Post List

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:31 AM
  • 1,275 views

Doctors, Be Warned!

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

The former Health Minister, House of Lords, in this rather short and pithy correspondence, warns doctors to steer clear of the rather controversial issue of assisted death. Maybe its just me, or maybe the streak of rebelliousness that I harbor within that makes me look at this article with a lot of distaste and disgust. Well, here is the disclaimer: I hate to be told what to do or what not to, and this letter sure does look a lot like being told to stay clear of fields where our involvement migh........ Read more »

Cumberlege, J. (2009) Doctors, steer clear. BMJ, 339(aug25 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b3422  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 08:27 AM
  • 1,314 views

The Face(book) Behind the Mask!

by The Journal Nomads in Vagus Journalis

In this rather poignant article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the author discusses his doubts and vacillations when a patient from 3 years ago befriends him on the popular social networking site, Facebook. At once he is interested to know how her baby girl (whom he delivered) is doing, and is cowed by the fact that he will be breaching the wall that separates his public life from the private one. He is worried that the patient will have access to his blogs, his photographs, h........ Read more »

Jain, S. (2009) Practicing Medicine in the Age of Facebook. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(7), 649-651. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp0901277  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 06:15 AM
  • 625 views

Frogs and jumping viruses

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space







“Batrachia”, by Ernst Haeckel
(Kunstformen der Natur, 1904)



There’s a constant viral assault on us humans, as there is on just about all other species. We as a species have to contend not only with the vast pool of human pathogens, those viruses that constantly circulate among humanity; but also with the continual probes on our defenses [...]... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 05:00 AM
  • 898 views

Plant a tree to save a fish: riparian woodlands as stream temperature regulators

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • March 2, 2010
  • 05:00 AM
  • 837 views

Hot housed Chinese schoolkids are getting ill from the stress

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

A third of Chinese children experience high levels of school-related stress, and these kids are about five times more likely to have the physical symptoms of stress – that is, headache or abdominal pain – then their less frazzled peers.
Thanks to the combination of China’s recent economic growth – with the increased opportunities for upward [...]... Read more »

Hesketh, T., Zhen, Y., Lu, L., Dong, Z., Jun, Y., & Xing, Z. (2010) Stress and psychosomatic symptoms in Chinese school children: cross-sectional survey. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 95(2), 136-140. DOI: 10.1136/adc.2009.171660  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 02:49 AM
  • 873 views

Personalized Medical Education

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD


Medical Schools or medical education is mainly done in universities. Medical education in universities especially undergraduate education in North America as well as in Europe are full with very basic science such as chemistry, physics, but also laboratory branches such as biochemical education. I can still remember long afternoons using a pipette in endless rows [...]


Related posts:Empathy for the Mentally Ill in Medical Education Empathy is an important asset for a doctor. This...
The Hidd........ Read more »

Curry RH, & Montgomery K. (2010) Toward a liberal education in medicine. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(2), 283-7. PMID: 20107358  

Thornhill JT 4th, & Tong L. (2006) From Yoda to Sackett: the future of psychiatry medical student education. Academic psychiatry : the journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry, 30(1), 23-8. PMID: 16473990  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 02:02 AM
  • 963 views

Beewolf wasps culture their own antibiotics

by Michael Bok in Arthropoda

Humans have been aware of the antibiotic properties of some molds and plants for thousands of years. In classical times, fungal molds were used to treat infections. However, the true antibiotic renaissance began in 1928, when Alexander Fleming first isolated penicillin from the fungus, Penicillium notatum. Since then, penicillin and other powerful [...]... Read more »

Kroiss, J., Kaltenpoth, M., Schneider, B., Schwinger, M., Hertweck, C., Maddula, R., Strohm, E., & Svatoš, A. (2010) Symbiotic streptomycetes provide antibiotic combination prophylaxis for wasp offspring. Nature Chemical Biology. DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.331  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 12:15 AM
  • 842 views

Intelligence, Monogamy and Journalistic Licence

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon


Last week news came out about a study linking intelligence with liberal attitudes and atheistic beliefs, oh and in men an increased tendency for monogamy. Today I read the NZ Herald’s short take on the study, a semi-chauvinistic piece pointing out how we evolved intelligent men can think our way to monogamy while those sexually [...]... Read more »

  • March 1, 2010
  • 10:10 PM
  • 1,316 views

Superoxygenation: how to prevent alcohol’s nasty side-effects

by aimee in misc.ience

This is great news for all of us drinkers.  And, frankly, if I was just a little better at actual chemistry, how I’d make my first couple of fortunes*
And now I have the song ‘Tiny Bubbles‘ stuck, unfortunately, in my head. (When I first heard it, though it was an Aero jingle.  Possibly)

So yes.  To [...]

[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »

In-hwan Baek, Byung-yo Lee, and Kwang-il Kwon. (2010) Influence of Dissolved Oxygen Concentration on the Pharmacokinetics of Alcohol in Humans . Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. info:/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01155.x

  • March 1, 2010
  • 08:27 PM
  • 884 views

Fossil Snake Snacks on Sauropods

by Anne-Marie Hodge in Endless Forms


The patchy and elusive nature of the fossil record offers us limited glimpses as to what life was like during ancient times. Often, details of behavior and interspecific interactions are left open to interpretation and speculation. But occasionally, a sudden catastrophe caught ancient animals by surprise, killing and preserving them in a moment of activity. This is rather unfortunate at the time, but proves a boon to inquisitive hominds all these years later. This is exactly the case ........ Read more »

Wilson JA, Mohabey DM, Peters SE, Head JJ. (2010) Predation upon hatchling dinosaurs by a new snake from the Late Cretaceous of India. PLoS Biology, 8(3). info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000322

  • March 1, 2010
  • 08:20 PM
  • 1,123 views

What if Bt saved human lives?

by MaryM in Biofortified

When I was in grad school, there was a lab in our department that studied intestinal parasitic roundworms.  Although this wasn’t related to what I was doing in any way—everyone who has been to grad school will know that you attend the department seminars for the donuts and/or pizza no matter what the topic is.  [...]... Read more »

Hu Y, Georghiou SB, Kelleher AJ, & Aroian RV. (2010) Bacillus thuringiensis Cry5B Protein Is Highly Efficacious as a Single-Dose Therapy against an Intestinal Roundworm Infection in Mice. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 4(3). info:/doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000614

  • March 1, 2010
  • 06:41 PM
  • 501 views

Covet thy neighbour’s paddock

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes


An interesting, frightening and and at the same time, potentially hopeful, paper has just appeared in the latest issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Co-authored by a previously highlighted Conservation Scholar Georgina Mace, the paper by Boakes and colleagues entitled Extreme contagion in global habitat clearance is probably one of the strongest bits of [...]... Read more »

Boakes, E., Mace, G., McGowan, P., & Fuller, R. (2009) Extreme contagion in global habitat clearance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1684), 1081-1085. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1771  

  • March 1, 2010
  • 05:55 PM
  • 724 views

Elucidating Sleep and Reward Centers

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Elucidating Sleep and Reward Centers
March 1, 2010 - Author: Allison

It is rare for one to see an empirical article in a moderately-impactful journal, such as SLEEP, that solely reports about one case study (let alone have multiple affiliations……can we say out-sourcing/contracting the work?). I can overlook the extremely small sample size, however, because this study may help my lab elucidate a reciprocal relationship between sleep/wake and reward centers of the brain and relat........ Read more »

Smaranda Leu-Semenescu; Isabelle Arnulf; Caroline Decaix; Fathi Moussa; Fabienne Clot; Camille Boniol; Yvan Touitou; Richard Levy; Marie Vidailhet; Emmanuel Roze. (2010) Sleep and Rhythm Consequences of a Genetically Induced Loss of Serotonin. SLEEP, 33(3), 307-314. info:/

  • March 1, 2010
  • 05:07 PM
  • 1,306 views

Is this why atheists are, on average, more intelligent?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

There's a new paper out by Satoshi Kanazawa which is causing a bit of a stir. You might have seen something about it already - I'm a little behind the curve on this one, but on the plus side I have actually read the paper, unlike many other pundits!What's got people talking is the correlation between atheism and intelligence, although that isn't what the paper is actually about. It's already pretty well established that atheists tend, on average, to be more intelligent. This paper firms that fin........ Read more »

  • March 1, 2010
  • 03:42 PM
  • 1,091 views

Official. Drinking alcohol leads to hangover

by Euan in Dr Euan Lawson| Doctor Writer

Hangovers offer rich pickings for complementary therapists. It’s the perfect fodder for alternative medicine. Give them an affliction almost completely characterised by a progressive recovery and they will be tumbling over themselves to offer ‘cures’. Staring bleary-eyed at the Sunday supplements the recommended homeopathic regime of nux vomica suddenly seem like a good idea. Rational [...]... Read more »

  • March 1, 2010
  • 02:29 PM
  • 775 views

Decay Processes and Chordate Phylogeny

by Isabelle Winder in Going Ape

I have just read a Nature paper reporting some experimental work studying the pattern of decay in two soft-bodied species, Lampetra and Branchiostoma, which are thought to be the best proxies of the early chordates (chordates are the group of animals that includes the vertebrates and those invertebrates that are their closest relatives). The authors, Sansom et al. (2010), note that our understanding of the early evolution of the chordates is very sparse, in large part because the early chordates........ Read more »

  • March 1, 2010
  • 12:57 PM
  • 689 views

What Attention Looks Like in the Human Brain

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

The brain is essentially an electric organ. Other than slow chemical signals that pass between neurons, information is carried around the brain by electrical impulses, creating a noisy storm  that represents our senses, commands and thoughts. Experimentally, scientists can make some sense of this electric din by lowering an electrode into the brain and recording [...]... Read more »

  • March 1, 2010
  • 12:50 PM
  • 1,431 views

On Software in Astronomy

by sarah in One Small Step


I’ve been giving some thought to software development in astronomy, which is a difficult topic. All astronomers agree that good data processing, and hence good software, is crucial to doing rigorous science. To interpret observational data, to translate electrons on a detector to scientific knowledge, requires a solid understanding of the instrument, the observing conditions, [...]... Read more »

C. Sandin, T. Becker, M. M. Roth, J. Gerssen, A. Monreal-Ibero, P. Böhm, & P. Weilbacher. (2010) p3d: a general data-reduction tool for fiber-fed integral-field spectrographs. accepted by A. arXiv: 1002.4406v1

  • March 1, 2010
  • 12:05 PM
  • 595 views

Meat and Mortality

by travis@obesitypanacea.com (Travis Saunders) in Obesity Panacea

[Travis' Note:  We are getting much closer to announcing our exciting news about the future of Obesity Panacea.  We're working hard to get everything ready, and we'll make the announcement as soon as possible.  In the meantime, please enjoy another of our favourite posts from the Obesity Panacea Archives]

Photo by procsilas.
I have mentioned a few times in past posts that I believe a diet high in "plant-based" foods (fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, whole grains, etc) is somethin........ Read more »

Sinha R, Cross AJ, Graubard BI, Leitzmann MF, & Schatzkin A. (2009) Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people. Archives of internal medicine, 169(6), 562-71. PMID: 19307518  

  • March 1, 2010
  • 11:42 AM
  • 1,964 views

Uncovering the "Chimpanzee Stone Age"

by Laelaps in Laelaps



An adult chimpanzee in Bossou, Guinea uses hammer and anvil stones to crack nuts as younger individuals look on. From Haslam et al., 2009.




Before 1859 the idea that humans lived alongside the mammoths, ground sloths, and saber-toothed cats of the not-too-distant past was almost heretical. Not only was there no irrefutable evidence that our species stretched so far back in time, but the very notion that we could have survived alongside such imposing Pleistocene mammals strained credulity. C........ Read more »

Mercader, J., Barton, H., Gillespie, J., Harris, J., Kuhn, S., Tyler, R., & Boesch, C. (2007) 4,300-Year-old chimpanzee sites and the origins of percussive stone technology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(9), 3043-3048. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0607909104  

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