Many neuro-imaging studies claim to have investigated what happens in the brain when people interact socially. To overcome the awkward fact that participants have to lie entombed in the bore of a large magnet, these studies have used various means to simulate a social interaction. This includes: having participants watch videos of social interactions; interact with an animated character; or play a game with a human opponent (usually computer controlled) supposedly located in another room. Such m........ Read more »
Redcay E, Dodell-Feder D, Pearrow MJ, Mavros PL, Kleiner M, Gabrieli JD, & Saxe R. (2010) Live face-to-face interaction during fMRI: a new tool for social cognitive neuroscience. NeuroImage, 50(4), 1639-47. PMID: 20096792
Vitamin D Vs Influenza A
Lets face it, right now we are still recovering from the various revelations about the novel variant H1N1 or swine flu non event (in terms of pandemic effects) to be looking to see if we can manage the more common seasonal influenza. Plus spring is in the air and we all [...]... Read more »
Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, & Ida H. (2010) Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 91(5), 1255-60. PMID: 20219962
...they wear big exoskeletons.
Today's Friday Weird Science comes to you courtesy of the talented, handsome, and soon to be no longer stranded in Australia (hopefully), Ed of Not Exactly Rocket Science. Because no one can tell you more about beetles and the size of their...mandibles...than Ed. :)
Yamane et al. "Dispersal and ejaculatory strategies associated with exaggeration of weapon in an armed beetle" Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2009.
And here we have today's male of ch........ Read more »
Yamane, T., Okada, K., Nakayama, S., & Miyatake, T. (2010) Dispersal and ejaculatory strategies associated with exaggeration of weapon in an armed beetle. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2017
How do risks in supply relationships and and organizational learning play out in risk management? The idea is that supply chain partners collaborate as a response to uncertainty in the supply and in consequence develop a learning supply chain, in which they share information. ... Read more »
HALLIKAS, J., PUUMALAINEN, K., VESTERINEN, T., & VIROLAINEN, V. (2005) Risk-based classification of supplier relationships. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 11(2-3), 72-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.pursup.2005.10.005
More genetic and other studies of long-lived people are taking place these days, which means a faster flow of results than has been the case in past years. Part of that can no doubt be attributed to an increased interest in manipulating the aging process in the scientific community, as well as the continually falling cost of the tools needed to run such studies. While perusing PubMed recently, I noticed a few new reports from ongoing longevity studies starting with one from the Leiden Study in t........ Read more »
Rozing MP, Westendorp RG, de Craen AJ, Frölich M, de Goeij MC, Heijmans BT, Beekman M, Wijsman CA, Mooijaart SP, Blauw GJ.... (2010) Favorable glucose tolerance and lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome in offspring without diabetes mellitus of nonagenarian siblings: the Leiden longevity study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58(3), 564-9. PMID: 20398121
Singh R, Kølvraa S, Bross P, Christensen K, Bathum L, Gregersen N, Tan Q, & Rattan SI. (2010) Anti-inflammatory heat shock protein 70 genes are positively associated with human survival. Current pharmaceutical design, 16(7), 796-801. PMID: 20388090
Laplana M, Sánchez-de-la-Torre M, Aguiló A, Casado I, Flores M, Sánchez-Pellicer R, & Fibla J. (2010) Tagging long-lived individuals through vitamin-D receptor (VDR) haplotypes. Biogerontology. PMID: 20407924
Although the root cause(s) of stuttering remain unknown, evidence has accumulated from twin and adoption studies that genetics plays a role. A recent study identified several genes mutated in people with the disorder, including one that has never been previously associated with any human malady.... Read more »
Kang C, Riazuddin S, Mundorff J, Krasnewich D, Friedman P, Mullikin JC, & Drayna D. (2010) Mutations in the lysosomal enzyme-targeting pathway and persistent stuttering. The New England journal of medicine, 362(8), 677-85. PMID: 20147709
A commentary on a review paper that described 'synaesthesia of empathy for pain,' an acquired for of synaesthesia in phantom limb amputees... Read more »
In 1960, Mary Leaky discovered a set foot bones composed of seven tarsals (in your ankle) and five metatarsals (in the area between your ankle and your toes). These bones are those of a biped, with the joints reflecting an in-line big toe. For these bones, the surrounding debate hasn’t been over whether or not [...]... Read more »
A few months ago, in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry appeared this study (1) title, "Escitalopram and Enhancement of Cognitive Recovery Following Stroke."The design was simple: a placebo group, an escitalopram group, and a problem solving therapy group (a manual based therapy to treat depression in the medically ill). No patients in this group met diagnostic criteria for Major Depression (so why the PST group?) according to the Hamilton Scale for Depression (HAM-D)........ Read more »
Jorge RE, Acion L, Moser D, Adams HP Jr, & Robinson RG. (2010) Escitalopram and enhancement of cognitive recovery following stroke. Archives of general psychiatry, 67(2), 187-96. PMID: 20124118
Mosquitoes, or mozzies as we would call them here in Australia, come out at night. I know this in part because I have witnessed the massacre of my good friend Donaldo Becoccini on a fateful evening in Yellow Waters Kakadu -truly one of the planet’s special places (we found this photo on the web – it [...]... Read more »
Lefèvre T, Gouagna LC, Dabiré KR, Elguero E, Fontenille D, Renaud F, Costantini C, & Thomas F. (2010) Beer consumption increases human attractiveness to malaria mosquitoes. PloS one, 5(3). PMID: 20209056
It’s well-known that many liquid metals can be cooled below their freezing point. This is, scientists assume, due to dense and symmetric, but non-periodic ordering within the liquid. This theory implies that the freezing point of supercooled metal liquids can be controlled, just like crystallization can be induced by a template – all it takes [...]... Read more »
Schülli, T., Daudin, R., Renaud, G., Vaysset, A., Geaymond, O., & Pasturel, A. (2010) Substrate-enhanced supercooling in AuSi eutectic droplets. Nature, 464(7292), 1174-1177. DOI: 10.1038/nature08986
In this post, I will continue my discussion of Philip McCann’s paper, “Economic geography, globalisation and New Zealand’s productivity paradox” . McCann argues that it is New Zealand’s economic geography that is the reason for its poor productivity performance. In this post I’ll try to sketch some of the underlying ideas from economic geography that [...]... Read more »
McCann, P. (2009) Economic geography, globalisation and New Zealand's productivity paradox. New Zealand Economic Papers, 43(3), 279-314. DOI: 10.1080/00779950903308794
Suppose you’re a caterpillar. You’ve just built yourself a nice home by sewing leaves together with silk and then some jackass invades your turf. How do you defend your home? You could walk right over to that intruder and push him, maybe smack him around a bit or even bite him. Ha! That’d teach [...]... Read more »
Scott, J., Kawahara, A., Skevington, J., Yen, S., Sami, A., Smith, M., & Yack, J. (2010) The evolutionary origins of ritualized acoustic signals in caterpillars. Nature Communications, 1(1), 1-9. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1002
Have you been suffering with some kind of sore tendon/jointy pain? Rotator cuff area, achiles, elbow, forearm, rsi etc etc? Guess what? First we're not alone, but second, just about anything that's been tried to address it has no real evidence to support it working, especially over time. Indeed, as the authors of a 2009 review study put it, "Tendinopathy is common although pathology of this ... Read more »
Rees, J., Wolman, R., & Wilson, A. (2009) Eccentric exercises; why do they work, what are the problems and how can we improve them?. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(4), 242-246. DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2008.052910
Andres, B., & Murrell, G. (2008) Treatment of Tendinopathy: What Works, What Does Not, and What is on the Horizon. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 466(7), 1539-1554. DOI: 10.1007/s11999-008-0260-1
Woodley, B., Newsham-West, R., Baxter, G., Kjaer, M., & Koehle, M. (2007) Chronic tendinopathy: effectiveness of eccentric exercise * COMMENTARY 1 * COMMENTARY 2. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 41(4), 188-198. DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2006.029769
Koester MC, Dunn WR, Kuhn JE, & Spindler KP. (2007) The efficacy of subacromial corticosteroid injection in the treatment of rotator cuff disease: A systematic review. The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 15(1), 3-11. PMID: 17213378
The evaluation of large scale scenarios for alternative energy production are exercises in making trade-offs. If the U.S. devotes substantial resources to ethanol production then use of fossil fuels may be reduced, diminishing dependence on foreign oil, in theory. But are there other costs and benefits? Currently ethanol production in the U.S. centers around corn … Read more... Read more »
Piñeiro, G., Jobbágy, E., Baker, J., Murray, B., & Jackson, R. (2009) Set-asides can be better climate investment than corn ethanol. Ecological Applications, 19(2), 277-282. DOI: 10.1890/08-0645.1
In September of 2008, I was sitting at the controls of the McDonald Observatory 2.1-meter Struve Telescope. I was there to help some of my colleagues who work on a team associated with NASA's Kepler Mission. This team, the Kepler Astroseismic Science Consortium, isn't on the lookout for planets. They are studying the stars themselves, looking for variations in the light from stars caused by sound waves in the star. The study of these sound waves, known as asteroseismol........ Read more »
Kurtis A. Williams, Domitilla de Martino, Roberto Silvotti, Ivan Bruni, Patrick Dufour, Thomas S. Riecken, Martin Kronberg, Anjum Mukadam, & G. Handler. (2010) Discovery of a Nova-Like Cataclysmic Variable in the Kepler Mission Field. The Astronomical Journal. arXiv: 1004.3743v1
Two papers in Nature this month leverage the power of second-generation sequencing technologies to investigate gene expression variation in human cell lines. By performing RNA-Seq in HapMap cell lines, the authors generated the most extensive gene expression data to date for these samples, and were able to use publicly available HapMap genotypes to associate expression [...]... Read more »
Pickrell JK, Marioni JC, Pai AA, Degner JF, Engelhardt BE, Nkadori E, Veyrieras JB, Stephens M, Gilad Y, & Pritchard JK. (2010) Understanding mechanisms underlying human gene expression variation with RNA sequencing. Nature, 464(7289), 768-72. PMID: 20220758
Montgomery SB, Sammeth M, Gutierrez-Arcelus M, Lach RP, Ingle C, Nisbett J, Guigo R, & Dermitzakis ET. (2010) Transcriptome genetics using second generation sequencing in a Caucasian population. Nature, 464(7289), 773-7. PMID: 20220756
Yesterday I discussed two studies on school lunches in California — one showing that students bring lunches from home tended to eat healthier foods, and one showing that kids will keep buying food at school even when the only option is healthy foods.
But both of these studies had flaws. The first study was conducted before [...]... Read more »
Cullen, K., Watson, K., & Zakeri, I. (2007) Improvements in Middle School Student Dietary Intake After Implementation of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy. American Journal of Public Health, 98(1), 111-117. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.111765
Schwartz MB. (2007) The influence of a verbal prompt on school lunch fruit consumption: a pilot study. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 6. PMID: 17338812
A new study shows that chimps sacrifice their own advantage if they earned it unfairly.Image: Owen Booth / Creative Commons
Fairness is the basis of the social contract. As citizens we expect that when we contribute our fair share we should receive our just reward. When social benefits are handed out unequally or when prior agreements are not honored it represents a breach of trust. Based on this, Americans were justifiably outraged when, not just one, but two administrations bailed out the ........ Read more »
Brosnan, S., Talbot, C., Ahlgren, M., Lambeth, S., & Schapiro, S. (2010) Mechanisms underlying responses to inequitable outcomes in chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes. Animal Behaviour. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.02.019
A Madagascar sucker-footed bat (Myzopoda aurita).
In the tropical forests of Madagascar, there lives a very peculiar kind of bat. While most bats roost by hanging upside-down from cave ceilings or tree branches, the Madagascar sucker-footed bat (Myzopoda aurita) holds itself head-up thanks to a set of adhesive pads on its wings. Nor is it the only bat to do so. Thousands of miles away in the jungles of Central and South America, Spix's disk-winged bat (Thyroptera tricolor) does the same thi........ Read more »
RISKIN, D., & RACEY, P. (2010) How do sucker-footed bats hold on, and why do they roost head-up?. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 99(2), 233-240. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01362.x
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