Post List

  • July 29, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

The Slow-Developing Human – Rationale for a Species of Newborn Motor Morons

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Dolphins are born swimming, cattle can walk within hours and lions are able to run within 20 days of birth. Compare this to a human newborn who will require months before he is able to merely sit without support. More advanced skills like running and jumping may take years to develop in a human newborn. [...]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Long sperm are speedy sperm

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Animals compete in all sorts of way, even right down to the cellular level. Sperm competition became a prominent idea in ethology in the early 1980s, driven by theoretical considerations coming from sociobiology and the technical innovations of early DNA fingerprinting. It’s been long enough that you’d expect some fairly clear generalizations about sperm and genetics in the context of sperm competition, but Mossman and colleagues indicate there’s still work to do.Mossman and colleagues arg........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2009
  • 03:58 AM

The surprising benefits of time pressure at work

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The modern office job has made struggling jugglers of us all. Emailing, phoning, writing, accounting, project-swapping, browsing, not to mention snacking, and day-dreaming, all at once.It helps to have the self-discipline to focus on one task at a time, but even that isn't always enough because thoughts about a previous task can linger and spoil our performance on our current task.Now Sophie Leroy has made a counter-intuitive finding that could have implications for reducing interference between........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2009
  • 11:10 PM

Enabling an antibody to jump the species barrier

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

Antibodies are invaluable tools not just in fighting disease but in exploring fundamental biological pathways and mechanisms. As is well known, they owe their useful properties to their very high specificities. Unfortunately these specificities can also hinder the application of an antibody from one species in the study of antigens in another species. For instance, an antibody designed for a human protein could bind much more unfavorably to a mouse ortholog of the same protein because of subtle ........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2009
  • 09:56 PM

Shakin' Red Giants in NGC 6397

by Jon Voisey in Angry Astronomer

A way long time ago, I introduced the concept of asteroseismology. It's a pretty interesting concept that uses the vibrational modes of stars like we do seismology on Earth to probe the interior of stars. When I first wrote on it, a friend from MSU was still working on it, so I heard a lot about it, and intended to write more on it (I even created a tag for it). But I never really did.One of the things about this technique is that it requires you to have a good handle on how the star you're obse........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2009
  • 06:46 PM

Measuring supply chain risk management and performance

by Jan Husdal in

This paper was suggested by one of my readers, and upon reading it I must admit that it IS one of the better papers on supply chain risk management I have come across this year. Not only do the authors convey in a clear and precise manner what supply chain risk management is all about; they also construct a framework that provides a description of the factors that affect the nature of the risk management responses in particular situations. [ ... ]... Read more »

  • July 28, 2009
  • 04:05 PM

How do we remember scenes?

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

Take a look at this quick movie. What you'll see is two sets of three views of the same scene (our living room). For each group of three views, your job is to decide if the third view is taken from the same angle as one of the two previous views. After the first two views flash by, the text "Same?" will appear, and that's your cue to decide if the third view is the same as EITHER of the first two. Give it a shot:

Do you think you got the correct answer? Was either of the two sequences more diff........ Read more »

Castelhano, M., Pollatsek, A., & Rayner, K. (2009) Integration of multiple views of scenes. Attention, Perception , 71(3), 490-502. DOI: 10.3758/APP.71.3.490  

  • July 28, 2009
  • 02:00 PM

When it Comes to Laying Blame, Bias Gives Master Minds a Pass

by David DiSalvo in Neuronarrative

Consider this scenario: A major pharmaceutical company that manufacturers drugs for cancer patients decides to sell the rights to sell the drugs to a smaller company. The smaller company raises the price of the drugs from $160 to $1100 — a massive cost increase for users of the drugs, many of whom are dependent on them to survive. The price increase has nothing to do with an increase in costs to make the drugs, because the larger company still manufacturers them at the same cost as it alwa........ Read more »

Paharia, N., Kassam, K., Greene, J., & Bazerman, M. (2009) Dirty work, clean hands: The moral psychology of indirect agency. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 109(2), 134-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2009.03.002  

  • July 28, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Influenza neuraminidase and H5N1 pathogenicity

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

There are two glycoproteins embedded in the influenza viral membrane: the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The NA, shown in yellow in the illustration, is an enzyme that removes sialic acids from the surface of the cell, so that newly formed virions can be released. The NA protein is composed of a box-like head attached [...]... Read more »

  • July 28, 2009
  • 02:54 AM

Computer Games at Work are Good For You

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

I’ve told you that so now and than I am playing computer games. Not only at home but since I’ve installed some games on my IPhone I also play while waiting for patients, meetings etc. It relaxes me. Getting my mind of. That’s why a recent study got my attention. The study investigated the [...]... Read more »

  • July 27, 2009
  • 03:00 PM

Steering the Teachable Momentum of the Gates Arrest in an Anthropological Direction.

by Kevin Karpiak in Anthropoliteia: the anthropology of policing

Public discussion of the Gates arrest is all over the place: people with a stake in race issues insist on speaking about race, analysts of governing technologies attempt to bracket race and focus on procedure, libertarians focus on citizen rights, etc. The aggregate effect has been to generate an argument in which the various sides work on reinforcing their respective positions by talking past each other, seemingly avoiding confrontation over any potentially conclusive point of direct disagreeme........ Read more »

  • July 27, 2009
  • 02:20 PM

Absolut standards: report from the M3-2009 meeting, part 2: signature genes and big science

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

If we take a sample of soil, how can we know whether it is adequate for growing a certain crop? For example, does it have the necessary bacteria to provide the nutrients for that crop from raw compounds in the soil? Or when examining a person with an apparent metabolic disorder, could it be that certain characteristics of their gut bacteria are causing this? We have already seen this happen with obesity.... Read more »

Dutilh, B., Snel, B., Ettema, T., & Huynen, M. (2008) Signature Genes as a Phylogenomic Tool. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 25(8), 1659-1667. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msn115  

Seshadri, R., Kravitz, S., Smarr, L., Gilna, P., & Frazier, M. (2007) CAMERA: A Community Resource for Metagenomics. PLoS Biology, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050075  

  • July 27, 2009
  • 01:39 PM

Calendar calculating savants with autism - how do they do it?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Savants with autism are people who exhibit an exceptional ability whilst also having social and cognitive impairments. One such ability is calendar calculating - being able to say, with astounding accuracy and alacrity, what day of the week a given date falls on. Just how some savants with autism are able to achieve this feat has baffled researchers. It's been suggested that they use complex algorithms, but this seems implausible given that the same individuals often struggle with maths.To help ........ Read more »

Dubischar-Krivec, A., Neumann, N., Poustka, F., Braun, C., Birbaumer, N., & Bölte, S. (2008) Calendar calculating in savants with autism and healthy calendar calculators. Psychological Medicine, 39(08), 1355. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291708004601  

  • July 27, 2009
  • 11:59 AM

JANE: Journal and Author Name Estimator

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

I've just read over at Scienceroll about two tools that “help you determine which journal you should choose for publication”, based on your abstract or keywords [See Journal and Author Name Estimator and Huge Steps in Changing Science].The first one is part of ResearchGATE (a “scientific network that connects researchers”) and the second one (which has been around for some time, since early 2008)... Read more »

Schuemie, M., & Kors, J. (2008) Jane: suggesting journals, finding experts. Bioinformatics, 24(5), 727-728. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btn006  

  • July 27, 2009
  • 10:55 AM

Calorie Counts on Restaurant Menus - To Wait or Not to Wait

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Last week I came across a very interesting post on Marion Nestle's blog discussing the issue of posting calorie counts on restaurant menus, which has become a surprisingly controversial issue in recent years. For example, in 2008 the president-elect of The Obesity Society (an association of obesity researchers and practitioners which counts both Peter and I as members) was forced to resign following the backlash that erupted when he acted as a paid consultant arguing against a law requirin........ Read more »

  • July 27, 2009
  • 10:33 AM

Influences on Peer Review: Authors as Reviewers

by Kristen DiCerbo in Connections Research Blog

I usually stick to education research topics, but part of what influences what I see there is what actually gets published. And that is influenced by peer review. Peer review is a hotly debated topic in academia. This is probably not surprising since so much of professors’ evaluation, both formal (within the university) and informal (prestige [...]... Read more »

Aarssen, L., Lortie, C., Budden, A., Koricheva, J., Leimu, R., & Tregenza, T. (2009) Does Publication in Top-Tier Journals Affect Reviewer Behavior?. PLoS ONE, 4(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006283  

  • July 27, 2009
  • 10:30 AM

Modeling Control Without Controlling the Model

by Michael in dlPFC

The great hope of Henry Markram’s Blue Brain project (recently discussed here and here) is that it will demonstrate both that consciousness and agency are emergent properties of an entirely mechanistic system like the brain and how that could possibly be true.  Despite Markram’s headline-grabbing claim at TED last week that he’s 10 years away [...]... Read more »

  • July 27, 2009
  • 10:13 AM

An Iconoclastic Endosymbiont

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

... Read more »

  • July 27, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Migraine and Vascular Disease

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Migraine is a recurring headache of moderate to severe intensity that is associated with gastrointestinal, neurologic, and autonomic symptoms. As the most common of the chronic headache disorders, migraine affects 18% of women and 6% of men in the United States. More than one-half of all migraine sufferers report significant disability with the migraine. While [...]... Read more »

Scher, A., Gudmundsson, L., Sigurdsson, S., Ghambaryan, A., Aspelund, T., Eiriksdottir, G., van Buchem, M., Gudnason, V., & Launer, L. (2009) Migraine Headache in Middle Age and Late-Life Brain Infarcts. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 301(24), 2563-2570. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.932  

  • July 27, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

How Old is Your Heart?

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

There are lots of online health tests available, some I’ve reviewed on Sciencebase over the years, such as those that help you answer the question are you at risk of diabetes. Often they are created and publicised by a medical charity, occasionally they are marketing devices posted by companies hoping to sell more of their [...]How Old is Your Heart? is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog... Read more »

D'Agostino, R., Vasan, R., Pencina, M., Wolf, P., Cobain, M., Massaro, J., & Kannel, W. (2008) General Cardiovascular Risk Profile for Use in Primary Care: The Framingham Heart Study. Circulation, 117(6), 743-753. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.699579  

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