Post List

  • April 14, 2010
  • 05:07 AM

Jewel Wasps manipulate specific brain centers to turn their prey into zombies

by Björn Brembs in

Jewel Wasps (Ampulex compressa) are amazing creatures and their form of parental care has received quite some attention not onkly by scientists but also from the general media, and rightfully so. This parasitoid wasp serves for its young by hunting cockroaches as food. But it doesn't serve the cockroach to the offspring in pieces. No, it first performs brain surgery on the 'roaches to render them docile and then lays an egg onto the pacified animal from which a larva will hatch which then burr........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Invasive trout populations more productive than the natives they replace

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

Joseph R. Benjamin and Colden V. Baxter. (2010) Do Nonnative Salmonines Exhibit Greater Density and Production than the Natives They Replace? A Comparison of Nonnative Brook Trout with Native Cutthroat Trout. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. info:/10.1577/T09-102.1

  • April 14, 2010
  • 03:56 AM

Starting from the Beginning: Evolutionary and Developmental Origins of Human Knowledge

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

What are the cognitive and neural systems that allow us to build buildings, play checkers, do multivariate statistics, receive DVDs by mail, follow Dr. Isis's pesto recipe, or navigate the tangled LA freeways?

You may ask: what can studying children and non-human animals tell us about the complexity of the human experience? Only educated human adults engage with formal mathematics, cooking, or map reading. Right?

This is a reasonable question to ask. But when human adults show complex, possi........ Read more »

Hauser, Marc D., & Spelke, Elizabeth. (2004) Evolutionary and Developmental Foundations of Human Knowledge. The Cognitive Neurosciences III (Ed. M. Gazzaniga). info:/

  • April 14, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

An approach for reducing human-wildlife conflicts

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Researchers have developed a framework to help managers identify and prioritize actions that will reduce human wildlife conflict. They tested the approach in the Sundarbans of Bangledash where people are killing tigers and tigers are killing people...... Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 02:40 AM

Individual Differences in Empathy

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Empathy or the ability to appreciate someone else’s emotions and express this emotional awareness is a capacity that differs amongst individuals.
Cognitive empathy refers to imaginatively understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Emotional empathy is feeling the emotion of another person, but maintaining a compassionate, other-focused perspective
Cognitive empathy can be tested with facial expression recognition. [...]

Related posts:Patient Doctor Relationship: Ca........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 01:41 AM

Binge Eating, Bulimia, and Reward Sensitivity

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

You all may remember that Sci's recent posts have focused on eating, overeating, and dopamine. Today, Sci continues this trend. Honestly, she couldn't stop thinking about it. How is overeating like addiction? How is it different? And so she began to look up a bunch of papers on binge eating and dopamine.

I was particularly interesting in the changes in food intake and reward associated responses in people with eating disorders like bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. There are many hy........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 11:56 PM

Samurai and Deep-Sea Loricifera Should Use More Rouge

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

He has not lived badly whose birth and death has been unnoticed by the world-Horace
It is good to carry some powered rouge in one’s sleeve. It may happen that when one is sobering up or waking from sleep, his complexion may be poor.  At such a time it is good to take out and apply [...]... Read more »

Danovaro, R., Dell'Anno, A., Pusceddu, A., Gambi, C., Heiner, I., & Kristensen, R. (2010) The first metazoa living in permanently anoxic conditions. BMC Biology, 8(1), 30. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-30  

  • April 13, 2010
  • 10:17 PM

The Creativity-dopamine (b)linkage: more brains and bonkers connections

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image by jef safi via Flickr

Creativity is certainly different from intelligence; it is usually gauged as the ability to make novel and useful unique contributions to a field. Creativity itself is not a unified construct but can be broken into convergent creativity (involving more focused approach) and divergent creativity (involving more widening and loosening of More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Creativity-psychosis linkage via reduced white matter /myelination I........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 08:40 PM

Life in the trees, not bamboo, shaped the panda's "thumb"

by Laelaps in Laelaps

A red panda (Ailurus fulgens, left, photographed at the Bronx Zoo) and a giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, right, photographed at the National Zoo).

As the paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould so astutely pointed out in one of his most famous essays, the thumbs of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are nothing at all like the large digits on our own hands. Their accessory "thumbs", visible on the surface as a differentiated part of the pad on the "palm" of the hand, are modified sesamoid........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 08:17 PM

Take cisplatin in the morning and call me

by Michael Clarkson in Conformational Flux

Although we are most familiar with the circadian rhythm from its effects on our physiological state, the roots of the phenomenon lie in the molecular biology of individual cells. The circadian rhythm is the result of a transcriptional control system that regulates the levels of many different proteins in the cell with the passing of time. Not all of the proteins subject to this control have yet been catalogued, and as a result some surprising effects are still being discovered. A recent article ........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 07:06 PM

Under the Table

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Signs of illegal whale meat trade found at sushi restaurants

... Read more »

Baker, C.S. et al. (2010) Genetic evidence of illegal trade in protected whales links Japan with the US and South Korea. Biology Letters. info:/10.1098/rsbl.2010.0239

  • April 13, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

Sensory Plasticity in Changing Environments

by Daniel Bassett in Chew the Fat

Can environmental conditions during early development shape individuals phenotypes so they become more adaptive to the conditions they are likely to encounter later in life? Such phenotypic plasticity could provide organisms with the potential to respond effectively to environmental change. One area where such plasticity would be important would be in an animals sensory capabilities. Animals extract information from the environment using a number of sensory systems, and this information guides t........ Read more »

Chapman, B., Morrell, L., Tosh, C., & Krause, J. (2010) Behavioural consequences of sensory plasticity in guppies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1686), 1395-1401. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2055  

  • April 13, 2010
  • 05:40 PM

Cottonmouth Moccasins: Adapting to the Beach and Beyond

by Johnny in Ecographica

Even though their preferred range places them in proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the conquest of marine ecosystems by the cottonmouths has been - as it has with most aquatically inclined reptiles - blockaded. The physiological demands of maintaining adequate hydration in a high-saline environment has constrained the Agkistrodon genus to a landward life. But things could change. ... Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 05:34 PM

Poliovirus vaccine, SV40, and human cancer

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

Deep sequencing – which identified a viral contaminant of the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix - could have revealed the presence of simian virus 40 (SV40) in the poliovirus vaccine, had the technique been available in the 1950s. Exposure of over 100 million Americans to SV40, and many more worldwide, could have been avoided, as well as the debate [...]... Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 04:43 PM

Children with Williams Syndrome don't form racial stereotypes

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

WILLIAMS Syndrome (WS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder caused by the deletion of about 28 genes from the long arm of chromosome 7. It is characterized by mild to moderate mental retardation and "elfin" facial features. Most strikingly, individuals with WS exhibit highly gregarious social behaviour: they approach strangers readily and indiscriminately, behaving as if everybody were their friend. And, according to a study published today in the journal Current Biology, they are the only know........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 02:53 PM

Peer review: the neverending story

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

It seems like there is no institution that is more criticized in science than that of the peer-review system — an no one that is less mutable. While published paper evaluation metrics are being  revised (such as the recently introduced PLoS article level metrics, or the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council abandonment of [...]... Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 02:17 PM

The Hunt for the Prozac Gene

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

One of the difficulties doctors face when prescribing antidepressants is that they're unpredictable.One person might do well on a certain drug, but the next person might get no benefit from the exact same pills. Finding the right drug for each patient is often a matter of trying different ones until one works.So a genetic test to work out whether a certain drug will help a particular person would be really useful. Not to mention really profitable for whoever patented it. Three recent papers, pub........ Read more »

Uher, R., Perroud, N., Ng, M., Hauser, J., Henigsberg, N., Maier, W., Mors, O., Placentino, A., Rietschel, M., Souery, D.... (2010) Genome-Wide Pharmacogenetics of Antidepressant Response in the GENDEP Project. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09070932  

Garriock, H., Kraft, J., Shyn, S., Peters, E., Yokoyama, J., Jenkins, G., Reinalda, M., Slager, S., McGrath, P., & Hamilton, S. (2010) A Genomewide Association Study of Citalopram Response in Major Depressive Disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 67(2), 133-138. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.08.029  

  • April 13, 2010
  • 01:21 PM

Health Behaviors More Important than Socioeconomic Status

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many studies have reported that socioeconomic status is a predictor of morbidity and mortality. Now, a large-scale, longitudinal study asserts that the association may be more related to health behaviors than socioeconomic status. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), reports that assessment of health behaviors over time lessens the [...]... Read more »

Goldfarb-Rumyantzev, A., Rout, P., Sandhu, G., Khattak, M., Tang, H., & Barenbaum, A. (2010) Association between social adaptability index and survival of patients with chronic kidney disease. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. DOI: 10.1093/ndt/gfq177  

Singh, T., Givertz, M., Semigran, M., DeNofrio, D., Costantino, F., & Gauvreau, K. (2010) Socioeconomic Position, Ethnicity, and Outcomes in Heart Transplant Recipients. The American Journal of Cardiology, 105(7), 1024-1029. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2009.11.015  

Stringhini, S., Sabia, S., Shipley, M., Brunner, E., Nabi, H., Kivimaki, M., & Singh-Manoux, A. (2010) Association of Socioeconomic Position With Health Behaviors and Mortality. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(12), 1159-1166. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.297  

  • April 13, 2010
  • 01:20 PM

ResearchBlogCast: Milk tolerance among ancient “swedes”

by Dave Munger in News

Each week, Research Bloggers Kevin Zelnio, Razib Khan, and I will choose a journal article to discuss in podcast form. We’ll make sure it’s an article that we or someone else has covered on their blog, so ideally, you’ll read the blog post first to get a general understanding of the research, then listen to [...]... Read more »

Malmstrom, H., Linderholm, A., Liden, K., Stora, J., Molnar, P., Holmlund, G., Jakobsson, M., & Gotherstrom, A. (2010) High frequency of lactose intolerance in a prehistoric hunter-gatherer population in northern Europe. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10(1), 89. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-89  

  • April 13, 2010
  • 12:49 PM

Bulletproof T-shirts?

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

While it might sound science fiction or comic book fodder, scientists have actually developed a kind of wearable protective cloth from T-shirts that contains the same ultra-strong material used to armor tanks. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

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