Post List

  • June 16, 2010
  • 10:17 AM

Once More into the Breach of Autism and Intellectual Disability (tweaked)

by KWombles in Countering...

Written before the important Nature study by Pinto et al. (2010), this post takes several posts I've done in the past on autism and intellectual disability, as well as responses to an individual who is positing an 80% rate of ID in autistic disorder, and synthesizes them into one large post while hopefully streamlining it some slight bit.Citing Berkel et al. (2010) as proof that ID is present in autistic disorder 80% of the time is not an accurate use of the research by bloggers. Researcher........ Read more »

Dawson, M., Soulieres, I., Ann Gernsbacher, M., & Mottron, L. (2007) The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence. Psychological Science, 18(8), 657-662. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01954.x  

Yeargin-Allsopp, M. (2003) Prevalence of Autism in a US Metropolitan Area. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(1), 49-55. DOI: 10.1001/jama.289.1.49  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Not just babble: Cooperating birds talk it through

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

For cooperation to work, everyone involved needs to know what the others are willing to contribute in order to decide what she will contribute. You might think that only humans can achieve that kind of back-and-forth negotiation, but a paper recently published online by Proceedings of the Royal Society suggests otherwise. In it, ornithologists decode the negotiations [$a] that allow sociable birds to share the task of watching for predators.

.flickr-photo { }.flickr-frameright { float: right; t........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 09:46 AM

A Link Between Liver Development, Regeneration, and Carcinogensis

by David Braxton in StemPath

The liver has long been recognized as having marked capacity for regeneration. However, it is only lately that we have been able to characterize and define the stem cell populations that contribute to the regeneration of the liver. Several new biomarkers have enabled a new understanding of human hepatic stem cells which has changed the way we think about the relationship between liver development, regeneration, and carcinogenesis. The following is a summary of recent advances in the field o........ Read more »

Limaye PB, Alarcón G, Walls AL, Nalesnik MA, Michalopoulos GK, Demetris AJ, & Ochoa ER. (2008) Expression of specific hepatocyte and cholangiocyte transcription factors in human liver disease and embryonic development. Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology, 88(8), 865-72. PMID: 18574450  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 09:37 AM

Life in the Machine

by Brit Trogen in Science in Seconds

New advances in nanoelectronics could change the way we view organic matter.... Read more »

Lipton-Duffin, J., Miwa, J., Kondratenko, M., Cicoira, F., Sumpter, B., Meunier, V., Perepichka, D., & Rosei, F. (2010) Step-by-step growth of epitaxially aligned polythiophene by surface-confined reaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1000726107  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 09:28 AM

Aircraft can cause precipitation by "seeding" clouds

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

In a paper that is about to be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, researchers Andrew Heymsfield, Patrick Kennedy, Steve Massie, Crl Schmitt, Zhien Wang, Samuel Haimov and Art Rangno make the claim that "The production of holes and channels in altocumulus clouds by two commercial turboprop aircraft is documented for the first time. ... Holes and channels in supercooled altocumulus clouds can be the result of homogeneous ice nucleation induced by turboprop and jet ai........ Read more »

Heymsfield, A., Kennedy, P., Massie, S., Schmitt, C., Wang, Z., Haimov, S., & Rangno, A. (2008) Aircraft-Induced Hole Punch and Canal Clouds: Inadvertent Cloud Seeding. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, preprint(2009), 1. DOI: 10.1175/2009BAMS2905.1  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:49 AM

Were The Americas Settled Twice?

by in

A team of paleoanthropologists report in PLoS One analyzed the skulls of several dozen 11,000 year old Paleoamericans and compared them to the skulls of more than 300 1,000 year old Amerindians. They concluded that based on the morphology, there were two distinct waves of colonizers from Asia. While we know from a couple genetic [...]... Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:48 AM

Snake in the grass

by admin in U+003F

One aim of this blog was to advocate and advertise the use of open science. Which is somewhat at odds with my advocation and advertisement of Matlab – a popular, powerful, but ultimately pricey piece of software. I’ve spent some time working with Octave – a language that is identical in every way to Matlab, [...]... Read more »

Michael Barnsley, John E. Hutchinson, & Örjan Stenflo. (2003) V-variable fractals and superfractals. -. arXiv: math/0312314v1

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:47 AM

Paper of the Week : A Whale of the waste matter

by Sarah Stephen in An ecological oratorio

The way by which living organisms in our planet are intricately connected is beautiful beyond comprehension. Like pieces in a puzzle they all fit together with the activities of each organism however trivial it may appear to be, affecting the existance of others. We will never fully understand this marvel, but a noteworthy example is the elegant finding by Lavery et al published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society (Biological Sciences)- Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon expo........ Read more »

Lavery, T., Roudnew, B., Gill, P., Seymour, J., Seuront, L., Johnson, G., Mitchell, J., & Smetacek, V. (2010) Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0863  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:45 AM

Tip of the Week: Biocatalogue for finding web services

by Mary in OpenHelix

A couple of years back at a conference I was introduced to Biocatalogue.  It seemed to me to be a really useful idea: locate bioinformatics tools and databases that are web-accessible, and that also have a mechanism to use the web service features to access the tool/server using strategies that don’t require the main web interface of the site.  There are some introductions  to the concept of web services out there–some of them are more for introduction, but most are aimed at prog........ Read more »

Bhagat, J., Tanoh, F., Nzuobontane, E., Laurent, T., Orlowski, J., Roos, M., Wolstencroft, K., Aleksejevs, S., Stevens, R., Pettifer, S.... (2010) BioCatalogue: a universal catalogue of web services for the life sciences. Nucleic Acids Research. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq394  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:30 AM

Sugar preference: beyond the tongue

by Colby in

In studies, rodents generally prefer sugars over amino acids/proteins when given the choice, and this seems to reflect their ability to bind to the sweet T1R2/T1R3 receptor on the tongue.  Postingestion, however, nutrients obviously differentially effect hormones involved in fuel mobilization (e.g. insulin and glucagon), so mechanisms should exist to influence appetite for specific macronutrients. [...]... Read more »

Ren, X., Ferreira, J., Zhou, L., Shammah-Lagnado, S., Yeckel, C., & de Araujo, I. (2010) Nutrient Selection in the Absence of Taste Receptor Signaling. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(23), 8012-8023. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5749-09.2010  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:01 AM

The impact of vessel traffic on riverine fish

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Obesity Compounds Pain in Fibromyalgia

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

As blogged before, overweight and obese patients frequently present with fibromyalgia, characterized by chronic pain, fatigue and depressed mood.
A paper by Akiko Okifuji from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, just published in the Journal of Pain, examines the relationship between fibromyalgia and obesity in pain, function, mood, and sleep.
The study examines the impact [...]... Read more »

Okifuji A, Donaldson GW, Barck L, & Fine PG. (2010) Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Obesity in Pain, Function, Mood, and Sleep. The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society. PMID: 20542742  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 07:45 AM

How Specific Are The Social Skills of Dogs?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Dogs are particularly good at tasks that involve communicating or cooperating with humans, which has led some researchers to speculate that they are really good at solving social tasks, more generally. For example, dogs can figure out where a human's attention is, are really good at picking up on eye-gaze and finger pointing cues, distinguish among different individual humans (by contrast, humans are really bad at distinguishing among different individual monkeys, for example), and at least in o........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Escape velocity

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

A recent survey of over 4,000 UK employees conducted by GfK NOP found that one in four were planning to leave their organisation within the next year. The survey suggests these intentions are linked to the actions taken by the employers dealing with the effects of the recession. Continuing measures such as redundancies, recruitment freezes, [...]... Read more »

Brockner, J. (1992) Managing the effects of layoffs on survivors. California Management Review, 34(2), 9-28. info:/

Appelbaum, S., Delage, C., Labib, N., & Gault, G. (1997) The survivor syndrome: aftermath of downsizing. Career Development International, 2(6), 278-286. DOI: 10.1108/13620439710178639  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 05:29 AM

Tourette's Syndrome associated with superior timing control

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Children with Tourette's Syndrome, the neurodevelopmental condition characterised by involuntary motor and verbal tics, have superior timing abilities compared with their healthy age-matched peers, a new study suggests.Carmelo Vicario and colleagues tested nine children with Tourette's (average age 11 years) and 10 controls (average age 12) on timing perception and timing production. The former involved the children judging whether two circles were on screen for the same length of time or not. T........ Read more »

Vicario, C., Martino, D., Spata, F., Defazio, G., Giacchè, R., Martino, V., Rappo, G., Pepi, A., Silvestri, P., & Cardona, F. (2010) Time processing in children with Tourette’s syndrome. Brain and Cognition, 73(1), 28-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2010.01.008  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 04:51 AM

Tuatara holds clues to human evolution

by hilaryml in Chicken or Egg blog

A while ago I wrote about the value of genome sequences, not just for helping us understand the biology of a particular organism, but also for enabling large-scale comparisons across species that can help spot patterns in genome evolution which wouldn’t otherwise be apparent.  A recent paper in Journal of Heredity by Craig Lowe, David Haussler and [...]... Read more »

Lowe, C., Bejerano, G., Salama, S., & Haussler, D. (2010) Endangered Species Hold Clues to Human Evolution. Journal of Heredity. DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esq016  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 03:48 AM

time-on-task effects in fMRI research: why you should care

by Tal Yarkoni in citation needed

There’s a ubiquitous problem in experimental psychology studies that use behavioral measures that require participants to make speeded responses. The problem is that, in general, the longer people take to do something, the more likely they are to do it correctly. If I have you do a visual search task and ask you to tell [...]... Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 01:27 AM

What does that MRI signal MEAN, anyway?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci was incredibly excited to see this paper come out. It's got lots of stuff going for it, and all its powers combined were enough to send Sci bouncing around in her seat and sending emails to Ed Yong saying "OMG COOL PAPER!!".

What's it got, you say? It's got the meaning of life, the universe, and that pesky MRI signal.

Lee et al. "Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring" Nature, 2010.

Ah, the pretty brain picture. But what does it........ Read more »

Lee, J., Durand, R., Gradinaru, V., Zhang, F., Goshen, I., Kim, D., Fenno, L., Ramakrishnan, C., & Deisseroth, K. (2010) Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring. Nature, 465(7299), 788-792. DOI: 10.1038/nature09108  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 12:42 AM

…Results – Just hook it up to my veins

by Rift in Psycasm

Last week I wrote about the potential impacts of caffeine (in coffee and energy drinks) on students and their study (here). In short, however, these were what I considered the most relevant findings: Keleman and Creeley (2001)found that Caffeine reliably improves hit rates for sustained attention, that there was an interaction between caffeine and free [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 11:47 PM

Reflections on the Gulf Oil Spill - Conversations With My Grandpa

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Yes, it would be great if we never spilled a drop of oil. No matter how hard we may try, though, the fact is that nobody is perfect, and oil spills are an inevitable consequence of our widespread use of oil. The question is, once the oil is out there, how do we clean it up? Perhaps my grandfather put it best, when I asked him what he thought about how BP and the US is responding to the spill.

"They're friggin' idiots."... Read more »

Jonathan L. Ramseur. (2010) Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service , 7-5700 (RL33705). info:/

Paine, R., Ruesink, J., Sun, A., Soulanille, E., Wonham, M., Harley, C., Brumbaugh, D., & Secord, D. (1996) TROUBLE ON OILED WATERS: Lessons from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 27(1), 197-235. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.27.1.197  

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