Post List

  • May 4, 2009
  • 10:39 AM

How Long Do You Immobilize the Shoulder After a Dislocation?

by Mike Reinold in

A recent guest post from Dan Lorenz discussed immobilizing the shoulder in a position of external rotation following an anterior dislocation. While this concept appears counterintuitive at first glance, there is enough evidence now to support the use of this position of shoulder immobilization. Studies have shown better approximation of the capsule to the glenoid and a reduced rate of recurrent instability when immobilized in external rotation.  I would not say that any of this is currently........ Read more »

  • May 4, 2009
  • 10:06 AM

Concerta for ADHD: A placebo controlled study of methylphenidate and attention problems

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

A university-based randomized, placebo controlled research study of Concerta (methylphenidate), examines the effects of methylphenidate in regulating attention lapses.Research studies on the neurocognitive profiles (memory, attention, executive functioning, etc) of kids with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder have one common denominator: there is no unified or common neuropsychological profile that characterizes ADHD. That is, there is no specific pattern of memory, language, attention, et........ Read more »

  • May 4, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

Dolphins stay alert after five straight days of round-the-clock vigilance

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

Most of us start to tire after about half a day without any sleep. Staying awake for five in a row would be extremely difficult and even if you could manage it, you'd be a physical and mental wreck by the end. But not all animals suffer from the same problem. A dolphin can stay awake and alert for at least 5 days straight, chaining together all-nighters without any noticeable health problems or loss of mental agility.

The two halves of a dolphin's brain can sleep in shifts, "shutting down" one ........ Read more »

Ridgway, S., Keogh, M., Carder, D., Finneran, J., Kamolnick, T., Todd, M., & Goldblatt, A. (2009) Dolphins maintain cognitive performance during 72 to 120 hours of continuous auditory vigilance. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212(10), 1519-1527. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.027896  

  • May 4, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

Stressful events and adolescent depression: A test of the cognitive diathesis-stress generation theory

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

For decades depression researchers have identified a number of stressful events that are associated with the onset of depression in children and adolescents. Researchers have shown that the experience of specific events, as well as exposure to chronic stress, can lead to the development of depression. But as we know, most people who experience stressful events do not develop clinical depression. Thus, the initial examinations of this phenomenon attempted to identify the genetic and cognitive fac........ Read more »

  • May 4, 2009
  • 07:38 AM

Are Humans Hard-Wired to Torture?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

With the reign of the Bush administration at an end, one issue that has plagued his legacy is the government-sanctioned acts of torture. The United States government was involved with several controversial actions ranging from the indefinite detention of so-called enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, to the outright abuses and torture at Abu Ghraib. The [...]... Read more »

Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioral Study of obedience. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67(4), 371-378. DOI: 10.1037/h0040525  

  • May 4, 2009
  • 04:21 AM

Attention to pain: A neurocognitive model

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Something that really frustrates me is the way psychology can be seen as ‘woolly’ or ’soft’ simply because the constructs being studied can’t be touched or visualised.  So although I don’t think that neuroimaging represents ‘psychological’ constructs in any sort of a one-to-one sense, it is nice to be able to point to research that [...]... Read more »

  • May 4, 2009
  • 01:27 AM

How to avoid common mistakes in agent-based model visualization (eng)

by ---a in

Pretty interesting article just published in JASSS. If you happen to be involved in agent-based simulation design, you know how bad your model can be screwed up by poor visualization. Here are some guidelines you might find useful.

Visualizations are not only important for communicating your results to an audience (wether it is made of fellow-scientists [...]... Read more »

Kornhauser, Daniel and Wilensky, Uri and Rand, William. (2009) Design Guidelines for Agent Based Model Visualization. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 12(2). DOI:  

  • May 4, 2009
  • 12:00 AM

Burma - How an Early Warning from Science was Ignored

by Martin Robbins in The Lay Scientist

It was the most disasterous cyclone-hit in recent times. Over 140,000 people have been confirmed dead with tens of thousands more missing and millions rendered homeless, mostly in the low lying Irrawaddy delta region on the Burmese coast, where even one year on, survivors are facing deficits of foot, water, shelter and sanitation, and the UN have only recently been granted significant access. The damage was done not by the winds of "Cyclone Nargis" however, but by a tidal surge more than ten fee........ Read more »

DAHDOUHGUEBAS, F., JAYATISSA, L., DINITTO, D., BOSIRE, J., LOSEEN, D., & KOEDAM, N. (2005) How effective were mangroves as a defence against the recent tsunami?. Current Biology, 15(12). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.06.008  

  • May 3, 2009
  • 05:34 PM

Does Lithium in Drinking Water Reduce Suicide Rates?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Lithium has long been used as a psychotherapeutic drug, and treatment with lithium demonstrably reduces incidence of suicide. Lithium also occurs naturally in groundwater to varying degrees. This study explores the relative amount of Lithium in groundwater and suicide in 18 municipalities in Oita prefecture, Japan over a period running from 2002 to 2006. There are two principle findings:

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

Ohgami, H., Terao, T., Shiotsuki, I., Ishii, N., & Iwata, N. (2009) Lithium levels in drinking water and risk of suicide. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 194(5), 464-465. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.055798  

  • May 3, 2009
  • 03:32 PM

Stickleblog: Sticklebacks at work

by Sticklematt in Wainwright Lab

Today's Stickleblog deals with a recent paper in the journal Nature by Luke Harmon(a contributor on the blog Dechronization - check it out!), Dolph Schluter, and a number of other folks.The paper features the threespine stickleback species pairs, which have become a famous evolutionary model system in the last several decades. In a few British Columbia lakes, you can find not one but two different kinds of stickleback - a small slim "limnetic" form that eats zooplankton in open areas of the lake........ Read more »

Harmon, L., Matthews, B., Des Roches, S., Chase, J., Shurin, J., & Schluter, D. (2009) Evolutionary diversification in stickleback affects ecosystem functioning. Nature, 458(7242), 1167-1170. DOI: 10.1038/nature07974  

  • May 3, 2009
  • 09:18 AM

9 Influenza Puzzles

by David Bradley in Reactive Reports Chemistry Blog

A research paper published last year aimed to address 9 puzzling things about influenza:

Why is influenza seasonal and ubiquitous, where does the virus hide between epidemics?

Why are the epidemics so fast to spread?

Why do they end so quickly?

Why do countries on similar latitudes have coincidental epidemics?

Why is the serial interval obscure?

Why is the secondary attack [...]... Read more »

Cannell, J., Zasloff, M., Garland, C., Scragg, R., & Giovannucci, E. (2008) On the epidemiology of influenza. Virology Journal, 5(1), 29. DOI: 10.1186/1743-422X-5-29  

  • May 3, 2009
  • 07:45 AM

Bigger is better: the largest phylogenetic tree reconstructed.

by Roberto Keller in Archetype

GenBank, the standard database for genetic information maintained by National Center for Biotechnology Information, has been accumulating DNA sequences for some three decades now. Since its creation in the late 1980s, it has become the de facto repository for genetic information– genetic data must now be submitted to GenBank for a paper to be accepted [...]... Read more »

Goloboff, P., Catalano, S., Marcos Mirande, J., Szumik, C., Salvador Arias, J., Källersjö, M., & Farris, J. (2009) Phylogenetic analysis of 73 060 taxa corroborates major eukaryotic groups. Cladistics. DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2009.00255.x  

  • May 3, 2009
  • 06:00 AM

Evolutionary Novelty: Get Milk?

by Todd Oakley in Evolutionary Novelties

The "Got Milk?" slogan has to be one of the most often mimicked ads of all time.  I did a quick search, and found the figure above, apparently compiled by the milk folks themselves.So, how did animals "Get Milk" in the first place?  In other words, how did this novelty originate during evolution?A new paper published by Lemay et al in Genome Biology has taken advantage of the recently completed genome sequence of the bovine, Bos taurus, and has begun to address this very question.Although I a........ Read more »

Lemay, D., Lynn, D., Martin, W., Neville, M., Casey, T., Rincon, G., Kriventseva, E., Barris, W., Hinrichs, A., Molenaar, A.... (2009) The bovine lactation genome: insights into the evolution of mammalian milk. Genome Biology, 10(4). DOI: 10.1186/gb-2009-10-4-r43  

  • May 3, 2009
  • 05:40 AM

Behavioural conditioning of immune response: antiinflammatory effects can be conditioned to an unrelated stimulus

by Gustav Nilsonne in Evolving Ideas

It has been known for some time that allergic responses can be conditioned. Here is a study showing that the reverse is also possible: behavioural conditioning of the antiallergic response to antihistamines.... Read more »

Goebel, M., Meykadeh, N., Kou, W., Schedlowski, M., & Hengge, U. (2008) Behavioral Conditioning of Antihistamine Effects in Patients with Allergic Rhinitis. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 77(4), 227-234. DOI: 10.1159/000126074  

  • May 3, 2009
  • 04:00 AM

The development of agriculture by the Attini tribe over the past 50 million years.

by Bryan Perkins in Science. Why not?

The Attini tribe rely solely on the cultivation of Fungus Gardens for food. When an Attine Daughter Queen leaves her maternal home, she must carry within her mouth a Nucleus of Fungus to serve as the Starting Culture for her new Garden (Schultz and Brady 2008).... Read more »

Mueller, U., & Rabeling, C. (2008) A breakthrough innovation in animal evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(14), 5287-5288. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0801464105  

Schultz, T., & Brady, S. (2008) Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(14), 5435-5440. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0711024105  

  • May 2, 2009
  • 04:49 PM

Influenza A/Mexico/2009 (H1N1): Absence of crucial virulence marker

by vrr in virology blog

The second RNA segment of the influenza virus genome encodes two proteins, PB1 and PB1-F2.  The latter protein is believed to be an important determinant of virulence of influenza virus. Can we learn anything about the virulence of the new influenza virus H1N1 strains from a study of this protein?

During influenza virus infection, PB1-F2 is [...]... Read more »

  • May 2, 2009
  • 04:27 PM

what history lost, genetics tries to recover

by Greg Fish in weird things

We’ve long assumed that Africa is home to the widest genetic diversity in humans. After all, it’s our ancestral home and it only makes sense that as we spread throughout the world, the genetic variation for each culture and society eventually narrowed. This is why the recent headline about a 10 year study by a team of[...]...... Read more »

Tishkoff, S., Reed, F., Friedlaender, F., Ehret, C., Ranciaro, A., Froment, A., Hirbo, J., Awomoyi, A., Bodo, J., Doumbo, O.... (2009) The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1172257  

  • May 2, 2009
  • 02:23 PM

How fast can influenza change?

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

In blog posts and comments I’ve seen a few people arguing that the Mexico H1N1 influenza virus must have been around for a while — 10 years? 11 years? — because it doesn’t have any really close neighbours based on sequence.  I’m not sure where this is coming from, but the precision of the “11 [...]... Read more »

Jian, J., Chen, G., Lai, C., Hsu, L., Chen, P., Kuo, S., Wu, H., & Shih, S. (2008) Genetic and Epidemiological Analysis of Influenza Virus Epidemics in Taiwan during 2003 to 2006. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 46(4), 1426-1434. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01560-07  

  • May 2, 2009
  • 12:12 PM

Autism and talent: Why?

by Michelle Dawson in The Autism Crisis

Last year, the British Academy and Royal Society held a two-day discussion meeting called "Autism and Talent" which became the basis for a recently published wide-ranging special issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions B. Francesca Happé and Uta Frith, who organized the discussion meeting, write in the special issue's editorial that although "the association of autism with special talent, sometimes at the highest level, cannot be denied" it remains true that "special talents are still l........ Read more »

Heaton, P. (2009) Assessing musical skills in autistic children who are not savants. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1522), 1443-1447. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0327  

Howlin, P., Goode, S., Hutton, J., & Rutter, M. (2009) Savant skills in autism: psychometric approaches and parental reports. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1522), 1359-1367. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0328  

  • May 2, 2009
  • 11:04 AM

The Blitzkrieg of Ungulates in Levant

by Johnny in Ecographica

The region of the Middle East referred to as “Levant” includes modern day Israel, Palestine and Jordon, and there are few places on earth more intensely studied by archaeologists than the birthplace of monotheistic religion. In addition to yielding a vast record of human occupation, culture and war, the archaeological sites within this region also document the decimation of several mammalian species. A couple of days ago (April 29), several Israeli scientists published an article in PLoS One........ Read more »

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