Post List

  • August 29, 2010
  • 04:45 PM

A Mathematical Description of Cell Aggregate Mechanical Deformation

by Michael Long in Phased

Luigi Preziosi (Politecnico di Torino, Italy) and coworkers have developed a mathematical model for the mechanical stress experienced by cell aggregates, relevant to cellular function in normal health (blood flow) and disease (cancer). This news feature was written on August 29, 2010.... Read more »

Preziosi, L., Ambrosi, D., & Verdier, C. (2010) An elasto-visco-plastic model of cell aggregates. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 262(1), 35-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2009.08.023  

  • August 29, 2010
  • 03:33 PM

Exposure in vivo for kinesiophobia

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Sometimes, even with the best practice, treatment doesn’t go the way you expect it to. Graded exposure, using a phobia treatment model, can be one of those amazingly quick methods – or it can be a long-haul challenge. This paper by Flink, Boersma and Linton, just published in European Journal of Pain identifies one of … Read more... Read more »

  • August 29, 2010
  • 02:27 PM


by Christopher Leo in Christopher Leo

Last May, I sketched out an idea for a research project that would look at what senior governments could do to ensure that those who make decisions about the growth of North American cities do a better job of respecting the environment. That idea has now matured into a research proposal. In this entry, I'll summarize the proposal and provide a link to the full proposal.

Here's the summary:

My proposed research will shed new light on a major, but much-neglected question: What can we learn from........ Read more »

  • August 29, 2010
  • 12:56 PM

Predator MX: Jack the Rippler

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Velicer & Yu from the University of Tuebingen have used a group of mutant M. xanthus, which are lacking the type IV pili gene to show that cooperative swarming can evolve using an alternative mechanism. The mutant bacteria do that by forming a physical net of sugars and proteins connecting them — and their rippling motion — together. Watching behavior evolve: how cool is that?... Read more »

  • August 29, 2010
  • 11:10 AM

How to improve your cognitive function

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

In an era of ever increasing lifespan, a recent study estimated that there would be 81.1 million people with dementia by 2040 (Ferri et. al., 2005). The prevalence and incidence of dementia has also been documented to increase with increasing age (Fratiglioni, Ronchi & Agüero-Torres, 1999). Abraham Lincoln in his infinite wisdom, once said: “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years”. So what can we do to enhance our cognitive functions as ........ Read more »

Masley S, Roetzheim R, & Gualtieri T. (2009) Aerobic exercise enhances cognitive flexibility. Journal of clinical psychology in medical settings, 16(2), 186-93. PMID: 19330430  

Berman, M., Jonides, J., & Kaplan, S. (2008) The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature. Psychological Science, 19(12), 1207-1212. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02225.x  

Ferri, C., Prince, M., Brayne, C., Brodaty, H., Fratiglioni, L., Ganguli, M., Hall, K., Hasegawa, K., Hendrie, H., & Huang, Y. (2006) Global prevalence of dementia: a Delphi consensus study. The Lancet, 366(9503), 2112-2117. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67889-0  

Fratiglioni, L., De Ronchi, D., & Ag??ero Torres, H. (1999) Worldwide Prevalence and Incidence of Dementia. Drugs , 15(5), 365-375. DOI: 10.2165/00002512-199915050-00004  

  • August 29, 2010
  • 10:36 AM

the birth of a supermassive monster, revisited

by Greg Fish in weird things

We know that black holes can grow to become absolutely enormous in size, tipping the scales at billions and billions of times the mass of our sun. The numbers involved make the gravitational monsters in question very hard to visualize, and pose a big mystery. Did they form from the remnants of the first stars [...]... Read more »

  • August 28, 2010
  • 04:21 PM

Sunday Spinelessness - New Zealand's GIANT Sprintgtails

by David in The Atavism

I know, a couple of week it was multiple exclamation points, then a reference to lyrics from a band anyone who is remotely cool is trying to forget they ever liked and this week it's all caps all the way. Hopefully, by the end of this post you'll agree that, this time at least, the subject left me with no option. I missed out a little fact about peripatus when I wrote about them the other day: Dunedin is full of them. There is even a local endemic species which appears to be restricted to one pa........ Read more »

  • August 28, 2010
  • 03:40 PM

Social vs Physical Causality Cognition in Chimpanzees and Bonobos

by Michael Long in Phased

Esther Herrmann (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany) and coworkers have found that, relative to each other, bonobos possess a superior grasp of social causality, while chimpanzees possess a superior grasp of physical causality. This news feature was written on August 28, 2010.... Read more »

  • August 28, 2010
  • 10:09 AM

High-Protein Diets Harmful to Bones? Nah!

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

Contrary to accepted wisdom, high  protein intake does not seem to be harmful to mineralization of bone, according to Seattle-based researchers reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutriton.  Mineralization of bone is important because higher bone mineral content generally translates to lower risk of fractures. A consistent criticism of low-carbohydrate diets in the past is [...]... Read more »

Beasley, J., Ichikawa, L., Ange, B., Spangler, L., LaCroix, A., Ott, S., & Scholes, D. (2010) Is protein intake associated with bone mineral density in young women?. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91(5), 1311-1316. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28728  

  • August 28, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Links between animal cruelty and domestic violence

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Is animal cruelty a “red flag” for family violence? investigating co-occurring violence toward children, partners, and pets From Journal of Interpersonal Violence This week in the UK a nation of animal lovers were horrified at the CCTV footage circulated on YouTube that caught a woman throwing a cat in a wheely bin. For all who [...]... Read more »

  • August 28, 2010
  • 03:20 AM

Why EO Wilson’s Latest Eusociality Paper Fails

by Johnny in Ecographica

The argument presented in the paper is that inclusive fitness theory is an extraneous, unnecessary concept that has failed to provide insights into the evolution of eusociality.

Here are a few of the reasons why I think that their argument fails:
... Read more »

Nowak, M., Tarnita, C., & Wilson, E. (2010) The evolution of eusociality. Nature, 466(7310), 1057-1062. DOI: 10.1038/nature09205  

  • August 28, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

Importance and Exposure – Measures of Road Network Vulnerability?

by Jan Husdal in

The paper calculates several indices for link importance and site exposure for the Swedish road network, based on the increase in generalized travel cost when links are closed. [ ... ]... Read more »

JENELIUS, E., PETERSEN, T., & MATTSSON, L. (2006) Importance and exposure in road network vulnerability analysis. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 40(7), 537-560. DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2005.11.003  

  • August 27, 2010
  • 11:09 PM

Be a Man and Get Some Help!

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Hammond et al. (2010) challenge the assumption that the more a man aligns himself with (traditional) masculine ideals, the less likely he will be to engage with preventative health services.... Read more »

  • August 27, 2010
  • 07:59 PM

When is it a good idea to cheat?

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Think about standing in line to the bus. If everyone cooperates, we get on the bus faster, but some of us may be forced to stand. On the other hand, shoving your way to the beginning of the line will assure you a good seat, albeit at the expense of glares from your fellow-passengers, and maybe a few altercations along the way. In evolutionary terms, selfishness seems like a sounder strategy than cooperating. After all, if you manage to gain a better position for yourself in life’s pecking or........ Read more »

  • August 27, 2010
  • 06:19 PM

Serendipitous astronomy

by Emma in we are all in the gutter

Within the constellation of Ursa Major, about 134 million light years away, an almighty collision is occurring between two galaxies. As the clouds of gas and dust are swirled together an intense burst of star formation is triggered, but is that all that’s been awoken? Has this galactic merger also provided a hidden central black [...]... Read more »

Perez-Torres, Miguel A.; Alberdi, Antxon; Romero-Canizales, Cristina; Bondi, Marco. (2010) Serendipitous discovery of the long-sought AGN in Arp 299-A. Accepted for publication in Letters to Astronomy and Astrophysics. info:/1008.4466

  • August 27, 2010
  • 04:46 PM

Do scarab beetles get to join an exclusive visual sensory club?

by Michael Bok in Arthropoda

Animal visual systems are evolutionarily tuned to exploit environmental light towards the purposes of spatial perception, navigation, and intraspecific communication. We predominately experience visual information based on variations in the intensity and the wavelengths of incoming light; perceived as brightness and colors. Other animals however, especially the arthropods, also rely on an additional visual modality with which to perceive their world. They are capable of detecting and discrimi........ Read more »

  • August 27, 2010
  • 04:40 PM

Walking sub-optimally is the way forward

by Carl in The motor chauvinist

Today we’re going to do something a little different. I’ve been posting a lot about reaching movements, because that’s what I’m most interested in, but it may surprise you to learn that humans do actually have the capacity to move other parts of their bodies as well. I know, I’m as shocked as you are… so! The paper I’m going to cover is about the regulation of step variability in walking. It’s a little longer and more complex than normal, so strap yourselves in.Walking is a hard ........ Read more »

  • August 27, 2010
  • 03:50 PM

Not the origin of genome complexity

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Over the past decade evolutionary geneticist Mike Lynch has been articulating a model of genome complexity which relies on stochastic factors as the primary motive force by which genome size increases. The argument is articulated in a 2003 paper, and further elaborated in his book The Origins of Genome Architecture. There are several moving parts [...]... Read more »

Whitney KD, & Garland T Jr. (2010) Did Genetic Drift Drive Increases in Genome Complexity?. PLoS Genetics. info:/10.1371/journal.pgen.1001080

  • August 27, 2010
  • 03:36 PM

New link between exercise and weight loss uncovered?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

A recent paper provides the groundwork to establish a way for exercise to diminish appetite. Or, more likely, for sedentary behavior to increase appetite. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • August 27, 2010
  • 03:31 PM

Peace and Conflict, Part 3 – Conflict Resolution

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

In the last of this series on peace and conflict, we are looking at the question, How can an intractable conflict be resolved or at least transformed into a benign conflict? The attempt here is to use dynamical systems theory or chaos theory to look at the question of intractable conflicts. As mentioned before, an [...]... Read more »

Vallacher, R., Coleman, P., Nowak, A., & Bui-Wrzosinska, L. (2010) Rethinking intractable conflict: The perspective of dynamical systems. American Psychologist, 65(4), 262-278. DOI: 10.1037/a0019290  

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