Post List

  • January 11, 2010
  • 12:05 PM

Grassland Guardians

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

When prairie dogs disappear, invasive shrubs move in

... Read more »

Ceballos, G., Davidson, A., List, R., Pacheco, J., Manzano-Fischer, P., Santos-Barrera, G., & Cruzado, J. (2010) Rapid Decline of a Grassland System and Its Ecological and Conservation Implications. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008562  

  • January 11, 2010
  • 12:05 PM

On evolution of the immune system

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

As if understanding this complex evolutionary puzzle were not already sufficiently challenging, we have learned recently that two types of adaptive immune system have evolved in vertebrates: a recently recognized system in jawless vertebrates (hagfish and lamprey) and the more familiar adaptive immune system of jawed vertebrates. … This leads to the conjecture that two [...]... Read more »

Cooper, M., & Herrin, B. (2010) How did our complex immune system evolve?. Nature Reviews Immunology, 10(1), 2-3. DOI: 10.1038/nri2686  

  • January 11, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

Deconstructing Social Darwinism, Part III

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

In Quentin Skinner's celebrated history The Foundations of Modern Political Thought he writes that:

If the history of political theory were to be written essentially as a history of ideologies, one outcome might be a clearer understanding of the links between political theory and practice.

In Part II of this series I highlighted how a common objection to the political theory of social Darwinism is that it was a misapplication of Darwin's science to already existing id........ Read more »

  • January 11, 2010
  • 09:59 AM

Summary: Grassman & Tomasello (2010)

by Sean Roberts in The Adventures of Auck

Grassman & Tomasello (2010) question the findings of Jaswal & Hansen (2006), arguing that children primarily use pragmatic cues over linguistic conventions when trying to resolve ambiguities.... Read more »

  • January 11, 2010
  • 09:46 AM

Mutual Exclusivity Diagrams

by Sean Roberts in The Adventures of Auck

Some diagrams of experiments into the Mutual Exclusivity bias in children's word learning.... Read more »

  • January 11, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Can rubber bullets rehabilitate a nuisance bear?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Can you change the behavior of a bear that raids campgrounds, nuzzles through trash, or knocks side view mirrors off cars? A new study finds evidence that a method called aversive conditioning can be successful in modifying the behavior of some bears but fully averting conflicts with humans will require changing how people act as well...... Read more »

  • January 11, 2010
  • 07:41 AM

Some Like It Hot

by Brian Koberlein in Upon Reflection

Figure 1: Sir Charles Blagden. (Source: Wikipedia) We humans are warm blooded creatures. This mammalian characteristic helps us to live in a range of environments from warm to cold, but it also means our bodies must have a way to...... Read more »

  • January 11, 2010
  • 04:59 AM

Abscisic Acid: Entity of the Month

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Happy New Year from the ChEBI team where release 64 is now available, containing 534,142 total entities, of which 19,645 are annotated entities and 693 were submitted via the ChEBI submission tool. This month’s entity of the month is Abscisic acid.
(+)-Abscisic acid (CHEBI:2365), known commonly just as abscisic acid or ABA, is a ubiquitous isoprenoid [...]... Read more »

Sheard, L., & Zheng, N. (2009) Plant biology: Signal advance for abscisic acid. Nature, 462(7273), 575-576. DOI: 10.1038/462575a  

Melcher, K., Ng, L., Zhou, X., Soon, F., Xu, Y., Suino-Powell, K., Park, S., Weiner, J., Fujii, H., Chinnusamy, V.... (2009) A gate–latch–lock mechanism for hormone signalling by abscisic acid receptors. Nature, 462(7273), 602-608. DOI: 10.1038/nature08613  

  • January 11, 2010
  • 04:40 AM

Sunday Protist - Kofoidia: Crowned by luriculae

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

This one will be short, as I still haven't had the chance to sit down and go on an epic research blogging adventure. Let's glance at Kofoidia, an obscure hypermastigote parabasalian.It must think it's an Oligotrich ciliate of some sort. Poor deluded thing. Since I seem to gravitate towards obscure organisms mentioned in a single paper in all the literature available/mentioned online, there is but a sole lonely drawing of this organism: Parabasalid Kofoidia loriculata. Desperately in need of an S........ Read more »

ADL, S., SIMPSON, A., FARMER, M., ANDERSEN, R., ANDERSON, O., BARTA, J., BOWSER, S., BRUGEROLLE, G., FENSOME, R., FREDERICQ, S.... (2005) The New Higher Level Classification of Eukaryotes with Emphasis on the Taxonomy of Protists. The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 52(5), 399-451. DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2005.00053.x  

  • January 11, 2010
  • 04:30 AM

The impact of stream restoration on macroinvertebrates

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

The enhancement of in-stream habitat has emerged as a major river restoration tool with over $1 billion spent over the last ten years. For all that money spent, the question arises whether restoration projects are consistently benefiting aquatic organisms...... Read more »

  • January 11, 2010
  • 04:15 AM

Morbid warnings on cigarette packs could encourage some people to smoke

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Every now and again a finding comes along that provides perfect ammunition for psychologists confronted by the tiresome claim that psychology is all 'common sense'. Researchers have found that death-related health warnings on cigarette packs are likely to encourage some people to smoke. The surprising result is actually consistent with 'Terror-management Theory', according to which thoughts of mortality cause us to cling more strongly to our cultural beliefs and to pursue ego-boosting activities........ Read more »

  • January 11, 2010
  • 02:21 AM

The Neuroscience of Pregnancy

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Pregnancy requires many adaptations to new situations. These changes are accompanied by massive neuroendocrine changes leading to adaptations organized by the mother’s brain. These changes are necessary for the different phases of pregnancy and motherhood.
First optimization is needed for the growth and protection of the fetus, next parturition has to be timely and uncomplicated, next [...]

Related posts:ECT and Pregnancy The last systematic review of this topic was in...
Suicide Durin........ Read more »

Brunton, P., & Russell, J. (2008) The expectant brain: adapting for motherhood. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(1), 11-25. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2280  

  • January 11, 2010
  • 12:09 AM

The music of the species

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

It's all about the music.

Gill and Purves. "A biological rationale for musical scales" PLoS ONE, 2009

So you might think that music like this:
(HOT STUFF. Go to 0:35 for the real hotness. It's Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium)

or this:

(Also some killer hot stuff, 3:50 has the real chills. The Lauridsen version)

Don't have much in common with THIS hot stuff:

(That'll wake you up! No idea who this guy is, but he's hilarious, and the dancers wearing body suits under skimpy outfits are the........ Read more »

  • January 10, 2010
  • 05:55 PM

Bristlecone pines and climate change

by Thomas Kluyver in Thomas' Plant-Related Blog

Bristlecone pines are famous as a candidate for the title of the oldest living things (it depends on what you count as a lifetime). The oldest is over 4,500 years old. That’s an awful lot of tree rings, but by measuring the width of each ring, we can see how much the tree grew that [...]... Read more »

  • January 10, 2010
  • 05:41 PM

People with pain are not all alike: MPI classifications & outcome

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

As an individual with chronic pain, I know that each person with chronic pain is different from the next, and as a clinician I know that there are few ways to predict who will benefit from what treatment – but it’s like a Holy Grail to find a way to group together people who will [...]... Read more »

Martin L Verra, Felix Angst, Roberto Brioschi, Susanne Lehmann, Francis J Keefe, J Bart Staal, Rob A de Bie, André Aeschlimann. (2009) Does classification of persons with fibromyalgia into Multidimensional Pain Inventory subgroups detect differences in outcome after a standard chronic pain management program?. Pain Research , 14(6), 445. info:/1929024711

  • January 10, 2010
  • 02:15 PM

when doing the right thing could backfire…

by Greg Fish in weird things

If you’ve been watching the news, you might be aware of a recent study that found something a bit odd in and around Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA. Children born primarily to educated and well off parents in a few suburban areas of these cities are over 70% more likely to be diagnosed with [...]... Read more »

Grether JK, Anderson MC, Croen LA, Smith D, & Windham GC. (2009) Risk of autism and increasing maternal and paternal age in a large north American population. American journal of epidemiology, 170(9), 1118-26. PMID: 19783586  

  • January 10, 2010
  • 12:35 PM

Insinuations of Lamarckian Evolution and a Lamenting First Impression

by Johnny in Ecographica

...the paper is saying that the introduction of ACQUIRED CHARACTERS into the germline of a lineage has lead to GENETIC NOVELTIES with the demonstrated ability to translate to the expressed PHENOTYPE of an ANIMAL, thus acting as a source of INNOVATION... Read more »

Horie, M., Honda, T., Suzuki, Y., Kobayashi, Y., Daito, T., Oshida, T., Ikuta, K., Jern, P., Gojobori, T., Coffin, J.... (2010) Endogenous non-retroviral RNA virus elements in mammalian genomes. Nature, 463(7277), 84-87. DOI: 10.1038/nature08695  

  • January 10, 2010
  • 12:05 PM

Treating Cocaine Addiction with Deep Brain Stimulation

by Michael Long in Phased

Christelle Baunez (Aix-Marseille Universite, France) and coworkers have demonstrated the efficacy of deep brain stimulation towards reducing cocaine addiction in rats, without hindering the natural motivation system. This news feature was written on January 10, 2010.... Read more »

Rouaud, T., Lardeux, S., Panayotis, N., Paleressompoulle, D., Cador, M., & Baunez, C. (2009) Reducing the desire for cocaine with subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908189107  

  • January 10, 2010
  • 11:03 AM

Cold, Rain and Snow (but Mostly Snow and Ice)

by calvinus in Post Tenebras Lux

This is the spring without end
This is the summer of malcontent
This is the winter of your mind
M. E. Smith, 1992
Actually Mark, this is the Winter of Malcontents.  In case you had failed to notice, the Angles are unhappy with the recent weather that has afflicted Albion’s Plain.

All this snow and ice is [...]... Read more »

Hellstén PP, Salminen JM, Jørgensen KS, & Nystén TH. (2005) Use of potassium formate in road winter deicing can reduce groundwater deterioration. Environmental science , 39(13), 5095-100. PMID: 16053115  

  • January 10, 2010
  • 09:02 AM

Sterile Hybrid Fruit Flies.. Oh my!

by Lucas in thoughtomics

How do new species arise? That has got to be on of the most central and intriguing questions in evolutionary biology. Reproductive isolation is one of the prerequisites for speciation: if two populations keep intermingling, the populations will not diverge from one another. However, if populations become reproductively separated, both populations will eventually diverge and [...]... Read more »

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