Post List

  • August 2, 2011
  • 07:58 AM

The Life-Spans of Empires

by Samuel Arbesman in

I recently published my first history article. Titled The Life-Spans of Empires, it’s published in the delightfully-named journal Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History. Using a fun dataset I unearthed from some articles in the Nineteen Seventies, I explore the lifespans of empires, and their similarities to other complex systems: The collapse [...]... Read more »

Samuel Arbesman. (2011) The Life-Spans of Empires. Historical Methods, 44(3), 127-129. info:/10.1080/01615440.2011.577733

  • August 2, 2011
  • 07:54 AM

The psychology of gift giving - just give them what they want

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By spending days hunting for that special gift for your friend or partner, you'll show them just how much you care, and also what incredible insight you have into their needs and interests. Right? Not exactly. A new study by a pair of researchers at Harvard and Stanford suggests that most people, at least in North American culture, would prefer that you simply buy them something that they've told you they want. They said romance was dead, it is now.

Francesca Gino and Francis Flynn demons........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2011
  • 06:30 AM

Management of prehospital seizure patients by paramedics

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Does that mean that we should make every medical EMS call ALS, just to check BGL?

This could be the Mechanism Of Injury that could help minor medical calls leapfrog past trauma in ALS over-triage.

"If it saves just one life (even though maybe a dozen who would otherwise have lived will now die), it's worth it! Go ALS!"... Read more »

Martin-Gill, C., Hostler, D., Callaway, C., Prunty, H., & Roth, R. (2009) Management of Prehospital Seizure Patients by Paramedics. Prehospital Emergency Care, 13(2), 179-184. DOI: 10.1080/10903120802706229  

  • August 2, 2011
  • 05:00 AM

The Man Who Mistook a Harmonica for a Cash Register

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

One of the most famous books written by Oliver Sacks, popular author and beloved behavioral neurologist, is The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. One of the chapters describes the case of a patient with visual agnosia, or the inability to recognize objects.Below is a conversation between Sacks and Dr. P, the patient with visual agnosia.I showed him the cover [of a National Geographic Magazine], an unbroken expanse of Sahara dunes.'What do you see here?' I asked.'I see a river,' he said. 'And a........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2011
  • 04:21 AM

The 30something Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Brain maturation continues for longer than previously thought - well up until age 30. That's according to two papers just out, which may be comforting for those lamenting the fact that they're nearing the big Three Oh.This challenges the widespread view that maturation is essentially complete by the end of adolescence, in the early to mid 20s.Petanjek et al show that the number of dendritic spines in the prefrontal cortex increases during childhood and then rapidly falls during puberty - which p........ Read more »

Lebel C, & Beaulieu C. (2011) Longitudinal development of human brain wiring continues from childhood into adulthood. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(30), 10937-47. PMID: 21795544  

Petanjek, Z., Judas, M., Simic, G., Rasin, M., Uylings, H., Rakic, P., & Kostovic, I. (2011) Extraordinary neoteny of synaptic spines in the human prefrontal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1105108108  

  • August 2, 2011
  • 02:07 AM

Alcohol pwns inflammation; Or, saga of alcohol dehydrogenase from Aspergillus

by Kausik Datta in In Scientio Veritas

Aspergillus fumigatus and various other Aspergilli are ubiquitous molds. These are hardy aerobic saprotrophs, growing as easily on breads and potatoes as on plants and trees. However, many Aspergilli are capable of growing in nutrient-deficient or nutrient-absent environments, and...... Read more »

  • August 2, 2011
  • 12:13 AM

Are patients really “worse off” with older docs?

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

In what appears to be a largely counter intuitive result, research by the American Journal of Medicine has unearthed that patients end up faring worse when treated by older doctors or more experienced doctors. This Reuters article delves into the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 11:33 PM

Why to worry about the optics of the eye in the peripheral retina?

by Pablo Artal in Optics confidential

Why is important the optics of the eye in the peripheral retina? How this can be measured fast and with accuracy? Yes, this can be really quite important for the future of how to control myopia development... ... Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 08:43 PM

Archerfish: Shooting Dinner from the Sky

by Paul Norris in AnimalWise

Today’s featured guest is the fantastic archerfish, who merits this honor for several good reasons: It is totally cool. It performs highly complex cognitive tasks with tremendous efficiency. It raises interesting questions about how we define tool use. Archerfish in … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 07:45 PM

Don't put down the Fritos: Salt cravings and your crack habit.

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

One of the interesting things about being a scientist is reading how science is interpreted in the mainstream media, and then comparing the headlines back to the science that was, you know, actually done. When I was a young, and highly naive little scientist, I would read the headlines and go "oh, wow, they found [...]... Read more »

Liedtke WB, McKinley MJ, Walker LL, Zhang H, Pfenning AR, Drago J, Hochendoner SJ, Hilton DL, Lawrence AJ, & Denton DA. (2011) Relation of addiction genes to hypothalamic gene changes subserving genesis and gratification of a classic instinct, sodium appetite. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(30), 12509-14. PMID: 21746918  

  • August 1, 2011
  • 03:26 PM

Future sources of biofuels in the U.S.: Residues from agriculture and forestry

by Paul Spraycar in Agriculture & Land Use Forum

Biomass & Bioenergy just published a review of biomass availability for ethanol production as that industry looks beyond corn for the biomass needed to meet the U.S.’s ambitious ethanol mandate. They estimate that agricultural and forestry residues could only provide 5 percent of current U.S. fuel demand, and even that number assumes all available residues are harvested and converted into biofuels.
The study first describes the two primary conversion technologies – bioconversion........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 02:51 PM

Superheroes Who Share a Power with Dolphins

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

If only for reasons of terrestrial mobility, you probably shouldn't populate your whole superhero squad with cetaceans. Evil lairs on land would be difficult for you to infiltrate, to say the least. But you'd do well to consider including a dolphin or two in your next hero league. Dolphins were all over science journals last week, displaying powers that could put certain superheroes out of business.WolverineA letter published in Nature's Journal of Investigative Dermatology pointed out that bott........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 02:30 PM

More Managing Migraines without Medication

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Anyone familiar with migraine will know the first signs of an impending attack. What might be a little less familiar is the precursor to the “first signs”, and what may also be unfamiliar is the thoughts that accompany those first symptoms. Today I want to talk about ways to manage this phase of a migraine … Read more... Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 02:21 PM

The many personalities of snails and anemones

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

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Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures-F. Scott Fitzgerald  Quirky, sheepish, fun-loving, lethargic, energetic, aloof, courageous, sensitive You might i........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 01:00 PM

The Janus Bug

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

If you wonder what I do with myself when I'm not blogging, well I'll tell you. Among other things, I participate in an ASM-sponsored podcast called This Week In Microbiology (TWIM). It’s posted every two weeks and is easily accessible by clicking here or going to the MicrobeWorld home page. Under the leadership of Columbia University’s podcaster extraordinaire Vincent Racaniello, we sit before our computers and schmooze away about a couple of papers that caught our fancy. Recently, one of th........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 12:01 PM

Supply Chain Risk Management in the German Automotive Industry

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

While cleaning out some of my blog directories, I just found this article in my backup repository, I already wrote it over a year ago, but it still seems relevant. So without further ado: In their 2009 article Jörn-Henrik Thun and Daniel Hoenig from the Industrieseminar Mannheim (link only in German), present their research on Supply Chain Risk Management within the German automotive industry. Their goal was twofold: a) to identify supply chain risks and risk drivers, b) investigate measure........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 11:58 AM

The role of PTEN in non-melanoma skin cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

While reading the latest Cancer Research journal, I was surprised to learn that: “Nonmelanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, where DNA-damaging ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the sun remains the major environmental risk factor.” … Continue reading →
... Read more »

Ming, M., Feng, L., Shea, C., Soltani, K., Zhao, B., Han, W., Smart, R., Trempus, C., & He, Y. (2011) PTEN Positively Regulates UVB-Induced DNA Damage Repair. Cancer Research, 71(15), 5287-5295. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-4614  

  • August 1, 2011
  • 11:54 AM

Live in ancient Peru? You'll want to be Wari...

by Kristina Killgrove in Powered By Osteons

My colleague Tiffiny Tung, whose courses I'll be teaching in a few short weeks at Vanderbilt while she's on leave, has a new article out today in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology with archaeochemist Kelly Knudson called "Identifying locals, migrants, and captives in the Wari heartland."  They studied the strontium ratios from 31 burials and 18 trophy heads found at the site of Conchopata in the central Peruvian Andes (600-1000 AD).  Out of the 31 proper burials, they fou........ Read more »

T. Tung, & K. Knudson. (2011) Identifying locals, migrants, and captives in the Wari heartland: a bioarchaeological and biogeochemical study of human remains from Conchopata, Peru. Journal of Archaeological Anthropology, 30(3), 247-261. info:/10.1016/j.jaa.2011.06.005

  • August 1, 2011
  • 11:17 AM

Sonority and Sex: Why smaller communities are louder

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Ember & Ember show that the degree of sonority in a language is related to the frequency of extramarital sex in its community. Could this be linked to why smaller communities have a smaller phoneme inventory?... Read more »

  • August 1, 2011
  • 10:16 AM

Harmless snakes avoid danger by mimicking the triangular heads of vipers

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

A bird of prey flies through the skies of Europe and spots a snake on the ground below. Travelling at high speed and soaring at great height, it has mere seconds to decide if it should attack. If the snake is harmless, it could end up with a nice meal. If the snake is venomous, it could get a fatal bite. How can the bird tell the difference? The shape of the head provides a clue.
All of the dangerously venomous snakes in Europe are vipers, like the adder or the horned viper. And all of them have........ Read more »

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