Post List

  • August 13, 2010
  • 01:42 AM

A tragedy averted

by Graves in Down the Cellar

Nearly fifty years ago, V.C. Wynne-Edwards proposed that populations might evolve restrained resource exploitation and reproduction. The argument was built on the idea of selection acting for the good of the group. Wynne-Edwards thought that groups that ran rampant would extinguish themselves while frugal groups would replace them, although his argument was very fuzzy in terms of how this group... Read more »

  • August 13, 2010
  • 12:32 AM

Friday Weird Science: So, how would you say your poop FEELS today?

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

The following is my entry for the newly created Carnal Carnival, a blog carnival started by Jason (of The Thoughtful Animal and Child’s Play) and our dear blogfather Bora. Sci is a little upset she didn’t think of it first. This will be a carnival covered the weird and odd and, if possible, the completely [...]... Read more »

Müller-Lissner SA, Kaatz V, Brandt W, Keller J, & Layer P. (2005) The perceived effect of various foods and beverages on stool consistency. European journal of gastroenterology , 17(1), 109-12. PMID: 15647650  

  • August 13, 2010
  • 12:00 AM

Topological insulators get down to business

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Go to any condensed-matter physics meeting, and topological insulators are prominent on the agenda, and talks on the topic attract large audiences. For good reason. Topological insulators promise nothing less than a revolution in electronics. Even though as their name suggests topological insulators are electrically insulating, they are conducting on their surface. And unlike regular conductors, these surface currents flow without the electrons being thrown off the track by most (albeit not all)........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 11:48 PM

…A Toast to the Host with the Least Cognitive Decline!

by Rift in Psycasm

A while ago I decided that I needed to cut back my drinking. Which is a shame, because I enjoy it – but I had the sense that it’s doing me no good with regard to uni. The natural reaction is to conclude that hang-overs (however slight) don’t feel good in the head, thus, detrimental [...]... Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 09:55 PM

Early Computational Prediction of Influenza Epidemic Mortality

by Michael Long in Phased

Taijiao Jiang (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and coworkers are helping public health officials predict the severity of future influenza outbreaks, without requiring extensive current mortality data, and without time-consuming biochemical assays. This news feature was written on August 12, 2010.... Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 08:30 PM

Hybridization is like sex

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

One of the major issues which has loomed at the heart of biology since The Origin of Species is why species exist, as well as how species come about. Why isn’t there a perfect replicator which performs all the conversion of energy and matter into biomass on this planet? If there is a God the tree [...]... Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 06:09 PM

Drugs for Starcraft Addiction

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Are you addicted to Starcraft? Do you want to get off and on a psychoactive drug?Well, South Korean psychiatrists Han et al report that Bupropion sustained release treatment decreases craving for video games and cue-induced brain activity in patients with Internet video game addiction.They took 11 people with "Internet Game Addiction" - the game being Starcraft, this being South Korea - and gave them the drug bupropion (Wellbutrin), an antidepressant that's also used in drug addiction........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

Why are some urinary tract infections chronic?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Chronic infection is, in a way, the new emerging infectious disease. Many pathogens are relatively tenacious when they infect elderly individuals or individuals who are otherwise not fully immunocompetent, and such individuals are, thanks to modern medical technology and practice, more common in the population. Resistant bacteria can cause chronic infection. It is interesting to see more research oriented specifically towards the problem of chronic infection as a problem in and of itself, and........ Read more »

Hanan, T.H., Mysorekar, I.U., Hung, C.S., Isaacson-Schmid, J.L., & Hultgren, S.J. (2010) Early Severe Inflammatory Responses to Uropathogenic E. coli Predispose to Chronic and Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection . PLoS Pathogens, 6(8). info:/10.1371/journal.ppat.1001042

  • August 12, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

Neury Thursday: Neuroanatomically Disentangling Autism

by Allison in Dormivigilia

British research have identified neuroanatomical pathologies in individuals with autism spectrum disorder that certainly complement the social, behavioral, and cognitive differences of these individuals... Read more »

Christine Ecker,1 Andre Marquand,2 Janaina Mourão-Miranda,3,4 Patrick Johnston,1 Eileen M. Daly,1, Michael J. Brammer,2 Stefanos Maltezos,1 Clodagh M. Murphy,1 Dene Robertson,1 Steven C. Williams,3, & and Declan G. M. Murphy1. (30) Describing the Brain in Autism in FiveDimensions—Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Assisted Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Using a Multiparameter Classification Approach. Journal of Neuroscience, 10612. info:/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5413-09.2010

  • August 12, 2010
  • 04:48 PM

Toward a better agriculture… for everyone

by Anastasia B in Biofortified

A recent paper in PLoS concluded: we reject the organic-conventional dichotomy and emphasize that, in order to optimize environmental sustainability, individual tactics must be evaluated for their environmental impact in the context of an integrated approach, and that policy decisions must be based on empirical data and objective risk-benefit analysis, not arbitrary classifications. The paper was Choosing Organic Pesticides over Synthetic Pesticides May Not Effectively Mitigate Environmental Ris........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 04:44 PM

Praying for abstinence

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Religious people are less likely to drink heavily. However, there's a chicken-and-egg problem here. Is it that turning to god help people stay off the demon drink, or is it that hard-core party animals are less likely to be religious?

These questions crop up a lot in studies of religion, but there are a couple of ways round them. Basically, you can look at what happens over time (does being religious at the start of the year predict alcohol consumption at the end), or you can encourage people t........ Read more »

Lambert, N., Fincham, F., Marks, L., & Stillman, T. (2010) Invocations and intoxication: Does prayer decrease alcohol consumption?. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(2), 209-219. DOI: 10.1037/a0018746  

  • August 12, 2010
  • 02:15 PM

A Safe, Cheap, and Stable Aqueous Lithium-Ion Battery

by Michael Long in Phased

Yong-Yao Xia (Fudan University, China) and coworkers' aqueous lithium-ion batteries exhibit excellent recharge capability, and with further technical development will become commercially viable. This news feature was written on August 12, 2010.... Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 02:03 PM

Good news for cyclists

by Ashartus in exposure/effect

Several researchers in the Netherlands recently looked at the effects of riding a bike vs. driving a car on health – more specifically mortality and life expectancy. After considering the health benefits of increased physical activity vs. the effects of increased air pollution exposure and increase in traffic accidents, they concluded that on average people [...]... Read more »

Johan de Hartog, J., Boogaard, H., Nijland, H., & Hoek, G. (2010) Do the Health Benefits of Cycling Outweigh the Risks?. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(8), 1109-1116. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901747  

  • August 12, 2010
  • 01:41 PM

Dung Gone

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Scat. Dung. Droppings. Feces. Call it what you will, excrement is often treasured by wildlife biologists. It can tell scientists what an animal is eating, if it is healthy or sick, and each load carries a trove of identifying DNA. Tracking turds is also a longstanding, non-invasive method for monitoring rare, secretive species, such as […] Read More »... Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 01:32 PM

Left hemisphere already specialised for language by two months of age

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

It's widely known that in the majority of people the left hemisphere is dominant for language. But how early does this lateralisation of function emerge? An obvious way to find out is to put babies in a brain scanner and see if their brains show the same left-sided preference for language, compared with other auditory stimuli, as is observed in adults. Of course, from a practical perspective, that's easier said than done.

Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz and her colleagues scanned the brains of ........ Read more »

Dehaene-Lambertz, G., Montavont, A., Jobert, A., Allirol, L., Dubois, J., Hertz-Pannier, L., & Dehaene, S. (2010) Language or music, mother or Mozart? Structural and environmental influences on infants’ language networks. Brain and Language, 114(2), 53-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.bandl.2009.09.003  

  • August 12, 2010
  • 01:15 PM

The Eyes Have It - sometimes: using eye position to enhance strength

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

I was fascinated by Geoff Neupert's article in the latest Power by Pavel Newsletter about his experience using eye position in the kettlebell press. Absolutely awesome to see eye position highlighted in relation to how that action can support movement practice, but also how that support is variable depending on rather a lot else going on in our sensory-motor system, or where the issues are in a complex movement. So let's look at eye position and postural reflexes and how they support m........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2010
  • 01:12 PM

Mixture Models for Ordinal Data

by Christopher Winship in SMR Blog

Richard Breen and Ruud Luijkx, Mixture Models for Ordinal Data, Sociological Methods & Research 2010 39: 3-24. Cumulative probability models are widely used for the analysis of ordinal data. In this article the authors propose cumulative probability mixture models that allow the assumptions of the cumulative probability model to hold within subsamples of the data. The subsamples are defined [...]... Read more »

Breen, R., & Luijkx, R. (2010) Mixture Models for Ordinal Data. Sociological Methods , 39(1), 3-24. DOI: 10.1177/0049124110366240  

  • August 12, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Biofilms Over Troubled Waters

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Mark O. Martin

The old saying “pouring oil on troubled waters” is a metaphor for bringing peace to a turbulent situation. Recent events in the Gulf of Mexico have proved the contrary, that oil poured (or spilled) upon seawater can produce the very antithesis of calm. After many weeks of concern, and with the long term threat of possible subsurface oil still strong, recent reports note that the oil slicks at the surface have become more difficult to find. What is happening? To be sure, di........ Read more »

Cunliffe M, & Murrell JC. (2009) The sea-surface microlayer is a gelatinous biofilm. The ISME journal, 3(9), 1001-3. PMID: 19554040  

  • August 12, 2010
  • 11:35 AM

Chemoprevention in Prostate Cancer - do 5alpha-reductase inhibitors make things worse?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

There's a lot of media coverage today surrounding use of 5alpha-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride (Merck) and dutasteride (GSK) and their generic equivalents for chemoprevention of prostate cancer following publication of a study on finasteride by the American Association of...... Read more »

Andriole, G., Bostwick, D., Brawley, O., Gomella, L., Marberger, M., Montorsi, F., Pettaway, C., Tammela, T., Teloken, C., Tindall, D.... (2010) Effect of Dutasteride on the Risk of Prostate Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(13), 1192-1202. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0908127  

Walsh, P. (2010) Chemoprevention of Prostate Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(13), 1237-1238. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1001045  

Thompson IM, Goodman PJ, Tangen CM, Lucia MS, Miller GJ, Ford LG, Lieber MM, Cespedes RD, Atkins JN, Lippman SM.... (2003) The influence of finasteride on the development of prostate cancer. The New England journal of medicine, 349(3), 215-24. PMID: 12824459  

  • August 12, 2010
  • 11:27 AM

Marine protected areas: do they work?

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

“One measure that often meets great resistance from fishermen, but is beloved by conservationists, is the establishment of marine protected or ‘no take’ areas.” Stephen J. Hall (1998) I’m going to qualify this particular post with a few disclaimers; first, I am not involved in the planning of any marine protected areas (henceforth referred to [...]... Read more »

Stewart, G., Kaiser, M., Côté, I., Halpern, B., Lester, S., Bayliss, H., & Pullin, A. (2009) Temperate marine reserves: global ecological effects and guidelines for future networks. Conservation Letters, 2(6), 243-253. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2009.00074.x  

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