Animals use tools to get food, communicate with one another, defend themselves or even have a scratch. But in Chester Zoo, England, one monkey uses tools to give itself a pedicure.
Riccardo Pansini and Jan de Ruiter from Durham University watched a 18-year-old mandrill called JC clean his toenails out using small splinters. He made them himself, fashioning them from wood chips and twigs on the floor his enclosure, and honing them till they were small and sharp.
JC is the alpha male of the zoo’........ Read more »
Pansini, R., & de Ruiter, J. (2011) Observation of tool use and modification for apparent hygiene purposes in a mandrill. Behavioural Processes. DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2011.06.003
The World Congress of Physical Therapy was a bit like Bizarro world for me. Steven Kamper, provided a great post summarizing the conference, but I wanted to build on it a little. ... Read more »
Stanton TR, Fritz JM, Hancock MJ, Latimer J, Maher CG, Wand BM, & Parent EC. (2011) Evaluation of a treatment-based classification algorithm for low back pain: a cross-sectional study. Physical therapy, 91(4), 496-509. PMID: 21330450
The Brown-lipped or Grove snail, Cepaea nemoralis has received a lot of attention by evolutionary biologists for more than a century, due to their strikingly variable shell colour - what is called colour polymorphism. In the decades of the middle of the last century it was a very popular research organism. The shiny shell can be yellow, pink or brown. Over each of these background colours there can be no bands, one band or five bands, and the bands can also be fused and be of variable width. The........ Read more »
Davison, A., & Clarke, B. (2000) History or current selection? A molecular analysis of 'area effects' in the land snail Cepaea nemoralis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 267(1451), 1399-1405. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2000.1156
Paul J. Mensink . (2011) Rain event influence short-term feeding preferences in the snail Cepaea nemoralis. Journal of Molluscan Studies. info:/10.1093/mollus/eyr011
With an image of Rodin’s bronze “The Thinker” on its cover suggesting deep thought and insight, Science Translational Medicine (STM) analyzes the state of innovation in its June 29 issue. STM states (without any authority) that “A powerful perception that … Continue reading →... Read more »
The Cassini spacecraft is zooming around Saturn as I type, currently in between two flybys of Saturn’s moon Titan – one was in June, the next will be September. It was supposed to explore Saturn and its moons for only four years between 2004 and 2008.... Read more »
Postberg F, Schmidt J, Hillier J, Kempf S, & Srama R. (2011) A salt-water reservoir as the source of a compositionally stratified plume on Enceladus. Nature, 474(7353), 620-2. PMID: 21697830
by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered
by Linh Truong and Shabana Din
Microbes are the most robust of all life forms inhabiting our planet. Their ability to proliferate in extreme temperatures, pH, pressure, and radiation is well documented. They not only withstand but grow at physical extremes, which makes us wonder about the physical bounds for life not...... Read more »
Deguchi S, Shimoshige H, Tsudome M, Mukai SA, Corkery RW, Ito S, & Horikoshi K. (2011) Microbial growth at hyperaccelerations up to 403,627 x g. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(19), 7997-8002. PMID: 21518884
The latest cult favorite in the sphere of human genetics is the microbiome, the genes of the bacterial species that live inside and upon the human body. Because bacterial cells outnumber human cells in an adult by approximately ten to one, and tens of thousands of different species make up the human ecosystem, studying this [...]... Read more »
Wang Y, Devkota S, Musch MW, Jabri B, Nagler C, Antonopoulos DA, Chervonsky A, & Chang EB. (2010) Regional mucosa-associated microbiota determine physiological expression of TLR2 and TLR4 in murine colon. PloS one, 5(10). PMID: 21042588
Today we have a pretty good knowledge of the mechanisms behind chronic pain. This is a presentation of the basic understanding of how chronic pain starts, what causes it and why we most often are not able to see it on x-ray, MRI or other diagnostic procedures despite the fact that the patient are experiencing pain. We comes around allodynia, hyperalgesia, sensitization regulatory pathways and influence of sleep, depression and much more.
We also take a look on what could be wrong with “........ Read more »
Kim Kristiansen. M.D. (2011) The Princess on the Pea – Mechanisms of Chronic Pain. Picture of Pain Blog. info:/http://blog.dolotest.com/2011/07/07/the-princess-on-the-pea-mechanisms-of-chronic-pain/
In addition to the "pulled from the scientific journal headlines" research discussed here, I thought it would be interesting to periodically showcase fascinating research that I read elsewhere. Awesome and interesting research about human health, disease and immunology is everywhere and sometimes, it's written about in a way that is clear, accurate and easy to understand! That last point is exactly what Escaping Anergy is all about: a place to see, interpret, discuss and most im........ Read more »
Cajochen C, Frey S, Anders D, Späti J, Bues M, Pross A, Mager R, Wirz-Justice A, & Stefani O. (2011) Evening exposure to a light-emitting diodes (LED)-backlit computer screen affects circadian physiology and cognitive performance. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 110(5), 1432-8. PMID: 21415172
Jimmy Dugan firmly established that there’s no crying in baseball. But what about in public? In New York City, at some point or another you’re going to encounter a crying person—in fact, you could even be the crier. A few weeks ago, I boarded the subway for a short trip uptown. It was the middle [...]
... Read more »
It turns out there is one more reason extra fat in our diet just isn’t good for you – excess fat can trigger cell suicide. Recently, Jean Schaffer’s group at Washington University have identified a very special RNA that responds to excess fat in the cell.... Read more »
Michel CI, Holley CL, Scruggs BS, Sidhu R, Brookheart RT, Listenberger LL, Behlke MA, Ory DS, & Schaffer JE. (2011) Small Nucleolar RNAs U32a, U33, and U35a Are Critical Mediators of Metabolic Stress. Cell metabolism, 14(1), 33-44. PMID: 21723502
Looking for that extra edge on the basketball court? Want to increase your free throw percentage and gain an extra step in quickness? Is it a new performance enhancing drug or training technique? No, a new study suggests it may be as easy as spending a few extra hours in bed. Cheri Mah and colleagues from Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco recently published their research on sleep and athletic performance in the journal Sleep. They introd........ Read more »
Mah CD, Mah KE, Kezirian EJ, & Dement WC. (2011) The Effects of Sleep Extension on the Athletic Performance of Collegiate Basketball Players. Sleep, 34(7), 943-950. PMID: 21731144
In my previous blog post, I discussed a paper by Ogden and Hills (1) that explores individuals’ perceived triggers of behaviour change and the factors that contribute to maintaining behaviour change over time. But a number of questions remain: are … Continue reading →... Read more »
Ogden J, Stavrinaki M, & Stubbs J. (2009) Understanding the role of life events in weight loss and weight gain. Psychology, health , 14(2), 239-49. PMID: 19235083
As regular readers are well aware, one of the major dilemmas in obesity management is the fact that virtually any attempt at weight loss is counteracted by complex mechanisms that aim to restore the body back to initial weight.
So far, no one has discovered a way to reverse or ‘reset’ this mechanism so that, once [...]... Read more »
Horvath TL, Sarman B, García-Cáceres C, Enriori PJ, Sotonyi P, Shanabrough M, Borok E, Argente J, Chowen JA, Perez-Tilve D.... (2010) Synaptic input organization of the melanocortin system predicts diet-induced hypothalamic reactive gliosis and obesity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(33), 14875-80. PMID: 20679202
Few groups are more hazardous to public health than the anti-vaccine movement – because there’s a body count affiliated with their actions. When vaccination rates drop, communicable diseases re-emerge, and people suffer. While anti-vaccine sentiment will probably persist as long as vaccines are around, we’re fortunate that vaccination rates, on balance, remain very high. In [...]... Read more »
Kennedy A, Lavail K, Nowak G, Basket M, & Landry S. (2011) Confidence about vaccines in the United States: understanding parents' perceptions. Health affairs (Project Hope), 30(6), 1151-9. PMID: 21653969
Cuteness as an evolutionary adaptation
Both Charles Darwin and Konrad Lorenz, the pioneering ethologist, wrote about the appeal of baby faces as a possible adaptive mechanism. They surmised that babies' perceived cuteness could be nature's way of ensuring the little terrors get looked after. Now a team led by Morten Kringelbach and Christine Parsons has shown that men are as motivated by baby faces as women. Kringelbach is the same researcher who a few years ago showed that looking at bab........ Read more »
Parsons, C., Young, K., Kumari, N., Stein, A., & Kringelbach, M. (2011) The Motivational Salience of Infant Faces Is Similar for Men and Women. PLoS ONE, 6(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020632
A quick follow-up to my previous post on automatic metaphor recognition. The paper Automatic Metaphor Recognition Based on Semantic Relation Patterns by Tang et al. challenges the dominant selectional preferences method by substituing their own Semantic Relations Patterns. They point out the problems with Selection Preferences (unfortunately I don't think they solved the problems with their own method, more on that in a bit).Again I'll give the Ling 101, computational linguistics for dummie........ Read more »
Xuri Tang, Weiguang Qu, Xiaohe Chen, & Shiwen Yu. (2010) Automatic Metaphor Recognition Based on Semantic Relation Patterns. International Conference on Asian Language Processing. info:/
Totally tubular! If Bill and Ted had an excellent adventure in the human body, you can be certain that they’d learn about the most excellent tube structures throughout the body. From the veins that carry our blood to the branching tubules in our lungs, tubes are very important structures. A recent paper looks at the role of adhesion proteins during tubule formation.During development, dramatic rearrangements of epithelial sheets results in the formation of branched tubules, as seen in kidne........ Read more »
Jia, L., Liu, F., Hansen, S., ter Beest, M., & Zegers, M. (2011) Distinct roles of cadherin-6 and E-cadherin in tubulogenesis and lumen formation. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 22(12), 2031-2041. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E11-01-0038
The Pith: When it comes to the final outcome of a largely biologically specified trait like human height it looks as if it isn’t just the genes your parents give you that matters. Rather, the relationship of their genes also counts. The more dissimilar they are genetically, the taller you are likely to be (all things equal).
Dienekes points me to an interesting new paper in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Isolation by distance between spouses and its effect on children’........ Read more »
Sławomir Kozieł, Dariusz P. Danel, & Monika Zaręba. (2011) Isolation by distance between spouses and its effect on children's growth in height. American journal of physical anthropology. info:/10.1002/ajpa.21482
A Guide to Improving the Care of Patients with Fragility Fractures From Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation The post World War II Baby Boom generation will reach 65 years old this year. The Baby Boomers encompass an estimated 78 million Americans and are expected to live longer and healthier than preceding generations, due to their [...]... Read more »
Bukata, S., DiGiovanni, B., Friedman, S., Hoyen, H., Kates, A., Kates, S., Mears, S., Mendelson, D., Serna, F., Sieber, F.... (2011) A Guide to Improving the Care of Patients With Fragility Fractures. Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery , 2(1), 5-37. DOI: 10.1177/2151458510397504
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