Post List

  • July 26, 2010
  • 04:33 AM

What's the link between left-handedness and drinking behaviour?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Back in the 70's, psychologist Paul Bakan published a short research report in which he noted that among 47 inpatients on an alcoholism ward, 7 were left-handed - more than you'd expect based on the approximate 10-per cent prevalence of left-handedness in the general population. Bakan described his observation as 'incidental' but according to Kevin Denny, the idea of an alcoholism-handedness link has proven sticky, with some commentators suggesting the stress of being left-handed in a right-hand........ Read more »

Denny, K. (2010) Handedness and drinking behaviour. British Journal of Health Psychology. DOI: 10.1348/135910710X515705  

  • July 26, 2010
  • 02:18 AM

The neural response to emotional robots

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

When it comes to robotics, Japan is way ahead of the rest of the world.  Reality is quickly catching up with science-fiction as robots are being used and developed for increasingly complex behaviours. There are now Japanese robots that function as security guards, trainers for professional skills, and even pets and social companions.Robots are taking over roles that were once thought to make humans unique. An archetypal example of this is the use of robots for cognitive therapy. Robots are ........ Read more »

Thierry Chaminade1,2*, Massimiliano Zecca3,4,5, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore6, Atsuo Takanishi, Chris D.Frith1, Silvestro Micera, Paolo Dario, Giacomo Rizzolatti, Vittorio Gallese11, & Maria Alessandra Umilta. (2010) Brain Response to a Humanoid Robot in Areas Implicated in the Perception of Human Emotional Gestures. PLoS ONE. info:/

  • July 26, 2010
  • 02:03 AM

Facebook and Professionalism

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Does Facebook and other social networking services damage the profession of physicians or the public trust in this profession? So far no systematic research into this topic has been published. However several cases were presented in the media resulting in disciplinary measures. On social networking sites patients may learn information about their doctors that compromises [...]

Related posts:The Dangers of Facebook or Let’s Be Careful Out There
Facebook and Academic Performance
Facebook ........ Read more »

  • July 26, 2010
  • 01:48 AM

…back to school

by Rift in Psycasm

Horrah. Uni is back in session, and I am once again given a purpose. Not that I squandered my holidays by any means. I spent most of it on campus doing lab work, but now the work I do has a direct benefit, rather than one that has more indirect and long-term benefits (which will [...]... Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 09:56 PM

Cultural Diversity, Economic Development and Societal Instability

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Most of you in the science blogosphere have probably come across Razib’s recent post on linguistic diversity and poverty. The basic argument being that linguistic homogeneity is good for economic development and general prosperity. I was quite happy to let the debate unfold and limit my stance on the subject to the following few sentences I . . . → Read More: Cultural Diversity, Economic Development and Societal Instability... Read more »

Nettle D, Grace JB, Choisy M, Cornell HV, Guégan JF, & Hochberg ME. (2007) Cultural diversity, economic development and societal instability. PloS one, 2(9). PMID: 17895970  

  • July 25, 2010
  • 08:50 PM

On individuality, stochasticity and buffering

by Pablo Astudillo in astu's science blog

One of the most exciting fields opened in the last years is the new understanding of the existence of something that we could call as “biological heterogeneity”. This new field of study is focused in observing and understanding the differences between reactions of a same kind, between cells of a same kind, and ultimately, between [...]... Read more »

Novick, A. (1957) Enzyme Induction as an All-or-None Phenomenon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 43(7), 553-566. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.43.7.553  

Raj, A., Rifkin, S., Andersen, E., & van Oudenaarden, A. (2010) Variability in gene expression underlies incomplete penetrance. Nature, 463(7283), 913-918. DOI: 10.1038/nature08781  

  • July 25, 2010
  • 07:25 PM

What Color Is Your Cuneus?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Career counseling via voxel-based morphometry? With the U.S. unemployment rate at 9.5% as of June 2010, job seekers might be willing to try anything to gain an edge. As part of the Trends in Phrenology craze sweeping the field, the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation appears to be capitalizing on the new cultural neurophilia:The Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation is a nonprofit scientific research and educational organization with two primary commitments: to study human abilities and to p........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 07:16 PM

Is there a Biochemical Marker for Suicide?

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

Suicide is a sensitive subject, by it’s very nature it seems we are obliged to treat it with kid gloves. In public it is virtually taboo to even mention suicide, in news media euphemisms are employed in order to avoid explicit use of the “S” word. Attitudes are beginning to change, with more vocal discussion [...]... Read more »

Falcone T, Fazio V, Lee C, Simon B, Franco K, Marchi N, & Janigro D. (2010) Serum S100B: a potential biomarker for suicidality in adolescents?. PloS one, 5(6). PMID: 20559426  

  • July 25, 2010
  • 05:55 PM

A Bacterial Influenza Vaccine Factory

by Michael Long in Phased

Mario Alvarez (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico) and coworkers have produced H1N1 vaccines from bacteria, enabling scientists to quickly produce large quantities of vaccines, exceeding current commercial technologies. This news feature was written on July 25, 2010.... Read more »

Aguilar-Yáñez, J., Portillo-Lara, R., Mendoza-Ochoa, G., García-Echauri, S., López-Pacheco, F., Bulnes-Abundis, D., Salgado-Gallegos, J., Lara-Mayorga, I., Webb-Vargas, Y., León-Angel, F.... (2010) An Influenza A/H1N1/2009 Hemagglutinin Vaccine Produced in Escherichia coli. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011694  

  • July 25, 2010
  • 03:32 PM

Mindfulness and exercise?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Now I know this might seem a strange heading when we think of mindfulness practice normally, but this isn’t ‘treatment as usual’. The definition of mindfulness in this study is ‘The body scan practice involves systematically moving awareness through each part of the body and noticing the presence of sensation in a detailed and precise … Read more... Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 01:31 PM

Hey maybe scientists should do more than just wait for their journal to issue a press release on their new fabu article

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

The authors thesis is that the only mandatory communication of results is in peer reviewed journal articles. Scientists aren't required to do other communicating and often leave communication to the public to the media. They ask if is this is adequate given the very low percentage of scientific articles that ever make it into the press, particularly in areas outside of health and medicine, and also given the fact that for everyone out of formal education, the media is their primary source of sci........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 10:10 AM

What Makes Humans Unique? (I): The Evolution of the Human Brain

by Michael in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Hello! This is my first post here at Replicated Typo and I thought I’d start with reposting a slightly modified version of a three-part series on the evolution of the human mind that I did last year over at my blog Shared Symbolic Storage.
So in this and my next posts I will have a look at how human cognition evolved from the perspective of cognitive science, especially ‘evolutionary linguistics,’ comparative psychology and developmental psychology.
In this post I’ll focus on the evolu........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 08:13 AM

Small no-take zones can help top predators

by Joel Rein in Moth Eyes

It’s difficult to protect large marine areas from fishing – a great deal of resources must be put into patrolling and enforcing such an area. However, new research suggests that small but well-targetted protection zones can have a significant effect all the way up the food chain.

African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) are a vulnerable species of [...]... Read more »

Pichegru, L., Gremillet, D., Crawford, R., & Ryan, P. (2010) Marine no-take zone rapidly benefits endangered penguin. Biology Letters, 6(4), 498-501. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0913  

  • July 25, 2010
  • 03:23 AM

The Art and Science of Triggering

by Vahid Motlagh in Ideas for a deeper sense of life

Building a theory for triggers is a pet project I am working on it in my free time. Although I have not developed it much further since January 2009 you can read an introduction to it in a previous post here on this blog which also includes a version of the theory's associated mind map.Based on the above mentioned general purpose mind map I can suggest some solutions for encouraging a major change or action about the current pressing issues of global climate change, that is the need to mitigatio........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

Wellcome Film of the Month: The first ‘test tube’ baby, Louise Brown, is born in 1978

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

Louise Brown, the World’s first “test tube” baby, celebrates her birthday today, the 25th July. She was born in 1978, at Oldham and District General Hospital, Greater Manchester, UK. Her birth was the fruition of many decades of medical research by Patrick Steptoe (b. 1913- d.1988), an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and Robert Geoffrey Edwards (b. [...]... Read more »

  • July 24, 2010
  • 08:30 PM

Antigen presentation in the bloodstream: How invariant NKT cells are activated by Lyme disease spirochetes

by Microbe Fan in Spirochetes Unwound

The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is the tick-borne agent of Lyme disease, which affects the joints, nervous system, and heart.  After being deposited into the skin by an infected tick, the spirochete must enter the bloodstream so that it can circulate in the blood to gain access to its target organs.The host doesn't sit idly as B. burgdorferi establishes an infection.  Invariant natural killer (iNKT) cells are one of the tools deployed by the immune system in its battle agains........ Read more »

Lee, W.Y., Moriarty, T.J., Wong, C.H.Y., Zhou, H., Strieter, R.M., van Rooijen, N., Chaconas, G., & Kubes, P. (2010) An intravascular immune response to Borrelia burgdorferi involves Kupffer cells and iNKT cells. Nature Immunology, 11(4), 295-302. DOI: 10.1038/ni.1855  

  • July 24, 2010
  • 02:22 PM

The great golden digger wasp, the Concorde fallacy, and free will

by Ryan Kitko in Cunabulum

Sphex ichneumoneus, the great golden digger wasp, about to enter her burrow.A few weeks ago, I noticed some alarmingly large insects that resembled wasps outside the front entrance of the biology building at Kenyon College. They would fly a few centimeters above the sandy gravel, no doubt surveying the best landing spot. Only a handful of these solitary wasps were here hovering over at least a dozen wasp-diameter holes in the loamy soils under this protected overhang. Suddenly, one landed and di........ Read more »

DAWKINS, R., & BROCKMANN, H. (1980) Do digger wasps commit the concorde fallacy?. Animal Behaviour, 28(3), 892-896. DOI: 10.1016/S0003-3472(80)80149-7  

  • July 24, 2010
  • 12:09 PM

Are most experimental subjects in behavioral science WEIRD?

by Michael Meadon in Ionian Enchantment

My supervisor David Spurrett and I have a commentary on an important paper - "The weirdest people in the world?" (pdf) - in the most recent edition of Behavioral & Brain Sciences. The authors, Canadian psychologists Joseph Henrich, Steven Heine and Ara Norenzayan, argues that most experimental subjects in the behavioral sciences are WEIRD - Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic - and thus weird - not representative of most human beings. And thi........ Read more »

Henrich, J., Heine, S., & Norenzayan, A. (2010) The weirdest people in the world?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(2-3), 61-83. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X0999152X  

  • July 24, 2010
  • 11:57 AM

Adventures with Citizen Science: perspectives of a shark biologist

by WhySharksMatter in Southern Fried Science

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on facebook may have seen that last month, I asked for volunteers to come catch and tag sharks with me here in Charleston. While I was pleased by how excited respondents were for this opportunity, I would be remiss if I didn’t [...]... Read more »

  • July 24, 2010
  • 10:32 AM

How to maxmize your happiness from a vacation.

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

I am sure that most, if not all of us would agree that going on a vacation makes us happy. But are we really happier than people who are not going for a holiday? And if we are indeed happier, how long do these effects persist and how does the length of our vacation and amount of holiday stress impact our happiness levels? These are some of the questions that Nawijn, Marchand, Veenhoven & Vingerhoets (2010) attempt to answer.Their main findings are listed below.Pre-trip happiness: Vacationer........ Read more »

Nawijn, J., Marchand, M., Veenhoven, R., & Vingerhoets, A. (2010) Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 5(1), 35-47. DOI: 10.1007/s11482-009-9091-9  

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