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W.R.A. Muntz, & U. Raj. (1984) On the visual system of Nautilus Pompilus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 253-263. info:/
Shortly after my buddy Jeff Medkeff died in 2008, a joint book review of ours was published in Skeptic Magazine. Here we criticised a book by Alan Bond and Mark Hempsell, two aeronautics engineers, where they claimed that a 7th century BC cuneiform tablet from Mesopotamia described an asteroid striking the Austrian Alps in 3123 BC. Their argument was in our opinion extremely speculative or pseudoscientific, regardless of whether you saw it from an astronomical, geological or archaeological poin........ Read more »
Barbara Rappenglück, Michael A. Rappenglück, Kord Ernstson, Werner Mayer, Andreas Neumair, Dirk Sudhaus, & Ioannis Liritzis. (2010) The fall of Phaethon: a Greco-Roman geomyth preserves the memory of a meteorite impact in Bavaria (south-east Germany). Antiquity, 428-439. info:/
If you’re having a baby scan, rest assured there’s nothing to worry about here, this piece of research is about high-energy ultrasound. The difference is like comparing a research laser beam to the light from a cheap flashlight… Anyway, according to Ken Suslick, when high-intensity ultrasound passes through a liquid, the expansion wave of the [...]... Read more »
The social impact of science and knowledge evolution – New research that analyses 500 years of scientific history comes to the perhaps obvious conclusion that those nations that support science and the evolution of knowledge through education, infrastructure and funding, produce stronger societies the members of which have a better standard of living and are [...]Social impact of science is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Luiz C.M. Miranda, & Carlos A.S. Lima. (2010) On trends and rhythms in scientific and technological knowledge evolution: a quantitative analysis. Int. J. Technology Intelligence and Planning, 6(1), 76-109. info:/
As blogged before, any medical condition that affects mobility, can potentially promote weight gain and the development of obesity with all its mental, physical and socioeconomic sequelae.
This of course also applies to patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressively disabling disease of the central nervous system currently affecting an estimated 2·5 million people worldwide. [...]... Read more »
Marrie RA, & Horwitz RI. (2010) Emerging effects of comorbidities on multiple sclerosis. Lancet neurology, 9(8), 820-8. PMID: 20650403
Professor Troels Jensen‘s clever group of researchers have published an interesting paper in the European Journal of Pain. We were thinking about writing a little spiel on it so you can get the idea and then we thought – what about asking the authors? So we did. Fortunately for us, Lise Gormsen, who has now [...]... Read more »
Gormsen L, Rosenberg R, Bach FW, & Jensen TS. (2010) Depression, anxiety, health-related quality of life and pain in patients with chronic fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain. European journal of pain (London, England), 14(2), 1270-8. PMID: 19473857
I’ve talked about quasispecies several times, and emphasized that RNA viruses, with their high replication error rates, are most prone to forming quasispecies. I’ve also pointed out, though, that actually measuring quasispecies is technically difficult, and measuring it for the larger DNA viruses would be even harder. You’d need to run sequences on many viral [...]... Read more »
Cheng, T., Valentine, M., Gao, J., Pingel, J., & Yokoyama, W. (2009) Stability of Murine Cytomegalovirus Genome after In Vitro and In Vivo Passage. Journal of Virology, 84(5), 2623-2628. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02142-09
As if you needed another.Straightforward study that explored the impact of the great social experiment in which the past 40 years of low-fat recommendations have placed us.The study looks at the risk of having a heart attack as a function of macronutrients in 57,053 Danes over a 12 year period and then re-analyzes risk on the basis of the glycemic indices of their carbohydrate choices.The researchers used two models to investigate the risk of heart attack with a higher energy intake from carbohy........ Read more »
Jakobsen, M., Dethlefsen, C., Joensen, A., Stegger, J., Tjonneland, A., Schmidt, E., & Overvad, K. (2010) Intake of carbohydrates compared with intake of saturated fatty acids and risk of myocardial infarction: importance of the glycemic index. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91(6), 1764-1768. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.29099
Does a boundaryless career really work? What do the careers of successful people look like? And what does successful mean?... Read more »
Sullivan, S., & Arthur, M. (2006) The evolution of the boundaryless career concept: Examining physical and psychological mobility. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69(1), 19-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2005.09.001
A few years ago, I pointed out some speculative work on environmental radiation during embryonic development and its possible effects on later longevity: Speculation on Solar Radiation and Longevity More on Solar Radiation and Life Expectancy The amount of [solar] radiation varies according to where you are in the world, what time of year it is and cyclic changes in the sun’s behaviour. The Equator generally gets the most radiation, and in the northern hemisphere, the usual radiation peaks wil........ Read more »
Pseudogenes, which are in essence regions of the genome that used to be genes but no longer able to produce a functional unit, have long been considered to be models of the genetic equivalent of Switzerland's neutrality. With this assumption of neutrality in hand, researchers have used studies of pseudogenes to better understand what happens to DNA when it is not visible to any form of natural selection. That is, pseudogenes have been thought to be neither harmful (as in, they are........ Read more »
Some headlines just write themselves…
It has been known for some time that an approaching large herbivore causes aphids to abandon ship ...err plant. Makes sense since, after all, there's not much of a point in staying on the particular bit of shrubbery that will be consumed, lock, stalk and barrel by a ravenous forager. However, it was not exactly clear what in the herbivore causes the aphids to drop. Well, it is not the shaking of the twigs, as rustling the plant did not cause a substantial........ Read more »
Moshe Gish, Amots Dafni, & Moshe Inbar. (2010) Mammalian herbivore breath alerts aphids to flee host plant. Current Biology, 20(15). info:/
Lest we forget, one of my aims for 2009-2010 is TO GET THROUGH ALL THE TOADS OF THE WORLD. I don't mean every single species (because there... like, over 540 of them), but all the 'genera' at least. If you need any of the background to this grand/crazy scheme, be sure to check out the links below [image below shows Mt Kukenan in the Guyanan Highlands, and a Pebble toad Oreophrynella niger rolling downhill. Read on...].
One of the main points I've emphasised in some of the previous articles........ Read more »
McDiarmid, R. W., & Gorzula, S. (1989) Aspects of the reproductive ecology and behavior of the Tepui toads, genus Oreophrynella (Anura, Bufonidae. Copeia, 445-451. info:/
“The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man.”–B. F. Skinner. The study of mind begins with a metaphor. In the 20th century (and now on into the 21st) the metaphor that has dominated our study of mind is the [...]... Read more »
Rescorla, R. (1988) Pavlovian conditioning: It's not what you think it is. American Psychologist, 43(3), 151-160. DOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.43.3.151
We all hold beliefs that are not provable, and defining when these beliefs cross the line and become psychotic delusions is not easy. It's clear that such a line does exist, however: every town has its share of people whose religious beliefs fall sufficiently far outside the conventional that they are declared psychotic.
In popular imagination, at least, psychotic delusions often have a religious component. In reality, many psychotic delusions are not religious. However, many delusions involve ........ Read more »
Mohr, S., Borras, L., Betrisey, C., Pierre-Yves, B., Gilliéron, C., & Huguelet, P. (2010) Delusions with Religious Content in Patients with Psychosis: How They Interact with Spiritual Coping. Psychiatry: Interpersonal , 73(2), 158-172. DOI: 10.1521/psyc.2010.73.2.158
Many animal species employ a polyandrous sexual system, where one female mates with many males and stores sperm in a specialized storage organ. Since fertilization doesn’t take place immediately (in some cases females can store viable sperm for several weeks), males actively compete to contribute to her sperm bank, regardless of whether it requires another [...]... Read more »
Lieshout, E. (2010) Male genital length and mating status differentially affect mating behaviour in an earwig. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-010-1021-1
Today we are going to step into the time machine and go back 21 years to 1989. It was in this year that the study to become known as the “Marshmallow experiment” was published. Performed by Walter Mischel at Stanford University this experiment showed an amazing thing, that testing a child’s self-control at 4yrs could [...]... Read more »
Cultural differences are often attributed to events far removed from genetics. The basis for this belief is often based on the assertion that if you take an individual, at birth, from one society and implant them in another, then they will generally grow up to become well-adjusted to their adopted culture. Whilst this is more than . . . → Read More: Genetic Components and Cultural Differences: The social sensitivity hypothesis... Read more »
Way, B., & Lieberman, M. (2010) Is there a genetic contribution to cultural differences? Collectivism, individualism and genetic markers of social sensitivity. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5(2-3), 203-211. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsq059
Years ago, the relationship between depression and chronic pain was the hot topic, and it’s only more recently that anxiety and pain have become popular. So slightly tangentially, but I think you’ll see how it relates, today I want to muse a bit about health anxiety and some of the findings from this interesting area … Read more... Read more »
Muse, K., McManus, F., Hackmann, A., Williams, M., & Williams, M. (2010) Intrusive imagery in severe health anxiety: Prevalence, nature and links with memories and maintenance cycles. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(8), 792-798. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.05.008
Sharks consistently rank near the top of lists of American’s greatest fears. In reality, they have much more to fear from us than we do from them. Because of our actions, many species of sharks are on the verge of extinction. A recent International Union for the Conservation of Nature Shark Specialist Group report [...]... Read more »
Baum, J. (2003) Collapse and Conservation of Shark Populations in the Northwest Atlantic. Science, 299(5605), 389-392. DOI: 10.1126/science.1079777
Bonfil, R. (2005) Transoceanic Migration, Spatial Dynamics, and Population Linkages of White Sharks. Science, 310(5745), 100-103. DOI: 10.1126/science.1114898
Clarke, S., McAllister, M., Milner-Gulland, E., Kirkwood, G., Michielsens, C., Agnew, D., Pikitch, E., Nakano, H., & Shivji, M. (2006) Global estimates of shark catches using trade records from commercial markets. Ecology Letters, 9(10), 1115-1126. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2006.00968.x
Conrath, C., & Musick, J. (2007) The Sandbar Shark Summer Nursery within Bays and Lagoons of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 136(4), 999-1007. DOI: 10.1577/T06-107.1
Dulvy, N., Baum, J., Clarke, S., Compagno, L., Cortés, E., Domingo, A., Fordham, S., Fowler, S., Francis, M., Gibson, C.... (2008) You can swim but you can't hide: the global status and conservation of oceanic pelagic sharks and rays. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 18(5), 459-482. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.975
Musick, JA. (2000) Management of Sharks and their relatives (Elasmobranchii). Fisheries. info:/
Pikitch, E., Chapman, D., Babcock, E., & Shivji, M. (2005) Habitat use and demographic population structure of elasmobranchs at a Caribbean atoll (Glovers Reef, Belize). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 187-197. DOI: 10.3354/meps302187
Topelko, K., & Dearden, P. (2005) The Shark Watching Industry and its Potential Contribution to Shark Conservation. Journal of Ecotourism, 4(2), 108-128. DOI: 10.1080/14724040409480343
Walker, T. (1998) Can shark resources be harvested sustainably? A question revisited with a review of shark fisheries. Marine and Freshwater Research, 49(7), 553. DOI: 10.1071/MF98017
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