Post List

  • November 1, 2010
  • 05:51 AM

Sunday Protist - A sampling of Cercozoa Part I

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

This post grew out of proportion, so I'm splitting it into two or three parts, to cater to our ever-shortening attention spans (mine included)...[Warning: Taxonomy. Of the harshest kind: involves Cavalier-Smith]At the moment, among my favourite supergroups is Rhizaria (tree). Rhizaria is generally where all the obscure, interesting, and outright weird eukaryotes get sent by molecular data these days. The group itself is fairly recent, having been formally spewed out declared by Cavalier-Smith in........ Read more »

CAVALIER-SMITH, T. (1998) A revised six-kingdom system of life. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 73(3), 203-266. DOI: 10.1017/S0006323198005167  

Cavalier-Smith T. (2002) The phagotrophic origin of eukaryotes and phylogenetic classification of Protozoa. International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 52(Pt 2), 297-354. PMID: 11931142  

PAWLOWSKI, J., & BURKI, F. (2009) Untangling the Phylogeny of Amoeboid Protists. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 56(1), 16-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2008.00379.x  

  • November 1, 2010
  • 05:40 AM

Higher intelligence associated with "thinking like an economist"

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

As the world economy dusts itself down and edges towards recovery, a provocative new paper claims that people with higher intelligence are more likely to think like economists. That is, they're more likely to be optimistic about the economy; to recognise the economic advantages of markets free from government interference, and the advantages of foreign trade and foreign workers; and to appreciate the economic benefits of achieving greater productivity with less man-power. The lead author is Brya........ Read more »

  • November 1, 2010
  • 03:41 AM

Phrenology: A Beginner's Guide Part 2 - The Founder

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

Continuing on from the basics of Phrenology, today we will discuss it's founder, Franz Joseph Gall.Phrenology: A Beginner's Guide Part 2 - The FounderAccording to Simpson (2005) Gall was a gifted German physician who developed the theory of functional localisation in the brain, and diagnosis by examination of cranial palpation, - Phrenology. Simpson (2005) states that Gall was born in 1758 in Tiefenbrunn and received his medical doctorate ni 1785 in Vienna. Simpson (2005) maintains that as a chi........ Read more »

  • November 1, 2010
  • 02:44 AM

Final Verdict: Internet Enhances our Social Lives

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

From a sample from 13 countries, the Internet doesn’t make us more lonely, the Internet improves our social lives. The critics of Internet suggesting that the Internet has a negative impact on us can be put at ease, the Internet doesn’t ruin our social lives.
Recent research took into account the different kinds of usage [...]

Related posts:The Social Capital Divide in MySpace
Digital Divide in Internet Addiction?
Elderly and Internet and Computer Skills, An Update
... Read more »

  • October 31, 2010
  • 07:03 PM

How JAMA managed to avoid becoming an advertising platform for the pharmaceutical companies

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

(Note: this is a follow up to my previous post).In July 2005, JAMA began to require industry-supported studies to undergo independent statistical analysis. To see if this requirement affected the number of industry sponsored studies publicized in JAMA, Wager et al. (October 2010) looked for all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in JAMA from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2008. They classified the trials according to their funding sources: Industry funded (IF), joint industry plus nonindustry........ Read more »

Wager, E., Mhaskar, R., & Warburton, S. (2010) JAMA Published Fewer Industry-Funded Studies after Introducing a Requirement for Independent Statistical Analysis. PLoS ONE, 5(10). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0013591

  • October 31, 2010
  • 07:01 PM

The impact of supply chain disasters

by Jan Husdal in

Disasters. The result: Damaged infrastructure. End result: Disrupted supply chains. But how do disasters really impact supply chains? While the damage done by windstorms and floods may be different from that of an earthquake, do they also impact supply chains differently, and does it even differ by industry or sector? Is it different upstream or downstream the supply chain? According to what Nesih Altay and Andres Ramirez wrote in their very recent article Impact of disasters on firms in differe........ Read more »

  • October 31, 2010
  • 06:06 PM

Maybe there are more atheists in foxholes!

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

A team of psychiatrists at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, USA have been taking a look at the religious beliefs of military folks who attended outpatient clinics, and they've turned up something rather interesting.

Well, in fact the main thing they found wasn't too surprising. It'll shock no-one to learn that these military patients were overwhelmingly Christian. In fact, 87% were Christian, 8% no religion, with a smattering of minority faiths. Only 73% of the US population in........ Read more »

McLaughlin SS, McLaughlin AD, & Van Slyke JA. (2010) Faith and religious beliefs in an outpatient military population. Southern medical journal, 103(6), 527-31. PMID: 20710135  

  • October 31, 2010
  • 05:43 PM

The Vampire in the Plague Pit

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

Amid the chaos of a mass grave of plague victims, the 2006-2007 summer project team from the Archeoclub of Venice got a surprise. Among the dead they found evidence of belief in the undead, fear of the vampire. So how do you stop the undead from feasting on the corpses in the mass grave?  The [...]... Read more »

  • October 31, 2010
  • 03:25 PM

Weird sex physiology, Halloween edition

by EcoPhysioMichelle in C6-H12-O6

One physiological problem (of many) that hibernating mammals face is the preservation of gametes during the winter months. During torpor, most animals do not continue spermatogenesis (the creation of new sperm) because it would require too much energy, but they also need sperm to be immediately available when they awake. This is because in many cases, the earliest born offspring have the best chance of surviving the following winter because they have more time to develop and build energy stores......... Read more »

E. G. Crichton, B. T. Hinton, T. L. Pallone and R. H. Hammerstedt. (1994) Hyperosmolality and sperm storage in hibernating bats: prolongation of sperm life by dehydration. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 1363-1370. info:/

  • October 31, 2010
  • 12:00 PM


by beredim in Strange Animals

The okapi is a giraffid artiodactyl mammal. It bears striped markings reminiscent of zebras, however it is closely related to the giraffe. Although known to ancient egyptians, it was officially in the 20th century.... Read more »

  • October 31, 2010
  • 11:53 AM

"Rebel access to [natural] resources crucially shapes armed civil conflict"

by Benno Hansen in Ecowar

How does rebel access to natural resources affect conflict? "How". Not "if". That is the question investigated by Päivi Lujala of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, recently published in the Journal of Peace Research.

Or rather: Where previous research has either suggested a link or sought to explain it by an indirect effect through resource abundance tending to corrupt weak ... Read more »

  • October 31, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The Art of Medicine

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The health care system and its practitioners are under increasing pressure to provide efficient, effective, and consistent care to patients. Patients want to be treated as an individual, not a case number; insurance companies want to pay the least amount of money possible for services; and physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other practitioners want to provide [...]... Read more »

Castledine G. (2010) Creative nursing: art or science?. British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing), 19(14), 937. PMID: 20647990  

Gauderer MW. (2009) Creativity and the surgeon. Journal of pediatric surgery, 44(1), 13-20. PMID: 19159713  

LoFaso VM, Breckman R, Capello CF, Demopoulos B, & Adelman RD. (2010) Combining the creative arts and the house call to teach medical students about chronic illness care. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58(2), 346-51. PMID: 20374408  

Naghshineh, S., Hafler, J., Miller, A., Blanco, M., Lipsitz, S., Dubroff, R., Khoshbin, S., & Katz, J. (2008) Formal Art Observation Training Improves Medical Students’ Visual Diagnostic Skills. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(7), 991-997. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-008-0667-0  

Shaywitz, D., & Ausiello, D. (2004) Preserving Creativity in Medicine. PLoS Medicine, 1(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0010034  

  • October 31, 2010
  • 05:22 AM

Whales turn oceanographer

by Vivienne in Outdoor Science

The latest weapon in an oceanographer’s arsenal? Whales tagged with thermometers. A US team recently published a study into whether narwhals – a medium-sized Arctic whale – can venture where research ships struggle to go. The scientists led by Dr Kristin Laidre wanted to know if Baffin Bay, which lies between Canada and Greenland, warmed this decade. Researchers previously found west Greenland coast waters deeper than about 0.5km got hotter …... Read more »

Laidre, K., Heide-Jørgensen, M., Ermold, W., & Steele, M. (2010) Narwhals document continued warming of southern Baffin Bay. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115(C10). DOI: 10.1029/2009JC005820  

  • October 31, 2010
  • 03:37 AM

The Kymograph

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

The Kymograph was invented by Carl Ludwig in the 1840s. It's history is an interesting one, with its use being applied to various areas of science.van Bronswijk (2008) argues that the kymograph was the first recording device used to record and compare the influence of drug effects. Specifically, the kymograph enabled the study of the influence of drugs on a specific organ, which van Bronswijk (2008) argues enabled the development of Pharmacology as an independent science in it's own right. Accor........ Read more »

van Bronswijk, P., . (2008) The First Recordings of Pharmalogical Effects. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 66(5), 588-593. info:/

  • October 30, 2010
  • 10:05 PM

Very precise pulsar measurements

by The Astronomist in The Astronomist.

A neutron star is made of neutrons, right? Astrophysicists ponder this question and forge theory after theory, but the only thing they conclude with certainty is that a neutron star by any other name would still be made of the densest form of matter know to exist in our Universe. Under certain conditions a star which has exhausted all of its fuel and is sufficiently massive will not be able to support its own weight with pressure support (as in a regular star) or with electron degeneracy support........ Read more »

Demorest PB, Pennucci T, Ransom SM, Roberts MS, & Hessels JW. (2010) A two-solar-mass neutron star measured using Shapiro delay. Nature, 467(7319), 1081-3. PMID: 20981094  

D. J. Champion, G. B. Hobbs, R. N. Manchester, R. T. Edwards, D. C. Backer, M. Bailes, N. D. R. Bhat, S. Burke-Spolaor, W. Coles, P. B. Demorest.... (2010) Measuring the mass of solar system planets using pulsar timing. ApJ. arXiv: 1008.3607v1

  • October 30, 2010
  • 09:16 PM

How the NEJM became an advertising platform for the pharmaceutical industry

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

These days it's common practice for authors, peer-reviewers and even editors of medical journals to declare conflicts of interest, if those exist. However, the medical journal normally don't issue them same declarations. Journals publish regularly industry-supported papers reporting large clinical trials. Reprints of those trials are regularly bought by pharmaceutics companies and distributed to clinicians. The result is an increase of the journals' income as well as an increase in their presti........ Read more »

  • October 30, 2010
  • 04:56 PM

Happy Halloween: New Giant Spiderweb Found!

by bug_girl in Bug Girl's Blog

You might remember my coverage of the giant spiderweb that ate Texas in 2007.  For Halloween 2010 I am happy to report for your creeping-out pleasure that a new giant spiderweb was recently reported in Maryland! Greene, Albert; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Breisch, Nancy L.; De Roche, Dana M.; Pagac, Benedict B. (2010). An Immense Concentration [...]... Read more »

Greene, Albert; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Breisch, Nancy L.; De Roche, Dana M.; Pagac, Benedict B. (2010) An Immense Concentration of Orb-Weaving Spiders With Communal Webbing in a Man-Made Structural Habitat (Arachnida: Araneae: Tetragnathidae, Araneidae). American Entomologist, 56(3), 146-156. info:/

  • October 30, 2010
  • 04:23 PM

If sheep could tweet

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

In Connie Willis' book, Bellwether, two researchers acquired a herd of sheep (they were studying fads). However, no sheep agreed to start a new fashion of pressing a button for food. What they needed was a bellwether, a fads-starting sheep. Cha et al. searched for bellwethers ('influentials') on Twitter. They sampled more than six million active users ('active' means 'more than ten tweets'). They used three measures of influence: followers (indegrees), retweets and mentions. The number of foll........ Read more »

Cha, M., Haddadi, H., Benevenuto, F., & Gummadi, K. P. (2010) Measuring User Influence in Twitter: The Million Follower Fallacy. ICWSM '10: Proceedings of international AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media. . info:/

  • October 30, 2010
  • 02:40 PM

Animal Magnetism Redefined: The Epic Travels of Baby Sea Turtles

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

I’m in awe of any organism that is innately capable of surviving without an iota of parental care.  I suppose that this is largely due to my first hand knowledge of the pathetic-ness that is the newborn Homo sapiens…but really it’s pretty amazing that most invertebrates, amphibians and fish survive without any behavioral input from [...]... Read more »

  • October 30, 2010
  • 12:50 PM

DNA Stop Sign?

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Look hard enough, and you can find the telltale sign of asphalt in even a cricket’s DNA. Roads and highways are now having a measurable impact on the genetic makeup of everything from insects to bears, a new review finds. But while roads often create barriers that divide some populations, they can also serve as […] Read More »... Read more »

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