In an effort to conserve and research the endangered Virginia big-eared bat, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo took in 40 bats in November 2009. The goal was to establish a security population and to scientifically develop husbandry practices in a subspecies that researchers have not attempted to conserve before. ... Read more »
Boyles, J., & Willis, C. (2010) Could localized warm areas inside cold caves reduce mortality of hibernating bats affected by white-nose syndrome?. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(2), 92-98. DOI: 10.1890/080187
A simplified evolutionary tree of primate relationships showing the placement of Darwinius in relationship to other groups. From Williams et al., 2010.
The study of human origins can be a paradoxical thing. We know that we evolved from ancestral apes (and, in fact, are just one peculiar kind of ape), yet we are obsessed with the features that distinguish us from our close relatives. The "big questions" in evolutionary anthropology, from why we stand upright to how our brains became so larg........ Read more »
Cassandra Martin and William Wagner Jr (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States) have clearly demonstrated an indirect, yet lethal, cost shouldered by female crickets that is associated with a behavior commonly thought to enhance reproductive success. This news feature was written on March 9, 2010.... Read more »
Martin, C. M., & Wagner Jr, W. E. (2010) Female Field Crickets Incur Increased Parasitism Risk When Near Preferred Song. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009592
On an article on retrospective, cross-sectional surveys of parents whose children died of cancer at least one year previously, with their experiences about, views on and endorsement of hypothetical vignettes of hastening death in end-stage, pediatric cancer. ... Read more »
Dussel V, Joffe S, Hilden JM, Watterson-Schaeffer J, Weeks JC, & Wolfe J. (2010) Considerations about hastening death among parents of children who die of cancer. Archives of pediatrics , 164(3), 231-7. PMID: 20194255
Applied ecology is the science of minimizing human impacts and of supporting ecological systems in an economic landscape. Often though, applied ecologists work in isolation from those economic forces shaping biological landscapes, not really knowing what businesses would like to accomplish for habitat protection or sustainability. At the same businesses are seldom aware of the knowledge, tools and insight provided by ecologists. And perhaps, greater interaction could help turn ecology into a sci........ Read more »
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Chronically stressful life events have been shown to lead to depression. Chronic stress leads to hyperactivity of HPA axis leading to more glucocorticoids (cortisol) in the human body. This excess cortisol in term is proposed to underlie the affective symptoms of depression. Also, depressive people have been found to have up to More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Related posts:Depression, Neurogenesis and Spatial navigation We all know that hippocampus is the s........ Read more »
Sapolsky, R. (2001) Depression, antidepressants, and the shrinking hippocampus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(22), 12320-12322. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.231475998
Czeh, B. (2001) Stress-induced changes in cerebral metabolites, hippocampal volume, and cell proliferation are prevented by antidepressant treatment with tianeptine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(22), 12796-12801. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.211427898
The ability to read emotions is an important part of the human experience; the only way to successfully navigate through complex social environments. It comes in handy especially if you don the title of psychotherapist or professional poker player. Without it, you become socially inept. You enter the world of the autistic individual.Thanks to Charles Darwin we now know that it’s not just the eyes that are “the windows to the soul”. He first wrote about the subject of facial expressions in ........ Read more »
van der Helm E; Gujar N; Walker MP. (2010) Sleep Deprivation Impairs the Accurate Recognition of Human Emotions. SLEEP, 33(3), 335-342. info:/
Ekman P, & Friesen WV. (1971) Constants across cultures in the face and emotion. Journal of personality and social psychology, 17(2), 124-9. PMID: 5542557
Steadman, L. (1980) : Kuru Sorcery: Disease and Danger in the New Guinea Highlands . Shirley Lindenbaum. American Anthropologist, 82(3), 692-694. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1980.82.3.02a01130
... Read more »
Tang, L., Shao, G., Piao, Z., Dai, L., Jenkins, M., Wang, S., Wu, G., Wu, J., & Zhao, J. (2010) Forest degradation deepens around and within protected areas in East Asia. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.01.024
The question for neuroscience is how nervous systems generate behaviour and cognition. In general, we think there’s a hierachical command scheme, as the quick and dirty sketch below shows.
It’s been hard to move from general principles and “black boxes” to real neurons. A good chunk of effort in neuroethology has gone into understanding the sensory capabilities of different animals, and cracking how pattern generators could generate the detailed plan for movements, especially rhythmic ........ Read more »
Kagaya, K., & Takahata, M. (2010) Readiness Discharge for Spontaneous Initiation of Walking in Crayfish. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(4), 1348-1362. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4885-09.2010
Contentious debate is brewing over the large role educators play role in recommending what students receive psychotropics, even though they have limited knowledge of treatment. Consider the standards by which one teacher described the benefits of psychotropics to researchers in a recent pilot investigation: the children are “better able to attend to their work… they [...]... Read more »
Wegner, L. (2005) Pediatricians and Antidepressant Medications: Black Box or Black Hole?. PEDIATRICS, 116(1), 233-235. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2005-0928
Lien, M., Carlson, J., Hunter-Oehmke, S., & Knapp, K. (2007) A Pilot Investigation of Teachers' Perceptions of Psychotropic Drug Use in Schools. Journal of Attention Disorders, 11(2), 172-177. DOI: 10.1177/1087054707300992
We know that lots of genes are involved in cancer progression. For example, you’ve probably read something like “scientists have found the gene for such-and-such cancer” or something similar. What does that really mean? Are there really genes which cause cancer? And why do we have those genes anyways, if that’s all they do?
Generally speaking, [...]... Read more »
Grimm, S., & Noteborn, M. (2010) Anticancer genes: inducers of tumour-specific cell death signalling. Trends in Molecular Medicine, 16(2), 88-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.molmed.2009.12.002
A marketing rep from GQ magazine emailed me today offering a story (an anecdotal tale) of an (ex)alcoholic who had tried the 12-step program and then discovered baclofen and is apparently cured. It’s certainly an intriguing thought: pop a pill, eradicate alcoholic cravings and dependency. The feature article, from a quick read through, is well [...]... Read more »
Leggio L, Garbutt JC, & Addolorato G. (2010) Effectiveness and safety of baclofen in the treatment of alcohol dependent patients. CNS , 9(1), 33-44. PMID: 20201813
Researchers have developed and tested an automated system for remotely surveying birds based on their vocalizations. The system involves using pole-mounted, remote sensors to collect ongoing acoustic data...... Read more »
Kasten, E., McKinley, P., & Gage, S. (2010) Ensemble Extraction for Classification and Detection of Bird Species☆. Ecological Informatics. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2010.02.003
Who retires gracefully, who adjusts to retirement easily and who doesn’t. Which personality traits play a part in successful retirement?
The five factor model of personality or the Big Five can be used to see how personality traits are linked to how people adjust to retirement. It has been done in the past for other life [...]
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Robinson, O., Demetre, J., & Corney, R. (2010) Personality and retirement: Exploring the links between the Big Five personality traits, reasons for retirement and the experience of being retired. Personality and Individual Differences. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.01.014
Sometimes, it's what a paper doesn't emphasize that's the most thought-provoking and has the most far-ranging implications. A case in point is the recent paper by Texier et al. (2010) on decorated (i.e., engraved/incised) ostrich eggshell fragments from the Middle Stone Age site of Diepkloof in South Africa. The paper provides a lot of information about the sequence of deposits at the site, as well as on their archaeological contents. They emphasize specifically the layers attributed to the Howi........ Read more »
Henshilwood, C., d'Errico, F., & Watts, I. (2009) Engraved ochres from the Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution, 57(1), 27-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2009.01.005
Texier, P., Porraz, G., Parkington, J., Rigaud, J., Poggenpoel, C., Miller, C., Tribolo, C., Cartwright, C., Coudenneau, A., Klein, R.... (2010) A Howiesons Poort tradition of engraving ostrich eggshell containers dated to 60,000 years ago at Diepkloof Rock Shelter, South Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913047107
I love showing students new research that will ultimately lead to a revision in their textbooks. Hey, something has got to make purchasing a new edition every two to three years seem worthwhile. And it is even more fun when these research headlines come out as we are covering that very topic in class. A [...]... Read more »
Challen, G., Boles, N., Chambers, S., & Goodell, M. (2010) Distinct Hematopoietic Stem Cell Subtypes Are Differentially Regulated by TGF-β1. Cell Stem Cell, 6(3), 265-278. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2010.02.002
Recent progress in neuroscience suggests that athlete's are the masters of mind over matter, expending less brain energy while focusing more intently on motor procedural tasks compared to sedentary controls. ... Read more »
Galea, J., & Celnik, P. (2009) Brain Polarization Enhances the Formation and Retention of Motor Memories. Journal of Neurophysiology, 102(1), 294-301. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00184.2009
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What changes in the brain as children mature? Are there patterns in the way the changes occur? Do some regions mature more quickly than others?
Last time, we talked about a paper by Schlaggar et al that examined brain differences between children and adults during a word generation task. A study published in Cerebral Cortex by Brown and colleagues
... Read more »
Brown, T. (2004) Developmental Changes in Human Cerebral Functional Organization for Word Generation. Cerebral Cortex, 15(3), 275-290. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhh129
It’s been easy for citizens of the developed, industrialized world to criticize China and India over their rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions. This was one of the major reasons why the Kyoto Protocol was never ratified in the United States.
As many have pointed out, however, there are several flaws with this argument:
The per-capita C emissions [...]... Read more »
Steven J. Davis and Ken Caldeira. (2010) Consumption-based accounting of CO2 emissions . PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.0906974107
Consumers place little value on 'eco-labeled' wines
... Read more »
Delmas, M.A., & L.E. Grant. (2010) Eco-labeling strategies and price-premium: The wind industry paradox. Business . info:/10.1177/0007650310362254
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