Post List

  • February 27, 2010
  • 03:58 PM

Neurosurgical patients get closer to God

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

REMOVAL of specific parts of the brain can induce increases in a trait which predisposes people to spirituality, according to a new clinical study by Italian reseachers. The new research, published earlier this month in the journal Neuron, provides evidence that some brain structures are associated with spiritual thinking and feelings, and hints at individual differences that might make some people more prone than others to spirituality.

Cosimo Urgesi of the University of Udine and his colleagu........ Read more »

  • February 27, 2010
  • 02:34 PM

Piezoelectric fabric… again

by Lars Fischer in EuCheMS 2010 Blog

The latest edition of Nano Letters has yet another paper about some sort of piezoelectric fabric that generates electricity when deformed. In Theory, you could wear pants made from this stuff and power, say, your watch just by walking around. Admittedly this isn’t exactly novel. We heard about it already in 2003 (pdf), 2007 and [...]... Read more »

Qi, Y., Jafferis, N., Lyons, K., Lee, C., Ahmad, H., & McAlpine, M. (2010) Piezoelectric Ribbons Printed onto Rubber for Flexible Energy Conversion. Nano Letters, 10(2), 524-528. DOI: 10.1021/nl903377u  

  • February 27, 2010
  • 02:18 PM

The Biological Species Concept and Hybridisation in Primates

by Isabelle Winder in Going Ape

The most popular species concept in use today, the Biological Species Concept (BSC) defines a species through reference to the limits of reproductive compatibility: essentially, through the idea that any pair (male and female) within a single species will be capable of producing viable and fertile offspring, while a couple which belong to different species will not. The boundaries of successful reproduction, then, can be used to delineate species, at least in sexually reproducing animals.Of cour........ Read more »

JOLLY, C.J., WOOLLEY-BARKER, T., BEYENE, S., DISOTELL, T.R., & PHILLIPS-CONROY, J.E. (1997) Intergeneric hybrid baboons. International Journal of Primatology, 18(4), 597-627. info:/

  • February 27, 2010
  • 11:08 AM

"You just call out my name...": Friendships in Male and Female Baboons

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Male (right) and female (left, with infant) friends in a population of Chacma baboons. (From Palombit, 2009).

Among other things, friends are people you count on to come to your aid when you need help. If you were at a bar and a stranger started acting aggressively towards you, for example, you would expect your friends to rush over to help you rather than just stand there, mojito in hand. Contrary to our feelings of human exceptionalism, however, ours is not the only species of primate to........ Read more »

  • February 27, 2010
  • 07:42 AM

The Decline and Fall of the Cannabinoid Antagonists

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Cannabinoid Receptor, Type 1 (CB1) antagonists were supposed to be the next big thing.They're weight loss drugs, and with obesity rates rising and the diet craze showing no signs of abating, that's a large and growing market (...sorry). They worked, at least in the short term, and they were at least as effective as existing pills. They may even have had health benefits over and above promoting weight loss, such as improving blood fat and sugar levels through metabolic effects.It all started off ........ Read more »

  • February 27, 2010
  • 12:50 AM

what’s adaptive about depression?

by Tal Yarkoni in citation needed

Jonah Lehrer has an interesting article in the NYT magazine about a recent Psych Review article by Paul Andrews and J. Anderson Thomson. The basic claim Andrews and Thomson make in their paper is that depression is “an adaptation that evolved as a response to complex problems and whose function is to minimize disruption of [...]... Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 09:17 PM

Friday Parasite: Sugar Fiend

by Diane Kelly in Science Made Cool

Corn smut imports sugar to hide from its plant host. ... Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 08:48 PM

Some science for raw foodists

by Crystallinity in Chemical Crystallinity

I once lived with a woman who insisted that cooking food broke down the enzymes that we so desperately need from the food....This same roommate also insisted that water kept at room temperature was more "alkaline" than when it was cold.  (Though this website insists that the water must have a pH = 10 to have this effect, and that if you drink it, it will clean toxins from your body. She insisted temperature alone achieved this desired effect.) ...She was taking gene........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 06:54 PM

More Femininity Equals Less Deviant Men

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Nofziger (2010) has put forward the idea that the loss of self-control so often associated with deviant behaviour might not be a matter of sex differences but rather, differences in gender identity.... Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 04:34 PM

Premenstrual syndrome: understanding origin and variation

by Kate Clancy in Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology

This post explains variation in behavior through the menstrual cycle, hormonal variation, and problematizes the assumption that progesterone withdrawal explains premenstrual syndrome.... Read more »

Brinton RD, Thompson RF, Foy MR, Baudry M, Wang J, Finch CE, Morgan TE, Pike CJ, Mack WJ, Stanczyk FZ.... (2008) Progesterone receptors: form and function in brain. Frontiers in neuroendocrinology, 29(2), 313-39. PMID: 18374402  

Chapman, J., McIntyre, M., Lipson, S., & Ellison, P. (2009) Weight change and ovarian steroid profiles in young women. Fertility and Sterility, 91(3), 858-861. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.12.081  

Ellison PT, Panter-Brick C, Lipson SF, & O'Rourke MT. (1993) The ecological context of human ovarian function. Human reproduction (Oxford, England), 8(12), 2248-58. PMID: 8150934  

Jasieńska G, & Ellison PT. (1998) Physical work causes suppression of ovarian function in women. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 265(1408), 1847-51. PMID: 9802241  

Panter-Brick C, & Ellison PT. (1994) Seasonality of workloads and ovarian function in Nepali women. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 234-5. PMID: 8154716  

Marván ML, Díaz-Erosa M, & Montesinos A. (1998) Premenstrual symptoms in Mexican women with different educational levels. The Journal of psychology, 132(5), 517-26. PMID: 9729845  

O'hara, M., & Swain, A. (1996) Rates and risk of postpartum depression—a meta-analysis. International Review of Psychiatry, 8(1), 37-54. DOI: 10.3109/09540269609037816  

  • February 26, 2010
  • 04:22 PM

Where They Got the Turquoise

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Probably no single material is more closely associated with Chaco than turquoise.  The vast amounts found in Room 33 at Pueblo Bonito alone suggest its importance, but it has been found in considerable quantities at many different sites, both small houses and great houses and both inside and outside of the canyon.  There is considerable [...]... Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 03:22 PM

Am happy, will be selfish; Am sad, will be fair. Oh Really?!?

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image via Wikipedia

Many a times, researchers have their own personal agendas and its very human to fall in to the temptation to interpret study results or spin them to suit ones long term subject matter and expertise.  This is a trap in which Joe Forgas et al fall when they report in JESP that happy More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Am happy, will seek novelty; am sad, will stick with familiar Image by Getty Images via Daylife I have earlier...
Entrepreneurial ro........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 02:38 PM

Sunlight on the sea

by Sarah Stephen in An ecological oratorio

In this last week the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Recife have experienced records levels of UV exposure. While a UV index of 6-7 is ¨high risk", and "very high risk" is 8-10, Sao Paulo was scorched with an index of 14. As the sun burns us it also beats down on the ocean surface and the algae that live there. What happens next is the subject of the CLAW hypothesis, which proposes a negative feedback loop, as follows.....Dimethylsulphide produced by phytoplankton is oxidised by bacteria to ........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 12:17 PM

Workplace Interventions Increase Employee Physical Activity Levels

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Although it is widely recommended that adults attain at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week, over half of Americans (51.9%) and Canadians (51.0%) fail to meet this minimum threshold. While physicians may also counsel their at-risk patients regarding physical activity, these patients seldom adopt the recommended behavior. Thus, while we currently know that physical activity is good for most people, we don’t have the vaguest idea how to get most ........ Read more »

DISHMAN, R., DEJOY, D., WILSON, M., & VANDENBERG, R. (2009) Move to ImproveA Randomized Workplace Trial to Increase Physical Activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 36(2), 133-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.09.038  

  • February 26, 2010
  • 09:55 AM

Musical Emotions: Chills Edition

by Princess Ojiaku in Science with Moxie

CHILLS.I'm one of the people who gets them when I listen to music I find really, really enjoyable. In fact, there are a whole range of emotions I can go through while listening to something I really like. Last Saturday night, I definitely was on the peak end of experiencing intense music-related emotions while watching my bandmate and favorite drummer, Jessica Caesar play during this song at The Dirty Little Heaters' CD release show. Take a look:So what is this whole "chills" thing about anyway?........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 09:26 AM

Can birds affect tree growth?

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Growing conditions, such as water and nutrient supply, are the major determinates of tree growth, but insectivorous birds can also play an important role, say scientists in a study published in the January issue of Ecology. Under the right conditions, birds contribute to whole tree growth by preying on herbaceous arthropods, such as leafhoppers, caterpillars and grasshoppers.... Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 09:08 AM

The ant smelloscope

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Blast it, I hate it when the authors of a research article come up perhaps the best possible title.

“Do desert ants smell the scenery in stereo?”

I can’t top that title. All I can do is try to explain a little.

Cataglyphis fortis is a name that is not well-known to many, but to an ethologist like myself, they're kind of famous. This is a desert ant species that has taught us a phenomenal amount about how animals navigate in their environment. These ants, with their small brains, are doi........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 06:44 AM

Video-game exercise bikes - not just a gimmick

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Exercise is going techno. People are playing Wii fit sports games in their homes and gyms are full of ever more interactive exercise machines. But is this trend anything more than gimmickry? Yes, according to a new study by Ryan Rhodes at the Behavioural Medicine Lab at the University of Victoria, and his colleagues.Rhodes' team had 29 previously inactive young men embark on an exercise regime, involving three half-hour cycling sessions a week for six weeks. Crucially, half the men trained on Ga........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2010
  • 06:33 AM

Personalized Annoyance of Research Enthusiast (PARE)

by Keith Robison in Omics! Omics!

Last night I finally got my paws on a paper which started out on a frustrating tack. Last week, a flurry of news items heralded a new approach from Vogelstein's group at Johns Hopkins that involved second generation sequencing of patient tumor samples. But, the early reports claimed it had been published in Science Translational Medicine, whereas it most certainly wasn't there except a suggestive teaser about the next week's issue. I thought perhaps someone had really blown it and ignored an ........ Read more »

Leary, R., Kinde, I., Diehl, F., Schmidt, K., Clouser, C., Duncan, C., Antipova, A., Lee, C., McKernan, K., De La Vega, F.... (2010) Development of Personalized Tumor Biomarkers Using Massively Parallel Sequencing. Science Translational Medicine, 2(20), 20-20. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3000702  

  • February 26, 2010
  • 06:02 AM

Why Johnny can’t read (but Jane can)

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

Reading is not a skill that comes naturally.  Unlike learning spoken language, which the human brain has evolved to absorb almost effortlessly, learning to read is a protracted and difficult process.  It involves the categorical association of arbitrary visual symbols with phonemes and also the ability to break words down into component phonemes.  It thus relies on an integration between visual and auditory processes, combining spatial and temporal information, within a learned linguistic c........ Read more »

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