Small farms may be better for tropical forests than intensive agriculture
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Perfecto, I., & J. Vandermeer. (2010) The agroecological matrix as alternative to the land-sparing/agriculture intensification model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.0905455107
Can public-private partnerships improve community resilience? The answer: In order to achieve community resilience, public and private owners of critical infrastructures and key resources must work together, before, during and after a disaster.
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Stewart, G., Kolluru, R., & Smith, M. (2009) Leveraging public-private partnerships to improve community resilience in times of disaster. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 39(5), 343-364. DOI: 10.1108/09600030910973724
I’ve recently been looking a bit into the important issue of the migration of Athapaskan-speaking groups ancestral to the Navajos and Apaches into the Southwest. Although this is one of the most obvious examples of long-distance migration in prehistoric North America, surprisingly little is known about it. There’s basically no archaeological evidence establishing when it [...]... Read more »
PERRY, R. (1983) Proto-Athapaskan culture: the use of ethnographic reconstruction. American Ethnologist, 10(4), 715-733. DOI: 10.1525/ae.1983.10.4.02a00060
I have served as book review editor for Discourse and Society for ten years and recently resigned from my roles as book review editor for Discourse Studies and Discourse and Communication because the workload had become too much for one person. In all those years I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as book review editor [...]... Read more »
In 1997, a lineage of H5N1 bird flu was transmitted to a child in Hong Kong who died of respiratory problems. This was the first of a number of recorded cases of transmission of this virus from poultry to humans.
Since then, the world follows the circulation of this virus with concern. Although we associate it [...]... Read more »
Beigel JH, Farrar J, Han AM, Hayden FG, Hyer R, de Jong MD, Lochindarat S, Nguyen TK, Nguyen TH, Tran TH.... (2005) Avian influenza A (H5N1) infection in humans. The New England journal of medicine, 353(13), 1374-85. PMID: 16192482
Chen, H. (2006) Establishment of multiple sublineages of H5N1 influenza virus in Asia: Implications for pandemic control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(8), 2845-2850. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0511120103
Nutrient pollution could boost risk of some diseases
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Johnson, P.T.J. et al. (2010) Linking environmental nutrient enrichment and disease emergence in humans and wildlife. Ecological Applications, 20(1), 16-29. DOI: 10.1890/08-0633.1
“Give us this day our daily sunlight”, plants might pray, if they were Christian. Light is, after all, their main source of energy, captured by photosynthesis. But the machinery of photosynthesis isn’t always the best tool to detect light, and plants have an array of molecular sensors to detect small amounts of light in different [...]... Read more »
Land conservation not to blame for Silicon Valley housing prices
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Denning, C., Mcdonald, R., & Christensen, J. (2010) Did land protection in Silicon Valley reduce the housing stock?. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.01.025
Fluid dynamicists have figured out how to fight the dreaded teapot dribble, using a mixture of materials and teapot mouth structure.... Read more »
Cyril Duez, Christophe Ybert, Christophe Clanet, and Lyderic Bocquet. (2010) Wetting Controls Separation of Inertial Flows from Solid Surfaces. Physical Review Letters. info:/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.084503
There is a very clever Belgian psychologist called Stefaan Van Damme. He has done some excellent work on attentional mechanisms involved in pain. More importantly, however, is that he is a jolly nice fellow. Anyway, he came to Oxford and did a great little experiment (actually, we did a couple but the other one is [...]... Read more »
Van Damme S, Gallace A, Spence C, Crombez G, & Moseley GL. (2009) Does the sight of physical threat induce a tactile processing bias? Modality-specific attentional facilitation induced by viewing threatening pictures. Brain research, 100-6. PMID: 19094970
My wife is from a very large family. Inevitably at in-law gatherings, I find myself whispering into my wife’s ear, “How are you related to that person?” Unfortunately, my wife has never provided me a nice family tree so I can see how these dozens of people fit together. Much is the same for the [...]... Read more »
Miya, M., Pietsch, T., Orr, J., Arnold, R., Satoh, T., Shedlock, A., Ho, H., Shimazaki, M., Yabe, M., & Nishida, M. (2010) Evolutionary history of anglerfishes (Teleostei: Lophiiformes): a mitogenomic perspective. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10(1), 58. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-58
It's almost a given that, during any discussion about male infidelity, someone will throw out some variation of "men are biologically programmed to spread their seed."Why is there this theory that men are more driven to cheat? Part of it has to do with the size of their gametes. If bigger is better, then men are pathetic, for their little sperm are 1/100th the size of a woman's egg. Because women have such a greater investment in each offspring right from the get-go, the assumption is that women........ Read more »
The current issue of PNAS carries an interesting paper on the evolution of human limb proportions. The authors, Young et al. (2010), propose that one key change in the evolution of humanlike limb adaptations is a reduction in the strength of the developmental links between fore- and hindlimbs, and moreover, that this change actually occurred in a non-hominin ancestor we shared with other great apes.The quadrupedal primates, like most vertebrates, have strong serial homologies between their limbs........ Read more »
We've all experienced the agonising wait for feedback, whether it's for exam grades, news from a job interview, or results from a grant application. These verdicts can have a massive influence in our lives but they can often take weeks or even months to arrive. And that's a big problem, according to Keri Kettle and Gerald Häubl from the University of Alberta.
They have found evidence that we do better at tasks the sooner we expect news about our performance. If we think we'll be evaluated qui........ Read more »
Kettle, K., & Haubl, G. (2010) Motivation by Anticipation: Expecting Rapid Feedback Enhances Performance. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797610363541
“Prescribed psychotropic medications are now high on the research agenda,” assert Lakhan and Hagger-Johnson. Their study advocates new approaches to research to address the rising concern over dramatic increases in psychotropic prescriptions for both children and young. Our first post delineated the five erroneous myths often adhered to when prescribing youth’s psychotropic medication. Here are the [...]... Read more »
This is the fifth and last post in the CAPRI series, summarizing the presentations of Xiaoqin Zou and Ora Schueler-Furman (Saving the best for last..), as provided by the speakers. I hope the CAPRI series was able to give a snapshot of the state of computational protein-protein docking and its community. I want to thank again to everyone that took part in the meeting and helped me with this series.
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London N, Movshovitz-Attias D, & Schueler-Furman O. (2010) The Structural Basis of Peptide-Protein Binding Strategies. Structure (London, England : 1993), 18(2), 188-199. PMID: 20159464
Measuring scientific productivity is a concern at many different levels especially in terms for promotions and the competition brought on by limited funding sources. The area of life sciences is no exception to this; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) saw a flat budget between 2003-08. And even though the NIH will enjoy a temporary budget increase thanks to the Recovery Act and with President Barack Obama's 2011 budget request, there are no guarantees for what the future holds. The most com........ Read more »
Bornmann, L., & Daniel, H. (2008) The state of h index research. Is the h index the ideal way to measure research performance?. EMBO reports, 10(1), 2-6. DOI: 10.1038/embor.2008.233
This is a story about an event that took place 2 billion years ago. With the benefit of hindsight and a great deal of human bias, we could argue that it was one of the pivotal moments in the evolution of life on earth. What happened? Life was well underway at the time, [...]... Read more »
Clements, A., Bursac, D., Gatsos, X., Perry, A., Civciristov, S., Celik, N., Likic, V., Poggio, S., Jacobs-Wagner, C., Strugnell, R.... (2009) The reducible complexity of a mitochondrial molecular machine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(37), 15791-15795. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908264106
Dolezal, P. (2006) Evolution of the Molecular Machines for Protein Import into Mitochondria. Science, 313(5785), 314-318. DOI: 10.1126/science.1127895
I’m going to pick up where I left off a while ago, when we talked about galaxy evolution. I have a staggering backlog of papers to read on my desk, most of which have the words “merger history”, “mass assembly” or “galaxy pairs”. All of these expressions are more or less equivalent, and they relate [...]... Read more »
Sugata Kaviraj, Kok-Meng Tan, Richard S. Ellis, & Joseph Silk. (2010) The principal driver of star formation in early-type galaxies at late epochs: the case for minor mergers. MNRAS (submitted). arXiv: 1001.2141v1
Problems associated with low spatial and temporal resolution in datasets are a daily hazard of my particular field of research, palaeoanthropology. The fossil record, as everyone knows, is hugely incomplete and, in addition, biased. Those records we do have about the biogeography of extinct species, in particular, are usually patchy and likely to be biased in favour of those parts of the distribution where fossilisation was probable and disturbance since sufficient to uncover the remains but not........ Read more »
NEWBOLD, T. (2010) Applications and limitations of museum data for conservation and ecology, with particular attention to species distribution models. Progress in Physical Geography, 34(1), 3-22. DOI: 10.1177/0309133309355630
LOZIER, J., ANIELLO, P., & HICKERSON, M. (2009) Predicting the distribution of Sasquatch in western North America: anything goes with ecological niche modelling. Journal of Biogeography, 36(9), 1623-1627. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02152.x
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