Post List

  • March 9, 2009
  • 05:24 AM

Thoughts of revenge can backfire

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Who doesn't indulge in a few revenge fantasies from time to time? Unfortunately, when it comes to a dastardly colleague bullying you at work, the temptation to plot revenge, though irresistible, may well backfire.Bernardo Moreno-Jiménez and colleagues surveyed 511 employees at three telecommunications firms in Madrid. Other researchers have tended to focus on organisational and situational factors that increase the likelihood of workplace bullying. Moreno-Jiménez's team took a different approa........ Read more »

B MORENOJIMENEZ, A RODRIGUEZMUNOZ, J PASTOR, A SANZVERGEL, & E GARROSA. (2009) The moderating effects of psychological detachment and thoughts of revenge in workplace bullying. Personality and Individual Differences, 46(3), 359-364. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2008.10.031  

  • March 9, 2009
  • 03:10 AM

Ranking Oseltamivir

by Rik in NNNS chemistry blog

There are many different ways you can synthesise a molecular compound in the laboratory. In academics, your particular synthetic plan gets points for being elegant (a rather vague term) or for having incorporated a new break-through protocol. In industry it is all about costs which at least you can measure. But what if you want to rank synthetic plans in terms of greenness?.John Androas of York University did some serious accounting and ranked 16 plans for the synthesis of oseltamivir (DOI) whic........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2009
  • 02:33 AM

Where do you think when you think of yourself?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

No, not where ARE you when you think of yourself. Where does it happen? What part of the brain? This question has become very important to the world of cognitive neuroscience recently. We used to think of self-reflection as taking place only in the prefrontal cortex. This would mean that only animals with a well-developed prefrontal cortex would be capable of self-reflection. However, another brain area has recently been implicated in self-reflection, the insula.

The insula is hot in neur........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2009
  • 01:55 AM

Healthy Online Gaming and Browser Gaming

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Gaming among college-aged men may provide a healthy source of socialization, relaxation, and coping. In college aged men there was no significant correlation between BMI, academic performance, social functioning and frequency of online game play. Women and men differ hardly in performance with online gaming. Women probably use gender neutral characters and names, they probably [...]... Read more »

Christoph Klimmt, Hannah Schmid, & Julia Orthmann. (2009) Exploring the Enjoyment of Playing Browser Games. CyberPsychology , 2147483647-4. DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2008.0128  

  • March 9, 2009
  • 01:10 AM

Parasites like their hosts clustered

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

In epidemiology the importance of ecological and evolutionary processes comes into sharp relief: questions about the networks of interactions between species in a community, or about the evolution of parasite specificity, virulence, and contagiousness have immediate implications for human health, as well as in animal husbandry and conservation. One of the most basic of these questions is, what determines the community of parasites that infect a species? One answer is in this month's issue of The........ Read more »

F. Bordes, S. Morand, D.A. Kelt, & D.H. Van Vuren. (2009) Home range and parasite diversity in mammals. The American Naturalist, 173(4), 467-74. DOI: 10.1086/597227  

  • March 8, 2009
  • 05:56 PM

what makes a planet habitable?

by Greg Fish in weird things

Lately, it seems like almost every popular science show about astronomy absolutely has to talk about the habitable zone concept and marvel at how lucky we are to be in just the right orbit around our parent star. Supposedly, the distance from the Sun is just enough to keep our water liquid and give life [...]... Read more »

David S. Spiegel, Kristen Menou, & Caleb A. Scharf. (2008) Habitable Climates. The Astrophysical Journal, 681(2), 1609-1623. DOI: 10.1086/588089  

  • March 8, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Sexual Competition and Lemurs

by Johnny in Ecographica

Ivan Norscia, Daniela Antonacci and Elisabetta Palagi recently published an article in which inter- and intrasexual competition between wild prosimians is examined from the perspective of economic power distributions and as a metaphor for financial markets. [Lemur, Propithecus verreauxi] Essentially, their findings indicate that competition for females by males typically manifests as an “olfactory tournament” in which males try to “out bid” rivals by more proactively scen........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2009
  • 05:17 PM

What's the connection between religion and homophobia?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

You don't need me to tell you that religious people are more likely to be homophobic. But what you might not have thought too hard about is why that should be. Is it that religion makes people homophobic, or is it simply that religion attracts people who are conservative and/or authoritarian - people who also tend to be homophobic? Then again, 'religion' is a pretty broad church. Is all religion linked to homophobia, or is it just specific types?And what about racism? Are religious people more l........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2009
  • 02:58 PM

Evolution of the Lexicon

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

I recently posted about the work by Pagel and colleagues regarding ancient lexicons. That work, recently revived in the press for whatever reasons such things happen, is the same project reported a while back in Nature. And, as I recall, I read that paper and promised to blog about it but did not get to it. Yet.

So here we go. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • March 7, 2009
  • 04:00 AM

Is science a must for human being?

by Andrew Sun in On The Road

A Thesis published on Nature Nanotechnology1 shown that public acceptance of nanotechnology, and also generally any new technologies, depend not on the knowledgeablility of those technologies but former religious status of the public.

Strength of religious beliefs is negatively related to support for funding of nanotechnology. Religious apprehensions that developed earlier, in response to biotechnology, served as a template for reactions to nanotechnology. People for whom religion was not very ........ Read more »

Chris Toumey. (2009) Hearts and minds and nanotechnology. Nature Nanotechnology, 4(3), 136-137. DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2009.16  

  • March 7, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

More on the Jurassic Theropod Resting Trace Paper

by Bill Parker in Chinleana

Discussion of other pertinent portions of this paper.... Read more »

  • March 6, 2009
  • 05:27 PM

The role of landslides in global warming

by Dr Dave in Dave's Landslide Blog

A rather extraordinary paper has just been published in Geophysical Research Letters about landslides triggered by the Wenchuan (Sichuan) earthquake. Why is it extraordinary - well, let me quote from the abstract. The paper suggests that the landslides caused destruction of vegetation such that "the cumulative CO2 release to the atmosphere over the coming decades is comparable to that caused by hurricane Katrina 2005 (~105 Tg) and equivalent to ~2% of current annual carbon emissions from globa........ Read more »

Diandong Ren, Jiahu Wang, Rong Fu, David J. Karoly, Yang Hong, Lance M. Leslie, Congbin Fu, & Gang Huang. (2009) Mudslide-caused ecosystem degradation following Wenchuan earthquake 2008. Geophysical Research Letters, 36(5). DOI: 10.1029/2008GL036702  

  • March 6, 2009
  • 03:56 PM

Salamaders and climate change -impending extinctions?

by Marc Cadotte in The EEB and flow

By the now the evidence of a global frog decline, perhaps even an extinction crisis, has been well documented. But what about salamanders? They are normally less abundant and less-studied compared to frogs, but is there evidence of the same general pattern of declining population sizes? According to Sean Rovito and colleagues, the answer is unfortunately yes. They repeated a plethodontid (lungless) salamander survey done in the 1970’s in Central America and found that many species have decline........ Read more »

S. M. Rovito, G. Parra-Olea, C. R. Vasquez-Almazan, T. J. Papenfuss, & D. B. Wake. (2009) Dramatic declines in neotropical salamander populations are an important part of the global amphibian crisis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(9), 3231-3236. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0813051106  

  • March 6, 2009
  • 03:25 PM

Complex gene action in a simple organogenesis model

by in Chance and Necessity

The adult hermaphrodite of the roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, has only 959 cells, but even with these few cells, the animal has distinct tissues and organs, including muscles, skin, intestine, a nervous system, and an excretory system. The developmental origin of each of the 959 cells is largely invariant and is described by the cell lineage of the animal—the observed pattern of cell divisions from embryogenesis to adulthood. Further, the fate of each of these cells is also largely invar........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2009
  • 02:26 PM

The curious case of penile vaginal intercourse and depression in women

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

I'm starting to worry that the last few Friday Weird Science write-ups by Scicurious (who seems, these days, to be the primary blogger at Neurotopia) have been of papers that I happen to have read. Just so you know: Thousands of papers are published per week across the diverse sciences, and although Scicurious tends to deal with life science and I tend to read life science, the chances of this particular harmonic convergence across bloggers regarding papers published over the last decade is sta........ Read more »

Gordon G. Gallup Jr., Rebecca L. Burch, & Steven M. Platek. (2002) Does semen have antidepressant properties?. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31(3), 289-293. DOI: 10.1023/A:1015257004839  

  • March 6, 2009
  • 10:56 AM

Who's the Daddy? Fathers invest more in children who resemble them

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Dads who say their children resemble them also tend to report being emotionally closer to their children than do fathers who see their kids as looking less like them.Marianne Heijkoop and colleagues made these observations after surveying 90 Dutch parents with children aged between eight and nine years. They argue the findings provide tentative support for the evolutionary-based idea that men will be more motivated to invest in children who look like themselves than those who don't. The theory i........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2009
  • 10:09 AM

Evolutionary Novelty: Mammalian Placenta

by Todd Oakley in Evolutionary Novelties

For me one of the most visceral confirmations of the common descent of humans and other mammals came while witnessing the birth of my children. Having grown up on a small farm, I have vivid memories of the birth of kittens, lambs, and goats; and after the births of my children, I was struck by the similarity of human placenta and umbilical cord to those of other mammals.  Given common descent, how did something as complex as the mammalian placenta originate in the first place? The answer, acc........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2009
  • 10:00 AM

Language is Culture and Culture is Language

by Bryan Perkins in Science. Why not?

Argue either for or against the statement that Language is Culture and Culture is Language. Use specific theories, names, and empirical examples to make your argument clear:

The statement that “Language is Culture and Culture is Language” implies that there is a complex homologous relationship between language and culture. Franz Boas argued that one could not really understand another culture without having direct access to its language because of the intimate connection between c........ Read more »

Duranti, Alessandro. (1997) Linguistic Anthropology. Cambridge University Press.

  • March 6, 2009
  • 09:01 AM

Vision problems in autism: Reduced convergence?

by Nestor Lopez-Duran in Translating Autism

Analysis of visual functioning in children with autism suggests impairment in visual convergence. A brief review of: Elizabeth Milne, Helen Griffiths, David Buckley, Alison Scope (2009). Vision in Children and Adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Evidence for Reduced Convergence Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0705-8Although clinical observations,... Read more »

  • March 6, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Virus images at VIPERdb

by vrr in virology blog

If you have ever wanted to make beautiful images of viruses, in colors of your choice, then go to VIPERdb, the virus particle explorer.

The first crystallographic X-ray structure of a virus was that of tomato bushy stunt virus in 1977, followed by structures of the animal viruses poliovirus and rhinovirus in 1985. Since then hundreds [...]... Read more »

F. K. Winkler, C. E. Schutt, S. C. Harrison, & G. Bricogne. (1977) Tomato bushy stunt virus at 5.5-Å resolution. Nature, 265(5594), 509-513. DOI: 10.1038/265509a0  

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