Post List

  • June 16, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Obesity Compounds Pain in Fibromyalgia

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

As blogged before, overweight and obese patients frequently present with fibromyalgia, characterized by chronic pain, fatigue and depressed mood.
A paper by Akiko Okifuji from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, just published in the Journal of Pain, examines the relationship between fibromyalgia and obesity in pain, function, mood, and sleep.
The study examines the impact [...]... Read more »

Okifuji A, Donaldson GW, Barck L, & Fine PG. (2010) Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Obesity in Pain, Function, Mood, and Sleep. The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society. PMID: 20542742  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 07:45 AM

How Specific Are The Social Skills of Dogs?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Dogs are particularly good at tasks that involve communicating or cooperating with humans, which has led some researchers to speculate that they are really good at solving social tasks, more generally. For example, dogs can figure out where a human's attention is, are really good at picking up on eye-gaze and finger pointing cues, distinguish among different individual humans (by contrast, humans are really bad at distinguishing among different individual monkeys, for example), and at least in o........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Escape velocity

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

A recent survey of over 4,000 UK employees conducted by GfK NOP found that one in four were planning to leave their organisation within the next year. The survey suggests these intentions are linked to the actions taken by the employers dealing with the effects of the recession. Continuing measures such as redundancies, recruitment freezes, [...]... Read more »

Brockner, J. (1992) Managing the effects of layoffs on survivors. California Management Review, 34(2), 9-28. info:/

Appelbaum, S., Delage, C., Labib, N., & Gault, G. (1997) The survivor syndrome: aftermath of downsizing. Career Development International, 2(6), 278-286. DOI: 10.1108/13620439710178639  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 05:29 AM

Tourette's Syndrome associated with superior timing control

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Children with Tourette's Syndrome, the neurodevelopmental condition characterised by involuntary motor and verbal tics, have superior timing abilities compared with their healthy age-matched peers, a new study suggests.Carmelo Vicario and colleagues tested nine children with Tourette's (average age 11 years) and 10 controls (average age 12) on timing perception and timing production. The former involved the children judging whether two circles were on screen for the same length of time or not. T........ Read more »

Vicario, C., Martino, D., Spata, F., Defazio, G., Giacchè, R., Martino, V., Rappo, G., Pepi, A., Silvestri, P., & Cardona, F. (2010) Time processing in children with Tourette’s syndrome. Brain and Cognition, 73(1), 28-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2010.01.008  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 04:51 AM

Tuatara holds clues to human evolution

by hilaryml in Chicken or Egg blog

A while ago I wrote about the value of genome sequences, not just for helping us understand the biology of a particular organism, but also for enabling large-scale comparisons across species that can help spot patterns in genome evolution which wouldn’t otherwise be apparent.  A recent paper in Journal of Heredity by Craig Lowe, David Haussler and [...]... Read more »

Lowe, C., Bejerano, G., Salama, S., & Haussler, D. (2010) Endangered Species Hold Clues to Human Evolution. Journal of Heredity. DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esq016  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 03:48 AM

time-on-task effects in fMRI research: why you should care

by Tal Yarkoni in citation needed

There’s a ubiquitous problem in experimental psychology studies that use behavioral measures that require participants to make speeded responses. The problem is that, in general, the longer people take to do something, the more likely they are to do it correctly. If I have you do a visual search task and ask you to tell [...]... Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 01:27 AM

What does that MRI signal MEAN, anyway?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci was incredibly excited to see this paper come out. It's got lots of stuff going for it, and all its powers combined were enough to send Sci bouncing around in her seat and sending emails to Ed Yong saying "OMG COOL PAPER!!".

What's it got, you say? It's got the meaning of life, the universe, and that pesky MRI signal.

Lee et al. "Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring" Nature, 2010.

Ah, the pretty brain picture. But what does it........ Read more »

Lee, J., Durand, R., Gradinaru, V., Zhang, F., Goshen, I., Kim, D., Fenno, L., Ramakrishnan, C., & Deisseroth, K. (2010) Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring. Nature, 465(7299), 788-792. DOI: 10.1038/nature09108  

  • June 16, 2010
  • 12:42 AM

…Results – Just hook it up to my veins

by Rift in Psycasm

Last week I wrote about the potential impacts of caffeine (in coffee and energy drinks) on students and their study (here). In short, however, these were what I considered the most relevant findings: Keleman and Creeley (2001)found that Caffeine reliably improves hit rates for sustained attention, that there was an interaction between caffeine and free [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 11:47 PM

Reflections on the Gulf Oil Spill - Conversations With My Grandpa

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Yes, it would be great if we never spilled a drop of oil. No matter how hard we may try, though, the fact is that nobody is perfect, and oil spills are an inevitable consequence of our widespread use of oil. The question is, once the oil is out there, how do we clean it up? Perhaps my grandfather put it best, when I asked him what he thought about how BP and the US is responding to the spill.

"They're friggin' idiots."... Read more »

Jonathan L. Ramseur. (2010) Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service , 7-5700 (RL33705). info:/

Paine, R., Ruesink, J., Sun, A., Soulanille, E., Wonham, M., Harley, C., Brumbaugh, D., & Secord, D. (1996) TROUBLE ON OILED WATERS: Lessons from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 27(1), 197-235. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.27.1.197  

  • June 15, 2010
  • 11:18 PM

Why Oil-Laden Prey is Bad for Sea Birds

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Oil is bad for wildlife. Period. But we really do not understand how it is bad. What does it do? Can marine organisms respond physiologically to oil in diets? For instance, translocate the toxic components to feathers and molt it off, much like some crabs, or have other physiologically mechanisms to . . . → Read More: Why Oil-Laden Prey is Bad for Sea Birds... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 10:45 PM

Biodiversity SNAFU in Australia’s Jewel

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

I’ve covered this sad state of affairs and one of Australia’s more notable biodiversity embarrassments over the last year (see Shocking continued loss of Australian mammals and Can we solve Australia’s mammal extinction crisis?), and now the most empirical demonstration of this is now published. The biodiversity guru of Australia’s tropical north, John Woinarksi, has [...]... Read more »

Woinarski, J., Armstrong, M., Brennan, K., Fisher, A., Griffiths, A., Hill, B., Milne, D., Palmer, C., Ward, S., Watson, M.... (2010) Monitoring indicates rapid and severe decline of native small mammals in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. Wildlife Research, 37(2), 116. DOI: 10.1071/WR09125  

  • June 15, 2010
  • 08:27 PM

Repost: Mosasaurs - The Marine Monsters of New Jersey

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The skull of Mosasaurus hoffmani. From Lingham-Soliar 1995.

On my first trip to the Inversand marl pit in Sewell, New Jersey, I didn't find the wonderfully preserved Dryptosaurus skeleton I had been dreaming of. I picked up a number of Cretaceous bivalve shells and Paleocene sponges, but other than a few scraps of "Chunkosaurus" my excavations didn't yield very much. Before my paleontology class left the site, though, we took a walk by the spoil piles - great green mounds of sediment that ha........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 07:46 PM

Facilitated Communication: A Review of the Literature (with a new introduction)

by KWombles in Countering...

Three months ago, I ran the post that appears below. This post got lots of comments, and there were a fair number of misunderstandings, so let me up-front here make clear what I mean by facilitated communication in the hopes these misunderstandings do not occur again. We teach our children many skills by using hand-over-hand techniques. I'm not talking about teaching your child how to type, how to hold a pencil, how to do things. I'm talking specifically about the facilitated communication as Bi........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 06:50 PM

Will Climate Change Alter Sea Turtle Populations to the Point of Extinction?

by Scott A. in Thriving Oceans

Our planet is an intriguing concoction of variables that meld together for successes spanning the organization of life (species, populations, communities, and ecosystems).  It is literally an evolutionary process that is ecologically driven.  And as a genotypic sex determined species, we seem to have an inherent fascination with the mysterious adaptive significance of environmental sex [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 04:48 PM

A little incentive goes a long way when it comes to vaccine uptake

by geekheartsscience in geek!

Offering people free lentils and metal food dishes substantially improves the number of young children that receive a full course of childhood immunisations in resource poor areas, and is more cost effective than just improving the vaccine services available in the region, according to a new study published free in the British Medical Journal. Abhijit [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 04:29 PM

A hobbit's contemporaries: Biogeography and insular evolution on Flores

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate

Painters create networks. The subject of the piece, even if it’s a simple splotch of color, garners the most attention, but without a descriptive background or other kinds of supporting elements to contextualize the portion of the painting where the artist wants you to look, the intended focus is...

... Read more »

Meijer, H., Van Den Hoek Ostende, L., Van Den Bergh, G., & De Vos, J. (2010) The fellowship of the hobbit: the fauna surrounding Homo floresiensis. Journal of Biogeography, 37(6), 995-1006. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02308.x  

  • June 15, 2010
  • 04:06 PM

Secondary changes allow spread of oseltamivir resistant influenza virus

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The influenza virus neuraminidase (NA) protein is required for virus release from the cell, a property exploited by the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamavir (Relenza). During clinical testing of oseltamivir in 2001, some individuals shed drug-resistant viruses with an amino acid change from histidine to tyrosine (H274Y) in NA. Such viruses are not inhibited [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Tuesday Crustie: Mandibles

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

I saw this and could think of nothing but the alien from the movie Predator.

This is a frontal view of the head of a male Branchinecta brushi. This species of fairy shrimp is interesting in several ways. First, it is a species new to science, having just been described in a paper last week.

Second, this is one of the two highest crustacean species on the planet. There is one other crustacean found in the same pools that B. brushi is found in.

I also have to give this paper credit for the bes........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 11:34 AM

Anthropology, Primatology, and the Definition of Culture: Reply to Sperber

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Chimpanzees have culture (or not) depending on your definition.Image: Irish Wildcat / Creative Commons

Author's Note: The following is an expansion on my reply to anthropologist Dan Sperber on the PLoS ONE article "Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees."

Culture is like art or pornography, it's hard for people to define but everyone knows it when they see it. Cultural anthropologists have long struggled to develop a consistent definition of the very thing that they study, a proble........ Read more »

Horner, V., Proctor, D., Bonnie, K., Whiten, A., & de Waal, F. (2010) Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees. PLoS ONE, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625  

  • June 15, 2010
  • 11:26 AM

The most inconvenient seal

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

How the hell did seals get into Lake Baikal? Actually, if you're a long-time reader you'll know the answers that have been put forward (note there that I didn't say "you'll know the answer"), as I covered this issue back in 2006 on Tet Zoo ver 1. In the interests of recycling old stuff and saving myself valuable time and effort, here's that article again...

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

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