Post List

  • August 11, 2009
  • 12:06 AM

A New Clitoral Homunculus?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Homunculus image from Reinhard Blutner.OK kids, let's start today's lesson by viewing the G-Rated [i.e., genital-less] flash explanation of homunculus.The neuroanatomical definition of homunculus is a "distorted" representation of the sensorimotor body map (and its respective parts) overlaid upon primary somatosensory and primary motor cortices. The above figure illustrates the sensory homunculus, where each body part is placed onto the region of cortex that represents it, and the size of the bo........ Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 08:00 PM

First human genome sequenced using single-molecule sequencing

by dgmacarthur in Genetic Future

Pushkarev, D., Neff, N., & Quake, S. (2009). Single-molecule sequencing of an individual human genome Nature Biotechnology DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1561Yes, it's yet another "complete" individual genome sequence, following on the heels of Craig Venter, James Watson, an anonymous African male (twice, and not without controversy), a female cancer patient, a Chinese man, and two Koreans. There is a new twist, though: this is the first genome to be sequenced using single molecule sequencing te........ Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 04:19 PM

Research is gray without industrial stories

by Andrew Sun in On The Road

Polymer science is more unique in its physics rather than chemistry. All reactions in various polymerization known today are not unconceivable in the scheme of organic synthesis. There is no new concept in reaction mechanisms. In contrast, the unique properties of polymer materials mainly stem from chain topology rather than detailed chemical structures, which have led the polymer physics research from Flory’s mean-field theory, in a statistical physical scheme, to de Gennes’........ Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 02:00 PM

Women eat less when dining with men

by Jacob Aron in Just A Theory

A woman’s choice of food is influenced by the gender of her dining companions, according to a study published in the journal Appetite. Meredith Young, a psychologist at McMaster University in Canada, lead a team observing 469 students as they ate in university cafes. She found that the more men a woman dined with, the [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 01:52 PM

The negative health effects of perceived discrimination

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Discrimination has undoubtedly been the cause of suffering for many throughout human history. There have been countless reviews investigating the effects of discrimination on health, but none that have quite looked at the quantitative nature of this relationship. Pascoe and Richman decided to undertake this task by examining the strength of the evidence for the effect of perceived discrimination on multiple health outcomes through a meta-analysis. They discovered that an increased level of perc........ Read more »

Pascoe EA, & Smart Richman L. (2009) Perceived discrimination and health: a meta-analytic review. Psychological bulletin, 135(4), 531-54. PMID: 19586161  

  • August 10, 2009
  • 01:39 PM

Mirror Neurons Help Reduce Cognitive Load

by Kristen DiCerbo in Connections Research Blog

Educational Psychology Review devoted a recent issue to cognitive load theory. I recently blogged about an article relating the theory to collaborative learning. A second article looks at how our neurons may be helping us reduce cognitive load.
Van Gog, Paas, Marcus, Ayres & Sweller remind us about mirror neurons. These are the neurons that fire [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 12:34 PM

Multiple Testing in Genome-Wide Association Studies via Hidden Markov Models

by Thomas Mailund in Mailund on the Internet

I just read a new paper out in "advanced access" in Bioinformatics:
Multiple Testing in Genome-Wide Association Studies via Hidden Markov Models
Wei et al.
Motivation: Genome wide association studies (GWAS) interrogate common genetic variation across the entire human genome in an unbiased manner and hold promise in identifying genetic variants with moderate or weak effect sizes. However, [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

New Study Connects Leptin to Dopamine

by Christie Wilcox in Nutrition Wonderland

Just this week, for example, after explaining everything I could find about how dopamine relates to eating, scientists from the University of Michigan have discovered a new way that leptin regulates dopamine levels. The study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, reveals for the first time that the brain’s lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) has neurons which receive signals from leptin and in turn directly feed into the central dopamine system in another area of the brain, the ventral te........ Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 11:15 AM

Sedentary Behavior, Sleep, and Obesity in Children

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

It has been reported that up to 16% of children have a hard time falling asleep, resulting in shorter sleep duration. That might not seem like such a big deal, but an increasing number of studies report that decreased sleep time is a risk factor for obesity. Although the idea is still quite controversial, it is has been suggested that insufficient sleep is likely to affect the hormones that regulate hunger, resulting in increased food intake, and eventually obesity. Reduced sleep time has als........ Read more »

Nixon, G., Thompson, J., Han, D., Becroft, D., Clark, P., Robinson, E., Waldie, K., Wild, C., Black, P., & Mitchell, E. (2009) Falling asleep: the determinants of sleep latency. Archives of Disease in Childhood. DOI: 10.1136/adc.2009.157453  

  • August 10, 2009
  • 11:09 AM

Paper of the week: INDELible: A Flexible Simulator of Biological Sequence Evolution

by nuin in Blind.Scientist

The paper of this week touches a subject that I have been involved in the past: sequence simulation. INDELible, by Fletcher and Yang, is a program that is capable of simulating both DNA and amino acid sequences, and it seems to be the complete package to do so. It contains several substitution models and it [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 10:46 AM

Discharge Summaries: Typing vs. Voice Dictations

by onthewards in On The Wards

With the national push toward electronic medical records, there have been active efforts to upgrade clinical data and systems software. At some institutions, an effect of this transition is the migration from the traditional voice dictation systems or paper clinic notes to a typed electronic record.
A recent study at the University of Toronto Faculty [...]

... Read more »

Maslove DM, Leiter RE, Griesman J, Arnott C, Mourad O, Chow CM, & Bell CM. (2009) Electronic Versus Dictated Hospital Discharge Summaries: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of general internal medicine. PMID: 19609623  

  • August 10, 2009
  • 10:22 AM

The Genes, The Whole Genes, & Nothing But The Genes

by Merry Youle in Small Things Considered

We have come to expect the unexpected of ciliates, and Oxytricha trifallax, with its genomic capers, does not disappoint. Like many of its more famous ciliate relatives (e.g., paramecium, tetrahymena, stentor), Oxytricha is a complex unicellular organism with many specialized cellular structures. Of course, they have the requisite cilia for locomotion, feeding, and sensing their environment. But they also have a "mouth," food vacuoles where digestion takes place, kidney-like contractile vacuoles........ Read more »

Nowacki, M., Vijayan, V., Zhou, Y., Schotanus, K., Doak, T., & Landweber, L. (2007) RNA-mediated epigenetic programming of a genome-rearrangement pathway. Nature, 451(7175), 153-158. DOI: 10.1038/nature06452  

Nowacki, M., Higgins, B., Maquilan, G., Swart, E., Doak, T., & Landweber, L. (2009) A Functional Role for Transposases in a Large Eukaryotic Genome. Science, 324(5929), 935-938. DOI: 10.1126/science.1170023  

  • August 10, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Coxsackie NY and the virus named after it

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Recently while driving north on the New York State Thruway I passed the exit for the town of Coxsackie, NY (population 8,884). I grabbed my camera and photographed the exit sign, and reminded myself to write about the virus named after this small town.
In the summer of 1947 there were several small outbreaks of poliomyelitis [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Social and Physical Pain Share Neural Architecture

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The old adage, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” may be more defensive than accurate. Indeed, most languages rely on words that represent pain — hurt feelings, heartache, broken hearts — to communicate feelings of social distress. Recent findings in neuroscience suggest that sayings such as these may [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 08:42 AM

Is your blood type linked to higher risk for pancreatic cancer?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

This was a stunner via a tweet from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute yesterday. Of course, I clicked on the link because my suspicion was that it wouldn't be the most common O blood that is linked to pancreatic cancer,...... Read more »

Amundadottir, L., Kraft, P., Stolzenberg-Solomon, R., Fuchs, C., Petersen, G., Arslan, A., Bueno-de-Mesquita, H., Gross, M., Helzlsouer, K., Jacobs, E.... (2009) Genome-wide association study identifies variants in the ABO locus associated with susceptibility to pancreatic cancer. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.429  

  • August 10, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Ten questions to answer before building your eco-town

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Planning a new city, mapping out a town redevelopment, or simply coming up with a blueprint for an eco site? Matthew Carmona, Professor of Planning & Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, has ten questions you must answer honestly before digging the first foundations and routing the roads if you [...]Ten questions to answer before building your eco-town is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Carmona, M. (2009) Sustainable urban design: principles to practice. International Journal of Sustainable Development, 12(1), 48. DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2009.027528  

  • August 10, 2009
  • 05:32 AM

Sunday Protist - Ebria

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Someone here wanted Ebriids and Ellobiopsids. Since I'm still in a bit of Rhizarian mood, let's do Ebriids first. Just as you thought we couldn't get any more obscure than Phaeodaria...Ebriids are biflagellate Cercozoans (see the Pawlowski & Burki 2009 Rhizaria tree in the Coelodiceras post for their phylogenetic neighbourhood) with a characteristic silica endoskeleton, permanently condensed nuclear chromatin and lack of cell wall or scales. They are rare and still unculturable, so very litt........ Read more »

Hargraves, P.E. (2002) The ebridian flagellates Ebria and Hermesinum. Plankton Biology and Ecology, 49(1), 9-16. info:/

  • August 10, 2009
  • 05:30 AM

The unintended consequences of banning trans-fats

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

While Health Canada continues to ignore its own task force's recommendations to ban trans-fats, New York is off an running.A recent report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that since their regulation in 2006 98% of restaurants are trans-fat free and that it has been a "cost neutral" shift.What's more interesting is that preliminary studies suggest that while indeed the shift from trans-fats have increased the use of saturated fats, it also increased the use of unsaturated fa........ Read more »

Angell SY, Silver LD, Goldstein GP, Johnson CM, Deitcher DR, Frieden TR, Bassett MT. (2009) Cholesterol control beyond the clinic: New York City's trans fat restriction. Annals of Internal Medicine, 151(2), 129-134. DOI: 19620165  

  • August 10, 2009
  • 04:08 AM

More about acupuncture: press needles as a placebo

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Slightly tangential to my normal topics, I located this article today on a placebo procedure that may work for acupuncture.
Many people will be aware that in acupuncture, it’s really difficult to truly conduct a double-blind trial where both the person receiving and the person giving the treatment are unaware of which is the ‘active’ treatment. [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2009
  • 12:45 AM

Amnesic patients with hippocampal damage show recall deficits on the WMT

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

A recent study by Goodrich-Hunsaker and Hopkins showed that amnesic patients with hippocampal damage performed above the recommended cutoff scores on immediate and delayed recognition of the Word Memory Test (WMT), but were significantly impaired on the multiple-choice, paired associate, and free-recall subtests. The authors suggest that the hippocampal damage may be the culprit for such impairment. So how do they explain the above cutoff scores on the immediate and delayed recognition subtests?........ Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit