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  • December 7, 2012
  • 10:08 AM

Smoking: the beginning of the end?

by Isabel Torres in Science in the clouds

The first time on an airplane is one of those experiences that leave a stamp on your memory. My first plane trip was about 20 years ago, and I would have great recollections of that flight if not only for what happened after the 'no smoking' lights went out. Shortly after the 'ding', a cloud of cigarette smoke filled the air cabin. For hours on end, I was crammed with over hundred other people in a small, enclosed space breathing recycled smoke-infested air. Not a pleasant memory.As appalling as........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2012
  • 08:53 AM

POLL: Very premature babies

by GDW in The Beast, the Bard and the Bot

Preterm birth is risky. And, not surprisingly, the earlier a baby is born, the greater the risks. Two new studies (part of EPICure) address the survival and further development of babies born way too soon (after between 22 and 26 weeks of gestation). The studies found that survival has increased, when comparing premature babies born [...]... Read more »

  • November 20, 2012
  • 11:38 PM

The precautionary principal in the garden of obesogens

by Megan Carter in Verdant Nation

Creative Commons imageToday's post is a follow-up to the previous post on the pervasiveness of environmental contaminants and pollutants and the potential link to obesity, particularly in utero. As I left off, much research remains to be conducted to definitively link specific industrial chemicals (known endocrine disruptors), which are highly prevalent in our society, to obesity.The precautionary principal is used to protect public health and has various interpretations. In general, i........ Read more »

Weir E, Schabas R, Wilson K, & Mackie C. (2010) A Canadian framework for applying the precautionary principle to public health issues. Canadian journal of public health. Revue canadienne de sante publique, 101(5), 396-8. PMID: 21214055  

  • November 19, 2012
  • 08:31 PM

How Your Neighbor Influences You Health Care Decisions

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

It’s not surprising that social norms influence consumer behavior. When everybody else wants to spend $400 on the new iPad, it makes sense that you’ll be more willing to spend $400 on a new iPad. The question is, how far does this social influence extend? A new study led by Ivo Vlaev examines how social norms [...]... Read more »

  • November 16, 2012
  • 02:02 PM

The Disposable Dilemma

by Whitney Campbell in Green Screen

Expendable objects were not innovated recently. Although washi are now linked to origami, for instance, people have been using the small sheets as disposable facial tissues since at least the seventeenth century, when the litter of Hasekura Tsunenaga's retinue reportedly surprised French courtiers. Similarly, around 200,000 to 400,000 years earlier, hominins near present-day Tel Aviv temporarily used flint flakes to carve meat, later startling archeologists with the "short-lived usage&........ Read more »

  • November 7, 2012
  • 10:24 AM

Video Tip of the Week: Force11 and the future of research communications

by Mary in OpenHelix

Recently the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) hosted a webinar about the changing face of research communications. Beyond traditional publication, there are a lot of new methods to do outreach and communication about science–blogs, twitter, videos, social media like Facebook and Google+, MOOCs, software tools, and more. This is for our peers and for [...]... Read more »

Bourne Philip E , Clark Tim, Dale Robert, De Waard Anita, Herman Ivan, Hovy Eduard, & Shotton David. (2012) Improving future research communication and e-scholarship : a summary of findings. Informatik-Spektrum, 35(1), 62. DOI: 10.1007/s00287-011-0592-1  

Bourne, Philip E., Clark, Timothy W., Dale, Robert, de Waard, Anita, Herman, Ivan, Hovy, Eduard H., & David Shotton. (2011) Improving The Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship. Dagstuhl Manifestos, 1(1), 41-59. info:/10.4230/DagMan.1.1.41

  • October 23, 2012
  • 08:31 AM

Convicted Scientists, Earthquakes and Communication

by GDW in The Beast, the Bard and the Bot

Yesterday, October 22nd, six scientists and one government official were sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter. A consequence of the events surrounding the earthquake (magnitude: 6.3) that hit the Italian city of L’Aquila on April 6th 2009, and … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 19, 2012
  • 03:58 PM

Does Marijuana Withdrawal Matter?

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

What happens to some smokers when they cut out the cannabis.

People who say they are addicted to marijuana tend to exhibit a characteristic withdrawal profile. But is cannabis withdrawal, if it actually exists, significant enough to merit clinical attention? Does it lead to relapse, or continued use despite adverse circumstances? Should it be added to the list of addictive disorders in the rewrite of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) currently in progress?

Ma........ Read more »

Allsop, D., Copeland, J., Norberg, M., Fu, S., Molnar, A., Lewis, J., & Budney, A. (2012) Quantifying the Clinical Significance of Cannabis Withdrawal. PLoS ONE, 7(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044864  

  • October 8, 2012
  • 07:53 AM

Solving Environmental Problems Through Metabolic Engineering

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Environmental problems, such as depleting natural resources, highlight the need to establish a renewable chemical industry. Metabolic engineering enhances the production of chemicals made by microbes in so-called “cell factories”. Next Monday, scientist Professor Sang Yup Lee of KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) will explain how metabolic engineering could lead to the [...]... Read more »

Yu Kyung Jung, Tae Yong Kim, Si Jae Park, & Sang Yup Lee. (2010) Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of polylactic acid and its copolymers. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 105(1), 161-171. info:/10.1002/bit.22548

  • September 17, 2012
  • 02:41 PM

Leafy Green Power

by Whitney Campbell in Green Screen

Ever since his debut in the comic strip Thimble Theatre in 1929, Popeye has loudly touted his penchant for spinach and lauded its ability to impart strength. Although the sailor man backed Instant Quaker Oatmeal briefly in the 1980s — singing the jingle "I'm Popeye the Quaker Man!" — his devotion to spinach has been as steadfast as his love for Olive Oyl.... Read more »

Hernández, A., Schiffer, T. A., Ivarsson, N., Cheng A. J., Bruton, J. D., Lundberg, J. O., Weitzberg, E., . (2012) Dietary nitrate increases tetanic [Ca2 ]i and contractile force in mouse fast-twitch muscle. The Journal of Physiology, 3575-3583. PMID: 22687611  

Leblanc, G., Chen, G., Gizzie, E. A., Jennings, G. K. . (2012) Enhanced photocurrents of Photosystem I films on p-doped silicon. Advanced Materials. PMID: 22945835  

  • August 16, 2012
  • 08:40 AM

Independent Confirmation of Results and Academic Publishers: A Potential Opportunity?

by James in Open Science

Having already written about the need to independently test results, I’m pleased to see a news article in Nature that highlights the following initiative by Science Exchange to replicate high-profile papers: Scientific publishers are backing an initiative to encourage authors of high-profile research papers to get their results replicated by independent labs. Validation studies will [...]... Read more »

  • July 26, 2012
  • 02:36 PM

Coral Reef Relief?

by Whitney Campbell in Green Screen

When it is this hot outside, there really is no place I'd rather be than at the beach, and I'm not alone. During the sweltering days of summer, heaps of people beat the heat by heading to the nearest sandy coast. Some may even take the plunge to scuba dive and snorkel in the shallows of coral reefs, endlessly surprising with their whimsical forms and colorful marine life. But how do coral reefs themselves handle hotness? With rising temperatures consistently being reported for oceans e........ Read more »

  • July 24, 2012
  • 05:27 PM

On Self-Citation

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Self-citing is often frowned upon, being considered (and sometimes is) vanity, egotism or an attempt in self-advertising. However, everyone self-cite because sooner or later, everyone builds upon previous findings “Given the cumulative nature of the production of new knowledge, self-citations constitute a natural part of the communication process.” (Costas et al., 2010). The argument whether [...]

... Read more »

Aksnes, D. W. (2003) A macro study of self-citation. Scientometrics, 56(2), 235-246. info:/

Fowler, J. H., & Aksnes, D. W. (2007) Does self-citation pay? . Scientometrics, 72(3), 427-437. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-007-1777-2  

  • July 18, 2012
  • 06:57 PM

The Summer Olympics and the “War on Doping”

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Time for a change in strategy?

The Summer Olympics are fast approaching, and that can only mean one thing: drugs. After more than a decade, you might wonder, how goes the so-called “War on Doping?”

Not so good, but thanks for asking. The World Anti-Doping Agency, established in 1999 and backed by the UNESCO anti-doping convention, will be operating 24/7 during the games, protecting the “purity” of Sport, trying to ferret out everything from cannabis and cocaine to steroids and ........ Read more »

Kayser B, & Broers B. (2012) The Olympics and harm reduction?. Harm reduction journal, 9(1), 33. PMID: 22788912  

  • July 16, 2012
  • 06:10 AM

Open Science is already being practiced

by James in Open Science

Part of making science more open is taking our pre-existing ways of disseminating and practicing science, as seen in journals and statistical programs, and making them open. But there is a larger change taking place. Domains previously more reliant on argumentation and advocacy are now starting to equip themselves with the methodological toolkits us scientists are [...]... Read more »

  • July 11, 2012
  • 08:06 AM

Ex-Smokers Tend To Gain More Weight than Thought

by United Academics in United Academics

It is well-known that people who quit smoking usually gain weight, as nicotine is an appetite suppressant. The average weight gain was set around 2.9 kg (about 6.4 pounds), but a new study published in BMJ maintains that it is actually higher, approximately 4-5 kg (9-11 pounds) after one year of quitting smoking.... Read more »

Henri-Jean Aubin, Amanda Farley, Deborah Lycett, Pierre Lahmek, & Paul Aveyard. (2012) Weight gain in smokers after quitting cigarettes: meta-analysis. BMJ. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e4439  

  • July 10, 2012
  • 03:13 PM

Excessive sitting lowering US life expectancy by ~2 years

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

A very quick post today to point out an interesting new paper in the journal BMJ Open. Written by Peter Katzmarzyk (Peter J and I took his epi course while at Queen’s University) and I-Min Lee, the paper estimates the impact of both sedentary behaviour (e.g. all sitting) and television viewing on the life expectancy of Americans.... Read more »

  • July 8, 2012
  • 01:52 PM

The Truth About Weight Loss Surgery and Alcohol

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Bariatrics and booze don’t always mix.
For many people with obesity, bariatric surgery has proven to be a lifesaver. But for a subset of post-operative patients, the price for losing five pounds every time you step on the scale turns out to be an increased appetite for alcohol.
In a study of almost 2,000 patients who underwent surgery for severe obesity, the patients had either gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) in which a portion of the stomach and small intestine are removed, or gastric banding........ Read more »

King WC, Chen JY, Mitchell JE, Kalarchian MA, Steffen KJ, Engel SG, Courcoulas AP, Pories WJ, & Yanovski SZ. (2012) Prevalence of Alcohol Use Disorders Before and After Bariatric SurgeryAlcohol Use Disorders and Bariatric Surgery. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 1-10. PMID: 22710289  

  • June 26, 2012
  • 11:56 AM

The New Highs: Are Bath Salts Addictive?

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

What we know and don’t know about synthetic speed.

Part II.

Call bath salts a new trend, if you insist. Do they cause psychosis? Are they “super-LSD?” The truth is, they are a continuation of a 70-year old trend: speed. Lately, we’ve been fretting about the Adderall Generation, but every population cohort has had its own confrontation with the pleasures and perils of speed: Ritalin, ice, Methedrine, crystal meth, IV meth, amphetamine, Dexedrine, Benzedrine… and so it goes. For addi........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2012
  • 01:14 PM

S.O.S. Save Our Seagrass

by Whitney Campbell in Green Screen

As this year's United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development concluded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday, it seemed that many participants and attendees were frustrated by the meeting's final agreement.1,2 Often referred to as the Rio 20 Earth Summit, these talks among nearly 100 world leaders appear to have resulted in a weak consensus and the backing of a declaration that lacks structures for implementation and neglects many urgent environmental concerns.... Read more »

Fourqurean, J. W., Duarte, C. M., Kennedy, H., Marbà, N., Holmer, M., Mateo, M. A., Apostolaki, E. T., Kendrick, G. A., Krause-Jensen, D., McGlathery, K. J. . (2012) Seagrass ecosystems as a globally significant carbon stock. Nature Geoscience,. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1477  

Lewis, S. L., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Sonké, B., Affum-Baffoe, K., Baker, T. R., Ojo, L. O., Phillips, O. L., Reitsma, J. M., White, L., Comiskey, J. A., Djuikouo K, M. N., Ewango, C. E. N., Feldpausch, T. R., Hamilton, A. C., Gloor, M., Hart, T., Hladik, A. (2009) Increasing carbon storage in intact African tropical forests. . Nature, 1003-1006. DOI: 10.1088/1755-1307/6/8/082009  

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