Post List

  • February 12, 2011
  • 05:05 PM

Terror Birds Ain’t What They Used to Be – A Titanis Take-Down

by Laelaps in Laelaps

You know a novel is going to be bad when the main endorsement on the jacket comes from the movie producer who is trying to turn the mass of pulp into a film. It’s the literary equivalent of saying “Well, my mom thinks I’m handsome.” All the same, I just couldn’t resist picking up James [...]... Read more »

Blanco, R., & Jones, W. (2005) Terror birds on the run: a mechanical model to estimate its maximum running speed. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 272(1574), 1769-1773. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3133  

Pierce Brodkorb. (1963) A Giant Flightless Bird from the Pleistocene of Florida. The AUk, 80(2), 111-115. info:/

  • February 12, 2011
  • 04:24 PM

Violence and Sex, Sex and Violence

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Neuroscientists have uncovered that the ventrolateral portion of the ventral medial hypothalamus governs both aggression and sex. Could this research have any impact on the legal system and the conviction of rapists???... Read more »

Lin D, Boyle MP, Dollar P, Lee H, Lein ES, Perona P, & Anderson DJ. (2011) Functional identification of an aggression locus in the mouse hypothalamus. Nature, 470(7333), 221-6. PMID: 21307935  

  • February 12, 2011
  • 03:16 PM

Cottonmouth Myths III: Moccasins North of Virginia

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife

            Continuing the theme of the many myths and misunderstandings that surround Cottonmouth (AKA, Agkistrodon piscivorous) biology, I am going to spend some time debunking one of the most sacred falsehoods about the species. My hunch is that this piece may attract more aggravated comments and statements to the contrary than the other posts in the series but here it is anyway: Cottonmouths ... Read more »

  • February 12, 2011
  • 12:35 PM

Brains never rest

by davejhayes in neurosphere

Whilst part of what we perceive comes through our senses from the object before us, another part (and it may be the larger part) always comes out of our own head.... Read more »

  • February 12, 2011
  • 12:14 PM

Soul Beliefs, Grave Goods & Foxes

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

In many books and articles addressing the origins of “religious” behavior, one will find the assertion that deliberate burials are indicative of soul beliefs and that because people began burying the dead approximately 100,000 years ago, this marks the beginning of what we today call religion. As I noted in this post, there are several [...]... Read more »

  • February 12, 2011
  • 09:17 AM

Music is pleasure

by Hel in Substantia Innominata

We all have a system called pleasure and reward circuitry inside our brain. Thanks to this system we feel pleasure when we eat, have sex, drink beer, win something etc. It is also this circuitry which is affected by all kind of drugs. One of the neurotransmitter involved in this pleasure is Dopamine. Globally this [...]... Read more »

  • February 12, 2011
  • 03:00 AM

Crime and selection of aggressive males

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

As I posted a couple of months ago, a higher level of violence in a society may lead women to prefer more masculine appearing men. In such an environment, picking the healthiest appearing male is more important than the level of parental care the woman expects the man to give. The latest issue of Evolution [...]... Read more »

  • February 12, 2011
  • 12:13 AM

Friday focal mechanisms: Chile’s persistent seismic gap

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that shook Chile in February 2010 occurred within a seismic gap - but new research suggests that it did not fill it. Continue reading →... Read more »

Lorito, S., Romano, F., Atzori, S., Tong, X., Avallone, A., McCloskey, J., Cocco, M., Boschi, E., & Piatanesi, A. (2011) Limited overlap between the seismic gap and coseismic slip of the great 2010 Chile earthquake. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1073  

  • February 12, 2011
  • 12:07 AM

Psycasm - Why the Ladies moan (and it's not good news for Men)

by Rift in Psycasm

---Here's where I heard about this paper first... and a pretty weak treatment at that.---In a previous post I dared suggest* that women watched porn. Several people warned me of the imminent troll-storm, and true to their predictions, I was inundated with claims that I was a misogynist, supporting 'shoddy' science, and endorsing the male status-quo. All of which was rubbish, and bas; (read more)

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

  • February 11, 2011
  • 09:00 PM

Belyaev’s Fox Experiment – Changes – Part II

by Leema in Some Thoughts About Dogs

Description of the changes observed in Belyaev's fox experiment.... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 06:10 PM

MSc Dissertation: Navigating expatriate waters in Abu Dhabi

by Francesca Meijer in Occ Psy Dot Com

Starting a new job will always present new challenges, and this is especially true when the new job is in a new country and requires someone to relocate (often with their families) and “become” an expatriate.... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 05:39 PM

Harnessing Nature to cure its (man-made) ills

by Anna Goldstein in Berkeley Science Review Blog

When I think about harnessing the power of water, I think of the Hoover Dam in Nevada (where I’m from) or the awesome tide-harnessing turbines that are being installed along coastlines as we speak. As scientists concerned about the future of our planet, we are always looking for ways to co-opt natural processes to greenify (buzz-word!) our energy-producing endeavors. Recently, Greg H. Rau of UC Santa Cruz and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory described how we could appropriate and intensify the natural carbonate mineral cycle. This innovative work builds on existing proposals to use limestone and seawater to mimic erosion, which has the dual potential for cleaning up power-plant exhaust and mitigating ocean acidity.

Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 04:26 PM

Looking for love this Valentine's Day? Try wearing red.

by Audrey Lustig in ionpsych

This time of year, both fans of Valentine’s Day and V-day haters are bound to have a few things on the brain. One major association we have with the holiday is love and attraction. Another big one is the color red, with decorative hearts, cards, clothing and candy bombarding the senses in stores across the country. But it turns out that attraction and the color red have more in common than just Valentine’s Day; in fact, the color red may be the key to your loved one’s heart.... Read more »

Eliot, A.J., Kayser, D.N., Greitemeyer, T., Lichtenfeld, S., Gramzow, R.H., Maier, M.A., & Liu, H. (2010) Red, rank and romance in women viewing men. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. info:/

Elliot, A., & Niesta, D. (2008) Romantic red: Red enhances men's attraction to women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1150-1164. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.95.5.1150  

  • February 11, 2011
  • 03:00 PM

Nothing to plunder – the evolution of Somalia’s pirate nation

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

The droughts that shook the west African nations in the mid-1970′s and again in the 1980′s decimated the traditional nomadic clans of Somalia, leaving them without live stock to feed their families. Tens of thousands of the dispossessed, primarily of the Hawiye clan, were relocated to coastal areas. Fishing communities took root and began [...]... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 02:31 PM

Would You Prefer Memory Training, or a Life?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Would you prefer to do or learn something that is truly meaningful to you (for example, learn a language) or engage in a training program designed without that consideration (as most are, especially the commercial ones?... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 01:11 PM

How the seahorse got its shape

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

Hypothesis: form and function evolve hand-in-hand: compared to their close relatives, the straight-bodied pipefishes, seahorses' unique curved shape provides them with increased feeding efficiency... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 12:34 PM

How the seahorse got its shape

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

Hypothesis: form and function evolve hand-in-hand: compared to their close relatives, the straight-bodied pipefishes, seahorses' unique curved shape provides them with increased feeding efficiency ... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 12:29 PM

The woods that were

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Half a block from my childhood home is a park in which I spent countless hours. But it isn’t your ordinary city park. Within the confines of its unusually large 14 acres lie three distinct forests, each a snapshot of a period in time for America’s eastern hardwood forests. At the time, the smallest was [...]... Read more »

  • February 11, 2011
  • 11:39 AM

Regulation of mitochondrial protein transport

by Vasili Hauryliuk in stringent response

Mitochondria have their own genome, own translational machinery, own ribosomes, but still, most of the proteins they import from the cytosole. And this they do using two protein complexes in the outer and inner membranes: TOM (Transporter Outer Membrane) and TIM (Transporter Inner Membrane). TOM itself consists of several subunits: Tom40 forms a pore through which proteins get transported, Tom20 and Tom70 work as receptors recognizing the mitochondrial proteins in the cytoplasm, and several more proteins helping out.TOM and TIM, figure lifted from Chacinska at al., 2009And now joint effort of Pfanner and Meisinger labs lead to a discovery that in yeast TOM-mediated protein transport is regulated by kinases casein kinase 2 (CK2) and protein kinase A (PKA). CK2 promotes TOM biogenesis, and PKA phosphorylates Tom70 component of TOM under nonrespiring conditions, inhibiting it. This finding basically opens a new field: regulation of mitochondrial protein transport. Just like that.References:Chacinska A, Koehler CM, Milenkovic D, Lithgow T, & Pfanner N (2009). Importing mitochondrial proteins: machineries and mechanisms. Cell, 138 (4), 628-44 PMID: 19703392Schmidt O, Harbauer AB, Rao S, Eyrich B, Zahedi RP, Stojanovski D, Schönfisch B, Guiard B, Sickmann A, Pfanner N, & Meisinger C (2011). Regulation of mitochondrial protein import by cytosolic kinases. Cell, 144 (2), 227-39 PMID: 21215441... Read more »

Chacinska A, Koehler CM, Milenkovic D, Lithgow T, & Pfanner N. (2009) Importing mitochondrial proteins: machineries and mechanisms. Cell, 138(4), 628-44. PMID: 19703392  

Schmidt O, Harbauer AB, Rao S, Eyrich B, Zahedi RP, Stojanovski D, Schönfisch B, Guiard B, Sickmann A, Pfanner N.... (2011) Regulation of mitochondrial protein import by cytosolic kinases. Cell, 144(2), 227-39. PMID: 21215441  

  • February 11, 2011
  • 11:11 AM

The Arched Metatarsal of Australopithecus afarensis

by Kambiz Kamrani in

Carol Ward1, William Kimbel, and Donald Johanson have published a paper in Science on the arch seen in a newly discovered fourth metatarsal of Australopithecus afarensis (AL 333-160). A lot of the popular press are publishing misleading headlines that this … Continue reading →... Read more »

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