Post List

  • November 10, 2014
  • 04:11 AM
  • 61 views

Water-Use Advantage for Lianas over Trees in Tropical Seasonal Forests

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Life Sciences

Lianas exhibit peak abundance in tropical forests with strong seasonal droughts, the eco-physiological mechanisms associated with lianas coping with water deficits are poorly understood.

Researchers examined soil water partitioning, sap flow, and canopy eco-physiological properties for 99 individuals of 15 liana and 34 co-occurring tree species in three tropical forests that differed in soil water availability.... Read more »

Chen, Y., Cao, K., Schnitzer, S., Fan, Z., Zhang, J., & Bongers, F. (2014) Water-use advantage for lianas over trees in tropical seasonal forests. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.1111/nph.13036  

  • November 10, 2014
  • 03:01 AM
  • 75 views

Metabolomics and autism: the continuing search for biomarkers

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm always a happy bunny when some of my own research findings receive something like independent replication. So it was when I read the monster paper from Paul West and colleagues [1] (open-access) reporting results based on not one, not two, not three, not even four, but five mass spectrometric methods looking for potential biomarkers for autism. Metabolomics in action (see here for an introduction to this topic).Rosina @ Wikipedia The particular reason for my excitement was the........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2014
  • 12:05 AM
  • 76 views

Measuring Lower Extremity Kinematics? Yep, They Have an App For That

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

A tablet application is a promising, reliable tool to capture objective landing kinematics. Intra-rater reliability is good to excellent with an average of 6 trials. Inter-rater reliability is fair to excellent depending on the level of experience.... Read more »

  • November 9, 2014
  • 09:02 PM
  • 80 views

Using Specific Bacteria to Treat Antibiotic-Induced Diarrheal Disease (C. difficile)

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

There has been a lot of talk about the microbiome and Clostridium difficile infections. This is because patient antibiotic or chemotherapeutic exposure (both of which can destroy your commensal bacterial communities) increases the risk of C. difficile infection. This observation suggests a role for commensal bacteria in mediating infection resistance. The exact commensal bacteria that mediate protection against C. difficile infection are not known, but luckily for us, scientists are working o........ Read more »

  • November 9, 2014
  • 12:48 PM
  • 107 views

If being sad is “bad”, then why is there sad music?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

We tell children not to look so sad. We tell adults to wipe that sad look off their face and smile. We even worry that if you are sad too long, you might need medical attention. Yet, for most of us, when life gets you down, you put on some sad music. So if sadness is such a negative, why do we spend our money and time wallowing in these sad tunes?... Read more »

  • November 9, 2014
  • 12:43 PM
  • 81 views

Will anyone follow this route to low emission, low cost farming?

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Can we stop cheap, climate-friendly fertiliser via the STEP process being like transport by jetpack – a promise destined to remain unkept? ... Read more »

  • November 9, 2014
  • 07:39 AM
  • 60 views

Comparative analysis of regulatory information and circuits across distant species

by Franziska Gruhl in genome ecology evolution etc

Development and homeostasis of all organisms is tightly controlled by transcription regulatory factors that are often highly conserved across deep phylogenies. However, it is unclear to what extend the basic components of these networks (e.g. network motifs and structure, binding … Continue reading →... Read more »

Boyle, A., Araya, C., Brdlik, C., Cayting, P., Cheng, C., Cheng, Y., Gardner, K., Hillier, L., Janette, J., Jiang, L.... (2014) Comparative analysis of regulatory information and circuits across distant species. Nature, 512(7515), 453-456. DOI: 10.1038/nature13668  

  • November 9, 2014
  • 06:12 AM
  • 69 views

Sunday's Nudibranch: Jorunna funebris

by beredim in Strange Animals

 Jorunna funebrisPhoto by © Mark Rosenstein  [CC BY-NC-SA 3.0]Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: MolluscaClass: GastropodaSuperfamily: DoridoideaFamily: DiscodorididaeGenus: JorunnaSpecies: Jorunna funebrisCommon Name: Dotted nudibranch, Polka DotWhen I was writing my "14 Most Amazing Nudibranchs" post I had a really hard time choosing which species to include and which not.This animal group is very diverse and full of beautiful, alien-like or simply weir........ Read more »

Pattira Kasamesiri, Shettapong Meksumpun, and Charumas Meksumpun. (2012) Observations on Embryonic Development of Black-Spot Jorunna, Jorunna Funebris (Kelaart, 1859) (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia) . Journal of Shellfish Research, 33(2), 111-117. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.2983/035.031.0114

  • November 9, 2014
  • 05:29 AM
  • 60 views

Subduction is not the end

by Metageologist in Metageologist

Subduction is just the beginning. Stuck on the surface of the earth as we are, it’s easy to think that when oceanic lithosphere is destroyed when it vanishes into the mantle. But this is wrong. The more we manage to peer … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 8, 2014
  • 12:55 PM
  • 105 views

When it comes to sleep recommendations, what about the children?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Sleep is a hot topic lately, are we getting too much, too little, how much is enough? However, most of these questions are for adults, so what about children? Well as it turns out a new study used activity monitors to track how sleep habits changed in younger and older teens as they grew during a two-year period. Key findings from this study has also lent t0 new support to recent recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics that middle and high schools avoid starting earlier than 8:30 a........ Read more »

  • November 8, 2014
  • 10:59 AM
  • 93 views

Are we really evolving into super-humans?

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

© EEGI came across an article on the Popular Science website, which, turns out, is the excerpt of a new book on evolution by Science Guy Bill Nye. From the reviews I gather that Bill Nye is an excellent writer and, being also an entertainer, he knows how to not only expose well but also infuse some good humor to what he says. That's all fantastic. But while the article starts off with some rigor, his conclusion had me roll my eyes. Because, even though he does include some speculations th........ Read more »

Salih NA, Hussain AA, Almugtaba IA, Elzein AM, Elhassan IM, Khalil EA, Ishag HB, Mohammed HS, Kwiatkowski D, & Ibrahim ME. (2010) Loss of balancing selection in the betaS globin locus. BMC medical genetics, 21. PMID: 20128890  

Hafid Laayounia,1, Marije Oostingb,c,1, Pierre Luisia, Mihai Ioanab,d, Santos Alonsoe, Isis Ricaño-Poncef, Gosia Trynkaf,2, Alexandra Zhernakovaf, Theo S. Plantingab, Shih-Chin Chengb, Jos W. M. van der Meerb, Radu Poppg, Ajit Soodh, B. K. Thelmai, Cisca. (2014) Convergent evolution in European and Rroma populations reveals pressure exerted by plague on Toll-like receptors. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1317723111  

Coop G, Pickrell JK, Novembre J, Kudaravalli S, Li J, Absher D, Myers RM, Cavalli-Sforza LL, Feldman MW, & Pritchard JK. (2009) The role of geography in human adaptation. PLoS genetics, 5(6). PMID: 19503611  

  • November 8, 2014
  • 04:51 AM
  • 83 views

UK Millennium Cohort Study: School and the disabled child

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Quite recently the BBC News online ran with the headline: "Disabled children's behaviour 'deteriorates at school'". The story revolved around the findings reported by Rebecca Fauth and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at "the extent to which the associations between disability and behaviour are linked to children’s developmental stage and thus may be ‘grown out of’ as children enter school and move out of the early years". I should add that, at the time of writing, the Fauth paper is d........ Read more »

Connelly R, & Platt L. (2014) Cohort Profile: UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). International journal of epidemiology. PMID: 24550246  

  • November 7, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 97 views

Bernstein polynomials and non-linear public goods in tumours

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

By analogy, or maybe homage, to standard game theory, when we discuss the payoffs of an evolutionary game, we usually tell the story of two prototype agents representing their respective strategies meeting at random and interacting. For my stories of yarn, knitting needles, and clandestine meetings in the dark of night, I even give these […]... Read more »

  • November 7, 2014
  • 07:39 PM
  • 118 views

Friends with Benefits

by Abena Edugyan in Your Active Edge

Two studies that look at motivation and physical activity. ... Read more »

Janssen, I., Dugan, S., Karavolos, K., Lynch, E., & Powell, L. (2013) Correlates of 15-Year Maintenance of Physical Activity in Middle-Aged Women. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine., 21(3), 511-518. DOI: 10.1007/s12529-013-9324-z  

  • November 7, 2014
  • 04:50 PM
  • 34 views

It hurts! Atheists and Christians don’t feel each others pain, but with a twist.

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

For many people, their religion is like a badge of social identity. You feel an affinity with people who share a religion – not surprising given that you will share many cultural and social touch points. But will you feel their pain? If shown a picture of a Christian grimacing, will you mentally flinch? What about [Read More...]

... Read more »

  • November 7, 2014
  • 10:37 AM
  • 133 views

Breaking Research: A method by which invading bacteria avoid detection could also be our key to defeating them

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

Have you ever wondered how our body recognizes when it’s being invaded by harmful bacteria? Nearly all forms of life—from single-celled organisms all the way to humans—have an “innate” immune system, which has evolved to recognize cellular components shared by broad groups of pathogens. One such example is peptidoglycan, a molecule found on the cell […]... Read more »

Atilano Magda Luciana, Filipa Vaz, Maria João Catalão, Patricia Reed, Inês Ramos Grilo, Rita Gonçalves Sobral, Petros Ligoxygakis, Mariana Gomes Pinho, & Sérgio Raposo Filipe. (2014) Bacterial autolysins trim cell surface peptidoglycan to prevent detection by the Drosophila innate immune system. eLife. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/elife.02277  

  • November 7, 2014
  • 10:05 AM
  • 95 views

The Friday Five for 11/7/14

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

A fun way to learn the latest cool science news! Crazy science stunts, the chemistry of fire breathing, bugs in the brain.... Read more »

Yolken, R., Jones-Brando, L., Dunigan, D., Kannan, G., Dickerson, F., Severance, E., Sabunciyan, S., Talbot, C., Prandovszky, E., Gurnon, J.... (2014) Chlorovirus ATCV-1 is part of the human oropharyngeal virome and is associated with changes in cognitive functions in humans and mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1418895111  

  • November 7, 2014
  • 10:01 AM
  • 91 views

Powerful Ravens Sabotage Others’ Relationships

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

  If we’re lucky, this is behavior we haven’t seen since high school. The coolest individuals can’t stand to see others gaining social status, so they cut down any peers who are starting to elevate themselves. Ravens have to live with this behavior all the time. When the top-dog birds see others building new relationships, […]The post Powerful Ravens Sabotage Others’ Relationships appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Massen, J., Szipl, G., Spreafico, M., & Bugnyar, T. (2014) Ravens Intervene in Others’ Bonding Attempts. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.073  

  • November 7, 2014
  • 09:01 AM
  • 110 views

You can tell a lot from looking at someone’s face…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Our mock jurors (and many others as well) tend to believe the eyes are the “window to the soul” and that by simply looking at the eyes of another, they can intuit truthfulness and character. But it can be even easier! Just look at the face and you can actually assess introversion/extroversion, competence/incompetence, dominance/submission, and […]

Related posts:
I can tell from your face that you are suicidal
Never trust a man with a wide face
Wearing your religion on your face


... Read more »

Olivola, C., Funk, F., & Todorov, A. (2014) Social attributions from faces bias human choices. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(11), 566-570. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.09.007  

  • November 7, 2014
  • 08:04 AM
  • 46 views

When we get depressed, we lose our ability to go with our gut instincts

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

People who are depressed often complain that they find it difficult to make decisions. A new study provides an explanation. Carina Remmers and her colleagues tested 29 patients diagnosed with major depression and 27 healthy controls and they found that the people with depression had an impaired ability to go with their gut instincts, or what we might call intuition.Intuition is not an easy skill to measure. The researchers' approach was to present participants with triads of words (e.g. SALT DEE........ Read more »

Remmers C, Topolinski S, Dietrich DE, & Michalak J. (2014) Impaired intuition in patients with major depressive disorder. The British journal of clinical psychology / the British Psychological Society. PMID: 25307321  

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