Post List

  • October 4, 2010
  • 09:36 AM

To Catch A Cat, You Need To Fry A Chicken

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Whether you're a dog, a cat, or a grad student who hasn't been home to shower for a few days, fleas are a major problem. They make skin itch. And NOTHING is worse than itchy skin.


Do you know WHERE the fleas are? Where they like to hang out and guard their little flea eggs? Where's the best place for a flea to get a decent night's sleep, or a delicious snack? These are important questions. Lucky for us, Hsu, Hsu, and Wu of the Department of Entomology at National Taiwan University ha........ Read more »

Hsu MH, Hsu TC, & Wu WJ. (2002) Distribution of cat fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) on the cat. Journal of medical entomology, 39(4), 685-8. PMID: 12144305  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 09:07 AM

Choices Shape Preferences

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

It been proven that after you make a choice, you adjust your opinion to think better of the option you chose. Now a study published in Psychological Science has found ... Read more »

Sharot, T., Velasquez, C.M., & Dolan, R.J. (2010) Do decisions shape preference?: evidence from blind choice. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/APS. PMID: 20679522  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 08:52 AM

Is daycare good for my child? Daycare effects on school performance.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

Monday’s briefs: Quick musing on child related research. One drawback of our culture of individualism is that it perpetuates the myth that we all have equal opportunities for success and that the only thing that is needed to achieve our goals is personal effort. The research on environmental contributions to academic and professional success strongly [...]... Read more »

Geoffroy, M., Côté, S., Giguère, C., Dionne, G., Zelazo, P., Tremblay, R., Boivin, M., & Séguin, J. (2010) Closing the gap in academic readiness and achievement: the role of early childcare. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02316.x  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Distress Amplifies Disability Risk in Obesity

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

As blogged before, obesity is now one of the most common drivers of premature disability.
A new study by Genevieve Garlepy and colleagues from McGill University, Montreal, QC, published online in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, shows that the presence of psychological distress (a non-specific measure of mental health that captures negative mood states, including symptoms of depression [...]... Read more »

  • October 4, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Can a Tan Stave Off Dementia? Vitamin D and Cognitive Decline

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

With Alzheimer’s disease affecting 5 million Americans — a rate that the Alzheimer’s Association warns is ballooning — public health experts are scrambling for cost-effective ways to combat this deadly disease. While Alzheimer’s medications remain expensive and largely ineffective in preventing or halting disease progression, an unexpected potential weapon has recently emerged. Research published in [...]... Read more »

Alzheimer's Association. (2010) 2010 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures. Alzheimer's , 6(2), 158-94. PMID: 20298981  

Llewellyn DJ, Lang IA, Langa KM, Muniz-Terrera G, Phillips CL, Cherubini A, Ferrucci L, & Melzer D. (2010) Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons. Archives of internal medicine, 170(13), 1135-41. PMID: 20625021  

Wilkins CH, Sheline YI, Roe CM, Birge SJ, & Morris JC. (2006) Vitamin D deficiency is associated with low mood and worse cognitive performance in older adults. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 14(12), 1032-40. PMID: 17138809  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Why cure disease?

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

“Why aren’t you working harder? Don’t you know there are still people dying from cancer?!” That’s the thrust of a sanctimonious, self-righteous editorial by one Scott Kern. See below for other commentaries on it.

You know, even soldiers fighting actual wars where there is immediate and imminent danger to their comrades are given leave.

Kern has lost the plot; he’s forgotten that the main reason we want to cure cancer is so that people can lead fulfilling liv........ Read more »

Kern, SE. (2010) Where’s the passion?. Cancer Biology , 10(7), 655-657. info:/10.4161/cbt.10.7.12994

  • October 4, 2010
  • 07:44 AM

It’s time for the bacterial evolution crowd to get their own toys

by Prof-like Substance in The Spandrel Shop

Molecular phylogenetics has revolutionized our understanding of biodiversity and evolution like no tool before it. The advent of using the divergence among the gene and protein sequences of different organisms as both a proxy for the biological species concept (at the species level) and a way to compare organisms with no obvious shared morphological or [...]... Read more »

Zhaxybayeva O, Swithers KS, Lapierre P, Fournier GP, Bickhart DM, DeBoy RT, Nelson KE, Nesbø CL, Doolittle WF, Gogarten JP.... (2009) On the chimeric nature, thermophilic origin, and phylogenetic placement of the Thermotogales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(14), 5865-70. PMID: 19307556  

Lawrence, J., & Retchless, A. (2010) The myth of bacterial species and speciation. Biology , 25(4), 569-588. DOI: 10.1007/s10539-010-9215-5  

Bapteste, E., O'Malley, M., Beiko, R., Ereshefsky, M., Gogarten, J., Franklin-Hall, L., Lapointe, F., Dupré, J., Dagan, T., Boucher, Y.... (2009) Prokaryotic evolution and the tree of life are two different things. Biology Direct, 4(1), 34. DOI: 10.1186/1745-6150-4-34  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Article review: Importance of first clinical clerkship

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

What was your first clinical clerkship rotation?Oddly, I started my third year with a sub-internship rotation on the Burn/Plastics service as my first rotation. Not sure how that happened... I managed my own patients like a 4th year student, did lots of wound care, and even got to harvest a few skin grafts. It was trial by fire.In a recent JAMA article, 3rd year medical students who started their clinical experiences in an Internal Medicine rotation overall did better on overall clerkship grades........ Read more »

  • October 4, 2010
  • 04:47 AM

Jump out of your skin and into your e-skin

by Anna Goldstein in Berkeley Science Review Blog

Last time, I wrote about the reverse-engineering of natural processes to develop more efficient solar cells. It turns out that photovoltaics research is not the only field being guided by nature. This month, the journal Nature Materials published two reports describing a pair of successful attempts to fabricate artificial skin – flexible, stretchable arrays of highly sensitive pressure sensors that produce electrical signals in response to contact. The so-called "e-skin" can be used in applic........ Read more »

Takei K, Takahashi T, Ho JC, Ko H, Gillies AG, Leu PW, Fearing RS, & Javey A. (2010) Nanowire active-matrix circuitry for low-voltage macroscale artificial skin. Nature materials, 9(10), 821-6. PMID: 20835235  

Mannsfeld SC, Tee BC, Stoltenberg RM, Chen CV, Barman S, Muir BV, Sokolov AN, Reese C, & Bao Z. (2010) Highly sensitive flexible pressure sensors with microstructured rubber dielectric layers. Nature materials, 9(10), 859-64. PMID: 20835231  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 04:39 AM

Spanking the Monkey

by Torah Kachur in Science in Seconds

Charming the Snake.  Choking the Chicken.  Freeing Willy.  The amount of slang for masturbation with animal references should be seriously disconcerting.  Except that a wide-range of animals including dogs, cats, horses, all apes, lions, bears... and the list goes on...  have been found to Jack off.  Included on the list are elephants, donkeys and walruses that manage to flog the bishop with their fins.  Even birds have been shown to rub their cloaca against pretty much anything.

  ........ Read more »

  • October 4, 2010
  • 04:20 AM

The allure of the lady (and man) in red

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When female chimps are nearing ovulation they display red on their bodies. Male chimps respond by masturbating and attempting to mount them. A new study claims we humans have moved on from this, but not a lot. Daniela Kayser's team found that when a lady wears red it prompts men to ask her more intimate questions and to sit closer to her. Surprisingly, this is the first time that the effect of colour on human sexual attraction behaviour has been studied. Past research has relied on asking partic........ Read more »

Niesta Kayser, D., Elliot, A., & Feltman, R. (2010) Red and romantic behavior in men viewing women. European Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.757  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 12:35 AM

ET Impact Probably Didn’t Wipe Out Clovis

by cfeagans in A Hot Cup of Joe

In a paper published in PNAS in 2007[1], Firestone and others suggested that there was evidence that shows that the Younger Dryas period in the Northern Hemisphere was interrupted by a barrage of extraterrestrial comets at about 12.9 ka. This … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 4, 2010
  • 12:23 AM

Women’s Brains on Steroids?! WUT!?

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Sci get an email from one of her lovely readers recently about an article that appeared in Scientific American. I usually have a lot of respect for Scientific American, but I have to say I feel they really dropped the ball on this one. So today, I present to you: what Sci Am said, the [...]... Read more »

Pletzer, B., Kronbichler, M., Aichhorn, M., Bergmann, J., Ladurner, G., & Kerschbaum, H. (2010) Menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive use modulate human brain structure. Brain Research, 55-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.06.019  

  • October 3, 2010
  • 09:37 PM

Revisiting the K Complex

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A recent letter to the Editor in Science refutes findings published in the journal 1.5 yrs ago regarding the neurophysiological properties of K-complexes. Who's hypothesis is more correct??... Read more »

Cash, S., Halgren, E., Dehghani, N., Rossetti, A., Thesen, T., Wang, C., Devinsky, O., Kuzniecky, R., Doyle, W., Madsen, J.... (2009) The Human K-Complex Represents an Isolated Cortical Down-State. Science, 324(5930), 1084-1087. DOI: 10.1126/science.1169626  

  • October 3, 2010
  • 08:10 PM

Authorities and hubs in Twitter conference feeds

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

"Understanding how Twitter is used to spread scientific messages" is another conference paper studying the scientific uses of Twitter. Letierce, Passant, Breslin and Decker (2010) analysed Twitter feeds from the International Semantic Web Conference (#iswc2009), the Online Information Conference 2009 (#online09) and the European Semantic Technology Conference (#estc2009). First, they checked the distribution of tweets per user, then the distribution of tweets that were directed to individuals (........ Read more »

Letierce, J., Passant, A., Breslin, J., & Decker, S. (2010) Understanding how Twitter is used to spread scientific messages. Proceedings of the WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line, April 26-27th, Raleigh, NC: US. info:/

  • October 3, 2010
  • 05:58 PM

Psycasm - Being Blonde. Natural or otherwise...

by Rift in Psycasm

[Wherein our Hero considers the consequences of being Blonde. Notes for femme fatale bank-robbers...]
So this was a topic I received via twitter, or perhaps I was being alerted to a finding via twitter... in any event I've decided to run with it.
The tweet was referencing the degree of eye-contact men make with women who have different coloured hair. Though I couldn't find an article; (read more)

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

  • October 3, 2010
  • 04:05 PM

Selectively Unleashing Cytotoxic Nanoparticles

by Michael Long in Phased

Vincent Rotello (University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States) and coworkers have delivered nanoparticles to cancer cells, and once there, unleashed cytotoxicity via the drug molecule 1-adamantylamine. This news feature was written on October 3, 2010.... Read more »

  • October 3, 2010
  • 03:34 PM

Marijuana and Memory

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Do certain strains make you more forgetful?
Cannabis snobs have been known to argue endlessly about the quality of the highs produced by their favorite varietals: Northern Lights, Hawaiian Haze, White Widow, etc. Among dedicated potheads, debates about the effects of specific cannabis strains are often overheated, and, ultimately, kind of boring. It's a bit like listening to a discussion of whether the wine in question evinces a woody aftertaste or is, instead, redolent of elderberries. For mos........ Read more »

  • October 3, 2010
  • 12:55 PM

Heed The Weeds

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

The humble lily pad could help improve European laws aimed at conserving the continent’s freshwater ecosystems. A study focusing on endangered lily pads and other aquatic plants has revealed that two of Europe’s major environmental initiatives could end up entangled in disagreements unless officials harmonize them.
In 1992, the European Community issued a directive – […] Read More »... Read more »

  • October 3, 2010
  • 12:50 PM

A new approach to fighting viruses?

by Science Exploiter in Science Exploits

In my education, I remember learning a unique property of viruses: once a virus infects a cell, no others will attempt to do so.  Don't take this the wrong way.  Multiple viruses can infect a cell, but not of the same strain.  As an analogy consider paintball: once you successfully shoot your opponent, your team loses the necessity to shoot that person.  This may be a stretch, but if you played with multiple teams, and each team had to take out a person, then this individual ........ Read more »

Rémy Froissart, Claus O. Wilke, Rebecca Montville, Susanna K. Remold, Lin Chao, & Paul E. Turner. (2004) Co-infection Weakens Selection Against Epistatic Mutations in RNA Viruses. Genetics, 168(1), 9-19. info:/

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