Sci was incredibly excited to see this paper come out. It's got lots of stuff going for it, and all its powers combined were enough to send Sci bouncing around in her seat and sending emails to Ed Yong saying "OMG COOL PAPER!!".
What's it got, you say? It's got the meaning of life, the universe, and that pesky MRI signal.
Lee et al. "Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring" Nature, 2010.
Ah, the pretty brain picture. But what does it........ Read more »
Lee, J., Durand, R., Gradinaru, V., Zhang, F., Goshen, I., Kim, D., Fenno, L., Ramakrishnan, C., & Deisseroth, K. (2010) Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring. Nature, 465(7299), 788-792. DOI: 10.1038/nature09108
Last week I wrote about the potential impacts of caffeine (in coffee and energy drinks) on students and their study (here). In short, however, these were what I considered the most relevant findings: Keleman and Creeley (2001)found that Caffeine reliably improves hit rates for sustained attention, that there was an interaction between caffeine and free [...]... Read more »
Berto, R., Baroni, M., Zainaghi, A., & Bettella, S. (2009) An exploratory study of the effect of high and low fascination environments on attentional fatigue. Journal of Environmental Psychology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.12.002
Kelemen WL, & Creeley CE. (2001) Caffeine (4 mg/kg) influences sustained attention and delayed free recall but not memory predictions. Human psychopharmacology, 16(4), 309-319. PMID: 12404566
Warburton DM, Bersellini E, & Sweeney E. (2001) An evaluation of a caffeinated taurine drink on mood, memory and information processing in healthy volunteers without caffeine abstinence. Psychopharmacology, 158(3), 322-8. PMID: 11713623
Oei A, & Hartley LR. (2005) The effects of caffeine and expectancy on attention and memory. Human psychopharmacology, 20(3), 193-202. PMID: 15742338
Yes, it would be great if we never spilled a drop of oil. No matter how hard we may try, though, the fact is that nobody is perfect, and oil spills are an inevitable consequence of our widespread use of oil. The question is, once the oil is out there, how do we clean it up? Perhaps my grandfather put it best, when I asked him what he thought about how BP and the US is responding to the spill.
"They're friggin' idiots."... Read more »
Jonathan L. Ramseur. (2010) Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service , 7-5700 (RL33705). info:/
Paine, R., Ruesink, J., Sun, A., Soulanille, E., Wonham, M., Harley, C., Brumbaugh, D., & Secord, D. (1996) TROUBLE ON OILED WATERS: Lessons from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 27(1), 197-235. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.27.1.197
SWEDMARK, M., GRANMO, A., & KOLLBERG, S. (1973) Effects of oil dispersants and oil emulsions on marine animals. Water Research, 7(11), 1649-1672. DOI: 10.1016/0043-1354(73)90134-6
Oil is bad for wildlife. Period. But we really do not understand how it is bad. What does it do? Can marine organisms respond physiologically to oil in diets? For instance, translocate the toxic components to feathers and molt it off, much like some crabs, or have other physiologically mechanisms to . . . → Read More: Why Oil-Laden Prey is Bad for Sea Birds... Read more »
Pérez, C., Lores, M., & Velando, A. (2010) Oil pollution increases plasma antioxidants but reduces coloration in a seabird. Oecologia. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-010-1677-2
I’ve covered this sad state of affairs and one of Australia’s more notable biodiversity embarrassments over the last year (see Shocking continued loss of Australian mammals and Can we solve Australia’s mammal extinction crisis?), and now the most empirical demonstration of this is now published. The biodiversity guru of Australia’s tropical north, John Woinarksi, has [...]... Read more »
Woinarski, J., Armstrong, M., Brennan, K., Fisher, A., Griffiths, A., Hill, B., Milne, D., Palmer, C., Ward, S., Watson, M.... (2010) Monitoring indicates rapid and severe decline of native small mammals in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. Wildlife Research, 37(2), 116. DOI: 10.1071/WR09125
The skull of Mosasaurus hoffmani. From Lingham-Soliar 1995.
On my first trip to the Inversand marl pit in Sewell, New Jersey, I didn't find the wonderfully preserved Dryptosaurus skeleton I had been dreaming of. I picked up a number of Cretaceous bivalve shells and Paleocene sponges, but other than a few scraps of "Chunkosaurus" my excavations didn't yield very much. Before my paleontology class left the site, though, we took a walk by the spoil piles - great green mounds of sediment that ha........ Read more »
KIERNAN, C. (2002) STRATIGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT SEGREGATION OF MOSASAURS IN THE UPPER CRETACEOUS OF WESTERN AND CENTRAL ALABAMA, WITH AN HISTORICAL REVIEW OF ALABAMA MOSASAUR DISCOVERIES. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 22(1), 91-103. DOI: 10.1671/0272-4634(2002)022[0091:SDAHSO]2.0.CO;2
Lingham-Soliar, T. (1995) Anatomy and Functional Morphology of the Largest Marine Reptile Known, Mosasaurus hoffmanni (Mosasauridae, Reptilia) from the Upper Cretaceous, Upper Maastrichtian of the Netherlands. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 347(1320), 155-172. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1995.0019
Mulder, E. (1999) Transatlantic latest Cretaceous mosasaurs (Reptilia, Lacertilia) from the Maastrichtian type area and New Jersey. Geologie en Mijnbouw, 78(3/4), 281-300. DOI: 10.1023/A:1003838929257
Three months ago, I ran the post that appears below. This post got lots of comments, and there were a fair number of misunderstandings, so let me up-front here make clear what I mean by facilitated communication in the hopes these misunderstandings do not occur again. We teach our children many skills by using hand-over-hand techniques. I'm not talking about teaching your child how to type, how to hold a pencil, how to do things. I'm talking specifically about the facilitated communication as Bi........ Read more »
Finn, P. (2005) Science and Pseudoscience in Communication Disorders: Criteria and Applications. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 14(3), 172-186. DOI: 10.1044/1058-0360(2005/018)
Wegner, D., Fuller, V., & Sparrow, B. (2003) Clever hands: Uncontrolled intelligence in facilitated communication. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(1), 5-19. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.52
Ziring, P., Brazdziunas, D., Cooley, W., Kastner, T., Kummer, M., De Pijem, L., & et al. (1998) Auditory integration training and facilitated communication for autism. American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Children with Disabilities. Pediatrics, 102(2 Pt 1), 431-3. PMID: 9685446
Our planet is an intriguing concoction of variables that meld together for successes spanning the organization of life (species, populations, communities, and ecosystems). It is literally an evolutionary process that is ecologically driven. And as a genotypic sex determined species, we seem to have an inherent fascination with the mysterious adaptive significance of environmental sex [...]... Read more »
HAYS, G., FOSSETTE, S., KATSELIDIS, K., SCHOFIELD, G., & GRAVENOR, M. (2010) Breeding Periodicity for Male Sea Turtles, Operational Sex Ratios, and Implications in the Face of Climate Change. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01531.x
Offering people free lentils and metal food dishes substantially improves the number of young children that receive a full course of childhood immunisations in resource poor areas, and is more cost effective than just improving the vaccine services available in the region, according to a new study published free in the British Medical Journal. Abhijit [...]... Read more »
Banerjee, A., Duflo, E., Glennerster, R., & Kothari, D. (2010) Improving immunisation coverage in rural India: clustered randomised controlled evaluation of immunisation campaigns with and without incentives. BMJ, 340(may17 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c2220
Painters create networks. The subject of the piece, even if it’s a simple splotch of color, garners the most attention, but without a descriptive background or other kinds of supporting elements to contextualize the portion of the painting where the artist wants you to look, the intended focus is...
... Read more »
Meijer, H., Van Den Hoek Ostende, L., Van Den Bergh, G., & De Vos, J. (2010) The fellowship of the hobbit: the fauna surrounding Homo floresiensis. Journal of Biogeography, 37(6), 995-1006. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02308.x
by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog
The influenza virus neuraminidase (NA) protein is required for virus release from the cell, a property exploited by the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamavir (Relenza). During clinical testing of oseltamivir in 2001, some individuals shed drug-resistant viruses with an amino acid change from histidine to tyrosine (H274Y) in NA. Such viruses are not inhibited [...]... Read more »
Bloom JD, Gong LI, & Baltimore D. (2010) Permissive secondary mutations enable the evolution of influenza oseltamivir resistance. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5983), 1272-5. PMID: 20522774
I saw this and could think of nothing but the alien from the movie Predator.
This is a frontal view of the head of a male Branchinecta brushi. This species of fairy shrimp is interesting in several ways. First, it is a species new to science, having just been described in a paper last week.
Second, this is one of the two highest crustacean species on the planet. There is one other crustacean found in the same pools that B. brushi is found in.
I also have to give this paper credit for the bes........ Read more »
Hegna, T., & Lazo-Wasem, E. (2010) Branchinecta brushi n. sp. (Branchiopoda: Anostraca: Branchinectidae) from a Volcanic Crater in Northern Chile (Antofagasta Province): A New Altitude Record for Crustaceans. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 30(3), 445-464. DOI: 10.1651/09-3236.1
Chimpanzees have culture (or not) depending on your definition.Image: Irish Wildcat / Creative Commons
Author's Note: The following is an expansion on my reply to anthropologist Dan Sperber on the PLoS ONE article "Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees."
Culture is like art or pornography, it's hard for people to define but everyone knows it when they see it. Cultural anthropologists have long struggled to develop a consistent definition of the very thing that they study, a proble........ Read more »
How the hell did seals get into Lake Baikal? Actually, if you're a long-time reader you'll know the answers that have been put forward (note there that I didn't say "you'll know the answer"), as I covered this issue back in 2006 on Tet Zoo ver 1. In the interests of recycling old stuff and saving myself valuable time and effort, here's that article again...
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
PALO, J., & VAINOLA, R. (2006) The enigma of the landlocked Baikal and Caspian seals addressed through phylogeny of phocine mitochondrial sequences. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 88(1), 61-72. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2006.00607.x
There's been much excitement about the latest big genetic study into autism, published in Nature : the grandly titled Autism Genome Project, brought to you by a crack team of no fewer than 177 researchers.For a good summary of the research take a look here, and for a longer account here. In a nutshell, the authors examined DNA from almost 1000 people with an autism spectrum disorder. They were looking for deletions and duplications of segments of DNA: so-called copy number variations (CNVs). A C........ Read more »
Pinto, D., Pagnamenta, A., Klei, L., Anney, R., Merico, D., Regan, R., Conroy, J., Magalhaes, T., Correia, C., Abrahams, B.... (2010) Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09146
... Read more »
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), referred to in Hindi as Methi, is a common ingredient in South Asian cuisine. Its seeds are an essential component of curry powder - its leaves are eaten as a vegetable.
Traditional Indian medicine has long attributed medicinal properties to fenugreek, especially for the treatment of diabetes.
Now, Taku Uemura and colleagues from Kyoto [...]... Read more »
Uemura T, Hirai S, Mizoguchi N, Goto T, Lee JY, Taketani K, Nakano Y, Shono J, Hoshino S, Tsuge N.... (2010) Diosgenin present in fenugreek improves glucose metabolism by promoting adipocyte differentiation and inhibiting inflammation in adipose tissues. Molecular nutrition . PMID: 20540147
This maybe just what we need to start moving deep cognitive understandings of the Web Ergonomics of users into a form that can help us simulate and apply this knowledge to instances of Web Interactivity, sort of a CogTool on steroids.... Read more »
Dominik Heckmann, & Antonio Krueger. (2003) A User Modeling Markup Language (UserML) for Ubiquitous Computing . LNCS User Modeling 2003, 1(1), 148. info:/10.1007/3-540-44963-9_55
Dominik Heckmann, Tim Schwartz, Boris Brandherm, Michael Schmitz, & Margeritta von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. (2005) Gumo – The General User Model Ontology . User Modeling 2005, 1(1), 428-432. info:/10.1007/11527886_58
This is a post that aims to go through the evolution of the “Hockey Stick” from 1990 to the present day. It naturally misses out parts of the story, which deserve far more analysis, simply to keep the post short. Comments that expand on the bits I’ve omitted are welcome! What is the “Hockey Stick” [...]... Read more »
Mann ME, Zhang Z, Hughes MK, Bradley RS, Miller SK, Rutherford S, & Ni F. (2008) Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(36), 13252-7. PMID: 18765811
Our brains’ internal representations of ourselves are not, it would appear, quite as accurate as one would have thought.
That, at least, is the conclusion of paper which just came out in the dangerously-acronymed PNAS*.
To introduce the subject, then, let’s agree that it’s important for the brain to know where all our various physical bits are. [...]
[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »
Matthew R. Longo and Patrick Haggard. (2010) An implicit body representation underlying human position sense. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1003483107
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