Post List

  • June 13, 2009
  • 04:43 PM

Left-handed Snails Beat Snail Eating Snakes

by Evilutionary Biologist in The Evilutionary Biologist

Masaki Hoso reported that the snail-eating snake, Pareas iwasakii, has lopsided jaws to better enable it to tug snails out of their shells. Most snails have shells that whirl clockwise (to the right)...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]... Read more »

  • June 13, 2009
  • 02:32 PM

Frequency of Acute Coronary Syndrome in Patients with Normal Electrocardiogram Performed during Presence or Absence of Chest Pain

by Robert Badgett in ClinDx

The authors details the findings of 387 consecutive patients with normal electrocardiograms admitted for a chief complaint of chest pain. The authors report that 17% (67/387) of patients had acute coronary syndrome ACS). However, the authors define ACS as...... Read more »

  • June 13, 2009
  • 08:40 AM

Brits Can’t Tell Their Elbows From Their Ass

by Tye in Uncommon Dissent

Two examples of items used to test anatomical knowledge

How well do you think you could do on an anatomy quiz like this?  If you frequent the south London public library my guess would be not very good.  That’s what University College London (UCL) researchers have found in a publication that recreated a 1970 study to [...]... Read more »

  • June 13, 2009
  • 06:48 AM

The six ways of dealing with risk

by Jan Husdal in

Classic risk management literature acknowledges four ways of dealing with risk after establishing a risk matrix:  Avoid, Reduce, Transfer and Retain or Accept. However, as it turns out, there are six ways, not just four ways to deal with risk ,as the classic risk matrix indicates.  Two more are Exploit and Ignore. The former stems [...]... Read more »

  • June 13, 2009
  • 05:26 AM

Antidepressants - No Good In Autism?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Children with autism often shown repetitive behaviours, ranging from repeated movements to compulsively collecting or arranging objects and desiring that daily routines are always done in the exact same way. Repetitive behaviour is often considered one of the three core features of autistic disorders (alongside difficulties in social interaction, and difficulties in communication).SSRI antidepressants are often used to try to treat repetitive behaviours. Unfortunately, they don't work, at least ........ Read more »

Bryan H. King, MD; Eric Hollander, MD; Linmarie Sikich, MD; James T. McCracken, MD; Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD; Joel D. Bregman, MD; Craig L. Donnelly, MD; Evdokia Anagnostou, MD; Kimberly Dukes, PhD; Lisa Sullivan, PhD; Deborah Hirtz, MD; Ann Wagner, PhD. (2009) Lack of Efficacy of Citalopram in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and High Levels of Repetitive Behavior. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 66(6), 583-590. DOI:  

  • June 13, 2009
  • 04:43 AM

Lost Sounds

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

Deep in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh, where the mighty Siang river carves its way through the Himalayan wall, nestled the Adi hamlet of Tuting, surrounded by a sea of green—overgrown fields, verdant mountains, the river itself deep green. The very moonlight seemed green as it shone on the ghostly mist rising from the gorge. Eighteen years ago, a search for India's last Takin—that... Read more »

  • June 12, 2009
  • 10:50 PM

A New Spanner to Throw Into the Works of Cancer

by Reason in Fight Aging!

The biology of the cell is very, very complex. New important mechanisms and systems of regulation are still being discovered, and many of those already known remain incompletely understood. But every newly discovered system offers the possibility of ways to reign in cancer. Given that cancerous cells are normal cells run wild and mutant, overtaken by errant molecular machinery, we'd like to think that there are simple ways to bring it all crashing down - a single molecule that will be a spanner ........ Read more »

Kota, J., Chivukula, R., O'Donnell, K., Wentzel, E., Montgomery, C., Hwang, H., Chang, T., Vivekanandan, P., Torbenson, M., & Clark, K. (2009) Therapeutic microRNA Delivery Suppresses Tumorigenesis in a Murine Liver Cancer Model. Cell, 137(6), 1005-1017. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.04.021  

  • June 12, 2009
  • 06:43 PM

Freedom of Error

by Stephen Curry in Reciprocal Space

I have been struggling recently to find ways to rehash my post on scientific authority without causing NPG any further distress. This evening, on the train journey home, I think I finally found a way because I read one of the most remarkable scientific papers I have ever come across.

The paper, by Keating et al., brings us directly to the ongoing saga of the British Chiropractic Association’s libel suit against Simon Singh. It was published in 2005 in the open access journal Chiropractic ........ Read more »

Keating, J., Charlton, K., Grod, J., Perle, S., Sikorski, D., & Winterstein, J. (2005) Subluxation: dogma or science?. Chiropractic , 13(1), 17. DOI: 10.1186/1746-1340-13-17  

  • June 12, 2009
  • 05:54 PM

OMZ’s: God-For-Saken Pits of Despair

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

It’s a hard knock life for deep-sea animals.  It’s really cold in the winter.  It’s really cold in the summer. It’s dark and wet…like Boston and Guinness.  Your only source of food, what little you get, is far from fresh and may have passed through the rectum of more than one animal.  If you are [...]... Read more »

  • June 12, 2009
  • 05:20 PM

Out of control: how anxiety over loss of control can increase belief in God... and government!

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The recent meeting of the Convention of the Association for Psychological Science had a session on the cognitive science of religion. One of the presentations was from Kristin Laurin on work by her and Aaron C Kay at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.I didn't see the session, but I have dug up the papers describing their work, and it's corking stuff.What they set out to investigate was whether people who feel like they are not in control of their lives, and feel anxious as a result, turn to........ Read more »

  • June 12, 2009
  • 12:06 PM

NSAIDs – Prevention or Just Delay of Dementia?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many epidemiological and observational studies have reported that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the elderly. To date, there have been no clinical trials to support these claims, and there are just as many studies that report conflicting results. In a recent issue [...]... Read more »

Cacabelos, R. (2008) Pharmacogenomics and therapeutic prospects in dementia. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 258(S1), 28-47. DOI: 10.1007/s00406-007-1006-x  

Hayden, K., Zandi, P., Khachaturian, A., Szekely, C., Fotuhi, M., Norton, M., Tschanz, J., Pieper, C., Corcoran, C., Lyketsos, C.... (2007) Does NSAID use modify cognitive trajectories in the elderly?: The Cache County Study. Neurology, 69(3), 275-282. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000265223.25679.2a  

  • June 12, 2009
  • 10:01 AM

Evolution at its finest: Plant roots in snow

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

Ecologists have discovered yet another astonishing way that plants defy all manner of physical obstacles to get what they need. Researchers have discovered alpine plant roots that grow upwards, against gravity, and out of the soil…into the snow.

A group of researchers centered at VU University in Amsterdam discovered the plant roots high in the mountains [...]... Read more »

Onipchenko, V., Makarov, M., van Logtestijn, R., Ivanov, V., Akhmetzhanova, A., Tekeev, D., Ermak, A., Salpagarova, F., Kozhevnikova, A., & Cornelissen, J. (2009) New nitrogen uptake strategy: specialized snow roots. Ecology Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01331.x  

  • June 12, 2009
  • 09:38 AM

France vs. USA: Fat babies, french fries, and what parents do about it.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

I was recently reading a facebook discussion that began when someone complained about relatively skinny people who call themselves fat. “Stop calling yourself fat if you wear a size 4. That’s not fat, so stop it.” The discussion when on, mostly about who has a claim to the ‘fat’ title, but sometimes it touched on [...]... Read more »

  • June 12, 2009
  • 09:31 AM

Doctor, doctor, I don’t know where my heart is!

by Jacob Aron in Just A Theory

Place your hand over your heart. Now move it to your stomach. How about your thyroid? Ok, that last one is a little trickier, but I’d be shocked to meet anyone who couldn’t do the first two. Well, it’s time to be shocked.

A study published in the journal BMC Family Practice has found an appalling [...]... Read more »

  • June 12, 2009
  • 04:20 AM

Simulating anarchic hand syndrome in the lab

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Imagine one of your hands having a life of its own, reaching, grabbing and clutching whatever it likes. Such a condition exists, is known as anarchic hand syndrome, and usually develops after brain damage to the front of the brain. Famous sufferers include Dr Strangeglove in the eponymous Stanley Kubrick film. Now Al Cheyne and colleagues think they've found a way to simulate this bizarre condition in the lab.Cheyne's team had 16 participants perform a test of sustained attention. Whenever a num........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2009
  • 11:49 PM

When plant siblings play nice, everyone loses

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

A couple years ago, scientists studying the wildflower American searocket, noticed something funny: when grown in the same pot with sibling seeds, searocket plants grew smaller roots than they did when sharing a pot with unrelated plants. It looked as though searocket plants recognized their siblings, and tried not to compete with them.

If this were a widespread phenomenon, it could dramatically change how biologists think about plant's evolution and ecology. Right now, we think that the huge ........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2009
  • 08:23 PM

Origins of the swine flu pandemic

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

In the time since the words "swine flu" first dominated the headlines, a group of scientists from three continents have been working to understand the origins of the new virus and to chart its evolutionary course. Today, they have published their timely results just as the World Health Organisation finally moved to phase six in its six-tier system, confirming what most of us already suspected - the world is facing the first global flu pandemic of the 21st century.

The team, led by Gavin Smith a........ Read more »

Smith, G., Vijaykrishna, D., Bahl, J., Lycett, S., Worobey, M., Pybus, O., Ma, S., Cheung, C., Raghwani, J., Bhatt, S.... (2009) Origins and evolutionary genomics of the 2009 swine-origin H1N1 influenza A epidemic. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08182  

  • June 11, 2009
  • 06:43 PM

Risk Management: Contingent versus Mitigative

by Jan Husdal in

The risk management literature separates between mitigative actions or strategies and contingent actions and strategies. It is important to keep these two perspectives apart. Why? Because risk management needs to address both sides of the risk: what lies behind the risk (source) and what lies in front of it (consequences). Here is my attempt at [...]... Read more »

  • June 11, 2009
  • 05:28 PM

Musical SNARC: Do we have a musical scale in our heads?

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

There's lots of research suggesting that we may have something like a "number line" in our head: The SNARC effect says that if you normally read numbers from left to right, you're faster to react to small numbers with your left hand, and big numbers with your right hand. Similar research has also found a SNARC effect for letters (a SLARC effect?).

So it might make sense that there would be a similar effect for musical notes. You might call it a SMARC effect, but if you only hear one note at a t........ Read more »

Lidji, P., Kolinsky, R., Lochy, A., & Morais, J. (2007) Spatial associations for musical stimuli: A piano in the head?. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 33(5), 1189-1207. DOI: 10.1037/0096-1523.33.5.1189  

  • June 11, 2009
  • 03:30 PM

Aerobic Carbonyl Production from Alcohols in a Microreactor

by Michael Long in Phased

Shu Kobayashi (University of Tokyo) and coworkers

have developed a safe, effective protocol for synthesizing

carbonyl molecules, which are foundational chemical entities in

molecular synthesis, using molecular oxygen as the oxidant.

This news feature was written on June 11, 2009.... Read more »

Wang, N., Matsumoto, T., Ueno, M., Miyamura, H., & Kobayashi, S. (2009) A Gold-Immobilized Microchannel Flow Reactor for Oxidation of Alcohols with Molecular Oxygen. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 48(26), 4744-4746. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200900565  

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