Post List

  • September 6, 2011
  • 02:58 PM

Latest Research Shows That Clouds Do NOT Cause Global Warming

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

The question of whether clouds are the cause of global warming has been settled:

No, they are not. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • September 6, 2011
  • 11:58 AM

Freedom to Riot: On the Evolution of Collective Violence

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

From London to the Middle East riots have shaken political stability. Are the answers to be found in human nature? Police cars were overturned and shops looted as the mob descended on the city’s central square. Rioters tore the police station’s outer door off its hinges and “used it as a battering ram” to break [...]

... Read more »

Marco Lagi, Karla Z. Bertrand, & Yaneer Bar-Yam. (2011) The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East. New England Complex Systems Institute. arXiv: 1108.2455v1

  • September 6, 2011
  • 11:19 AM

How Golf Practice Changes the Brain

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Neuroscience research provides increased understanding of how behavior and specific activities change the brain.  This type of research underscores the concept of neuroplasticity--that our brains change in response to how it is used on a daily basis.One area of research in neuroplasticity is the effect of specific cognitive and motor behavior on brain structure.  A novel study published in The Journal of Neuroscience examined the effect of golf practice on brain structure.  Bezzol........ Read more »

Bezzola L, Mérillat S, Gaser C, & Jäncke L. (2011) Training-induced neural plasticity in golf novices. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(35), 12444-8. PMID: 21880905  

  • September 6, 2011
  • 10:48 AM

Quantum Computing with Microwaves

by Chad Orzel in Uncertain Principles

It's been a while since I did any ResearchBlogging, first because I was trying to get some papers of my own written, and then because I was frantically preparing for my classes this term (which start Wednesday). I've piled up a number of articles worth writing up in that time, including two papers from an early-August issue of Nature, on advances in experimental quantum computation (the first is available as a free pdf because it was done at NIST, and thus is not copyrightable). These were also ........ Read more »

Ospelkaus, C., Warring, U., Colombe, Y., Brown, K., Amini, J., Leibfried, D., & Wineland, D. (2011) Microwave quantum logic gates for trapped ions. Nature, 476(7359), 181-184. DOI: 10.1038/nature10290  

Timoney, N., Baumgart, I., Johanning, M., Varón, A., Plenio, M., Retzker, A., & Wunderlich, C. (2011) Quantum gates and memory using microwave-dressed states. Nature, 476(7359), 185-188. DOI: 10.1038/nature10319  

  • September 6, 2011
  • 10:42 AM

No Blank Slate (Part 1): In Opening, Treat Your Jurors as Motivated Reasoners

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

The Plaintiff's opening statement in the medical malpractice trial began predictably: This is a case about "incompetence," and "arrogance," and "dangerous decisions," jurors heard. But rather than fostering even an initial leaning against the doctor, this message brought about a defensive response. Jurors were left feeling that all their stereotypes about medical lawsuits and plaintiff attorneys were confirmed, and as they listened, they generated responses, reasoning that "doctors are only h........ Read more »

  • September 6, 2011
  • 08:38 AM

Article Review: Leptospira and Leptospirosis

by Austin Bouck in Animal Science Review

Discussion and review of article from Veterinary Microbiology.... Read more »

Adler, B., & de la Peña Moctezuma, A. (2010) Leptospira and leptospirosis. Veterinary Microbiology, 140(3-4), 287-296. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2009.03.012  

  • September 6, 2011
  • 06:00 AM

The genetics of being thin

by Suzanne Elvidge in Genome Engineering

There’s always a lot in the media about obesity – whether its nature or nurture – and researchers have linked a number of different genes to increased weight. Being extremely thin can be as harmful to health as being extremely overweight, and researchers have linked duplication of a group of 28 genes to extreme thinness.... Read more »

Jacquemont, S., Reymond, A., Zufferey, F., Harewood, L., Walters, R., Kutalik, Z., Martinet, D., Shen, Y., Valsesia, A., Beckmann, N.... (2011) Mirror extreme BMI phenotypes associated with gene dosage at the chromosome 16p11.2 locus. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature10406  

Walters, R., Jacquemont, S., Valsesia, A., de Smith, A., Martinet, D., Andersson, J., Falchi, M., Chen, F., Andrieux, J., Lobbens, S.... (2010) A new highly penetrant form of obesity due to deletions on chromosome 16p11.2. Nature, 463(7281), 671-675. DOI: 10.1038/nature08727  

  • September 5, 2011
  • 09:16 PM

Evolution of Fruit Shape in Tomato

by Matthew DiLeo in The Scientist Gardener

Someday you'll be able to use CAD software to draw up what you want a plant to look like and the software (containing detailed growth models) will tell you what genetic constructs you need to bring it into the world...

But for now we barely understand how natural morphological variation is controlled. So I was excited to see this paper out of the van der Knaap and Francis labs. In it, they review some of the known levers by which tomato plants control fruit shape and investigate their historica........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2011
  • 08:55 PM

Levey's Living Kidney Donor Transplantation in the US, part I

by in Living Donors Are People Too

It's that time again, where I don't just read a recently published academic article, but dissect it and examine its tiny little pieces. From the abstract: Our perspective is that altruism is the motivation for most living kidney donors and the decision to donate represents a shared responsibility among the donor, the donor’s physician, and the team of professionals at the transplant center. Thus, sound knowledge of the benefits and risks to donors and recipients is required for informed decisi........ Read more »

Levey AS, Danovitch G, & Hou S. (2011) Living donor kidney transplantation in the United States-looking back, looking forward. American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation, 58(3), 343-8. PMID: 21783290  

  • September 5, 2011
  • 06:04 PM

The Psychology of Attraction: Fear

by Livia Blackburne in A Brain Scientist's Take on Writing

Happy Labor Day! If you haven't looked at the comments in my critique styles post, take a look. People have left quite a few amusing comments. Also, I forgot to mention  that the five profiles I posted are actually caricatures of the five members of my critique group. Can you guess which one is me?

I've been reading some articles on the psychology of attraction and thought it'd be interesting to write about ways to attract the opposite sex. As writers, our interest in this is of course str........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2011
  • 05:25 PM

No Bull: The Mithras Cult & Christianity

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

In his 1880 Hibbert Lecture on the history of early Christianity, Ernest Renan commented: “I sometimes permit myself to say that, if Christianity had not carried the day, Mithraicism would have become the religion of the world.” While it is doubtful that a Persian-influenced mystery cult that appealed primarily to Roman soldiers, officials, and aristocrats [...]... Read more »

  • September 5, 2011
  • 04:36 PM

How Risky is your Company?

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Today I picked a special article on corporate risks. “How Risky is your Company?” by Robert Simons of the Harvard Business School. Its a more business oriented view on how companies should handle risks, internally. But since internal risk management can be seen as a part of supply chain risk management, I also include it here.... Read more »

Simons, R. (1999) How Risky is your Company?. Harvard Business Review, 85-94. info:/

  • September 5, 2011
  • 04:20 PM

More than just calories

by Rebecca Nesbit in The birds, the bees and feeding the world

In today’s population of just over 7 billion people, more than 900 million are undernourished and over 2 billion have nutrient deficiencies, yet over 1 billion adults are overweight. Lots of work has gone on to address the problems of undernourishment and obesity, but the problem of nutrient deficiency has taken second place.

... Read more »

Remans R, Flynn DF, DeClerck F, Diru W, Fanzo J, Gaynor K, Lambrecht I, Mudiope J, Mutuo PK, Nkhoma P.... (2011) Assessing nutritional diversity of cropping systems in African villages. PloS one, 6(6). PMID: 21698127  

  • September 5, 2011
  • 01:53 PM

Cradle of Cholera’s Seventh Pandemic Found

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

Cholera is a disease of seemingly endless fascination to epidemiologists for good reason. Vibrio cholerae emerged on a global stage in the 19th century just in time for the beginnings of modern medicine to grapple with it and for its transmission to prove the worth of epidemiological work. Although we understand its treatment and transmission [...]... Read more »

Safa, A., Nair, G., & Kong, R. (2010) Evolution of new variants of Vibrio cholerae O1. Trends in Microbiology, 18(1), 46-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.tim.2009.10.003  

  • September 5, 2011
  • 01:24 PM

Can brain trauma cause cognitive enhancement?

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

Another post inspired by Quora. Someone asked the question: "Can brain trauma cause cognitive enhancement?".Obviously this topic is dear to me, so I felt compelled to answer.(Read previously on my TEDx talk, my Neuron paper on functional recovery after stroke, my PNAS paper on working memory network deficits after stroke, why we don't need a brain, and my discussion of Rep. Grabrielle Giffords' brain surgery).The full response to the Quora question is below.*****Maybe! But most likely only in ve........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2011
  • 10:21 AM

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Taste Hotsprings

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

The Zuker lab recently reported the existence of taste hotspots in gustatory cortex. I go through the paper, and look at what that means.... Read more »

Chen X, Gabitto M, Peng Y, Ryba NJ, & Zuker CS. (2011) A gustotopic map of taste qualities in the mammalian brain. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6047), 1262-6. PMID: 21885776  

  • September 5, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

How much should we trust job applicant ratings of their own emotional intelligence?

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

Self-rating is a popular way to measure emotional intelligence in the workplace. Under lab conditions it's been shown that these ratings vary depending on what your (imaginary) objective is: to give a 'true' picture or to successfully win a job. A new study translates this lab finding to the workplace, finding that applicants for jobs really do rate themselves higher on EI than counterparts already working in that organisation.

The study compared scores for 109 job applicants with 239 volunteer........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Taste Hotsprings

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

I haven't done many walkalongs about new papers, so let's review a new paper from Charles Zuker's lab.

Trail Prep

First, two pieces of background. There are two diametrically opposed theories of taste coding. The "labeled line" theory states that each taste quality (sweet, salty, bitter, etc.) is encoded by a single cell type, and individual cells respond to single taste qualities. In contrast,... Read more »

Chen X, Gabitto M, Peng Y, Ryba NJ, & Zuker CS. (2011) A gustotopic map of taste qualities in the mammalian brain. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6047), 1262-6. PMID: 21885776  

  • September 5, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Hot hazy weather, violent behavior and the expert witness

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s really hot right now in Texas. We are in extreme drought. This weekend things became heated on my neighborhood email list when someone asked if our HOA had relaxed standards since so many lawns were brown. Multiple others took offense. Finally, someone recommended a cool glass of water for everyone. What’s amusing is that [...]

Related posts:When cross-examination [of the expert witness] offends
But, your honor! That witness was drunk!
The Jury Expert for May 2010 is uploaded
... Read more »

  • September 5, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

September 5, 2011

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

When you hear the word “angiogenesis,” do you start hissing? Many of us associate angiogenesis with tumors on their way to becoming malignant cancer. Well, if it weren’t for angiogenesis, we’d all be in trouble. Angiogenesis is the formation of blood vessels from pre-existing ones, and is a key process during development.

Blood vessels are the tubular structures that transport all of the good stuff in our blood. The formation of blood vessels depends on angiogenesis, the process in ........ Read more »

Zygmunt, T., Gay, C., Blondelle, J., Singh, M., Flaherty, K., Means, P., Herwig, L., Krudewig, A., Belting, H., Affolter, M.... (2011) Semaphorin-PlexinD1 Signaling Limits Angiogenic Potential via the VEGF Decoy Receptor sFlt1. Developmental Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.06.033  

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