while another sees a tea cup, a sippy cup and a Styrofoam ... Read more »

Perry, L.K., Samuelson, L.K., Malloy, L.M., & Schiffer, R.N. (2010) Learn locally, think globally: Exemplar variability supports higher-order generalization and word learning. Psychological Science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS, 21(12), 1894-902. PMID: 21106892  

  • December 20, 2010
  • 02:56 PM

XMRV - Innocent on All Counts?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A bombshell has just gone off in the continuing debate over XMRV, the virus that may or may not cause chronic fatigue syndrome. Actually, 4 bombshells. A set of papers out today in Retrovirology (1,2,3,4) claim that many previous studies claiming to have found the virus haven't actually been detecting XMRV at all.Here's the rub. XMRV is a retrovirus, a class of bugs that includes HIV. Retroviruses are composed of RNA, but they can insert themselves into the genetic material of host cells as DNA......... Read more »

Robert A Smith. (2010) Contamination of clinical specimens with MLV-encoding nucleic acids: implications for XMRV and other candidate human retroviruses. Retrovirology. info:/10.1186/1742-4690-7-112

  • December 20, 2010
  • 01:31 PM

repost: Megarachne, the giant spider that wasn’t

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Author’s Note: A few weeks ago, over at Dinosaur Tracking, I wrote about a revision to a classic story from Australia’s prehistory printed in Cretaceous Research. Large, three-toed tracks at the 100 million-year-old Lark Quarry tracksite were thought to have been made by a rapacious, predatory dinosaur that frightened a gaggle of smaller dinosaurs into [...]... Read more »

  • December 20, 2010
  • 12:59 PM

This Week in the Universe: December 14th – December 20th

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

This will be an especially short one, as I’m sitting in a hotel room in Idaho right now and didn’t pre-write anything, but check out 10 Delicious Papers from 2010 for more fun!
Astrophysics and Gravitation:
Hints of a Multiverse?
Stephen M. Feeney, Matthew C. Johnson, Daniel J. Mortlock, & Hiranya V. Peiris (2010). First Observational Tests of Eternal Inflation arXiv DOI: 1012.1995

The abstract:
The eternal inflation scenario predicts that our observable universe resides inside........ Read more »

Stephen M. Feeney, Matthew C. Johnson, Daniel J. Mortlock, & Hiranya V. Peiris. (2010) First Observational Tests of Eternal Inflation. arXiv. DOI: 1012.1995  

Marcin Domagala,, Kristina Giesel,, & Wojciech Kaminski, Jerzy Lewandowski. (2010) Gravity quantized. arXiv. DOI: 1009.2445  

Slava G. Turyshev, & Viktor T. Toth. (2010) The Pioneer Anomaly. arXiv. DOI: 1001.3686  

  • December 20, 2010
  • 11:39 AM

Epidemiology of Childhood Adversity

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A variety of adverse childhood experiences are linked to higher rates of childhood, adolescent and adult clinical neuroscience disorders.  The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a summary of the epidemiology of adverse childhood experiences from a survey of five states.  Their survey queried adults on their childhood experience with eight adverse experiences.Verbal AbusePhysical AbuseSexual AbuseMentally Ill Household MemberHousehold Member in PrisonSubst........ Read more »

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010) Adverse childhood experiences reported by adults --- five States, 2009. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 59(49), 1609-13. PMID: 21160456  

  • December 20, 2010
  • 11:26 AM

Inflammation, autoimmune disease, diabetes and gum disease

by ABK in Environment and Health

The other day I wrote about environmental agents increasing risk of obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance and mentioned an article associating exposure to particulate matter with increased incidence of diabetes and wondered about it. If, as the authors suggest, exposure to particulates results in low-level chronic inflammation, then other causes of chronic inflammation (like gum disease) should also be associated with increased risk of diabetes, insulin resistance or similar. A little pokin........ Read more »

Nesse W, Dijkstra PU, Abbas F, Spijkervet FK, Stijger A, Tromp JA, van Dijk JL, & Vissink A. (2010) Increased prevalence of cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases in periodontitis patients: a cross-sectional study. Journal of periodontology, 81(11), 1622-8. PMID: 20583916  

  • December 20, 2010
  • 11:01 AM

The Disease Advantage of Chimpness

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Within the primate family, relatives are not treated equally by disease. While AIDS, malaria, and cancer kill millions of humans each year around the world, non-human primates largely shrug these diseases off. For example, chimpanzees can be infected with a form of HIV (called Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, or SIV, in their case), but the disease [...]... Read more »

  • December 20, 2010
  • 10:18 AM

The Kem Kem Beds: A Paradise For Predators?

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Ninety-five million years ago, in what is now southeastern Morocco, giant predators ruled the land. The reddish Cretaceous rock of these arid localities—called the Kem Kem Beds—has yielded the remains of the theropods Deltadromeus, Carcharodontosaurus (seen in Mark Hallett’s exquisite painting “Thunder Across the Delta“), Spinosaurus and several other, poorly-known species. In fact, based on [...]... Read more »

  • December 20, 2010
  • 09:30 AM

How to Conduct Research in Second Life

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

In a recent issue of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Minocha, Tran and Reeves (2010)[1] discuss considerations when conducting research in the 3D virtual world, Second Life.  They cover a pretty large array of information, including how to explain virtual worlds to IRBs, additional ethical concerns when interacting with natives in virtual worlds, differences [...]... Read more »

Minocha, S., Tran, M. Q., & Reeves, A. J. (2010) Conducting empirical research in virtual worlds: Experiences from two projects in Second Life. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 3(1). info:/

  • December 20, 2010
  • 09:11 AM

The flightless Kiwi

by beredim in Strange Animals

Kiwi are flightless birds endemic to New Zealand, in the genus Apteryx and family Apterygidae. The post contains extensive information, images, videos and interesting facts about all 5 surviving species.... Read more »

  • December 20, 2010
  • 08:22 AM

Nuclear Receptor expression defines a set of prognostic biomarkers for lung cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

I’m on a lung cancer and systems biology roll at the moment, although partly that’s just how the interesting data rolls in the literature. # Here’s some new food for thought.  A group of respectable scientists published some fascinating data … Continue reading →... Read more »

Jeong, Y., Xie, Y., Xiao, G., Behrens, C., Girard, L., Wistuba, I., Minna, J., & Mangelsdorf, D. (2010) Nuclear Receptor Expression Defines a Set of Prognostic Biomarkers for Lung Cancer. PLoS Medicine, 7(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000378  

  • December 20, 2010
  • 08:06 AM

Lal the chicken-eating cow

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

People often send me links to stories of the Indian cow that took to eating baby chickens. The story isn't at all new: it appeared in the press in March 2007, and at least one of the cow's lapses into carnivory was filmed. It's shown here (though see below). As with the epic cat fight, do NOT watch this video if you are easily disturbed or upset by scenes of animal death and suffering. I will spoil the surprise by telling you that the cute little baby chicken gets eaten alive by the big nasty ........ Read more »

  • December 20, 2010
  • 08:04 AM

Sneezing your way to a big belly: Do allergy medications make you fat?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

Some folks have seasonal allergies.
But if you’re like me, battling your allergies is a year-round affair.
Some days are certainly better than others, but overall, I have been a chronic user of anti-histamines since my teens. Cleratin, Reactine, Aerius, and Life Brand versions thereof have all at one point or another helped me breathe.
So you may imagine my concern when I came across a recent paper published in the journal Obesity discussing a possible link between the us........ Read more »

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