Post List

  • January 8, 2010
  • 09:10 PM
  • 899 views

Mechanistic Insights into Supported Lipid Bilayer Formation

by Michael Long in Phased

Kuchnir Fygenson (University of California, Santa Barbara) and coworkers have gained physical insights relevant towards rendering planar lipid bilayers more useful for practical biological and engineering applications. This news feature was written on January 8, 2010.... Read more »

Weirich, K. L., Israelachvili, J. N., & Fygenson, D. K. (2010) Bilayer Edges Catalyze Supported Lipid Bilayer Formation. Biophysical Journal, 98(1), 85-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.09.050  

  • January 8, 2010
  • 06:13 PM
  • 1,787 views

Arrested Development in Socratic Parasites

by Johnny in Ecographica

An irreducibly complex rant using developmental biology (arrested development) to connect the shortfalls of the Greek Philosopher Socrates to failed creationist arguments; includes a detailed account of a parasitic worm’s lifecycle (Alaria marcianae), and of course, endangered Florida Panthers and Mexican axolotls… A well rounded post!

... Read more »

  • January 8, 2010
  • 05:20 PM
  • 641 views

Direct Observation of a Chemical Reaction on a Metal Surface

by Michael Long in Phased

Shao-Chun Li and Ulrike Diebold (Tulane University, Louisiana) have shown that the titanium dioxide (cheap) support in gold nanoparticle (expensive) catalysts can itself be a source of catalytic activity. This news feature was written on January 8, 2010.... Read more »

  • January 8, 2010
  • 04:09 PM
  • 808 views

Great Acts of Stupidity or How Science Shouldn't Work

by Neuropsych15 in The MacGuffin

Has anyone read the book Freakonomics? I have. And by "have," I mean that I read the first page of the table of contents (1). What I learned from that brief, yet informative passage is that "conventional wisdom is so often wrong."Here's an example. "Lithium carbonate and valproate semisodium are both recommended as monotherapy for prevention of relapse in bipolar disorder, but are not individually fully effective in many patients. If combination therapy with both agents is better than monotherap........ Read more »

The BALANCE investigators and collaborators. (2009) Lithium plus valproate combination therapy versus monotherapy for relapse prevention in bipolar I disorder (BALANCE): a randomised open-label trial. The Lancent. info:/doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61828-6

  • January 8, 2010
  • 04:00 PM
  • 1,470 views

Stuart Derbyshire on I feel your pain

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind



Several studies have demonstrated that people can share in the emotion of someone else’s pain. Typically, when seeing someone else injured, there is a tendency to share in the aversion and feel the unpleasantness of what is going on. But there have also been a few cases of people reporting not just a shared [...]... Read more »

Stuart Derbyshire. (2009) Stuart Derbyshire on I feel your pain. BodyInMind. info:/

  • January 8, 2010
  • 03:08 PM
  • 526 views

Weekly Dose of Cute: Baby Tiger

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

I just realized I haven't done a weekly dose of cute baby tiger before! I'm actually a little shocked. Well, here's a real cute one for ya - so ferocious! :)

Photo credit to Associated Press
The little tyke is a white tiger born at the Chilean National Zoo. There are more pictures, too - to see the rest of the cuteness, pop over to Zooborns.com.

... Read more »

  • January 8, 2010
  • 11:56 AM
  • 901 views

Friday Weird Science: the "reality" of the G Spot and the mainstream media

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Today's post is going up late due to some truly massive equipment fail in Sci's lab. Sci very much wishes that equipment would have enough respect to at least wait until her second cup of coffee to explode and throw carcinogens all over the lab.

Anyway, in her inbox the other day, Sci got this from a friend of the blog: "The G-spot 'doesn't appear to exist', say researchers".


(XKCD is always on top of this)

Apparently it's generating a lot of controversy. So Sci, of course, had to g........ Read more »

Andrea Virginia Burri, MSc, Lynn Cherkas, PhD, and Timothy D. Spector, MD. (2010) Genetic and Environmental Influences on self-reported G-Spots in Women: A Twin Study. Journal of Sexual Medicine. info:/

  • January 8, 2010
  • 11:45 AM
  • 475 views

Shrinking Sink

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Some forests may sequester less carbon as climate warms

... Read more »

  • January 8, 2010
  • 10:36 AM
  • 509 views

Webcasts in PubMed?

by Mary in OpenHelix

Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
So I was reading the NLM Technical Bulletin for November-December this morning. (Yeah, gripping, I know–and a month late.  You know how the holidays are…).  But I came across something intriguing.  Here’s what it says:

Hmm…webcasts.  Ok.  But how are they going in?  And what are the sources?  How are they annotated?  So let’s have a look.  At PubMed I clicked on advan........ Read more »

  • January 8, 2010
  • 09:42 AM
  • 1,435 views

An itty-bitty armored mammal

by Laelaps in Laelaps



A comparison between the complete skull of a Glyptodon and the skull fragments of a fetal specimen. (From Zurita et al, 2009)




Early in 2009 a team of paleontologists led by Philip Gingerich announced the discovery of a baby archaeocete (early whale) embedded inside the skeleton of an adult of the same species. Since these fossils represented a new species of fossil whale to boot the story was immediately picked up by news outlets, but less well-publicized was another discovery made later t........ Read more »

  • January 8, 2010
  • 08:08 AM
  • 1,111 views

Smells like teen spirit

by Richard Grant in Faculty of 1000

An interesting evaluation winged its way into Editorial over the Christmas break, and got waved under my nose ahead of publication. According to a paper published in J Clin Psychopharmacol last August, a double-blind placebo-controlled trial of oral chamomile extract showed a modest anxiolytic activity in patients with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder.
Despite [...]... Read more »

  • January 8, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 727 views

Bird species colonizing urban areas need their vitamin E

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A fascinating study from the journal Oecologia finds evidence that differences in levels of vitamin E and other antioxidants explain which birds are able to successfully invade and persist in urban environments...... Read more »

  • January 8, 2010
  • 04:30 AM
  • 953 views

Countdown to extinction: wildlife in the Central African Republic

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

Bouché, P., Renaud, P., Lejeune, P., Vermeulen, C., Froment, J., Bangara, A., Fiongai, O., Abdoulaye, A., Abakar, R., & Fay, M. (2009) Has the final countdown to wildlife extinction in Northern Central African Republic begun?. African Journal of Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2009.01202.x  

  • January 8, 2010
  • 02:10 AM
  • 528 views

Palau'amine

by Rik in NNNS chemistry blog

Palau'amine is a bisguanidine antobiotic first isolated from the marine sponge Stylotella agminata (western Caroline Islands part of Palau) in 1993. Take 600 g of sponge, extract it with 6 liters of methanol, do multiple sessions of chromatography and you may end up with 14 mg of the compound. Palau'amine is characterized by a strained bicyclic 3.3.0 cyclooctane core, a large number of stereocenters, a sensitive pyrrole group and by two guanidine rings which in addition to the potential medicina........ Read more »

Seiple, I., Su, S., Young, I., Lewis, C., Yamaguchi, J., & Baran, P. (2009) Total Synthesis of Palau'amine. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200907112  

  • January 8, 2010
  • 12:00 AM
  • 816 views

Prejudice towards migrants stems partly from the fact that they're awkward to think about

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Survey research consistently shows that people tend to have a poor view of migrants. It's unpalatable but psychologically-speaking, it's no great surprise. After all, the odds are stacked against new-comers: most of us display inherent biases against people who we perceive to be in a different social group from our own - the so-called 'out group bias' - together with a similar aversion to people who are members of a social minority. Migrants usually fit both these descriptions.Now Mark Rubin and........ Read more »

Rubin, M., Paolini, S., & Crisp, R. (2010) A processing fluency explanation of bias against migrants. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(1), 21-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.09.006  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 11:15 PM
  • 547 views

Are suburban neighbourhoods bad for your health?

by Christopher Leo in Christopher Leo

A growing body of research suggests that urban sprawl, in addition to being bad for cities, the environment and agriculture, may also take a toll on your health. For example, in a recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive … Continue reading →... Read more »

Trowbridge MJ, Gurka MJ, & O'Connor RE. (2009) Urban sprawl and delayed ambulance arrival in the U.S. American journal of preventive medicine, 37(5), 428-32. PMID: 19840697  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 10:59 PM
  • 557 views

A Species Factory

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Reefs churn out more biodiversity than other marine environments

... Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 08:59 PM
  • 1,039 views

The elusive Allee effect

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

In keeping with the theme of extinctions from my last post, I want to highlight a paper we’ve recently had published online early in Ecology entitled Limited evidence for the demographic Allee effect from numerous species across taxa by Stephen Gregory and colleagues. This one is all about Allee effects - well, it’s all about how difficult it is [...]... Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 06:47 PM
  • 1,025 views

Complete mtDNA Sequence from an Early Modern Human

by Kris in Ge·knit·ics

Svante Pääbo’s group at the Max Plank Institute have a paper coming out in the February issue of Cell Biology. In it, they describe sequencing a complete early human mitochondrial genome from the Markina Gora specimen from the Kostenki 14 site in Russia. The remains date to around 30,000 years ago, not the oldest human [...]... Read more »

Krause J, Briggs AW, Kircher M, Maricic T, Zwyns N, Derevianko A, & Pääbo S. (2009) A Complete mtDNA Genome of an Early Modern Human from Kostenki, Russia. Current biology : CB. PMID: 20045327  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 05:40 PM
  • 1,056 views

Achtung, Baby: Hazard Ratios

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

The hazard ratio is the statistic of choice for nearly all medical research involving time. And by far the most common method of deriving hazard ratios from data is via the Cox Proportional Hazards model. In a great little editorial in this month's Epidemiology, Miguel Hernán lays out what we lose and what we can gain with a more subtle approach.... Read more »

Hernán, M. (2010) The Hazards of Hazard Ratios. Epidemiology, 21(1), 13-15. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181c1ea43  

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