Post List

  • December 15, 2009
  • 09:02 AM

An Imminent Creationist Feeding Frenzy, Courtesy of Nature

by Johnny in Ecographica

An article just published to Nature has turned the world of evolutionary biology topsy-turvy!

Or, so they’d like us to believe…

The paper’s authors Chris Venditti, Andrew Meade and Mark Pagel have devised a new model that shows that evolution is not driven by natural selection or through the accumulative effects of random genetic drift. Rather than incremental and gradual change... Read more »

  • December 15, 2009
  • 08:55 AM

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is regulated by the protein RanBPM (Atabakhsh et al. 2009, Molecular Cancer Research)

by Hannah Waters in Culturing Science – biology as relevant to us earthly beings

I have been fearful of molecular biology for most of my life.  This is partially because I so clearly defined myself as an ecologist that I partitioned molecules into “little biology” and out of my range.  But mostly it was a fear of what I considered unnatural.  Scientists who play around with chemicals and [...]... Read more »

  • December 15, 2009
  • 08:20 AM

New Dendro Dates and Provenances for Norwegian Ship Burials

by Martin Rundkvist in Aardvarchaeology

A new paper in the Norwegian journal Viking offers exciting news about two less-well-known ship burials from the Avaldsnes area in Rogaland on the country's west coast. Being poorly preserved, they have been difficult to date. Bonde & Stylegar now show with dendrochronology that these are the earliest dendro-dated ship burials in Norway!... Read more »

Niels Bonde . (2009) Fra Avaldsnes til Oseberg. Dendrokronologiske undersøkelser av skipsgravene fra Storhaug og Grønhaug. Viking : tidsskrift for norrøn arkeologi, 149-168. info:/

  • December 15, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Balancing anonymity, privacy and security

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

When it comes to anonymity in cyberspace is there way to balance privacy and security?
The option to remain anonymous on the Internet is critical to the concept of free speech. However, anonymous activity may also represent a security risk given that the tools needed to ensure anonymity might also be used for malicious or criminal [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkBalancing anonymity, privacy and security
... Read more »

Mohamed Chawki. (2010) Anonymity in cyberspace: finding the balance between privacy and security . Int. J. Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 9(3), 183-199. info:/

  • December 15, 2009
  • 05:15 AM

Downright sexy: The contrasting effect of vertical position on the perceived attractiveness of men and women

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

If you're hoping to increase your online appeal to the opposite sex, you might want to consider where on the screen you place your photo. A study that's in press at Social Cognition has shown that women rate men's photos as more attractive when they're placed near the top of the screen. By contrast, men rate women's photos as more attractive when they're located near the bottom of the screen.Brian Meier and Sarah Dionne say their finding can be understood in terms of 'embodied' or 'grounded cogn........ Read more »

BP Meier, & S Dionne. (2010) Downright sexy: Verticality, implicit power and attractiveness. Social Cognition. info:/

  • December 15, 2009
  • 02:06 AM

The Neurobiology of Love

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Previously we discussed the neurobiology of falling in love. But this is only the beginning, the process of attraction followed by the attachment process. This process can develop and last for a while or in some cases for ever. Biologically is falling in love the first step in pair formation.
Falling in love is more accompanied [...]

Related posts:The Neurobiology of Falling in Love Falling in love is the most overwhelming of all...Love is Great for Creativity, Sex for Analytical Thinking M........ Read more »

ZEKI, S. (2007) The neurobiology of love. FEBS Letters, 581(14), 2575-2579. DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2007.03.094  

Esch T, & Stefano GB. (2005) The Neurobiology of Love. Neuro endocrinology letters, 26(3), 175-92. PMID: 15990719  

  • December 15, 2009
  • 12:47 AM

Security issues in maritime supply chains

by Jan Husdal in

This week’s focus are risks in the maritime supply chain and today’s article reflects on security in maritime supply chains and suggests that the complex interaction of ports, maritime operations and supply chains creates vulnerabilities that extends beyond the immediate shipping line.

... Read more »

  • December 15, 2009
  • 12:42 AM

Risk and vulnerability in maritime supply chains

by Jan Husdal in

This week’s focus are risks in the maritime supply chain. Today’s article reflects on security in maritime supply chains: Assurance of security in maritime supply chains: Conceptual issues of vulnerability and crisis management by Paul Barnes and Richard Oloruntoba from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, suggests that the complex interaction of ports, [ ... ]... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 11:09 PM

Gene and protein annotation: it’s worse than you thought

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Sequencing centers keep pumping large amounts of sequence data into the omics-sphere (will I get a New Worst omics Word Award for this?)  There is no way we can annotate even a small fraction of those experimentally and indeed most  annotations are automatic, done bioinformatically. Typically function is inferred by homology: if the protein sequence [...]... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 05:09 PM

Height: A Predictor for Jealousy?

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Recent research examined whether height predicts jealousy in relationships and how this differs for men and women. Find out more.... Read more »

Brewer, G., & Riley, C. (2009) Height, Relationship Satisfaction, Jealousy, and Mate Retention. Evolutionary Psychology, 7(3), 477-489. info:/

Pawlowski B, Dunbar RI, & Lipowicz A. (2000) Tall men have more reproductive success. Nature, 403(6766), 156. PMID: 10646589  

  • December 14, 2009
  • 01:33 PM

…but I’m not ready to stop looking for a cure

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

People come to pain management with a wide range of attitudes and expectations.  Over the past few months I’ve been reviewing the ‘goals’ that people write in their pre-appointment psychometric questionnaires, and almost without exception people write ‘Reduce my pain’ or ‘Fix my pain’.  While they’ll also write down ‘do more’, ‘return to work’, ‘get [...]... Read more »

Clarke KA, & Iphofen R. (2007) Accepting pain management or seeking pain cure: an exploration of patients' attitudes to chronic pain. Pain management nursing : official journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses, 8(2), 102-10. PMID: 17544130  

  • December 14, 2009
  • 12:21 PM

To fertilize or acidify? Nitrogen plays both sides in soils

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

The human industrial and agricultural sectors contribute to air pollution by releasing nitrogen oxides (sometimes denoted NOx) into the atmosphere. And just like ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide dissolves into the ocean, soil acidification can occur when nitrogen oxides dissolve into soils.

But we also know that nitrogen is a major component of fertilizers, which [...]

... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 12:11 PM

"A tale of two membranes", "follow the (Spliced) Leader" and more in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

The Blind Leading the Blind

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Image: Jesus! vs. Darwin! by The Searcher

It's a tired old routine, yet time and again the same argument is taken off the shelf, dusted, buffed and then presented with a sly smile as if it were something new. Evolution, it's asserted, is only progressive and builds on earlier adaptations in its march forward through natural history. Therefore, if there is any evidence that a species adapted "backwards" it must mean that natural selection is flawed. However, the fallacy in this argument is........ Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 11:41 AM

Beyond the Farthest Star

by Brian Koberlein in Upon Reflection

Figure 1: The Orion Constellation. (Source: APoD) When you look up into the night sky, you are seeing into the past. Cosmic distances are so vast that it takes time for light to travel them. Light from the closest star...... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 11:15 AM

Bird Calls: Scolding Predators or Warning Fellow Birds?

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

When approached by a predator, birds often cry out—they produce what is known as a 'call'. But why would a bird do such a thing? A call draws attention to the caller and might reveal it's location, making it more vulnerable to attack. What is the purpose of such a risky vocal outburst? And when a bird calls out, to whom is the bird communicating? Predators or fellow birds?
A team of scientists from the University of California Davis conducted a series of experiments to find out more about ........ Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 11:09 AM

Wetland Plant of the Week #37

by Johnny in Ecographica

Helianthus angustifolius is a branched perennial plant that is native to North America. This Facultative Wet species can found in hydric flatwoods and marsh communities as well as along the sides of ditches and roads that have mesic to saturated soils. Its brilliantly colored disk flowers make it easily recognizable as a member of the Asteraceae’s sunflower group – the Genus Helianthus. The swamp sunflower’s tall domesticated cousin, ‘the’ sunflower Helianthus an........ Read more »

TIMME. (2007) HIGH-RESOLUTION PHYLOGENY FOR HELIANTHUS . American Journal of Botany, 94(11), 1837-1852. info:/

  • December 14, 2009
  • 10:30 AM

Errors in Biomedical Databases May Threaten Public Health

by Michael Long in Phased

Patricia Babbitt (University of California, San Francisco) and coworkers have found high error rates in three of four public databases of protein function, and offer recommendations on improving the accuracy and utility of these databases. This news feature was written on December 14, 2009.... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 09:08 AM

In the Brain, Acidity Means Anxiety

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

According to Mormon author and fruit grower "Dr" Robert O. Young, pretty much all diseases are caused by our bodies being too acidic. By adopting an "alkaline lifestyle" to raise your internal pH (lower pH being more acidic), you'll find that
if you maintain the saliva and the urine pH, ideally at 7.2 or above, you will never get sick. That’s right you will NEVER get sick!
Wow. Important components of the alkaline lifestyle include eating plenty of the right sort of fruits and vegetables, id........ Read more »

Ziemann, A., Allen, J., Dahdaleh, N., Drebot, I., Coryell, M., Wunsch, A., Lynch, C., Faraci, F., Howard III, M., & Welsh, M. (2009) The Amygdala Is a Chemosensor that Detects Carbon Dioxide and Acidosis to Elicit Fear Behavior. Cell, 139(5), 1012-1021. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.10.029  

  • December 14, 2009
  • 07:39 AM

Sunday Protist - Phytomonas: plant trypanosomatids!

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

While I was trying to come up with something quick to blog about, got a couple updates in Google Reader from J. Eukaryotic Microbiol, among them a paper on... trypanosomatids living in coconut tree phloem! Somehow, you don't typically think of plants being invaded by motile, flagellate things, but on a second thought: why not? The phloem is a vessel, and while perhaps there's no need to run away from macrophages or anything, there's no particular harm in retaining the ability to swim around. Esp........ Read more »

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