tags: evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, biochemistry, biophysics, magnetoreception, photochemical mechanism, cryptochromes, geomagnetic fields, butterflies, Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus, birds, migration, Cryptochrome, bpr3.org/?p=52,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper
Every autumn, millions of monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, each weighing less than one gram (one US penny weighs 2.5 grams), migrate nearly 4000 kilometers (3000 miles) between their summer bree........ Read more »
Gegear, R., Foley, L., Casselman, A., & Reppert, S. (2010) Animal cryptochromes mediate magnetoreception by an unconventional photochemical mechanism. . Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08719
Human disturbance can lead to an increase of both native and non-native predators that can subsequently lead to a decline in bird populations. For example, introduced predators such as the brown tree snake on Guam have been responsible for 34% of the 110 bird extinctions that have occurred on islands since the 1600s.
Therefore managers have undertaken predator eradication efforts to try and protect at-risk bird species. However given the cost of these programs and the controversy they can gen........ Read more »
SMITH, R., PULLIN, A., STEWART, G., & SUTHERLAND, W. (2010) Effectiveness of Predator Removal for Enhancing Bird Populations. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01421.x
More and more people have an online presence in virtual worlds, such as Second Life, in which their persona is encapsulated in an “avatar”, an often three-dimensional model or character meant to represent you as an individual. Of course, on the internet no one knows you’re a dog, so you can make your avatar look [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkYou and your ugly avatar
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O'Brien, L., & Murnane, J. (2009) An investigation into how avatar appearance can affect interactions in a virtual world. International Journal of Social and Humanistic Computing, 1(2), 192. DOI: 10.1504/IJSHC.2009.031007
In a recent book chapter, Loreto, Baronchelli & Puglisi (2010) summarise mathematical models of language games. They minimally define a system which will allow agents to reach shared linguistic categories which describe continuous stimuli (e.g. colour). New findings include a demonstration that the number of linguistic categories will stay low, regardless of the resolution of the agents' 'eyes'. However, I was particularly struck by the last paragraph, which appears to be ominously more 6........ Read more »
Vittorio Loreto;, Andrea Baronchelli;, & Andrea Puglisi. (2009) Mathematical Modeling of Language Games. Evolution of Communication and Language in Embodied Agents, 263-281. info:/
By that, of course, I mean the more widely read internets: specificially, the Charlotte Observer's online content. They're featuring my blog this week in their science section. I knew I was going to be in print, but I didn't know I was going to be online, too! Totally cool. Anyhow, go check it out. And you can check out the full version of that blog right here.
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Jander, K., & Herre, E. (2010) Host sanctions and pollinator cheating in the fig tree-fig wasp mutualism. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2157
Drake, A., & Klingenberg, C. (2010) Large‐Scale Diversification of Skull Shape in Domestic Dogs: Disparity and Modularity. The American Naturalist, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1086/650372
Akey, J., Ruhe, A., Akey, D., Wong, A., Connelly, C., Madeoy, J., Nicholas, T., & Neff, M. (2010) Tracking footprints of artificial selection in the dog genome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(3), 1160-1165. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909918107
Jenkins, A., Jupiter, S., Qauqau, I., & Atherton, J. (2009) The importance of ecosystem-based management for conserving aquatic migratory pathways on tropical high islands: a case study from Fiji. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.1086
High achievers do many things well, particularly when they’re convinced that excellence requires their utmost performance. Low achievers, however, have a hard time getting motivated and often find themselves coughing in the dust of the high achievers’ hustle.
But like so many generalizations, this one has a limit.
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Hart W, & Albarracín D. (2009) The effects of chronic achievement motivation and achievement primes on the activation of achievement and fun goals. Journal of personality and social psychology, 97(6), 1129-41. PMID: 19968423
Coconut palms block nutrient flow in tropical ecosystems
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Young, H., McCauley, D., Dunbar, R., & Dirzo, R. (2010) Plants cause ecosystem nutrient depletion via the interruption of bird-derived spatial subsidies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914169107
A major theme in the field of adult neurogenesis is the neurogenesis-depression hypothesis, the idea that newborn neurons are protective against depression. ... Read more »
Malberg JE, Eisch AJ, Nestler EJ, & Duman RS. (2000) Chronic antidepressant treatment increases neurogenesis in adult rat hippocampus. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 20(24), 9104-10. PMID: 11124987
Santarelli, L. (2003) Requirement of Hippocampal Neurogenesis for the Behavioral Effects of Antidepressants. Science, 301(5634), 805-809. DOI: 10.1126/science.1083328
Back when I was an acolyte in the service of science, I worked on an interesting little big protein by the name of talin. This 270 kDa sucker is involved in focal adhesions: the ‘ankle’ of the cell, joining the actin cytoskeleton to the outside world. Focal adhesions are fascinating and complex, and if I [...]... Read more »
Ezratty, E., Bertaux, C., Marcantonio, E., & Gundersen, G. (2009) Clathrin mediates integrin endocytosis for focal adhesion disassembly in migrating cells. The Journal of Cell Biology, 187(5), 733-747. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200904054
As mentioned previously, I've been reading Sean Carroll's Wheel arrow of time book, which necessarily includes a good bit of discussion of "Maxwell's Demon," a thought experiment famously proposed by James Clerk Maxwell as something that would allow you to cool a gas without obviously increasing entropy. The "demon" mans a trapdoor between a sample of gas and an initially empty space, and allows only slow-moving gas atoms to pass through. After some time, the empty volume is filled with a gas at........ Read more »
Travis Bannerman, S., Price, G., Viering, K., & Raizen, M. (2009) Single-photon cooling at the limit of trap dynamics: Maxwell's demon near maximum efficiency. New Journal of Physics, 11(6), 63044. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/11/6/063044
According to one of my least favorite Beatles songs, Money Can't Buy (Me) Love, but according to one of my most favorite studies to come out last year, money does go a long way in reducing the pains associated with social rejection. Indeed, the mere thought of money seems to reduce people's perception of physical pain...so I had to blog about it.... Read more »
Zhou, X., Vohs, K., & Baumeister, R. (2009) The Symbolic Power of Money: Reminders of Money Alter Social Distress and Physical Pain. Psychological Science, 20(6), 700-706. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02353.x
The cover of the Jan/Feb Mycologia has a picture of a pretty weird place to find a mushroom growing – a new species of mushroom that was found fruiting underwater in the Rogue river in Oregon. This was reported about two years ago for a discovery that was made in 2005, but this is a [...]... Read more »
Frank, J., Coffan, R., & Southworth, D. (2009) Aquatic gilled mushrooms: Psathyrella fruiting in the Rogue River in southern Oregon. Mycologia, 102(1), 93-107. DOI: 10.3852/07-190
A study published in this month’s issue of Nature Genetics may provide insight into the future techniques of personalized medicine.
The articles deals with technical advancements and a proof-of-principle study in identifying the causes underlying rare Mendelian disorders.
The techniques involved re-sequencing (another name for next-generation sequencing and massively parallel sequencing) of the exome. That is [...]... Read more »
Blogging about one's own research always feels good: the amount of your work has accumulated enough to at least provide sufficient material for a story and some figures. It has passed the first hurdle of scientific scrutiny, peer review. On the other hand, now an exciting time begins: what will the colleagues say? Will people find the one major flaw that neither you, your co-authors, the people who proof-read the drafts before submission nor the reviewers caught? Will the results lead to new, ex........ Read more »
van Swinderen, B., & Brembs, B. (2010) Attention-Like Deficit and Hyperactivity in a Drosophila Memory Mutant. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(3), 1003-1014. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4516-09.2010
Lupyan & Dale's recent article shows that social structure (e.g. population size) affects linguistic change. But can this dynamic be extended back in time to help think about the evolution of language?... Read more »
Lupyan G, Dale R. (2010) Language Structure Is Partly Determined by Social Structure. PLoS ONE, 5(1). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0008559
Honda, E., & Okanoya, K. (1999) Acoustical and Syntactical Comparisons between Songs of the White-backed Munia (Lonchura striata) and Its Domesticated Strain, the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica). Zoological Science, 16(2), 319-326. DOI: 10.2108/zsj.16.319
Isbell, L. (1996) The evolution of bipedalism in hominids and reduced group size in chimpanzees: alternative responses to decreasing resource availability. Journal of Human Evolution, 30(5), 389-397. DOI: 10.1006/jhev.1996.0034
How could looking for the best option make you less happy with your choice?... Read more »
Iyengar, S., Wells, R., & Schwartz, B. (2006) Doing Better but Feeling Worse: Looking for the "Best" Job Undermines Satisfaction. Psychological Science, 17(2), 143-150. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01677.x
Covering over 1 million hectares across the United States, military bases sometimes encompass highly threatened ecosystems. For this reason, conservationists have been giving increased attention to military installations as potential places for conserving native biodiversity.
But with their intensive training exercises often involving explosions and heavy machinery, are military bases actually good for conservation?... Read more »
Rivers, J., Gipson, P., Althoff, D., & Pontius, J. (2010) Long-Term Community Dynamics of Small Landbirds with and Without Exposure to Extensive Disturbance from Military Training Activities. Environmental Management. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-009-9421-6
Happy Burns Day everybody. While I contemplate my failure to acquire a haggis and some Irn Bru in Honolulu, I thought I may as well find a tenuous link between Burns and astronomy.... Read more »
Improvisation is the main feature of Jazz that distinguishes it from other forms of music making. Improvisation is the spontaneous musical performance within a relevant musical context. It consists of novel melodic, harmonic and rhythmic musical elements. This unique feature of jazz offers the opportunity for neurobiological research or even creativity. What they did was [...]
Related posts:Bill Evans the most influential pianists in modern jazz As written elsewhere on this blog: Dr Shock is........ Read more »
Limb CJ, & Braun AR. (2008) Neural substrates of spontaneous musical performance: an FMRI study of jazz improvisation. PloS one, 3(2). PMID: 18301756
DIETRICH, A. (2004) Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the experience of flow. Consciousness and Cognition, 13(4), 746-761. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2004.07.002
The paper I discussed earlier about evidence that corn was imported to Chaco was interesting, but while it provided important information about the poorly understood “Mesa Verdean” period after the fall of the Chaco system it didn’t address the question of food imports during the operation of that system. This has been a topic of [...]... Read more »
BENSON, L., STEIN, J., & TAYLOR, H. (2009) Possible sources of archaeological maize found in Chaco Canyon and Aztec Ruin, New Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36(2), 387-407. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.023
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