Post List

  • October 28, 2010
  • 09:50 AM

Righties and Lefties: Does Hand Preference Influence Self-Perception of the Body?

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

When we grow as people, we often gravitate toward learning to use our right hand or left-hand for motor activity, whether for throwing a football or writing our names in grade school. While this is often taken for granted as a part of normal physical development and even comes to represent a small portion of who we are as individuals, have you ever wondered how “handedness” develops? How does our handedness affect our self-perceptions and the way we perceive the world around us? A st........ Read more »

Linkenauger SA, Witt JK, Bakdash JZ, Stefanucci JK, & Proffitt DR. (2009) Asymmetrical body perception: a possible role for neural body representations. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 20(11), 1373-80. PMID: 19788528  

  • October 28, 2010
  • 08:33 AM

Warning! Climate change is a fire hazard

by Vivienne in Outdoor Science

Here’s some bad news. Wildfires triggered by heat waves – like those that swept through Russia this summer – could dominate the coming century. Research by NASA’s Dr Olga Pechony and Dr Drew Shindell suggests hotter weather could take over from people as the controlling force behind the world’s blazes. Firefighters and governments may need [...]... Read more »

Pechony O, & Shindell DT. (2010) Driving forces of global wildfires over the past millennium and the forthcoming century. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20974914  

  • October 28, 2010
  • 08:32 AM

Bacterial cell division and membrane potential

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Bacterial cell division is usually quite a regular business. As I mentioned previously, not all bacteria use the regular FtsZ ring method of dividing, but for those that do division is mostly a matter of lining the right proteins along the middle of the bacteria, and then contracting a little ring of protein (FtsZ) around the centre of the bacteria to split the one cell into two cells.Many of the more critical proteins in the process are membrane-bound, in particular the Min proteins, which in E........ Read more »

Strahl H, & Hamoen LW. (2010) Membrane potential is important for bacterial cell division. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(27), 12281-6. PMID: 20566861  

  • October 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Maternal Diet Programs Metabolism in Offspring

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

Regular readers will recall the many posts on the issue of intra-uterine epigenetic programming, that is now believed by many to be one of the key drivers of the childhood obesity epidemic.
As more and more human and experimental evidence for this hypothesis accumulates, it is becoming increasingly evident that the intra-uterine environment may play a [...]... Read more »

  • October 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Introducing DAMIEN – the brain’s default mode network

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Numerous studies involving functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain, tell us that chronic back pain (CBP) alters brain function well beyond the feeling of pain and can cause impairments like depression, impaired decision-making and sleep disturbance [1,2]. It was Baliki’s group in 2008 which confirmed for the first time that CBP disrupts the [...]... Read more »

[1] Apkarian AV, Sosa Y, Krauss BR, Thomas PS, Fredrickson BE, Levy RE, Harden RN, & Chialvo DR. (2004) Chronic pain patients are impaired on an emotional decision-making task. Pain, 108(1-2), 129-36. PMID: 15109516  

[2] Baliki MN, Geha PY, Apkarian AV, & Chialvo DR. (2008) Beyond feeling: chronic pain hurts the brain, disrupting the default-mode network dynamics. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 28(6), 1398-403. PMID: 18256259  

[3] Beckmann, C., DeLuca, M., Devlin, J., & Smith, S. (2005) Investigations into resting-state connectivity using independent component analysis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 360(1457), 1001-1013. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2005.1634  

  • October 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Maternal Weight Gain Puts Child at Risk

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many mothers-to-be relish the idea of 9 months of eating for two and giving in to cravings of pickles and ice cream. But, a new study indicates that women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy are more likely to have heavier babies, and these children may grow up with long-term adverse health consequences. The authors [...]... Read more »

Crane JM, White J, Murphy P, Burrage L, & Hutchens D. (2009) The effect of gestational weight gain by body mass index on maternal and neonatal outcomes. Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada : JOGC , 31(1), 28-35. PMID: 19208280  

Dietz PM, Callaghan WM, & Sharma AJ. (2009) High pregnancy weight gain and risk of excessive fetal growth. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 201(1), 510-6. PMID: 19576373  

Rode L, Hegaard HK, Kjaergaard H, Møller LF, Tabor A, & Ottesen B. (2007) Association between maternal weight gain and birth weight. Obstetrics and gynecology, 109(6), 1309-15. PMID: 17540802  

Viswanathan M, Siega-Riz AM, Moos MK, Deierlein A, Mumford S, Knaack J, Thieda P, Lux LJ, & Lohr KN. (2008) Outcomes of maternal weight gain. Evidence report/technology assessment, 1-223. PMID: 18620471  

  • October 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Growing big brains

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

We think that good environments make for good brains, particularly when people are young. Parents have been known to obsess a little about whether their kid is getting the right kind of experiences.

If this is true, this guy must have read a looooooot of books.

Joking aside, we normally think about early experiences as influencing subtle things about the brain. Those early experiences might give you some extra connections, tweak a little wiring here and there. But you wouldn't expect someon........ Read more »

Gonda A., Trokovic N., Herczeg G., Laurila A., & Merilä J. (2010) Predation- and competition-mediated brain plasticity in Rana temporaria tadpoles. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23(11), 2300-2308. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02066.x  

  • October 28, 2010
  • 06:14 AM

Immunological standoff

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

TRegs infiltrate into a tumor There’s increasing evidence supporting the notion that tumors are often not rejected by the immune system because regulatory T cells actively block the immune response to the tumor cells. 1 That means that within the tumor, two branches of the immune response are fighting it out. If the TRegs win, [...]... Read more »

  • October 28, 2010
  • 05:43 AM

Sons of the conquerers: the story of India?

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

The past ten years has obviously been very active in the area of human genomics, but in the domain of South Asian genetic relationships in a world wide context it has seen veritable revolutions and counter-revolutions. The final outlines are still to be determined. In the mid-1990s the conventional wisdom was that South Asians were [...]... Read more »

Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Mait Metspalu, Ying Choi, Reedik Mägi, Irene Gallego Romero, Pedro Soares, Mannis van Oven, Doron M. Behar, Siiri Rootsi, Georgi Hudjashov.... (2010) Population Genetic Structure in Indian Austroasiatic speakers: The Role of Landscape Barriers and Sex-specific Admixture. Mol Biol Evol. info:/10.1093/molbev/msq288

  • October 28, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Public attitudes towards corporate manslaughter reveal desire for moral accountability and more meaningful regulation

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Mediating Punitiveness: Understanding Public Attitudes towards Work-Related Fatality Cases From European Journal of Criminology It has been suggested that public opinion about crime and justice drives the adoption of harsher and more emotive criminal justice policy via a process of ‘penal populism’, as politicians are willing to respond uncritically. This paper presents the findings of [...]... Read more »

  • October 28, 2010
  • 05:24 AM

better protein pharmacokinetics with a tail

by 96well in Reportergene

A combined protein/polymer-engineering approach prolongs protein circulation and enhance drug accumulation in tumours.
Consider insulin and you will have no doubts that a protein could be a drug. As proteins are coded by a corresponding DNA, the application of recombinant DNA has been largely exploited in clinics to provide patients with therapeutic 'recombinant' proteins. Among the advantages of owing a potential pharmacon on a plasmid, and growing such a marketable molecule in cell cultures, i........ Read more »

  • October 28, 2010
  • 05:11 AM

Soldier, Fighting is So Manly...

by Ultmo167 in Strong Silent Types

Humphries (2010) explores how real world eventualities clashed with sociocultural and economic imperatives to create the great denial that soldiers fighting in the Great War had not been traumatised by their experiences.... Read more »

  • October 28, 2010
  • 04:24 AM

The Social Comparison Bias - or why we recommend new candidates who don't compete with our own strengths

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Whether it's a gift for small talk or a knack for arithmetic, many of us have something we feel we're particularly good at. What happens from an early age is that this strength then becomes important for our self-esteem, which affects our behaviour in various ways. For example, children tend to choose friends who excel on different dimensions than themselves, presumably to protect their self-esteem from threat. A new study reveals another consequence - 'the social comparison bias' - that's relev........ Read more »

Garcia, S., Song, H., & Tesser, A. (2010) Tainted recommendations: The social comparison bias. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 113(2), 97-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2010.06.002  

  • October 28, 2010
  • 02:54 AM

The Hidden Curriculum in Medical Education

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

In medical education these days a lot has improved in the formal curriculum. The CanMeds and intensive evaluations were put into formal education programs. Moreover, courses on communication skills, ethics, professionalism etc. were introduced. Unfortunately some research show an erosion of communication skills and attitudes during clinical internship. This has been attributed to the [...]

Related posts:The Hidden and Informal Curriculum During Medical Education
Formal, Informal, and Hidden ........ Read more »

  • October 28, 2010
  • 02:40 AM

What's the Significance of P(SI)?

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

Another attempt at making sense of Bems upcoming PSI phenomena paper. Please leave comments. Especially the statistically minded...... Read more »

Bem, Daryl. (2010) Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/10.1037/a0021524

  • October 28, 2010
  • 01:50 AM

AquAdvantage update

by Anastasia Bodnar in Biofortified

In Risk assessment and mitigation of AquAdvantage salmon I discussed exactly what Aqua Bounty was asking permission from the FDA to do, as well as the environmental, animal welfare, and human health concerns associated with the AquAvantage fish in comparison to non-transgenic farmed salmon. The Center for Food Safety has a “new” document to bring to the discussion: an opinion (pdf) written by the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal a........ Read more »

L. Fredrik Sundstro ̈m, Wendy E. Tymchuk, Mare Lo ̃hmus, & Robert H. Devlin. (2009) Sustained predation effects of hatchery-reared transgenic coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch in semi-natural environments. Journal of Applied Ecology, 762-769. info:/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01668.x

  • October 28, 2010
  • 12:01 AM

What do we do with forecasts of the future?

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

Via Garry Peterson  I discovered this post by Simon Donner about forecasts of this year's massive coral bleaching event in the Carribbean.
Donner and colleagues published a paper in PNAS in 2007 in which they calculated that heat waves that cause massive coral bleaching, like a previous event in 2005, had gone from being 1-in-1000-year events to a probability of once every 10-50 years during the 1990s, and by the 2030s will occur every 1-2 years. This year's event, says Donner, i........ Read more »

  • October 27, 2010
  • 11:38 PM

Food for thought: Cooking in human evolution

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

Did cooking make us human by providing the foundation for the rapid growth of the human brain during evolution?  If so, what does this tell us about the diet that we should be eating, and can we turn back the culinary clock to an evolutionarily ideal diet?  A number of provocations over the last couple of weeks have me thinking about evolution and diet, especially what our teeth and guts tell us about how our ancestors got their food.
I did a post on this a while back at,........ Read more »

Rosenberg, K., & Trevathan, W. (2005) Bipedalism and human birth: The obstetrical dilemma revisited. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 4(5), 161-168. DOI: 10.1002/evan.1360040506  

Suwa, G., Kono, R., Simpson, S., Asfaw, B., Lovejoy, C., & White, T. (2009) Paleobiological Implications of the Ardipithecus ramidus Dentition. Science, 326(5949), 69-69. DOI: 10.1126/science.1175824  

Wrangham, R. (2003) 'Cooking as a biological trait'. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular , 136(1), 35-46. DOI: 10.1016/S1095-6433(03)00020-5  

  • October 27, 2010
  • 11:18 PM

New papers about developmental stochasticity, species delimitation, and functional genomic neighborhoods.

by Victor Hanson-Smith in Evolution, Development, and Genomics

posted by Victor Hanson-Smith Here are three articles—published this week!—that might be relevant to your interests. 1. Stochasticity versus determinism in development: a false dichotomy? Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, et al., Nature Reviews Genetics, November 2010 The developmental trajectory (from embryo to death) … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 27, 2010
  • 10:53 PM

Big data

by Michelle Greene in NeurRealism

It took 13 years to crunch through the 3 billion base pairs that make up the human genome. These data have been violating our assumptions ever since. My introductory biology textbook, published in 1996, speculates that there might be up to 100,000 genes in the genome. It turns out there are a lot less: about 20,000-30,000 by more recent estimates. The Human Genome Project sequenced only a few individuals, and combined all into one genome. However, many of the big questions we have about genetics........ Read more »

Durbin, R., Altshuler, D., Durbin, R., Abecasis, G., Bentley, D., Chakravarti, A., Clark, A., Collins, F., De La Vega, F., Donnelly, P.... (2010) A map of human genome variation from population-scale sequencing. Nature, 467(7319), 1061-1073. DOI: 10.1038/nature09534  

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