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  • January 16, 2012
  • 08:00 AM
  • 630 views

What Are the Costs of Lending a Helping Hand?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

I boarded my commuter train with all of five minutes to spare, so I knew my prospects for getting a seat were slim. That didn’t bother me too much since the vestibule was mostly empty—there was a man standing at the other door silently rocking out to whatever was playing on his headphones, so I [...]









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Bartal, I., Decety, J., & Mason, P. (2011) Empathy and Pro-Social Behavior in Rats. Science, 334(6061), 1427-1430. DOI: 10.1126/science.1210789  

Fehr, E., & Fischbacher, U. (2003) The nature of human altruism. Nature, 425(6960), 785-791. DOI: 10.1038/nature02043  

Horner, V., Carter, J., Suchak, M., & de Waal, F. (2011) Spontaneous prosocial choice by chimpanzees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(33), 13847-13851. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1111088108  

  • January 16, 2012
  • 01:18 AM
  • 815 views

Two Approaches to Patient Safety

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer The two approaches to patient safety are the person approach and the system approach. The personal approach is the most encountered and outdated kind of approach in medicine. In short, errors are seen as shortcomings of medical personnel such as forgetfulness, inattention, poor motivation negligence and recklessness. The response is mostly naming, blaming, and [...]
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  • January 14, 2012
  • 10:42 PM
  • 1,159 views

When Satire Becomes Reality

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

On Friday political satirist Stephen Colbert entered the U.S. presidential race. A significant proportion of Conservatives in fact fail to understand satire and instead believe Colbert to be a Conservative commentator opposed to liberal thought.... Read more »

RAMSAY, C., KULL, S., LEWIS, E., & SUBIA, S. (2010) Misinformation and the 2010 Election. Published online at WORLDPUBLICOPINION.ORG by University of Maryland. info:/

  • January 14, 2012
  • 04:32 AM
  • 1,038 views

26 reasons not to trust what you read in the newspaper

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

So we all know we shouldn’t believe everything we read. Tabloids and science have never been the best of bed fellows (or should that be tabloids and the truth?). But just how widespread is fallacious newspaper reporting? An intriguing little investigation from University College Chester made an attempt to measure the terribleness (or not) of … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • January 12, 2012
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,057 views

Error bars

by Zen Faulkes in Better Posters

Comparing averages should be one of the easiest kinds of information to show, but they are surprisingly tricky.Most people know that when they show an average, there should be an indication of how much smear there is in the data. It makes a huge difference to your interpretation of the information, particularly when glancing at the figure.For instance, I’m willing to bet most people looking at this...Would say, “Wow, the treatment is making a big difference compared to the control!”I’m l........ Read more »

Cumming G, Fidler F, & Vaux D. (2007) Error bars in experimental biology. The Journal of Cell Biology, 177(1), 7-11. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200611141  

  • January 11, 2012
  • 01:37 AM
  • 1,038 views

Recruiting study participants through Facebook

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer Read an interesting article about this subject. Interesting not in the sense of costs or efficacy but mostly on how they did it. It’s done for an epidemiological study on a mother child cohort. They wanted to include pregnant women for their study with facebook beside other forms of recruitment such as: active collaboration [...]
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Richiardi, L., Pivetta, E., & Merletti, F. (2012) Recruiting Study Participants Through Facebook. Epidemiology, 23(1), 175. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31823b5ee4  

  • January 9, 2012
  • 05:51 PM
  • 656 views

ESA still not supporting open access

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo


The Ecological Society of America drew attention to itself last week for a statement regarding open access for scientific publication. Jonathan Eisen covered it here.

I posted the link to Eisen’s post this on ESA’s Facebook page, and today, there was this comment:

ESA’s recent letter in response to OSTP’s Request for Information has generated discussion in the social media realm. This is perhaps a good example of the inherent conflict between the interests of those who believe researc........ Read more »

  • January 9, 2012
  • 01:35 AM
  • 1,016 views

Patient Safety in Medical Education

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer When searching in pubmed for the two mesh terms “patient safety” and “medical education” results in 8 hits. Some research articles and editorials. One quote with literature reference about the extend of the problem is: Our health care system today has an adverse event rate approximately equal to that of driving an automobile putting [...]
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Wagner, D., Noel, M., Barry, H., & Reznich, C. (2011) Safe Expectations. Academic Medicine, 86(11). DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182327c81  

  • January 6, 2012
  • 08:00 AM
  • 908 views

Questioning Permanence: Would You Get a QR Code Tattoo?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Are you inked? I’m not, though I’ve thought about it seriously and have a pretty good idea of what I would get and where I would put it—if I could work up the nerve to get in the chair. I’ll tell you one thing: It most certainly is not a QR code like Fred Bosch, who [...]









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Dye, I. (1989) The tattoos of Early American Seafarers, 1796-1818. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 133(4), 520-554. info:/

Schildkrout, E. (2004) Inscribing the Body. Annual Review of Anthropology, 33(1), 319-344. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203.143947  

  • January 6, 2012
  • 05:51 AM
  • 819 views

Are Bible-bashers scientifically stupid?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

It never used to be like this. Sir Isaac Newton, one of the influential scientists to grace the Earth would be horrified. An outspoken Bible-believer, Newton believed that his observations of the Universe made the existence of God irrefutable. How times change. ‘New Atheism’ is the increasingly popular movement within top science thinkers. Its advocates say … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • January 4, 2012
  • 09:39 PM
  • 1,185 views

A Walkthrough To Find Credible Souces and Answers to the Controversies of Vaccines, Evolution, Holocaust, and Global Warming

by DJ Busby in Astronasty

Where do you get your facts?
Hopefully, a reliable source.
So what's an online reliable source, and how can a regular Joe get a hold of this information?

A very easy way to be confident is to make sure that you're reading from an .edu or .gov page. One of the easiest (and quickest) ways to find your topic is through the citations on Wikipedia. Some people doubt the validity of Wikipedia in fear of hecklers. The nature or self-maintaining issue of Wikipedia aside, the citation........ Read more »

Bonhoeffer J, & Heininger U. (2007) Adverse events following immunization: perception and evidence. Current opinion in infectious diseases, 20(3), 237-46. PMID: 17471032  

Demicheli V, Jefferson T, Rivetti A, & Price D. (2005) Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 16235361  

Committee on Revising Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2008) Science, Evolution, and Creationism. The National Academies Press. info:/9780309105866

  • January 4, 2012
  • 08:22 PM
  • 1,002 views

5 Reasons to Love Academia

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

1. Freedom to set your own scheduleAcademia's not a 9 to 5, cubicle slave job! We didn't go to school for 20+ years to work a measly 8 hours per day for 40 hours a week.You see, there's a certain... "culture"... of academia that equates "good, smart work" with "endless hours in the lab".This kind of mentality leads to famous suggestions such as the following from my PhD institute (also referenced in Nature):1. Every one works at least 50 hr a week in the lab (e.g., 8+ hr a day, six days a week)......... Read more »

  • January 4, 2012
  • 03:36 PM
  • 502 views

miRNA special reprint in Nature

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

A while ago I had a small post about RNA interference (RNAi), linking to a really awesome and educational animation and slideshow on the topic. Again, RNAi refers to gene regulation by very small strands of RNA. There are a number of types of RNA in your cells, and a several of these are involved in RNAi: in the last post I cursorily mentioned piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNA), small interfering (siRNA) and long intergenic non-coding (lincRNA).One type I neglected to mention is "micro" (miRNA), and ........ Read more »

Zimmer, C. (2011) Technology: Rise of the e-book. Nature, 480(7378), 451-452. DOI: 10.1038/480451a  

  • January 4, 2012
  • 03:04 PM
  • 474 views

Hot Sex Prevents Breast Cancer

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Breast cancer is caused by sexual frustration. Women should ditch their unsexy husbands and find a real man to satisfy them if they want to reduce the risk of the disease. That's according to An Essay on Sexual Frustration as the Cause of Breast Cancer in Women: How Correlations and Cultural Blind Spots Conceal Causal Effects, a piece that was published today in The Breast Journal.Really -Endocrinological processes are important targets in breast cancer research. These processes are also importa........ Read more »

  • January 2, 2012
  • 07:37 AM
  • 652 views

2011: The Year in Drugs Deaths and data fraud

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

A round-up of this year’s drugs news along with the latest available statistical data which shows that helium killed more than ecstasy, cannabis, mephedrone and GHB combined.... Read more »

Measham,F. Moore, K. Østergaard, J. (2011) Mephedrone, ‘‘Bubble’’ and unidentified white powders: the contested identities of synthetic ‘‘legal highs". DRUGS AND ALCOHOL TODAY, 137-146. info:/

Editorial team. (2010) The EMCDDA annual report 2010: the state of the drugs problem in Europe. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, also published in Euro surveillance :European communicable disease bulletin, 15(46). PMID: 21144426  

  • January 2, 2012
  • 02:07 AM
  • 1,101 views

Principles for Patient Safety

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer Teaching patient safety starts in medical school. Hospitals can be weired chaotic places. It’s often a wonder everything keeps working as it should although failures do occur. Medical professionals come to realize that mistakes happen and they adapt their working procedures to those of the so called high reliability organizations such as aircrafts, airline [...]
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Prasanna, P., & Nagy, P. (2011) Learning From High-Reliability Organizations. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 8(10), 725-726. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacr.2011.06.020  

  • January 1, 2012
  • 10:02 AM
  • 640 views

New Year’s Resolutions – Doomed to fail?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

New Year’s Resolutions: Do they work? What’s so magical about the stroke of midnight on December 31st? Many of us pledge to get fit, save money or stop smoking. Many of us also know how often these attempts end in failure. Perhaps Oscar Wilde had it right: Resolutions are “pure vanity. Their result is absolutely nil”. Oscar [...]... Read more »

  • January 1, 2012
  • 09:41 AM
  • 939 views

Copyright vs Medicine: If this topic isn’t covered in your newspaper this weekend, get a new newspaper

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, after thirty years of silence, authors of a standard clinical psychiatric bedside test have issued take down orders of new medical research.... Read more »

Newman, J., & Feldman, R. (2011) Copyright and Open Access at the Bedside. New England Journal of Medicine, 365(26), 2447-2449. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1110652  

  • December 31, 2011
  • 02:54 AM
  • 1,049 views

Correlation between reference managers and the WoS

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Even though web citations have been a part of our lives for several years now, the correlation between "traditional" citations and web resources like Mendeley, CiteULike, blog networks, etc. hasn't been thoroughly studied yet, and any new research in the field is very interesting (to me, anyway). The new paper was published at Scientometrics by Li, Thelwall (still one of my dissertation advisors) and Giustini. They focused on the correlation between user count - the number of users who save a pa........ Read more »

  • December 30, 2011
  • 08:04 AM
  • 463 views

How Realistic is fMRI?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

How representative are fMRI experiments? Is "the brain" that we investigate with fMRI the same brain that we use outside the MRI scanner?A new paper from Bernhard Hommel and colleagues of Leiden in the Netherlands offers some important caveats. They looked to see what effect playing some recorded MRI scanner sounds had on people's ability to perform some simple cognitive tasks, while sitting outside the scanner.MRI is notoriously noisy. When you have an MRI scan you have to wear earplugs to prot........ Read more »

Hommel, B., Fischer, R., Colzato, L., van den Wildenberg, W., & Cellini, C. (2011) The effect of fMRI (noise) on cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. DOI: 10.1037/a0026353  

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