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  • July 5, 2010
  • 12:34 AM

Prozac, Ritalin, Cognitive Enhancement, and the power of a snappy title

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Let it be known that Sci, like many a young, bright-eyed little scientist, tries to keep up on her reading. TRIES is the operative word, but every week Sci gets the Tables of Contents for all the major journals in her field (and all the major ones in her subdisciple) emailed straight to her for [...]... Read more »

  • July 4, 2010
  • 11:49 AM

Standardization cause of poor reproducibility?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

In the last few years Web-based experiments have become an attractive alternative to lab-based experiments. Next to the advantages of versatility and the ecological validity of the results, Web-based experiments can potentially reach a much larger, more varied and intrinsically motivated participant pool. Especially in the domain of music perception and cognition it is important to probe a wide variety of participants, with different levels of training and cultural backgrounds.Nevertheless, to ........ Read more »

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

  • July 4, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Louis Agassiz and a brief history of early United States marine biology

by WhySharksMatter in Southern Fried Science

Happy birthday, America, and happy Fourth of July to all of our readers! Today marks the 234th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and many in the media are spending the day talking about life in the early United States. I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss an aspect of early [...]... Read more »

  • July 3, 2010
  • 07:03 PM

Microbial sequencing for food applications is gaining momentum, but challenges remain

by Aurametrix team in Health Technologies

Microbes give us the great variety of tasty food, but not all of them are harmless. Genome sequencing of microorganisms started to bring practical benefits to the field of microbial food safety. The technology is still not as readily available and inexpensive as needed for practical applications, but a few pilot projects have showed a promise. ... Read more »

  • July 3, 2010
  • 02:00 AM

Octopus Sensory Systems: Part 2.5

by Mike Lisieski in Cephalove

Octopuses (Enteroctopus dofleini) Recognize Individual Humans (2010) by Anderson et al. in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science claims that octopuses can recognize their individual human keepers. Wait, what?... Read more »

Anderson, R., Mather, J., Monette, M., & Zimsen, S. (2010) Octopuses (Enteroctopus dofleini) Recognize Individual Humans. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 13(3), 261-272. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2010.483892  

  • July 2, 2010
  • 06:01 PM

Why Tibetans breathe so easy up high

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

I said yesterday I would say a bit more about the new paper on rapid recent high altitude adaptation among the Tibetans when I’d read the paper. Well, I’ve read it now. Sequencing of 50 Human Exomes Reveals Adaptation to High Altitude:
Residents of the Tibetan Plateau show heritable adaptations to extreme altitude. We sequenced [...]... Read more »

Yi, X., Liang, Y., Huerta-Sanchez, E., Jin, X., Cuo, Z., Pool, J., Xu, X., Jiang, H., Vinckenbosch, N., Korneliussen, T.... (2010) Sequencing of 50 Human Exomes Reveals Adaptation to High Altitude. Science, 329(5987), 75-78. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190371  

  • July 2, 2010
  • 05:18 PM

Cinnabar moths and caterpillars

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

During a walk in a local wildlife garden we noticed the first Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae) caterpillars of the year, and an adult also flew by. The caterpillars clustered at the flower heads of Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), which they prefer as food, and had defoliated the plants quite a bit. Many had already left in search for greener pastures and were around the ground or wandering over other plants. Cinnabar Moth caterpillars have a strong tendency to cluster together, possibly an antipredat........ Read more »

  • July 2, 2010
  • 05:10 PM

It's Like Cocaine, But No Fun

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

In a very interesting paper, Dutch pharmaceutical company NeuroSearch, in conjunction with Canadian research corporation Kendle Early Stage, report on Subjective and Objective Effects of the Novel Triple Reuptake Inhibitor Tesofensine in Recreational Stimulant Users.Tesofensine is a drug NeuroSearch are developing for obesity, and they report that it's shown excellent weight-loss-inducing properties in early clinical trials, although of course they would say that. What makes "tes-fens" so inte........ Read more »

  • July 2, 2010
  • 04:43 PM

Message Undeliverable

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Plants have their own way of communicating: they send chemical signals to alert each other when they’ve been nibbled by herbivores. But according to a study in Ecology Letters, ozone pollution can hinder the delivery of these messages.
When a plant is attacked, it may release chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are detected […] Read More »... Read more »

  • July 2, 2010
  • 02:27 PM

Combined NOTCH and EGFR inhibition leads to synthetic lethality in breast cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

This was a great paper I found while browsing My 6 Sense last night, a free but very cool app on my iPhone that takes my Google Reader rss feeds and intuitively tries to select the individual items (e.g. clinical...... Read more »

  • July 2, 2010
  • 10:37 AM

Were Crests and Sails Used in Competition for Mates?

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Paleontologists have long been fascinated by bizarre structures on prehistoric animals. The horns of Styracosaurus, the sail of Dimetrodon, the crest of Tupuxuara and more—these odd ornaments raise the questions, “what were those structures used for, and how did they evolve?” In a recent review of dinosaur evolution, paleontologists Kevin Padian and Jack Horner suggested [...]... Read more »

Tomkins, J., LeBas, N., Witton, M., Martill, D., & Humphries, S. (2010) Positive Allometry and the Prehistory of Sexual Selection. The American Naturalist, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1086/653001  

  • July 2, 2010
  • 03:43 AM

Taking it in: Bacterial Endocytosis

by Lucas in thoughtomics

In my high school text books, bacteria were primarily defined in terms of what they were not. “Bacteria don’t have a nucleus”, “bacteria don’t have mitochondria”, “bacteria are not capable of complex membrane trafficking” and so on. But such boundaries seem to blur as more and more “eukaryote specific” properties pop up in [...]... Read more »

Lonhienne, T., Sagulenko, E., Webb, R., Lee, K., Franke, J., Devos, D., Nouwens, A., Carroll, B., & Fuerst, J. (2010) Endocytosis-like protein uptake in the bacterium Gemmata obscuriglobus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001085107  

  • July 2, 2010
  • 01:34 AM

Female Urochordates Have Few, If Any, Inhibitions

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Photo of Botryllus schlosseri from the Swalla Lab website

Yep, that’s right. They get it on with any male gamete that passes their way. They just don’t give a [rhymes with duck]. Boom chaka-laka-boom. These loose lizzies are all about increasing genetic diversity if you know what I mean. OH, I know you know . . . → Read More: Female Urochordates Have Few, If Any, Inhibitions... Read more »

  • July 2, 2010
  • 12:03 AM

Put the bite back into biodiversity conservation

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

Today’s guest post is by Dr. Euan Ritchie, formerly of James Cook University, but who is now firmly entrenched at Deakin University in Victoria as a new Lecturer in ecology. Euan’s exciting research over the course of his memorable PhD (under the tutelage of renowned ecologist-guru, Professor Chris Johnson) has produced some whoppingly high-impact research. [...]... Read more »

  • July 1, 2010
  • 07:10 PM

Is there Something Fishy about Psychosis?

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

Psychosis is a scary word, conjuring images of people who have so lost touch with reality that they are unable to integrate with society. As with most everything else this condition exists on a continuum, mild symptoms may pose no problem for the sufferer1 nor be outwardly visible. Previous studies have seen correlations between the [...]... Read more »

  • July 1, 2010
  • 05:15 PM

Racial background affects risk of severe sepsis

by geekheartsscience in geek!

High infection rates and increased risk of acute organ dysfunction in black individuals explains why people from this racial background are more likely to have (and die from) severe sepsis than white individuals, according to a new study published in JAMA. Severe sepsis (when the body has a systemic inflammatory response to infection that can [...]... Read more »

Mayr, F., Yende, S., Linde-Zwirble, W., Peck-Palmer, O., Barnato, A., Weissfeld, L., & Angus, D. (2010) Infection Rate and Acute Organ Dysfunction Risk as Explanations for Racial Differences in Severe Sepsis. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(24), 2495-2503. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.851  

  • July 1, 2010
  • 02:32 PM

Are Zombie Vultures In Our Future?

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

A zombie is another name for The Walking Dead -- those who are lifeless, apathetic, or totally lacking in independent judgment. But in an ecological sense, a zombie species no longer fulfills its ecological function because it is becoming extinct... Read more »

Shultz, S., Baral, H., Charman, S., Cunningham, A., Das, D., Ghalsasi, G., Goudar, M., Green, R., Jones, A., Nighot, P.... (2004) Diclofenac poisoning is widespread in declining vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 271(Suppl_6). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2004.0223  

Naidoo, V., Wolter, K., Cromarty, D., Diekmann, M., Duncan, N., Meharg, A., Taggart, M., Venter, L., & Cuthbert, R. (2009) Toxicity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to Gyps vultures: a new threat from ketoprofen. Biology Letters, 6(3), 339-341. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0818  

Swan, G., Cuthbert, R., Quevedo, M., Green, R., Pain, D., Bartels, P., Cunningham, A., Duncan, N., Meharg, A., Lindsay Oaks, J.... (2006) Toxicity of diclofenac to Gyps vultures. Biology Letters, 2(2), 279-282. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2005.0425  

  • July 1, 2010
  • 12:08 PM

What's eating you? - Bugs, bacteria, and zombies

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The trailer for Shaun of the Dead.

Not all zombies are created equal. The most popular zombie archetype is a shambling, brain-eating member of the recently deceased, but, in recent films from 28 Days Later to Zombieland, the definition of what a zombie is or isn't has become more complicated. Does a zombie have to be a cannibal corpse, or can a zombie be someone infected with a virus which turns them into a blood-crazed, fast-running monster?

For my own part, I have always preferred the cla........ Read more »

  • July 1, 2010
  • 09:46 AM

Advancing the Use of Biomarkers in Cancer Drug Development

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

This was the title of a fascinating article I saw on Twitter a few minutes ago, courtesy of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR). They are providing access to the paper free of charge to the public using this...... Read more »

Ranade, A., Cherba, D., Sridhar, S., Richardson, P., Webb, C., Paripati, A., Bowles, B., & Weiss, G. (2010) MicroRNA 92a-2*. Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 1. DOI: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181dea6be  

  • July 1, 2010
  • 08:21 AM

Hamilton’s Rule vs. Increasing returns to cooperation

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

If you have even a marginal interest in evolutionary biology you will probably have heard of Hamilton’s Rule, a simple formal representation of the logic whereby a gene which favors altruism may spread through a population: rB > C, where r = coefficient of relatedness on the gene in question, B = benefit to those [...]... Read more »

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