Life restoration of the head of Armadillosuchus. From Marinho and Carvalho (2009).
When I was trying to come up with a title for this post I almost went with "Armadillosuchus: An armored crocodylian you wouldn't want to mess with." Obviously I changed my mind. Not only was the title too long, but it was redundant to boot. All crocodylians are "armored" in that they have little bony plates called osteoderms (primarily on the dorsal, or top, side of their bodies) beneath their scales, which in t........ Read more »
Marinho, T., & Carvalho, I. (2009) An armadillo-like sphagesaurid crocodyliform from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 27(1), 36-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsames.2008.11.005
Breast cancer screening is back in the headlines following the publication of a new paper in the British Medical Journal.
The paper was written by Danish researchers who have previously published work critical of the way women are given information about the balance of risks and benefits. They believe that women aren’t given sufficient information on [...]... Read more »
Jorgensen, K., & Gotzsche, P. (2009) Overdiagnosis in publicly organised mammography screening programmes: systematic review of incidence trends. BMJ, 339(jul09 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b2587
The human body is a factory producing trillions of new blood cells daily, and replacing the lining of the small intestine on a weekly basis. The raw materials in production are stem cells, which have the ability both to create cells used by our body, and to create copies of themselves.
To ensure quality of production, [...]... Read more »
A code is a system with which messages are transmitted. Computer coding is transmitting message to your computer to execute tasks, cryptographic coding is sending a message in secret, and neural coding is how your brain processes information. When I say I'm looking for a synchrony binding code, I mean I'm looking for evidence that the brain binds stimuli together using neural synchrony (I'm not looking for this, by the way; I have my doubts about this hypothesis). This article is looking for ........ Read more »
Hong Zhou, Howard S. Friedman, & Rüdiger von der Heydt. (2000) Coding of Border Ownership in Monkey Visual Cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 6594-6611. DOI: http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/abstract/20/17/6594
I think we can all agree that the American population has become a little more open with regard to sexual practices than it was in, say, the 1950's. The existence of premarital sex is discussed in multiple media outlets, and there are homosexual relationships discussed with candor. However, there are still several sexual practices which are still considered relatively taboo with regards to public discussion. While male masturbation, for example is discussed (often as comedic relief) pretty op........ Read more »
When admiring a brilliant sportsman or woman, commentators often describe a wielded tennis racquet, cricket bat or other sporting appendage, as having become like an extension of the athlete's own body, so fluid and deft is their control of the lump of metal or wood. It's a metaphor we should be able to relate to, since all of us, champion athlete or not, absorb tools into our inner representation of our own bodies - what cognitive psychologists call our "body schema".That's according to Lucilla........ Read more »
Cardinali, L., Frassinetti, F., Brozzoli, C., Urquizar, C., Roy, A., & Farnè, A. (2009) Tool-use induces morphological updating of the body schema. Current Biology, 19(12). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.05.009
Results from a long-running primate study of calorie restriction (CR) are becoming more definitive as the years pass. Two decades in, the reports continue to be consistent with the many, many other CR studies in animals and humans: eating fewer calories while still obtaining adequate nutrition slows down degenerative aging in primates. Studying aging in monkeys takes patience. Mice and rats only live for a couple of years, while these monkeys can live to 40, and the average life span is 27 years........ Read more »
Colman, R., Anderson, R., Johnson, S., Kastman, E., Kosmatka, K., Beasley, T., Allison, D., Cruzen, C., Simmons, H., Kemnitz, J.... (2009) Caloric Restriction Delays Disease Onset and Mortality in Rhesus Monkeys. Science, 325(5937), 201-204. DOI: 10.1126/science.1173635
...the research holds critical the idea that niches remain constant over extended periods of time. This idea, called niche conservatism, essentially holds that niches are highly specialized, ancestrally –linked, relatively inflexible and are therefore exceedingly susceptible to disturbance and rapid degradation in the face of change - particularly climate change. ... Read more »
DeSantis, L., Feranec, R., & MacFadden, B. (2009) Effects of Global Warming on Ancient Mammalian Communities and Their Environments. PLoS ONE, 4(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005750
[Originally posted in December, 2007]
Do smells have an impact on how we judge people? Certainly if someone smells bad, we may have a negative impression of the person. But what if the smell is so subtle we don't consciously notice it? Research results have been mixed, with some studies actually reporting that we like people more when in the presence of undetectable amounts of bad-smelling stuff. How could that be?
A team led by Wen Li believes that the judges might have actually been abl........ Read more »
With Jonah Levine
It’s taken Winnipeg a generation to get around to building the first leg of a rapid transit system. You might think that settles the matter, and that now we are down to inconsequential details. On closer examination, however, it becomes clear that many important decisions remain, decisions that could make the difference between a successful rapid transit system and a white elephant.... Read more »
John Renne and Peter Newman. (2002) Facilitating the Financing and Development of 'Smart Growth'. Transportation Quarterluy, 56(2), 23-32.
BJGP article provides mandate for making demands to clarify revalidation... Read more »
It has become virtually axiomatic that as climate shifts or other potential insults to the ecology of a given area occur, plants and animals enclosed in parks bounded by "impermeable" landscapes are at great risk. Instead of the extreme ranges of a plant or animal moving north or south, or across a gradient of rainfall, or up or down in elevation, organisms that are protected in parks are also stuck in the parks and risk local extinction when change happens or disease becomes endemic, or poachi........ Read more »
Western, D., Russell, S., & Cuthill, I. (2009) The Status of Wildlife in Protected Areas Compared to Non-Protected Areas of Kenya. PLoS ONE, 4(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006140
Arsenic sandwich anyone? Mercury soup, deadly nightshade surprise? No? Really? Well, I’m baffled! They’re all natural you know. And as we know, natural is good; natural is pure. Best of all, natural is healthy.
Such is the creed that has grown up around natural products. You want to market a new range of face cream –- [...]... Read more »
Pino, JA, Ortega A, Marbot, R, & Aguero, J. (2003) Volatile components of banana fruit (musa sapientum L.) "Indio" for Cuba. JEOR.
Our weekly compilation of science news for the week of July 5, 2009.... Read more »
Bao, X., Kobayashi, M., Hatakeyama, S., Angata, K., Gullberg, D., Nakayama, J., Fukuda, M., & Fukuda, M. (2009) Tumor suppressor function of laminin-binding -dystroglycan requires a distinct 3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0904515106
Winebrake, J., Corbett, J., Green, E., Lauer, A., & Eyring, V. (2009) Mitigating the Health Impacts of Pollution from Oceangoing Shipping: An Assessment of Low-Sulfur Fuel Mandates. Environmental Science , 43(13), 4776-4782. DOI: 10.1021/es803224q
It's amazing how the field of stem cell research has advanced so much in such a short amount of time. Today, just a little over a decade after the first stem cell line was produced, scientists announced another breakthrough - turning stem cells into sperm.In a paper published in the journal Stem Cells And Development (PDF), british scientists from England’s Newcastle University detail a technique for turning stem cells with male chromosomes into reproductive germline cells and prompt them to d........ Read more »
Nayernia, K., Lee, J., Lako, M., Armstrong, L., Herbert, M., Li, M., Engel, W., Elliott, D., Stojkovic, M., Parrington, J.... (2009) In Vitro Derivation of Human Sperm from Embryonic Stem Cells. Stem Cells and Development, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/scd.2009.0063
Digital literacy is the ability to employ a wide range of cognitive and emotional skills in using digital technologies. 6 digital skills:
(a) Photovisual literacy is the ability to work effectively with digital environments, such as user interfaces, that employ graphical communication. (b) Reproduction literacy is the ability to create authentic,meaningful written and artwork by reproducing [...]... Read more »
A new study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine finds that, on average, physicians fail to report clinically significant abnormal test results to patients - or fail to document that they had informed them - in one out [...]... Read more »
Casalino, L., Dunham, D., Chin, M., Bielang, R., Kistner, E., Karrison, T., Ong, M., Sarkar, U., McLaughlin, M., & Meltzer, D. (2009) Frequency of Failure to Inform Patients of Clinically Significant Outpatient Test Results. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(12), 1123-1129. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.130
When a scientist sends you commentary involving the crypto-zoological sasquatch, you have to make a post about it. By itself, his paper is actually a commentary on electronic modeling of ecological species, a warning to make sure that you’re putting in complete and high quality data to get a reliable model. However, it shows a [...]... Read more »
Lozier, J., Aniello, P., & Hickerson, M. (2009) Predicting the distribution of Sasquatch in western North America: anything goes with ecological niche modelling. Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02152.x
Rapamycin is a drug of interest because researchers know that the TOR gene (which stands for Target of Rapamycin, so you can probably guess the order of discovery) is involved the big tangled mess of biochemistry relating to the calorie restriction response. Less food while maintaining adequate nutrition modulates the functions of metabolism in ways that lead to longer lives and slower aging. Unless you've spent the past few years living in a basket, you'll know that this is of considerable inte........ Read more »
Harrison, D., Strong, R., Sharp, Z., Nelson, J., Astle, C., Flurkey, K., Nadon, N., Wilkinson, J., Frenkel, K., Carter, C.... (2009) Rapamycin fed late in life extends lifespan in genetically heterogeneous mice. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08221
I recently discussed the origin of the nervous system(s), focusing on the earliest neuron: a cell with an axon that carries an action potential. Now I want to extend that discussion to the Central Nervous System (CNS), a subject of several recent blog posts (e.g. at Neurophilosophy and NeuroDojo) and a "News Focus" article at Science Magazine. It may seem a little strange to be combining "meaning" and "origin" in one discussion: one is a semantic issue, the other a m........ Read more »
Hiroshi Watanabe, Toshitaka Fujisawa, and Thomas W. Holstein. (2009) Cnidarians and the evolutionary origin of the nervous system. Development, Growth , 51(3), 167-183. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2009.01103.x
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