Post List

  • June 10, 2009
  • 11:40 AM

Resistance without genetics - persistance in bacterial populations

by lab Rat in Lab Rat

Discussion of persistance within bacterial populations, how rsistance can arise without genetic changes... Read more »

Orit Gefen . (2009) The importance of being persistent: heterogeneity of bacterial populations under antibiotic stress. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 33(4). info:/10.1111/j.1574-6976.2008.00156.x

  • June 10, 2009
  • 11:29 AM

Ten Common Causes of Child Trauma Due to Violence

by Child Psych in Child Psych

I started this post several weeks ago to answer the question "What are the most common causes of child trauma?" It was much harder than I expected. The task of reviewing statistics wasn't just...

... Read more »

  • June 10, 2009
  • 11:00 AM

Xocai and the Chocolate Weight Loss Diet - Where's the Evidence?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

If you spend any time following the "super" foods that are currently promoted on websites and daytime talk shows, you will certainly have heard about the "miracles" of dark chocolate, one of the super-est of all the super foods. If the Super Foods were the Super Friends, chocolate would probably be Batman (second only to Super Man, a role currently filled by Acai Berry).... Read more »

Cooper, K., Donovan, J., Waterhouse, A., & Williamson, G. (2007) Cocoa and health: a decade of research. British Journal of Nutrition, 99(01). DOI: 10.1017/S0007114507795296  

  • June 10, 2009
  • 10:19 AM

Big babies, big heads, big IQ, and thoughts on eugenics.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

I spent the weekend helping my sister work on her dissertation. She is at MIT studying the role of eugenics in urban planning and architectural design in South America. So most of my weekend was spent reading about how in the early to mid 1900s  scientists, physicians and public health scientists in particular, promoted the [...]... Read more »

Broekman, B., Chan, Y., Chong, Y., Quek, S., Fung, D., Low, Y., Ooi, Y., Gluckman, P., Meaney, M., Wong, T.... (2009) The Influence of Birth Size on Intelligence in Healthy Children. PEDIATRICS, 123(6). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-3344  

  • June 10, 2009
  • 10:01 AM

The incredible shrinking reef fish

by Scott A. in JournOwl

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and in the case of Loren McClenachan’s June 2009 publication in The Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology there is evidence of a major decline in the size of fish caught in the Florida Keys.  McClenachan used a unique method for quantitating the changes of [...]... Read more »

  • June 10, 2009
  • 09:54 AM

Wildfire prevention’s misguided focus

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

In 2001, the National Fire Plan was enacted by Congress, providing funding and support for local and regional governments to prepare for and mitigate wildfires. Now, a study led by Tania Schoennagel of the University of Colorado has attempted to assess the major results of the NFP in the Western United States around urban areas.

Surprisingly, [...]... Read more »

  • June 10, 2009
  • 09:21 AM

Sleeping on it - how REM sleep boosts creative problem-solving

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

The German chemist Friedrich Kekule claimed to have intuited the chemical structure of the benzene ring after falling asleep in his chair and dreaming of an ouroboros (a serpent biting its own tail). He's certainly not the only person to have discovered a flash insight after waking from a good sleep. In science alone, many breakthroughs were apparently borne of a decent snooze, including Mendeleyev's creation of the Periodic Table and Loewi's experiments on the transmission of nervous signals th........ Read more »

Cai, D., Mednick, S., Harrison, E., Kanady, J., & Mednick, S. (2009) REM, not incubation, improves creativity by priming associative networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0900271106  

  • June 10, 2009
  • 06:16 AM

Why do termites exist?

by bug_girl in Bug Girl's Blog

There is a really interesting interview with Entomologist Greg Henderson in Monday’s New Orleans Times about termites!

Sadly, in addition to many other issues facing New Orleans, Formosan termites have invaded. In the interview Greg discusses how to know when you have an infestation, and also explains that termites are actually an important part of the [...]... Read more »

G. Henderson. (2008) The Termite menace in New Orleans: Did they cause the floodwalls to tumble?. American Entomologist, 54(3), 156-162.

  • June 10, 2009
  • 04:41 AM

We're faster at processing words that relate to bigger things

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

When it comes to the dictionary of the mind, size counts. I'm not talking about the printed size of a word, but rather the size of the object that the word denotes. A new study shows that we're faster at processing words that refer to big things than we are at processing words that denote small things.Sara Sereno and colleagues presented 28 participants with: 45 "big" words, such as truck and whale; 45 "small" words, such as bacteria and teaspoon; as well as 90 nonsense words, such as blimble. T........ Read more »

Sereno, S., O'Donnell, P., & Sereno, M. (2009) Size matters: Bigger is faster. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62(6), 1115-1122. DOI: 10.1080/17470210802618900  

  • June 10, 2009
  • 03:24 AM

Kenjiro Taura on Parallel Workflows

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Kenjiro Taura is visting Manchester next week from the Department of Information and Communication Engineering at the University of Tokyo. He will be doing a seminar, the details of which are below:

Title: Large scale text processing made simple by GXP make: A Unixish way to parallel workflow processing

Date-time: Monday, 15 June 2009 at 11:00 AM

Location: [...]... Read more »

  • June 10, 2009
  • 03:16 AM

Broader research = better research?

by Jan Husdal in

I have always seen myself as a cross-disciplinary thinker, and I guess that is why I am so often sidetracked and led astray when attempting to focus on a subject. But browsing other areas of study and even borrowing ideas from them can be very beneficial. It can shed a different light on things, and at best, help you not to reinvent the wheel. At least that is what James Stock thought in 1997, when he wrote 'Applying theories from other disciplines to logistics'.... Read more »

Stock, J. (1997) Applying theories from other disciplines to logistics. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 27(9/10), 515-539. DOI: 10.1108/09600039710188576  

  • June 10, 2009
  • 01:29 AM

Chronic disease management – follow-up and support needs from Diabetes – is this a model for Pain?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Self management for chronic pain is not the only area in which self management has been introduced. Heart disease, obesity and diabetes are all very commonly managed with a combination of biomedical and self management strategies. While reviewing different ways to provide support for people who have newly developed coping strategies, I have [...]... Read more »

  • June 10, 2009
  • 01:26 AM

Hamburgers are pathological

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

From Annals of Diagnostic Pathology. This is what happens when you bring a pathologist to a fast food joint. Hat tip to Laura for pointing this out.

Here were my initial thoughts about these findings. “Bleaaachhhh!” (I’m very verbal when reading scientific papers).

Well, it looks bad.. but. But. Cooked ground beef can have up to 60% [...]... Read more »

PRAYSON, B., MCMAHON, J., & PRAYSON, R. (2008) Fast food hamburgers: what are we really eating?. Annals of Diagnostic Pathology, 12(6), 406-409. DOI: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2008.06.002  

  • June 10, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Ten Common Causes of Child Trauma Due to Violence

by Catherine Busch in Child Psych

I started this post several weeks ago to answer the question "What are the most common causes of child trauma?" It was much harder than I expected. The task of reviewing statistics wasn't just comparing apples to oranges. It was, instead, like comparing the ingredients of a fruit salad. The statistics varied greatly, in part, due to differences in research design:

* Some studies reported how many children experienced traumatic events in one year while others reported lifetime experience (........ Read more »

  • June 9, 2009
  • 05:32 PM

Your Inner Robot

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Have you ever stepped onto a stopped escalator? If so, you'll probably have experienced a strange sensation - a rather unique kind of giddy, whole-body jolt - and you may well have stumbled clumsily for a second or so.But why? And why is it that the phenomenon happens even if you've seen and understood that the escalator is stopped? (This has happened to me, more than once. It's rather disturbing.)This is the question that prompted Fukui et al, a team of Japanese psychologists, to write a paper ........ Read more »

  • June 9, 2009
  • 04:45 PM

Bendable Crystals

by Steve W in Bridgehead Carbons

Crystals are generally rigid and brittle, but this paper describes microcrystals of dimethylamino trans azobenzene that bend into a semicircle when a light is shined on them. That the azobenzene molecule responds to light is no real surprize, but the fact that the whole crystal changes shape, and reversibly to boot, was pretty cool.Take a look at the video's of this that are provided, for free, in the supplemental information for the paper. The movie 002 shows the bending motion most clearly. ........ Read more »

Koshima, H., Ojima, N., & Uchimoto, H. (2009) Mechanical Motion of Azobenzene Crystals upon Photoirradiation. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131(20), 6890-6891. DOI: 10.1021/ja8098596  

  • June 9, 2009
  • 04:33 PM

What is disease? Diabetes, diagnosis, and real science

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

One of the concepts we often discuss around here is "what is disease?" As we've seen in the discussion of Lyme disease and so-called Morgellons syndrome, this is not always an easy question to answer. Knowing what states are disease states does not always yield a black-or-white answer. The first step is usually to define what a disease is. The next problem is to decide who in fact has that disease. The first question is hard enough, especially in disease states that we don't understand too ........ Read more »

  • June 9, 2009
  • 03:52 PM

Why Theos wants us all to think more about death

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Theos is an evangelical advocacy group based in the UK. Their latest survey was on how much time British people spend thinking about death, and their conclusion was that we don't talk about death nearly enough. Now, there are some interesting findings in the survey, as the British Humanist Association points out.But a more salient question is why Theos wants to get us all to talk about death more? Why encourage people to think about death, when they seem perfectly happy (happier, even) not thin........ Read more »

Norenzayan, A. (2006) Belief in Supernatural Agents in the Face of Death. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(2), 174-187. DOI: 10.1177/0146167205280251  

  • June 9, 2009
  • 03:27 PM

What is disease? Diabetes, diagnosis, and real science

by Peter Lipson in Science-Based Medicine

One of the concepts we often discuss around here is “what is disease?” As we’ve seen in the discussion of Lyme disease and so-called Morgellons syndrome, this is not always an easy question to answer. Knowing what states are disease states does not always yield a black-or-white answer. The first step is [...]... Read more »

  • June 9, 2009
  • 03:00 PM

Expedient Synthesis of ortho-Fluorinated Arenes

by Michael Long in Phased

Jin-Quan Yu (Scripps Research Institute, California)

and coworkers have developed an improved synthetic protocol

for a class of molecules that are finding much use in

modern pharmaceuticals, but are typically challenging to synthesize.

This news feature was written on June 9, 2009.... Read more »

Wang, X., Mei, T.-S., & Yu, J.-Q. (2009) Versatile Pd(OTf)2·2H2O-Catalyzed ortho-Fluorination Using NMP as a Promoter. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131(22), 7520-7521. DOI: 10.1021/ja901352k  

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