Post List

  • August 27, 2009
  • 09:47 PM

What microcephalics can tell us about human evolution

by zinjanthropus in A Primate of Modern Aspect

Microcephaly is a disease in which the brain is smaller than normal.  A small brain can result from several different developmental conditions.  Babies can be born with normal-sized crania and brains which then fail to develop with the rest of the head, in which case it’s indicative of a neurodegenerative disorder that may be caused [...]... Read more »

  • August 27, 2009
  • 09:44 PM

Why we fear Influenza 1 – the antivirals

by Atila Iamarino in Influenza A (H1N1) Blog – English

First of all, to start this blog, and discuss the H1N1 and the flu in general, I decided to start with texts considering the other side of the Influenza. Let’s see what is going on with the virus and the decisions taken towards the virus.

With viruses such as [...]... Read more »

De Clercq, E. (2002) STRATEGIES IN THE DESIGN OF ANTIVIRAL DRUGS. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 1(1), 13-25. DOI: 10.1038/nrd703  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 07:16 PM

Symmetry Part 3: Primer on Directional Asymmetry in Faces

by Wayne Hooke in The Psychology of Beauty

Most faces show some measurable degree of asymmetry, or lack of perfect balance. Some of this asymmetry occurs more on one side of the face than the other. When it does, it is known as directional asymmetry (DA). Here are two examples:
This image (Ercan,, 2008) shows dominance in the left half of both faces. [...]... Read more »

Ercan, I., Ozdemir, S., Etoz, A., Sigirli, D., Tubbs, R., Loukas, M., & Guney, I. (2008) Facial asymmetry in young healthy subjects evaluated by statistical shape analysis. Journal of Anatomy, 213(6), 663-669. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.01002.x  

Haraguchi, S., Iguchi, Y., & Takada, K. (2008) Asymmetry of the Face in Orthodontic Patients. The Angle Orthodontist, 78(3), 421. DOI: 10.2319/022107-85.1  

Smith, W. (1998) Hemispheric and Facial Asymmetry: Faces of Academe. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 10(6), 663-667. DOI: 10.1162/089892998563077  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 05:11 PM

La raison I had to learn gendered articles in French class

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

One of the most exciting moments of my junior-high-school career was stepping into my first-ever foreign-language classroom. While foreign language studies had a reputation for being tedious, I was nonetheless thrilled at the idea of being able to communicate with people from a different, seemingly more exotic part of the world. We were allowed to choose between French and Spanish, and I picked French because it seemed more "glamorous."

Excited as I was to learn a new language, I was still sho........ Read more »

  • August 27, 2009
  • 05:01 PM

Functional brain imaging: it's not always where you think it is

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

It is a standard practice in functional brain imaging studies to spatially "normalize" one's data to a common space such as Talairach space or MNI space. The reason for doing this is to allow data from multiple subjects to be averaged. (Here is a discussion of this process.) It is acknowledged that there is error in the process due to variation from one brain to the next. Yet at the same time the (also standard) practice of overlaying warped and group-averaged brain activations on a single high ........ Read more »

  • August 27, 2009
  • 04:45 PM

Yet another reason not to consume cannabis

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

In 1936 an exploitation film directed by Louis Gasnier called Reefer Madness was made in an attempt to teach parents about the dangers of cannabis use. It told of fictional highschool students experimenting with the drug and their tragic and utterly ridiculous demise (e.g. manslaughter, rape, suicide). I'm pretty sure the majority of us now know that smoking marijuana will not cause someone to go on a murderous rampage or off themselves just because they're high. However, recent studies have fo........ Read more »

Puighermanal, E., Marsicano, G., Busquets-Garcia, A., Lutz, B., Maldonado, R., & Ozaita, A. (2009) Cannabinoid modulation of hippocampal long-term memory is mediated by mTOR signaling. Nature Neuroscience, 12(9), 1152-1158. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2369  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 02:30 PM

Continuity or Discontinuity: are our minds purely shaped by natural selection?

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo

The debate concerning the origin of our minds stems back to the diverging opinions of Darwin (1871) and Wallace (1870). When Charles Darwin first discussed the evolution of our seemingly unique cognitive faculties, he proposed that there is “no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties.” (Darwin, 1871, pg. 66). [...]... Read more »

Robinson, G., Fernald, R., & Clayton, D. (2008) Genes and Social Behavior. Science, 322(5903), 896-900. DOI: 10.1126/science.1159277  

Hawks, J., Wang, E., Cochran, G., Harpending, H., & Moyzis, R. (2007) Recent acceleration of human adaptive evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(52), 20753-20758. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0707650104  

Bolhuis, J., & Wynne, C. (2009) Can evolution explain how minds work?. Nature, 458(7240), 832-833. DOI: 10.1038/458832a  

John Skoyles. (2009) The paleoanthropological implications of neural plasticity. CogPrints. info:/

  • August 27, 2009
  • 01:02 PM

Mitochondrial Gene Replacement, Now in Primates

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Mitochondria are the cell's power plants, important in the operation of metabolism, how that metabolism determines life span, and many age-related diseases. As described in the mitochondrial free radical theory of aging, a small number of mitochondrial genes are known to be crucial to its operation as the cell's power plant. Damage to those genes is a natural consequence of the operation of a mitochondrion, and leads to a Rube Goldberg sequence of events in which is a healthy cell is turned into........ Read more »

Tachibana, M., Sparman, M., Sritanaudomchai, H., Ma, H., Clepper, L., Woodward, J., Li, Y., Ramsey, C., Kolotushkina, O., & Mitalipov, S. (2009) Mitochondrial gene replacement in primate offspring and embryonic stem cells. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08368  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

New Safety Directions for Nanotechnology

by David Bradley in SciScoop Science Forum

Exposure is a key element in risk assessment of nanostructures. The environmental impacts of nanotechnology have become an increasingly active area of research. Until recently the potential negative impacts of nanomaterials on human health and the environment have been rather speculative and unsubstantiated.
However, within the past number of years several studies have indicated that exposure [...]... Read more »

Shah, M., & Qurashi, A. (2009) Novel surfactant-free synthesis of MgO nanoflakes. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 482(1-2), 548-551. DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2009.04.129  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

Scientists are only two years from developing a cure for breast cancer?

by Orac in Respectful Insolence

Want to know what will start my teeth grinding when I read it in a newspaper? That's easy. It's headlines like this one, which appeared two days ago in The Telegraph:

Scientists two years from developing 'potential cure' for breast cancer

The subtitle was even worse:

British scientists could be just two years away from developing a drug that may be a "potential cure" for breast cancer, it has been claimed.

Hear that grating? It's the sound of my teeth grinding together. The reason is simple......... Read more »

Castellano, L., Giamas, G., Jacob, J., Coombes, R., Lucchesi, W., Thiruchelvam, P., Barton, G., Jiao, L., Wait, R., Waxman, J.... (2009) The estrogen receptor- -induced microRNA signature regulates itself and its transcriptional response. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906947106  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 11:33 AM

Gender and age differences in the symptomatology of child depression

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

I should preface this ‘review’ by disclosing that I’m the corresponding author of this study. I don’t usually review my own work at Child-Psych but I think this particular study will be of especial interest to parents, educators, and clinicians.
Last week the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry published one of our studies that examined age and [...]... Read more »

Ildikó Baji, Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, Maria Kovacs, Charles J. George, László Mayer, Krisztina Kapornai, Enikő Kiss, Julia Gádoros, & Ágnes Vetró. (2009) Age and Sex Analyses of Somatic Complaints and Symptom Presentation of Childhood Depression in a Hungarian Clinical Sample. J Clin Psychiatry. info:/

  • August 27, 2009
  • 10:16 AM

Bacterial freeloaders, early metastasis and more in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting blog posts have been aggregated into Every week [see my inaugural post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used] and list them here for you to check out.This week, I've selected four posts:1) ... Read more »

Diggle, S., Griffin, A., Campbell, G., & West, S. (2007) Cooperation and conflict in quorum-sensing bacterial populations. Nature, 450(7168), 411-414. DOI: 10.1038/nature06279  

Hüsemann, Y., Geigl, J., Schubert, F., Musiani, P., Meyer, M., Burghart, E., Forni, G., Eils, R., Fehm, T., & Riethmüller, G. (2008) Systemic Spread Is an Early Step in Breast Cancer. Cancer Cell, 13(1), 58-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2007.12.003  

Tolar J, & Neglia JP. (2003) Transplacental and other routes of cancer transmission between individuals. Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology : official journal of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 25(6), 430-4. PMID: 12794519  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 09:53 AM

Sequential letrozole and tamoxifen does not improve survival in post menopausal ER early breast cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Image via Wikipedia An important trial has just been published in the New England Journal of Medicine by the Breast International Group (BIG) I-98 collaborative group, which looked at the comparison on letrozole versus tamoxifen in receptor positive early breast...... Read more »

  • August 27, 2009
  • 09:31 AM

Science News: Week of August 23, 2009

by Susan Steinhardt in BioData Blogs

Our weekly compilation of science news for the week of August 23, 2009.... Read more »

Cziko, A., McCann, C., Howlett, I., Barbee, S., Duncan, R., Luedemann, R., Zarnescu, D., Zinsmaier, K., Parker, R., & Ramaswami, M. (2009) Genetic Modifiers of dFMR1 Encode RNA Granule Components in Drosophila. Genetics, 182(4), 1051-1060. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.109.103234  

Tachibana, M., Sparman, M., Sritanaudomchai, H., Ma, H., Clepper, L., Woodward, J., Li, Y., Ramsey, C., Kolotushkina, O., & Mitalipov, S. (2009) Mitochondrial gene replacement in primate offspring and embryonic stem cells. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08368  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 08:10 AM

Arctic root revisited

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

This post is slightly delayed since, you know, stuff gets in the way. But better late than never. A comment on my post "lack of evidence for arctic root "natural medicine" raised a few points that I think are worthy of delving into. I wrote that post quite hastily with the only intention of just mentioning the review by Blomkvist, Taube and Larhammar published in Planta Medica, so it also gives me the opportunity to revisit the subject more in depth.Firstly, let's state the facts as presented b........ Read more »

Blomkvist, J., Taube, A., & Larhammar, D. (2009) Perspective on Roseroot Studies . Planta Medica. DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1185720  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

Don't hold my hand

by Zen Faulkes in Better Posters

Lessons for poster layout from comics.... Read more »

  • August 27, 2009
  • 06:25 AM

Shade coffee farmers attitudes towards wildlife

by Julie Craves in Coffee & Conservation

Attitudes and knowledge of shade-coffee farmers towards vertebrates and their ecological functions [PDF]. 2009. P. López-del-Toro, E. Andresen, L. Barraza and A. Estrada. Tropical Conservation Science 2:299-318. The authors of this study interviewed 36 Mexican shade coffee farmers regarding their...

... Read more »

López-del-Toro P., Andresen, E., Barraza, L., & Estrada, A. (2009) Attitudes and knowledge of shadecoffee farmers towards vertebrates and their ecological functions. Tropical Conservation Science, 3(2), 299-318. info:/

  • August 27, 2009
  • 04:01 AM

Upstream blast

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Blast is one of the worst rice diseases. I believe that, thanks to the breeders, most modern varieties have decent levels of resistance. After all, they can be used in varietal mixtures to protect traditional glutinous rice varieties from blast. Unfortunately, much of this resistance is not durable, because the pathogen overcomes it [...]... Read more »

Zhu, Y., Chen, H., Fan, J., Wang, Y., Li, Y., Chen, J., Fan, J., Yang, S., Hu, L., Leung, H.... (2000) Genetic diversity and disease control in rice. Nature, 406(6797), 718-722. DOI: 10.1038/35021046  

Fukuoka, S., Saka, N., Koga, H., Ono, K., Shimizu, T., Ebana, K., Hayashi, N., Takahashi, A., Hirochika, H., Okuno, K.... (2009) Loss of Function of a Proline-Containing Protein Confers Durable Disease Resistance in Rice. Science, 325(5943), 998-1001. DOI: 10.1126/science.1175550  

  • August 27, 2009
  • 03:14 AM

Diagnosing Depression in Primary Care Good Or Bad?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

“In general, a motivated GP in an urban setting (where the rate of depression is 20%) would correctly diagnose ten out of 20 cases, missing ten true positives. The GP would correctly reassure 65 out of 80 non-depressed individuals, falsely diagnosing 15 people as depressed”?
Now is this a bad thing? I don’t think so.

The [...]... Read more »

  • August 26, 2009
  • 10:50 PM

Mimicry: survival or flattery?…

by Jim Caryl in mental indigestion

IF you hadn’t guessed already, I’m busy trying to write a paper at the moment. This being the case, I have managed to successfully postponed this onerous task by spending time reading other people’s papers. I’m now going to spend a little more time explaining one of them you, my lovely readers.
Many years ago, [...]... Read more »

McMahon, S., Roberts, G., Johnson, K., Cooper, L., Liu, H., White, J., Carter, L., Sanghvi, B., Oke, M., Walkinshaw, M.... (2009) Extensive DNA mimicry by the ArdA anti-restriction protein and its role in the spread of antibiotic resistance. Nucleic Acids Research, 37(15), 4887-4897. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp478  

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