Post List

  • April 10, 2009
  • 09:20 AM

I've Been Waiting For This For A Long Time

by Bill Parker in Chinleana

Discusses changes to the Triassic Period in the newly published geological timescale.... Read more »

Walker, J., & Geissman, J. (2009) 2009 GSA Geologic Time Scale. GSA Today, 19(4), 60. DOI: 10.1130/1052-5173-19.4-5.60  

  • April 10, 2009
  • 03:29 AM

Stefan and the T to the fourth power law

by Arunn in nOnoScience (a.k.a. Unruled Notebook)

The working of Stefan’s diathermometer to measure the thermal conductivity was explained earlier. Here we recount how the diathermometer helped also in the prediction of the T to the fourth power law of electromagnetic radiation purely by experimental means. It was an instance of scientific advancement, where the experimental outcome preceded the theoretical support. We [...]... Read more »

  • April 10, 2009
  • 01:18 AM

Evolution-proof insecticide?

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

In this week's issue of PLoS Biology, an essay describes the perfect means for controlling malaria-carrying mosquitoes: an "evolution-proof insecticide." By taking advantage of the life history traits of both mosquitoes and the malaria parasite, Read et al. argue it should be possible to create an insecticide that will cut malaria transmission without selecting for resistance in the mosquitoes.

Malaria remains a major public health problem in much of the world - according the World Health Organ........ Read more »

  • April 10, 2009
  • 01:13 AM

Friday Weird Science: Got ED? Perhaps you just need to...exercise it more.

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Ah, the lovely Journal of Medical Hypotheses. I went to it last week for a post on ear wax, and what should be the article right before it, but a post on erectile dysfunction. I think this journal's impact factor is underrated. It certainly makes an impact on ME.

Anyway, as I'm sure you are all aware from the multitude of commercials out there for Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, and other such drugs that are making companies a LOT of money, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a bit of a problem in modern ........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2009
  • 08:44 PM

why life has a bias to the left

by Greg Fish in weird things

As the faux conservative pundit Stephen Colbert warned President Bush, reality has a bias to the left. And interestingly enough, so does all life on Earth. We’ve know that all amino acids, the essential components for any terrestrial organism, have left-handed chiralities. Or to translate from science-speak, their molecules wind to the left. This is [...]... Read more »

  • April 9, 2009
  • 04:52 PM

Can choosing the right god reduce anxiety and other psychosis?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Religion and mental health seems to be a double-edged sword. Religion features in a lot of psychotic delusions, but there's also a lot of evidence linking religious belief to better mental health. There's some new research which suggests that part of the problem in teasing out the relationships is that it's not belief itself, but rather the type of god that you believe in, that matters.The data came from a 2004 US survey on religion and health, which included measures of what people thought abou........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2009
  • 04:05 PM

Dendritic Cell Phagocytosis of Infected Apoptotic Cells Favors Development of a TH17 Phenotype

by Toaster Sunshine in Mad Scientist, Junior

Background: TH17 discussed previously here; previous brief run-down of T-cell development here.TH17 cells are an inflammatory T-cell subtype implicated in acute adaptive immune response as well as chronic autoimmune diseases. We have known for a while now how to create TH17 cells in a dish: just as TGFb and IL-6 (a general T-cell proliferation cytokine such as IL-2 wouldn't hurt either). However, we haven't been very clear on how exactly those kind of conditions would arise in vivo. TGFb is a........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2009
  • 04:02 PM

RCT of Kyphoplasty

by Drew Rosielle MD in Pallimed: a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

Lancet has the results of a multi-national randomized controlled trial of balloon kyphoplasty for vertebral compression fractures. This was an industry-funded trial of ~300 patients with 1-3 acute or subacute (less than 3 months old - mean was 6 weeks old), painful (4/10 or greater) VCFs who were randomized to KP or medical management/routine supportive care (meds, braces, therapy, etc.). They followed patients for 12 months, although the primary outcome was changes in the SF-36 quality of lif........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2009
  • 01:28 PM

TRB: How the Human Brain Weighs Costs and Benefits

by Michael in dlPFC

It seems obvious that the value of some potentially rewarding endeavor should reflect not just the size of the reward but also the amount of effort involved in realizing it.  But how do we make that decision?  In business, this can be an external computation: some analyst will sit down in front of Excel and [...]... Read more »

Croxson, P., Walton, M., O'Reilly, J., Behrens, T., & Rushworth, M. (2009) Effort-Based Cost-Benefit Valuation and the Human Brain. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(14), 4531-4541. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4515-08.2009  

  • April 9, 2009
  • 12:10 PM

Post-docking as a post-doc, and some fragment docking

by The Curious Wavefunction in The Curious Wavefunction

I am now ready to post-doc. I am also now ready to post-dock, that is, engage in activities beyond docking. Sorry, I could not resist cracking that terrible joke. It's been a long journey and I have enjoyed every most moments of it. Thanks to everyone in the chemistry blogworld who regaled, informed, provoked and entertained on this blog. I am now ready to move on to the freakingly chilly Northeast. Location not disclosed for now, but maybe later.Speaking of docking, here is a nice paper from th........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2009
  • 11:27 AM

Ruppy, the first fluorescent-dog

by 96well in Reportergene

A Korean team report the generation of  a RFP-transgenic beagle. Dogs exhibits 224 genetic diseases similar to those found in humans making them one of the closest known models for various human hereditary diseases. However, experimentation with animal -which should be at the service of the whole mankind -  raises strong and acute ethical challenges, particularly if the experimental model is a pet. Although still prototypical, the concept of "reporter animal" arguments toward a new use of a........ Read more »

Hong, S., Kim, M., Jang, G., Oh, H., Park, J., Kang, J., Koo, O., Kim, T., Kwon, M., Koo, B.... (2009) Generation of red fluorescent protein transgenic dogs. genesis. DOI: 10.1002/dvg.20504  

  • April 9, 2009
  • 10:10 AM

Why are different tumors the same?

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Hierarchical clustering of breast carcinomas1

Something that’s puzzled me for years is why the same kinds of tumors tend to have the same kinds of immune evasion mechanisms. And I’m not going to give an answer, just trying to share the confusion a little.

What I mean is this:

It has been demonstrated that human tumors of distinct [...]... Read more »

  • April 9, 2009
  • 10:03 AM

Travis Steps into the Future... Again

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Photo by Mike Baird.As I have discussed before, I believe that incorporating physical activity into daily life is one of the easiest ways for people to increase their physical activity levels, and improve their metabolic health. Although structured physical activity (e.g. working out in the gym) is great for some people, it is definitely not for everyone, myself included. What's more, recent evidence suggests that some individuals may compensate for structured physical activity by actually red........ Read more »

Vanhecke, T., Franklin, B., Miller, W., deJong, A., Coleman, C., & McCullough, P. (2009) Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Sedentary Lifestyle in the Morbidly Obese. Clinical Cardiology, 32(3), 121-124. DOI: 10.1002/clc.20458  

  • April 9, 2009
  • 09:47 AM

Multiple daycare and childcare arrangements: What are the consequences?

by Nestor L. Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

Is having multiple childcare arrangements during early childhood associated with increased behavioral problems in toddlers?A review of Morrissey, T. (2009). Multiple Child-Care Arrangements and Young Children’s Behavioral Outcomes Child Development, 80 (1), 59-76 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01246.xIn the last issue of the journal Child Development, Dr. Taryn Morrissey conducts a comprehensive

Read the full post at

Read the full post at

Read the ful........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Private Texts Not So Confidential

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

Should your boss be allowed to read your text messages, your emails, your tweets? The answer to that question is not, legally speaking, quite so clear cut as you might hope. After all, if you’re texting (SMS) or tweeting on company time, using a company computer or cell phone, then you might be breaking your [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tips and Tricks

Private Texts Not So Confidential... Read more »

Gregory C. Mosier. (2009) Text messages: privacy in employee communications in the USA. Int. J. Private Law, 2(3), 260-266.

  • April 9, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Multitasking Antibody

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

One interesting question this study raises is an evolutionary one. Could we have evolved antibodies that bind two completely different epitopes? When we use antibodies in the lab, we tend to screen against those that are promiscuous: bind more than one epitope. But maybe such antibodies do exist?... Read more »

Bostrom, J., Yu, S., Kan, D., Appleton, B., Lee, C., Billeci, K., Man, W., Peale, F., Ross, S., Wiesmann, C.... (2009) Variants of the Antibody Herceptin That Interact with HER2 and VEGF at the Antigen Binding Site. Science, 323(5921), 1610-1614. DOI: 10.1126/science.1165480  

  • April 9, 2009
  • 02:20 AM

Chocolate improves maths and recovery from endurance capacity

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Chocolate milk after intensive prolonged exercise helps recovery much better than a carbohydrate replacement drink or a fluid replacement drink. After my 10 kilometer run on Sunday I’ll have some chocolate milk.

This was tested in a study in which during recovery from prolonged exercise (cycling) the participants ingested chocolate milk, carbohydrate replacement drink or a [...]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2009
  • 11:17 PM

The Thermodynamics of Life

by Invader Xan in Supernova Condensate

Now I’m a big fan of alternative biochemistry theories in the search for extraterrestrial life. It seems logical to think that given the size of the universe and the number of possible environments out there, life might have found more than one way to organise itself. However, thanks to some clever thermodynamics, it looks quite likely that at least some alien life out there might not be so “alien” after all…... Read more »

  • April 8, 2009
  • 11:00 PM

Covent Garden ballet dancers have been lifting their legs higher and higher

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

For the last 50 years or more, ballet dancers performing The Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden have been raising their legs progressively higher. This trend, identified by Elena Daprati and colleagues, provides a wonderful example of how aesthetic form evolves over time, reflecting a mix of changing audience taste and artistic creativity.Deprati's team collected photographic and video archive material from performances of a single piece of choreography - the "Rose Adagio"........ Read more »

  • April 8, 2009
  • 10:48 PM

Muscle Hypertrophy

by Toaster Sunshine in Mad Scientist, Junior

Having somewhat recently realized that I don't want to have the awesomely statuesque physique of a stick figure for the rest of my life, I began working out (before and after picture below). I still have no idea how to use most of the equipment in the gym and I'm not going to ask Pikkuveli (="little brother") how to use it just because he has ~130kg of muscle to my paltry ~60kg (we're also the same height: ~2.07m). But I am willing to ask where muscles come from.So I hit up Current Opinion in ........ Read more »

GOLDSPINK, G., WESSNER, B., & BACHL, N. (2008) Growth factors, muscle function and doping. Current Opinion in Pharmacology, 8(3), 352-357. DOI: 10.1016/j.coph.2008.02.002  

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