Post List

  • October 1, 2011
  • 11:59 AM

Does brain plasticity trump innateness?

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

The fact that the adult brain is very plastic is often held up as evidence against the idea that many psychological, cognitive or behavioural traits are innately determined. At first glance, there does indeed appear to be a paradox. On the one hand, behavioural genetic studies show that many human psychological traits are strongly heritable and thus likely determined, at least in part, by innate biological differences. On the other, it is very clear that even the adult brain is highly plastic........ Read more »

  • October 1, 2011
  • 11:36 AM

Baking Science and Cancer

by Marisa Alonso Nuñez in Science Box

Fission yeastPost originally published in the L'Oreal Foundation for women in science blog AgoraWhen they asked me to collaborate with this blog I asked what they expected from me to write about. The answer was very simple:  “write about your field of expertise”. So here I am, ready to tell you quite a few things about… YEAST!!! Yes, you have read it right: Yeast.  But don’t worry; this is still a blog about Science, not a baking one. And I won’t talk just........ Read more »

  • October 1, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Exercise Your Brain

by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD in Brain Blogger

Physical activity and a healthy lifestyle are vital to physical performance, maintaining a healthy body and preventing a host of chronic conditions. Now, the same can be said for the brain. New research shows that brain exercises and a brain-healthy diet can improve cognitive performance. The study, published by the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, [...]... Read more »

Miller KJ, Siddarth P, Gaines JM, Parrish JM, Ercoli LM, Marx K, Ronch J, Pilgram B, Burke K, Barczak N.... (2011) The Memory Fitness Program: Cognitive Effects of a Healthy Aging Intervention. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. PMID: 21765343  

Small GW, Silverman DH, Siddarth P, Ercoli LM, Miller KJ, Lavretsky H, Wright BC, Bookheimer SY, Barrio JR, & Phelps ME. (2006) Effects of a 14-day healthy longevity lifestyle program on cognition and brain function. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 14(6), 538-45. PMID: 16731723  

Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Telang F, Fowler JS, Goldstein RZ, Alia-Klein N, Logan J, Wong C, Thanos PK, Ma Y.... (2009) Inverse association between BMI and prefrontal metabolic activity in healthy adults. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 17(1), 60-5. PMID: 18948965  

  • October 1, 2011
  • 07:51 AM

The Recession and Death

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

The present economic crisis has led to more suicides in Europe - but fewer deaths in road traffic accidents. So says a brief report in The Lancet. The authors show that suicide rates in people under the age of 65, which have been falling for several years in Europe, rose in 2008 and again in 2009, in line with unemployment figures. The overall effect was fairly small - 2009 was no worse than 2006. It still corresponds to a 5% annual increase in most countries. In Greece, Ireland, and Latvia the ........ Read more »

Stuckler D, Basu S, Suhrcke M, Coutts A, & McKee M. (2011) Effects of the 2008 recession on health: a first look at European data. Lancet, 378(9786), 124-5. PMID: 21742166  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 08:02 PM

Deep sequencing and forensic science: how to improve DNA fingerprinting

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

(In case you missed it, this originally appeared last Thursday as a guest blog on the Writer's Forensics Blog.)There are roughly three billion pairs of nucleotides in human DNA, and the vast majority is identical across individuals. When we talk about “genetic fingerprinting,” we really mean, “looking for a needle in a hay stack.” Luckily, for the most part, we all differ at the same loci. Over the years, the techniques used for DNA typing have improved greatly, diminishing both costs an........ Read more »

Margulies M, Egholm M, Altman WE, Attiya S, Bader JS, Bemben LA, Berka J, Braverman MS, Chen YJ, Chen Z.... (2005) Genome sequencing in microfabricated high-density picolitre reactors. Nature, 437(7057), 376-80. PMID: 16056220  

Fordyce SL, Ávila-Arcos MC, Rockenbauer E, Børsting C, Frank-Hansen R, Petersen FT, Willerslev E, Hansen AJ, Morling N, & Gilbert MT. (2011) High-throughput sequencing of core STR loci for forensic genetic investigations using the Roche Genome Sequencer FLX platform. BioTechniques, 51(2), 127-33. PMID: 21806557  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 07:10 PM

Scientists use Twitter to draw obvious conclusions about our moods

by NerdyOne in Try Nerdy

I promise I’m not the type to bash scientists for what they do. Unless you’ve clearly misrepresented your data with underhanded intentions, I can respect your scientific endeavor. Ninety-nine percent of the time. But this research I just read about made me literally laugh out loud, so I may sound a bit facetious at times in this post.

Read on to find out how scientists analyzed millions of Twitter accounts and drew conclusions that left me thinking, “Tell me something I don&........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2011
  • 05:54 PM

Are secret relationships alluring or damaging?

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Have you ever had a secret relationship? A relationship you wanted to keep from others? Was the excitement of the secret enough to keep the relationship together or did it eventually fizzle out? Learn more about this topic and how secrecy can affect your own relationships.... Read more »

Foster, C., & Campbell, W. (2005) The adversity of secret relationships. Personal Relationships, 12(1), 125-143. DOI: 10.1111/j.1350-4126.2005.00105.x  

Wegner, D., Lane, J., & Dimitri, S. (1994) The allure of secret relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66(2), 287-300. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.66.2.287  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 05:29 PM

For love and money: 6 steps to keeping financial problems at bay in your relationship

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Finances can be a major source of concern and conflict for many couples. Find out why money is such a major issue and what successful couples do to keep their checkbooks in order.... Read more »

Brotherson, S. E., & Moen, D. A. (2011) Establishing a home: A study of practical dimensions in the transition to marriage. Family Science Review, 59-74. info:/

Henry, R.G., Miller, R.B., & Giarrusso, R. (2005) Difficulties, disagreements, and disappointments in late-life marriages. International Journal of Aging , 61(3), 243-64. PMID: 16248292  

Schramm, D., Marshall, J., Harris, V., & Lee, T. (2005) After “I Do”: The Newlywed Transition. Marriage , 38(1), 45-67. DOI: 10.1300/J002v38n01_05  

Skogrand, L., Johnson, A., Horrocks, A., & DeFrain, J. (2010) Financial Management Practices of Couples with Great Marriages. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 32(1), 27-35. DOI: 10.1007/s10834-010-9195-2  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 03:38 PM

The Embodiment of Height: Why You Give More When You Are Elevated

by Sam McNerney in Why We Reason

Do you ever wonder why we associate good things with up and bad things with down? Think about it. We say that , “things are looking up today,” and “I’m down in the dumps,” to express how we are feeling. We say that “he’s at the peak of his career,” and “she fell is status,” to [...]... Read more »

Briñol, P., Petty, R., & Wagner, B. (2009) Body posture effects on self-evaluation: A self-validation approach. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(6), 1053-1064. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.607  

Casasanto, D., & Dijkstra, K. (2010) Motor action and emotional memory. Cognition, 115(1), 179-185. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.11.002  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 03:20 PM

Creativity—the disturbance that distinguishes urban ecosystems

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Mimicking nature is nothing new for human beings. Ceremonial dress and dances have long imitated totemic animals. Leonardo da Vinci’s plans for a flying machine were closely modeled on the birds he saw out his window. And more recently, nature has inspired designers of everything from velcro to solar cell installations. Cities and suburbs would [...]... Read more »

Jean Zmyslony, & Daniel Gagnon. (2000) Path analysis of spatial predictors of front-yard landscape in an anthropogenic environment. Landscape Ecology, 357-371. info:/

  • September 30, 2011
  • 01:22 PM

Evaluating urban planning initiatives to increase active transportation

by Megan Carter in Verdant Nation

Urban planning and epidemiology need to become better friends. Rigorous epidemiological studies that assess the health impacts of urban planning interventions are desperately needed. These studies can more reliably tell us what works and what doesn’t, and therefore where best to put our hard-earned tax dollars. I’m not sure why they are lacking. Money? Time? I guess they are all good excuses. But in the grand scheme of things, I would settle for even just a simple before-after study – some........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2011
  • 12:12 PM

Family Reunion after 10,000 years

by Kimberly Moynahan in Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Imagine a complex society, maybe tens of thousands of members strong; an unusually long-lived society with extended families of 5 or even 6 generations that live, work, play, and travel together. Now imagine a geological and climatic change that effectively splits that society in two. A huge icy mass fills the only path between the [...]... Read more »

George, J., Bada, J., Zeh, J., Scott, L., Brown, S., O'Hara, T., & Suydam, R. (1999) Age and growth estimates of bowhead whales(Balaena mysticetus)via aspartic acid racemization . Canadian Journal of Zoology, 77(4), 571-580. DOI: 10.1139/z99-015  

Givens, G.H., R.M. Huebinger, J.C. Patton, L.D. Postma, M. Lindsay, R.S. Suydam, J.C. George, C.W. Matson, & JW Bickham. (2010) Population Genetics of Bowhead Whales (Balaena mysticetus) in the Western Arctic. Arctic, 63(1), 1-12. info:/

Heide-Jorgensen, M., Laidre, K., Quakenbush, L., & Citta, J. (2011) The Northwest Passage opens for bowhead whales. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0731  

Kelly, B., Whiteley, A., & Tallmon, D. (2010) The Arctic melting pot. Nature, 468(7326), 891-891. DOI: 10.1038/468891a  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 12:00 PM

The Microvalve: The Traffic Light of Microfluidics

by Hector Munoz in Microfluidic Future

You could say that valves in microfluidics (or microvalves) are like street lights that control traffic along microfluidic channels. But I’d say that they’re more like police barricades, stopping anyone they want, wherever they want. The sole purpose of microvalves is to control flow within a microfluidics device, allowing them to become very complex and more automated. Without microvalves, all reactions and mixing must occur in the same space, unless they were premixed elsewhere, wh........ Read more »

Oh, K., & Ahn, C. (2006) A review of microvalves. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 16(5). DOI: 10.1088/0960-1317/16/5/R01  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 11:39 AM

The Chastity Belt: Alive and Well in the Animal Kingdom

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

.... Read more »

  • September 30, 2011
  • 10:12 AM

Ten Simple Rules paper published!

by Giovanni Marco Dall'Olio in BioinfoBlog!

The Ten Simple Rules for Getting Help from Online Scientific Communities paper just came out on the last PLoS Computational Biology issue! It has been a pleasure and an exciting experience to coordinate the writing of my first Open Collaborative … Continue reading →

Related posts:contribute to a candidate ‘Ten Simple Rules’ article A few months ago I had the idea of writing...
update on the status of the ‘Ten Simple Rules’ initiative after the first 2 weeks ........ Read more »

Dall'olio GM, Marino J, Schubert M, Keys KL, Stefan MI, Gillespie CS, Poulain P, Shameer K, Sugar R, Invergo BM.... (2011) Ten simple rules for getting help from online scientific communities. PLoS computational biology, 7(9). PMID: 21980280  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Attitudes to Publically Funded Obesity Treatment and Prevention

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

In countries where healthcare is funded by taxpayers, concerns over whether or not obesity treatment should be included under the umbrella of national healthcare is an ongoing concern. While this is also a concern in countries with private healthcare, in the public healthcare system the cost may be borne by society as a whole. Perhaps [...]... Read more »

Lund TB, Sandøe P, & Lassen J. (2011) Attitudes to publicly funded obesity treatment and prevention. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 19(8), 1580-5. PMID: 21512511  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 09:24 AM

Dance Macabre: Will 14th Century Remains Reveal the Pandemic Secrets of the Black Death?

by Sara Klink in Promega Connections

Last year, I reviewed a PLoS Pathogens paper that found European Black Plague victims from the mid 14th century were infected with more than one clone of Yersinia pestis. While the Y. pestis-specific sequences amplified from several skeletal samples from various countries were evidence of the bacterium as the etiological agent, questions still remained about the virulence of the outbreak. What allowed that ancient strain of Y. pestis to cause such widespread death? Another group of researchers d........ Read more »

Schuenemann VJ, Bos K, Dewitte S, Schmedes S, Jamieson J, Mittnik A, Forrest S, Coombes BK, Wood JW, Earn DJ.... (2011) From the Cover: Targeted enrichment of ancient pathogens yielding the pPCP1 plasmid of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(38). PMID: 21876176  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 09:00 AM

Choose your Weapon! No Shortage of Trials for HDAC Inhibitor Drugs

by Nicole in E3 Engaging Epigenetics Experts

HDAC inhibitors in clinical trials... Read more »

  • September 30, 2011
  • 08:48 AM

Your liver as a viral filter - who, what, where, why?

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

The liver is a pretty amazing organ (see structure above) - especially when you take into account its often unrecognised immunological role. It's becoming more established that we can kind of think of the liver as a giant biological filter where it extracts all sorts of harmful molecules and pathogens from our blood. After all, it is a major component of the reticuloendothelial system - your bodies natural filtering system. From the minute any microbe reaches your blood stream, it is instan........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Channel James Earl Jones

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Oh that deep uniquely resonant voice! Whether reading Edgar Allen Poe or reciting Justin Bieber lyrics this voice is instantly recognizable. We remember it without even trying. Especially if we are women. Yes. If you have a deep male voice, you have an edge with (heterosexual) female jurors. If your expert or fact witness has a [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Should we channel Donna Reed and James Dean?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Are those folks in the jury box thinkers or feelers?
........ Read more »

Smith, D., Jones, BC, Feinberg, DR, & Allan, K. (2011) A modulatory effect of male voice pitch on long-term memory in women: Evidence of adaption for mate choice? . Memory and Cognition. info:/

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