Post List

  • July 29, 2010
  • 09:29 PM
  • 573 views

Neury Thursday: Neurobiological Mechanisms of "Pot Time"

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Using an array of neuroscience techniques, researchers have dissected the neurobiology of "pot time" by focusing on cannabinoid effects on circadian entrainment and neuronal activity of the SCN circadian clock.... Read more »

Claudio Acuna-Goycolea, Karl Obrietan, and Anthony N. van den Pol. (2010) Cannabinoids Excite Circadian Clock Neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(30), 10061-10066. info:/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5838-09.2010

  • July 29, 2010
  • 08:49 PM
  • 887 views

Force Fields and Plasma Shields

by Ryan Anderson in The Science of Starcraft

I was always a fan of the Protoss: super-advanced technology, powerful units, and those awesome plasma shields protecting everything from the lowliest probe to gigantic carriers. But I always wondered: could those force fields really work? Well… Sort of. It really depends on your definition of a force field and what you want to prevent [...]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 07:47 PM
  • 1,159 views

Loops to tie a knot in proteins?

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life






Most proteins fold onto themselves without forming knots. A minority form a “topologically entangled conformation”, a knot.
Proteins are strings of amino acids, chained together one after the other.

The properties of proteins depends on their specific three-dimensional fold, how the chain of amino acids are arranged in space.
When proteins are first made by reading the RNA [...]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 03:51 PM
  • 2,438 views

Hubble Bubble

by The Astronomist in The Astronomist.

The Copernican principle holds that humans are not privileged observers of the Universe. Copernicus stated that the Earth is not at the center of the solar system or at any particularly special position in the heavens. Modern cosmology has extended this idea to reason that the earth does not occupy any unique position in the Universe. Modern philosophy of science pushes the principle even further to conclude that every observer (even if they be they little green men) should reason as if they wer........ Read more »

Adam Moss, James P. Zibin, & Douglas Scott. (2010) Precision Cosmology Defeats Void Models for Acceleration. arXiv preprint. arXiv: 1007.3725v1

  • July 29, 2010
  • 03:00 PM
  • 998 views

Making Sense of Sense

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

The roads less travelled – four paths to get from touch to the body I am studying medicine and as part of our course we do an Independent Learning project. I am doing mine in the Body in Mind research group here at NeuRA.  My first task is to review a key paper in the [...]... Read more »

Serino A, & Haggard P. (2010) Touch and the body. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, 34(2), 224-36. PMID: 19376156  

  • July 29, 2010
  • 03:00 PM
  • 598 views

A note on the ADA, corporate sponsorship, and PepsiGate

by Colby Vorland in nutsci.org

Last week, the American Dietetic Association announced a new corporate sponsor: The Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition. The press release is vague but states that they:

“…will collaborate with ADA on consumer and health professional initiatives including an innovative, national consumer-focused nutrition education campaign.”

Whatever that means. But the goals of these partnerships are always primarily to improve brand image so more people will include their products........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 02:47 PM
  • 306 views

Socializing Makes Thick-Skinned Fish

by Daniel Bassett in Chew the Fat

Cyprinid fishes (carps) show fright, or escape behaviour, when smelling alarm signals produced by conspecifics. These chemical alarm signals are found within special club cells and are released when these cells are ruptured. In nature, fish possessing the alarm club cells may become aware of a predator as it becomes labelled with the alarm pheromones when ingesting prey. In cyprinids it has been found that higher club cell densities exist in regions where there is a high abundance of predators. ........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 02:25 PM
  • 502 views

Placebo response without placebos

by Richard Morrisroe in DisgruntledPhD

Often, I hear that the placebo response is an artifact, merely a control for the "real" treatment. Today, I'd like to blog about a paper that suggests that every treatment is partially placebo. The paper is Benedetti et al 2003, and is probably one of the most interesting papers I have read.Essentially, the study looked at whether or not the awareness of treatment had any impact on the response to real drugs. To do this, they used (mostly) post-operative patients and looked at pain & anxiety........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 01:30 PM
  • 1,863 views

Socializing Makes Thick-Skinned Fish

by Daniel Bassett in Chew the Fat

Cyprinid fishes (carps) show fright, or escape behaviour, when smelling alarm signals produced by conspecifics. These chemical alarm signals are found within special club cells and are released when these cells are ruptured. In nature, fish possessing the alarm club cells may become aware of a predator as it becomes labelled with the alarm pheromones when ingesting prey. In cyprinids it has been found that higher club cell densities exist in regions where there is a high abundance of predators. ........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 01:12 PM
  • 950 views

Global vs Local Cognitive Style in Autism: Central Coherence

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The cognitive style known as central coherence is receiving increased attention across a variety of clinical neuroscience disorders.  I had not been familiar with this concept of central coherence.  Essentially, central coherence describes a style of thinking on a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum, you have individuals who tend to think globally or using a gestalt perspective.  The big picture is seen rather than paying attention to details.  The other end of spectrum incl........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 12:52 PM
  • 800 views

ResearchBlogCast #11: Using the genome to identify species

by Dave Munger in ResearchBlogging.org News

How do you define a species? Most people would probably say species are similar organisms that can reproduce sexually to produce viable offspring. But what about organisms that don’t reproduce sexually? Surely they have species too.
Today we’re discussing new research suggesting a different way to define species, using their genomes. It’s an intriguing study that [...]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 12:08 PM
  • 806 views

The Left Hand of Obama

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Voters in the 2008 Presidential election didn't have a meaningful choice. Whichever box they ticked, they were voting for a lefty.Yes, Obama and McCain are both sinistral, a rather unlikely occurrence since just 7-10% of adults are left handed. Netherlands-based neuroscientists Casasanto and Jasmin decided to make use of this coincidence to test the hypothesis that people tend to make "good" gestures with their dominant hand and "bad" ones with their off-hand, in a new PLoS paper: Good and Bad i........ Read more »

Daniel Casasanto and Kyle Jasmin1. (2010) Good and Bad in the Hands of Politicians: Spontaneous Gestures during Positive and Negative Speech. PLoS ONE. info:/

  • July 29, 2010
  • 11:40 AM
  • 976 views

qPCR Analysis: It’s What’s Inside That Counts

by avi_wener in American Biotechnologist

If you watched the video on real time quantitative PCR data analysis, you should have a good understanding of real-time quantitative PCR basics and the associated data analysis techniques. Classical quantification techniques such as Livak, delta CT and the Pfaffl rely on linear regression analysis and are currently the most widely accepted methodologies for quantitative [...]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 09:05 AM
  • 542 views

Global warming roundup: There's bad news, and weird news, but no really good news

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Regardless of what James Inhofe thinks, global climate change is going to dramatically reshape the natural systems our civilization depends upon. Unfortunately, even as we embark on the radical experiment of turning our planet's temperature up to 11, we're just figuring out what results to expect. A whole series of papers released in the last week exemplify this point, showing that living communities' response to the changing planet may often be counter-intuitive.

.flickr-photo { }.flickr-frame........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,484 views

Will Eating Blueberries Reduce Risk For Heart Disease?

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

Eating more fruit and vegetables is a common recommendation in dietary guidelines to prevent everything from obesity and heart disease to premature aging and cancer.
In this context, berries are of particular interest, as they are particularly rich in anti-oxidants and a variety of phytochemicals like polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, flavonols, and tannins that have demonstrated [...]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 07:56 AM
  • 565 views

Petro-cology

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

If you thought the environmental problems associated with our dependence on oil were bad enough, just wait – the end of cheap oil could bring new and even more vexing ecological threats. That’s the message from three scholars making a provocative new call for ecologists to get more active in studying the implications of tightening […] Read More »... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 07:28 AM
  • 1,190 views

Dendreon's sipuleucel-T data from the IMPACT trial shows no surprises

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Yesterday was a travel day but thanks to gippy wifi and a packed day, I didn't have the opportunity to post about some interesting articles on prostate cancer published in the NEJM, which I read and digested on the train...... Read more »

Kantoff, P., Higano, C., Shore, N., Berger, E., Small, E., Penson, D., Redfern, C., Ferrari, A., Dreicer, R., Sims, R.... (2010) Sipuleucel-T Immunotherapy for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(5), 411-422. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1001294  

  • July 29, 2010
  • 06:44 AM
  • 595 views

how a little green ball of cells controls where it's going

by alison in bioblog

In one of our first-year biology labs the students spend a bit of time looking down the microscope at various algae & protozoa. Some of their samples come from a container of interestingly weedy water from my fishpond. Not only is...... Read more »

  • July 29, 2010
  • 06:13 AM
  • 616 views

Genetic ironies: Retrovirus version

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

I’ve mentioned the APOBEC family before (for example, here and here). They’re a group of mammalian genes that (among other things) protect against retrovirus infection. DIfferent strains of mice have different resistance to retrovirus infection. Some strains are highly resistant, others quite susceptible. At least some of this difference in susceptibility comes down to different [...]... Read more »

  • July 28, 2010
  • 09:42 PM
  • 1,174 views

The First New Zealanders and their rats

by David in The Atavism

Crispin Jago has made a very cool thing, a periodic table of irrational nonsense. Rolling my eyes over the groups, wondering how people can believe some of these things, made me think about New Zealand's unique ecosystem of kooky ideas. We don't have to suffer creationists in any organised sense and I don't think anyone is too into ear candelling, but those TV psychics have found themselves a niche to exploit and most people seem think chiropratric and homeopathy are normal parts ........ Read more »

Holdaway, R. (1996) Arrival of rats in New Zealand. Nature, 384(6606), 225-226. DOI: 10.1038/384225b0  

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