Post List

  • June 29, 2011
  • 09:56 AM

The protein folding funnel and its discontents

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

Speaking of protein folding, here's something interesting. One of the most enduring views of protein folding from the last decade is that of an "energy funnel". The funnel was invented by the UCSD chemist Peter Wolynes in the 90s (the original paper is highly readable) and essentially depicts a plot of the configurational enthalpy (or effective energy) of the protein on the Y axis vs the configurational entropy on the X axis. In real situations this plot is multidimensional.The funnel suggests ........ Read more »

Karplus, M. (2011) Behind the folding funnel diagram. Nature Chemical Biology, 7(7), 401-404. DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.565  

  • June 29, 2011
  • 09:22 AM

Wait, What? They Did A Study to Find THIS Out?

by Pranab Chatterjee in VagusJournalis

Here is what the authors of a recently published research paper from the esteemed journal Pediatrics have to say about the children watching television in the evening prior to turning in (and especially if the content is violent in nature): Conclusions: Violent content and evening media use were associated with increased sleep problems. However, no such [...]

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... Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 09:00 AM

Mothers’ Experience of Feeding Their Families

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

Despite all advances in gender equality, mothers overwhelmingly remain responsible for putting food on the family table.
Thus, any attempt at changing eating behaviours requires a sound understanding of the factors that determine mothers’ food choices for their families.
This issue is the topic of a study by Joyce Slater and colleagues from the University of Manitoba, [...]... Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 08:48 AM

Follow Up: Systematic Review

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Already some time ago I wrote about Systematic Review, a literature analysis approach that should lead to a well founded overview of a specific research field. Since I left out the history and some insights last time I wanted to extend on my last article here. Continue reading "Follow Up: Systematic Review"
... Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Just because you’re pretty/handsome—don’t count on my vote!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s some research that flies in the face of the common wisdom “what is pretty is good”. Most of us have seen (or heard about) the research that says physically attractive people  tend to make better initial impressions on others. It seems that there is some fine print that goes with that adage, and you [...]

Related posts:I never knew Hitler had three testicles…
“I can see it from both sides”
... Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Old Germs, or Paleomicrobiology

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

This will be the first in a series of posts looking at the technical and practical aspects of studying ancient pathogens, or paleomicrobiology. First let’s look at why its worth spending time, money and a lot of creativity on old germs. There are many reasons why directly studying ancient microbes is worthwhile. From a historical [...]... Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 06:30 AM

Definitely Certain

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Too often we will look at just the rare, but well publicized error. We ignore all of the otherwise overwhelming accuracy. We are frequently far less accurate at assessment than those we condemn.

If we do not measure what we are doing, we probably will be wildly inaccurate in our estimation of our performance.
... Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 05:08 AM

Eagle-Eyed Autism? No.

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

An interesting and refreshing paper from Simon Baron-Cohen's autism group from Cambridge. The results themselves are pretty boring - they found that people with autism have normal vision.But the story behind it is rather spicy.Back in 2009, a Cambridge group - different authors, but led by "SBC", published a report claiming that people with autism have exceptionally acute vision. Their average visual acuity was claimed to be 2.8On this scale, 1.0 is defined as normal, and a sharp-eyed young adul........ Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 04:27 AM

The dark side of swearing - it may deter emotional support from others

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Each culture has its agreed-upon list of taboo words and it doesn't matter how many times these words are repeated, they still seem to retain their power to shock. Scan a human brain, swear at it, and you'll see its emotional centres jangle away.

Recent research has shown that this emotional impact can have an analgesic effect, and there's other evidence that strategically deployed swear words can make a speech more memorable. But it's not all positive. A new study suggests that swear words hav........ Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 01:31 AM

REPOST: Dopamine and Reward Prediction, or your brain on Rickroll

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Today Sci is going to blog a paper that she has been meaning to blog for a long time. It's one of those papers that people who do certain kinds of science snuggle with when they go to sleep at night. (Sci and this paper) But the real reason that Sci loves this paper is [...]... Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 12:33 AM

Chaco before Chaco: The Basketmaker III Period

by teofilo in Gambler's House

The Basketmaker III period (ca. AD 500 to 750) is a very important time for understanding the prehistoric Southwest.  Maize agriculture had been introduced earlier, although exactly how early is still a matter of debate, and it was definitely well-established by the immediately preceding Basketmaker II period, but Basketmaker III saw the introduction of beans, [...]... Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 12:20 AM

Promising results from a graded retraining programme in chronic back pain

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

TweetReduction in pain and disability with a graded sensorimotor retraining program in chronic back pain Our team recently returned home from Darwin, where we all attended the Australian Pain Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting.  We all presented some of our work up there and had a lot of fun while we were at it.  I presented [...]... Read more »

  • June 28, 2011
  • 10:20 PM

The Origin of Modern Biodiversity: Coevolution of Flowers and Insects

by Marc in Teaching Biology

For PDFs of this entire talk series, click here! [17.62MB rar file with 6 PDFs] This talk is split into two major parts: the first will look at the general fossil record of insects, and the second will introduce the flowering plants and their interactions with insects. Due to the constructive feedback received in the [...]... Read more »

Rust, J., Singh, H., Rana, R., McCann, T., Singh, L., Anderson, K., Sarkar, N., Nascimbene, P., Stebner, F., Thomas, J.... (2010) Biogeographic and evolutionary implications of a diverse paleobiota in amber from the early Eocene of India. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(43), 18360-18365. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1007407107  

Friedhelm Eichmann. (2003) Aus dem Leben im Bernsteinwald. Arbeitskreis Paläontologie Hannover, 31(4), 89-94. info:/

  • June 28, 2011
  • 06:16 PM

JAMA on 60s Psychedelic Drug Culture

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

An amusing semi-anthropological study was published in JAMA by Ludwig and Levine in 1965. It was based on extensive interviews with 27 "postnarcotic drug addict inpatients" who were treated at a hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. The specific drugs of interest included peyote (from the peyotl cactus plant), mescaline, LSD, and psilocybin. The current availability of each drug, most popular methods of intake, slang terms, psychoactive properties, and subcultural norms were discussed. Hallucinogens ........ Read more »

LUDWIG AM, & LEVINE J. (1965) PATTERNS OF HALLUCINOGENIC DRUG ABUSE. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 92-6. PMID: 14233246  

  • June 28, 2011
  • 05:00 PM

Is your crappy boyfriend stressing you out? You are not alone…

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Stuck in a bad relationship are you?  Join the club.  Many members of the animal kingdom are ‘doing it’ with mediocre mates on a daily basis for a variety of reasons including the lack of ability to find someone better, forced copulations, social protocols and much more.  But have you ever considered that hooking up [...]... Read more »

  • June 28, 2011
  • 05:00 PM

Increase in number of eating occasions, more than increases in food portion sizes or energy density per meal responsible for increased energy intake at the population level?

by Colby in

We know by now that an increase in calorie consumption since the 1970s by about 500 Calories per day for Americans is primarily fueling obesity.  Physical activity decline at the population level is a lesser contributor (and it is contentious … Continue reading →... Read more »

Duffey KJ, & Popkin BM. (2011) Energy Density, Portion Size, and Eating Occasions: Contributions to Increased Energy Intake in the United States. PLoS Med. info:/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001050

  • June 28, 2011
  • 04:49 PM

Mesozoic Vertebrates

by Marc in Teaching Biology

For PDFs of this entire talk series, click here! [17.62MB rar file with 6 PDFs] We will now look at the aftermath of the P-T Extinction on terrestrial vertebrate life, in other words look at what the vertebrates of the Mesozoic were like. The most famous representatives are, of course, the dinosaurs, so we will [...]... Read more »

Sander, P., Christian, A., Clauss, M., Fechner, R., Gee, C., Griebeler, E., Gunga, H., Hummel, J., Mallison, H., Perry, S.... (2011) Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism. Biological Reviews, 86(1), 117-155. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.2010.00137.x  

  • June 28, 2011
  • 03:31 PM

Impact Factor Boxing 2011

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

[This post is part of an ongoing series about impact factors] Well it’s that time again. The annual sweaty fist-fight for supremacy between the scientific journals, as measured by impact factors, is upon us. Much ink (virtual and actual) has been spilt on the subject of impact factors, which we won’t add to here, other [...]... Read more »

  • June 28, 2011
  • 03:19 PM

Persistent Insomnia in Depression Responding to Antidepressants

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Sleep problems commonly occur as part of a problem with mood disorders including depression.  Changes in sleep duration (insomnia or hypersomnia) are one of the criteria for the diagnosis of depression in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  Although not absolutely required for the diagnosis, insomnia is a complaint in the the majority of subjects presenting for clinical trials in the treatment of depression.The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SS........ Read more »

  • June 28, 2011
  • 02:16 PM

Could you hack a night shift?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

It’s 5 am and you feel like death. Eight hours down and you’ve still got four more to go. With a mind like sludge, a phone rings and you need to sound attentive and informed. This isn’t going to be easy. Me – I hate night shifts. Hours of dark, unrewarding loneliness accompanied with the … Continue reading »... Read more »

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