Post List

  • June 24, 2010
  • 10:30 PM

Organic pesticides aren’t necessarily more sustainable than synthetic

by Colby in

It would seem illogical that organic compounds are all more sustainable than synthetics, or vice versa.  The term “organic” has a health halo, biasing many people toward believing organic growing techniques are best for the environment.  I’ve already covered analyses … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 07:00 PM

Movable micromotor brain implants

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

BRAIN implants containing microelectrodes are used widely in the laboratory and clinic, both to stimulate nerve cells and to record their activity. Researchers routinely implant electrode arrays into the brains of rodents to investigate the neuronal activity associated with spatial navigation, or into monkeys' brains to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of motor control. As a result, we now have brain-computer interfaces that can help paralysed patients to communicate or control a pr........ Read more »

Jackson, N. et al. (2010) Long-term neural recordings using MEMS based movable microelectrodes in the brain. Frontiers Neuroeng. info:/

  • June 24, 2010
  • 06:56 PM

My sea turtle hazard is worse than your sea turtle hazard

by Scott A. in Thriving Oceans

My sea turtle hazard is worse than your sea turtle hazard.  Of course.   Sounds logical.  And more importantly it falls within that quirky social dynamic called HUMAN NATURE.  But the results of bias within the scientific community is an interesting topic; especially when you add the sea turtle variable and the number of threats [...]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 04:45 PM

Atlantic Cod and Eelgrass, oh my!

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

Well, now I've seen everything. Well maybe not everything, but in all my NY diving, I had never seen this: eelgrass on an exposed, essentially oceanic sandy, rocky bottom, and a school of YOY cod. I have heard about eelgrass in these locations. I have heard that there have been increasing cod landings in NY over the past 2 winters. I have even read that juvenile cod utilize eelgrass. But I had never actually seen it until last week, when we dove along the south-western corner of Fisher's Is........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 03:41 PM

The Other African AIDS Orphans

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

The World Cup in South Africa has rightly given the people of the continent reason to celebrate and show off their ability to host an international party. But there remain severe political, economic, and health problems in Africa that a month-long soccer tournament can do little to repair. A primary concern is the epidemic of [...]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 03:07 PM

Are Headlines Hogwash?

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

In this series of posts, my esteemed colleague Dr. Zen Faulkes (aka neurodojo) and I will be examining some recently published work that grabbed the headlines. We will ask the question: is the science accurately portrayed?
This week’s paper was published in Nature Communications earlier this month. It grabbed a lot of media [...]... Read more »

Gorrell, J., McAdam, A., Coltman, D., Humphries, M., & Boutin, S. (2010) Adopting kin enhances inclusive fitness in asocial red squirrels. Nature Communications, 1(3), 1-4. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1022  

  • June 24, 2010
  • 02:56 PM

A System of Developmental Robustness

by Sam W in From C to Carnivore

I keep meaning to blog about miRNAs. They are a fascinating new class of gene regulation, only discovered in the 90s in C.elegans , a nematode (roundworm) and frequent model organism for developmental biology. What miRNAs do, is regulate the levels of RNA and therefore control gene expression and thereby proteins and cell fate! They [...]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 02:09 PM

Cultural Induction is Hard

by Sean Roberts in The Adventures of Auck

Chater and Christiansen (2010) argue that learning culturally transmitted systems such as language are easy to learn because they have adapted to learner's biases, so their intuitions will likely be correct. I argue against this using grammaticality judgements of Welsh.... Read more »

Nick Chater . (2010) Language Acquisition Meets Language Evolution. Cognitive Science. info:/

  • June 24, 2010
  • 02:09 PM

Sea Otters, Hunters, and Steller's Sea Cows - Replaying a Recent Extinction

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The nearly complete skeleton of a Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) - it is missing bones from the wrist and hand. From Woodward, 1885.

It did not take long for the last remaining population of Steller's sea cow to be driven into extinction. Discovered by the German naturalist Georg Steller around the Bering Sea's Commander Islands in 1741, this enormous and peculiar sirenian became an easy target for Russian hunters. By 1768, it was gone. (The marine mammal would not be scientifically ........ Read more »

Turvey, S., & Risley, C. (2006) Modelling the extinction of Steller's sea cow. Biology Letters, 2(1), 94-97. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2005.0415  

  • June 24, 2010
  • 01:47 PM

People Protection

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Humans are generally considered the bad guys in the conservation world. But a new study suggests that ecosystem disturbances caused by people can sometimes be a boon to vulnerable species.
The authors examined the case of the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), a critically endangered species whose nests are frequently preyed upon by small Asian […] Read More »... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 12:48 PM

Should use of CT scans be reduced?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Last night I was reading about the latest Iressa (gefinitib) data in lung cancer published in the NEJM, but unfortunately the DOI code isn't yet available for easy tagging and linking of the article in Research Blogging, so it will...... Read more »

Smith-Bindman, R. (2010) Is Computed Tomography Safe?. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1002530  

Hillman, B., & Goldsmith, J. (2010) The Uncritical Use of High-Tech Medical Imaging. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1003173  

  • June 24, 2010
  • 11:15 AM

Matamata: turtle-y awesome to the extreme

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

Over the weekend my family and I visited Amazon World Zoo Park on the Isle of Wight. I saw tons of new stuff and had a great time, but what might have been my favourite creature is one that would have been all but ignored by the vast majority of visitors. I'm talking about the Matamata Chelus fimbriatus*, a bizarre South American river turtle that is as amazing in biology and behaviour as it is in appearance. Amazon World had two of them...

Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

Moose management - it works, sometimes

by TwoYaks in Gene Flow

Well, I finished reading "Science and Values Influencing Predator Control for Alaska Moose." It was actually a very good read, with excellent cadence, even if I had heard all of this at conferences before. I've got a few general comments on this, but first I'll lay out the review a bit.

It comes in four five.
First, it reviews the relative effects of predation to other factors for moose. After... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

Your Genetics Incline You to Respond to Surveys

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

Genetics play a role in predicting if you'll respond to surveys. Over 1000 twin pairs were contacted through the Minnesota Twin Registry, and it was found that 45% of the variance in survey response behavior could be explained by genetic differences.... Read more »

Thompson, L., Zhang, Z., & Arvey, R. (2010) Genetic underpinnings of survey response. Journal of Organizational Behavior. DOI: 10.1002/job.692  

  • June 24, 2010
  • 09:30 AM

Ghosts in the Molecular Machine

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

The extent of migration among populations drives population structure. With enough migration, populations become homogeneous and behave as a single larger population. As migration rates decrease, populations drift apart and become differentiated. By measuring the amount of differentiation, we can determine the extent of migration between them. But what happens when there are unsampled [...]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Looking AHEAD to Reduce Knee Pain

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

The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) Trial is a large ongoing prospective trial on the long-term effect of weight management on outcomes in people with type 2 diabetes.
A paper just released online in the journal OBESITY features an article by Capri Foy and colleagues from the Look AHEAD trialists on the impact of intensive [...]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

A virtual camera lucida

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Sometimes, the scientific literature sucks at getting information to you.

I was looking at the table of contents of a new issue of The Journal of Crustacean Biology and saw an article about how to photograph soft-bodied crustaceans. Hm, I wonder why photographing soft-bodied crustaceans is difficult, I thought.

And the abstract mentioned software to deal with short focal planes by merging several pictures. The software is Helicon Focus.

Yes, I should be happy that I have found something usefu........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 07:22 AM

Nomenclatural changes in Phymatodes

by Ted MacRae in Beetles in the Bush

I’ve mentioned before the considerable taxonomic challenges facing students of the family Buprestidae (jewel beetles) in North America, owing largely to fact that more than half of its species are assigned to one of just three hyper-diverse genera (Acmaeodera, Agrilus, and Chrysobothris). New species continue to be described, but the most recent comprehensive treatments of [...]... Read more »

Swift, I. P. . (2010) Nomenclatural changes in North American Phymatodes Mulsant (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Zootaxa, 35-52. info:/

  • June 24, 2010
  • 05:21 AM

Supply Chain Performance and its topological features

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management

Perhaps this research by Pero et al. can support small and medium sized companies with the design and redesign of its supply chain network.
The goal of the study was to analyze the connection between topological features of the supply chain and the resulting supply chain performance.

Method and Model
The authors used simulation techniques and statistical analysis to simulate a pull based supply network. The network consists of a retailer-, distributor- and manufacturer-level.
Demand and le........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2010
  • 05:18 AM

Running barefoot on the sand

by Euan in Dr Euan Lawson| Doctor Writer

I’ve been meaning to try out some barefoot running for a wee while now after watching this intriguing Nature video (which complements their paper) and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity than the past week on my hols in Scotland. The beaches of Galloway beckoned me as they stretched out at low tide. [...]... Read more »

Lieberman, D., Venkadesan, M., Werbel, W., Daoud, A., D’Andrea, S., Davis, I., Mang’Eni, R., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2010) Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature, 463(7280), 531-535. DOI: 10.1038/nature08723  

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