Post List

  • October 6, 2010
  • 10:49 PM
  • 695 views

The Ig-Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine

by Brad Walters in Cortical Hemming and Hawing

While this is the time of year for the Nobel prizes (arguably the highest awards in science), it is also the time of year for the Ig-Nobel prizes which, according to the website "are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology."  So, while the King of Sweden may be honoring Robert Edwards for his research leading to in vitro fertilization (IVF), the Ig-Nobels are honoring researchers in the Netherlands who disc........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 10:43 PM
  • 524 views

Go with the blow: a non-invasive way to sample large whales…

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

A non-invasive strategy for ‘CETACEAN OBSERVATION’ (try to say that 5 times in a row):
Monitoring large populations of free-ranging whales for pathogens is extremely difficult because tissue samples are troublesome to obtain.  First, you’ve got to be close enough to physically remove a chunk of flesh, and second, you’re inflicting damage on the organism as [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 10:00 PM
  • 1,298 views

Sharks and Trophic Cascades: Cut and Dry?

by Chuck in Ya Like Dags?

A recent post over at Chronicles of Zostera referenced a paper that has become a monster in the world of marine ecology and shark conservation.  That paper: Myers et al. (2007).  It’s actually a relatively unassuming paper kind of tucked … Continue reading →... Read more »

Burgess, G., Beerkircher, L., Cailliet, G., Carlson, J., Cortés, E., Goldman, K., Grubbs, R., Musick, J., Musyl, M., & Simpfendorfer, C. (2005) Is the collapse of shark populations in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico real?. Fisheries, 30(10), 19-26. DOI: 10.1577/1548-8446(2005)30[19:ITCOSP]2.0.CO;2  

Ferretti F, Worm B, Britten GL, Heithaus MR, & Lotze HK. (2010) Patterns and ecosystem consequences of shark declines in the ocean. Ecology letters, 13(8), 1055-71. PMID: 20528897  

Myers RA, Baum JK, Shepherd TD, Powers SP, & Peterson CH. (2007) Cascading effects of the loss of apex predatory sharks from a coastal ocean. Science (New York, N.Y.), 315(5820), 1846-50. PMID: 17395829  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 08:09 PM
  • 701 views

Runeson, the Ames Room and the Irrelevance of Equivalent Configurations

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

One of the most common objections to Gibson's ecological approach to perception is to point to illusions such as the Ames Room as evidence of how perception can be fooled, revealing the assumptions required. Gehringer & Engel (1986) put Gibson to the test against the Ames Room, but their final conclusion (that there was still a residual error, disproving Gibson) was based on a misreading of Gibson and numerous other key problems. Runeson's (1988) rebuttal stands as a model paper for an........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 07:21 PM
  • 3,250 views

Cognitive Stimulation Can Increase Creativity

by Maria P. in noustuff

Creativity plays a big part in most areas of everyday life. Sternberg and Lubart (1996) define creativity as the ability to produce work that is original, useful and, generative. Psychologists usually measure creativity with the Alternative Uses (AU) task. In this particular test individuals are asked to list as many possible uses for a common [...]... Read more »

Fink A, Grabner RH, Gebauer D, Reishofer G, Koschutnig K, & Ebner F. (2010) Enhancing creativity by means of cognitive stimulation: evidence from an fMRI study. NeuroImage, 52(4), 1687-95. PMID: 20561898  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:46 PM
  • 573 views

When errors detract from the message, who is to blame?

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow


I am trying to read a paper right now but there are so many mistakes in it that I am really having trouble getting at the science because I am going mad over the errors.  Harikrishnan et al (2010) have written what is otherwise an important review piece about scuticociliatosis, which is a grab-bag name for the disease caused by several types of ciliated protists (single-celled organisms).  Two drugs are misspelled in the abstract (gentamycin as gentamycine and amoxicilin as amoxycilil........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:34 PM
  • 903 views

Stamping out disease–from afar

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

In my opinion, people are often too embarrassed to see their doctor about sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—in my opinion. “In my opinion” is one of the most dangerous phrases in science.  But when in comes to attitudes toward STIs, the data are scarce. STI’s are very much a “behavior”-based disease, so knowing what attitudes prevail [...]... Read more »

Ford CA, Jaccard J, Millstein SG, Viadro CI, Eaton JL, & Miller WC. (2004) Young adults' attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about testing for curable STDs outside of clinic settings. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 34(4), 266-9. PMID: 15040995  

O'Donnell L, San Doval A, Duran R, & O'Donnell CR. (1995) Predictors of condom acquisition after an STD clinic visit. Family planning perspectives, 27(1), 29-33. PMID: 7720850  

Lindau, S., Schumm, L., Laumann, E., Levinson, W., O'Muircheartaigh, C., & Waite, L. (2007) A Study of Sexuality and Health among Older Adults in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(8), 762-774. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa067423  

Shiely, F., Hayes, K., Thomas, K., Kerani, R., Hughes, J., Whittington, W., Holmes, K., Handsfield, H., Hogben, M., & Golden, M. (2010) Expedited Partner Therapy: A Robust Intervention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 1. DOI: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181e1a296  

ASHTON, M., COOK, R., WIESENFELD, H., KROHN, M., ZAMBORSKY, T., SCHOLLE, S., & SWITZER, G. (2002) Primary Care Physician Attitudes Regarding Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 29(4), 246-251. DOI: 10.1097/00007435-200204000-00011  

Golden, M., Whittington, W., Handsfield, H., Hughes, J., Stamm, W., Hogben, M., Clark, A., Malinski, C., Helmers, J., Thomas, K.... (2005) Effect of Expedited Treatment of Sex Partners on Recurrent or Persistent Gonorrhea or Chlamydial Infection. New England Journal of Medicine, 352(7), 676-685. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa041681  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:31 PM
  • 1,542 views

Cross-cultural personality change throughout the lifespan: a result of brain development?

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

It's not difficult to readily imagine the rebellious angst ridden teenager or the wise old man of very few words. McCrae, et al.’s 1999 research findings seem to have validated these prototypical depictions. They found that across various cultures (Germany, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, and South Korea) there were higher levels of neuroticism in young adults and decreases in extraversion and openness in older adults. Older adults also showed increase rates of agreeableness and conscientiousness. B........ Read more »

Cohen MX, Young J, Baek JM, Kessler C, & Ranganath C. (2005) Individual differences in extraversion and dopamine genetics predict neural reward responses. Brain research. Cognitive brain research, 25(3), 851-61. PMID: 16289773  

Golimbet, V., Alfimova, M., Gritsenko, I., & Ebstein, R. (2007) Relationship between dopamine system genes and extraversion and novelty seeking. Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology, 37(6), 601-606. DOI: 10.1007/s11055-007-0058-8  

Reeves SJ, Mehta MA, Montgomery AJ, Amiras D, Egerton A, Howard RJ, & Grasby PM. (2007) Striatal dopamine (D2) receptor availability predicts socially desirable responding. NeuroImage, 34(4), 1782-9. PMID: 17188897  

Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Fowler JS, Logan J, Gatley SJ, MacGregor RR, Schlyer DJ, Hitzemann R, & Wolf AP. (1996) Measuring age-related changes in dopamine D2 receptors with 11C-raclopride and 18F-N-methylspiroperidol. Psychiatry research, 67(1), 11-6. PMID: 8797238  

Roppongi T, Nakamura M, Asami T, Hayano F, Otsuka T, Uehara K, Fujiwara A, Saeki T, Hayasaka S, Yoshida T.... (2010) Posterior orbitofrontal sulcogyral pattern associated with orbitofrontal cortex volume reduction and anxiety trait in panic disorder. Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 64(3), 318-26. PMID: 20602731  

Rankin KP, Rosen HJ, Kramer JH, Schauer GF, Weiner MW, Schuff N, & Miller BL. (2004) Right and left medial orbitofrontal volumes show an opposite relationship to agreeableness in FTD. Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders, 17(4), 328-32. PMID: 15178947  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:04 PM
  • 743 views

My IVF story: after conception, being preggers

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

This is the second post of four on my experience with IVF and pregnancy, and my thinking on its broader meaning to the public and to anthropology. Find the first post here.PreggersA few weeks after the positive blood test, I had my ultrasound where we saw a tiny little bean and a beating heart. During this time I was having what felt like bad menstrual cramps. The nurse told me this was quite normal, but I still spent a lot of mental energy fretting over it. The rest of the first trimester was p........ Read more »

Decker, E., Engelmann, G., Findeisen, A., Gerner, P., Laass, M., Ney, D., Posovszky, C., Hoy, L., & Hornef, M. (2010) Cesarean Delivery Is Associated With Celiac Disease but Not Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Children. PEDIATRICS, 125(6). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-2260  

de Groot LC, Boekholt HA, Spaaij CK, van Raaij JM, Drijvers JJ, van der Heijden LJ, van der Heide D, & Hautvast JG. (1994) Energy balances of healthy Dutch women before and during pregnancy: limited scope for metabolic adaptations in pregnancy. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 59(4), 827-32. PMID: 8147326  

Johnstone, F., Prescott, R., Steel, J., Mao, J., Chambers, S., & Muir, N. (1996) Clinical and ultrasound prediction of macrosomia in diabetic pregnancy. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 103(8), 747-754. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1996.tb09868.x  

Roduit, C., Scholtens, S., de Jongste, J., Wijga, A., Gerritsen, J., Postma, D., Brunekreef, B., Hoekstra, M., Aalberse, R., & Smit, H. (2009) Asthma at 8 years of age in children born by caesarean section. Thorax, 64(2), 107-113. DOI: 10.1136/thx.2008.100875  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 04:10 PM
  • 784 views

My IVF story: after conception, being preggers

by Kate Clancy in Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology

This is the second of a four part series on IVF, pregnancy and labor.... Read more »

Decker, E., Engelmann, G., Findeisen, A., Gerner, P., Laass, M., Ney, D., Posovszky, C., Hoy, L., & Hornef, M. (2010) Cesarean Delivery Is Associated With Celiac Disease but Not Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Children. PEDIATRICS, 125(6). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-2260  

de Groot LC, Boekholt HA, Spaaij CK, van Raaij JM, Drijvers JJ, van der Heijden LJ, van der Heide D, & Hautvast JG. (1994) Energy balances of healthy Dutch women before and during pregnancy: limited scope for metabolic adaptations in pregnancy. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 59(4), 827-32. PMID: 8147326  

Johnstone, F., Prescott, R., Steel, J., Mao, J., Chambers, S., & Muir, N. (1996) Clinical and ultrasound prediction of macrosomia in diabetic pregnancy. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 103(8), 747-754. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1996.tb09868.x  

Roduit, C., Scholtens, S., de Jongste, J., Wijga, A., Gerritsen, J., Postma, D., Brunekreef, B., Hoekstra, M., Aalberse, R., & Smit, H. (2009) Asthma at 8 years of age in children born by caesarean section. Thorax, 64(2), 107-113. DOI: 10.1136/thx.2008.100875  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 04:07 PM
  • 914 views

It’s a kangaroo… It’s a llama… No, it’s Palorchestes!

by Laelaps in Laelaps

In his 1931 account of fieldwork in Patagonia, Attending Marvels, the 20th century paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson considered the appropriateness of the phrase “fossil hunting” to his profession:
Fossil hunting is far the most fascinating of all sports. I speak for myself, although I do not see how any true sportsman could fail to agree with [...]... Read more »

Mackness, B.S. (2008) Reconstructing Palorchestes (Marsupialia: Palorchestidae) - from Giant Kangaroo to Marsupial ‘Tapir’. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 21-36. info:/

  • October 6, 2010
  • 03:56 PM
  • 2,235 views

Flying and Biting in the London Underground

by Lucas in thoughtomics






In the early September days of 1941, the German Luftwaffe started a prolonged bombardment of London which would later become known as ‘the Blitz‘. As the bombs continued to drop for months, thousands of Londoners sought refuge in the underground railway system.
During the most intense periods of bombardment, the London [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 03:55 PM
  • 386 views

Is it Easy to be an Urban New York Ant?

by Michael Long in Phased

Marko Pecarevic (Columbia University, United States; and State Institute for Nature Protection, Croatia) and coworkers have found that three ant species overwhelmingly dominate heavily urbanized environments in New York City, with implications in natural adaptation to an increasingly urban world. This news feature was written on October 6, 2010.... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 03:49 PM
  • 1,069 views

Burn Off More Fat with More…Sleep?

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Losing weight can be described at its simplest as a matter of counting calories during the daytime. Consume fewer calories and burn more through activity and exercise, and you’re likely to lose weight. Eat more high-calorie foods and sit on the couch all day watching football, and you get the opposite effect. But according to [...]... Read more »

Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Schoeller DA, & Penev PD. (2010) Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine, 153(7), 435-41. PMID: 20921542  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 03:45 PM
  • 1,088 views

How will we ever keep up with 75 Trials and 11 Systematic Reviews a Day?

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

An interesting paper was published in PLOS Medicine [1]. As an information specialist and working part time for the Cochrane Collaboration* (see below), this topic is close to my heart. The paper, published in PLOS Medicine is written by Hilda Bastian and two of my favorite EBM devotees ànd critics, Paul Glasziou and Iain Chalmers. Their article gives [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 12:57 PM
  • 1,042 views

Acanthaspis petax and the amazing technicolor corpsecoat

by Matt Soniak in mattsoniak.com

Ed Yong recently reposted his fantastic 2008 post on assassin bug camouflage to keep us entertained while he’s away. I covered the same paper on an old incarnation of my blog, and can’t resist joining in on the reposting fun. Kevin Zelnio of Deep Sea News also has a post about it.
Remember that scene [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,712 views

Organic agriculture pest control through enemy evenness

by Colby Vorland in Biofortified

Recently I wrote about a study on organic vs synthetic pesticides on sustainability, which suggested that organic pesticides are not always more efficacious against pests nor as selective (not killing natural enemies of pests) than synthetic pesticides. Earlier this month a study was published on a related area: organic farming on natural enemy evenness.  Different farming techniques can alter the balance of the natural enemy species’ and cause a reduction to only a select few species. ........ Read more »

Crowder DW, Northfield TD, Strand MR, & Snyder WE. (2010) Organic agriculture promotes evenness and natural pest control. Nature, 466(7302), 109-12. PMID: 20596021  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 11:27 AM
  • 1,430 views

Digital Literacy at What Price?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

A cultural and cognitive shift is well underway in terms of how we access and process information via digital media. And a recent study confirms our suspicions: though we are becoming more tech savvy, it may be at the expense of creative and critical thinking. Researchers from the University of Israel (2009), tested digital literacy with a group in 2002. In 2007, they tested this same group again and found statistically significant changes on the test scores.  Is this further proof of the w........ Read more »

Eshet-Alkalai, Y., & Chajut, E. (2009) Changes Over Time in Digital Literacy. CyberPsychology , 12(6), 713-715. DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2008.0264  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 11:16 AM
  • 1,183 views

How not to fight colds: is it really that clear cut?

by Melinda Moyer in Body Politic

The most popular piece in the New York Times today is an Op-Ed published on Monday by Jennifer Ackerman, “How Not to Fight Colds.” It’s an interesting piece and points out something that a lot of people probably don’t know—it’s the immune system, not the virus itself, that causes the cold’s nasty symptoms. But in my opinion, Ackerman takes her assertions a little too far, in the process confusing multiple aspects of the immune response. While it’s prob........ Read more »

Proud, D., Turner, R., Winther, B., Wiehler, S., Tiesman, J., Reichling, T., Juhlin, K., Fulmer, A., Ho, B., Walanski, A.... (2008) Gene Expression Profiles during In Vivo Human Rhinovirus Infection: Insights into the Host Response. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 178(9), 962-968. DOI: 10.1164/rccm.200805-670OC  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 11:08 AM
  • 2,161 views

How much salt is in your fast food?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

Way too much, according to a study by Johnson and colleagues, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Personally, I love salty foods. While I have never been too fond of sweet things (chocolate, candy, etc.), just a few years ago I could have easily gone through a bag of chips or pretzels in one sitting. Just writing about that crunchy/salty goodness makes my mouth water.
However, since hypertension runs in my family, I have recently made a concerted effort to limit my sodium intake R........ Read more »

Johnson CM, Angell SY, Lederer A, Dumanovsky T, Huang C, Bassett MT, & Silver LD. (2010) Sodium content of lunchtime fast food purchases at major US chains. Archives of internal medicine, 170(8), 732-4. PMID: 20421561  

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