Our immune system is our very own internal ‘police force’. It’s made up of disease-battling cells and proteins that travel through our bloodstream, searching out potentially harmful infections like the flu. In the past couple decades, the immune system’s role in cancer has come into sharp focus, and a whole scientific field of cancer immunotherapy [...]... Read more »
Porter DL, Levine BL, Kalos M, Bagg A, & June CH. (2011) Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Modified T Cells in Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia. The New England journal of medicine. PMID: 21830940
Kalos M, Levine BL, Porter DL, Katz S, Grupp SA, Bagg A, & June CH. (2011) T cells with chimeric antigen receptors have potent antitumor effects and can establish memory in patients with advanced leukemia. Science translational medicine, 3(95). PMID: 21832238
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by abnormal proteins that stick together in little globs, disrupting cognitive function (thinking, learning, and memory). These sticky proteins are mostly made up of beta-amyloid peptide. A better understanding of these proteins, how they form, and how they affect brain function will no doubt improve the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s [...]... Read more »
Qu, J., Nakamura, T., Cao, G., Holland, E., McKercher, S., & Lipton, S. (2011) S-Nitrosylation activates Cdk5 and contributes to synaptic spine loss induced by -amyloid peptide. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1105172108
Apparently, the answer is yes. And it can also make you a wizard. The key (according to this research) is in what you are reading. We’ve talked about the power of stories (told well) to transport the listener. This goes beyond transporting listeners into something that is frankly strange. Researchers looked at the narrative-collective-assimilation hypothesis. [I [...]
Related posts:You’re not too old for a story (but you might be too young!)
Voir Dire Tip: Are you ‘transported’ by a........ Read more »
Gabriel S, & Young AF. (2011) Becoming a Vampire Without Being Bitten: The Narrative Collective-Assimilation Hypothesis. Psychological Science. PMID: 21750250
What are the fundamental human needs? What things, if we get them, will make us happy human beings? Are there such things as universal human needs, that everyone in every society would identify with, or does it depend on your personality and cultural background? In an earlier post on Maslow’s classic hierarchy of needs, I mentioned [...]... Read more »
Today was a lovely day. The weather was perfect, a good day in lab, a good run, a delicious veggie burger, a good beer. Life was pretty much perfect as I sat down in a mood to blog. ...and then I read this paper. And it was like this: (You know, if only they could [...]... Read more »
Marchetti, F., Rowan-Carroll, A., Williams, A., Polyzos, A., Berndt-Weis, M., & Yauk, C. (2011) Sidestream tobacco smoke is a male germ cell mutagen. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(31), 12811-12814. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1106896108
Boiron, a multinational pharmaceutical company, have threatened an Italian blogger with legal action, the BMJ reports.
Many people are concerned when big pharmaceutical companies do this kind of thing. So I don't think we should make any exception merely because Boiron's pharmaceuticals happen to be homeopathic ones.
Samuel Riva, who blogs (in Italian) at blogzero.it, put up some articles critical of homeopathy
which included pictures of Boiron’s blockbuster homoeopathic product Oscillococci........ Read more »
Turone F. (2011) Homoeopathy multinational Boiron threatens amateur Italian blogger. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 21840920
A recent study has added to the list of cognitive strengths peculiar to autism: in this study, a group of autistic teens/young adults and a group of age-, IQ-, sex- and eyesight-matched control subjects were shown a series of paired images, all of them different arrangements of lots and lots of tiny black-and-white dots, and determine which of the two images has some of the dots arranged in a symmetric pattern. Consistently, the autistic young people were able to pick out the symmetrical images ........ Read more »
Perreault, A., Gurnsey, R., Dawson, M., Mottron, L., & Bertone, A. (2011) Increased Sensitivity to Mirror Symmetry in Autism. PLoS ONE, 6(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019519
Now that people have had a chance to digest the recently published "Mirror Neuron Forum" (Perspectives on Psychological Science 6(4) 369–407) I think it would be useful to revisit some of the claims and counter-claims. I will start working through some of the points in a series of posts. Of course, my focus will be on the parts of the forum that I participated in, but if you have some comments and thoughts on any part of it, feel free to email me and I'll post it as "guest post".
I would li........ Read more »
Gallese V, & Goldman A. (1998) Mirror neurons and the simulation theory of mind-reading. Trends in cognitive sciences, 2(12), 493-501. PMID: 21227300
The Lycaenidae (gossamer-winged butterflies) is the second largest family of butterflies, with ~5000 species, including some of the more famous butterflies, such as the Theclinae (hairstreaks), the Polyommatinae (blues) and the Lycaeninae (coppers). They are mostly found in the Old World (de Jong, 2003), where 28 of the 33 lycaenid tribes are endemic. They are [...]... Read more »
Pierce, N., Braby, M., Heath, A., Lohman, D., Mathew, J., Rand, D., & Travassos, M. (2002) The ecology and evolution of ant association in the Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera). Annual Review of Entomology, 47(1), 733-771. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ento.47.091201.145257
The mirror self-recognition (MSR) test has long been used to assess whether an animal is self-aware, whether it has a sense of self. In the classic version of the test, a colored mark is placed on an animal’s body in such a way … Continue reading →... Read more »
Bekoff, M. (2001) Observations of scent-marking and discriminating self from others by a domestic dog (Canis familiaris): tales of displaced yellow snow. Behavioural Processes, 55(2), 75-79. DOI: 10.1016/S0376-6357(01)00142-5
Hi, my name is Kelsey and I’m a slacker. (Note: Pete has progressed past the slacker phase into delinquency.) I will try to redeem myself—slowly. I have a whole slew (like five) of completely researched and partially written posts. After careful deliberation, I’ve decided that three of them are keepers. I’ve also decided that if [...]... Read more »
Berry, F., & Breithaupt, T. (2010) To signal or not to signal? Chemical communication by urine-borne signals mirrors sexual conflict in crayfish. BMC Biology, 8(1), 25. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-25
Rosenthal, G., Fitzsimmons, J., Woods, K., Gerlach, G., & Fisher, H. (2011) Tactical Release of a Sexually-Selected Pheromone in a Swordtail Fish. PLoS ONE, 6(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016994
If it goes around on six legs, it doesn’t get much dowdier than the mealybug.* Powdery, bovine, and frightening if you find them binging on your gardenias, these wax-shedding roving syringes are one of many mosquito-like parasites that plague plants. Yes, sexy, mealybugs are not — unless you look inside them. There, you will find [...]... Read more »
McCutcheon, J., & von Dohlen, C. (2011) An Interdependent Metabolic Patchwork in the Nested Symbiosis of Mealybugs. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.06.051
Are business schools bad for business? Are they to blame for the demise in good management practices because they have become obsessed with teaching maximizing shareholder value at the expense of everything else? Perhaps they are. If so, is there a way out? [ ... ]... Read more »
Ghoshal, S. (2005) Bad management theories are destroying good management practices. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 33(3), 79-79. DOI: 10.1109/EMR.2005.26768
I received a Google alert the other day on something about dysphagia and something about spinal cords. Naturally I was curious and scuttled to the source. A few clicks later I had myself a free journal article looking at dysphagia severity after anterior cervical (AC) surgery. Not quite ground breaking research, but interesting nonetheless. The study aimed “to determine the degree of dysphagia preoperatively and postoperatively in patients undergoing AC [anterior cervical] surgery compared........ Read more »
Siska PA, Ponnappan RK, Hohl JB, Lee JY, Kang JD, & Donaldson WF 3rd. (2011) Dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery: a prospective study using the swallowing-quality of life questionnaire and analysis of patient comorbidities. Spine, 36(17), 1387-91. PMID: 21785303
Most research into religion looks at how it influences attitudes towards co-religionists. But the flip side to religion is that it can also serve as a foundation for social divisions, in a similar way to ethnic and language barriers.
You might think this could increase social tensions, but new research by Don Soo Chon, at Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama, suggests that this may not be the case. He looked at how the level of ethnic, linguistic, and religious fragmentation relates to hom........ Read more »
Chon, D. (2011) The Impact of Population Heterogeneity and Income Inequality on Homicide Rates: A Cross-National Assessment. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. DOI: 10.1177/0306624X11414813
Polar explorers and the Inuit often experience photokeratitis, a painful eye condition commonly referred to as snow blindness. It is caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun reflecting off a landscape of white snow. The Inuit of the Arctic solved this problem by fashioning snow goggles from caribou antlers (Rangifer tarandus); similar goggles were later adopted by many polar explorers.
Figure 1. Caribou feeding on lichens in the Arctic. (From Flickr/Billy Lin........ Read more »
Hogg, C., Neveu, M., Stokkan, K., Folkow, L., Cottrill, P., Douglas, R., Hunt, D., & Jeffery, G. (2011) Arctic reindeer extend their visual range into the ultraviolet. Journal of Experimental Biology, 214(12), 2014-2019. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.053553
Wow! It’s really that time of year again. While there are a range of thoughts and feelings that students have about heading back to school, it is the students that have a true phobia about attending that I hope to reach in this post. Hopefully, this will find its way to parents that have seen [...]... Read more »
Hughes, E. K., Gullone, E., Dudley, A., & Tonge, B. (2010) A Case-controlled Study of Emotion Regulation and School Refusal in Children and Adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 691-706. info:/
Where did nucleic acids come from?
What do you start looking at first? Nucleobases – A’s, T’s, C’s and G’s.
Where do you start looking first? Outer-space! More specifically carbonaceous meteorites. “Meteorites provide a record of the chemical processes that occurred in the solar system before life began on Earth”, Dun DUH: ... Read more »
Callahan MP, Smith KE, Cleaves HJ 2nd, Ruzicka J, Stern JC, Glavin DP, House CH, & Dworkin JP. (2011) Carbonaceous meteorites contain a wide range of extraterrestrial nucleobases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21836052
With these beautiful words starts a recollection paper by the founder of arXiv, Paul Ginsparg. This is worth the reading as this history spans a number of years exactly overlapping the computer revolution that definitely changed our lives. What Paul also changed through these new information tools was the way researchers should approach scientific communication. [...]... Read more »
R. Aouane, V. Bornyakov, E. -M. Ilgenfritz, V. Mitrjushkin, M. Müller-Preussker, & A. Sternbeck. (2011) Landau gauge gluon and ghost propagators at finite temperature from quenched lattice QCD. arXiv. arXiv: 1108.1735v1
Today, a new study has led to headlines claiming that adding caffeine to sunscreen could improve its effectiveness in preventing skin cancer. But don’t chuck away the sunscreen just yet, nor pour your coffee into it – this was an interesting study in mice, but it doesn’t prove that adding caffeine to sunscreen would have any effect [...]... Read more »
Kawasumi, M., Lemos, B., Bradner, J., Thibodeau, R., Kim, Y., Schmidt, M., Higgins, E., Koo, S., Angle-Zahn, A., Chen, A.... (2011) Protection from UV-induced skin carcinogenesis by genetic inhibition of the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(33), 13716-13721. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1111378108
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