Post List

  • July 8, 2010
  • 08:09 AM

Testosterone Deficiency and What to Do About It

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

Male hypogonadism with low testosterone levels can negatively affect muscle mass and has been associated with the increased accumulation of visceral fat. Thus, in clinical practice it may be important to assess older men presenting with weight gain for testosterone deficiency.
The latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine features two articles relevant to [...]... Read more »

Wu FC, Tajar A, Beynon JM, Pye SR, Silman AJ, Finn JD, O'Neill TW, Bartfai G, Casanueva FF, Forti G.... (2010) Identification of Late-Onset Hypogonadism in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men. The New England journal of medicine. PMID: 20554979  

Basaria S, Coviello AD, Travison TG, Storer TW, Farwell WR, Jette AM, Eder R, Tennstedt S, Ulloor J, Zhang A.... (2010) Adverse Events Associated with Testosterone Administration. The New England journal of medicine. PMID: 20592293  

  • July 8, 2010
  • 08:01 AM

Can linguistic features reveal time depths as deep as 50,000 years ago?

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo

Throughout much of our history language was transitory, existing only briefly within its speech community. The invention of writing systems heralded a way of recording some of its recent history, but for the most part linguists lack the stone tools archaeologists use to explore the early history of ancient technological industries. The question of how [...]... Read more »

Greenhill SJ, Atkinson QD, Meade A, & Gray RD. (2010) The shape and tempo of language evolution. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 20375050  

  • July 8, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

How'd you get that fat lip?

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

African rift lake cichlids are among the most famous subjects for the study of evolution. The rift lakes formed recently in geological time, but the cichlids that got in have radiated into a dazzling array of species in short order.

But there are cichlids and other similar recent geological events in the Americas, too, just as interesting!

This research by Elmer and colleagues takes advantage of a lake made by volcanic activity, in Nicaragua. The lake appears to have been formed about 1,800 ye........ Read more »

  • July 8, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

I’m not doing a very good job at convincing you that I’m not a renal physiologist. I promise I’m not.

by EcoPhysioMichelle in C6-H12-O6 (old)

One article I did take the time to read, though, is Race, Sex and the Regulation of Urine Osmolality-Observations Made During Water Deprivation by Hancock et al. Hancock and colleagues got an almost equal mix of white and black men and women to agree to 24 hours of water deprivation, during which time they measured urine and plasma osmolality, vasopressin levels, urine volume, and a few other things. I read it, and it had me thinking some thinky thoughts, so I figured I’d write down my thi........ Read more »

Michael L. Hancock, II, Daniel Georges Bichet, George J. Eckert, Lise Bankir, Mary Anne Wagner, and J. Howard Pratt. (2010) Race, Sex and the Regulation of Urine Osmolality-Observations Made During Water Deprivation. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. info:/

  • July 8, 2010
  • 07:11 AM

Erotic or Disgusting?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

What's hot? What's not? What do you consider unappealing?A greater understanding of people different from ourselves makes for a more accepting and tolerant populace. Are attempts to deliberately evoke disgust by the sexual practices of "others" an important and worthy step towards achieving this goal? Or does it further stigmatize the minority "outgroup"? What if the "outgroup" is disgusted by the practices of the majority?Different strokes for different folksAnd so on and so on and scooby dooby........ Read more »

  • July 8, 2010
  • 01:06 AM

Every Breath They Take

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Each year, the Earth’s terrestrial plants take in enormous amounts of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. But exactly how much has been in question, due to a lack of data. Now, scientists have come up with a more detailed picture that could help refine climate models.
Using new observations and models, a team calculated that terrestrial […] Read More »... Read more »

  • July 7, 2010
  • 09:34 PM

Ocean Warming Melts Methane Hydrates Which Screws Us All

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

That’s pretty much the message of new study in Geophysical Research Letters. Large deposits of methane hydrates, i.e. methane ice, occur naturally in the seafloor sediments of the Arctic continental shelf between 300-600 meters.  This is dominate reservoir for methane due to the large area and extremely low temperatures.
The continued and predicted warming of the oceans would cause methane . . . → Read More: Ocean Warming Melts Methane Hydrates Which Screws Us All... Read more »

Elliott, S., Reagan, M., Moridis, G., & Smith, P. (2010) Geochemistry of clathrate-derived methane in Arctic ocean waters. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(12). DOI: 10.1029/2010GL043369  

  • July 7, 2010
  • 07:30 PM

Environmental Modulation of Molecular Machinery or Formerly Known as Behavioral Epigenetics

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Science reviews the emerging and "seductive allure" of behavioral epigenetics, forewarning us that environmental modulation of genetic machinery is not the primary answer (i.e treatment/cure) for every known human pathology. ... Read more »

  • July 7, 2010
  • 05:07 PM

Depression as a Risk Factor for Dementia

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Two studies published this week in the journal Neurology add strength to the association between depression and dementia. One study came from the classic Framingham Heart Study database and the second used the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Both studies used depression symptoms as a proxy for the diagnosis of depression. There are some problems with this approach, but is seen a one valid research strategy. I thought I would summarize the two studies with Framingham listed first and (........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2010
  • 04:07 PM

Body Image Distortion: as nature intended?

by agoldstein in WiSci

According to research by Matthew Longo and other neuroscientists at the University College London, you might not be as fat as your brain thinks you are.... Read more »

  • July 7, 2010
  • 01:55 PM

When to Say When on Assisted Reproduction

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

There aren’t too many tabloid stories that have implications for science and medical ethics. But in January 2009, the sensational saga of Nadya Suleman, the mother of octuplets crudely dubbed Octomom, simultaneously lit up the TMZs and National Enquirers of the world and posed tough questions to the field of assisted reproduction. Methods such as [...]... Read more »

Lawrence RE, Rasinski KA, Yoon JD, & Curlin FA. (2010) Obstetrician-gynecologists' beliefs about assisted reproductive technologies. Obstetrics and gynecology, 116(1), 127-35. PMID: 20567178  

  • July 7, 2010
  • 01:12 PM

What values motivate the non-religious in the UK?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Most research on religion is done in the US, a country which is something of an outlier among modernised nations because of the importance of religion in daily life. So, for example, the non-religious in the US tend to be 'disagreeable' (meaning that they are nonconformist and prefer to go their own way). But is this something general about the non-religious, or does it simply tell us something about what it takes to be openly non-religious in the USA?

So a recent analysis of the values of the ........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2010
  • 12:46 PM

Massive Early Stars And Molecular Hydrogen Cooling

by Joseph Smidt in The Eternal Universe

The big bang produced only Hydrogen and Helium with trace amounts of Lithium. (For the most part.)  This is a problem for star formation because stars need to be "cool" to form and typically you need heavier elements to help the star cool off.  This is why:

Gravity pulls mass together.  However, as matter gets pulled together it heats up and this heat causes the matter to want to expend again.  

... Read more »

  • July 7, 2010
  • 11:25 AM

The Virtual Experience of Time: VR and Online Games

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

In an earlier post, I explored the conflicts that can result from an attempt to compress time and space (e.g., jet lag). The question I left you with, Readers, was whether the physical and social ripples that result from navigating space-time compression can be minimized online? Recently, I suggested that the Internet may be a timeless state. But does this argument hold in virtual reality? Once

... Read more »

Murray, C., & Sixsmith, J. (1999) The Corporeal Body in Virtual Reality. Ethos, 27(3), 315-343. DOI: 10.1525/eth.1999.27.3.315  

  • July 7, 2010
  • 11:21 AM

Do Words Have a Shape?

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

Are the names we use to describe objects really the result of random convention, or is there a more fundamental relation between how a word sounds and the properties of the object it describes?
To say it in Shakespear's words: "What is in a name?"... Read more »

Kovic, V., Plunkett, K., & Westermann, G. (2010) The shape of words in the brain. Cognition, 114(1), 19-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.08.016  

  • July 7, 2010
  • 11:09 AM

Universal meaning

by gameswithwords in Games with Words

My earlier discussion of Evans and Levinson's critique of universal grammar was vague on details. Today I wanted to look at one specific argument.

Funny words

Evans and Levinson briefly touch on universal semantics (variously called "the language of thought" or "mentalese"). The basic idea is that language is a way of encoding our underlying thoughts. The basic structure of those thoughts is the same from person to person, regardless of what language they speak. Quoting Pinker, "knowing a........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2010
  • 11:02 AM

Organic farming and natural enemy evenness

by Marc Cadotte in The EEB and flow

The basic reality of agricultural activity is that it reduces biological diversity, and these reductions in diversity potentially impact ecosystem services. But do some agricultural practices impact these services less than others? In a recent paper in Nature by David Crowder and colleagues, the question of how organic versus conventional farming affects predator and herbivore pathogen diversity and how this cascades to pest suppression. They show through a meta-analysis, that organic farms tend........ Read more »

Crowder, D., Northfield, T., Strand, M., & Snyder, W. (2010) Organic agriculture promotes evenness and natural pest control. Nature, 466(7302), 109-112. DOI: 10.1038/nature09183  

  • July 7, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Tip of the Week: MINT for protein interactions

by Mary in OpenHelix

We’ve long been fans of the tools developed by the team responsible for MINT: Molecular INTeraction database.  MINT is a curated resource full of experimentally verified protein-protein interactions, with some great visualization options.  In addition to the main MINT interface, there are other aspects to the site that bring other types of visualization as well.  We have done a tip on MINT in the past, but we wanted to re-visit this for our SciVee collection, and also mention a handy t........ Read more »

Ceol, A., Chatr Aryamontri, A., Licata, L., Peluso, D., Briganti, L., Perfetto, L., Castagnoli, L., & Cesareni, G. (2009) MINT, the molecular interaction database: 2009 update. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp983  

  • July 7, 2010
  • 08:30 AM

What does science suggest about the health risks of competitive speed eating?

by Colby in

I watched the annual Nathan’s July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest this year, in which the champ Joey Chesnut consumed 54 hot dogs and buns (over 28,ooo kcal) in 10 minutes.  Some observations: The majority of the eaters appeared to be thin … Continue reading →... Read more »

Levine MS, Spencer G, Alavi A, & Metz DC. (2007) Competitive speed eating: truth and consequences. AJR. American journal of roentgenology, 189(3), 681-6. PMID: 17715117  

  • July 7, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

New Brain Peptide Abolishes the “Munchies”

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

Readers may be well aware that the use of cannabis or “hashish” can induce the “munchies”, an acute craving for highly palatable foods.
Now Garron Dodd and colleagues from the University of Manchester, UK, have identified a new brain peptide called hemopressin that acts through cannabinoid receptors to reduce food intake in rats and mice. Their [...]... Read more »

Dodd GT, Mancini G, Lutz B, & Luckman SM. (2010) The peptide hemopressin acts through CB1 cannabinoid receptors to reduce food intake in rats and mice. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(21), 7369-76. PMID: 20505104  

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