Post List

  • March 2, 2009
  • 08:59 AM

Amygdala, autism and clinical impairment: When group comparisons are not enough.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran in Translating Autism

Two metabolites in the amygdala are associated with clinical impairment in autism. A review of: Natalia M. Kleinhans, Todd Richards, Kurt E. Weaver, Olivia Liang, Geraldine Dawson, Elizabeth Aylward (2009). Brief Report: Biochemical Correlates of Clinical Impairment in High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Disorder Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0707-6This brief yet powerful article is an example of research moving beyond making simple comparisons betwee........ Read more »

Natalia M. Kleinhans, Todd Richards, Kurt E. Weaver, Olivia Liang, Geraldine Dawson, & Elizabeth Aylward. (2009) Brief Report: Biochemical Correlates of Clinical Impairment in High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0707-6  

  • March 2, 2009
  • 01:53 AM

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery...

by staticnrg in survive the journey

...A safe alternative for treatment of ACTH-producing pituitary adenomas?For the next few posts, I'm going to examine the latest research about the use of Gamma Knife (GK) radiosurgery in the treatment of pituitary adenomas, especially ACTH-producing adenomas. Although GK is called radiosurgery, there is no cutting involved. 201 "beams" of cobalt-60 gamma radiation are focused on the region to be treated. The beams go through the skull in different spots, with each beam too weak to hurt normal t........ Read more »

Mark E. Molitch, & Ashley B. Grossman. (2008) Pituitary radiotherapy. Pituitary, 12(1), 1-2. DOI: 10.1007/s11102-008-0148-9  

  • March 2, 2009
  • 12:05 AM

The DRISC Model

by Jan Husdal in

It is not often that I find a PhD dissertation that is excellently written and a joy to read, keeping my attention from beginning to end. Building on Garrick and Kaplan’s risk triplet, Paulsson’s DRISC model gives an overall picture of the risk exposure, the consequences and the long-term effects of supply chain disruptions.... Read more »

Kaplan, S., & Garrick, B. (1981) On The Quantitative Definition of Risk. Risk Analysis, 1(1), 11-27. DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.1981.tb01350.x  

  • March 2, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Vertebrate Proxies of Climate Change

by Johnny in Ecographica

Vertebrate Proxies of Climate Change ... Read more »

  • March 2, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Txtng associated wiv superior reading skills

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

"It is the relentless onward march of the texters, the SMS vandals who are doing to our language what Genghis Khan did to his neighbours eight hundred years ago. They are destroying it: pillaging our punctuation; savaging our sentences; raping our vocabulary. And they must be stopped." John Humphreys, writing in the Daily Mail.The growing use of mobile phones to send text messages, often with abbreviations and symbols (i.e. "textisms"), has been blamed by many for the alleged decline in correct ........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Why do female doctors have more fun with mammograms?

by Gustav Nilsonne in Evolving Ideas

A new study investigates the diagnostic accuracy of breast radiologists in relation to how much they enjoy their work. Among other things, it finds that a radiologist is 8 times more likely to enjoy interpreting mammograms if she is a woman. Why is that?... Read more »

B. M. Geller, E. J. A. Bowles, H. Y. Sohng, R. J. Brenner, D. L. Miglioretti, P. A. Carney, & J. G. Elmore. (2009) Radiologists' Performance and Their Enjoyment of Interpreting Screening Mammograms. American Journal of Roentgenology, 192(2), 361-369. DOI: 10.2214/AJR.08.1647  

  • March 2, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Evolution snapshot: Frogs vs. virus

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

A ranavirus epidemic in UK frogs may be driving evolution of the MHC class I region... Read more »

  • March 2, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

The Bad Taste of Moral Turpitude

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

The physical expression of distaste for immoral behavior is commonplace in our language. A used car salesman’s offer seems “fishy” or the crimes of a corporate banker are condemned as “wretched” behavior. Even the word "turpitude" is based on the latin root turpis for something foul. But why would something as abstract as morality be associated with these physical expressions of digust?

Now, a study by psychologist Hanah Chapman and colleagues in the latest edition of the journal Sc........ Read more »

H. A. Chapman, D. A. Kim, J. M. Susskind, & A. K. Anderson. (2009) In Bad Taste: Evidence for the Oral Origins of Moral Disgust. Science, 323(5918), 1222-1226. DOI: 10.1126/science.1165565  

  • March 1, 2009
  • 11:02 PM

Pygmy origins

by Herman in

Human populations vary genetically, however, much of this variation is not divided into discrete groups but rather is distributed as a cline, or gradually, with one population smoothly transitioning into another. Genetic isolation in most human populations is therefore primarily dictated by distance. Also, the human propensity for roaming and spreading into new environments means that humans spread their genes widely and tend to genetically homogenize populations. However, there are some excepti........ Read more »

Paul Verdu, Frederic Austerlitz, Arnaud Estoup, Renaud Vitalis, Myriam Georges, Sylvain Théry, Alain Froment, Sylvie Le Bomin, Antoine Gessain, & Jean-Marie Hombert. (2009) Origins and Genetic Diversity of Pygmy Hunter-Gatherers from Western Central Africa. Current Biology, 19(4), 312-318. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.12.049  

  • March 1, 2009
  • 01:09 PM

‘Psychosocial’ - is it Pandora’s box?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I’ve been reading a paper written by Cam Crawford about GP’s use of the ‘Yellow Flags’, or psychosocial risk factors for identifying ‘at risk’ patients. It seems clear from his sample of GP’s that few of them are comfortable with the Guidelines as they are presented - and that their discomfort arises for quite [...]... Read more »

  • March 1, 2009
  • 10:00 AM

The Science of Sleep.

by Bryan Perkins in Science. Why not?

People often say that ‘sleep is for the brain’, a view supported by experimental studies showing that sleep improves cognitive processes. However, the purpose of sleep remains vague. The hippocampus, neocortex, and amygdala are important brain structures used in memory consolidation and learning. They are found in a highly activated state during sleep. That is why Isabella Capellini, from Durham University, and her colleagues investigated the evolutionary relationship between mammalian sleep........ Read more »

  • March 1, 2009
  • 10:00 AM

Review of Mark B. Tappan’s “Language, Culture, and Moral Development: A Vygotskian Perspective”

by Bryan Perkins in Science. Why not?

In this article, Tappan offers a sociocultural perspective on the study of moral development based on the theory of culture as a system of mediation. As increasing evidence suggests, children from many different cultures begin to display moral sensibility around the age of two. Unlike prevailing theorists of moral development—Freud, Paiget, and Kohlberg—Tappan purports that this phenomena is merely the “product of coincidental socialization patterns” and not part of a &l........ Read more »

Tappan, Mark B. (1997) Language, Culture, and Moral Development: A Vygotskian Perspective. Developmental Review, 78-100.

Gilligan, Carol. (1982) In A Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Gilligan, Carol. (1983) Do the Social Sciences have an Adequate Theory of Moral Development?. In N. Haan, R. Bellah, P. Radinow, and W. Sullican (Eds.), Social Science as Moral Inquiry, 33-51.

Huebner, A., & Garrod, A. (1991) Moral Reasoning in a Karmic World. Human Development, 341-352.

  • March 1, 2009
  • 05:00 AM

Purple Petunias ~ Chance Discovery of RNAi in Plants

by Linda in Oz Blog No. 159

"It fell straight down, why was that?"
- Issac Newton
RNAi started off as a series of accidental discoveries, that started with some plant geneticists trying to mutate their purple petunias in the 1990s. ... Read more »

  • March 1, 2009
  • 04:20 AM

Yeast population genomics

by stajich in The Hyphal Tip

I cheered the Sanger-Wellcome SGRP group work to generate multiple Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. paradoxus strain genome sequences. They submitted a version of the manuscript to Nature precedings and it is now published in Nature AOP showing that submitting to a preprint server doesn't necessarily hurt your manuscript getting published in this instance. The research groups explored the impact of domestication (as was also recently done for the sake and soy sauce worker fungus, Aspergillus or........ Read more »

Gianni Liti, David M. Carter, Alan M. Moses, Jonas Warringer, Leopold Parts, Stephen A. James, Robert P. Davey, Ian N. Roberts, Austin Burt, Vassiliki Koufopanou.... (2009) Population genomics of domestic and wild yeasts. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature07743  

  • February 28, 2009
  • 08:39 PM

α's always welcome at the helium party!

by Invader Xan in Supernova Condensate

I stumbled upon a fascinating paper on arXiv the other day. Anyone who works with lasers should be familiar with the concept of stimulated emission – the means by which photons excite electrons which, in turn, emit more photons (identical, in phase, energy and velocity, to the original photon). But could you elicit a similar effect with nuclear decay? Specifically, can you make α decay happen?... Read more »

  • February 28, 2009
  • 05:57 PM

Laser identification

by Stuart Watson in Optical Futures

Counterfeit and smuggled goods are said to be one of the fuels that drive organised crime, so it is essential that products can be identified to determine if they are genuine and where they came from. Some manufacturers go to extreme lengths to incorporate hard to replicate anti-counterfeit labels or devices into their products, but it's a game of catch up and it isn't long before the criminals find a way of defeating those measures. So how about using no anti-counterfeit measures at all? This i........ Read more »

James D. R. Buchanan, Russell P. Cowburn, Ana-Vanessa Jausovec, Dorothée Petit, Peter Seem, Gang Xiong, Del Atkinson, Kate Fenton, Dan A. Allwood, & Matthew T. Bryan. (2005) Forgery: ‘Fingerprinting’ documents and packaging. Nature, 436(7050), 475-475. DOI: 10.1038/436475a  

  • February 28, 2009
  • 05:20 PM

New ARIS survey will show that US atheists/agnostics have nearly doubled since 2001

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The next wave of the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS)will be released on March 9 2009 - but we've got a sneak preview of the non-religious data! ARIS is the most comprehensive and reliable survey of religion in the USA, and two sets of data have been published so far - from 1991 and 2001. The ARIS team last repeated the survey in 2008 and have been crunching the data since - the report will be available here in just over a week.The data are going to be very interesting - the 2001 ........ Read more »

  • February 28, 2009
  • 12:38 PM

Why do I blog?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Recently, Paulo Nuin and Vincent Racaniello wrote about why they blog as scientists. Both of their stories make good reading.Sometimes I wonder if I'm blogging as a scientist, an ex-pharma person or a management consultant, but the reality is I'm...... Read more »

  • February 28, 2009
  • 12:03 PM

Migraines and Nerve Stimulation

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Nerve stimulation therapy is used to treat many different types of disorders, including back pain, epilepsy, depression, and headaches. Some recent clinical findings were presented at the 2009 American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) annual meeting held in Honolulu, Hawaii. Wouldn’t you love to go to Hawaii for a medical meeting?

The research was on the [...]... Read more »

  • February 28, 2009
  • 06:45 AM

Are you being served?

by Stephen Curry in Reciprocal Space

Working at home last Thursday, trying to get some quiet time to focus on a review article, I caught the lunchtime news and heard of the untimely death of the actress Wendy Richards. She was best known as Pauline Fowler from long-running BBC soap Eastenders. But those of an—ahem—older generation may remember her more fondly as the ditzy Miss Brahms, one of the bizarre cast of characters from Are you being served?, a 1970s sitcom about the staff of Grace Brothers Department store. Despite the ........ Read more »

Gerard J. Kleywegt, Mark R. Harris, Jin yu Zou, Thomas C. Taylor, Anders Wählby, & T. Alwyn Jones. (2004) The Uppsala Electron-Density Server. Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography, 60(12), 2240-2249. DOI: 10.1107/S0907444904013253  

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