Despite what many of us may believe we learned cramming for finals in college, a study published in Neuropsychopharmacology (1) suggests that your morning cup of coffee might not help you stay alert through that early morning meeting. In a study of 379 coffee drinkers, researchers found that frequent coffee drinkers developed a tolerance to both the anxiety-producing [...]... Read more »
Rogers PJ, Hohoff C, Heatherley SV, Mullings EL, Maxfield PJ, Evershed RP, Deckert J, & Nutt DJ. (2010) Association of the Anxiogenic and Alerting Effects of Caffeine with ADORA2A and ADORA1 Polymorphisms and Habitual Level of Caffeine Consumption. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 20520601
Adam Roberts - part of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War - has a very thoughtful in the latest issue of Survival, titled: "Lives and Statistics: Are 90% of War Victims Civilians?".Roberts takes on the commonly made assertion that in contemporary warfare (since the early 1900s)that 80-90% of war victims/casualties have been civilians. This would suggest a civilian-military death ratio of 9:1. It is easy for such a startling statistic to take on a life of its own -........ Read more »
Adam Roberts. (2010) Lives and Statistics: Are 90% of War Victims Civilians?. Survival, 52(3), 115-136. info:/10.1080/00396338.2010.494880
Nutrition, infection, experiences, the environment and genes interact to provide alterations to the phenotype. This concept is referred to as plasticity, the ability of organisms or cells to alter their phenotype in response to changes in the environment.... Read more »
Petronis, A. (2010) Epigenetics as a unifying principle in the aetiology of complex traits and diseases. Nature, 465(7299), 721-727. DOI: 10.1038/nature09230
In an allied review I have discussed the evolving role of epigenetics as the valued mechanism for explaining how gene expression rather than DNA change determines and mediates risk for complex health problems. In addition epigenetics helps to explain cross generational exposure transmission and why despite their being less than 1% variation in human DNA [...]... Read more »
Adams DD, Knight JG, & Ebringer A. (2010) Autoimmune diseases: Solution of the environmental, immunological and genetic components with principles for immunotherapy and transplantation. Autoimmunity reviews, 9(8), 525-30. PMID: 20083235
Credit, Fir0002/Flagstaffotos. Image released under the GFDL License.... Read more »
Parsons, D., Morrison, M., & Slater, M. (2010) Responses to marine reserves: Decreased dispersion of the sparid Pagrus auratus (snapper). Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.05.009
It is estimated that at any given time, as many as a third of people with overweight and obesity are on a restrictive diet (in addition to an unknown number of normal weight people, who follow diets in the hope that they are healthier and may prevent weight gain).
As most of the popular diets consist [...]... Read more »
Calton JB. (2010) Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency in popular diet plans. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7(1), 24. PMID: 20537171
I've decided I want to cover some recent research on social cognition in domesticated dogs. But first, we need some background. So here's a repost from the old blog.
Today I want to tell you about one of my most favorite studies, ever, of animals. Are you ready? It's a FIFTY YEAR LONG longitudinal study of captive silver foxes in Russia. Gather around, pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, get comfortable, and enjoy storytime.
In 1948, Soviet scientist Dmitri Belyaev lost his job at t........ Read more »
Belyaev, DK. (1969) Domestication of animals. Science, 5(1), 47-52. info:/
Trut, L. (1999) Early Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment. American Scientist, 87(2), 160. DOI: 10.1511/1999.2.160
Although it may not seem obvious at first, there are important links between Down’s syndrome and cancer. Down’s syndrome affects one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK. Named after the British doctor who first described the disease in 1866, it happens when a baby gets an extra copy of (or part of) chromosome [...]... Read more »
Reynolds, L., Watson, A., Baker, M., Jones, T., D’Amico, G., Robinson, S., Joffre, C., Garrido-Urbani, S., Rodriguez-Manzaneque, J., Martino-Echarri, E.... (2010) Tumour angiogenesis is reduced in the Tc1 mouse model of Down’s syndrome. Nature, 465(7299), 813-817. DOI: 10.1038/nature09106
Here is a far-reaching and crucially relevant question for those of us seeking to understand the evolution of culture: Is there any relationship between population size and tool kit diversity or complexity? This question is important because, if met with an affirmative answer, then the emergence of modern human culture may be explained by changes [...]... Read more »
Kline MA, & Boyd R. (2010) Population size predicts technological complexity in Oceania. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 20392733
Have you ever wanted to know whether a mouse is in pain?Of course you have. And now you can, thanks to Langford et al's paper Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse.It turns out that mice, just like people, display a distinctive "Ouch!" facial expression when they're suffering acute pain. It consists of narrowing of the eyes, bulging nose and cheeks, ears pulled back, and whiskers either pulled back or forwards.With the help of a high-definition video camera and a little tr........ Read more »
Langford, D., Bailey, A., Chanda, M., Clarke, S., Drummond, T., Echols, S., Glick, S., Ingrao, J., Klassen-Ross, T., LaCroix-Fralish, M.... (2010) Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse. Nature Methods, 7(6), 447-449. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1455
Last year, I was fortunate to be involved in a 1-year consensus group building exercise in revising the 2006 EM Clerkship Curriculum. Led by my friend Dr. David Manthey (Wake Forest), members of the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM) debated and went through seemingly an infinite number of drafts of the updated curriculum.The final manuscript was just published in Academic Emergency Medicine this month.What we came up with was the 2010 EM Clerkship Syllabus. Four goals were address........ Read more »
Manthey, D., Ander, D., Gordon, D., Morrissey, T., Sherman, S., Smith, M., Rimple, D., Thibodeau, L., & , . (2010) Emergency Medicine Clerkship Curriculum: An Update and Revision. Academic Emergency Medicine, 17(6), 638-643. DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2010.00750.x
The article reviewed here takes a look at typical biases in supply chain demand planning and how to avoid it. This work could prove very valuable for many companies who rely on manually adjusted forecasts.... Read more »
Fildes, R., Goodwin, P., Lawrence, M., & Nikolopoulos, K. (2009) Effective forecasting and judgmental adjustments: an empirical evaluation and strategies for improvement in supply-chain planning. International Journal of Forecasting, 25(1), 3-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2008.11.010
by David Gorski in Science-Based Medicine
Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) actually represent a rather large continuum of conditions that range from very severe neurodevelopmental delay and abnormalities to the relatively mild. In severe cases, the child is nonverbal and displays a fairly well-characterized set of behaviors, including repetitive behaviors such as “stimming” (for example, hand flapping, making sounds, head [...]... Read more »
Pinto, D., Pagnamenta, A., Klei, L., Anney, R., Merico, D., Regan, R., Conroy, J., Magalhaes, T., Correia, C., Abrahams, B.... (2010) Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09146
… except in Hollywood movies.
Let’s make this clear from the start, I don’t like the term “living fossils” at all. It’s as if we decided that certain species are second class organisms that should have gone extinct a long time ago. Unfortunately for me, the term regularly crops up in the popular scientific press. Especially [...]... Read more »
Amemiya, C., Powers, T., Prohaska, S., Grimwood, J., Schmutz, J., Dickson, M., Miyake, T., Schoenborn, M., Myers, R., Ruddle, F.... (2010) Complete HOX cluster characterization of the coelacanth provides further evidence for slow evolution of its genome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(8), 3622-3627. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914312107
The basis for many superstitious beliefs may be little more than fantasy but their economic effects are all too real. According to Travis Ng and colleagues at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, casual estimates suggest that between $800 and $900 million is wiped off the value of US businesses every Friday the Thirteenth! Now Ng's team has explored the economic cost of superstition by comparing the value of Hong Kong car number plates purchased through auction from 1997 to 2009.The new research........ Read more »
Although some have emphasized the need to breed crops for future climatic conditions, much of the world’s farming population relies on landrace populations, not formal breeding networks.
Undeniable, of course, and a good reason to not forget landraces, or farmers’ local varieties, when thinking about how agriculture will (or will not) adapt to climate change. And [...]... Read more »
Mercer, K., & Perales, H. (2010) Evolutionary response of landraces to climate change in centers of crop diversity. Evolutionary Applications. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2010.00137.x
Today Sci is going to blog a paper that she has been meaning to blog for a long time. It's one of those papers that people who do certain kinds of science snuggle with when they go to sleep at night.
(Sci and this paper)
But the real reason that Sci loves this paper is that it's the neurobiological equivilant of a RickRoll.
And the question behind this paper is: what is the mechanism behind reward prediction?
Schultz, Dayan, and Montague. "A neural substrate of prediction and reward" ........ Read more »
An Arabidopsis stomate showing two guard cells exhibiting green fluorescent protein and native chloroplast (red) fluorescence. via Wikipedia. This image is an extreme closeup of a stomate (singular, the plural form is stomata). These two cells, called guard cells, control the plant’s respiration: how much carbon dioxide gets in and how much oxygen and water vapor gets out. The control isn’t very good, though. Most plants just have their stomata open all day Continue reading...... Read more »
Hu H, Boisson-Dernier A, Israelsson-Nordström M, Böhmer M, Xue S, Ries A, Godoski J, Kuhn JM, & Schroeder JI. (2010) Carbonic anhydrases are upstream regulators of CO2-controlled stomatal movements in guard cells. Nature cell biology, 12(1), 87. PMID: 20010812
I don’t get too concerned about the so-called nanny state and I don’t get agitated regarding public health interventions as some infringement of my personal freedom. Maybe it’s because I’m a doctor – I am aware of my own bias here. I was delighted to see the smoking ban in public and I completely support [...]... Read more »
Sims, M., Maxwell, R., Bauld, L., & Gilmore, A. (2010) Short term impact of smoke-free legislation in England: retrospective analysis of hospital admissions for myocardial infarction. BMJ, 340(jun08 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c2161
Scene from 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.50 First Dates maintains a venerable movie tradition of portraying an amnesiac syndrome that bears no relation to any known neurological or psychiatric condition (Baxendale, 2004).That isn't true anymore...Smith et al. (2010) have recently reported an unusual case of functional, or psychogenic amnesia in which FL, a 51 year old woman with 15 years of education and average intelligence, cannot remember what happened to her from one da........ Read more »
Smith, C., Frascino, J., Kripke, D., McHugh, P., Treisman, G., & Squire, L. (2010) Losing memories overnight: A unique form of human amnesia. Neuropsychologia. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.05.025
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