Myrmecomorphy Part of the fun in natural history is playing word detective! Naturalists speak in greek and latin and love mashing together parts of these languages to create new, yet often very descriptive, words. This month, I want to talk a little about an awesome word – MYRMECOMORPHY. This beauteous etymological wonder is derived from from the root [...]
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Nelson, X., & Jackson, R. (2007) Complex display behaviour during the intraspecific interactions of myrmecomorphic jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae). Journal of Natural History, 41(25-28), 1659-1678. DOI: 10.1080/00222930701450504
Screams the tabloid headline… Is this the plotline for a sequel to The Planet of the Apes in which mistreated lab rats rebel against cruel animal experimenters? No, it’s actually an accurate (ok, a bit sensationalized) description of the way … Continue reading →... Read more »
Kingdon, J., Agwanda, B., Kinnaird, M., O'Brien, T., Holland, C., Gheysens, T., Boulet-Audet, M., & Vollrath, F. (2011) A poisonous surprise under the coat of the African crested rat. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1169
Figure 3A (adapted from Komisaruk et al., 2011). Group-based composite view of the clitoral, vaginal, and cervical activation sites, all in the medial paracentral lobule, but regionally differentiated. We interpret this as due to the differential sensory innervation of these genital structures, i.e., clitoris: pudendal nerve, vagina: pelvic nerve,1 and cervix: hypogastric and vagus nerves."Femunulus" is a neologism for "female homuculus" The neuroanatomical definition of homunculus is a "di........ Read more »
Komisaruk, B., Wise, N., Frangos, E., Liu, W., Allen, K., & Brody, S. (2011) Women's Clitoris, Vagina, and Cervix Mapped on the Sensory Cortex: fMRI Evidence. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02388.x
A soothing hug, a cozy blanket, a hot cup of coffee – what’s the connection between these things and what makes them feel so good? Research shows that temperature may be the key to soothing a lonely heart. ... Read more »
Bargh, J.A., & Shalev, I. (2011) The substitutability of physical and social warmth in daily life. Emotion. PMID: 21604871
Bushman, B.J., Wang, M.C., & Anderson, C.A. (2005) Is the curve relating temperature to aggression linear or curvilinear? A response to Bell (2005) and to Cohn and Rotton (2005). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(1), 74-7. PMID: 16060746
Ijzerman, H., & Semin, G.R. (2009) The thermometer of social relations: Mapping social proximity on temperature. Psychological Science, 20(10), 1214-20. PMID: 19732385
Williams, L.E., & Bargh, J.A. (2008) Experiencing physical warmth promotes interpersonal warmth. Science, 322(5901), 606-7. PMID: 18948544
With so many choices and too little time, how can women know the good guys from the bad guys with just one glance?... Read more »
Hill, S., & Buss, D. (2008) The Mere Presence of Opposite-Sex Others on Judgments of Sexual and Romantic Desirability: Opposite Effects for Men and Women. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(5), 635-647. DOI: 10.1177/0146167207313728
Jones, B., DeBruine, L., Little, A., Burriss, R., & Feinberg, D. (2007) Social transmission of face preferences among humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 274(1611), 899-903. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.0205
Parker, J., & Burkley, M. (2009) Who’s chasing whom? The impact of gender and relationship status on mate poaching. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(4), 1016-1019. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.04.022
Place, S., Todd, P., Penke, L., & Asendorpf, J. (2010) Humans show mate copying after observing real mate choices☆. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(5), 320-325. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.02.001
How does the immune system distinguish pathogenic bacteria from probiotic ones in the gut? Have bacteria evolved to evade immune attack in order to survive in our intestines, while at the same time playing a role in maintaining a healthy gut for us? Check out Escaping Anergy for an in-depth analysis and discussion of Round, et al.'s latest published Science paper!... Read more »
Round JL, Lee SM, Li J, Tran G, Jabri B, Chatila TA, & Mazmanian SK. (2011) The Toll-like receptor 2 pathway establishes colonization by a commensal of the human microbiota. Science (New York, N.Y.), 332(6032), 974-7. PMID: 21512004
I’m a strong believer that creativity is important in the workplace: even if you are not in a traditionally “creative” role (let’s say a mechanic) there is still always opportunity to solve some sort of problem that may require creative … Continue reading
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Mueller, J., Goncalo, J., & Kamdar, D. (2011) Recognizing creative leadership: Can creative idea expression negatively relate to perceptions of leadership potential?☆. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47(2), 494-498. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2010.11.010
Nasa reports first evidence of flowing water on Mars says Times of India. NASA better report the evidence now. They actually do report it, but with a good amount of reservation — so unlike of them, if you ask their Arsenic Bacteria – with a title reading, NASA Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing On Mars. [...]... Read more »
Giving a name to a place is an important act. It says a place has meaning, that it should be remembered. For thousands of years, the way we kept track of place names—or toponyms—was by using our memory. Today, we’re not nearly so limited, and the number of toponyms seems to have exploded. Yet oddly [...]... Read more »
Hunn, E. (1994) Place-Names, Population Density, and the Magic Number 500. Current Anthropology, 35(1), 81. DOI: 10.1086/204245
The chemistry of sorrow during nicotine withdrawal.
When you smoke a cigarette, nicotine pops into acetylcholine receptors in the brain, the adrenal glands, and the skeletal muscles, and you get a nicotine rush. Just like alcohol, a cigarette alters the transmission of several important chemical messengers in the brain. “These are not trivial responses,” said Professor Ovide Pomerleau of the University of Michigan Medical School. “It’s like lighting a match in a gasoline factory.”
E........ Read more »
Bacher, I., Houle, S., Xu, X., Zawertailo, L., Soliman, A., Wilson, A., Selby, P., George, T., Sacher, J., Miler, L.... (2011) Monoamine Oxidase A Binding in the Prefrontal and Anterior Cingulate Cortices During Acute Withdrawal From Heavy Cigarette Smoking. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(8), 817-826. DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.82
Their stealthy, nocturnal habits and their penchant for feeding on blood have made them Hollywood B movie stars.
...In South America where vampire bats are common, vampires approach their prey on the ground, galloping quickly and quietly as they sneak up on, bite, and drink the blood from sleeping cows, goats and birds.
Vampire bats are the only mammal that survives solely on blood, and they need to drink it pretty much every day to survive.
...Like other bats, they feed only at night, and........ Read more »
Gracheva, E., Cordero-Morales, J., González-Carcacía, J., Ingolia, N., Manno, C., Aranguren, C., Weissman, J., & Julius, D. (2011) Ganglion-specific splicing of TRPV1 underlies infrared sensation in vampire bats. Nature, 476(7358), 88-91. DOI: 10.1038/nature10245
An interesting new paper has just appeared in the latest online first edition of Cancer Discovery, and discusses a functional classification for evaluating the alterations in breast cancer to ultimately determine which are drivers and passengers. The researchers are essentially using … Continue reading →
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Brough, R, Frankum, JR, Sims, D, Mackay, A, Mendes-Pereira, AM, Bajrami, I, Costa-Cabral, S, Rafiq, R, Ahmad, AS, Cerone, MA.... (2011) Functional Viability Profiles of Breast Cancer. Cancer Discovery. info:/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-11-0107
Li, Y., Prasad, A., Jia, Y., Roy, S., Loison, F., Mondal, S., Kocjan, P., Silberstein, L., Ding, S., & Luo, H. (2011) Pretreatment with phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) inhibitor SF1670 augments the efficacy of granulocyte transfusion in a clinically relevant mouse model. Blood, 117(24), 6702-6713. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2010-09-309864
SUMMARY: The showiest bustards live fast and die young ... Read more »
Fastened to the wall of the College of Eastern Utah’s Prehistoric Museum in Price, there’s an Allosaurus doing an excellent Gene Simmons impression. The bust was created by David A. Thomas – perhaps best known for his Albertosaurus and Pentaceratops mounts at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History – and he gave the Jurassic [...]... Read more »
Schulp, A.; Mulder, E.; Schwenk, K. (2002) Did mosasaurs have forked tongues?. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, 84(3), 359-371. info:/
Why do we get old and die? Why hasn't natural selection "weeded out" those genes responsible for age-related declines? ... Read more »
Click here to view gallery... Read more »
Simons, D., & Chabris, C. (2011) What People Believe about How Memory Works: A Representative Survey of the U.S. Population. PLoS ONE, 6(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022757
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
Everyone loves to hear a good story. And if you are reading our blog, you probably love to tell stories, too. A good story is essential to effective communication and persuasion, and that sort of defines our wheel-house. But I digress… Sometimes stories are traditional “once upon a time” sorts of tales, but more often [...]
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You’re not too old for a story (but you mi........ Read more »
Berger J. (2011) Arousal Increases Social Transmission of Information. Psychological science. PMID: 21690315
Lots has been written about the scientific method (and even I have written about it in a minor way in the past). The cycle of “make hypothesis, make predictions, test predictions, revise hypothesis, repeat” is the main thing people focus on when talking about how scientific progress happens. What’s less talked about is where the hypothesis comes from in the first place, which starts with someone (maybe you, dear reader) noticing something that needs to be explained. This is ........ Read more »
Kondrashov N, Pusic A, Stumpf CR, Shimizu K, Hsieh AC, Xue S, Ishijima J, Shiroishi T, & Barna M. (2011) Ribosome-mediated specificity in Hox mRNA translation and vertebrate tissue patterning. Cell, 145(3), 383-97. PMID: 21529712
This article was recently featured in the Tampa Tribune Newspaper – a discussion with experts about alternative nuclear power. Enjoy! We are in an increasingly energy-hungry world. As we sit enjoying breakfast in well-lit, air conditioned homes, Nigeria is crippled by power outages. The most rapidly developing African nation is blighted by near-continuous black-outs. At … Continue reading »... Read more »
F. Sokolov,, K. Fukuda,, & H.P. Nawada. (2005) Thorium fuel cycle — Potential benefits and challenges. Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials Section (IAEA). info:/
For many, the 1980s represent social unrest and wardrobe disasters. But amidst the strikes and the legwarmers, the 1980s gave us much to be thankful for. For cancer scientists, it was a Renaissance period – a decade during which cancer research came of age and (unlike many of us) got a proper haircut. Cancer Research [...]... Read more »
Downward J, Yarden Y, Mayes E, Scrace G, Totty N, Stockwell P, Ullrich A, Schlessinger J, & Waterfield MD. (1984) Close similarity of epidermal growth factor receptor and v-erb-B oncogene protein sequences. Nature, 307(5951), 521-7. PMID: 6320011
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