Post List

  • May 27, 2011
  • 03:30 AM

Friday Weird Science: Is that a Cell Phone in your Pocket or are you just happy to see me?

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Ever since doing a couple of pieces of cell phones and things like sperm, I've become curious about what other studies have been done on the effects of cell phone use and keeping a small, highly addictive electronic object on your person (even though, sometimes, I end up very wrong). Not surprisingly, there's a large [...]... Read more »

Rothberg, M., Arora, A., Hermann, J., Kleppel, R., Marie, P., & Visintainer, P. (2010) Phantom vibration syndrome among medical staff: a cross sectional survey. BMJ, 341(dec15 2). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c6914  

  • May 27, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

Abusing Chocolate and Bipolar Diagnoses

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Is chocolate a legal "social drug" of abuse in the same category as nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol? Do you hang out at chocolate cafes with the purpose of becoming high or intoxicated? No? Have you heard of cancer-related deaths due to chocolate or driving under the influence of chocolate?And really, how much chocolate is considered "chocolate abuse"?1A new paper by Maremmani et al. (2011) addressed none of these questions, but asked 562 depressed Italian outpatients about their cigarette, coff........ Read more »

Maremmani I, Perugi G, Rovai L, Maremmani AG, Pacini M, Canonico PL, Carbonato P, Mencacci C, Muscettola G, Pani L.... (2011) Are "social drugs" (tobacco, coffee and chocolate) related to the bipolar spectrum?. Journal of affective disorders. PMID: 21605911  

  • May 27, 2011
  • 01:11 AM

The Origin of Life and of the Atmosphere

by Marc in Teaching Biology

Part 1 of a 6-talk series on the history of life on Earth I held in Cyprus.

In this talk, what we know about the early Earth’s geology and atmosphere will be reviewed, using that knowledge as the base on which to discuss the two main hypotheses about how life originated.

This will lead on to a discussion of the earliest life forms on Earth and how they revolutionised atmospheric and oceanic chemistry and forever changed the course of evolution on Earth.... Read more »

  • May 26, 2011
  • 10:34 PM

Traffic, preterm birth, and adaptationism

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, here's a thing:

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This relates to a criticism that I made of evolutionary psychology, but which applies to many naive adaptationist arguments: it is easy to come up with a plausible-sounding adaptive explanation of just about anything. In most cases, it is equally easy to come up with an equally plausible-sounding explanation of the exact opposite phenom........ Read more »

Barnett AG, Plonka K, Seow WK, Wilson LA, & Hansen C. (2011) Increased traffic exposure and negative birth outcomes: a prospective cohort in Australia. Environmental health : a global access science source, 26. PMID: 21453550  

  • May 26, 2011
  • 09:02 PM

What Makes a “Kiva” “Chacoan”?

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Sticking with the topic of the small round rooms traditionally called “kivas,” which Steve Lekson would prefer to call simply “round rooms,” it’s important to note that there is a wide variety of formal types.  In addition to the modern distinction between square and round kivas, which is basically geographical with square ones in the [...]... Read more »

  • May 26, 2011
  • 08:25 PM

So Just HOW Do You Measure the Shape of the Electron?

by Ryan K in A Quantum of Knowledge

A paper recently published in Nature is generating quite a bit of media buzz. [PhysOrg, BBC, Fox, PhysicsWorld] The paper is entitled ‘Improved measurement of the shape of the electron’ and describes, well, a new method for measuring the electron’s shape. I love when physics paper titles are easy to understand :) Anywho, the main [...]... Read more »

Hudson, J., Kara, D., Smallman, I., Sauer, B., Tarbutt, M., & Hinds, E. (2011) Improved measurement of the shape of the electron. Nature, 473(7348), 493-496. DOI: 10.1038/nature10104  

  • May 26, 2011
  • 07:25 PM

Nicotine alters glutamatergic input to VTA neurons through alpha 7 receptors

by Tantalus Prime in Tantalus Prime

When it comes to drugs of abuse it seems that all roads lead to the VTA. What local streets those drugs take when they get there is another matter. For example, the dopaminergic activating effects of psychostimulants are modulated by glutamate release in the VTA in a D1-like DA receptor manner. What about other drugs like nicotine? Turns out glutamatergic output is also D1 dependent in this case. But the VTA has a whole bunch of nicotinic receptors, mainly of two varieties. Alpha4beta6, which ar........ Read more »

  • May 26, 2011
  • 03:10 PM

Countering Antibiotic Resistance in Tuberculosis

by Michael Long in Phased

Tuberculosis may be defeated through a new therapeutic approach, based on countering the microbial stress response and restoring normal metabolism.... Read more »

  • May 26, 2011
  • 02:07 PM

A PLoS ONE Rosetta Collection

by Nir London in Macromolecular Modeling Blog

Three articles recently published in PLoS ONE are the harbinger of a RosettaCon 2010 PLoS one collection. How do you design a new enzyme from scratch? How do you model peptide binding with almost no prior information? And what puzzles CAN'T Rosetta solve?

... Read more »

  • May 26, 2011
  • 11:54 AM

Antipsychotic and other medications for autism: The state of the evidence

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

Hi all! In the last post I started summarizing a series of studies that look at the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of specific treatments for symptoms of autism. I began by discussing research that suggests that Secretin is not an effective treatment for autism. This week I’m discussing 3 additional medications (or classes of medications): [...]... Read more »

McPheeters, M., Warren, Z., Sathe, N., Bruzek, J., Krishnaswami, S., Jerome, R., & Veenstra-VanderWeele, J. (2011) A Systematic Review of Medical Treatments for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders. PEDIATRICS, 127(5). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-0427  

  • May 26, 2011
  • 11:27 AM

Persuade Using Both Alpha and Omega Strategies

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - Never heard of “Alpha” and “Omega” strategies for persuasion? Until recently, neither had I. But after reading the research, it has changed my way of looking at persuasion. The terms are based on something called the "approach-avoidance" model (Knowles & Linn, 2004), suggesting that to an audience, every position you might advocate has attributes that attract ("approach"), and attributes that repel ("avoidance"). Persuasion is accomplished, naturally enough, ........ Read more »

Eric S. Knowles and Jay A. Linn. (2004) Approach–Avoidance Model of Persuasion: Alpha and Omega Strategies for Change. Resistance and Persuasion. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 117-148. info:/

  • May 26, 2011
  • 10:27 AM

Carnett’s test for excluding intra-abdominal origens of abdominal tenderness

by Robert Badgett in ClinDx

130 consecutive outpatients with abdominal tenderness was examined by one of 8 blinded, generalist physicians with a mean of 7 years in practice. Results are in the Figure.... Read more »

Takada T, Ikusaka M, Ohira Y, Noda K, & Tsukamoto T. (2011) Diagnostic usefulness of Carnett's test in psychogenic abdominal pain. Internal medicine (Tokyo, Japan), 50(3), 213-7. PMID: 21297322  

  • May 26, 2011
  • 09:56 AM

Even Tiny Bouts of Exercise are Associated with Increased Fitness

by Travis Saunders, MSc, CEP in Obesity Panacea

Image by cloudchaser32000
Travis’ Note:  Today’s guest post comes from our friend and colleague Dr Ashlee McGuire.  The study that Ashlee discusses in this post can be found here. More details on Ashlee and her work can be found at the bottom of this post.
I am sure that most people have heard that some physical activity is better than none and that any increase in physical activity is associated with health benefits. However, when considering a change in physical activity habits to im........ Read more »

  • May 26, 2011
  • 09:51 AM

Crossing the blood brain barrier with drug development

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

The beauty of social media is that sometimes someone shares something monumental before you even pick it up yourself in a journal you’re subscribed to. I love that – it’s a great way to see how others find things with … Continue reading →
... Read more »

Atwal, J., Chen, Y., Chiu, C., Mortensen, D., Meilandt, W., Liu, Y., Heise, C., Hoyte, K., Luk, W., Lu, Y.... (2011) A Therapeutic Antibody Targeting BACE1 Inhibits Amyloid-  Production in Vivo. Science Translational Medicine, 3(84), 84-84. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002254  

  • May 26, 2011
  • 09:10 AM

The air is getting thinner for silicon’s competitors

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Finally I am getting around to blog about the latest generation of transistors that Intel presented earlier this months. These transistors reach feature sizes of only 22 nanometres, down from 32 nm. To give you some perspective what this amazingly high integration means: 4,000 of those 22 nm structures fit across the width of a human [...]... Read more »

Green, J., Wook Choi, J., Boukai, A., Bunimovich, Y., Johnston-Halperin, E., DeIonno, E., Luo, Y., Sheriff, B., Xu, K., Shik Shin, Y.... (2007) A 160-kilobit molecular electronic memory patterned at 1011 bits per square centimetre. Nature, 445(7126), 414-417. DOI: 10.1038/nature05462  

Liao, L., Lin, Y., Bao, M., Cheng, R., Bai, J., Liu, Y., Qu, Y., Wang, K., Huang, Y., & Duan, X. (2010) High-speed graphene transistors with a self-aligned nanowire gate. Nature, 467(7313), 305-308. DOI: 10.1038/nature09405  

  • May 26, 2011
  • 09:00 AM

The Alice Illusion – scientists convince people that they’re dolls or giants

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the titular heroine quaffs a potion that shrinks her down to the size of a doll, and eats a cake that makes her grow to gigantic proportions. Such magic doesn’t exist outside of Lewis Carroll’s imagination, but there are certainly ways of making people think that they have changed in size.
There’s nowhere in the world that’s better at creating such illusions than the lab of Henrik Ehrsson in Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. In a typical experiment, ........ Read more »

  • May 26, 2011
  • 07:53 AM

Abiraterone for advanced prostate cancer – not completely ‘new’ results, but nevertheless encouraging

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

You may have spotted reports today about the drug abiraterone showing promise for men with advanced prostate cancer. Our Drug Development Office was heavily involved in the discovery and early development of abiraterone, so it’s heartening to see that this early lab work could soon translate into patient benefit. But we want to clarify that [...]... Read more »

Johann S. de Bono et al. (2011) Abiraterone and Increased Survival in Metastatic Prostate Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 364(21), 1995-2005. info:/

  • May 26, 2011
  • 07:28 AM

May 26, 2011

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

“Bring out yer dead!” Thankfully, epithelial sheets have a much more efficient and beautiful way of clearing out dying cells than the famous Monty Python scene. Today’s stunning images are from a paper describing the signaling epithelial cells use to push out dying cells. It’s no wonder that the authors’ image made the cover of Journal of Cell Biology!The function and health of an organ strongly depends on the integrity of the epithelial sheet protecting it. In order to preserve th........ Read more »

Gu, Y., Forostyan, T., Sabbadini, R., & Rosenblatt, J. (2011) Epithelial cell extrusion requires the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 2 pathway. originally published in The Journal of Cell Biology, 193(4), 667-676. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201010075  

  • May 26, 2011
  • 07:04 AM

The heritability of feminism

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

The post title is a bit tongue in cheek after I suffered a case of foot in mouth yesterday. I had the pleasure of presenting to some behavioural ecologists at the University of Zurich and was advocating for more “evolutionary biology imperialism” in economics. In the way that economists charge out of their field and [...]... Read more »

ALFORD, J., FUNK, C., & HIBBING, J. (2005) Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted?. American Political Science Review, 99(02). DOI: 10.1017/S0003055405051579  

  • May 26, 2011
  • 02:31 AM

The Olympics is Coming to London: So Why won’t Brits be any Happier?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

It was a shock announcement. Back in 2005, everyone thought Paris had the winning bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Unlike the UK’s hastily put together pitch, the French had spent 20 years fine-tuning theirs. When the IOC president declared that the Olympics were coming to London, scenes of jubilant crowds filled the screens … Continue reading »... Read more »

Kavetsos, G., & Szymanski, S. (2010) National well-being and international sports events. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(2), 158-171. DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2009.11.005  

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