...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 »
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
Offspring Abandonment in the Ancient and Natural World
In the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex the great kingdom of Thebes is condemned following a case of mistaken identity (and a little patricide). The sordid tale begins when the infant prince is abandoned by his parents (see right) after learning of a prophecy that his son will one day murder his father, marry his mother and assume the throne. His ankles pierced with a spike, young Oedipus is sent to be abandoned atop mount Cithaeron. Whi........ Read more »
SZENTIRMAI, I., SZÉKELY, T., & KOMDEUR, J. (2007) Sexual conflict over care: antagonistic effects of clutch desertion on reproductive success of male and female penduline tits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 20(5), 1739-1744. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2007.01392.x
After nearly two years of blogging on other people's peer-reviewed studies, it's a refreshing change to now be blogging on one of my own! My paper, Is Personal Insecurity a Cause of Cross-National Differences in the Intensity of Religious Belief?, is now out in the Journal of Religious Studies (web, pdf).The paper is a statistical analysis of the causes of religiosity at a national level (in other words, the core characteristics of a country that help to explain how religious its population is)......... Read more »
Rees, TJ. (2009) Is Personal Insecurity a Cause of Cross-National Differences in the Intensity of Religious Belief?. Journal of Religion and Society. DOI: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2009/2009-17.html
Elephants have changed the ecology of Amboseli and other national parks in Kenya. Credit: David Western
Research in PLoS ONE today shows that animals in Kenya’s national parks are declining at the same rate as the same species outside the parks. This means, potentially, that the protection of animals in safe spaces may not lead [...]... Read more »
Famine, drought, disease, crop failure, they might afflict any one of us, but in the developing world and on the margins of urbanised regions, the issue of food security is paramount for survival. There are three main factors to consider when one thinks of food security each of which must be addressed to offer a [...]Post from: Sciencebase Science Blog... Read more »
Mieke Faber, Craig Schwabe, & Scott Drimie. (2009) Dietary diversity in relation to other household food security indicators . Int. J. Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2(1), 1-15.
Last week I discussed sex-differences and obesity related metabolic risk among elderly men and women. This week I'd like to stay on the topic of obesity related sex-differences, focusing on a paper by Drs Jen Kuk and Bob Ross (not that Bob Ross) which was published recently in the International Journal of Obesity. In this new study, Drs Kuk and Ross examined the influence of sex on regional fat loss in overweight/obese men and women in response to diet and/or exercise interventions.... Read more »
Kuk, J., & Ross, R. (2009) Influence of sex on total and regional fat loss in overweight and obese men and women. International Journal of Obesity, 33(6), 629-634. DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2009.48
My computer has over 5,000 songs on it -- 16.2 days' worth, according to my music-playing software. So how do I pick what song to listen to? More often than not, I just shuffle the whole list and play whatever album shows up on top. But if I'm in the car listening to the radio, I switch between the 10 or so local stations I've programmed in until I hear a song I like. I seem to be more likely to rely on my own judgment when I have fewer choices.
Some researchers have found similar effects with ........ Read more »
Shah AM, & Wolford G. (2007) Buying behavior as a function of parametric variation of number of choices. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 18(5), 369-70. info:pmid/17576272
The FANTOM consortium report in the latest issue of Nature Genetics that they have measured what happens with the entire, total, gene expression during the specific differentiation of a cell line called THP-1. Not the expression of just the 20 000 most important genes, all of them. At the same time.... Read more »
Suzuki, H., Forrest, A., van Nimwegen, E., Daub, C., Balwierz, P., Irvine, K., Lassmann, T., Ravasi, T., Hasegawa, Y., de Hoon, M.... (2009) The transcriptional network that controls growth arrest and differentiation in a human myeloid leukemia cell line. Nature Genetics, 41(5), 553-562. DOI: 10.1038/ng.375
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