Post List

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:38 AM

Lessons of Dodge Ball: Pay Attention and Keep Your Hands Up

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

If you have ever had the luxury of participating in a good old fashioned game of dodge ball in gym class or just happen to a fan of the movie DodgeBall, you are probably aware that keeping your hands ready to catch a ball is key to staying in the game.  You may not look as [...]... Read more »

Reed, C., Betz, R., Garza, J., & Roberts, R. (2009) Grab it! Biased attention in functional hand and tool space. Attention, Perception , 72(1), 236-245. DOI: 10.3758/APP.72.1.236  

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:32 AM

Did I mention that Caperea is really, really weird?

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

The recent discussion of Caperea's skeletal morphology (Caperea = Pygmy right whale) inspired Joy Reidenberg to send these photos of a Caperea skeleton, taken in New Zealand and used here with her permission.

In this view of the whale's thoracic region (we're standing beneath the whale, looking up into its ribcage), you can see that the transverse processes (the wing-shaped structures that project from both sides of each vertebra) are proportionally huge: so big that many of them overlap. ........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:30 AM

Dietary nitrate ameliorates metabolic syndrome in mice

by Colby in

I became interested in nitrate because early studies have been consistently showing that it may improve exercise performance by lowering the oxygen cost of exercise, and this research is in humans.  Reading through other literature, it seems there is a paradigm … Continue reading →... Read more »

Carlström M, Larsen FJ, Nyström T, Hezel M, Borniquel S, Weitzberg E, & Lundberg JO. (2010) Dietary inorganic nitrate reverses features of metabolic syndrome in endothelial nitric oxide synthase-deficient mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(41), 17716-20. PMID: 20876122  

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:20 AM

Should you try online jury research?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I mean really. How do you know who is out there as your sample mock jury? There are a number of companies offering online jury research these days. And, as they say, it’s cheaper, it’s fast, and it gives you a window into the potential reactions to your case. Obviously, we have some bias about [...]

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  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Gender Differences in Trauma and Addictions

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

This week, I am attending a Scientific Symposium called “Recovery From Addiction“, organised as part of the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative of the Norlien Foundation. My interest in this meeting (where, for once, I am not a speaker on the program), comes from the close links between mental health, addictions and obesity that I regularly [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Grampa Hagfish: say hello to your greatest uncle

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

Image from
Today is Hagfish Day! Who knew?
What is a hagfish?
Hagfish are primitive eel-like chordates make famous for their relative unattractiveness*, profuse production of slime, and charismatic ability to tie themselves in knots. They are perhaps the only ‘fish’ that possesses a skull, but no vertebral column. But the question “What is a hagfish?” goes [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 07:48 AM

Number Needed to Ban: a new tool for calculating the benefits of banning particular dog breeds

by The Dog Zombie in The Dog Zombie

A study published this month in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association (JAVMA) takes on the issue of whether breed-specific legislation (BSL) is effective. BSL is a tool used by some communities to attempt to reduce injuries from dog bites. The idea is that particular breeds of dogs are responsible for more than their share of injuries, so banning or otherwise controlling those breeds will result in a reduction in injuries. The group of breeds collectively known as “pit bulls” re........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 06:33 AM

The Matthew Effect Strikes Again

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

The new Bornmann, de Moya Anegón and Leydesdorff paper, published in PLOS ONE, shows that highly cited papers tend to reference other highly cited papers more often. That is true especially for the life science and health science disciplines. Ms. Corbyn from Nature News saved me the need to summarize the paper by writing an excellent article about it. Based on their findings, Bornmann et al. suggested to concentrate funding on already highly-cited researchers and research groups ("A concentrati........ Read more »

Bornmann, L., de Moya Anegón, F., & Leydesdorff, L. (2010) Do Scientific Advancements Lean on the Shoulders of Giants? A Bibliometric Investigation of the Ortega Hypothesis. PLOS ONE, 5(10). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0013327

  • October 20, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Trick of the trade: Face mask ventilation in edentulous patients

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

Can you imagine trying to bag-valve-mask ventilating this patient without teeth? Edentulous patients can cause BVM problems because air tends to leak out the sides of the mouth, because the cheeks don't contact the mask as well. You can do a jaw-thrust and/or place an oropharyngeal airway to help. What else can you do?Trick of the trade:"Lower lip" face mask repositioningReposition the mask more superiorly to improve the BVM seal. Normally the inferior edge of the mask sites between the lower li........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 05:38 AM

You Read It Here First...Again

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A couple of months ago I pointed out that a Letter published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, critiquing a certain paper about antidepressants, made very similar points to the ones that I did in my blog post about the paper. The biggest difference was that my post came out 9 months sooner.Well, it's happened again. Except I was only 3 months ahead this time. Remember my post Clever New Scheme, criticizing a study which claimed to have found a brilliant way of deciding which antidepressan........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

The rehabilitation aim of probation officers at odds with UK Government punishment agenda

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Attitudes and beliefs of trainee probation officers: A ‘new breed’? From Probation Journal In recent years the UK Government has been placing less emphasis on the idea of probation as a form of rehabilitation, instead re-framing it as ‘punishment in the community,’ with a focus on protecting the public. It has promoted the idea that [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 05:29 AM

Genetic watersheds on the Great Himalayas

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

One of the great geological landmarks on earth are the Himalayas. Not only are the Himalayas of importance in the domain of physical geography, but they are important in human geography as well. Just as South Asians and non-South Asians agree that the valley of the Indus and its tributaries bound the west of the [...]... Read more »

Shilpi Aggarwal, Sapna Negi, Pankaj Jha, Prashant K. Singh, Tsering Stobdan, M. A. Qadar Pasha, Saurabh Ghosh, Anurag Agrawal, Indian Genome Variation Consortium, Bhavana Prasher.... (2010) EGLN1 involvement in high-altitude adaptation revealed through genetic analysis of extreme constitution types defined in Ayurveda . PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1006108107

  • October 20, 2010
  • 05:20 AM

Speakers with a foreign accent are perceived as less credible - and not just because of prejudice

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Speakers with a foreign accent are perceived as less believable than native speakers. A new study shows this isn't just because of prejudice towards 'outsiders'. It also has to do with the fluency effect, one manifestation of which is our tendency to assume that how easily a message is processed is a mark of its truthfulness. The effort required to understand an accented utterance means that the same fact is judged as less credible when uttered by an accented speaker, compared with a native spea........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 04:15 AM

Jean Baptiste Lamarck: Founder of Lamarckian Evolution

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

From the outset of this post, it must be noted by The Editor, that this blog wholly acknowledges and supports Darwin's Theory of Evolution. Furthermore, this article is not intended to question Darwin's work or theory, or the masses of fossil evidence, and DNA evidence that further supports his theory. Ergo, any comments of an aggressive or distasteful nature shall be removed, especially if contributors attempt to bring the debate of religion vs science into this domain.This article shall e........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 03:33 AM

Critical mass or is mass critical?

by Shaun Hendy in A Measure of Science

In research and development, it’s often taken for granted that teams require a certain critical mass to be successful.  Indeed, in a recent paper [1] two European researchers claim to have seen the effects of critical mass in the UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and its French equivalent (HT: Mark Wilson).  However, I think that [...]... Read more »

Kenna, R., & Berche, B. (2010) The extensive nature of group quality. EPL (Europhysics Letters), 90(5), 58002. DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/90/58002  

  • October 20, 2010
  • 12:23 AM

Critiquing LaPlant et al, in Nature Neuroscience, Part 3: The spines and the depression

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Welcome to part 3 in the series of my coverage of LaPlant, et al. 2010. It’s been a long day, and Sci is TIRED. She just ran a 13 hour experiment, and boy is she wiped. But she is also DEVOTED. And also has her teeth well into this paper, and refuses to let go [...]... Read more »

LaPlant Q, Vialou V, Covington HE 3rd, Dumitriu D, Feng J, Warren BL, Maze I, Dietz DM, Watts EL, Iñiguez SD.... (2010) Dnmt3a regulates emotional behavior and spine plasticity in the nucleus accumbens. Nature neuroscience, 13(9), 1137-43. PMID: 20729844  

  • October 19, 2010
  • 11:52 PM

How Prozac works

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The tightly regulated balance between secretion and removal of neurotransmitters is not functioning properly in certain mental conditions like bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression. Neurotransmitters are signaling molecules used to transmit messages between neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters affected in depression and similar disorders. The most common class of [...]... Read more »

Baudry A, Mouillet-Richard S, Schneider B, Launay JM, & Kellermann O. (2010) miR-16 targets the serotonin transporter: a new facet for adaptive responses to antidepressants. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5998), 1537-41. PMID: 20847275  

  • October 19, 2010
  • 11:28 PM

The Wednesday Post (20/10/2010)

by thomastu in Disease Prone

Love is the drug and I need to score It’s long been known that love acts as an intoxicant. As I look through my iTunes playlist, I find Fiona Apple telling me she wants me like a drug, Roxy Music needing to score some love, a girlshapedlovedrug messing with Gomez’s mind, and Cypress Hill loving [...]... Read more »

  • October 19, 2010
  • 09:28 PM

Here We Go Again: BDNF Gating of Cocaine Use

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Scientists have characterized specific changes in dopamine receptor signaling accompanied by increased cocaine-seeking discovered by knocking an important component of the BDNF signaling cascade, ... Read more »

Lobo MK, Covington HE 3rd, Chaudhury D, Friedman AK, Sun H, Damez-Werno D, Dietz DM, Zaman S, Koo JW, Kennedy PJ.... (2010) Cell type-specific loss of BDNF signaling mimics optogenetic control of cocaine reward. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6002), 385-90. PMID: 20947769  

  • October 19, 2010
  • 05:33 PM

Evolution: The Curious Case of Dogs [Observations of a Nerd]

by Christie Wilcox in Food Matters

I'm going to be coming out with a new post in my Evolution series later this week, but in the meantime, for those of you haven't seen them, I'm reposting my first two Evolution posts, beginning with the one that started the series: The Curious Case of Dogs.

Man's best friend is much more than a household companion - for centuries, artificial selection in dogs has made them prime examples of the possibilities of evolution. A century and a half ago, Charles Darwin recognized how the incredibly di........ Read more »

Akey, J., Ruhe, A., Akey, D., Wong, A., Connelly, C., Madeoy, J., Nicholas, T., & Neff, M. (2010) Tracking footprints of artificial selection in the dog genome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(3), 1160-1165. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909918107  

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