Post List

  • August 10, 2011
  • 03:31 PM

Beware of Jurors Who Feel Downgraded

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - With Standard & Poor's recent decision to deny the U.S. a AAA credit rating, many Americans are feeling a little downgraded about now. For most of us, I can hope, that is a temporary feeling. But for others, especially in these economic times, it is a more constant aspect of their lives. These Americans, including increasingly those who show up for jury duty, are what the researchers call "status inconsistent." They may be higher in social prestige than in economic me........ Read more »

Michael W. Kraus, Paul K. Piff, Dacher Keltner. (2011) Social Class as Culture: The Convergence of Resources and Rank in the Social Realm . Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(4). info:/

  • August 10, 2011
  • 02:34 PM

1st Installment of the Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival

by Kristina Killgrove in Powered By Osteons

Since I'm gearing up for a new semester (finishing up syllabi, packing for a move, etc.), I haven't had as much time as I'd like to blog about the interesting reports and publications that have come out recently on the topic of Roman-era skeletons.  So here's a carnival or round-up of links from the past few weeks, things I've wanted to talk about but haven't had the time to craft full posts about.


Roman Child Skeleton from Durnovaria
(credit: DorsetECHO)
August 10 - Today's new........ Read more »

  • August 10, 2011
  • 02:27 PM

Yeast Show Humans Why It's Better to Be a Clump

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

When the first single-celled organisms left behind their loner ways and began existing as blobs of cells, it was a big step for life on this planet. Organisms could now grow orders of magnitude larger than each other. They could organize their cells into different types that performed different functions. Instead of drifting around with the other specks, multicellular organisms could grow, swim, crawl, fly, and evolve into everything else on Earth today.It's nearly impossible to know how organis........ Read more »

  • August 10, 2011
  • 01:02 PM

125 sq km of ice knocked off Antarctica by Tsunami

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

The Honshu tsunami of March 11th (the one that caused the Fukushima disaster) caused the otherwise stable Sulzberger Ice Shelf to calve giant hunks of ice. Climate scientists call this "teleconnection." I call it a big whopping bunch of whack knocking off a gigunda chunka stuff. Either way, this is important and interesting. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

Brunt, Kelly M., Okal, Emile A., & MacAyeal, Douglas. (2011) Antarctic ice-shelf calving triggered by the Honshu (Japan) earthquake and tsunami, March 2011 . Journal of Geology, 57(205), 785-788. info:/

  • August 10, 2011
  • 12:39 PM

Where did our smallpox vaccine come from?

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

Edward Jenner's smallpox vaccination
Bring to mind the now famous 'first scientific exploration of vaccination', when, in the late 1700's, Edward Jenner - an English physician - first came up with the idea of using a non-pathogenic cowpox virus to vaccinate people against its deadly relative, smallpox (variola virus). 
Well, this virus and others like it, such as vaccinia virus (and its own viral derivatives, like the highly attenuated modified vaccinia virus Ankara) have been used w........ Read more »

Carroll, D., Emerson, G., Li, Y., Sammons, S., Olson, V., Frace, M., Nakazawa, Y., Czerny, C., Tryland, M., Kolodziejek, J.... (2011) Chasing Jenner's Vaccine: Revisiting Cowpox Virus Classification. PLoS ONE, 6(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023086  

  • August 10, 2011
  • 09:30 AM

Walking Linked to Cognitive Health in Women

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Age-related cognitive decline is, to a certain extent, unavoidable.  Nevertheless, the rate of cognitive decline varies greatly between individuals.  This variance may include environmental and genetic determinants.Vascular disease is a risk factor for accelerated brain aging,  Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.  Vascular disease is therefore an appropriate target to explore strategies for secondary prevention--preventing (or reducing) risk of cognitiv........ Read more »

Vercambre, M., Grodstein, F., Manson, J., Stampfer, M., & Kang, J. (2011) Physical Activity and Cognition in Women With Vascular Conditions. Archives of Internal Medicine, 171(14), 1244-1250. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.282  

  • August 10, 2011
  • 09:26 AM

Tip of the week: CompaGB for comparing genome browser software

by Mary in OpenHelix

Here at OpenHelix we think a lot about the differences between nominally similar software that will accomplish some given task.  For example, in our workshops we are often asked about the differences between genome browsers.  Although UCSC sponsors our workshops and training materials on their browser, we know they aren’t the only genome browser out [...]... Read more »

Lacroix, T., Loux, V., Gendrault, A., Gibrat, J., & Chiapello, H. (2011) CompaGB: An open framework for genome browsers comparison. BMC Research Notes, 4(1), 133. DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-133  

  • August 10, 2011
  • 08:19 AM

Special Editorial: Smoke Signals? How Second Hand Smoke Can Impact Your Child’s Mental Health

by Anita M. Schimizzi, Ph.D. in Child-Psych

We have known for a long time that secondhand smoke can have a serious impact on the physical health of children.  Asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory tract infections, dental decay, and middle ear infections are just a few of the illnesses that children exposed to secondhand smoke develop at significant rates.  In case parents [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2011
  • 08:15 AM

Mashing maize seed systems and climate change

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Smallholder farmers overwhelmingly save their own seed, maybe getting a bit extra from relatives, friends, neighbours and, very occasionally, further afield. If climate change is going to affect growing conditions — and it is — will the so-called informal sector be able to supply them with material that can thrive in the new conditions? A [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Careful with that Axe – The Effects of Criticism on Autistic Symptoms

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Being a parent of a child with a developmental disorder has to be one of the most stressful and challenging of all human experiences. Looking after someone afflicted with such a disorder is difficult not only because of the direct symptoms of the disorder but also because of the indirect effects that come around and [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

The eyes of [not just] Texas are upon you…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

As trial consultants based in Austin, Texas (one a graduate of UT Austin and the other a long-time staff member there) we often hear the UT athletic song ‘The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You’.  The melody is easy and friendly (everyone else knows it as “I’ve been working on a railroad”). The lyrics are [...]

Related posts:We pray with closed eyes
“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”
Patent litigation and wonder in East Texas
... Read more »

Bourrat, P., Baumard, N., & McKay, R. (2011) Surveillance cues enhance moral condemnation. . Evolutionary Psychology, 9(2), 193-199. info:/

  • August 10, 2011
  • 07:01 AM

Cancer diagnoses going viral

by Charles Harvey in Charles Harvey - Science Communicator

A genetically modified virus that can make hidden tumours light up may lead to a new and more effective way of screening for cancer. Some cancers are helpful enough to give off obvious clues to their existence. Prostate cancer, for example, can be detected as it raises the levels of a protein called PSA in the blood. Many, however, leave no such trace. Sufferers of these diseases can, therefore, remain in the dark about their condition, delaying treatment and lowering their chances of survival.... Read more »

  • August 10, 2011
  • 06:50 AM

Why you should go for a brisk walk before revising

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The exam season may be over, but here's a simple piece of advice for next semester. Go for a brisk walk before studying and your memory of the material is likely to benefit.

Carlos Salas and his colleagues had dozens of students study 30 nouns, each displayed for 6 seconds. Some of the students went for a ten-minute walk before being presented with the words. They were told to adopt "the walking speed one would use when late to an appointment, but without the anxiety caused by such a scenario"......... Read more »

  • August 10, 2011
  • 06:22 AM

The spread of disorder – a repost in wake of London’s riot cleanup

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

Yesterday, I watched as hundreds of Londoners took to the streets in a heroic attempt to clean up the mess caused by rioters and looters the night before. Looking at pictures of large crowds getting off trains with cleaning equipment in hand and marching down streets with brooms held aloft, I’ve rarely felt so proud of my city.
The clean-up operation was a great move – a positive note in an otherwise depressing week and a chance for a beleagured capital to come together and reclaim i........ Read more »

Keizer, K., Lindenberg, S., & Steg, L. (2008) The Spreading of Disorder. Science, 322(5908), 1681-1685. DOI: 10.1126/science.1161405  

  • August 10, 2011
  • 03:17 AM

The Wikipedia Gender Gap, Part II

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

In part I we talked about the small percentage of female editors in Wikipedia and their shorter editing life span. In this part we'll talk about content areas female and male editor focus on, coverage of female and male-related topics and involvement in editing controversial entries.
Content areas The authors divided the data from the January 2008 data dump into 8 main areas: Arts, Geography, Health, History, Science, People, Philosophy and Religion. Then, they checked the focus areas of each ed........ Read more »

Lam, S., Uduwage, A., Dong, Z., Sen, S., Musicant, D. R., Terveen, L., & Terveen, J. (2011) WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia’s Gender Imbalance. WikiSym’11, October 3–5, Mountain View, California. info:/

  • August 10, 2011
  • 02:04 AM

Another reason those Antidepressants might not be working: taken Aspirin lately?

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

A few days ago I talked a little bit about the interactions between stress and neurogenesis, and the way that this might impact symptoms of depression. But it turns out that there’s even more to the way stress affects the body than impacting neurogenesis, and the long term effects could in turn affect the way [...]... Read more »

Warner-Schmidt JL, Vanover KE, Chen EY, Marshall JJ, & Greengard P. (2011) Antidepressant effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are attenuated by antiinflammatory drugs in mice and humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(22), 9262-7. PMID: 21518864  

  • August 9, 2011
  • 07:06 PM

Stuck in traffic

by Sarah Stephen in An ecological oratorio

As you sit in the rush hour queues, pity the poor guy or girl directing the traffic, and imagine the fumes they are breathing in. In Brazil, with rapidly expanding car ownership, but not necessarily expanding road space, this is an increasing problem.

A recent study* in the city of Santo Andre, part of the metropolitan region of Sao Paulo, focused on traffic controllers. The study focused on male, non smoking, traffic controllers who had been exposed for over 3 years. As the authors note, one........ Read more »

Sérgio Chiarelli P, Amador Pereira LA, Nascimento Saldiva PH, Ferreira Filho C, Bueno Garcia ML, Ferreira Braga AL, & Conceição Martins L. (2011) The association between air pollution and blood pressure in traffic controllers in Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil. Environmental research, 111(5), 650-5. PMID: 21570068  

  • August 9, 2011
  • 07:02 PM

Fatal attraction: tall women and cancer

by Marisa Alonso Nuñez in Science Box

Three women.
When it comes to chat up there are some women who are very good at it. They attract all kind of men and can choose their partners without any problem. Some of these women that come to your mind when we talk about this are the typical tall actresses or models. Those ones with endless legs and charming smile. It looks like everything is perfect for them, right? Well, it’s not. And not only for those actresses and models, but also for tall women in general. The La........ Read more »

  • August 9, 2011
  • 04:47 PM

British Neuroscientist Thinks the Internet Is Rewiring Our Brains

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

When Susan Greenfield was asked for evidence supporting her wacky idea that the Internet might be making people autistic, she cited three papers: two studies and one review. I will look at all of them and see how well they support the least ridiculous formulation of her idea, which is that heavy Internet use can physically change the brain of the user.

In this post, I look at a study of brain-structure differences between Internet-addicted Chinese university students and their non-addicted pe........ Read more »

Yuan, K., Qin, W., Wang, G., Zeng, F., Zhao, L., Yang, X., Liu, P., Liu, J., Sun, J., von Deneen, K.... (2011) Microstructure Abnormalities in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder. PLoS ONE, 6(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020708  

  • August 9, 2011
  • 03:45 PM

Toward a flu vaccine that endures through the seasons

by Tom Ulrich in Vector, a Boston Children's Hospital blog

Every year, the flu tries to outwit humanity. By shifting parts of its outer coat, the virus renders the flu vaccine from the previous year obsolete, bringing another season of misery. And every year, we fight back with a new vaccine, finding a new chink in the virus’s armor and giving ourselves another brief window of protection.

But if Stephen Harrison, chief of Children’s Division of Molecular Medicine, is right, we might be able to train our immune systems to look past the flu........ Read more »

Whittle, J., Zhang, R., Khurana, S., King, L., Manischewitz, J., Golding, H., Dormitzer, P., Haynes, B., Walter, E., Moody, M.... (2011) Broadly neutralizing human antibody that recognizes the receptor-binding pocket of influenza virus hemagglutinin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1111497108  

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