Post List

  • September 18, 2010
  • 04:21 PM

Don't say you found aliens (unless you actually have)

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Unlike with health and medicine press releases (Woloshin and Schwartz have a few good papers about the matter) I haven't seen much research about other scientific press release. That's why I was glad to find the paper "Credibility of science communication: An exploratory study of astronomy press releases" by Nielsen et al. (2007).They conducted 11 in-depth interviews with journalists, scientists and public information officers, and came up with several conclusions regarding the accuracy and cred........ Read more »

Nielsen, L. H., Torpe Jørgensen, N., Jantzen, K., & Christensen, L. L. (2007) Credibility of science communication: An exploratory study of astronomy press releases. Proceedings from the IAU/National Observatory of Athens/ESA/ESO Conference, Athens, Greece. info:/

  • September 18, 2010
  • 02:27 PM

A Remarkably Tough and Stretchy Spider Silk

by Michael Long in Phased

Ingi Agnarsson (University of Puerto Rico, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and University of Akron) and coworkers' discovery will aid efforts aimed at synthesizing super tough and stretchy synthetic fibers. This news feature was written on September 18, 2010.... Read more »

  • September 18, 2010
  • 01:16 PM

Pick it Up. Again. Research poses correlation of resistance training reps to motivation type.

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

Do you think someone who is extrinsically motivated (i want to win a gold medal) vs intrinsically motivated (i want to be the best i can be) is more or less likely to do more or less resistance work?

Yes, that's a question that's been asked in a recently published study on who uses fitness centers. The authors' abstract reads:

There is a need to better understand the behavior and sense of ... Read more »

Kathrins BP, & Turbow DJ. (2010) Motivation of fitness center participants toward resistance training. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 24(9), 2483-90. PMID: 20802286  

Cox CL. (1985) The Health Self-Determinism Index. Nursing research, 34(3), 177-83. PMID: 3846926  

  • September 18, 2010
  • 10:52 AM

The Genetics & Linguistics Of Central Asia

by in

Both Razib and Dienekes have reviewed a paper on the population genetics of Central Asian peoples. To make sense of Central Asian ancestry has been challenging, to say the least. In particular, the problem is compounded by nomadic peoples without much written history nor uncovered archaeological record. What we do have are the linguistic, physical features, [...]... Read more »

Martínez-Cruz B, Vitalis R, Ségurel L, Austerlitz F, Georges M, Théry S, Quintana-Murci L, Hegay T, Aldashev A, Nasyrova F.... (2010) In the heartland of Eurasia: the multilocus genetic landscape of Central Asian populations. European journal of human genetics : EJHG. PMID: 20823912  

  • September 18, 2010
  • 10:10 AM

Spicy food and collectivism: How the brain shapes culture

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

We are used to thinking of culture as a social factor and not a biological factor. We attribute dispositions such as being individualistic or being collectivist to the country that one was brought up in, but no one has really looked into why certain cultures tend to be that way. An emerging field of research called cultural neuroscience says that cultural values can be shaped by the brain and genes. For example, in one striking example I read about quite recently, one hypothesis put forth for th........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2010
  • 07:53 AM

Getting the most out of wild tomatoes

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Where should breeders look for traits like drought resistance among the landraces and wild relatives of crops? The FIGS crowd says: in dry places, of course. And they have a point. But it may not be as simple as that, as a recent paper on wild tomatoes shows. The authors looked at the diversity of [...]... Read more »

  • September 17, 2010
  • 09:58 PM

Return from Paris and Neury Thursday: Hymenopteran Circadian Rhythms

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers have characterized task-specific circadian rhythms in the honey bee and the accompanying molecular machinery. Is it possible to use the honey bee as a feasible model of human shift work????... Read more »

Shemesh Y, Eban-Rothschild A, Cohen M, & Bloch G. (2010) Molecular Dynamics and Social Regulation of Context-Dependent Plasticity in the Circadian Clockwork of the Honey Bee. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(37), 12517-12525. PMID: 20844146  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 07:02 PM

Measles – Not such a measly disease

by thomastu in Disease Prone

To herald in our second (maybe third?) article of our series on vaccine-preventable diseases, China has recently started their massive measles vaccination program. They’re looking to vaccinate 100 million children who may have missed their last shot. You may have had measles as a kid and now wonder why the Chinese are spending $23 million [...]... Read more »

Duclos P, & Ward BJ. (1998) Measles vaccines: a review of adverse events. Drug safety : an international journal of medical toxicology and drug experience, 19(6), 435-54. PMID: 9880088  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 06:35 PM

Towards New Pharmaceuticals via Cell Wall Disruption

by Michael Long in Phased

Maya Elbaz and Sigal Ben-Yehuda (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) have found a functional linkage between cell shape and genetic replication in Bacillus subtilis cells, with possible implications in drug discovery. This news feature was written on September 17, 2010.... Read more »

  • September 17, 2010
  • 06:12 PM


by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Ecotourism has become a booming, if controversial, business. Although advocates argue it can benefit conservation, some studies have suggested that the development and disturbance that tag along with tourists can have harmful impacts on wildlife. Now, two researchers find that chatting visitors can scare away the very tropical birds they’ve come so far to experience. […] Read More »... Read more »

  • September 17, 2010
  • 03:59 PM

So, yeah, cheers!

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Scientists worry way too much about the impacts of our work. We want our papers to mean something, for people to really want to read them. Of course, the true test of whether your paper is important is that future papers cite you as a reference.

What makes one paper cited by everyone and another fall into obscurity? Well, there are all kinds of theories. Maybe it's how high-impact the journal is - after all, a Science paper is better than obscure journal, right? Some have even suggested it's a........ Read more »

  • September 17, 2010
  • 03:33 PM

Does Mesquite encroachment alter soil microbiota in the Great Plains of Texas?

by microbialmodus in Microbial Modus

I grew up in East Texas, where armadillos, cowboy boots, cattle ranching, state pride and Stetsons are just a natural part of daily life. But, I’ll never forget the year my older brother went away to a “summer camp” somewhere in West Texas, where instead of swimming and skiing all summer, the kids were involved [...]... Read more »

Hollister, E.B., Schadt, C.W., Palumbo, A.V., Ansley, R.J., & Boutton, T.W. (2010) Structural and functional diversity of soil bacterial and fungal communities following woody plant encroachment in the southern Great Plains. Soil Biology , 1816-1824. info:/10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.06.022

  • September 17, 2010
  • 03:27 PM

Of Iran, Turan, and Turks

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

There’s a new paper out in The European Journal of Human Genetics which is of great interest because it surveys the genetic and linguistic affinities of two dozen ethno-linguistic groups from the three Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. This is what the Greeks referred to as Transoxiana, and the Persians as [...]... Read more »

Martínez-Cruz B, Vitalis R, Ségurel L, Austerlitz F, Georges M, Théry S, Quintana-Murci L, Hegay T, Aldashev A, Nasyrova F.... (2010) In the heartland of Eurasia: the multilocus genetic landscape of Central Asian populations. European journal of human genetics : EJHG. PMID: 20823912  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 02:30 PM

Oxygen-Deprived Microbial Growth on Formate: A Renewable Energy Source?

by Michael Long in Phased

Jung-Hyun Lee, Sung Gyun Kang (Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute, and University of Science and Technology, Korea) and coworkers have found a microorganism which grows at 80 degrees Celsius, and uses formate to synthesize both hydrogen and adenosine triphosphate (energy) molecules, in oxygen-deprived conditions. This news feature was written on September 17, 2010.... Read more »

Kim, Y. J., Lee, H. S., Kim, E. S., Bae, S. S., Lim, J. K., Matsumi, R., Lebedinsky, A. V., Sokolova, T. G., Kozhevnikova, D. A., Cha, S.-S.... (2010) Formate-driven growth coupled with H2 production. Nature, 467(7313), 352-355. DOI: 10.1038/nature09375  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 01:37 PM

'SAR by C13 NMR'

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

The biggest utility of NMR spectroscopy in drug discovery is in assessing three things; whether a particular ligand binds to a protein, what site on the protein it binds, and what parts of the ligand interact with the protein. Over the last few years a powerful technique named ‘SAR by NMR’ has emerged which is now widely used in ligand screening. In this technique, changes in the resonances of ligand and protein protons are observed to pinpoint the ligand binding site and corresponding resid........ Read more »

Swann, S., Song, D., Sun, C., Hajduk, P., & Petros, A. (2010) Labeled Ligand Displacement: Extending NMR-Based Screening of Protein Targets. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 1(6), 295-299. DOI: 10.1021/ml1000849  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 01:28 PM

More cool polariton stuff

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Earlier this week I wrote about some of the exciting polaritons in semiconductors. And just a few days later, there is another intriguing paper on this topic out. Something that I speculate(!) might lead to new types of quantum computers. But to recapitulate, polaritons are object that form when light interacts with electronic excitations. What I [...]... Read more »

Lagoudakis, K., Pietka, B., Wouters, M., André, R., & Deveaud-Plédran, B. (2010) Coherent Oscillations in an Exciton-Polariton Josephson Junction. Physical Review Letters, 105(12). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.120403  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 12:49 PM

Cosmology Can Possibly Solve the Neutrino Hierarchy Problem.

by Joseph Smidt in The Eternal Universe

There are three neutrino species in the standard model, hereafter refereed to as 1, 2, and 3, that we know have mass from atmospheric and solar neutrino oscillation experiments. Furthermore, data from these experiments put constraints on the mass-splittings between these three neutrinos.  From atmospheric experiments we know the mass differences between 2 and 3 is |M223| ~ 1.4x10-3 eV2 and from

... Read more »

Jimenez, R., Kitching, T., Peña-Garay, C., & Verde, L. (2010) Can we measure the neutrino mass hierarchy in the sky?. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2010(05), 35-35. DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2010/05/035  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 11:54 AM

MET and KRAS amplification mediate resistance to MET inhibitors

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Here's an interesting paper that was just published in Cancer Research that describes some factors driving acquired resistance to MET inhibition with small molecules. MET inhibitors have gained a lot of attention recently (see Comoglio et al's review in the...... Read more »

  • September 17, 2010
  • 11:49 AM

What’s Killing California’s Sea Otters?

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

Sea Otters are turning up dead in central California. In 2007, 11 sea otters were recovered from Monterrey Bay. Over the last three years, dead otters washing up on beaches has reached a record high?
What could be causing all these otter deaths? Are there new predators in the area? Is there some kind of disease? [...]... Read more »

Miller, M., Kudela, R., Mekebri, A., Crane, D., Oates, S., Tinker, M., Staedler, M., Miller, W., Toy-Choutka, S., Dominik, C.... (2010) Evidence for a Novel Marine Harmful Algal Bloom: Cyanotoxin (Microcystin) Transfer from Land to Sea Otters. PLoS ONE, 5(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012576  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 11:30 AM

Denouncing priests accused of child sexual abuse as rotten apples in an otherwise clean barrel

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church: Revisiting the rotten apples explanation From Criminal Justice and Behavior The Pope’s first state visit to Britain this week has fuelled controversy, not least due to his recent comments expressing his “great sadness” over revelations of widespread abuse of children by Catholic priests, saying  ”authorities in the church have [...]... Read more »

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