The mammalian brain is made up of many parts, each pretty much unique. However, these various parts, or at least the "gray matter" of them, can be roughly grouped into three classes of structure, or even more roughly into two: nucleus and cortex. The word "cortex" comes from the Latin, meaning "bark", "rind", "shell" or "husk". In the case of gray matter, it usually denotes a relatively thin layer of gray matter covering thicker white: such as the neocortex, the piriform c........ Read more »
Imai, T., Yamazaki, T., Kobayakawa, R., Kobayakawa, K., Abe, T., Suzuki, M., & Sakano, H. (2009) Pre-Target Axon Sorting Establishes the Neural Map Topography. Science, 325(5940), 585-590. DOI: 10.1126/science.1173596
It's the stuff of low-budget sci-fi movies: rodents around the globe are growing ever larger at astonishing rates. But B movie it's not—as UIC ecologist Oliver Pergams has demonstrated, the trend is real. In a recently published report Pergams details how rodents are showing signs of rapid, worldwide changes in size and shape. Of course, the timescale and magnitude of this size change is not alarming enough to cause movie-goers to flee the cinema (we're talking about decades........ Read more »
Pergams, O., & Lawler, J. (2009) Recent and Widespread Rapid Morphological Change in Rodents. PLoS ONE, 4(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006452
... Read more »
Tong, D., Rozas, N., Oakley, T., Mitchell, J., Colley, N., & McFall-Ngai, M. (2009) From the Cover: Evidence for light perception in a bioluminescent organ. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(24), 9836-9841. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0904571106
“very absent-minded persons in going in their bedroom to dress for dinner have been known to take off one garment after another and finally to get into bed, merely because that was the habitual issue of the first few movements when performed at a late hour”William James, 1890It is difficult to kick a habit. Like riding a bike – once automated, some behaviors can stay with us for a lifetime. Life-long memories are a familiar trait. After all, they define who we are. We can recall important........ Read more »
Dias-Ferreira, E., Sousa, J., Melo, I., Morgado, P., Mesquita, A., Cerqueira, J., Costa, R., & Sousa, N. (2009) Chronic Stress Causes Frontostriatal Reorganization and Affects Decision-Making. Science, 325(5940), 621-625. DOI: 10.1126/science.1171203
Brembs, B. (2009) Mushroom Bodies Regulate Habit Formation in Drosophila. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.06.014
I previously reported on a Japanese study correlating green tea consumption with a lower prevalence of cognitive dysfunction. A similar research group from the Tohoku University School of Medicine (Sendai, Japan) has continued to analyze the benefits of green tea with other health outcomes: causes of mortality, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and cancers. Their most recent study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, evaluated the influence of green tea consumption on the develop........ Read more »
Naganuma T, Kuriyama S, Kakizaki M, Sone T, Nakaya N, Ohmori-Matsuda K, Hozawa A, Nishino Y, & Tsuji I. (2009) Green Tea Consumption and Hematologic Malignancies in Japan: The Ohsaki Study. American journal of epidemiology. PMID: 19640889
I've been incubating this post since September 2008, so it's kind of cathartic to finally be writing it. I think it will be a good representation of the title and purpose of this blog in the sense that it's a window to some of those things that go on in science - and in the lives of scientists - that don't make it into the peer-reviewed publications.So why the wait? On top of that it's inappropriate to talk in public about a piece of research before it's published unless all your co-authors agre........ Read more »
Peter M. Hollingsworth, Laura L. Forrest, John L. Spouge, Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Sujeevan Ratnasingham, Michelle van der Bank, Mark W. Chase, Robyn S. Cowan, David L. Erickson, Aron J. Fazekas.... (2009) A DNA barcode for land plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(31), 12794-12797. info:/10.1073/pnas.0905845106
Here's a weird result.A study published in the journal Appetite found that overweight children were more likely than healthy weight children to be influenced by the branding of food.The 43 kids were presented with lunch options on 4 non-consecutive days. On two of the days they received branded foods that they were allowed to eat as much of as they wanted (Lunchables, Trix Yogurt) and on the other two days they were offered the same food just repackaged in non-branded containers.The overweight ........ Read more »
Forman, J., Halford, J., Summe, H., MacDougall, M., & Keller, K. (2009) Food branding influences ad libitum intake differently in children depending on weight status. Results of a pilot study. Appetite, 53(1), 76-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.05.015
This will otherwise be known as "WTF are you doing, Journal of Medical Hypotheses".
Sci likes Lithium.
(Lithium burns red. Sci thinks this could have applications for lightsabers if applied correctly)
It's a cool element, interesting in that we've used it over the ages for stuff like gout (which, I hear, is making a comeback), prevention of migraine, blocking the effects of excessive anti-diuretic hormone, and of course for bipolar disorder. But what's really inte........ Read more »
Terao, T., Goto, S., Inagaki, M., & Okamoto, Y. (2009) Even very low but sustained lithium intake can prevent suicide in the general population?. Medical Hypotheses. DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.02.043
A new brain imaging study shows the difference, in terms of brain activity, between a person feigning having a paralysed arm and a patient with conversion paralysis - that is, paralysis with no clinically identifiable neurological cause.Conversion paralysis is one manifestation of conversion disorder, previously known as hysteria, which was made famous by the nineteenth century French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (pictured) and later, by his students Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud. The label ........ Read more »
Cojan, Y., Waber, L., Carruzzo, A., & Vuilleumier, P. (2009) Motor inhibition in hysterical conversion paralysis. NeuroImage, 47(3), 1026-1037. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.05.023
Choreocolax and Ecomonymopha not obscure enough? Let's go for Phaeodaria then! I've been neglecting Rhizarians, just like everyone else. When I first saw a eukaryotic tree, I could recognise a thing or two in most of the 'kingdoms'. Except one: Rhizaria. All those names were absolutely meaningless to me. Those wonderful earthly aliens desperately need an introduction to the world beyond dusty 1970's oceonography journals!Rhizarian taxonomy (nitpicky detail alert)Rhizaria is a very morphologicall........ Read more »
Schwartz, W. (1968) Dogiel, V. A., General Protozoology. Revised by J. L. Poljanskij and E. M. Chejsin (II. Auflage) VII und 747 S., 326 Abb. Oxford 1965: Clarendon Press 7 s, 7 £. Zeitschrift für allgemeine Mikrobiologie, 8(4), 332-332. DOI: 10.1002/jobm.3630080414
PATERSON, H., PESANT, S., CLODE, P., KNOTT, B., & WAITE, A. (2007) Systematics of a rare radiolarian—Coelodiceras spinosum Haecker (Sarcodina: Actinopoda: Phaeodaria: Coelodendridae). Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 54(8-10), 1094-1102. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2006.05.046
by Jon Voisey in Angry Astronomer
Ever since I was introduced to a Creationist claiming it's impossible to form new stars, I've been extra interested in journal articles that highlight how well our theory of stellar formation and evolution lines up with the evidence. It's been a pretty hot topic on this blog and a new ApJ article adds yet another confirmation that we're not just making things up when it comes to our knowledge of stars.The article looks at a star forming region called W51A that is a bubble in the gaseous cloud in........ Read more »
Kang, M., Bieging, J., Kulesa, C., & Lee, Y. (2009) TRIGGERED STAR FORMATION IN A DOUBLE SHELL NEAR W51A. The Astrophysical Journal, 701(1), 454-463. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/701/1/454
Specific organ functions rely on differentiated cells. How differentiated
cells are replaced is a fundamental question in biology
with important implications for regenerative medicine.
So begins a recent paper in Cell which has shown heart cells in rodents can be stimulated to proliferate, thus repairing any damage. Typically the heart stops proliferating or regenerating shortly after birth, so [...]... Read more »
Bersell, K., Arab, S., Haring, B. . (2009) Neuregulin1/ErbB4 Signaling Induces Cardiomyocyte Proliferation and Repair of Heart Injury. Cell. info:/
There is an active “neuromarketing” group over on LinkedIn that is worth joining and following if you are interested in this field. Ron Wright, who started the group, asked in a recent discussion whether there should be standards in the industry, in part in response to a comment I made in an earlier post.
I thought [...]... Read more »
Orawon Chailapakul (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand) and
Charles Henry (Colorado State University, Fort Collins) have led research efforts towards developing routine medical diagnostics instrumentation useful for resource-limited nations, remote locations, and energency situations. This news feature was written on August 2, 2009.... Read more »
Dungchai, W., Chailapakul, O., & Henry, C. S. (2009) Electrochemical Detection for Paper-Based Microfluidics. Analytical Chemistry, 81(14), 5821-5826. DOI: 10.1021/ac9007573
The anatomy of a turtle differs so much from that of other vertebrates that scientists have long pondered how turtles evolved from their primitive reptilian ancestors. One aspect of the turtle's anatomy that never fails to capture attention is its shell. This unique structure is formed by the animal's ribs which are flattened and fused to its backbone. The skeletal oddities of the turtle do not stop with its ribs. Another skeletal arrangement unique to turtles is in evident in the placement of t........ Read more »
Nagashima, H., Sugahara, F., Takechi, M., Ericsson, R., Kawashima-Ohya, Y., Narita, Y., & Kuratani, S. (2009) Evolution of the Turtle Body Plan by the Folding and Creation of New Muscle Connections. Science, 325(5937), 193-196. DOI: 10.1126/science.1173826
Alcohol consumption is probably as old as human civilization, and so is its abuse. The social and physiological ill effects of alcoholism are well known. What is less clear is why certain individuals are more predisposed to it. Alcohol addiction is a multifactorial phenomenon where personality traits, individual and social influences interact with neurobiology, creating [...]... Read more »
Moussas, G., Christodoulou, C., & Douzenis, A. (2009) A short review on the aetiology and pathophysiology of alcoholism. Annals of General Psychiatry, 8(1), 10. DOI: 10.1186/1744-859X-8-10
In the world's oceans, water circulates in currents that stretch between the continents and glide along coastlines. Water from the deep mixes with shallower water through vertical movements called upwellings and downwellings. This complex ebb, flow, rise, and fall of seawater—also known as ocean mixing—transports energy, churns nutrients, and stirs dissolved gasses. To understand the driving forces behind ocean mixing is to understand a key element of marine environments.... Read more »
Katija K, & Dabiri JO. (2009) A viscosity-enhanced mechanism for biogenic ocean mixing. Nature, 460(7255), 624-6. PMID: 19641595
A little over a year ago I mentioned a paper published in MSB on how drug-combinations could be used to study pathways. Recently, some of the same authors have now published a study in Nature Biotech analyzing drug combinations under different contexts (i.e. different tissues, different species, different outputs, etc).
The underlying methodology of the study is essentially the same as in above mentioned paper. The authors try to study the effect of combining drugs on specific phenotypes. One ........ Read more »
Lehár, J., Krueger, A., Avery, W., Heilbut, A., Johansen, L., Price, E., Rickles, R., Short III, G., Staunton, J., Jin, X.... (2009) Synergistic drug combinations tend to improve therapeutically relevant selectivity. Nature Biotechnology, 27(7), 659-666. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1549
by Jon Voisey in Angry Astronomer
Imagine this situation:You're trying to find an astronomical object. It looks, at first glance, like an ordinary star; It's a bright point source. But to make sure you don't have it easy, this object (or perhaps many of this object) is hidden amongst a field of tens to hundreds of thousands of genuine stars. How do you pick them out?This is the problem that astronomers have when trying to pick out Active Galactic Nuclei behind clusters or other galaxies. Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) are, as the........ Read more »
Kozłowski, S., & Kochanek, C. (2009) DISCOVERY OF 5000 ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI BEHIND THE MAGELLANIC CLOUDS. The Astrophysical Journal, 701(1), 508-513. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/701/1/508
Lamaze International launched Science & Sensibility to bring updates and analysis on new research to childbirth educators and other birth professionals as early as possible. We know you are on the front lines, answering questions about newsworthy research and bringing the latest evidence-based information to expectant women every week. The decision to launch Science & [...]... Read more »
Colson SD, Meek JH, & Hawdon JM. (2008) Optimal positions for the release of primitive neonatal reflexes stimulating breastfeeding. Early human development, 84(7), 441-9. PMID: 18243594
Jonas W, Wiklund I, Nissen E, Ransjö-Arvidson AB, & Uvnäs-Moberg K. (2007) Newborn skin temperature two days postpartum during breastfeeding related to different labour ward practices. Early human development, 83(1), 55-62. PMID: 16879936
Moore ER, Anderson GC, & Bergman N. (2007) Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 17636727
Ickovics JR, Kershaw TS, Westdahl C, Magriples U, Massey Z, Reynolds H, & Rising SS. (2007) Group prenatal care and perinatal outcomes: a randomized controlled trial. Obstetrics and gynecology, 110(2 Pt 1), 330-9. PMID: 17666608
Penders J, Thijs C, Vink C, Stelma FF, Snijders B, Kummeling I, van den Brandt PA, & Stobberingh EE. (2006) Factors influencing the composition of the intestinal microbiota in early infancy. Pediatrics, 118(2), 511-21. PMID: 16882802
Shah PS, Aliwalas LI, & Shah V. (2006) Breastfeeding or breast milk for procedural pain in neonates. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 16856069
WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group. (2006) WHO Child Growth Standards based on length/height, weight and age. Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992). Supplement, 76-85. PMID: 16817681
Stuebe, A. (2005) Duration of Lactation and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 294(20), 2601-2610. DOI: 10.1001/jama.294.20.2601
Rattaz C, Goubet N, & Bullinger A. (2005) The calming effect of a familiar odor on full-term newborns. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 26(2), 86-92. PMID: 15827459
Gartner LM, Morton J, Lawrence RA, Naylor AJ, O'Hare D, Schanler RJ, Eidelman AI, & American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding. (2005) Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics, 115(2), 496-506. PMID: 15687461
Ferber SG, & Makhoul IR. (2004) The effect of skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care) shortly after birth on the neurobehavioral responses of the term newborn: a randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics, 113(4), 858-65. PMID: 15060238
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