Post List

All posts from This Month

(Modify Search »)

  • April 19, 2014
  • 02:19 PM
  • 7 views

Introduction to Traditional Peer Review

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Peer review was introduced to scholarly publication in 1731 by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which published a collection of peer-reviewed medical articles. Despite this early start, in many...

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

... Read more »

Biagioli, M. (2002) From Book Censorship to Academic Peer Review. Emergences: Journal for the Study of Media , 12(1), 11-45. DOI: 10.1080/1045722022000003435  

Benos DJ, Bashari E, Chaves JM, Gaggar A, Kapoor N, LaFrance M, Mans R, Mayhew D, McGowan S, Polter A.... (2007) The ups and downs of peer review. Advances in physiology education, 31(2), 145-52. PMID: 17562902  

Bornman, L. (2008) Scientific Peer Review: An Analysis of the Peer Review Process from the Perspective of Sociology of Science Theories. Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, 6(2). info:/

Brown, R. (2006) Double Anonymity and the Peer Review Process. The Scientific World JOURNAL, 1274-1277. DOI: 10.1100/tsw.2006.228  

Callaham ML, Baxt WG, Waeckerle JF, & Wears RL. (1998) Reliability of editors' subjective quality ratings of peer reviews of manuscripts. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 280(3), 229-31. PMID: 9676664  

Spier R. (2002) The history of the peer-review process. Trends in biotechnology, 20(8), 357-8. PMID: 12127284  

  • April 19, 2014
  • 12:51 PM
  • 4 views

First female “penis” discovered in cave-dwelling insects

by beredim in Strange Animals

Image showing the female penis of N. auroraCredit: Current Biology, Yoshizawa et al.Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: InsectaOrder: PsocopteraFamily: PrionoglarididaeGenus: NeotroglaSpecies: N. aurora, N. curvet and 2 otherThis Thursday, researchers announced that they have discovered several insect species that display the "world's first" known instance of gender-reversed genitalia. In simple words, they have found 4 insect species with female... "penises." and male "vaginae"!All four species live in dry Brazilian caves and feed on bat guano. They belong to the genus Neotrogla, of the Psocoptera order which is commonly known as booklice or barklice."Although sex-role reversal has been identified in several different animals, Neotrogla is the only example in which the intromittent organ is also reversed." said leading author, Kazunori Yoshizawa from the Hokkaido University in Japan.Prolonged and reversed matingThe researchers found that these insects mate for an impressive 40 to 70 hours, during which, the female inserts an elaborate, penis-like organ -called gynosome- into the male's vagina-like opening.According to co-author Rodrigo Ferreira, the females may forcibly hold on the males for such long periods of time to get as much of their sperm and seminal fluid as possible."One of the couples copulated for around 73 hours." said Ferreira.The spikes along the female penis anchors it to the male's "vagina" so strongly that when the researchers tried to separate one of the couples, they tore apart the male’s body without affecting the genital coupling.Female N. curvet (top) mates with a maleCredit: Yoshizawa KazunoriThe researchers speculate that the prolonged copulation and the genitalia reversal may be an evolutionary trait guided by the resource-poor cave environment in which these insects live. Males provide females with nutritious seminal fluids in addition to sperm, making it advantageous for the females to mate for prolonged periods.The findings on Neotrogla offer new opportunities to test ideas about sexual selection, conflict between the sexes, and the evolution of novelty, claim the researchers, who now plan to look into studies of behavior, physiology, and more. First on their list is to establish a healthy population of the insects in the lab."It will be important to unveil why, among many sex-role-reversed animals, only Neotrogla evolved the elaborated female penis." said Yoshitaka Kamimura from Keio University in Japan. It has a penis, so it should be a male, no?Contrary to what common sense may tell you, the presence or absence of certain genitalia isn't the determining factor to whether an individual is male or female. Gametes are.  By definition,male gametes are small, motile, and optimized to transport their genetic information over a distance, while female gametes are large, non-motile and contain the nutrients necessary for the early development of the young organism.It just happens that males usually have a penis and females a vagina. Usually..References- http://www.eurekalert.org- Yoshizawa, K., Ferreira, R., Kamimura, Y., & Lienhard, C. (2014). Female Penis, Male Vagina, and Their Correlated Evolution in a Cave Insect Current Biology DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.022... Read more »

  • April 19, 2014
  • 07:34 AM
  • 9 views

Typing Method for Cryptosporidium Meleagridis

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Christen Rune Stensvold

You can read about the development and use of a highly applicable typing method for C. meleagridis isolates in a newly published paper in Journal of Clinical Microbiology.... Read more »

  • April 19, 2014
  • 07:34 AM
  • 8 views

Typing Method for Cryptosporidium Meleagridis

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

You can read about the development and use of a highly applicable typing method for C. meleagridis isolates in a newly published paper in Journal of Clinical Microbiology.... Read more »

  • April 19, 2014
  • 05:34 AM
  • 13 views

Dump fossil fuels for the health of our hearts

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Cleaning up air pollution will provide immediate health gains as well as longer-term climate benefits, highlights New York University's George Thurston... Read more »

Thurston, G. (2013) Mitigation policy: Health co-benefits. Nature Climate Change, 3(10), 863-864. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2013  

Rice, M., Thurston, G., Balmes, J., & Pinkerton, K. (2014) Climate Change. A Global Threat to Cardiopulmonary Health. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 189(5), 512-519. DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201310-1924PP  

  • April 19, 2014
  • 05:32 AM
  • 2 views

The nose knows: How to pick your friends

by Teodora Stoica in CuriousCortex

The importance of human odor in a social context. ... Read more »

  • April 19, 2014
  • 12:46 AM
  • 16 views

Energy Expenditure (Calories Burned) in Anorexia Nervosa Patients

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders


How many calories do patients with anorexia nervosa need to eat to gain a kilo (2.2 lbs)? It seems like a simple question and one that we should have figured out a long time ago, given the importance (err, necessity) of refeeding and weight restoration in recovery from anorexia nervosa.
Unfortunately, research in this area has often led to contradictory results (see Salisbury et al., 1995 and de Zwaan et al., 2002 for reviews). Fortunately, a paper by Stephan Zipfel and colleagues (2013, freely available here) sheds light on one potential cause of the discrepancies.
But first, some definitions:
TDEE stands for total daily energy expenditure. TDEE has three components: resting energy expenditure (REE), dietary-induced thermogenesis (DIT), and activity-induced thermogenesis (AIT). The gold standard for measuring TDEE is through something called the doubly labelled water technique. REE is usually measured through indirect calorimetry. (These techniques were used in this study as well.)
Generally, when people lose weight, their REE is also reduced as a result of decreased body weight and decreased lean mass, as well as metabolic adaptations. Since …

You May Also Like:
Should Anorexia Nervosa Patients Get the Flu Shot?
The Sobering Reality (and the Silver Lining) of Treating Anorexia Nervosa in Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial
Are All Anorexia Nervosa Patients Just Afraid Of Being Fat and Can We Blame The Western Media?



... Read more »

Zipfel S, Mack I, Baur LA, Hebebrand J, Touyz S, Herzog W, Abraham S, Davies PS, & Russell J. (2013) Impact of exercise on energy metabolism in anorexia nervosa. Journal of Eating Disorders, 1(1), 37. PMID: 24499685  

  • April 18, 2014
  • 01:56 PM
  • 20 views

Moving Beyond “Just-So Stories”: Young Children Can Be Taught Basic Natural Selection

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Spend more than a few hours with a child under the age of 10 and “why?” is a question you’re likely to hear a. Children are naturally curious explorers, and […]... Read more »

  • April 18, 2014
  • 11:04 AM
  • 26 views

Danish Project to Make Polymer Solar Cells More Profitable

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Project Megawatt intends to make polymer solar cells profitable enough to allow power generation from polymer solar cells to compete on market terms with traditional coal-fired power plants.... Read more »

  • April 18, 2014
  • 09:09 AM
  • 3 views

Corporate Culture Directly Affects Financial Performance

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

The question as to whether corporate culture has an effect on financial performance has been asked before and it will likely be asked again. In a study published in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, research demonstrated a link between corporate culture and … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 30 views

Hey, trial lawyers! The FDA is watching you!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

And they want you to stop abusing their Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). We’ve worked a number of cases recently where FDA warnings were used as evidence at trial and were very interested to see this article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. And the answer to the skeptic’s question is “no”. No, we don’t […]

Related posts:
Should you ask your overweight female client to diet before trial?
Black? On trial in Florida? You don’t want an all-white jury!
Predicting case outcomes? Lawyers are pretty dismal at it!


... Read more »

Racine A, Cuerq A, Bijon A, Ricordeau P, Weill A, Allemand H, Chosidow O, Boutron-Ruault MC, & Carbonnel F. (2014) Isotretinoin and risk of inflammatory bowel disease: a French nationwide study. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 109(4), 563-9. PMID: 24535094  

  • April 17, 2014
  • 11:02 PM
  • 85 views

Dear CNRS: That mouse study did not "confirm" the neurobiological origin of ADHD in humans

by in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Late last week the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS - the acronym is based on the French translation) put out a press release describing a study conducted through a collaboration between several of its researchers and scientists from The University of Strasbourg. CNRS is a large (30,000+ employees), government-run research institution in France. It is the largest research organization in Europe, and is responsible for about 1/2 of the French scientific papers published annually. The study in question, conducted by Mathis et al., investigated the role of a brain region called the superior colliculus in disorders of attention. The superior colliculus, also known as the tectum, is part of the brainstem. It is strongly connected to the visual system and is thought to play an important role in redirecting attention to important stimuli in the environment. For example, imagine you are sitting in your favorite coffee shop quietly reading a book, when someone in a gorilla suit barges in and runs through the middle of the room. You would likely be surprised and you would, somewhat reflexively, direct your attention towards the spectacle. This rapid shift in attention would be associated with activity in your superior colliculus.It has been proposed that individuals who suffer from disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may experience increased activity in the superior colliculus, which causes rapid, uncontrolled shifts of attention. Mathis et al. investigated the role of the tectum in attention using mice with a genetic abnormality that makes the superior colliculus hypersensitive.The researchers exposed mice with this defect to a series of behavioral tests. They found that the mice performed normally on tests of visual acuity, movement, and sensory processing. However, the mice seemed to be less wary than control mice of entering areas of bright light (usually something mice avoid as open spaces make them vulnerable to attacks from natural predators). Additionally, the mice performed worse on a task that required them to inhibit impulses. These abnormalities in behavior were associated with increased levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine in the superior colliculus.The authors of the study mention that their work supports the hypothesis that superior colliculus overstimulation is a contributing factor in ADHD. I have no qualms with the verbiage used in the paper, but CNRS's press release about the study is titled "Confirmation of the neurobiological origin of attention-deficit disorder" and they state in the article: "A study, carried out on mice, has just confirmed the neurobiologial origin of attention-deficit disorder (ADD)..."When it comes to psychiatric disorders without a clearly defined molecular mechanism (which is almost all of them), it is improbable that a finding in mice can confirm anything in humans. Our understanding ADHD in humans is limited. We have no objective diagnostic criteria; instead we base diagnosis on observable and self-reported symptoms. If our understanding of a disorder in humans is based primarily on symptomatology (as opposed to the underlying pathophysiology), then it makes the results of experiments that use animals to model the disorder more difficult to interpret. For, if we don't know what molecular changes we can expect to see as a correlate of the disease (e.g. senile plaques in Alzheimer's), then we are resigned to trying to match symptoms of mice with symptoms of men. In this type of situation where we don't know the true pathophysiology, we can never be sure that the symptoms we are seeing in mice and those we are seeing in men have an analogous biological origin. Thus, when it comes to psychiatric disorders, translating directly from animals to humans is difficult. In the case of ADHD, because the biological origins of the disorder are still mostly unknown, animal models can be used as a means to explore the neurobiology of a similar manifestation of symptoms in the animal. They can't, however, be used to "confirm" anything about the human disorder. In this case, CNRS drastically overstated the importance of the study. Of course, the wording used by CNRS in their initial press release was also found on dozens of other media outlets after they picked up the story.Do I doubt that ADHD has a neurobiological origin? No. But the study by Mathis et al. did not confirm that it does. CNRS, as an institution of science, should be more careful about the claims they make in their communications with the public. Mathis, C., Savier, E., Bott, J., Clesse, D., Bevins, N., Sage-Ciocca, D., Geiger, K., Gillet, A., Laux-Biehlmann, A., Goumon, Y., Lacaud, A., Lelièvre, V., Kelche, C., Cassel, J., Pfrieger, F., & Reber, M. (2014). Defective response inhibition and collicular noradrenaline enrichment in mice with duplicated retinotopic map in the superior colliculus Brain Structure and Function DOI: 10.1007/s00429-014-0745-5

... Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 05:57 PM
  • 34 views

Li-Sulfur Batteries Last Longer With Metal-Organic Frameworks

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at the PNNL added a kind of nanomaterial called a metal-organic framework, to the battery’s cathode to capture problematic polysulfides that usually cause lithium-sulfur batteries to fail after a few charges.... Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 05:45 PM
  • 15 views

X-Rays Help Understand High-Temperature Superconductivity

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A new study pins down a major factor behind the appearance of laser-induced high-temperature superconductivity in a promising copper-oxide material.... Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 10:39 AM
  • 43 views

Cheap, Abundant, Low-Toxic Photocatalyst Discovered

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A research group at Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) led by the principal researcher Hideki Abe and the senior researcher Naoto Umezawa at the NIMS’s Environmental Remediation Materials Unit discovered a new photocatalyst, Sn3O4, that uses sunlight to produce hydrogen from water.... Read more »

Manikandan, M., Tanabe, T., Li, P., Ueda, S., Ramesh, G., Kodiyath, R., Wang, J., Hara, T., Dakshanamoorthy, A., Ishihara, S.... (2014) Photocatalytic Water Splitting under Visible Light by Mixed-Valence Sn O . ACS Applied Materials , 6(6), 3790-3793. DOI: 10.1021/am500157u  

  • April 17, 2014
  • 09:39 AM
  • 39 views

What’s the Answer? (new Biostars interface)

by Mary in OpenHelix

BioStars is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions and issues. We are members of the community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at BioStars that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Every Thursday we will be highlighting one of those items or discussions here […]... Read more »

Parnell Laurence D., Lindenbaum Pierre, Shameer Khader, Dall'Olio Giovanni Marco, Swan Daniel C., Jensen Lars Juhl, Cockell Simon J., Pedersen Brent S., Mangan Mary E., & Miller Christopher A. (2011) BioStar: An Online Question . PLoS Computational Biology, 7(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002216.g002  

  • April 17, 2014
  • 09:26 AM
  • 32 views

April 17, 2014

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

The endoplasmic reticulum and humans have quite a bit in common. Both are dynamic and constantly changing, but both also need something to ground and stabilize them. Maybe I’m reading too much into the beauty of the ER, but the image today is from a paper that only fuels my fascination. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a large, complex membrane-bound organelle that spreads throughout the cell and hosts the synthesis, folding, and sorting of membrane and secretory proteins. This network is dynamic and constantly rearranging, with diverse structural and functional domains. A recent paper describes the investigation into the role of the actin cytoskeleton in regulating ER sheet persistence and maintenance, which is important as the stationary domain of the ER. Joensuu and colleagues identified a subset of actin filaments associated with the ER, specifically to polygons defined by ER tubules and sheets. Actin depolymerization caused ER sheet fluctuation and resulted in a defective ER network. The actin motor myosin 1c also localizes to these actin filament arrays. In the images above, actin filament arrays (magenta, arrows) localize to the polygons (asterisks) associated with the ER (green). Joensuu, M., Belevich, I., Ramo, O., Nevzorov, I., Vihinen, H., Puhka, M., Witkos, T., Lowe, M., Vartiainen, M., & Jokitalo, E. (2014). ER sheet persistence is coupled to myosin 1c-regulated dynamic actin filament arrays Molecular Biology of the Cell, 25 (7), 1111-1126 DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E13-12-0712... Read more »

Joensuu, M., Belevich, I., Ramo, O., Nevzorov, I., Vihinen, H., Puhka, M., Witkos, T., Lowe, M., Vartiainen, M., & Jokitalo, E. (2014) ER sheet persistence is coupled to myosin 1c-regulated dynamic actin filament arrays. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 25(7), 1111-1126. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E13-12-0712  

  • April 17, 2014
  • 09:14 AM
  • 68 views

What Do You Want to Hear First: Good News or Bad News?

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

As it turns out, our answer to this question is different depending on whether we’re the one delivering the news or we’re the one receiving the news. If we’re delivering the news, we’re more likely to want to lead with … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 50 views

A poor excuse for removing a peer-reviewed publication

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

I became disenchanted with the idea of e-books when Amazon reached into scores of Kindles and removed copies of (of all possible books) 1984 and Animal Farm. The notion that a major company had the power to deny access to any content they deemed problematic simply presented too many visions of reactive, totalitarian control.

I never considered that those very concerns might apply to the publishers of scientific research, who – in this age of online-only publications – have the power to remove properly vetted research articles at their whim. Now, it is not a nightmare vision but a grim reality.... Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 07:49 AM
  • 68 views

Cannabis use and structural changes in the brain

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

“One or two spliffs a week could mess up your brain” – Metro, 16 April 2014

Spark your interest? This headline caught the eyes of the Antisense team, so we chased down the original article in the Journal of Neuroscience and took a closer look!

Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in the US, and the ‘casual use’ culture surrounding marijuana is a subject of great debate and controversy, with arguments for drug legalisation making their way into our headlines more and more often. But what are the effects of this kind of casual infrequent drug abuse?... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.