Post List

  • October 11, 2010
  • 12:23 AM
  • 574 views

Does ecology tell us that some species are worth more than others?

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

I just read a great paper by Michael Soulé et. al. discussing the management implications some ideas in ecology that have outpaced environmental policy.
The authors, a mix of ecologists and conservationists,  argue that some species, which they call "strongly interacting species," deserve higher priority in conservation because of their unique roles in ecosystems.  These species have gone by many names in the ecological literature, including "keystone species," and "ecosystem en........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2010
  • 11:47 PM
  • 340 views

A review to read and enjoy

by Kasra Hassani in The Parasite Diary

Posted by Kasra Hassani I am appointed to do a review paper for a ‘Reading and Conference’ course on Fungi. I chose the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus as the focus of my review. Having studied only on Trypanosomes and innate immune cells so far, my background in mycology is close to zero. So I decided to start from [...]... Read more »

Bennett JW. (2009) Aspergillus: a primer for the novice. Medical mycology : official publication of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. PMID: 19253144  

  • October 10, 2010
  • 10:33 PM
  • 1,321 views

New study out of Norway: calling mammograms into question

by Science Exploiter in Science Exploits

A new study came out of Norway and appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine recently, casting doubt on the benefit of mammograms.  It analyzed data on over 40,000 women, aged 50-69yrs, over a nine year period, and found that mammographic screening alone accounts for a modest 10% decrease in breast cancer death.Based on these results, some naysayers may want to denounce the use of regular mammograms to help the battle against breast cancer.  But I would disagree.  As with an........ Read more »

Mette Kalager, M.D., Marvin Zelen, Ph.D., Frøydis Langmark, M.D., & Hans-Olov Adami, M.D., Ph.D. (2010) Effect of Screening Mammography on Breast-Cancer Mortality in Norway. NEJM, 1203-1210. info:/

  • October 10, 2010
  • 10:21 PM
  • 452 views

Why the Brain Shouldn't Have Ben&Jerrys Everyday

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A new study found that heavier individuals have reduced dopamine receptor densities that cause them to overeat and to have a less sensitive sweet tooth. ... Read more »

Stice E, Yokum S, Blum K, & Bohon C. (2010) Weight gain is associated with reduced striatal response to palatable food. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(39), 13105-9. PMID: 20881128  

  • October 10, 2010
  • 09:40 PM
  • 741 views

Are autistic people natural born criminals?

by Michelle Dawson in The Autism Crisis

Associations between autism and notorious violent crimes are easy to find--they seem almost automatic. Here is one example, and another, and one more. There seems to be an entire book on this theme, though I haven't read it.In the scientific literature, you can find powerful deficit models of autism at work in predictions that autistics should disproportionately be violent and prone to criminal behavior. For decades now, examples and claims (just a few here, here, here, here) fitting this predic........ Read more »

Hippler, K., Viding, E., Klicpera, C., & Happé, F. (2009) Brief Report: No Increase in Criminal Convictions in Hans Asperger’s Original Cohort. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(6), 774-780. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0917-y  

  • October 10, 2010
  • 06:15 PM
  • 642 views

Isolating G-quadruplex Nucleic Acids from Human Cells

by Michael Long in Phased

Raphael Rodriguez, Shankar Balasubramanian (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom), and coworkers have isolated DNA, in a specific type of folding arrangement important to intracellular physiology, from human cells. This news feature was written on October 10, 2010.... Read more »

Müller, S., Kumari, S., Rodriguez, R., & Balasubramanian, S. (2010) Small-molecule-mediated G-quadruplex isolation from human cells. Nature Chemistry. DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.842  

  • October 10, 2010
  • 06:01 PM
  • 839 views

A new and better way of classifying and managing risks?

by Jan Husdal in husdal.com

Risk. The probability of an event occuring and the consequences of the event occuring. Does it have to be like that or is there a different, or perhaps even a better way? [ ... ]... Read more »

  • October 10, 2010
  • 05:42 PM
  • 441 views

Psycasm - How to trick yourself creative

by Rift in Psycasm



[Wherein our hero explores how best to overcome a creative impasse, and how best to generate insight to a variety of problems]
 
There are things considered by some (and sometimes many) to be enjoyable which I just do not understand.
 

Doing Burnouts
Eating Chocolate
Riding Rollercoasters

Then there are somethings which I find enjoyable, which many might walk away; (read more)

Source: Rift - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »

  • October 10, 2010
  • 05:02 PM
  • 944 views

GM corn helps farmers who don't use it

by Matthew DiLeo in The Scientist Gardener

Everyone's been waiting for long-term studies of GM crops - and now we have one!The European corn borer was accidentally released in the U.S. in 1917. In recent years, it's managed to cost farmers $1 billion each year. Transgenic Bt corn was introduced in 1996, largely in order to deal with this pest. Thanks to the enthusiastic adoption of farmers, over 60% of U.S. corn now contains the ... Read more »

W. D. Hutchison,1,* E. C. Burkness,1 P. D. Mitchell,2 R. D. Moon,1 T. W. Leslie,3 S. J. Fleischer,4 M. Abrahamson,5 K. L. Hamilton,6 K. L. Steffey,7, M. E. Gray,7 R. L. Hellmich,8 L. V. Kaster,9 T. E. Hunt,10 R. J. Wright,11 K. Pecinovsky,12 T. L. Rabaey,. (2010) Areawide Suppression of European Corn Borer with Bt Maize Reaps Savings to Non-Bt Maize Growers. Science, 330(6001), 222-225. info:/

  • October 10, 2010
  • 11:51 AM
  • 1,767 views

Twisting light into a Möbius strip

by gg in Skulls in the Stars

Some months ago, I wrote a post introducing the subfield of optics known as singular optics.  Singular optics is concerned with the behavior of wavefields in the neighborhood of regions where the intensity of the wave is zero, and the … Continue reading →... Read more »

Freund I. (2010) Multitwist optical Möbius strips. Optics letters, 35(2), 148-50. PMID: 20081950  

  • October 10, 2010
  • 10:36 AM
  • 1,101 views

The Onion on two Nobel Prizes

by David Kroll in Take As Directed

Upon hearing that Robert Edwards won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine last Monday for the biological studies and medical implementation of in vitro fertilization, an inkling of cynic in me thought about how this advance primarily serves the relatively wealthy nations of the world.
Not that this is terribly different from any other medicine prize that recognizes contributions to the richest segment of society. For example, malaria has not been the subject of the prize since 1902 and 190........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2010
  • 10:35 AM
  • 805 views

Pavlovsk’s potato problems

by Jeremy in The Vaviblog

A paper published earlier this year used the historic potato collections assembled at the Pavlvosk Experiment Station to shed light on the confused and confusing taxonomy of potatoes. The good news is that the conclusions of the paper “are very similar to other recent studies of cultivated species, and show the need to reclassify the [...]... Read more »

Gavrilenko, T., Antonova, O., Ovchinnikova, A., Novikova, L., Krylova, E., Mironenko, N., Pendinen, G., Islamshina, A., Shvachko, N., Kiru, S.... (2010) A microsatellite and morphological assessment of the Russian National cultivated potato collection. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. DOI: 10.1007/s10722-010-9554-8  

  • October 10, 2010
  • 09:22 AM
  • 881 views

Walking with bacteria

by geekheartsscience in geek!

They swim, they swarm, they twitch and glide…they even ride on comet tails, and now it seems that bacteria can ‘walk’ as Maxsim Gibiansky and colleagues demonstrate in their short but sweet research published in Science. Gibiansky et al. studied the behaviour of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria that is ordinarily found in soil and water, [...]... Read more »

Gibiansky, M., Conrad, J., Jin, F., Gordon, V., Motto, D., Mathewson, M., Stopka, W., Zelasko, D., Shrout, J., & Wong, G. (2010) Bacteria Use Type IV Pili to Walk Upright and Detach from Surfaces. Science, 330(6001), 197-197. DOI: 10.1126/science.1194238  

  • October 10, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 443 views

Translational Neuroscience – Untapped Potential for Education and Policy

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Recent decades have seen extraordinary advances in the fields of neuroscience, molecular biology, genetics, psychology, and cognitive science. In particular, the National Institutes of Health called the last 10 years of the 20th century the “Decade of the Brain.” Aside from the scientific advances made during that time, government agencies, foundations, and professional organizations put [...]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2010
  • 11:04 PM
  • 1,099 views

Testosterone Made Me Gay!

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Research by Bao and Swabb (2010), which leans pretty heavily on testosterone's alleged, determinative role in sexual orientation, gender identity, psychopathology,and paedophilia, etc. In staking their considerable claims, the authors dismiss the role of social context on such aforementioned behaviours.... Read more »

Bao AM, & Swaab DF. (2010) Sex differences in the brain, behavior, and neuropsychiatric disorders. The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry, 16(5), 550-65. PMID: 20889965  

  • October 9, 2010
  • 07:30 AM
  • 769 views

Suicide in American colleges - the importance of existential well being

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

In the past couple of posts I've taken a look at new studies that are exploring the complex relationship between religion and suicide. In general, religious people have lower suicide rates, and these are helping to shed light on why, and also why the relationship is not as straightforward as it sometimes seems.

That's the case too, for this third and final recent study on this topic. It examined suicidal feelings among US college students - a critically important issue given that suicide is the........ Read more »

Taliaferro LA, Rienzo BA, Pigg RM Jr, Miller MD, & Dodd VJ. (2009) Spiritual well-being and suicidal ideation among college students. Journal of American college health : J of ACH, 58(1), 83-90. PMID: 19592357  

  • October 9, 2010
  • 04:51 AM
  • 971 views

Friston and Freud

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts


I have liked Friston’s ideas for some time, so what a shock it is to find him defending Freudian ideas. Naïve me, I thought that Freud’s model was dead in the water. Why? It is untested, does not fit with current evidence and, further, is probably untestable therefore not good science. It fails the Occam’s [...]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2010
  • 04:44 AM
  • 586 views

Character In The Walk

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

To some extent, the way we carry ourselves does speak volumes. Non-Verbal Communication (NVC) often plays a larger role in socialisation than we realise, and we often gain a lot of information about someone through body pose and facial expression. Do you ever notice friends and family, or people in the street carry themselves in a particular manner, or do you think it's just Quackery? The article asserts that there are 12 Characteristics of the Walk. Unfortunately, it is uncl........ Read more »

Wells, SR. (1896) Characteristic In The Walk. The Illustrated Annuals of Phrenology , 8-11. info:/

  • October 8, 2010
  • 09:10 PM
  • 888 views

Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter


Long time readers will know how perverse and socially inappropriate the unseemly sea squirt is. But there is an interesting property of sea squirt pornography and local oceanography that may have consequences in the debates surrounding marine reserve design. Castillo and colleagues examined the spawning behavior of intertidal tunicates (Pyura praeputialis, an invasive) . . . → Read More: Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex... Read more »

Castilla, J., Manriquez, P., Delgado, A., Gargallo, L., Leiva, A., & Radic, D. (2007) Bio-foam enhances larval retention in a free-spawning marine tunicate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(46), 18120-18122. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708233104  

  • October 8, 2010
  • 09:10 PM
  • 1,779 views

Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Long time readers will know how perverse and socially inappropriate the unseemly sea squirt is. But there is an interesting property of sea squirt pornography and local oceanography that may have consequences in the debates surrounding marine reserve design. Castillo and colleagues examined the spawning behavior of intertidal tunicates (Pyura praeputialis, an invasive) . . . → Read More: Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex... Read more »

Castilla, J., Manriquez, P., Delgado, A., Gargallo, L., Leiva, A., & Radic, D. (2007) Bio-foam enhances larval retention in a free-spawning marine tunicate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(46), 18120-18122. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708233104  

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