Post List

  • June 18, 2010
  • 04:53 AM

Coral Evolution: From Socialists to Soloists

by Lucas in thoughtomics

Last week’s blog post on the ancestry of the malarial plasmid attracted several insightful comments by Psi Wavefunction. One of the issues discussed was when exactly the malarial ancestor changed his lifestyle from being a coral symbiont to a coral parasite. This week I came across a paper in PNAS that shows [...]... Read more »

Barbeitos, M., Romano, S., & Lasker, H. (2010) Repeated loss of coloniality and symbiosis in scleractinian corals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914380107  

  • June 18, 2010
  • 01:14 AM

Friday Weird Science: a tote for your scrote, a recepticle for your testicle.

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Many thanks to NCBI ROFL for providing this excellent gem of a paper. I was actually going to do another one that I found via their site, but then I saw this one and I HAD TO HAVE IT. And so much additional thanks goes to Jason of the Thoughtful Animal and twitter bud hectocotyli, who managed to find the paper, as Sci only has access to the stacks copy and was about to pull her hair out.

And it was all worth it, my friends! This is a paper of such hilarious awesome that Sci can barely conta........ Read more »

  • June 18, 2010
  • 12:40 AM

Sciencey goodness Pt I

by aimee in misc.ience

Sometimes I am able to write posts on Friday.  Sometimes not.

At least part of the reason for this is that I spend my Thursday afternoons and Fridays (or at least parts thereof) research for and writing the SMC weekly newsletter.  Which is awesome.
And you should sign up!  Why?  Because it’s well interesting, of course.  Peter [...]

[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »

  • June 18, 2010
  • 12:05 AM

An Old Man Asks "Is My Testosterone Too Low?"

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I've been interested in the role of testosterone in physical performance, depression and aging for many years. While at the University of Iowa, I was involved in research to detect testosterone doping, the psychological effects of testosterone and the potential for testosterone to alleviate depression in older men. One of the difficult questions facing clinicians is when is testosterone too low in older men. One problem with answering this question is the physiological age-related testostero........ Read more »

Wu, F., Tajar, A., Beynon, J., Pye, S., Silman, A., Finn, J., O'Neill, T., Bartfai, G., Casanueva, F., Forti, G.... (2010) Identification of Late-Onset Hypogonadism in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0911101  

Yates WR, Perry PJ, MacIndoe J, Holman T, & Ellingrod V. (1999) Psychosexual effects of three doses of testosterone cycling in normal men. Biological psychiatry, 45(3), 254-60. PMID: 10023498  

  • June 18, 2010
  • 12:00 AM

Starting a War in the Aftermath of Disaster

by Randy Borum in Science of Global Security & Armed Conflict

A new study conducted by Travis Nelson from University of Vermont carefully examines the security nexus of natural disaster and armed conflict over the past half century.... Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 10:45 PM

Neury Thursday: Novel Molecular Techniques to Disentangle Novel Neuronal Circuitry

by Allison in Dormivigilia

This week’s Neury Thursday is a challenge to write because it features a fabulously comprehensive research study using methodologies that I’m still, as a novice, struggling to understand (Wikipedia isn’t much help); San Franciscan researchers utilized optogenetics, the combination of genetic (i.e. knock-outs) and channelrhodopsin to elucidate co-expressing dopaminergic and glutamatergic brain centers implicated with drug [...]... Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 09:10 PM

Medical Art Imitating Life

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The ideal human body shape has evolved — for better or worse — over the course of human history. Its depiction in art parallels society’s beliefs regarding what is and is not attractive and desirable. The representation of the human form has, too, undergone a metamorphosis in the oft-forgotten field of medical illustration. With the [...]... Read more »

Bonafini BA, & Pozzilli P. (2010) Body weight and beauty: the changing face of the ideal female body weight. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. PMID: 20492540  

Pearce JM. (2009) Henry Gray's Anatomy. Clinical anatomy (New York, N.Y.), 22(3), 291-5. PMID: 19280653  

  • June 17, 2010
  • 07:28 PM

Do Not Log-Transform Count Data, Bitches!

by jebyrnes in I'm a chordata, urochordata!

OK, so, the title of this article is actually Do not log-transform count data, but, as @ascidacea mentioned, you just can’t resist adding the “bitches” to the end.
If you’re like me, when you learned experimental stats, you were taught to worship at the throne of the Normal Distribution. Always check your data and [...]... Read more »

O’Hara, R., & Kotze, D. (2010) Do not log-transform count data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 1(2), 118-122. DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2010.00021.x  

  • June 17, 2010
  • 06:30 PM

Direct and Indirect Effects for Neighborhood-Based Clustered and Longitudinal Data

by Christopher Winship in SMR Blog

Tyler J. VanderWeele, Direct and Indirect Effects for Neighborhood-Based Clustered and Longitudinal Data, Sociological Methods & Research 2010 38: 515-544. Definitions of direct and indirect effects are given for settings in which individuals are clustered in groups or neighborhoods and in which treatments are administered at the group level. A particular intervention may affect individual outcomes [...]... Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 06:25 PM

Faith and Science at the World Science Festival - 2010

by Kristopher Hite in Tom Paine's Ghost

Before the event took place there was much consternation abuzz on the blogosphere over the cast of characters chosen to speak at the Faith and Science event held as part of the 2010 World Science Festival.  Sean Carrol of Cosmic Variance being the first vocal critic with Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne re-posting Carroll's critique on their respective homepages. Other discussions of the event can be seen at Thoughts from Kansas, Uncertain Principles, and evolutionblog. The panel inclu........ Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 04:25 PM

Are Vegans and Vegetarians More Empathic Than Omnivores?

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

Humans are naturally omnivorous, our digestive system is adapted to cope with both animal and vegetable matter. Obviously we can’t eat everything, we wouldn’t get as much sustenance out of a mouthful of grass as a cow does. Termites can deal with the high cellulose content of wood and derive energy from that source while [...]... Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 04:22 PM

Flowers make it rain (and then some)

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

The Amazon rainforest—with its millions of creaking, chirping and buzzing insects, sticky frogs, vibrant birds, and unique fish—may owe its diversity primarily to flowers, said researchers from the University of Chicago. And, they say, just as flowering plants formed the building block of biodiversity in this region, their removal could result in a cascade of declining diversity.

... Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 03:30 PM

Searching for Rene Descartes or just ‘knowing’ he is there

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Thanks to Daniel Hawes at twenty2five.blogspot, we were alerted to a recent paper in Psychological Science that investigated how easily people correct their beliefs[1]. Now, you have to know that the angle you are about to hear is speculative, although not outrageous.  The researchers argued that people make two kinds of mistakes on a phrase [...]... Read more »

[1] Lisa K Fazio, & Elizabeth J Marsh. (2010) Correcting False Memories. Psychological Science. info:/

  • June 17, 2010
  • 12:32 PM

Optimal engineering for yeast lignocellulose conversion

by Ciaran O'Neill in Biotechnology for Biofuels

Evolutionary engineers have created a new strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that can ferment ethanol from the agricultural and timber waste feedstock, lignocellulose. Rosa Garcia Sanchez and co-workers accelerated the evolution of the yeast, by applying selection pressure in continuous culture, to arrive at an organism capable of complete conversion of the pentose sugars, xylose and arabinose, to ethanol [1]. The process of directed evolution may not seem to be a striking advance in transgenic ........ Read more »

Garcia Sanchez, R., Karhumaa, K., Fonseca, C., Sanchez Nogue, V., Almeida, J., Larsson, C., Bengtsson, O., Bettiga, M., Hahn-Hagerdal, B., & Gorwa-Grauslund, M. (2010) Improved xylose and arabinose utilization by an industrial recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain using evolutionary engineering. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 3(1), 13. DOI: 10.1186/1754-6834-3-13  

Gibson, D., Glass, J., Lartigue, C., Noskov, V., Chuang, R., Algire, M., Benders, G., Montague, M., Ma, L., Moodie, M.... (2010) Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719  

  • June 17, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

Faculty Evaluation Is Really Complicated

by Chad Orzel in Uncertain Principles

There's a paper in the Journal of Political Economy that has sparked a bunch of discussion. The article, bearing the snappy title "Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors," looks at the scores of over 10,000 students at the US Air Force Academy over a period of several years, and finds a small negative correlation between the faculty effect on performance in an introductory course and performance in a follow-on course. In other words, as they expl........ Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 08:18 AM

On all sorts of wrong

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

Just in case you haven't seen it elsewhere, here's a quick one. A tweet from mjrobbins (also at the Lay Scientist) left me quite unable to work, this morning. I was seriously angered and sickened. Whatever your views on female...... Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 08:01 AM

Prenatal and Postpartum Depression in Dads

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

While the phenomenon of depression during and following pregnancy in women is widely appreciated (and often associated with weight gain and/or antenatal weight retention), the effect of pregnancy on mood of fathers is less appreciated.
A recent study by James Paulson and Sharnail Bazemore from the Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, just published in the Journal [...]... Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The push and pull of third world drugs

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Diseases can be classified as Type I (those that are incident in both rich and poor countries); Type II (those that are incident in both rich and poor countries but with a substantial proportion in poor countries, for example tuberculosis [and malaria]) and Type III (those that are overwhelmingly or exclusively [...]The push and pull of third world drugs is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog

You can also connect with Sciencebase on Facebook and Twitter
... Read more »

Sudip Chaudhuri. (2010) R. Int. J. Technology and Globalisation, 5(1/2), 61-75. info:/

  • June 17, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Hiking quietly benefits birds... and birders

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • June 17, 2010
  • 07:52 AM

DSM-IV-TR and the Fallacy of Diagnostic Labels

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Jacobs and Cohen (2009) worry that the DSM-V-TR pounds individual agency into submission, laying waste to personal stories and replacing them with generic yet unproven diagnostic labels.... Read more »

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