Post List

  • August 4, 2009
  • 09:45 AM

Guest post: Luke Jostins on the twice-sequenced genome

by dgmacarthur in Genetic Future

While I continue my work-induced blog coma, here's a guest post from Luke Jostins, a genetic epidemiology PhD student and the author of the blog Genetic Inference, delivering a fairly scathing critique of a recent whole-genome sequencing paper based on Life Technologies' SOLiD platform.McKernan et al. 2009. Sequence and structural variation in a human genome uncovered by short-read, massively parallel ligation sequencing using two-base encoding Genome Research DOI: 10.1101/gr.091868.109In prepub........ Read more »

  • August 4, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – An Inside Look

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

While performing research for my next article, I found a paper in The Open Neurology Journal reporting the results of a scientific study which confirmed both the presence and the level of cognitive impairment in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). As I was reading the study, I thought “Aha! Finally. A study that confirms [...]... Read more »

  • August 4, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

Severe Childhood Obesity Rate Triples

by Tye in Uncommon Dissent

Does it surprise anybody?  Not I…
Severe Childhood Obesity is a new classification which is described as being a weight that is greater than the 99th percentile for gender and age.  The researchers out of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center are the first to use this classification of obesity in children.  The measure isn’t perfect, [...]... Read more »

  • August 4, 2009
  • 03:14 AM

Teaching Psychotherapy: The Y Model

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Psychotherapy training in residency has lost much of it’s importance due to the increasing interest for biological psychiatry and biological treatments. Especially those using long term psychotherapy haven’t supplied the answers for the growing demand for evidence based treatment. In the US the residency review committee has reduced the number of psychotherapy schools back to [...]... Read more »

  • August 3, 2009
  • 08:11 PM

Paper of the week: A Quick Guide to Organizing Computational Biology Projects

by nuin in Blind.Scientist

This is a new series here at the Blind.Scientist headquarters. My team and I will try to feature one scientific publication a week, it might not be hot from the presses or it might not be only about biology and/or bioinformatics. We (my team and I) will try to be eclectic and cover different areas. [...]... Read more »

  • August 3, 2009
  • 07:16 PM

What is the role of motor cortex in speech perception?

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

This seems to be a rather contentious issue lately. One recent thread involves a critical paper by Lotto, Holt, & Hickok in TICS, a commentary on that paper by Stephen Wilson, and a response to Wilson. What I like about this thread is that it basically leads to an agreement of viewpoints. Lotto et al. argue that mirror neurons are not a viable instantiation of the motor theory of speech perception. Wilson points out that the motor system plays a top-down role in speech perception (which is dif........ Read more »

  • August 3, 2009
  • 05:20 PM

The dependence of religion on dysfunctional societies

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

This is a timely new study by Gregory Paul. Back in 2005, he published a controversial paper showing that religious societies seem to be more dysfunctional. In a paper just published on Evolutionary Psychology he takes this argument a stage further and adds a bit of statistical rigour.The cornerstone of the paper is the 'Successful Societies Scale", which is constructed from 25 separate indicators - things like murder and suicide rates, prison population, mortality, sexually transmitted diseases........ Read more »

Paul, Gregory. (2009) The chronic dependence of popular religiosity upon dysfunctional psychosociological conditions . Evolutionary Psychology, 7(3), 398-441. info:/

  • August 3, 2009
  • 03:50 PM

Tickling Rats for Science

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

"Tickling the rat" has got to be a euphemism for something. But it's also a way of studying the neurobiology of depression.At least that's what Wöhr et al say in a new paper. They started from the fact that when you tickle rats, some of them seem to enjoy it, and express this by making 50 kHz squeaks of joy. But other rats don't like it, and they make a different sound, much lower at 22 kHz. (These sounds are all too high for most humans to hear, but they can be recorded electronically.)Whether........ Read more »

  • August 3, 2009
  • 03:13 PM

Finding Galaxy Clusters with the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect

by Jon Voisey in Angry Astronomer

Finding galaxy clusters is an important task in cosmology. By finding them and mapping them, we've determined the filamentary structure on the largest of scales in our universe. Their properties constrain cosmological models.But finding them isn't an easy proposition. We can do it fairly easily in the local universe, but since light follows the inverse square law, they become very faint very quickly. As such, finding them by looking for their light isn't terribly easy. Often distant galaxies are........ Read more »

Staniszewski, Z., Ade, P., Aird, K., Benson, B., Bleem, L., Carlstrom, J., Chang, C., Cho, H., Crawford, T., Crites, A.... (2009) GALAXY CLUSTERS DISCOVERED WITH A SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT SURVEY. The Astrophysical Journal, 701(1), 32-41. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/701/1/32  

  • August 3, 2009
  • 12:44 PM

How copyright enforcement inspires pirate behavior

by Andrew Lyons in The Psych Student

Further proof to me of a new emerging persona - the online persona - in each of us, which can be far different from the one we display in our everyday face-to-face dealings.... Read more »

Peter James Allen; Curtin University of Technology; Australia. (2008) Rip, mix, burn … sue … ad infinitum: The effects of deterrence vs voluntary cooperation on non-commercial online copyright infringing behaviour. First Monday, 13(9). info:other/

  • August 3, 2009
  • 12:38 PM

Neocortex, Allocortex, and Nuclei, and the Remapping of Their Connections

by AK in AK's Rambling Thoughts

The mammalian brain is made up of many parts, each pretty much unique.  However, these various parts, or at least the "gray matter" of them, can be roughly grouped into three classes of structure, or even more roughly into two: nucleus and cortex.  The word "cortex" comes from the Latin, meaning "bark", "rind", "shell" or "husk".  In the case of gray matter, it usually denotes a relatively thin layer of gray matter covering thicker white: such as the neocortex, the piriform c........ Read more »

Imai, T., Yamazaki, T., Kobayakawa, R., Kobayakawa, K., Abe, T., Suzuki, M., & Sakano, H. (2009) Pre-Target Axon Sorting Establishes the Neural Map Topography. Science, 325(5940), 585-590. DOI: 10.1126/science.1173596  

  • August 3, 2009
  • 12:30 PM

Rats! Are Rodents Getting Bigger?

by Laura Klappenbach in About Animals / Wildlife

It's the stuff of low-budget sci-fi movies: rodents around the globe are growing ever larger at astonishing rates. But B movie it's not—as UIC ecologist Oliver Pergams has demonstrated, the trend is real. In a recently published report Pergams details how rodents are showing signs of rapid, worldwide changes in size and shape. Of course, the timescale and magnitude of this size change is not alarming enough to cause movie-goers to flee the cinema (we're talking about decades........ Read more »

  • August 3, 2009
  • 09:56 AM

Playing the Light Organ Two Ways

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

... Read more »

Tong, D., Rozas, N., Oakley, T., Mitchell, J., Colley, N., & McFall-Ngai, M. (2009) From the Cover: Evidence for light perception in a bioluminescent organ. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(24), 9836-9841. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0904571106  

  • August 3, 2009
  • 09:05 AM

Don't stress the scientists!

by Björn Brembs in

“very absent-minded persons in going in their bedroom to dress for dinner have been known to take off one garment after another and finally to get into bed, merely because that was the habitual issue of the first few movements when performed at a late hour”William James, 1890It is difficult to kick a habit. Like riding a bike – once automated, some behaviors can stay with us for a lifetime. Life-long memories are a familiar trait. After all, they define who we are. We can recall important........ Read more »

Schwabe, L., & Wolf, O. (2009) Stress Prompts Habit Behavior in Humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(22), 7191-7198. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0979-09.2009  

Dias-Ferreira, E., Sousa, J., Melo, I., Morgado, P., Mesquita, A., Cerqueira, J., Costa, R., & Sousa, N. (2009) Chronic Stress Causes Frontostriatal Reorganization and Affects Decision-Making. Science, 325(5940), 621-625. DOI: 10.1126/science.1171203  

  • August 3, 2009
  • 09:04 AM

Does Green Tea Prevent Hematologic Cancers?

by onthewards in On The Wards

I previously reported on a Japanese study correlating green tea consumption with a lower prevalence of cognitive dysfunction. A similar research group from the Tohoku University School of Medicine (Sendai, Japan) has continued to analyze the benefits of green tea with other health outcomes: causes of mortality, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and cancers. Their most recent study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, evaluated the influence of green tea consumption on the develop........ Read more »

Naganuma T, Kuriyama S, Kakizaki M, Sone T, Nakaya N, Ohmori-Matsuda K, Hozawa A, Nishino Y, & Tsuji I. (2009) Green Tea Consumption and Hematologic Malignancies in Japan: The Ohsaki Study. American journal of epidemiology. PMID: 19640889  

  • August 3, 2009
  • 08:30 AM

Gene angst: finding a DNA barcode for plants

by Karen James in Data Not Shown

I've been incubating this post since September 2008, so it's kind of cathartic to finally be writing it. I think it will be a good representation of the title and purpose of this blog in the sense that it's a window to some of those things that go on in science - and in the lives of scientists - that don't make it into the peer-reviewed publications.So why the wait? On top of that it's inappropriate to talk in public about a piece of research before it's published unless all your co-authors agre........ Read more »

Peter M. Hollingsworth, Laura L. Forrest, John L. Spouge, Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Sujeevan Ratnasingham, Michelle van der Bank, Mark W. Chase, Robyn S. Cowan, David L. Erickson, Aron J. Fazekas.... (2009) A DNA barcode for land plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(31), 12794-12797. info:/10.1073/pnas.0905845106

  • August 3, 2009
  • 05:30 AM

Food branding appeals more to overweight kids?

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

Here's a weird result.A study published in the journal Appetite found that overweight children were more likely than healthy weight children to be influenced by the branding of food.The 43 kids were presented with lunch options on 4 non-consecutive days. On two of the days they received branded foods that they were allowed to eat as much of as they wanted (Lunchables, Trix Yogurt) and on the other two days they were offered the same food just repackaged in non-branded containers.The overweight ........ Read more »

  • August 3, 2009
  • 01:05 AM

In which Sci gets Snarky: Lithium in the Water

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

This will otherwise be known as "WTF are you doing, Journal of Medical Hypotheses".

Sci likes Lithium.

(Lithium burns red. Sci thinks this could have applications for lightsabers if applied correctly)

It's a cool element, interesting in that we've used it over the ages for stuff like gout (which, I hear, is making a comeback), prevention of migraine, blocking the effects of excessive anti-diuretic hormone, and of course for bipolar disorder. But what's really inte........ Read more »

  • August 3, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Inside the brain of a woman with conversion paralysis

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A new brain imaging study shows the difference, in terms of brain activity, between a person feigning having a paralysed arm and a patient with conversion paralysis - that is, paralysis with no clinically identifiable neurological cause.Conversion paralysis is one manifestation of conversion disorder, previously known as hysteria, which was made famous by the nineteenth century French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (pictured) and later, by his students Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud. The label ........ Read more »

Cojan, Y., Waber, L., Carruzzo, A., & Vuilleumier, P. (2009) Motor inhibition in hysterical conversion paralysis. NeuroImage, 47(3), 1026-1037. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.05.023  

  • August 2, 2009
  • 11:46 PM

Sunday Protist - Obscure Phaeodarian: Coelodiceras

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Choreocolax and Ecomonymopha not obscure enough? Let's go for Phaeodaria then! I've been neglecting Rhizarians, just like everyone else. When I first saw a eukaryotic tree, I could recognise a thing or two in most of the 'kingdoms'. Except one: Rhizaria. All those names were absolutely meaningless to me. Those wonderful earthly aliens desperately need an introduction to the world beyond dusty 1970's oceonography journals!Rhizarian taxonomy (nitpicky detail alert)Rhizaria is a very morphologicall........ Read more »

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