Masaki Hoso reported that the snail-eating snake, Pareas iwasakii, has lopsided jaws to better enable it to tug snails out of their shells. Most snails have shells that whirl clockwise (to the right)...
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Hoso, M., Asami, T., & Hori, M. (2007) Right-handed snakes: convergent evolution of asymmetry for functional specialization. Biology Letters, 3(2), 169-172. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2006.0600
The authors details the findings of 387 consecutive patients with normal electrocardiograms admitted for a chief complaint of chest pain. The authors report that 17% (67/387) of patients had acute coronary syndrome ACS). However, the authors define ACS as...... Read more »
Turnipseed, S., Trythall, W., Diercks, D., Laurin, E., Kirk, J., Smith, D., Main, D., & Amsterdam, E. (2009) Frequency of Acute Coronary Syndrome in Patients with Normal Electrocardiogram Performed during Presence or Absence of Chest Pain. Academic Emergency Medicine, 16(6), 495-499. DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2009.00420.x
Two examples of items used to test anatomical knowledge
How well do you think you could do on an anatomy quiz like this? If you frequent the south London public library my guess would be not very good. That’s what University College London (UCL) researchers have found in a publication that recreated a 1970 study to [...]... Read more »
Weinman, J., Yusuf, G., Berks, R., Rayner, S., & Petrie, K. (2009) How accurate is patients' anatomical knowledge : a cross-sectional, questionnaire study of six patient groups and a general public sample. BMC Family Practice, 10(1), 43. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-10-43
Classic risk management literature acknowledges four ways of dealing with risk after establishing a risk matrix: Avoid, Reduce, Transfer and Retain or Accept. However, as it turns out, there are six ways, not just four ways to deal with risk ,as the classic risk matrix indicates. Two more are Exploit and Ignore. The former stems [...]... Read more »
Children with autism often shown repetitive behaviours, ranging from repeated movements to compulsively collecting or arranging objects and desiring that daily routines are always done in the exact same way. Repetitive behaviour is often considered one of the three core features of autistic disorders (alongside difficulties in social interaction, and difficulties in communication).SSRI antidepressants are often used to try to treat repetitive behaviours. Unfortunately, they don't work, at least ........ Read more »
Bryan H. King, MD; Eric Hollander, MD; Linmarie Sikich, MD; James T. McCracken, MD; Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD; Joel D. Bregman, MD; Craig L. Donnelly, MD; Evdokia Anagnostou, MD; Kimberly Dukes, PhD; Lisa Sullivan, PhD; Deborah Hirtz, MD; Ann Wagner, PhD. (2009) Lack of Efficacy of Citalopram in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and High Levels of Repetitive Behavior. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 66(6), 583-590. DOI: http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/66/6/583
Deep in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh, where the mighty Siang river carves its way through the Himalayan wall, nestled the Adi hamlet of Tuting, surrounded by a sea of green—overgrown fields, verdant mountains, the river itself deep green. The very moonlight seemed green as it shone on the ghostly mist rising from the gorge. Eighteen years ago, a search for India's last Takin—that... Read more »
Madhusudan Katti. (2001) Vocal communication and territoriality during the non-breeding season in a migrant warbler. Current Science, 80(3), 419-423. DOI: http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/feb102001/419.pdf
SWADDLE, J., & PAGE, L. (2007) High levels of environmental noise erode pair preferences in zebra finches: implications for noise pollution. Animal Behaviour, 74(3), 363-368. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.01.004
Fuller, R., Warren, P., & Gaston, K. (2007) Daytime noise predicts nocturnal singing in urban robins. Biology Letters, 3(4), 368-370. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0134
The biology of the cell is very, very complex. New important mechanisms and systems of regulation are still being discovered, and many of those already known remain incompletely understood. But every newly discovered system offers the possibility of ways to reign in cancer. Given that cancerous cells are normal cells run wild and mutant, overtaken by errant molecular machinery, we'd like to think that there are simple ways to bring it all crashing down - a single molecule that will be a spanner ........ Read more »
Kota, J., Chivukula, R., O'Donnell, K., Wentzel, E., Montgomery, C., Hwang, H., Chang, T., Vivekanandan, P., Torbenson, M., & Clark, K. (2009) Therapeutic microRNA Delivery Suppresses Tumorigenesis in a Murine Liver Cancer Model. Cell, 137(6), 1005-1017. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.04.021
I have been struggling recently to find ways to rehash my post on scientific authority without causing NPG any further distress. This evening, on the train journey home, I think I finally found a way because I read one of the most remarkable scientific papers I have ever come across.
The paper, by Keating et al., brings us directly to the ongoing saga of the British Chiropractic Association’s libel suit against Simon Singh. It was published in 2005 in the open access journal Chiropractic ........ Read more »
It’s a hard knock life for deep-sea animals. It’s really cold in the winter. It’s really cold in the summer. It’s dark and wet…like Boston and Guinness. Your only source of food, what little you get, is far from fresh and may have passed through the rectum of more than one animal. If you are [...]... Read more »
Gooday, A., Levin, L., Aranda da Silva, A., Bett, B., Cowie, G., Dissard, D., Gage, J., Hughes, D., Jeffreys, R., & Lamont, P. (2009) Faunal responses to oxygen gradients on the Pakistan margin: A comparison of foraminiferans, macrofauna and megafauna. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 56(6-7), 488-502. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.10.003
Cowie, G., & Levin, L. (2009) Benthic biological and biogeochemical patterns and processes across an oxygen minimum zone (Pakistan margin, NE Arabian Sea). Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 56(6-7), 261-270. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.10.001
The recent meeting of the Convention of the Association for Psychological Science had a session on the cognitive science of religion. One of the presentations was from Kristin Laurin on work by her and Aaron C Kay at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.I didn't see the session, but I have dug up the papers describing their work, and it's corking stuff.What they set out to investigate was whether people who feel like they are not in control of their lives, and feel anxious as a result, turn to........ Read more »
Kay, A., Gaucher, D., Napier, J., Callan, M., & Laurin, K. (2008) God and the government: Testing a compensatory control mechanism for the support of external systems. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(1), 18-35. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.52
LAURIN, K., KAY, A., & MOSCOVITCH, D. (2008) On the belief in God: Towards an understanding of the emotional substrates of compensatory control. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(6), 1559-1562. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2008.07.007
Many epidemiological and observational studies have reported that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the elderly. To date, there have been no clinical trials to support these claims, and there are just as many studies that report conflicting results. In a recent issue [...]... Read more »
BREITNER, J. (2003) NSAIDs and Alzheimer's disease: how far to generalise from trials?. The Lancet Neurology, 2(9), 527-527. DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(03)00498-8
Breitner, J., Haneuse, S., Walker, R., Dublin, S., Crane, P., Gray, S., & Larson, E. (2009) Risk of dementia and AD with prior exposure to NSAIDs in an elderly community-based cohort. Neurology, 72(22), 1899-1905. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181a18691
Cacabelos, R. (2008) Pharmacogenomics and therapeutic prospects in dementia. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 258(S1), 28-47. DOI: 10.1007/s00406-007-1006-x
Hayden, K., Zandi, P., Khachaturian, A., Szekely, C., Fotuhi, M., Norton, M., Tschanz, J., Pieper, C., Corcoran, C., Lyketsos, C.... (2007) Does NSAID use modify cognitive trajectories in the elderly?: The Cache County Study. Neurology, 69(3), 275-282. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000265223.25679.2a
, . (2008) Cognitive Function Over Time in the Alzheimer's Disease Anti-inflammatory Prevention Trial (ADAPT): Results of a Randomized, Controlled Trial of Naproxen and Celecoxib. Archives of Neurology, 65(7), 896-905. DOI: 10.1001/archneur.2008.65.7.nct70006
Szekely, C., Breitner, J., Fitzpatrick, A., Rea, T., Psaty, B., Kuller, L., & Zandi, P. (2008) NSAID use and dementia risk in the Cardiovascular Health Study*: Role of APOE and NSAID type. Neurology, 70(1), 17-24. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000284596.95156.48
Vlad, S., Miller, D., Kowall, N., & Felson, D. (2008) Protective effects of NSAIDs on the development of Alzheimer disease. Neurology, 70(19), 1672-1677. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000311269.57716.63
Ecologists have discovered yet another astonishing way that plants defy all manner of physical obstacles to get what they need. Researchers have discovered alpine plant roots that grow upwards, against gravity, and out of the soil…into the snow.
A group of researchers centered at VU University in Amsterdam discovered the plant roots high in the mountains [...]... Read more »
Onipchenko, V., Makarov, M., van Logtestijn, R., Ivanov, V., Akhmetzhanova, A., Tekeev, D., Ermak, A., Salpagarova, F., Kozhevnikova, A., & Cornelissen, J. (2009) New nitrogen uptake strategy: specialized snow roots. Ecology Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01331.x
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
I was recently reading a facebook discussion that began when someone complained about relatively skinny people who call themselves fat. “Stop calling yourself fat if you wear a size 4. That’s not fat, so stop it.” The discussion when on, mostly about who has a claim to the ‘fat’ title, but sometimes it touched on [...]... Read more »
de Lauzon-Guillain, B., Musher-Eizenman, D., Leporc, E., Holub, S., & Charles, M. (2009) Parental Feeding Practices in the United States and in France: Relationships with Child's Characteristics and Parent's Eating Behavior. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(6), 1064-1069. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2009.03.008
Place your hand over your heart. Now move it to your stomach. How about your thyroid? Ok, that last one is a little trickier, but I’d be shocked to meet anyone who couldn’t do the first two. Well, it’s time to be shocked.
A study published in the journal BMC Family Practice has found an appalling [...]... Read more »
John Weinma, Gibran Yusuf, Robert Berks, Sam Rayner, & Keith Petrie. (2009) How accurate is patients' anatomical knowledge: a cross-sectional, questionnaire study of six patient groups and a general public sample. BMC Family Practice, 10(1). DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-10-43
Imagine one of your hands having a life of its own, reaching, grabbing and clutching whatever it likes. Such a condition exists, is known as anarchic hand syndrome, and usually develops after brain damage to the front of the brain. Famous sufferers include Dr Strangeglove in the eponymous Stanley Kubrick film. Now Al Cheyne and colleagues think they've found a way to simulate this bizarre condition in the lab.Cheyne's team had 16 participants perform a test of sustained attention. Whenever a num........ Read more »
Cheyne, J., Carriere, J., & Smilek, D. (2009) Absent minds and absent agents: Attention-lapse induced alienation of agency. Consciousness and Cognition, 18(2), 481-493. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2009.01.005
A couple years ago, scientists studying the wildflower American searocket, noticed something funny: when grown in the same pot with sibling seeds, searocket plants grew smaller roots than they did when sharing a pot with unrelated plants. It looked as though searocket plants recognized their siblings, and tried not to compete with them.
If this were a widespread phenomenon, it could dramatically change how biologists think about plant's evolution and ecology. Right now, we think that the huge ........ Read more »
Milla, R., Forero, D., Escudero, A., & Iriondo, J. (2009) Growing with siblings: A common ground for cooperation or for fiercer competition among plants?. Proc. R. Soc. B, 276(1667), 2531-40. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.0369
In the time since the words "swine flu" first dominated the headlines, a group of scientists from three continents have been working to understand the origins of the new virus and to chart its evolutionary course. Today, they have published their timely results just as the World Health Organisation finally moved to phase six in its six-tier system, confirming what most of us already suspected - the world is facing the first global flu pandemic of the 21st century.
The team, led by Gavin Smith a........ Read more »
Smith, G., Vijaykrishna, D., Bahl, J., Lycett, S., Worobey, M., Pybus, O., Ma, S., Cheung, C., Raghwani, J., Bhatt, S.... (2009) Origins and evolutionary genomics of the 2009 swine-origin H1N1 influenza A epidemic. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08182
The risk management literature separates between mitigative actions or strategies and contingent actions and strategies. It is important to keep these two perspectives apart. Why? Because risk management needs to address both sides of the risk: what lies behind the risk (source) and what lies in front of it (consequences). Here is my attempt at [...]... Read more »
Jüttner, U., Peck, H., & Christopher, M. (2003) Supply chain risk management: outlining an agenda for future research. International Journal of Logistics, 6(4), 197-210. DOI: 10.1080/13675560310001627016
There's lots of research suggesting that we may have something like a "number line" in our head: The SNARC effect says that if you normally read numbers from left to right, you're faster to react to small numbers with your left hand, and big numbers with your right hand. Similar research has also found a SNARC effect for letters (a SLARC effect?).
So it might make sense that there would be a similar effect for musical notes. You might call it a SMARC effect, but if you only hear one note at a t........ Read more »
Lidji, P., Kolinsky, R., Lochy, A., & Morais, J. (2007) Spatial associations for musical stimuli: A piano in the head?. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 33(5), 1189-1207. DOI: 10.1037/0096-15184.108.40.2069
Shu Kobayashi (University of Tokyo) and coworkers
have developed a safe, effective protocol for synthesizing
carbonyl molecules, which are foundational chemical entities in
molecular synthesis, using molecular oxygen as the oxidant.
This news feature was written on June 11, 2009.... Read more »
Wang, N., Matsumoto, T., Ueno, M., Miyamura, H., & Kobayashi, S. (2009) A Gold-Immobilized Microchannel Flow Reactor for Oxidation of Alcohols with Molecular Oxygen. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 48(26), 4744-4746. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200900565
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