The rainforest’s ability to support a great cornucopia of life continues to amaze. Not only does the rainforest hold a large proportion of the Earth’s biodiversity, but it also appears to provide for this biodiversity in a self-sustaining manner. Deep in the untouched Amazonian rainforest of Brazil, an international team led by scientists from the [...]... Read more »
Pöschl U, Martin ST, Sinha B, Chen Q, Gunthe SS, Huffman JA, Borrmann S, Farmer DK, Garland RM, Helas G.... (2010) Rainforest aerosols as biogenic nuclei of clouds and precipitation in the Amazon. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5998), 1513-6. PMID: 20847268
I'm sure most of you have heard of the twin paradox "in which a twin makes a journey into space in a high-speed rocket and returns home to find he has aged less than his identical twin who stayed on Earth." This paradox has been worked out for special relativity in Minkowski spacetime. Recently, Boblest et al. worked out the details using general relativity for an expanding universe. (de Sitter
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TED presentation by Dr. Aditi Shankardass brings up an important question--should all children with autism (or those undergoing an assessment for autism) have an EEG. The presenter notes that in her experience in India, up to 50% of children referred with a diagnosis of autism have a seizure disorder or some other neurodevelopmental disorder. The TED talk is posted above (7 minutes) and here are my notes from the presentation.1 in 6 children suffer from developmental disorderMost dia........ Read more »
Kagan-Kushnir T, Roberts SW, & Snead OC 3rd. (2005) Screening electroencephalograms in autism spectrum disorders: evidence-based guideline. Journal of child neurology, 20(3), 197-206. PMID: 15832609
Isler JR, Martien KM, Grieve PG, Stark RI, & Herbert MR. (2010) Reduced functional connectivity in visual evoked potentials in children with autism spectrum disorder. Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. PMID: 20605520
Cephalopods are great subjects for studies on vision, because they are so dependent on their vision that you can get robust behavioral effects by manipulating the visual environment of a test animal. In some new research in the October edition of the Journal of Experimental Biology, CM Talbot and J Marshall (from Queensland) investigate the [...]... Read more »
Talbot CM, & Marshall J. (2010) Polarization sensitivity and retinal topography of the striped pyjama squid (Sepioloidea lineolata - Quoy/Gaimard 1832). The Journal of experimental biology, 213(Pt 19), 3371-7. PMID: 20833931
Talbot CM, & Marshall J. (2010) Polarization sensitivity in two species of cuttlefish - Sepia plangon (Gray 1849) and Sepia mestus (Gray 1849) - demonstrated with polarized optomotor stimuli. The Journal of experimental biology, 213(Pt 19), 3364-70. PMID: 20833930
At the height of the golden era of dinosaur science, it takes something special for a newly described dinosaur species to stand out. Dinosaurs with dual sickle claws, humps, or unexpected bristles more readily grab the attention of the public than more familiar-looking forms, but looks aren’t everything. A pair of horned dinosaurs described today [...]... Read more »
Sampson, S., Loewen, M., Farke, A., Roberts, E., Forster, C., Smith, J., & Titus, A. (2010) New Horned Dinosaurs from Utah Provide Evidence for Intracontinental Dinosaur Endemism. PLoS ONE, 5(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012292
The segregation of habitat between native and invasive species often comes down to a competition between their physiological and behavioral abilities. This is especially true in habitats prone to frequent change; as both indigenous and invasive species respond to environmental variations in a habitat, it’s the difference in their responses that can determine their success [...]... Read more »
Nicastro KR, Zardi GI, McQuaid CD, Stephens L, Radloff S, & Blatch GL. (2010) The role of gaping behaviour in habitat partitioning between coexisting intertidal mussels. BMC ecology, 17. PMID: 20624310
2010 will surely go down as the annus mirabilis of horned dinosaur research. Between the publications of the horned dinosaur symposium volume (with its myriad new taxa and other exciting pieces of research), a "bagaceratopsid" in Europe, a true ceratopsid in Asia, the hypothesis that Torosaurus and Triceratops are growth stages of the same taxon, and more, it's really tough for a "ceratophile" (to borrow Peter Dodson's term) to keep up!Today continues the embarrassment of ceratopsian riches. Wit........ Read more »
Sampson, S., Loewen, M., Farke, A., Roberts, E., Forster, C., Smith, J., & Titus, A. (2010) New horned dinosaurs from Utah provide evidence for intracontinental dinosaur endemism. PLoS ONE, 5(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012292
Nobody said it was going to be easy – and they were right. A landmark effort to restore a huge swath of Florida’s wetlands isn’t bringing native plants back to some areas, a new study finds. And to add insult to injury, an invasive exotic shrub appears to be gaining ground due to the restoration. […] Read More »... Read more »
Toth, L. (2010) Unrealized Expectations for Restoration of a Floodplain Plant Community. Restoration Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2010.00731.x
Synopsis: Why does the ampliconic sequence of the Y chromosome show such high sequence similarity to other regions of the Y? Palindromes. Find out more below! First, a brief review of what the ampliconic class is. From my Y Chromosome II post: The final sequence class, the ampliconic, is more complex than the previous two [...]... Read more »
Skaletsky H, Kuroda-Kawaguchi T, Minx PJ, Cordum HS, Hillier L, Brown LG, Repping S, Pyntikova T, Ali J, Bieri T.... (2003) The male-specific region of the human Y chromosome is a mosaic of discrete sequence classes. Nature, 423(6942), 825-37. PMID: 12815422
In the previous article on the 58th Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy (SVPCA), held in Cambridge, UK, I discussed some of the work that was presented on stem-tetrapods and sauropods. This time round, we look at more Mesozoic stuff - pterosaurs in particular - before getting on to Cenozoic mammals.
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Henderson, D. (2010) Pterosaur body mass estimates from three-dimensional mathematical slicing. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30(3), 768-785. DOI: 10.1080/02724631003758334
Not long after her trip down the rabbit hole, the reluctant heroine of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is left shaken by the nonsensical strangeness of her surroundings. She tries reciting her school lessons to settle her nerves, but practicing does not provide her with any comfort. Her arithmetic doesn’t add up, geography [...]... Read more »
DE ANDRADE, M., YOUNG, M., DESOJO, J., & BRUSATTE, S. (2010) The evolution of extreme hypercarnivory in Metriorhynchidae (Mesoeucrocodylia: Thalattosuchia) based on evidence from microscopic denticle morphology. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30(5), 1451-1465. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2010.501442
Part 4 of my series examining research evidence for the value of video games. This time: a framework for educational games research.... Read more »
Annetta, L. (2010) The “I's” have it: A framework for serious educational game design. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 105-112. DOI: 10.1037/a0018985
Although "Publish or perish" is more catchy, I believe it should be "Get cited or perish". Why? Because many people (without naming names, we're talking about your promotion committee)also rely on citation data when deciding a scientist's future.While citations often correlate with other measurements of scientific influence (awards, research grants, etc.) citations are hardly objective, and depend on more factors than someone finding your work useful.Time-dependent factors: Recent publications a........ Read more »
Bornmann, L., & Daniel, H. (2008) What do citation counts measure? A review of studies on citing behavior. Journal of Documentation, 64(1), 45-80. DOI: 10.1108/00220410810844150
Still too many cooperations do not analyze their supply networks using consistent and scientifically proven methods. Some already do. One case of a company (ABC) is described below.
Goals and Methods
ABC company wanted to know more about their exposure to supply chain disruptions originating from their own plants but also the connected transportation links, suppliers and customers. Specifically, the goals were:Assess the current level of supply chain disruption risk in the systemTest diffe........ Read more »
Schmitt, Amanda J., & Singh Mahender. (2009) Quantifying Supply Chain Disruption Risk Using Monte Carlo and Discrete-Event Simulation. Proceedings of the 2009 Winter Simulation Conference, 1237-1248. info:/
by Mary in OpenHelix
We spend a lot of time exploring genomic data, variations, and annotations. But of course a linear perspective on the genes and sequences is not the only way to examine the data. Understanding the pathways in which genes and molecular entities interact is crucial to understanding systems biology.
There are a number of tools which can help you to visualize and explore this kind of data. KEGG is one of the most venerable tools in bioinformatics, BioCyc is well known and used, Reactome is one of o........ Read more »
What once was a man, is now the Wolverine. And what once was a leaf, is now... a magnetic leaf?
Chemists at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces have taken the next step in merging nature with technology by devising a method to convert the skeleton of a rubber tree leaf into iron carbide. And just like Wolverine, the newly converted leaves are magnetic, able to withstand extremely high amounts of stress, and looking for blood.
Okay... Everythin........ Read more »
Schnepp Z, Yang W, Antonietti M, & Giordano C. (2010) Biotemplating of metal carbide microstructures: the magnetic leaf. Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English), 49(37), 6564-6. PMID: 20715026
The latest issue of Cognitive Science, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite journals, carries an interesting and informative debate on the nature of language, thought, cognition and learning, between John Hummel at University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, and Michael Ramscar, at Stanford University. This exchange of papers highlights what I think is the current empirical standstill between two very different world-views.
Hummel takes up the cause of "traditional" models on which thought........ Read more »
John E. Hummel. (2010) Symbolic versus associative learning. Cognitive Science, 958-865. info:/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2010.01096.x
Michael Ramscar. (2010) Computing machinery and understanding. Cognitive Science, 966-971. info:/
When most people think of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the first thing that comes to mind may be a scene in the 1975 film “One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest,” where Jack Nicholson undergoes the treatment, in a way more akin to torture than medical care. There are people holding him down, he is not under [...]... Read more »
Breggin, P. (2007) ECT Damages the Brain: Disturbing News for Patients and Shock Doctors Alike. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 9(2), 83-86. DOI: 10.1891/152315007782021196
This is part 2 of my review of Guy Deutscher's new book Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages. This covers The Language Lens (129-249). Part 1 is here. This review will cover the scientific evidence that Deutscher reviews suggesting that language affects thought, and will end with a shocking proposal.To sum up my review of part one: meh. Okay, we've established that culture can influence language. This is a lot less controversial than Deutscher makes it see........ Read more »
Guy deutscher. (2010) Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages. Metropolitan Books. info:/
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a tragic, but scientifically fascinating, disease.FTD only accounts for a small fraction of dementias in total (estimates range from 2% to 10%), but it typically strikes people aged in their 50s or 60s, i.e. much earlier than the average for Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia. As a result, FTD accounts for a large proportion of early-onset cases.The symptoms are different to those of Alzheimer's, at least in the early stages. Memory problems a........ Read more »
Mendez MF. (2010) The unique predisposition to criminal violations in frontotemporal dementia. The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 38(3), 318-23. PMID: 20852216
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