In The East and West of Careers Guidance, my colleague Saiyada talked about the Jiva project promoting career development counselling in India. A recent paper by G. Arulmani (2011) expands on some of the cultural concepts that underlie this approach to careers work. I have my reservations about the research presented in the paper which [...]... Read more »
Arulmani, G. (2011) Striking the right note: the cultural preparedness approach to developing resonant career guidance programmes. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 11(2), 79-93. info:/10.1007/s10775-011-9199-y
Wikipedia: "reductionism, an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things". This approach was very successful in unrevealing the basic mechanisms of biological systems. Modern biochemistry is reductionism in its pure form: we purify individual components, mix them together in a test tube and make this in vitro system jump through the hoops and ........ Read more »
Xie XS, Choi PJ, Li GW, Lee NK, & Lia G. (2008) Single-molecule approach to molecular biology in living bacterial cells. Annual review of biophysics, 417-44. PMID: 18573089
Brian P. English, Vasili Hauryliuk, Arash Sanamrad, Stoyan Tankov, Nynke H. Dekker, and Johan Elf. (2011) Single-molecule investigations of the stringent response machinery in living bacterial cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/
The Pith: The rarer the genetic variant, the more likely that variant is to be specific to a distinct population. Including information about the distribution of these genetic variants missed in current techniques can increase greatly the precision of statistical inferences.
A few days ago I mentioned in passing an article in The New York Times which reported on results from a paper which illustrated how starkly differentiated populations might be on rare alleles. By this, I mean that some genet........ Read more »
Simon Gravel, Brenna M. Henn, Ryan N. Gutenkunst, Amit R. Indap, Gabor T. Marth, Andrew G. Clark, Fuli Yu, Richard A. Gibbs, The 1000 Genomes Project, & and Carlos D. Bustamante. (2011) Demographic history and rare allele sharing among human populations. PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1019276108
At Cancer Research UK, we’re often asked about alleged “miracle cures” for cancer, usually based on claims made on the internet. There’s an impressive list of these collected on the Quackwatch website (here and here), ranging from the slightly wacky to the downright dangerous. In virtually all cases, when researchers have rigorously tested these treatments, [...]... Read more »
Power D. (1904) Notes on an Ineffectual Treatment of Cancer: Being a Record of Three Cases Injected with Dr. Otto Schmidt's Serum. British medical journal, 1(2249), 299-302. PMID: 20761353
The environment is more important than genetics in setting the risk for autism, according to a new study that's got the media in a tizzy.The paper, which is free, is here: Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With AutismIt's a twin study, and like all such research, it aims to estimate heritability, the proportion of the variability in autism risk caused by straightforward genetic effects. A heritability of 0% means no genetics and 100% means purely genetic. No........ Read more »
Joachim Hallmayer, et al. (2011) Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With Autism. Archives of General Psychiatry. info:/
Review article: Persistent organic pollutants and landfills – a review of past experiences and future challenges From Waste Management & Research The landfilling and dumping of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other persistent hazardous compounds can have significant adverse environmental consequences. POPs will persist in landfills for many decades and possibly centuries. The build up [...]... Read more »
Weber, R., Watson, A., Forter, M., & Oliaei, F. (2011) Review Article: Persistent organic pollutants and landfills - a review of past experiences and future challenges. Waste Management , 29(1), 107-121. DOI: 10.1177/0734242X10390730
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is an immune disease caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and has been responsible for more than 2 million deaths worldwide each year since 2003. The HIV virus attacks and kills immune cells until their numbers are so low that a person is classified as having AIDS, with essentially no remaining cell-based immunity against opportunistic infections that could normally be fought off by the body but are now potentially fatal to the aff........ Read more »
Payne BA, Wilson IJ, Hateley CA, Horvath R, Santibanez-Koref M, Samuels DC, Price DA, & Chinnery PF. (2011) Mitochondrial aging is accelerated by anti-retroviral therapy through the clonal expansion of mtDNA mutations. Nature genetics. PMID: 21706004
And lions and tigers and bears! Sci is reposting this one in particular because I keep seeing it come up. Again and again I read articles on how combined hormonal contraceptives don't cause weight gain. And again and again I see women posting everywhere on the internet not to trust those dang scientists! I gained [...]... Read more »
Prison once again a place for addicts and the mentally ill.
Readers may remember the dark day of January 1, 2008, when the U.S. set an all-time record: One out of every 100 adults was behind bars. That’s more than 2.3 million people. That’s 25% of all the prisoners in the world—and the world includes some very nasty nations. What gives?
You know the answer: drug crimes. Can it really be a coincidence that over the past 40 years, ever since President Richard Nixon first declared war on ........ Read more »
Rich JD, Wakeman SE, & Dickman SL. (2011) Medicine and the epidemic of incarceration in the United States. The New England journal of medicine, 364(22), 2081-3. PMID: 21631319
Interesting paper from Se-Bum Paik and Dario Ringach in this month’s issue of Nature Neuroscience on the origins of the orientation map in V1. Dr. Ringach has been developing a model of V1 orientation selectivity for a number of years now, the statistical connectivity hypothesis, based on the idea that the retinotopic map in V1 [...]... Read more »
Paik SB, & Ringach DL. (2011) Retinal origin of orientation maps in visual cortex. Nature neuroscience, 14(7), 919-25. PMID: 21623365
Ringach DL. (2004) Haphazard wiring of simple receptive fields and orientation columns in visual cortex. Journal of neurophysiology, 92(1), 468-76. PMID: 14999045
Das A, & Gilbert CD. (1997) Distortions of visuotopic map match orientation singularities in primary visual cortex. Nature, 387(6633), 594-8. PMID: 9177346
While removing an old pot containing a lot of grass and a dead Agapanthus, next to a rainwater filled pot, I stumbled upon this little snail. I was quite surprised as initially, I thought it was a pond snail, but closer inspection revealed the tell-tale eyes-on-top-of-tentacles characteristic of land snails and slugs, while aquatic snails have their eyes at the base of their tentacles. After sifting through a Molluscs guide I found out it was a Common Amber Snail, Succinea putris. Although not a........ Read more »
Biggs, H. E. J. (1968) Succinea putris (L.) in a pigeon's crop. Conchologist Newsletter, 24: 36., 36. info:other/
Shinichiro Wada, Kazuto Kawakami and Satoshi Chiba. (2011) Snails can survive passage through a bird's digestive system. Journal of Biogeography. info:/doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02559.x
For PDFs of this entire talk series, click here! [17.62MB rar file with 6 PDFs] In this talk, the lack of structure that I mentioned earlier is very apparent, as we go through three not-directly-related topics. First, we will look at two select examples of vertebrates that underwent spectacular changes in the Tertiary. Second, we [...]... Read more »
Thuiller, W., Lavergne, S., Roquet, C., Boulangeat, I., Lafourcade, B., & Araujo, M. (2011) Consequences of climate change on the tree of life in Europe. Nature, 470(7335), 531-534. DOI: 10.1038/nature09705
How does sleep impact our ability to properly activate our immune system? Can sleep play a role in designing better therapies and treatments for people fighting disease? These questions motivate Jan Born’s research group at the University of Lubeck in Germany to find new ways to make more efficient vaccines…without even changing the vaccine components! Learn more about the sleep trial at Escaping Anergy!... Read more »
Lange T, Dimitrov S, Bollinger T, Diekelmann S, & Born J. (2011) Sleep after vaccination boosts immunological memory. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 187(1), 283-90. PMID: 21632713
Human Brain Mapping in Quebec City was an excellent, if not slightly overwhelming, conference which brought together the often discrepant worlds of neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, physics, engineering, mathematics, and computer science.... Read more »
Bullmore ET, & Bassett DS. (2011) Brain graphs: graphical models of the human brain connectome. Annual review of clinical psychology, 113-40. PMID: 21128784
Lindquist MA, & Sobel ME. (2011) Graphical models, potential outcomes and causal inference: Comment on Ramsey, Spirtes and Glymour. NeuroImage, 57(2), 334-6. PMID: 20970507
Lynall ME, Bassett DS, Kerwin R, McKenna PJ, Kitzbichler M, Muller U, & Bullmore E. (2010) Functional connectivity and brain networks in schizophrenia. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(28), 9477-87. PMID: 20631176
On May 27th, 2010 paleontologists Martin Smith and Jean-Bernard Caron announced that they had found a spectacular solution to one of the fossil record’s long-running mysteries. Since its description in 1976, the 505 million year old fossil Nectocaris pteryx from British Columbia’s famous Burgess Shale had vexed scientists. Known from a single specimen – appearing [...]... Read more »
Chen, J., Huang, D., & Bottjer, D. (2005) An Early Cambrian problematic fossil: Vetustovermis and its possible affinities. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 272(1576), 2003-2007. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3159
Kröger, B., Vinther, J., & Fuchs, D. (2011) Cephalopod origin and evolution: A congruent picture emerging from fossils, development and molecules. BioEssays. DOI: 10.1002/bies.201100001
Smith, M., & Caron, J. (2010) Primitive soft-bodied cephalopods from the Cambrian. Nature, 465(7297), 469-472. DOI: 10.1038/nature09068
The recently popularized IARPA Metaphor Program piqued my curiosity, so I've been reviewing a variety of articles on contemporary approaches to automatic metaphor identification. I've read three articles so far and one thing is somewhat dissapointing: they all severely restrict the notion of metaphor to mean local metaphors within single sentences.They all pay considerable lip service to Lakoff & Johnson's seminal 1980 work Metaphors We Live By, taking as gospel the notion that metaphor is d........ Read more »
Xuri Tang, Weiguang Qu, Xiaohe Chen, & Shiwen Yu. (2010) Automatic Metaphor Recognition Based on Semantic Relation Patterns. International Conference on Asian Language Processing. info:/
Who has not seen or heard fat jokes?
Usually a stereotypical depiction of a fat person highlighting their ‘funny’ relationship with food, their ‘facetious’ aversion to physical activity, their ‘farcical’ physical appearance, their ‘ludicrous’ clumsiness, their ‘jolly’ self-indulgence, their ‘entertaining’ lack of self-control - in short hilarious!
Not just the general public, but media, movie makers, comedians, [...]... Read more »
Hodson G, Rush J, & Macinnis CC. (2010) A joke is just a joke (except when it isn't): cavalier humor beliefs facilitate the expression of group dominance motives. Journal of personality and social psychology, 99(4), 660-82. PMID: 20919777
One of the most famous black holes (for a ranked list of all famous black holes and details of their exploits, visit TMZ) is 1/2 of Cygnus X-1, a binary system in which only one companion emits light.
Astronomers have long hypothesized that the "dark star" in this binary was a black hole, but true proof did not come until last week, with the publication of three papers in the Astrophysical Journal--one precisely measuring the distance, one precisely measuring the mass, and one preci........ Read more »
Lijun Gou, Jeffrey E. McClintock, Mark J. Reid, Jerome A. Orosz, James F. Steiner, Ramesh Narayan, Jingen Xiang, Ronald A. Remillard, Keith A. Arnaud, & Shane W. Davis. (2011) The Extreme Spin of the Black Hole in Cygnus X-1. Astropyhsical Journal. arXiv: 1106.3690v1
Jerome A. Orosz, Jeffrey E. McClintock, Jason P. Aufdenberg, Ronald A. Remillard, Mark J. Reid, Ramesh Narayan, & Lijun Gou. (2011) The Mass of the Black Hole in Cygnus X-1. Astropyhsical Journal. arXiv: 1106.3689v1
While many of us are fortunate enough to have healthy children, not all families are so lucky. They must confront the chronic illness of a child on a daily basis. What are some key factors that can help them do this successfully? Read on about an article that I came across. March’s APA Monitor included an [...]... Read more »
Leis-Newman, E. (2011) Caring for Chronically Ill Kids: Many Parents are Struggling to Manage Their Children’s Care. Here’s Why. Monitor on Psychology, 36-39. info:/
Friedrich Neitzsche once claimed that without music, life would be a mistake. Researchers in Norway claim that without music, art, or other cultural events, life may also be shorter and less satisfying. A new study, published by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, reports that visiting museums, attending concerts, playing an instrument, and creating [...]... Read more »
Bygren LO, Weissglas G, Wikström BM, Konlaan BB, Grjibovski A, Karlsson AB, Andersson SO, & Sjöström M. (2009) Cultural participation and health: a randomized controlled trial among medical care staff. Psychosomatic medicine, 71(4), 469-73. PMID: 19321851
Cuypers, K., Krokstad, S., Lingaas Holmen, T., Skjei Knudtsen, M., Olov Bygren, L., & Holmen, J. (2011) Patterns of receptive and creative cultural activities and their association with perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life among adults: the HUNT study, Norway. Journal of Epidemiology . DOI: 10.1136/jech.2010.113571
Konlaan BB, Björby N, Bygren LO, Weissglas G, Karlsson LG, & Widmark M. (2000) Attendance at cultural events and physical exercise and health: a randomized controlled study. Public health, 114(5), 316-9. PMID: 11035447
Konlaan BB, Bygren LO, & Johansson SE. (2000) Visiting the cinema, concerts, museums or art exhibitions as determinant of survival: a Swedish fourteen-year cohort follow-up. Scandinavian journal of public health, 28(3), 174-8. PMID: 11045748
Wilkinson AV, Waters AJ, Bygren LO, & Tarlov AR. (2007) Are variations in rates of attending cultural activities associated with population health in the United States?. BMC public health, 226. PMID: 17764546
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