Post List

  • January 20, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Smooth oscillator

by Erika Cule in Blogging the PhD

Another biological oscillator, this one in mammalian cells... Read more »

Marcel Tigges, Tatiana T. Marquez-Lago, Jörg Stelling, & Martin Fussenegger. (2009) A tunable synthetic mammalian oscillator. Nature, 457(7227), 309-312. DOI: 10.1038/nature07616  

  • January 19, 2009
  • 11:39 PM

Humor and Health

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

There is a humor–health hypothesis. This hypothesis claims that there is a link between humor and health. It is perceived that there is a positive link between humor and health. Humor should improve your health. There are many suggestions as how humor can improve health or not.

Humor, in terms of laughter, creates accompanying physiological changes [...]... Read more »

  • January 19, 2009
  • 03:11 PM

Marking classes interactive: better learning or just more fun?

by Sandra Porter in Discovering Biology in a Digital World

One of the newfangled ideas that's popped up in education in the past few years has been notion that more interactive methods of teaching will lead to better results.

There's an appealing logic to this notion.

Figure 1. A traditional lecture may not be the ideal way to transfer information. 

Technorati Tags: education, active learning, clickers

Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • January 19, 2009
  • 01:01 PM

Quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I was taking a moment or two to looked through some of my RSS feeds, and came across this post on the quality of diagnostic accuracy.  QUADAS stands for:

Q – Quality

A – Assessment of

D – Diagnostic

A – Accuracy

S – Studies

It’s especially developed for people who use physical assessment, and in this post written by physiotherapist [...]... Read more »

  • January 19, 2009
  • 12:08 PM

Cellular "tug-of-war" breaks brain symmetry

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

The brains of vertebrates are asymmetrical, both structurally and functionally. This asymmetry is believed to increase the efficiency of information processing - one hemisphere  is specialized to perform certain functions, so the opposite is left free to perform others. In the human brain, for example, the left hemisphere is specialized for speech. This has been known since the 1860s, when the French physician Paul Broca noted that the aphasia (or inability to speak) which is a common sympt........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2009
  • 11:05 AM

Measuring brand mindshare

by Steve Genco in Lucid Thoughts

Thanks to a catchy press release title (”Brain Works Like Google, New Study Finds”), it was hard this morning to miss references to Tjaco Walvis’s article:

Walvis, T. (2007). Three laws of branding: Neuroscientific foundations of effective brand building Journal of Brand Management, 16 (3), 176-194 DOI: 10.1057/
You can read it online or download a copy [...]... Read more »

  • January 19, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Oestradiol makes women hot and hard to keep

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

The estrogen hormone oestradiol is associated with just about every aspect of female beauty. As well as serving as a growth hormone for female reproductive organs, it's associated with having a symmetrical face, large breasts and a low waist-to-hip ratio. Now, the hormone is credited with one more association: it makes women serial monogamists. Her relationships explainedby her body cheimstry?For those who may not have heard of this term, let me explain. A serial monogamist is a person who ha........ Read more »

Kristina M. Durante, & Norman P. Li. (2009) Oestradiol level and opportunistic mating in women. Biology Letters, -1(-1), -1--1. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0709  

  • January 19, 2009
  • 08:05 AM

Phase Alignment of Neocortical Gamma Oscillations by Hippocampal Theta Waves

by Amiya in Physiology physics woven fine

An empty brain is the devil’s workshop, goes the proverb. Actually, the brain is never empty. Even in our deepest slumber, the brain continues to weave waves of electrical rhythms that can be seen with the aid of electroencephalogram or EEG. When we place electrodes on the scalp or on the cortex (inside the skull), and amplify the faint signals via bioinstrumentation amplifier, we can lay our hands on these fluctuating rhythms. (More on the electronics of EEG may be found at the OpenEEG projec........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Don’t Waste Your Time on Social Media

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

Social media was the buzzphrase of 2008, it was “web 2.0″ before that, but that sounded way too geeky to catch on with most users and is soooo mid-noughties. So, is social media dead and buried and the semantic web just about to reach its peak? Probably not quite yet.

What do we mean by social [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tips and Tricks

Don’t Waste Your Time on Social Media... Read more »

Nikos Manouselis, & Constantina Costopoulou. (2008) marService: multiattribute utility recommendation for e-markets. International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 33(2/3), 176. DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2008.021940  

  • January 19, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Transplant Spectroscopy

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Yellow and black bile were considered by the ancients as two of the four vital humours of the human body along with phlegm and blood. Ancient and mediaeval Greco-Roman alternative medicine. Imbalances in these humours caused illness. The Greek names for the terms gave rise to the words “choler” (bile) [the prefix in cholesterol, of [...]Post from: Sciencebase Science Blog... Read more »

Iola F. Duarte, Cristina Legido-Quigley, David A. Parker, Jonathan R. Swann, Manfred Spraul, Ulrich Braumann, Ana M. Gil, Elaine Holmes, Jeremy K. Nicholson, Gerard M. Murphy.... (2009) Identification of metabolites in human hepatic bile using 800 MHz 1H NMR spectroscopy, HPLC-NMR/MS and UPLC-MS. Molecular BioSystems. DOI: 10.1039/b814426e  

  • January 19, 2009
  • 06:04 AM

Using the QUADAS Tool to Assess the Quality of Research

by Mike Reinold in

Have you been feeling lately that the quality of research reports are not always the same across journals?  Or that some articles you read do not appear to have the best methodology?  With all the emphasis on evidence based medicine, it is more valuable now than ever to assure that research reports are of superior quality to assure that we are conveying accurate information to our colleagues.  Today’s guest post is written by Harrison Vaughan, PT, DPT.  Harrison is a phys........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2009
  • 12:29 AM

PHODA findings - chronic low back pain and people with high and low kinesiophobia

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I’ve written quite a few times about the PHODA - photographs of activities of daily living - and I’m in the process of developing a New Zealand contextual version of it for use in the Pain Management Centre in which I work.  Today I’m briefly discussing another paper in press about the use of a [...]... Read more »

  • January 18, 2009
  • 11:49 PM

How does depression lead to cardiovascular adverse events?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Depression is recognized as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease in healthy patients, for recurrent events in patients with established cardiovascular disease, and for adverse outcomes after coronary bypass graft surgery. Physical inactivity largely explains the association between depressive symptoms and adverse cardiovascular events such as heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, transient [...]... Read more »

M. A. Whooley, P. de Jonge, E. Vittinghoff, C. Otte, R. Moos, R. M. Carney, S. Ali, S. Dowray, B. Na, M. D. Feldman.... (2008) Depressive Symptoms, Health Behaviors, and Risk of Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(20), 2379-2388. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2008.711  

  • January 18, 2009
  • 11:44 PM

Stick insects not so excited about sex, apparently

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Stick insects in the genus Timema have evolved asexual reproduction on five different occasions in their evolutionary history, according to a new study in this month's Evolution [$-a]. Why? Well, it turns out that from an evolutionary perspective, sex isn't always a good thing.

.flickr-photo { }.flickr-frameright { float: right; text-align: left; margin-left: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; }.... Read more »

  • January 18, 2009
  • 11:10 PM

Eat fish and acidify the oceans

by Mason Posner in A Fish Eye View

When teaching marine biology I warn my students that if they are there to just learn about sharks and dolphins they will be sorely disappointed, because only microscopic plankton have the biomass to really affect the oceans. Being an ichthyologist this always hurt a bit.  A recent paper in Science has restored my faith that all [...]... Read more »

R. W. Wilson, F. J. Millero, J. R. Taylor, P. J. Walsh, V. Christensen, S. Jennings, & M. Grosell. (2009) Contribution of Fish to the Marine Inorganic Carbon Cycle. Science, 323(5912), 359-362. DOI: 10.1126/science.1157972  

  • January 18, 2009
  • 07:27 PM

How chemists can help astrobiologists...

by Invader Xan in Supernova Condensate

Quite a puzzler in astrochemistry and astrobiology is where exactly prebiotic amino acids form. We know they can form in interstellar space. We’ve found them inside chondritic meteorites. All the ingredients exist in the interstellar medium. There have even been reports of glycine detected in interstellar space. On the other hand, those reports are still unverified. But are we really looking for the right thing…?... Read more »

  • January 18, 2009
  • 01:28 PM

Slumber quality important for learning

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

It's not just the amount of sleep we get that is so important for learning, but the quality of that sleep. That's according to a new study that made precise use of beeping noises to disrupt deep "slow-wave" sleep among 13 elderly participants (average age 60 years), without actually waking them up.The beeping was used in such a way that although the participants' were deprived of deep sleep, their total sleep time and number of sleep stages were unaffected (compared with a comparison night of un........ Read more »

Ysbrand D Van Der Werf1,2, Ellemarije Altena1,3,, Menno M Schoonheim, Ernesto J Sanz-Arigita, Jose´ C Vis, Wim De Rijke, & Eus J W Van Someren. (2009) Sleep benefits subsequent hippocampal functioning. Nature Neuroscience.

  • January 18, 2009
  • 10:46 AM

Are Generic Drugs Really Equivalent to Brand Name Drugs?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Countless drugs are manufactured as generic equivalents to brand name counterparts. Generic drugs must be bioequivalent to the brand name drug, meaning that they contain the same active ingredient at the same dose, in the same dosage form, with the same route of administration. The rate and extent of availability of the drugs must also [...]... Read more »

  • January 18, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Wealthy men's women have more orgasms

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

If your man is rich you'll have a higher frequency of orgasms. At least if you're Chinese (not including Tibet and Hong Kong). Why is this interesting at all, except that it's about sex, which human find interesting in a of itself? Well, because we have no idea why women have orgasms in the first place. It pretty clear why, and notably when, men have orgasms, but no one really knows why women have them.Male income and height are were included to measure male quality, because both parameters have........ Read more »

  • January 17, 2009
  • 04:03 PM

How much selection is going on in humans?

by Thomas Mailund in Mailund on the Internet

A priori we expect that most mutations, by far, have no consequence on fitness, while some have a negative effect and very few have a positive effect.  Consequently, we can generally ignore selection when analysing genomic sequences.

However, over the last few years a number of papers have suggested that adaptive (positive) selection has played a [...]... Read more »

James J. Cai, J. Michael Macpherson, Guy Sella, & Dmitri A. Petrov. (2009) Pervasive Hitchhiking at Coding and Regulatory Sites in Humans. PLoS Genetics, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000336  

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