Post List

  • March 24, 2010
  • 01:46 PM

More on future-proofing germplasm collections

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

A reply to Walck & Dixon from Brian Forde-Lloyd, Nigel Maxted and Luigi Guarino.
In Walck and Dixon’s opinion (Nature 462: 721, 2009) it’s ‘time to future-proof plants in storage’, but how novel and useful is this idea? Few would argue with the principle that we need to maximise the range of genetic diversity conserved ex [...]... Read more »

Walck, J., & Dixon, K. (2009) Time to future-proof plants in storage. Nature, 462(7274), 721-721. DOI: 10.1038/462721a  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 01:12 PM

Drinking Doesn't Decimate Test Scores

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

The latest study from Boston University has college students everywhere popping open a brewski and saying "I told you so." Researchers found that getting drunk the night before a test had no effect on the student's performance, although it left them feeling rotten on test day.

What college student hasn't chosen to blow off last minute studying in favor of a few drinks? Binge drinking is common on U.S. campuses, and the effects of such behavior on the student's performance are poorly understood......... Read more »

Howland, J., Rohsenow, D., Greece, J., Littlefield, C., Almeida, A., Heeren, T., Winter, M., Bliss, C., Hunt, S., & Hermos, J. (2010) The effects of binge drinking on college students' next-day academic test-taking performance and mood state. Addiction, 105(4), 655-665. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02880.x  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 11:31 AM

Physical Activity Reduces the Risk fo Childhood Fat Gain

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Over the next few months, Peter and I will be re-posting some of our favourite posts from our Obesity Panacea archives.  The following article was originally posted on December 2, 2009.

Image by Mike Baird.

There is a surprising amount of controversy about the ability of physical activity to prevent the development of obesity. Sure, obese individuals tend to perform less physical activity than their lean counterparts, but that doesn't prove causation. And almost every week it seems th........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 11:18 AM

Seitaad ruessi, the “Sand Monster” of the Navajo Sandstone

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Even though the first dinosaurs had evolved by 228 million years ago, it was not until the early Jurassic (about 201 million to 176 million years ago) that they were established as the dominant large vertebrates on land. It was during this time that various groups of dinosaurs diversified and began to be adapted in [...]... Read more »

Joseph J. W. Sertich, Mark A. Loewen. (2010) A New Basal Sauropodomorph Dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic Navajo Sandstone of Southern Utah. PLoS One, 5(3). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0009789

  • March 24, 2010
  • 11:04 AM

Cooling a "Macroscopic" Object to Its Quantum Ground State

by Chad Orzel in Uncertain Principles

Several people have sent me links to news stories about last week's Nature paper, "Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator." (It was also presented at the March Meeting, but I didn't go to that session). This is billed as the first observation of quantum phenomena with a "macroscopic" or "naked eye visible" object.

Of course, there's a nice bit of irony in a story about quantum effects in a "naked eye visible" object that is accompanied by an image of the object........ Read more »

O’Connell, A., Hofheinz, M., Ansmann, M., Bialczak, R., Lenander, M., Lucero, E., Neeley, M., Sank, D., Wang, H., Weides, M.... (2010) Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08967  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 10:13 AM

Understanding Our Bodies – Fiber!

by Christie Wilcox in Nutrition Wonderland

Most of us already know that we should be eating fiber - according to the Institute of Medicine, adults should be eating 20-35 grams of it per day. But why? What's so important about fiber anyway? What does it do for us physiologically? And does it matter what kind of fiber we eat? (Image Credit: Sami Taipale, flickr)... Read more »

Ruottinen S, Lagström HK, Niinikoski H, Rönnemaa T, Saarinen M, Pahkala KA, Hakanen M, Viikari JS, & Simell O. (2010) Dietary fiber does not displace energy but is associated with decreased serum cholesterol concentrations in healthy children. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 91(3), 651-61. PMID: 20071642  

Brown L, Rosner B, Willett WW, & Sacks FM. (1999) Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 69(1), 30-42. PMID: 9925120  

MELLEN, P., WALSH, T., & HERRINGTON, D. (2008) Whole grain intake and cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 18(4), 283-290. DOI: 10.1016/j.numecd.2006.12.008  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 10:08 AM

Whole Genome Sequencing Diagnostics

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

This month in the New England Journal of Medicine, James Lupski and colleagues sequenced the complete genome of an individual with familial Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT) disease. The “individual” is Lupski himself - he not only led the study, but served as patient zero. From conversations with some of my colleagues at Baylor, it’s clear that [...]... Read more »

Lupski JR, Reid JG, Gonzaga-Jauregui C, Rio Deiros D, Chen DC, Nazareth L, Bainbridge M, Dinh H, Jing C, Wheeler DA.... (2010) Whole-Genome Sequencing in a Patient with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Neuropathy. The New England journal of medicine. PMID: 20220177  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

Riparian Restoration: More important than ever with climate change

by JL in Analyze Everything

For people in the conservation/restoration community, trying to deal with climate change is a tough assignment.  Years and years of training and conventional wisdom preaches the value of restoring habitat to a 'pristine' state.  In the U.S., that usually translates into Pre-European settlement.  However, the reality is that the pre-settlement environment may simply no longer exist.  Even if those... Read more »

Seavy, N., Gardali, T., Golet, G., Griggs, F., Howell, C., Kelsey, R., Small, S., Viers, J., & Weigand, J. (2009) Why Climate Change Makes Riparian Restoration More Important than Ever: Recommendations for Practice and Research. Ecological Restoration, 27(3), 330-338. DOI: 10.3368/er.27.3.330  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 09:48 AM

That Prozac coffee mug at your Dr.’s office

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

A couple of months ago Newsweek magazine published an article questioning the science of mental health services, and in particular, clinical psychology. The article was based on an opinion piece published in the journal of the Association for Psychological Science, in which a team of clinical scientists promoted a new accreditation system for clinical psychology [...]... Read more »

Penfold RB, Kelleher KJ, Wang W, Strange B, & Pajer K. (2010) Pediatric uptake of a newly available antipsychotic medication. Pediatrics, 125(3), 475-82. PMID: 20142282  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Human rights and a cozy copyright conundrum

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

Internet access is rapidly moving into the domain of human rights. It’s not quite the same as the essential right to food, water, and shelter, but without internet access people and groups can be significantly marginalized within society, excluded opportunity and information, and prevented from taking a holistic role in the democratic process.
Google’s moves out [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkHuman rights and a cozy copyright conundrum
... Read more »

Lateef Mtima. (2010) A vibrant internet community requires a realistic balancing of all of legitimate interests. Int. J. Private Law , 3(3), 197-220. info:/

  • March 24, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Survive the A-Bomb, Die Prematurely from Stroke and Heart Disease

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The survivors of the World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have considered themselves lucky, at least at first. Shortly thereafter, however, those who didn’t die from radiation poisoning learned that the radiation from the bombings placed themselves and their children at increased risk of cancer. Now, they can add heart disease [...]... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

When an invasive species is good for conservation...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Conservation scientists and practitioners generally hold the assumption that all invasive species are bad for ecosystems and merit eradication. So, what do you do when a really bad invasive species happens to be good for the conservation of threatened birds?... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:32 AM

Web-Based Interaction: A Review of Three Important Human Factors

by Simon Harper in Thinking Out Loud

The main results from the analysis include that: (a) females have more disorientation problems than males; (b) flexible paths are more beneficial to experts while structured content is more useful to novices; and (c) Field Dependent and Field Independent users prefer to employ different search strategies.... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

DAMPs and PAMPs: The enemy within

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

The immune system is, by its nature, destructive. Its function is to eliminate problems. Because it’s so destructive, there are many layers on control that constantly check and limit the response. Equally, there are controls that try to ensure that the response doesn’t start until it’s needed.
How does the immune response know when [...]... Read more »

Zhang, Q., Raoof, M., Chen, Y., Sumi, Y., Sursal, T., Junger, W., Brohi, K., Itagaki, K., & Hauser, C. (2010) Circulating mitochondrial DAMPs cause inflammatory responses to injury. Nature, 464(7285), 104-107. DOI: 10.1038/nature08780  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

Backpackers in Australia are a sexual health risk

by Helen Jaques in In Sickness and In Health

Young people, especially Brits, famously head to Australia in their droves in search of travel, adventure, and, crucially, some hot weather.  In 2009-09, 560,105 international backpackers visited Australia, representing 10.9% of all international visitors.
It seems that backpackers in Oz aren’t just looking for fun and sun though – according to a new study they’re [...]... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 06:04 AM

Special Post: Noether’s First Theorem – Emmy Noether for Ada Lovelace Day

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the life and achievements of women in science and technology through blogging in the name of Ada Byron – Countess of Lovelace, daughter of the romantic poet Lord Byron, analyst, metaphysician, the founder of scientific computing, and The Enchantress of Numbers.
In honour of Ada Lovelace Day, I’ll briefly profile the life [...]... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 05:01 AM

"Can web crawlers revolutionize ecological monitoring?" researchers ask

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A visionary approach to ecological monitoring would use automated web crawlers to look at the flow of information across the Internet and detect early warning signals of impending environmental problems before they become catastrophic...... Read more »

Galaz, V., Crona, B., Daw, T., Bodin, Ö., Nyström, M., & Olsson, P. (2010) Can web crawlers revolutionize ecological monitoring?. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(2), 99-104. DOI: 10.1890/070204  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 03:09 AM

What Are the Origins of Number Representation?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

If Mondays are for single studies of cognition in various animals that we know of as pets, then Wednesdays are for longer syntheses of research in one area of knowledge, or in one animal.

Figure 1: Number representation. From whence did it come?
Today is about number. We’re going to focus on one aspect of number cognition, [...]... Read more »

Lipton JS, & Spelke ES. (2003) Origins of number sense. Large-number discrimination in human infants. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 14(5), 396-401. PMID: 12930467  

Agrillo, C., Dadda, M., & Bisazza, A. (2006) Quantity discrimination in female mosquitofish. Animal Cognition, 10(1), 63-70. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-006-0036-5  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 02:22 AM

A social version of a basic cognitive mechanism

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

We're slower to direct our attention to the same location twice in succession, a well-established phenomenon that cognitive psychologists call 'inhibition of return' (IoR). It's thought the mechanism may act to make our search of the visual scene more efficient by deterring us from looking at the same spot twice. Now Paul Skarratt and his colleagues have documented a new 'social' form of inhibition of return, in which people are slower to attend to a location that social cues, such as gaze direc........ Read more »

Skarratt, P., Cole, G., & Kingstone, A. (2010) Social inhibition of return. Acta Psychologica, 134(1), 48-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2009.12.003  

  • March 24, 2010
  • 01:24 AM

Crohn’s Disease Treatment Also Helps Protect the Gut From Infection

by Walter Jessen in Highlight HEALTH

A recent report in Cell Host and Microbe reveals that in the gut, the gene Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) helps protect against infection by a bacterial pathogen.... Read more »

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