Post List

  • June 30, 2010
  • 11:31 AM

Deceitful Male Topi Raise False Alarms to Keep Females Nearby

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Out on the grassy plains of Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve, a group of six female topi antelope (Damaliscus lunatus) walk across the savanna. It is the time of the annual rut - a one and a half month period in which most males control small patches of land and try to attract adult females which, for one day, are in estrus. The small group walks by one of the lone males, but just as they reach the edge of his territory he snorts an alarm. It means that somewhere, out ahead of them, a preda........ Read more »

  • June 30, 2010
  • 11:30 AM

Are you are real skeptic, or are you just faithing it?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

And by faithing it, I mean using faith rather than critical analysis of the available information to make important decisions about what to regard as valid. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • June 30, 2010
  • 11:15 AM

Distressed Ravens Show That Consolation Is For The Birds, Too

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Humans have long tried to separate themselves from other animals on the basis of characters that are perceived to be unique to us, such as tool design and use, planning for the future and our capacity for empathy.... Read more »

  • June 30, 2010
  • 10:40 AM

Link between Sexual Motivation State and Dopamine Release in the mPOA?

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Is an increase in dopamine release in the medial preoptic area (mPOA) specifically related to male physical arousal and sexual behavior or does it have a bigger role in sexual motivation? Kleitz-Nelson, Dominguez, Cornil & Ball (2010) investigated this question by using the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). The male quail does not an have an intromittent organ and therefore does not require an erection to successfully copulate. The researchers collected and measured the dopamine conte........ Read more »

  • June 30, 2010
  • 10:37 AM

Sauropod Dinosaurs Used the Earth’s Heat to Warm Their Nests

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Even though they grew to be some of the largest animals ever to walk the earth, sauropod dinosaurs started off small. From numerous nesting sites found all over the world it appears that gravid female sauropods, rather than putting all their effort into laying a few enormous eggs, created large nests of numerous, relatively small [...]... Read more »

Gerald Grellet-Tinner . (2010) A new Argentinean nesting site showing neosauropod dinosaur reproduction in a Cretaceous hydrothermal environment. Nature Communications, 1-8. info:/10.1038/ncomms1031

  • June 30, 2010
  • 10:13 AM

The exploration of the eye as an optical instrument: the last 400 years

by Pablo Artal in Optics confidential

A brief summary of how the optics of the eye was explored since Galileo's time. An exciting journey...... Read more »

  • June 30, 2010
  • 09:42 AM

The Reality of Crime Scene Investigation. Part II: The CSI Effect in the Courtroom

by Terri Sundquist in Promega Connections

In a recent paper, Evan Durnal from the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Central Missouri listed common myths that are created and perpetuated by crime scene investigation (CSI) television shows and summarized the effects of these shows on the judicial system (1). In part I of this two-part blog entry, I presented Durnal’s [...]... Read more »

  • June 30, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

Jumping Genes, Taking Names

by Brit Trogen in Science in Seconds


Everyone wants to stand out in the crowd. And thanks to new findings independently reported by three labs in this week’s Cell, we all might be a lot more unique than we thought.

The identity-inducing culprit? Everyone’s favorite jumping genes: transposons. Yes, the genes that just can’t sit still—the same ones Barbara McClintock owes a large part of her fame to—are making a comeback in a major way. Because what self-respecting gene wants to wait for that lumberi........ Read more »

Iskow, R., McCabe, M., Mills, R., Torene, S., Pittard, W., Neuwald, A., Van Meir, E., Vertino, P., & Devine, S. (2010) Natural Mutagenesis of Human Genomes by Endogenous Retrotransposons. Cell, 141(7), 1253-1261. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.05.020  

Beck, C., Collier, P., Macfarlane, C., Malig, M., Kidd, J., Eichler, E., Badge, R., & Moran, J. (2010) LINE-1 Retrotransposition Activity in Human Genomes. Cell, 141(7), 1159-1170. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.05.021  

  • June 30, 2010
  • 08:31 AM

Are you fluttering your eyelashes at me or just feeling creative?

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

An intriguing new study has found that the rate at which students blink (as measured over six minutes using electrodes placed near the eyes) is associated with both their divergent and convergent creativity scores, but not their intelligence. Divergent creativity was measured with the 'alternate uses task', which required the students to come up with as many original uses for a brick, shoe and newspaper as possible. Lower and higher eye blink rate was associated with poorer performance, whilst m........ Read more »

  • June 30, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Weight Management Saves Drug Costs in Type 2 Diabetes

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

A few days ago, I blogged about the important clinical improvement with weight loss in the ongoing Look AHEAD trial seen in patients with type 2 diabetes and knee pain.
A new paper from the same study, by Redmon and colleagues on behalf of the Look AHEAD investigators, published in this month’s edition of Diabetes Care, [...]... Read more »

  • June 30, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The search for intelligent television

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

The electronic program guide (EPG) on my digital cable box is next to useless, it’s a vast scrollable entity with no search function, same goes for the PVR. There are categories and various ways to jump between days and pages, but it’s not like searching on the web, which is what you really want, that [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tech TalkThe search for intelligent television
... Read more »

Mila Nadrljanski, & V. Batinica. (2010) Intelligent media agents. Int. J. Intelligent Defence Support Systems, 3(1/2), 128-138. info:/10.1504/IJIDSS.2010.03368

  • June 30, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Apparently now clumsiness causes childhood obesity.

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

Only it's not called clumsiness, it's called, "developmental coordination disorder" (DCD) and it reportedly is found in 5-6% of school aged children and according to the authors of a study published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, kids with DCD are at higher risk of overweight and obesity.The study looked at 2083 children of whom 111 were deemed to suffer from DCD (excluding kids who had physical or mental illnesses).At baseline the Grade 4 DCD kids were already behind the........ Read more »

  • June 30, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Cancer and Diabetes: Any Connection?

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog

Type 2 diabetes is associated with higher incidence of several cancers: liver, pancreas, uterus, colo-rectal, breast, and bladder.  On a brighter note, diabetics have lower risk of prostate cancer. That’s about all we know for sure, according to a report from an expert panel convened by the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society [...]... Read more »

Giovannucci, E., Harlan, D., Archer, M., Bergenstal, R., Gapstur, S., Habel, L., Pollak, M., Regensteiner, J., & Yee, D. (2010) Diabetes and Cancer: A Consensus Report. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. DOI: 10.3322/caac.20078  

  • June 30, 2010
  • 03:49 AM

…the Science of Dragon slaying and Cop killing

by Rift in Psycasm

At the end of semester I always experience a kind of slump. I try to put it off as long as possible but it generally wins. I can broadly categorize it as a period of really high productivity during exams, then a lull where I have no external drive to be productive. I start my [...]... Read more »

Przybylski, A., Rigby, C., & Ryan, R. (2010) A motivational model of video game engagement. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 154-166. DOI: 10.1037/a0019440  

Gackenbach, J., Kuruvilla, B., & Dopko, R. (2009) Video game play and dream bizarreness. Dreaming, 19(4), 218-231. DOI: 10.1037/a0018145  

  • June 30, 2010
  • 12:04 AM

Are we conscious or unconscious consumers?

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

What if I put you in a brain scanner for a few minutes and told you to stare at a black square, then I looked at your neural activity, and then I told you: “You might as well stop fighting those hidden urges. Go out and splurge on that 77’ Pinto station wagon you’ve wanted all these years.”Would you glare at me as if I were some kind of mad scientist turned psychic-wannabe? Or would you nod in embarrassment because you read about a study that was recently published in the Journal of Neur........ Read more »

Tusche A, Bode S, & Haynes JD. (2010) Neural responses to unattended products predict later consumer choices. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(23), 8024-31. PMID: 20534850  

  • June 29, 2010
  • 08:49 PM

Effectiveness of Antidepressants

by moodrhythms in Mood Rhythms

A while ago I came across an article by a researcher named Joanna Moncrieff who has written a number of reviews of antidepressant meta-analyses. I believe what she said at that time is still relevant today. In an article titled, “Are antidepressants as effective as Claimed? No, They Are Not Effective at All”, she pointed out in the article what I had also noticed about some of the more commonly used depression tests. Rating scales of tests often contained items like sleeping difficulties, an........ Read more »

Moncrieff J. (2007) Are antidepressants as effective as claimed? No, they are not effective at all. Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 52(2), 96. PMID: 17375864  

  • June 29, 2010
  • 08:06 PM

#evol2010 day 4: In which the race is not always to the swift, and giving up on sex isn't a dead end

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

The final day of Evolution 2010 featured a fantastic series of talks in the ASN Young Investigators Symposium, and marked the premiere of the iEvoBio sister conference, which ran concurrently today. Perhaps not surprisingly, the #ievobio tag quickly outran the #evol2010 tag on Twitter.

I'm ending the conference with a final wrap-up audiocast with the crew from Evolution, Development, and Genomics, and then hopefully a quick run before the closing banquet.

.flickr-photo { }.flickr-framewide { ........ Read more »

  • June 29, 2010
  • 05:49 PM

NEWS: Texas canyon carved in just three days

by Casey Rentz in Natural Selections

Normally, geologic events happen over hundreds of thousands of years. In January, I was surprised to read that the Mediterranean sea may have filled with ocean water in a mere two years. (Check out that post at the Lay Scientist.)

Again--I am surprised to find that in a mere three days, floodwaters carved this impressive 2.2-kilometer-long and 7-meter-deep canyon in solid Texas bedrock. In 2002, a particularly menacing rainstorm sent water gushing over Canyon Dam in central Texas, carving thi........ Read more »

  • June 29, 2010
  • 05:44 PM

Social Networks Help World Cup Spectators Cope With Chance

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Given the reduced volume of World Cup related posts in my Twitter and Facebook streams, it appears that soccer fever is abating the in US. The reach of the World Cup has been far this year, thanks in part to the role of social media outlets in encouraging discussion and raising awareness about the sport. For a few weeks, Twitter and Facebook were inundated with World Cup related posts, with

... Read more »

  • June 29, 2010
  • 04:45 PM

A bull in a bear market: Social media and the scientist “shortage”

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Joshua Ward thinks scientists have to embrace social media.

Okay. As a blogger, someone on Twitter, and so on, I guess I can’t disagree with that.

But almost didn’t get to that point, because I just about did a spit-take when I read:

In the face of basic scientist shortages in many of the leading fields(...)
Shortage? What shortage? I rarely read about institutions unable to find good people. I read a lot about institutions with bona fide research positions that are swamped by application........ Read more »

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