Post List

  • September 8, 2009
  • 12:59 PM

Evaluating media reports of science

by Mitchell Harden in Mitch's Blog

I was recently linked to this post from PETA's blog from June of 2008. This is a great classroom exercise in evaluating media reports.1. Meat increases the risk of breast cancer. A 2007 study of 35,000 women published in the British Journal of Cancer found that women who ate meat were far more likely to develop breast cancer than women who consumed none. Will Jessica's next t-shirt will say, "Real Girls Smoke 3 Packs a Day"?The referenced study reports: "... risk of breast cancer to increase wit........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

Anthropoliteia In the News 9/8/09

by Kevin Karpiak in Anthropoliteia: the anthropology of policing

News about police, policing and security from an anthropological perspective... Read more »

Rose, H., & Rose, S. (2009) The changing face of human nature. Daedalus, 138(3), 7-20. DOI: 10.1162/daed.2009.138.3.7  

Gazzaniga, M. (2009) Humans: the party animal. Daedalus, 138(3), 21-34. DOI: 10.1162/daed.2009.138.3.21  

Pippin, R. (2009) Natural . Daedalus, 138(3), 35-43. DOI: 10.1162/daed.2009.138.3.35  

Hacking, I. (2009) Humans, aliens . Daedalus, 138(3), 44-59. DOI: 10.1162/daed.2009.138.3.44  

Ritvo, H. (2009) Humans . Daedalus, 138(3), 68-78. DOI: 10.1162/daed.2009.138.3.68  

Appiah, K. (2009) Experimental moral psychology. Daedalus, 138(3), 92-102. DOI: 10.1162/daed.2009.138.3.92  

  • September 8, 2009
  • 11:17 AM

Ain't Taking This Lying Down..!

by Neural Outlaw in Neural Interface

An interesting report in New Scientist magazine suggests that insults are handled better when lying down rather than sitting or standing up. According to the article, University students who were insulted while seated exhibited neural activity consonant with "approach motivation", which describes to desire to approach and explore. This activity appeared absent in a control group insulted while lying down. Eddie Harmon-Jones, a cognitive scientist at Texas A&M University, interprets this as sugge........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2009
  • 10:46 AM

Why do we fear influenza 2 – the virus

by Atila Iamarino in Influenza A (H1N1) Blog – English

In the previous text, I addressed why it is difficult to develop antivirals, here we will understand the characteristics of the influenza virus that worries us.
Where do viruses come from and what makes them more or less dangerous?
The virus that infects us may already be with us during our evolutive history, [...]... Read more »

Wolfe, N., Dunavan, C., & Diamond, J. (2007) Origins of major human infectious diseases. Nature, 447(7142), 279-283. DOI: 10.1038/nature05775  

Carrat, F., Vergu, E., Ferguson, N., Lemaitre, M., Cauchemez, S., Leach, S., & Valleron, A. (2008) Time Lines of Infection and Disease in Human Influenza: A Review of Volunteer Challenge Studies. American Journal of Epidemiology, 167(7), 775-785. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwm375  

  • September 8, 2009
  • 06:08 AM

Fake Hands and Tables-The Malleability of the Body Image

by Varun in Wissenschaft

In " The Classical Rubber Hand Illusion", we discussed the original experiments of Botvinick and Cohen (1998). Their hypothesis for the rubber hand illusion was that vision has higher reliability and spatial acquity than proprioception, so the brain gives more weight to visual information. People would thus localize a body part to it's apparent visual location, particularly when the visible location falls within the possible range dictated by proprioception. Some support for this theory lies in ........ Read more »

Armel, K., & Ramachandran, V. (2003) Projecting sensations to external objects: evidence from skin conductance response. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270(1523), 1499-1506. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2364  

  • September 8, 2009
  • 05:30 AM

Big Food flexes marketing muscles to combat fat taxes

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

There are two consumer options for "fat taxes".There's disincentive taxation whereby for instance sugar sweetened beverages are taxed so dramatically that it decreases their consumption or there's incentive taxation where a nominal tax is levied to raise money to be spent on educational programs, health food subsidies etc.Not surprisingly Big Food's not happy.So what are they doing about it?Well aside from intense lobbying and pressuring of elected officia........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2009
  • 04:51 AM

Chameleons DO change their color to blend in with their environment

by Michael Meadon in Ionian Enchantment

For reasons that are not to hard to fathom, myths about chameleons abound. The Victorians thought they lived entirely on air; a common Zulu superstition is that they're evil (as I confirmed for myself a while back when I tried to show a chameleon I had caught to our gardener); and, more recently, I've been hearing a lot of people say chameleon color changing has nothing to do with camouflage. Even Cracked has got in on the act with an article on "bullshit animals facts",........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2009
  • 03:57 AM

New anti-cancer role for p53

by Charles Daney in Science and Reason

I suppose that just about everyone knows of the important role the p53 protein plays in protecting cells from becoming cancerous. The protein was identified 30 years ago and its gene (TP53) cloned soon thereafter. What's not so widely known is just how complex the operation of p53 in protecting against cancer really is. And very recent research shows the complexity is even more than previously thought. However, the complexity is to be expected, because evolution doesn't "design" cellular mechani........ Read more »

Suzuki, H., Yamagata, K., Sugimoto, K., Iwamoto, T., Kato, S., & Miyazono, K. (2009) Modulation of microRNA processing by p53. Nature, 460(7254), 529-533. DOI: 10.1038/nature08199  

  • September 8, 2009
  • 02:45 AM

Young Lemon Sharks Stay Close to Home

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

It seems young lemon sharks that live in the waters around the Bahamas are homebodies. Recent research has revealed that these "teenage" sharks stay close to their birthplace as they mature. Previously, little was known about the wanderings of the sharks after they reached 3 years of age. Scientists were uncertain whether they dispersed into new territory as they gained experience or if they lingered close to their nursery sites. These new findings reveal that more than half of teenage........ Read more »

CHAPMAN, D., BABCOCK, E., GRUBER, S., DIBATTISTA, J., FRANKS, B., KESSEL, S., GUTTRIDGE, T., PIKITCH, E., & FELDHEIM, K. (2009) Long-term natal site-fidelity by immature lemon sharks ( ) at a subtropical island . Molecular Ecology, 18(16), 3500-3507. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04289.x  

  • September 8, 2009
  • 02:31 AM

Empathy during Medical Education

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

There is a significant decline in empathy occurs during the third year of medical school. This decline occurs during a time when the curriculum is shifting toward patient-care activities.

There is a significant decline in empathy during third year of medical school, regardless of gender or specialty interest.
Every year women scored significantly higher than men.This seems [...]... Read more »

  • September 7, 2009
  • 11:31 PM

Symmetry Part 4: Unequal Asymmetries

by Wayne Hooke in The Psychology of Beauty

TTypically, the research on symmetry and attractiveness does not take the specific location of the asymmetry or asymmetries into account. Springer, (2007) compared attractiveness ratings of photos of 2 men and 2 women (like the one to the right) in the following conditions:

nevus free (birthmark, beauty mark, or blemish)
a digitally added single nevus at [...]... Read more »

Springer, I., Wannicke, B., Warnke, P., Zernial, O., Wiltfang, J., Russo, P., Terheyden, H., Reinhardt, A., & Wolfart, S. (2007) Facial Attractiveness. Annals of Plastic Surgery, 59(2), 156-162. DOI: 10.1097/  

  • September 7, 2009
  • 11:00 PM

On the Hunt

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

DNA barcodes could assist tracking of illegal bushmeat

... Read more »

  • September 7, 2009
  • 07:50 PM

Unicolonial Ants Pose Challenge to "Selfish Gene" Theory

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Unicolonial ants, such as these Argentine ants (Linepithema humile), are genetically unrelated but will cooperate to defeat a much larger adversary.
Source: Alex Wild / Live Science

It has been a mainstay of evolutionary theory since the 1970s. Natural selection acts purely on the level of the individual and any cooperation observed between organisms merely hides a selfish genetic motive. There have been two pioneering theories to explain cooperation in the natural world given this framework:........ Read more »

Helantera, H., Strassman, J.E., Carrillo, J., Queller, D.C. (2009) Unicolonial ants: where do they come from, what are they and where are they going? . Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

  • September 7, 2009
  • 06:17 PM

Patient-determined outcomes: If you can’t take my pain away, then at least let me do more

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

If I had a dollar for every time that I’ve asked someone what they would like from pain management and they’ve answered ‘take my pain away’ – well I wouldn’t be writing this blog early in the morning before work!
The findings from this piece of research by Thorne and Morley (2009) suggests that people think [...]... Read more »

  • September 7, 2009
  • 04:17 PM

Epigenetics - Implications for behavioral neuroendocrinology

by Manasi in Wissenschaft

Individuals vary in their sociosexual behavior and reactivity. How an organism interacts with the environment to produce these variations has been a focus in psychology since its inception as a scientific discipline.There is now no question that cumulative experiences throughout life history interact with genetic predispositions to shape the individual's behavior. Recent evidence suggests that events in the past generations may also influence how an individual responds to events in their own li........ Read more »

  • September 7, 2009
  • 04:03 PM

How to optimize host transmission in a complex parasite

by Devin Drown in Coevolvers

Hammerschmidt and colleagues (2009) recently published an empirical investigation of optimal host switching. Parasites that must infect multiple hosts to complete their life cycle face a complex set of challenges. One of these is determining the timing of the switch. The authors of this paper look at the trade-off involved in staying in an intermediate host so as to become larger and more fecund in the next host and the increased chance of mortality in the current host. The authors conduct t........ Read more »

  • September 7, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

New Antipsychotic Agent in the US Market

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

More than 50 years ago, the first antipsychotic medications appeared in the United States. While these drugs -– fluphenazine, haloperidol, chlorpromazine, and others — were effective in treating a variety of psychiatric conditions, their safety and tolerability presented many drawbacks. It was not until the 1990s when a new class of antipsychotic medications emerged that [...]... Read more »

Peritogiannis, V., Stefanou, E., Lixouriotis, C., Gkogkos, C., & Rizos, D. (2009) Atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of delirium. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2009.02002.x  

  • September 7, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

50 Million Chemicals and Counting

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) will announce the 50 millionth registered chemical substance in its Registry, tomorrow (8th September).
According to the email I received from a CAS spokesman, “The number itself represents an important milestone both for researchers and CAS, but even more significant is the pace of scientific discovery around the world.” Roger Schenck, Manager [...]50 Million Chemicals and Counting is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Lipkus, A., Yuan, Q., Lucas, K., Funk, S., Bartelt, W., Schenck, R., & Trippe, A. (2008) Structural Diversity of Organic Chemistry. A Scaffold Analysis of the CAS Registry. The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 73(12), 4443-4451. DOI: 10.1021/jo8001276  

  • September 7, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

Fence lizards versus fire ants: Evolutionary fail?

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

As many know, this is the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. If I may be so bold, one of the things that might distinguish our thinking about evolution in the last 50 years from the first hundred years might be the speed at which natural selection can operate. For a long time, we thought of evolution taking long times: millions of years would be needed to see the gradual accumulation of changes. We learned in the past few decades that we can see the effects of sele........ Read more »

Boronow, K., & Langkilde, T. (2009) Sublethal effects of invasive fire ant venom on a native lizard. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology. DOI: 10.1002/jez.570  

  • September 7, 2009
  • 06:00 AM

Clinical Examination for Meniscus

by Mike Reinold in

Today’s post is a review of a recent meta-analysis looking at the accuracy of clinical tests for meniscal lesions from our friend Dan Lorenz, MS, PT, ATC/L, CSCS. RESEARCH UPDATE: Clinical Tests for Meniscal Lesions Dan Lorenz, MS, PT, ATC/L, CSCS It has been estimated that approximately 27% of all outpatient physical therapy visits are for knee pain.1 Of the many possible lesions causing pain, one common source is from a meniscal lesion. Recently, Meserve et al2 did a meta-analysis summar........ Read more »

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