Post List

  • November 9, 2010
  • 12:07 AM

Electrical enhancement of mathematical ability

by Michelle Greene in NeurRealism

Mathematical ability is highly linked to earning power and career success.  A new paper  in Current Biology demonstrates that six days of 20 minute sessions of electrical stimulation over the parietal lobe can increase some numerical literacy tasks, even six months after the stimulation was applied!The electrical stimulation is called transcranial direct-current stimulation (TDCS). In this paradigm, electrodes are placed on the scalp as in EEG, and then a small amount of current (1-2 m........ Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 08:47 PM

Genomic patterns of pleiotropy and the evolution of complexity (Wang et. al 2010)

by Victor Hanson-Smith in Evolution, Development, and Genomics

Posted by Victor Hanson-Smith, Conor O’Brien, and Bryn Gaertner. One of the grand challenges of evo-devo is to understand how mutations of genetic sequences affect concomitant phenotypic traits.  Eighty-one years ago, Fisher (1930) proposed that every mutation may affect every … Continue reading →... Read more »

Wang Z, Liao BY, & Zhang J. (2010) Genomic patterns of pleiotropy and the evolution of complexity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(42), 18034-9. PMID: 20876104  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 08:41 PM

Caperea alive!

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

By now you might be relatively familiar with the bizarre soft tissue and bony anatomy of the peculiar, poorly known Pygmy right whale Caperea marginata [a juvenile Caperea that stranded on New Zealand is shown above; original image by New Zealand Department of Conservation, from Te Papa's Blog]. If you missed the relevant articles you might want to check them out here (on the giant, asymmetrical laryngeal pouch), here (on the vertebrae and ribs) and here (on the skull, ribs and tail). These ........ Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 08:31 PM

Ocean acidification negatively affects coral establishment

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

When CO2 from fossil fuels accumulates in the atmosphere, some of it dissolves into the oceans where it reacts with water to form a weak acid (H2CO3) —carbonic acid— that lowers seawater pH and makes it increasingly difficult for corals and other calcitic organisms to form their calcium carbonate (CaCO3) skeletons.
A new study in the [...]... Read more »

Rebecca Albright, Benjamin Mason, Margaret Miller, and Chris Langdon. (2010) Ocean acidification compromises recruitment success of the threatened Caribbean coral Acropora palmata. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/

  • November 8, 2010
  • 07:27 PM

Potential genetic basis for why BPA is harmful to animals

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

In a forthcoming article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Patric Allard and Monica Colaiácovo use a nemotode (round worm) system to explore how BPA damages genetic processes in animals.
BPA ranks among the highest production volume chemicals with a global annual production scale of ≈4 million metric tons. It is commonly used in [...]... Read more »

Patrick Allard and Monica P. Colaiácovo. (2010) Bisphenol A impairs the double-strand break repair machinery in the germline and causes chromosome abnormalities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1010386107

  • November 8, 2010
  • 07:05 PM

Quantitative Population Impact of Adoption Among California Sea Lions

by Michael Long in Phased

Adoption frequency among California sea lions appears to be between roughly 6% and 17%, and is possibly a major contributor to sea lion populations.... Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 05:18 PM

John Everett, part III.0: If some is good, then more must be better.

by csoeder in Topologic Oceans

Have you ever gone camping with someone who doesn’t know how to build a fire? It might go something like this: you get a pile of twigs burning, and immediately your friend starts piling on huge logs. The fire dwindles. “Hey,” your friend says, “This fire sucks. It must need more logs.” If some fuel [...]... Read more »

Coale, K., Johnson, K., Fitzwater, S., Gordon, R., Tanner, S., Chavez, F., Ferioli, L., Sakamoto, C., Rogers, P., Millero, F.... (1996) A massive phytoplankton bloom induced by an ecosystem-scale iron fertilization experiment in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Nature, 383(6600), 495-501. DOI: 10.1038/383495a0  

Iglesias-Rodriguez, M., Halloran, P., Rickaby, R., Hall, I., Colmenero-Hidalgo, E., Gittins, J., Green, D., Tyrrell, T., Gibbs, S., von Dassow, P.... (2008) Phytoplankton Calcification in a High-CO2 World. Science, 320(5874), 336-340. DOI: 10.1126/science.1154122  

Anthony, K., Kline, D., Diaz-Pulido, G., Dove, S., & Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (2008) Ocean acidification causes bleaching and productivity loss in coral reef builders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(45), 17442-17446. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0804478105  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 04:36 PM

The Key to Everlasting Love

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Read on to find out what couples can avoid doing in order to make love last a lifetime.... Read more »

Acevedo, B., & Aron, A. (2009) Does a long-term relationship kill romantic love?. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 59-65. DOI: 10.1037/a0014226  

Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S. (1986) A theory and method of love. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(2), 392-402. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.50.2.392  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 04:30 PM

Lions and lollipops. The brain’s amazing race for meaning.

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Some take the tube, others the train…The Amazing Race in the brain It makes sense that we need to process and respond to some stuff we see quicker than other stuff we see.  Take for instance a lion versus a lollipop.  This paper by Pessoa and Adolphs explores the mechanisms behind emotional processing of visual [...]... Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 03:25 PM

Education of Children as a Form of Manipulation

by Colin Schultz in CMBR

This is another in a series of essays that I’m not *so* embarrassed by that I felt like sharing. Eric Cave in “What’s Wrong with Motive Manipulation” described a variety of ways in which we could be manipulated to alter our behaviour, movement or actions. He accurately described two different broad sets of motives which are acted [...]... Read more »

Cave, E. (2006) What’s Wrong with Motive Manipulation?. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 10(2), 129-144. DOI: 10.1007/s10677-006-9052-4  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 02:52 PM

Autism-Related Gene Spotlight: SLC4A10

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

I'm doing a series describing genes that have been found to be associated (even weakly, as this one is) with autism. This one is a membrane-spanning transport protein that exchanges sodium and bicarbonate ions for chloride ion; it is primarily expressed in the central nervous system. Mutations in this gene lead to changes in neuronal excitability, which can manifest as seizures.... Read more »

Jacobs, S., Ruusuvuori, E., Sipila, S., Haapanen, A., Damkier, H., Kurth, I., Hentschke, M., Schweizer, M., Rudhard, Y., Laatikainen, L.... (2008) Mice with targeted Slc4a10 gene disruption have small brain ventricles and show reduced neuronal excitability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(1), 311-316. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0705487105  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 01:40 PM

Why bother with happiness? Broaden and build theory & Chronic pain

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Readers may be wondering why I’ve come over all happy clappy and jolly joy germ – well, I realised I’d been writing a lot about experimental and theoretical factors found to influence vulnerability to chronic pain, but I had been writing less about ways to help people cope more effectively with chronic pain. I do … Read more... Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 01:34 PM

Transparent mouse embryos and hematopoietic cell clusters

by Erin Campbell in the Node

I was lucky in graduate school and my postdoctoral research—I was a microscopist working on a transparent organism (C. elegans).  Some microscopists don’t have that luxury, but have developed amazing techniques in order to visualize development in organisms such as mice.  In the November 1 issue of Development, Yokomizo and Dzierzak use a technique that [...]... Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 01:14 PM

Antibiotics and gut bacteria

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

All microbiologists end up writing about gut bacteria at some point. It is the way of things. Disease of the Week is currently doing a whole series on it, and a few weeks ago I covered the interaction of the immune system with gut bacteria (here). However a recent paper came out in Microbiology Today concerning the affect of antibiotics on gut bacteria, which is a topic that I both find interesting and have had some actual experience with.I've taken antibiotics a few times, and each time I've fo........ Read more »

Jernberg C, Löfmark S, Edlund C, & Jansson JK. (2010) Long-term impacts of antibiotic exposure on the human intestinal microbiota. Microbiology (Reading, England), 156(Pt 11), 3216-23. PMID: 20705661  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Fattening Up Microbial Geological Biomarkers

by Paula Welander in Small Things Considered

by Paula Welander

First Evolved! Last Extinct! This prokaryotic pride motto was coined by my undergraduate advisor (and good friend) Prof. Mark Martin. As a microbiologist, I love this motto for many reasons, but especially because it alludes to one of the underlying principles of my current research. Microbes were indeed the first to evolve and the metabolic inventions of ancient microbes greatly influenced the ancient Earth’s environment and the evolution of life. The interaction between ........ Read more »

Welander PV, Coleman ML, Sessions AL, Summons RE, & Newman DK. (2010) Identification of a methylase required for 2-methylhopanoid production and implications for the interpretation of sedimentary hopanes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(19), 8537-42. PMID: 20421508  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 10:46 AM

The Reality of Health Care Rationing

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Tuesday’s midterm election results appeared to deliver a strong message of discontent to the young Obama administration. With Republicans gaining control of the House of Representatives and closing the gap in the Senate, many analysts saw the election as a rebuke of the Democratic agenda of the last two years. Perhaps the highest-profile of those [...]... Read more »

Meltzer DO, & Detsky AS. (2010) The Real Meaning of Rationing. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. PMID: 21041419  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 10:46 AM

A Good Cup of Tea

by Isobel in Promega Connections

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty. ~Japanese Proverb There is nothing like a good cup of tea. On that there is little dispute. Growing up in Britain, I was introduced to tea at an early age. It was impossible to avoid it. We had tea after [...]... Read more »

van Duynhoven, J., Vaughan, E., M. Jacobs, D., A. Kemperman, R., van Velzen, E., Gross, G., Roger, L., Possemiers, S., Smilde, A., Dore, J.... (2010) Microbes and Health Sackler Colloquium: Metabolic fate of polyphenols in the human superorganism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1000098107  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 10:37 AM

Humor in Scientific Publications

by Samuel Arbesman in

A couple of years ago, two researchers at the Technion tested whether or not funnier scientific article titles yielded higher citations. Their article, Amusing titles in scientific journals and article citation, takes the titles of over 1000 articles and has them rated on two scales, pleasantness and how amusing they are. They then checked to [...]... Read more »

Armstrong, J. (1989) Readability and prestige in scientific journals. Journal of Information Science, 15(2), 123-124. DOI: 10.1177/016555158901500209  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 10:24 AM

Improvement of Memory in Alzheimer’s Patients Through Music

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

According to the United States Alzheimer’s Association, over 5.3 million people in the US are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a chronic and progressive form of dementia in which symptoms begin as mild memory impairment and progress into loss of conversational ability, motor function, speech, and the ability to eat. As shown in the illustration below, the disease “eats” neurons in the brain, causing the symptoms discussed above.... Read more »

Simmons-Stern NR, Budson AE, & Ally BA. (2010) Music as a memory enhancer in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychologia, 48(10), 3164-7. PMID: 20452365  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 09:59 AM

Oh, so I guess they just couldn't do the experiment again...

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

In 20051, the Liu lab described a new central element in the Neurospora circadian clock. They found that an RNA helicase with similarity to the yeast exosome cofactor Dob1p/Mtr4p, associated with FRQ, a core clock component essential for circadian clock function in this fungus (it was termed FRH, for "FRQ-interacting RNA helicase"). Their evidence suggested that FRH played an important role in ... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit