Post List

  • September 30, 2010
  • 11:10 AM

Diabetes and Shortened Lifespan: “How Bad Is It, Doc?”

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

Diabetes mellitus for years has been linked with cardiovascular disease such as heart failure and coronary heart disease (blocked arteries in the heart, and the leading cause of death in the Western world).  How scared should diabetics be? An article  in the Archives of Internal Medicine gives us one answer. Researchers from the Netherlands and Harvard examined medical [...]... Read more »

  • September 30, 2010
  • 10:34 AM

Children's Media Use and Achievement

by Amy Webb in The Thoughtful Parent

With the increase in electronic media in recent years, many parents are wondering what the effects might be of media use on the children--especially on their academic achievement. Many new media (e.g., computer games, websites, etc.) claim to have educational benefits, but in many cases they do seem to displace old-fashioned educational activities like reading books or playing board games. There is no scarcity of research on this topic, but a recent study in the journal Child Development caught ........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

Bad news for sharks in the South China Sea

by WhySharksMatter in Southern Fried Science

While a large percentage of the world’s shark fins pass through Hong Kong fish markets, most come from far-away countries and little attention has been paid to shark populations in adjacent waters. An important new paper, appropriately titled “The sharks of South East Asia – unknown, unmonitored and unmanaged” provides new insight into [...]... Read more »

  • September 30, 2010
  • 10:29 AM

The Use of 18F amyloid imaging in Alzheimers Disease

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Following my live tweets from the AACR molecular diagnostics and cancer therapeutics meeting here in Denver this week, some interesting offline discussions continued. A big focus here was on biomarkers and systems biology. Several readers observed that oncology seems to...... Read more »

Vandenberghe, R., Van Laere, K., Ivanoiu, A., Salmon, E., Bastin, C., Triau, E., Hasselbalch, S., Law, I., Andersen, A., Korner, A.... (2010) 18F-flutemetamol amyloid imaging in Alzheimer disease and mild cognitive impairment: A phase 2 trial. Annals of Neurology, 68(3), 319-329. DOI: 10.1002/ana.22068  

  • September 30, 2010
  • 10:08 AM

Science or Sciencey [part 3]

by Daniel Simons in The Invisible Gorilla

The third of a 4-part series examining what happens when science is used for marketing (using brain-training software as the central example). ... Read more »

  • September 30, 2010
  • 10:03 AM

A new mechanism of action for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)?: Pharm 551A, Baudry et al., 2010


This is the last paper for the first section of the class and, as such, it serves as a transition from basic drug discovery work to the next section of the class, the pharmacology of gene expression. The paper, MiR-16 … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 30, 2010
  • 09:25 AM

In Blind Pursuit of Racial Equality?

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

“Colorblindness” has emerged as way of managing racial diversity in schools, business, politics, and the law. The idea is that deemphasizing racial differences will lead to equality and inclusion. However, ... Read more »

Apfelbaum, E.P., Pauker, K., Sommers, S.R., & Ambady, N. (2010) In Blind Pursuit of Racial Equality?. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 20876878  

  • September 30, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Weight Management Never Stops

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

This morning, on the last day of the 23rd Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension, I present a 60 min session on obesity management.
As with all chronic diseases, obesity requires a long-term approach that needs to begin with a systematic analysis of the factors contributing to weight gain.
This should be followed by assessing the [...]... Read more »

  • September 30, 2010
  • 07:28 AM

Spider silk: the new Kevlar?

by Becky in It Takes 30

A recent article in PLoS One (Agnarsson et al. 2010. Bioprospecting finds the toughest biological material: extraordinary silk from a giant riverine orb spider. PLoS One 5 e11234 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011234) claims to have discovered the toughest known biomaterial: silk from “Darwin’s bark spider”, Caerostris darwini.  The reason they looked at the properties of silk from this [...]... Read more »

  • September 30, 2010
  • 05:51 AM

Local shops don’t offer enough healthy options: The importance of urban planning to fight an obesogenic environment

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

A tale of two cities: A study of access to food, lessons for public health practice From Health Education Journal Using Preston (UK) as a focus, this study maps food access in the city in order to determine access, availability and affordability of healthy food options. The article emphasizes the importance of urban planning policy [...]... Read more »

Caraher, M., Lloyd, S., Lawton, J., Singh, G., Horsley, K., & Mussa, F. (2010) A tale of two cities: A study of access to food, lessons for public health practice. Health Education Journal, 69(2), 200-210. DOI: 10.1177/0017896910364834  

  • September 30, 2010
  • 05:17 AM

Sunday Protist – Scary nematode-eating forams and their amazing feet of doom

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Poor, poor nematodes...In the interests of public safety, I must reiterate once again what should be so painfully apparent from the last few posts on forams: If you ever find yourself shrunk to a milimetre or less, DO NOT fuck with forams. Ever.It's a fairly known fact around these parts that [unicellular] forams can devour [multicellular] animals. But thus far we've just had giant tree forams like Notodendrodes show us the terrifying force of microbial nature. Notodendrodes is notably bigger........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2010
  • 01:27 AM

Intelligent Nihilism

by melodye in Child's Play

I wanted to register a quick reply to some of the comments on last week’s post “The question is : are you dumber than a rat?”  In the comments there, and in posts on other blogs, our research program has been accused of intelligent nihilism.  By one such characterization, our position is that “we don’t [...]... Read more »

Pullum, Geoffrey K., & Scholz, Barbara C. (2007) Systematicity and natural language syntax. Croatian Journal of Philosophy, 7(21), 375-402. info:/

Pullum, G., & Rawlins, K. (2007) Argument or no argument?. Linguistics and Philosophy, 30(2), 277-287. DOI: 10.1007/s10988-007-9013-y  

  • September 30, 2010
  • 12:13 AM

New insights on global threats to water security

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

Water security is making a bit of a splash this week.  CNBC ran this story on the water crises in western U.S. states, where the region is possibly closing in on a day of reckoning, as described by Felicity Barringer in the NY Times, and creating a climate of pessimism among some western water managers.
The [...]... Read more »

Vörösmarty, C., McIntyre, P., Gessner, M., Dudgeon, D., Prusevich, A., Green, P., Glidden, S., Bunn, S., Sullivan, C., Liermann, C.... (2010) Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity. Nature, 467(7315), 555-561. DOI: 10.1038/nature09440  

  • September 29, 2010
  • 10:39 PM

Payments for ecosystem services are great, unless we do them enough to make a difference

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

The usually excellent Mongabay ran the scare headline, "Could industrial interests ruin payments for environmental services?" on a piece in Tropical Conservation Science.  Thankfully the authors of the paper being reported on, "Upscaling Payments for Environmental Services (PES): Critical issues" are a little less alarmist.  Nonetheless, I think that that their concern about large companies getting involved in ecosystem service markets is overwrought.

PES have traditionally been conceived a........ Read more »

Romain Pirard, Raphaël Billé, & Thomas Sembrés. (2010) Upscaling Payments for Environmental Services (PES): Critical issues. Tropical Conservation Science, 3(3), 249-261. info:/

  • September 29, 2010
  • 06:59 PM

Providing to a Declining Matriarch…Good Deed or Biological Strategy?

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

Generally speaking, humans don’t ascribe a whole lot of credit to ‘other’ animals when it comes to emotional, moral, and intellectual capacities.  Rightly so, most members of the animal kingdom are adhering to the tenets of ‘survive and reproduce’ quite carefully.  After all, there isn’t a lot of room to be emotional when your capacity [...]... Read more »

  • September 29, 2010
  • 06:40 PM

Guppy Sex…A Soap Opera of Seduction and Sneak Matings

by Michael Gutbrod in A Scientific Nature

Finding and (and then convincing) a female to mate with you is hard enough.  Just look how much trouble that young, muscular, attractive male guppy above is having.  Then you have to worry about your sperm being beaten out by the sperm of ugly rapists. Well hopefully you only have to worry about these things [...]... Read more »

  • September 29, 2010
  • 03:00 PM

How Do Orb-Weaving Spider Webs Effectively Capture Fast-Moving Prey?

by Michael Long in Phased

Ali Dhinojwala (University of Akron, United States) and coworkers have found that the adhesive of orb-weaving spider webs is a viscoelastic solid, with implications in how the webs effectively ensnare quickly-moving prey as well as the design of synthetic adhesives. This news feature was written on September 29, 2010.... Read more »

Sahni, V., Blackledge, T. A., & Dhinojwala, A. (2010) Viscoelastic solids explain spider web stickiness. Nature Communications, 1(2), 1-4. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1019  

  • September 29, 2010
  • 02:45 PM

Science or Sciencey [part 2]

by Daniel Simons in The Invisible Gorilla

The second of a 4-part series examining what happens when science is used for marketing (using brain-training software as the central example). ... Read more »

  • September 29, 2010
  • 02:12 PM

Living Donor Death Rate, Part 3

by Cristy at Living Donor 101 in Living Donors Are People Too

Since I'm day four of flu recovery, I'll make this a quick one....I've talked about the mortality (death) rate of living donors before on this blog, mostly to point out that nobody really knows the true statistics and secondarily, to criticize the transplant industry for constantly minimizing and skewing the numbers to their benefit. In a recent "see-living-donation-is-safe" piece of propaganda from Johns Hopkins transplant surgeons, this little nugget is buried deep within the Comment section: ........ Read more »

Segev DL, Muzaale AD, Caffo BS, Mehta SH, Singer AL, Taranto SE, McBride MA, & Montgomery RA. (2010) Perioperative mortality and long-term survival following live kidney donation. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 303(10), 959-66. PMID: 20215610  

  • September 29, 2010
  • 02:06 PM

The Prefrontal Cortex Is Holistic

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

The question of whether the brain is "modular" - whether different parts do different things - has been a neuroscientific talking point since the days of the phrenologists.They were the guys who believed that, not only were there modules, but that you could tell how big they were by measuring the shape of someone's skull, and so learn about their personality.Phrenology made modules unfashionable for a while, but today they're back, and most of fMRI consists in trying to find areas of the brain........ Read more »

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