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 »
Michels, L., Mehnert, U., Boy, S., Schurch, B., & Kollias, S. (2009) The somatosensory representation of the human clitoris: An fMRI study. NeuroImage. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.07.024
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 »
Pushkarev, D., Neff, N., & Quake, S. (2009) Single-molecule sequencing of an individual human genome. Nature Biotechnology. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1561
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 »
Hustad, P. (2009) Frontiers in Olefin Polymerization: Reinventing the World's Most Common Synthetic Polymers. Science, 325(5941), 704-707. DOI: 10.1126/science.1174927
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 »
Young, M., Mizzau, M., Mai, N., Sirisegaram, A., & Wilson, M. (2009) Food for thought. What you eat depends on your sex and eating companions. Appetite. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.07.021
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
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 »
Gog, T., Paas, F., Marcus, N., Ayres, P., & Sweller, J. (2008) The Mirror Neuron System and Observational Learning: Implications for the Effectiveness of Dynamic Visualizations. Educational Psychology Review, 21(1), 21-30. DOI: 10.1007/s10648-008-9094-3
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 »
Wei, Z., Sun, W., Wang, K., & Hakonarson, H. (2009) MultipleTesting in Genome-Wide Association Studies via Hidden Markov Models. Bioinformatics. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btp476
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 »
Leinninger, G., Jo, Y., Leshan, R., Louis, G., Yang, H., Barrera, J., Wilson, H., Opland, D., Faouzi, M., & Gong, Y. (2009) Leptin Acts via Leptin Receptor-Expressing Lateral Hypothalamic Neurons to Modulate the Mesolimbic Dopamine System and Suppress Feeding. Cell Metabolism, 10(2), 89-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2009.06.011
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
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 »
Fletcher, W., & Yang, Z. (2009) INDELible: A Flexible Simulator of Biological Sequence Evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 26(8), 1879-1888. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msp098
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
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
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 »
Dalldorf G, & Sickles GM. (1948) An Unidentified, Filtrable Agent Isolated From the Feces of Children With Paralysis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 108(2794), 61-62. PMID: 17777513
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 »
Eisenberger, N. (2003) Does Rejection Hurt? An fMRI Study of Social Exclusion. Science, 302(5643), 290-292. DOI: 10.1126/science.1089134
Hadland, K. (2003) The effect of cingulate lesions on social behaviour and emotion. Neuropsychologia, 41(8), 919-931. DOI: 10.1016/S0028-3932(02)00325-1
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
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 »
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 »
Hoppenrath, M., & Leander, B. (2006) Ebriid Phylogeny and the Expansion of the Cercozoa. Protist, 157(3), 279-290. DOI: 10.1016/j.protis.2006.03.002
Hargraves, P.E. (2002) The ebridian flagellates Ebria and Hermesinum. Plankton Biology and Ecology, 49(1), 9-16. info:/
Korhola, A., & Grönlund, T. (1999) Observations of Ebria tripartita (Schumann) Lemmermann in Baltic sediments. Journal of Paleolimnology, 21(1), 1-8. DOI: 10.1023/A:1008019504122
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
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 »
Miyazaki S, Hagihara A, Kanda R, Mukaino Y, & Nobutomo K. (2009) Applicability of press needles to a double-blind trial: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Clinical journal of pain, 25(5), 438-44. PMID: 19454879
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 »
Goodrich-Hunsaker NJ, & Hopkins RO. (2009) Word memory test performance in amnesic patients with hippocampal damage. Neuropsychology, 23(4), 529-34. PMID: 19586216
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