Studying astronomy in culture should be simple. There’s only so much that is visible by the naked eye, and it follows predictable patterns. Modern astronomy means that we can reconstruct what was visible anywhere in the world in human history, within certain boundaries for errors. If we know what happens when, then studying a culture... Read more »
Clarke, P.A. (2007) An Overview of Australian Aboriginal Ethnoastronomy. Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture, 39-58. info:/
Generally bacteria genomes tend to be fairly minimal in the amount you can remove from them. Unlike eukaryotes, which can have whole swathes of genome that codes for very little, bacteria, with their limited space for a chromosome, need every gene they can get. They just don't have the space for unnecessary genes.Streptomyces bacteria, however, have bigger genomes and the luxary to invest in genes which are not strictly necessary for bacterial survival. These are called Secondary metabolite gene........ Read more »
Komatsu M, Uchiyama T, Omura S, Cane DE, & Ikeda H. (2010) Genome-minimized Streptomyces host for the heterologous expression of secondary metabolism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(6), 2646-51. PMID: 20133795
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
Sooner or later, but usually sooner, anyone dealing with fungi will have to deal with the issue of spore dispersal. Many fungi, mushrooms included, are a spore’s way of spreading spores through the environment. They do this in varied and universally ingenious ways. Spores, like mammalian sperm, are made in excess, which enhances the chances of some “making it.” Anybody who has made the spore print from a mushroom can attest to the large number of spores produced. This is true not only for ........ Read more »
Roper M, Seminara A, Bandi MM, Cobb A, Dillard HR, & Pringle A. (2010) Dispersal of fungal spores on a cooperatively generated wind. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20880834
Feret J, Danos V, Krivine J, Harmer R, & Fontana W (2009). Internal coarse-graining of molecular systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106 (16), 6453-8 PMID: 19346467, PNAS page, Supporting Information. Models of molecular dynamics suffer from combinatorial explosion: the phenomenon of an exponential number of [...]... Read more »
This is the first guest post on The Language of Bad Physics by Cosmic Variance‘s Sean Carroll. This post is cross-posted on Cosmic Variance.
A few weeks ago there was a bit of media excitement about a somewhat surprising experimental result. Observations of quasar spectra indicated that the fine structure constant, the parameter in physics that describes the strength of electromagnetism, seems to be slightly different on one side of the universe than on the other. The preprint is here......... Read more »
The internet has grown as a source of health information for both clinicians and their patients. Patients with mental disorders may be particularly drawn to using the internet for information due to the stigma associated with these disorders. This makes it important for health educators to understand the demographic pattern of searches for health information including depression and other mental disorders. A recent research study of those seeking information about depression pr........ Read more »
Fu KW, Wong PW, & Yip PS. (2010) What do internet users seek to know about depression from web searches? A descriptive study of 21 million web queries. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 71(9), 1246-7. PMID: 20923627
Time to continue in the Tet Zoo series on laryngeal diverticula (and other pouches, pockets and sacs). This time, we look at baleen whales, or mysticetes. Like the primates we looked at previously, mysticetes have enlarged laryngeal ventricles* that (mostly) meet along the ventral midline of the throat and form a single large laryngeal pouch or sac. The presence of a raphe along the sac's ventral midline seems to mark the line of fusion between the two ancestral, bilateral sacs. It's probabl........ Read more »
In 1975, Edward Tronick and colleagues first presented the "still face experiment" to colleagues at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development. He described a phenomenon in which an infant, after three minutes of "interaction" with a non-responsive expressionless mother, "rapidly sobers and grows wary. He makes repeated attempts to get the interaction into its usual reciprocal pattern. When these attempts fail, the infant withdraws [and] orients his face and body awa........ Read more »
Adamson, L., & Frick, J. (2003) The Still Face: A History of a Shared Experimental Paradigm. Infancy, 4(4), 451-473. DOI: 10.1207/S15327078IN0404_01
Florida panthers are healthier and fitter than they were fifteen years ago. They have higher genetic diversity, better immunity to disease, and fewer genetic abnormalities. They suffer fewer heart defects, enjoy higher fertility and are better able to climb trees. This is wonderful news for a population of panthers that was recently on the brink of extinction.
Like most populations of large carnivores, panther populations are divided between habitat islands and isolated in protected areas such ........ Read more »
Johnson, W., Onorato, D., Roelke, M., Land, E., Cunningham, M., Belden, R., McBride, R., Jansen, D., Lotz, M., Shindle, D.... (2010) Genetic Restoration of the Florida Panther. Science, 329(5999), 1641-1645. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192891
A plea to fund DonorsChoose projects that highlights research on sexism in mathematics instruction.... Read more »
Alessandri SM, & Lewis M. (1993) Parental evaluation and its relation to shame and pride in young children. Sex Roles, 335-343. info:/
Fennema, E., Peterson, P., Carpenter, T., & Lubinski, C. (1990) Teachers attributions and beliefs about girls, boys, and mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 21(1), 55-69. DOI: 10.1007/BF00311015
Being rejected by their peers hurts all kids, but they vary in the way they react. Some kids deal with rejection by lashing out, which, taken to the extreme, can ... Read more »
Reijntjes, A., Thomaes, S., Bushman, B.J., Boelen, P.A., de Castro, B.O., & Telch, M.J. (2010) The outcast-lash-out effect in youth: alienation increases aggression following peer rejection. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 20739674
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
Monday’s BRIEFS: Quick musings in child related research. Psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents I: Prevalence and sex differences Today is the first of a series of Brief posts about the results of the latest National Comorbidity Survey (NCS). The NCS is a large nationally representative study of over 10,000 adolescents aged 13 to 18. [...]... Read more »
Merikangas KR, He JP, Burstein M, Swanson SA, Avenevoli S, Cui L, Benjet C, Georgiades K, & Swendsen J. (2010) Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication--Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(10), 980-9. PMID: 20855043
For a Tyrannosaurus rex, there was nothing more dangerous than another Tyrannosaurus rex. From a relatively young age these dinosaurs tussled by biting each other on the face—possibly spreading parasitic microorganisms as they did so—and a few fossil scraps have suggested that some tyrannosaurs may have killed or eaten members of their own kind. This [...]... Read more »
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Capelari ED, Uribe C, & Brasil-Neto JP. (2009) Feeling pain in the rubber hand: integration of visual, proprioceptive, and painful stimuli. Perception, 38(1), 92-9. PMID: 19323139
Colour does not exist. Not out in the world at any rate. All that exists in the world is a smooth continuum of light of different wavelengths. Colour is a construction of our brains. A lot is known about how the brain does this, beginning with complicated circuits in the retina itself. Thanks to a new paper from Greg Field and colleagues we now have an even more detailed picture of how retinal circuits are wired to enable light to be categorized into different colours. This study illustrat........ Read more »
Field GD, Gauthier JL, Sher A, Greschner M, Machado TA, Jepson LH, Shlens J, Gunning DE, Mathieson K, Dabrowski W.... (2010) Functional connectivity in the retina at the resolution of photoreceptors. Nature, 467(7316), 673-7. PMID: 20930838
Jacobs, G., Williams, G., Cahill, H., & Nathans, J. (2007) Emergence of Novel Color Vision in Mice Engineered to Express a Human Cone Photopigment. Science, 315(5819), 1723-1725. DOI: 10.1126/science.1138838
Jameson KA, Highnote SM, & Wasserman LM. (2001) Richer color experience in observers with multiple photopigment opsin genes. Psychonomic bulletin , 8(2), 244-61. PMID: 11495112
Unlike a proper name (Jane Austen), a pronoun (she) can refer to a different person just about every time it is uttered. While we occasionally get bogged down in conversation trying to interpret a pronoun (Wait! Who are you talking about?), for the most part we sail through sentences with pronouns, not even noticing the ambiguity.
I have been running a number of studies on pronoun understanding. One line of work looks at a peculiar contextual effect, originally discovered by Garvey and Car........ Read more »
Catherine Garvey, & Alfonso Caramazza. (1974) Implicit causality in verbs. Linguistic Inquiry, 459-464. info:/
Goikoetxea, E., Pascual, G., & Acha, J. (2008) Normative study of the implicit causality of 100 interpersonal verbs in Spanish. Behavior Research Methods, 40(3), 760-772. DOI: 10.3758/BRM.40.3.760
The life of a sea urchin sperm is a difficult one. Once ejaculated, the cells have to navigate turbulent seas, with their eddies and currents, to fertilise a sea urchin egg. So how do they know where to go? They follow their chemical ‘noses’, so to speak. In a series of recent papers, Adán Guerrero, from [...]... Read more »
Eisenbach M. (2007) A hitchhiker's guide through advances and conceptual changes in chemotaxis. Journal of cellular physiology, 213(3), 574-80. PMID: 17708539
Emily Pronin is a Psychology professor at Princeton. She studies how we tend to see ourselves as different than others and how that leads us to judge ourselves as better than others to our own detriment. Recently, Dr. Pronin did a brief interview with the Washington Post on how our self-awareness blind spots lead us [...]
Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Countering jury decision-making biases
When identifying punishment—will jurors focus on intent or outcome?
A pinch of this and a ........ Read more »
Mandel, G. (2005) Unaware of Our Unawareness. Science. info:/
Regular readers will recall the many previous posts on the relationship between lack of sleep and weight gain. Now new evidence shows that lack of adequate sleep may be even more detrimental in anyone trying to lose weight.
In a study published in a recent issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, Arlet Nedeltcheva and colleagues [...]... 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
Gimme shelter. If Africa’s threatened birds could talk, that might be their message in the wake of new study showing that very little of their essential habitat is covered by the continent’s protected areas.
Conservationists say parks, reserves and other kinds of protected areas (PAs) can play a key role in preventing habitat destruction and […] Read More »... Read more »
Beresford, A., Buchanan, G., Donald, P., Butchart, S., Fishpool, L., & Rondinini, C. (2010) Poor overlap between the distribution of Protected Areas and globally threatened birds in Africa. Animal Conservation. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00398.x
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