Professor Karl Friston is one of the most prominent (and prolific) researchers in the field of neuroimaging. His contributions to methodological development in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are immense:He invented statistical parametric mapping; SPM is an international standard for analysing imaging data and rests on the general linear model and random field theory (developed with Keith Worsley). In 1994, his group developed voxel-based morphometry. VBM detects differences in n........ Read more »
Carhart-Harris, R., & Friston, K. (2010) The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of Freudian ideas. Brain. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awq010
Galaxies are made of stars, and stars are made of... gas. So a large part of understanding how galaxies evolve and grow is understanding how much "gas" (literally, not "gasoline") is present in galaxies – but has not yet been incorporated in stars – at different periods in the history of the universe.What periods of the universe are most interesting in this regard? The answer is: periods somewhat less than the first half of the universe's existence since the time of the big bang, rou........ Read more »
Tacconi, L., Genzel, R., Neri, R., Cox, P., Cooper, M., Shapiro, K., Bolatto, A., Bouché, N., Bournaud, F., Burkert, A.... (2010) High molecular gas fractions in normal massive star-forming galaxies in the young Universe. Nature, 463(7282), 781-784. DOI: 10.1038/nature08773
Well well well. Here we are. It's Friday. And we've been talking about SPERM ALL WEEK.
What to do...what to do...
Nel-Themaat et al. "Quality and freezing qualities of ﬁrst and second ejaculates collected from endangered Gulf Coast Native rams" Animal Reproduction Science, 2006.
So it turns out that the people who wrote the study Sci covered the other week wrote ANOTHER one. Also, it turns out the eland is not endangered, but the other species they were working with, the Gulf Co........ Read more »
NELTHEMAAT, L., HARDING, G., CHANDLER, J., CHENEVERT, J., DAMIANI, P., FERNANDEZ, J., HUMES, P., POPE, C., & GODKE, R. (2006) Quality and freezing qualities of first and second ejaculates collected from endangered Gulf Coast Native rams. Animal Reproduction Science, 95(3-4), 251-261. DOI: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2005.09.014
A number of interesting revelations to be had here, and all to do with our choices of ‘mate’.
And by mate, I don’t mean the antipodean colloquialism meaning ‘friend’. Nope, I mean mate as in, you know, someone you want to shag. As it were.
The first revelation in this paper* is that, for the most part, [...]
[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »
Lass-Hennemann, J., Deuter, C., Kuehl, L., Schulz, A., Blumenthal, T., & Schachinger, H. (2010) Effects of stress on human mating preferences: stressed individuals prefer dissimilar mates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0258
The goal of the study was to analyze risk in a global supply chain, especially originating from labor dissatisfaction and turnover. The results were obtained using a survey of workers in the Chinese Pearl River Delta region. The methodology is presented precisely and comprehensively. ... Read more »
Jiang, B., Baker, R., & Frazier, G. (2009) An analysis of job dissatisfaction and turnover to reduce global supply chain risk: Evidence from China. Journal of Operations Management, 27(2), 169-184. DOI: 10.1016/j.jom.2007.09.002
Via FuturePundit, I see that a recent open access paper outlines the results of applied cancer research over the past four decades. Declining Death Rates Reflect Progress against Cancer The success of the "war on cancer" initiated in 1971 continues to be debated, with trends in cancer mortality variably presented as evidence of progress or failure. We examined temporal trends in death rates from all-cancer and the 19 most common cancers in the United States from 1970-2006. ... Progress in reduci........ Read more »
Jemal, A., Ward, E., & Thun, M. (2010) Declining Death Rates Reflect Progress against Cancer. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009584
Neuroscientists have uncovered differential encoding of a tune and its lyrics within the superior temporal sulcus and gyrus. ... Read more »
Sammler, D., Baird, A., Valabregue, R., Clement, S., Dupont, S., Belin, P., & Samson, S. (2010) The Relationship of Lyrics and Tunes in the Processing of Unfamiliar Songs: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Adaptation Study. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(10), 3572-3578. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2751-09.2010
Small cities gobble large amounts of land per person
... Read more »
McDonald, R., Forman, R., & Kareiva, P. (2010) Open Space Loss and Land Inequality in United States' Cities, 1990–2000. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009509
The effects of impoundments are big one for people working in aquatic ecosystems. In Kansas, a large number of dams are still being built (and a lot more are in the discussion stages). So I am constantly trying to understand more about the effects of dams and the impacts they have on upstream and downstream aquatic ecosystems. I was recently forwarded the an article by Burke, Jorde and ... Read more »
Burke, M., Jorde, K., & Buffington, J. (2009) Application of a hierarchical framework for assessing environmental impacts of dam operation: Changes in streamflow, bed mobility and recruitment of riparian trees in a western North American river. Journal of Environmental Management. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2008.07.022
David Cameron’s “Broken Britain”, with its image of moral decay driven by the breakdown in family life and poverty, may be inciting a lot of debate in parliament and the public press, but to read many studies of human evolution, you might be mistaken for thinking that the human male has never actually played a meaningful role in childcare. Most evolutionary studies focus on female life history – age at first reproduction, number of offspring and interbirth interval, for example – to th........ Read more »
Gettler, L.T. (2010) Direct male care and hominin evolution: why male-child interaction is more than just a nice social idea. . American Anthropologist, 112(1), 7-21. info:/10.1111/j.1548-1433.2009.01193.x
Let’s say that you’re preparing for an extremely important test that you and roughly 100 other classmates will be taking in a week. A few days before the test, you find out that your instructor will be going on a trip not long after the test is over and will be providing written and verbal feedback to the students within a day of the test.
This is unusual, because ordinarily the instructor waits a week or more before providing feedback. About half of the class finds out that the........ Read more »
Kettle, K., & Haubl, G. (2010) Motivation by Anticipation: Expecting Rapid Feedback Enhances Performance. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797610363541
I've written a lot about bacteria and plants over the last few weeks, so in celebration of the fact that my project is finally on it's way out (with a whimper rather than a bang, unfortunately, but that's how it goes sometimes) I've decided to descend into the world of viruses. I've also decided to have a go at deconstructing some clinical papers, to make a change from academia. The difference between clinical and academic research can probably be described as follows (and I'm pretty sure I've s........ Read more »
Hane Htut Muang. (2008) Norovirus Infection: An Underestimated Danger. Cambridge Medicine, 22-24. info:/
Lopman BA, Reacher M, Gallimore C, Adak GK, Gray JJ, & Brown DW. (2003) A summertime peak of "winter vomiting disease": surveillance of noroviruses in England and Wales, 1995 to 2002. BMC public health, 13. PMID: 12659651
Since Darwin, scientists have been theorizing as to why there is variation in brain size between species and individuals. Does a larger brain, in say humans, indicate advanced cognitive abilities and complex language processing? Or is a smaller brain, such as the Olive-backed thrush’s, adapted to weigh less to accommodate lengthy flights?
In psychology, the field of phrenology has generally been dissolved, and with it, the idea that variations in brain size could indicate differences ........ Read more »
Cristol, D. (2003) Migratory dark-eyed juncos, Junco hyemalis, have better spatial memory and denser hippocampal neurons than nonmigratory conspecifics. Animal Behaviour, 66(2), 317-328. DOI: 10.1006/anbe.2003.2194
Sol, D., Garcia, N., Iwaniuk, A., Davis, K., Meade, A., Boyle, W., & Székely, T. (2010) Evolutionary Divergence in Brain Size between Migratory and Resident Birds. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009617
Shultz, S., & Dunbar, R. (2006) Both social and ecological factors predict ungulate brain size. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1583), 207-215. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3283
Ever since the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, Russian leaders have been vowing to transform their old-line, industrial society into a modern, knowledge-based economy driven by innovative science and technology. The current Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, has repeated that ambition frequently — not least as a way to overcome Russia’s dependence on oil and [...]... Read more »
Kenneth Suslick (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, United States) and coworkers have discriminated between 10 different brands of coffee, based on the volatile chemicals they emit under roasting, within two minutes with a cheap, disposable synthetic nose. This news feature was written on March 11, 2010.... Read more »
Suslick, B. A., Feng, L., & Suslick, K. S. (2010) Discrimination of Complex Mixtures by a Colorimetric Sensor Array: Coffee Aromas. Analytical Chemistry, 82(5), 2067-2073. DOI: 10.1021/ac902823w
Coca-Cola sucks India dry. Image: Carlos Latuff / Wikimedia CommonsThe marketing executive who came up with Coca-Cola's popular slogan in 1908 most likely never expected it would be taken so literally. However, a hundred years ago there probably weren't many who imagined a term like "water wars" could exist in a region that experiences annual monsoons.
On Feb........ Read more »
AIYER, A. (2007) THE ALLURE OF THE TRANSNATIONAL: Notes on Some Aspects of the Political Economy of Water in India. Cultural Anthropology, 22(4), 640-658. DOI: 10.1525/can.2007.22.4.640
Mata et al. (2009) use social dominance orientation (SDO) theory to ponder why it is that boys in school are so prejudiced against gays. Might contact, understanding, and respect lead to more inclusive (and less homophobic) classroom settings?... Read more »
Mata, J., Ghavami, N., & Wittig, M. (2009) Understanding Gender Differences in Early Adolescents' Sexual Prejudice. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 30(1), 50-75. DOI: 10.1177/0272431609350925
This morning the newswires (HT Mike Huckman) are full of the BioSante (formerly Cell Genesys) news on their leukemia vaccine, GVAX, which is being tested to see whether it is a viable approach for eradication of minimal residual disease. Accordingly,...... Read more »
Smith, B., Kasamon, Y., Kowalski, J., Gocke, C., Murphy, K., Miller, C., Garrett-Mayer, E., Tsai, H., Qin, L., Chia, C.... (2010) K562/GM-CSF Immunotherapy Reduces Tumor Burden in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients with Residual Disease on Imatinib Mesylate. Clinical Cancer Research, 16(1), 338-347. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-2046
Are we Africans different to the rest of the world in our giving, punishing and trusting behaviour? Three remarkable economic anthropology studies try to examine this kind of question with several ethnic groups in four countries: the Pimbwe, Sukuma and Kahama in Tanzania, the Maasai of Kenya and the Ju/'hoan Bushmen of Namibia and Botswana. I can't to do any of the papers justice with my short comments, but I thought you might find them interesting nevertheless.The three papers take quite diffe........ Read more »
Wiessner, P. (2009) Experimental Games and Games of Life among the Ju/’hoan Bushmen. Current Anthropology, 50(1), 133-138. DOI: 10.1086/595622
... Read more »
Drew, J., Anderson, N., & Andow, D. (2010) Conundrums of a complex vector for invasive species control: a detailed examination of the horticultural industry. Biological Invasions. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-010-9689-8
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