Post List

  • August 13, 2010
  • 01:53 PM
  • 767 views

The Scientist and the Anarchist - Part II

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by Dr. SkySkull at his Scientopia blog Skulls in the Stars.Peter Kropotkin's notoriety as a political radical was equaled only by the high esteem held for his scientific and scholarly achievements. The discoveries he had made of glacial formations during the Quaternary Period in Russia were received with international acclaim and earned him invitations to join the Imperial Russian Geographical Society, the British Association for the Advancement........ Read more »

Daniel P. Todes. (1989) Darwin Without Malthus: The Struggle for Existence in Russian Evolutionary Thought. London: Oxford University Press. info:/

  • August 13, 2010
  • 01:53 PM
  • 758 views

The Scientist and the Anarchist - Part II

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries in Exile

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by Dr. SkySkull at his Scientopia blog Skulls in the Stars.Peter Kropotkin's notoriety as a political radical was equaled only by the high esteem held for his scientific and scholarly achievements. The discoveries he had made of glacial formations during the Quaternary Period in Russia were received with international acclaim and earned him invitations to join the Imperial Russian Geographical Society, the British Association for the Advancement........ Read more »

Daniel P. Todes. (1989) Darwin Without Malthus: The Struggle for Existence in Russian Evolutionary Thought. London: Oxford University Press. info:/

  • August 13, 2010
  • 12:14 PM
  • 1,085 views

New Studies: Music Makes People Nicer

by David Berreby in Mind Matters


Birds do it. Bees do it. But primate species don't sing and dance, except for Homo sapiens. Why is music-making part of human nature, then? Why do we enjoy singing in three-part harmony or clapping together in church, which wouldn't appeal for a single second to our chimp or orangutan cousins? This paper proposes an explanation: Music, it says, makes little kids nicer. Maybe it evolved because it made our ancestors more cooperative, and hence more successful.
Sebastian Kirschner and ........ Read more »

  • August 13, 2010
  • 11:43 AM
  • 852 views

XMRV not detected in seminal plasma

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

How XMRV, the new human retrovirus associated with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, might be transmitted among humans is unknown. The finding that the virus can be detected in prostate cancer cells, and in prostatic secretions of men with prostate cancer suggests that it could be sexually transmitted. To address this question, the presence [...]... Read more »

Marion Cornelissen, Fokla Zorgdrager, Petra Blom, Suzanne Jurriaans, Sjoerd Repping, Elisabeth van Leeuwen, Margreet Bakker, Ben Berkhout, & Antoinette C. van der Kuyl. (2010) Lack of Detection of XMRV in Seminal Plasma from HIV-1 Infected Men in The Netherlands. PLoS One. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0012040

  • August 13, 2010
  • 11:22 AM
  • 347 views

This is your brain on sleep... fakin' it.

by 神経オタク in Cognitive Convolutions

So I've talked a little bit about sleep and memory formation prior, and it's actually a fun topic for me. So I'm running with it.Now, there's a lot more in the field of normal memory, and I'll get to that eventually, but there's always a fun side-field to memory research - FALSE memories. In other words, you just KNOW it happened... except it didn't. You made it up. Except you didn't really make... Read more »

Payne, J., Schacter, D., Propper, R., Huang, L., Wamsley, E., Tucker, M., Walker, M., & Stickgold, R. (2009) The role of sleep in false memory formation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92(3), 327-334. DOI: 10.1016/j.nlm.2009.03.007  

  • August 13, 2010
  • 11:16 AM
  • 1,503 views

Is a Low-Carb Diet Safe For Obese Adolescents?

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog

High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are safe and effective for severely obese adolescent, according to University of Colorado researchers. Childhood obesity in the U.S. tripled from the early 1980s to 2000, ending with a 17% obesity rate.  Overweight and obesity together describe 32% of U.S. children.  Some experts believe this generation of kids will be the first in U.S. history to suffer [...]... Read more »

  • August 13, 2010
  • 11:01 AM
  • 1,756 views

Does Cranberry Juice Help Repress or Reduce Urinary Tract Infections? A study in skeptical juice drinking.

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

After I reported this recent and interesting research paper about urinary tract inflictions, a number of conversations broke out on that post, on my facebook page, and via email, and some of these conversations raised the question of cranberry juice and whether the idea that it prevents, reduces, or shortens the duration of UTIs is real or woo.

So, I decided to use Gooogle Scholar (which is a version of Google that you should probably use more often than you currently do) to find out what the........ Read more »

  • August 13, 2010
  • 10:05 AM
  • 1,903 views

How Wright was wrong: When is it genetic drift?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Science is often said to work in three easy steps: (1) observe something interesting, (2) formulate a hypothesis for why that something is interesting in the way it is, and (3) collect more observations to see if they also support that hypothesis. Wash, rinse, repeat, and you eventually get from Newton to Einstein, from Aristotle to Darwin.

.flickr-photo { }.flickr-frameright { float: right; text-align: left; margin-left: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; width:40%;}.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em........ Read more »

Epling, C., & Dobzhansky, T. (1942) Genetics of natural populations. VI. Micro-geographic races in Linanthus parryae. Genetics, 27(3), 318-32. info:other/

Epling, C., Lewis, H., & Ball, F.M. (1960) The breeding group and seed storage: A study in population dynamics. Evolution, 14(4), 238-55. info:/

  • August 13, 2010
  • 09:10 AM
  • 978 views

What We Can Learn From a Lowly Sponge

by Terri Sundquist in Promega Connections

When you hear the word “sponge”, what comes to mind? Perhaps your favorite bath-time cleaning implement? It turns out that the humble sponge can do more than just scrub away dirt; it can provide researchers with a glimpse into the evolution of multicellular organisms. In a recent Nature paper (1), Mansi Srivastava et al. presented [...]... Read more »

Srivastava M, Simakov O, Chapman J, Fahey B, Gauthier ME, Mitros T, Richards GS, Conaco C, Dacre M, Hellsten U.... (2010) The Amphimedon queenslandica genome and the evolution of animal complexity. Nature, 466(7307), 720-7. PMID: 20686567  

  • August 13, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,743 views

Obesity is a Major Risk Factor for Cancer in Asia-Pacific Populations

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

Overweight and obesity are now increasingly recognized as a major driver of cancers in the Western world. For example, recent estimates suggest that almost 1 in 3 cases or breast cancer are related to excess weight.
A new study, published last month in Lancet Oncology, by Christine Parr and colleagues from the Asia-Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration [...]... Read more »

  • August 13, 2010
  • 07:52 AM
  • 688 views

Out of randomness, order

by Becky in It Takes 30

I really shouldn’t need help to spot a paper from the Elowitz lab, but Marc Kirschner had to remind me to write on this one (Sprinzak et al. 2010 Cis-interactions between Notch and Delta generate mutually exclusive signalling states. Nature 465 86-90 PMID: 20418862).  Obviously I haven’t been paying enough attention to cell-cell communication.  This [...]... Read more »

Sprinzak D, Lakhanpal A, Lebon L, Santat LA, Fontes ME, Anderson GA, Garcia-Ojalvo J, & Elowitz MB. (2010) Cis-interactions between Notch and Delta generate mutually exclusive signalling states. Nature, 465(7294), 86-90. PMID: 20418862  

  • August 13, 2010
  • 06:48 AM
  • 947 views

Language Evolution and Language Acquisition

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

The way children learn language sets the adaptive landscape on which languages evolve. This is acknowledged by many, but there are few connections between models of language acquisition and models of language Evolution. Here I review previous models of Language Acquisition and a recent model by Fazly et al.... Read more »

Nick Chater, & Morten H. Christiansen. (2010) Language Acquisition Meets Language Evolution. Cognitive Science. info:/

Frank MC, Goodman ND, & Tenenbaum JB. (2009) Using speakers' referential intentions to model early cross-situational word learning. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 20(5), 578-85. PMID: 19389131  

  • August 13, 2010
  • 05:03 AM
  • 1,049 views

Defining developmental disorders through genetics

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

To many people, the term “autism” suggests a specific disorder – one with characteristic and recognizable symptoms, presumably reflecting the same underlying cause.  In fact, no such disorder exists.  Autism refers to a variable spectrum of symptoms – including deficits in social interaction, impaired communication (especially a delay in developing language), narrow, restricted interests and stereotyped behaviours.  Any one child who is diagnosed with autism may show only some of th........ Read more »

Shen, Y., Dies, K., Holm, I., Bridgemohan, C., Sobeih, M., Caronna, E., Miller, K., Frazier, J., Silverstein, I., Picker, J.... (2010) Clinical Genetic Testing for Patients With Autism Spectrum Disorders. PEDIATRICS, 125(4). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1684  

Piton, A., Gauthier, J., Hamdan, F., Lafrenière, R., Yang, Y., Henrion, E., Laurent, S., Noreau, A., Thibodeau, P., Karemera, L.... (2010) Systematic resequencing of X-chromosome synaptic genes in autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. Molecular Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2010.54  

  • August 13, 2010
  • 01:42 AM
  • 601 views

A tragedy averted

by Graves in Down the Cellar

Nearly fifty years ago, V.C. Wynne-Edwards proposed that populations might evolve restrained resource exploitation and reproduction. The argument was built on the idea of selection acting for the good of the group. Wynne-Edwards thought that groups that ran rampant would extinguish themselves while frugal groups would replace them, although his argument was very fuzzy in terms of how this group... Read more »

  • August 13, 2010
  • 12:32 AM
  • 1,256 views

Friday Weird Science: So, how would you say your poop FEELS today?

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

The following is my entry for the newly created Carnal Carnival, a blog carnival started by Jason (of The Thoughtful Animal and Child’s Play) and our dear blogfather Bora. Sci is a little upset she didn’t think of it first. This will be a carnival covered the weird and odd and, if possible, the completely [...]... Read more »

Müller-Lissner SA, Kaatz V, Brandt W, Keller J, & Layer P. (2005) The perceived effect of various foods and beverages on stool consistency. European journal of gastroenterology , 17(1), 109-12. PMID: 15647650  

  • August 13, 2010
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,387 views

Topological insulators get down to business

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Go to any condensed-matter physics meeting, and topological insulators are prominent on the agenda, and talks on the topic attract large audiences. For good reason. Topological insulators promise nothing less than a revolution in electronics. Even though as their name suggests topological insulators are electrically insulating, they are conducting on their surface. And unlike regular conductors, these surface currents flow without the electrons being thrown off the track by most (albeit not all)........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 11:48 PM
  • 404 views

…A Toast to the Host with the Least Cognitive Decline!

by Rift in Psycasm

A while ago I decided that I needed to cut back my drinking. Which is a shame, because I enjoy it – but I had the sense that it’s doing me no good with regard to uni. The natural reaction is to conclude that hang-overs (however slight) don’t feel good in the head, thus, detrimental [...]... Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 09:55 PM
  • 503 views

Early Computational Prediction of Influenza Epidemic Mortality

by Michael Long in Phased

Taijiao Jiang (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and coworkers are helping public health officials predict the severity of future influenza outbreaks, without requiring extensive current mortality data, and without time-consuming biochemical assays. This news feature was written on August 12, 2010.... Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 08:30 PM
  • 824 views

Hybridization is like sex

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

One of the major issues which has loomed at the heart of biology since The Origin of Species is why species exist, as well as how species come about. Why isn’t there a perfect replicator which performs all the conversion of energy and matter into biomass on this planet? If there is a God the tree [...]... Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 06:09 PM
  • 2,090 views

Drugs for Starcraft Addiction

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Are you addicted to Starcraft? Do you want to get off Battle.net and on a psychoactive drug?Well, South Korean psychiatrists Han et al report that Bupropion sustained release treatment decreases craving for video games and cue-induced brain activity in patients with Internet video game addiction.They took 11 people with "Internet Game Addiction" - the game being Starcraft, this being South Korea - and gave them the drug bupropion (Wellbutrin), an antidepressant that's also used in drug addiction........ Read more »

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