by David Gorski in Science-Based Medicine
For a change of pace, I want to step back from medicine for this post, although, as you will see (I hope), the study I’m going to discuss has a great deal of relevance to the topics covered regularly on this blog. One of the most frustrating aspects of being a skeptic and championing science-based [...]... Read more »
Prasad, M., Perrin, A., Bezila, K., Hoffman, S., Kindleberger, K., Manturuk, K., & Powers, A. (2009) “There Must Be a Reason”: Osama, Saddam, and Inferred Justification. Sociological Inquiry, 79(2), 142-162. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-682X.2009.00280.x
National Geographic has an interesting report on predator-prey issues in national parks: apparently pregnant moose in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park tend to shift their activity closer to roads before giving birth, in order to avoid predation by grizzly bears.
According to the results of the study, bears tend to be much more wary of roadways than moose. Grizzlies usually give keep at least a 5000 meter clearance, while moose have been recorded giving birth within a scant 45 meters of a road.
One question that needs to be asked immediately is: how do we know moose are doing this to avoid predation? What if they’re just not very bright and haven’t figured out to avoid the roads themselves?
The study answers that question by showing that moose only show this pattern of behavior in areas where bears are present, and that pregnant females have shown closer and closer associations with roads over the years as bear populations have increased in the parks where the research was conducted. Also, it is noteworthy that only pregnant females showed this pattern, which also supports the hypothesis that this is an anti-predator behavior being used to decrease mortality of newborns.
I’m pursuing a career in carnivore conservation, and am extremely intrigued by any story about animals adjusting complex behaviors in response to anthropogenic influences. It would be interesting to look at why bears are so more adverse to roads than moose. The article mentions that bears are more disturbed by the noise of the traffic, but I’d be interested to learn if there is more to it than that. Could it be due to different experiences with poaching, better associative learning abilities, larger home ranges in general, foraging preferences, or something else altogether?
One of the take-home messages from this study is that it’s important to consider information like this when planning parks and other managed areas. Something as simple as the layout of access roads can have a profound impact on the dynamics of populations and how they interact with each other, in ways that can’t always be predicted. Researchers from Denali National Park have studied the moose/bear populations there and have not found the same pattern of behavior as that reported from Grand Teton. Obviously, management plans should be tailored to specific populations, as opposed to automatically assuming that what works for a species in one setting will apply equally as well in another place/time.
Another example of this is an absolutely fascinating Journal of Mammalogy paper that I read recently, Selection of den sites by black bears in the southern Appalachians. This study (which also measured other parameters affecting site selection, such as elevation and slope), done in the Pisgah Bear Sanctuary in North Carolina, showed that females with cubs actually avoid gravel roads more than paved roads, despite the fact that paved roads are usually busier. This seems counterintuitive at first, with females choosing to den much farther from quieter gravel roads and closer to the higher traffic volumes associated with the paved roads in the sanctuary.
Why would mother bears prefer to be near higher traffic paved roads than less-traveled gravel ones? The authors of the study suggest that it is due to the fact that human behavior on paved roads is much more predictable. If you’re cruising down a paved road at a relatively high speed, keeping up with the flow of other cars, chances are that you’re not going to stop, get out, and dally around the roadside.
Gravel roads, on the other hand, are more likely to be used by hikers, campers, and other people that intend to roam around the forest (maybe even pesky biologists? ;P ). Also, the authors suggest that poaching pressure (it appears that this does occur even inside the preserve, unfortunately) could be a factor as well. Male bears and females without cubs didn’t show the stronger aversion to gravel roads, but females with cubs did, suggesting that the avoidance behavior is a defensive mechanism aimed at protecting their offspring from unpredictable intruders.
If the bears have learned that human activity is less predictable when people approach on a gravel than a paved road, it makes sense that females will avoid these areas when they are choosing den sites to house their cubs. I found this to be extremely interesting; I wouldn’t have expected a stronger aversion to gravel roads, but the explanation is pretty convincing when you see all of their data.
Moral of these stories: road layouts within wildlife preserves are complicated by multiple factors, and animals sometimes react to them in ways that initially seem counter-intuitive to we mere humans.
Reynolds-Hogland, M., Mitchell, M., Powell, R., & Brown, D. (2007). SELECTION OF DEN SITES BY BLACK BEARS IN THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS Journal of Mammalogy, 88 (4), 1062-1073 DOI: 10.1644/06-MAMM-A-329R1.1
(Repost from my old blog archives, originally posted 10/13/2007)
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Reynolds-Hogland, M., Mitchell, M., Powell, R., & Brown, D. (2007) SELECTION OF DEN SITES BY BLACK BEARS IN THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS. Journal of Mammalogy, 88(4), 1062-1073. DOI: 10.1644/06-MAMM-A-329R1.1
A recently developed adaptive optics instrument for the two eyes is described. The way on how eventually this system may change the traditional and old fashioned way of testing vision and prescribing spectacles is discussed...... Read more »
Apparently there must be something really special about Paul Kleindorfer. Otherwise there would be no reason for Morris A Cohen and Howard Kunreuther to write their tribute to him in their 2007 article Operations Risk Management: Overview of Paul Kleindorfer’s Contributions. But what is it that makes Paul Kleindorfer so interesting that it compelled [ ... ]... Read more »
Cohen, Morris A, & Kunreuther, Howard. (2007) Operations Risk Management: Overview of Paul Kleindorfer's Contributions. Production and Operations Management, 16(5), 525-541. info:/
I must have driven my parents mad as a child: I’m the eternal 4 year old asking ‘Why’! It’s got me into a lot of trouble over the years when I can’t seem to sit with the status quo, just need to ask the question, understand the reasons things are the way they are – [...]... Read more »
Brown, C., Bannigan, K., & Gill, J. (2009) Questioning: A critical skill in postmodern health-care service delivery. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 56(3), 206-210. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2008.00756.x
If I step aboard a crowded train and see that the only free space is a cramped mid-seat gap, sandwiched between two tired-looking commuters, and faced directly opposite by three further passengers squashed close under a detritus of newspapers and laptops, then I will invariably choose to stand. By seizing the free spot, the unavoidable encroachment into my personal space would soon spoil any comfort that might be derived from resting my legs.A new study suggests my amygdala could be responsible for this aversion. This is the walnut-shaped brain structure, housed deep in the temporal lobe of each hemisphere, that's previously been associated with emotional processing, especially fear and disgust. In a new case report, Daniel Kennedy and colleagues have documented a woman, known in the clinical literature as S.M., who has damage to the amygdala on both sides of her brain, and who appears to have no sense of personal space.When asked to indicate the interpersonal distance at which she felt most comfortable as a female experimenter walked towards her, S.M. chose a gap of 34cm - smaller than any of twenty control participants, whose average preferred distance was 64cm. Moreover, when asked to rate her comfort (from one, "perfectly comfortable", to ten, "extremely uncomfortable") when an experimenter stood in her face, nose-to-nose with direct eye contact, she scored the situation a "one". It was a similar story when an accomplice of the researchers stood unnaturally close to S.M. in a situation that she couldn't have known was part of the experiment. By contrast, the accomplice himself told researchers that he found his proximity to S.M. uncomfortable. S.M. does, however, understand the concept of personal space, and is aware that other people prefer more space than she needs.Kennedy's team said their finding suggests the amygdala may be involved in the strong emotional reaction that underlies personal space violations. To support their case, they scanned the brains of healthy participants and tested what happened to amygdala activation when the participants were told that a researcher was standing nearer or further away from them in the scanning lab. Crucially, when the participants were told that the researcher was nearer to them, their amygdalae activation was increased.An interesting question for future research is how a sense of personal space develops. "It is possible that the amygdala is necessary for learning the association between close distances and aversive outcomes," the researchers said, "rather than triggering innate emotional responses to close others."_________________________________Kennedy, D.P., Glascher, J., Tyszka, J.M., & Adolphs, R. (2009). Personal space regulation by the human amygdala. Nature Neuroscience : 10.1038/nn.2381Further reading: A companion study published in the same issue of Nature Neuroscience and involving the same patient, S.M., suggests, contrary to prior research, that the amygdala is not needed for the rapid detection of fearful faces.
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Kennedy, D.P., Glascher, J., Tyszka, J.M., & Adolphs, R. (2009) Personal space regulation by the human amygdala. Nature Neuroscience. info:/10.1038/nn.2381
Michael Gozin (Tel Aviv University) and coworkers have shown that proteins in mucus promote biochemical reactions under physiological conditions, possibly overturning the assumption that the only role of the mucosal barrier is to provide physical protection for organs. This news feature was written on August 30, 2009.... Read more »
In a recent PLoS Computational Biology article William Stafford Noble highlights few basic principles and strategies for carrying out computational biology experiments.The core guiding principle is simple: Someone unfamiliar with your project should be able to look at your computer files and understand in detail what you did and why. This “someone” could be any of a variety of people: someone who read your published article and wants to try to reproduce your work, a collaborator who wants to understand the details of your experiments, a future student working in your lab who wants to extend your work after you have moved on to a new job, your research advisor, who may be interested in understanding your work or who may be evaluating your research skills. Most commonly, however, that “someone” is you. A few months from now, you may not remember what you were up to when you created a particular set of files, or you may not remember what conclusions you drew. You will either have to then spend time reconstructing your previous experiments or lose whatever insights you gained from those experiments. This leads to the second principle, which is actually more like a version of Murphy's Law: Everything you do, you will probably have to do over again. Inevitably, you will discover some flaw in your initial preparation of the data being analyzed, or you will get access to new data, or you will decide that your parameterization of a particular model was not broad enough. This means that the experiment you did last week, or even the set of experiments you've been working on over the past month, will probably need to be redone. If you have organized and documented your work clearly, then repeating the experiment with the new data or the new parameterization will be much, much easier.We all know that project management is currently a gray area in bioinformatics and computational biology. This article describes few very basic and practical strategies based on above two principles for better organization of the computational biology projects. Starting from file and directory organization, and then follow up discussions on scripting and version control, author have outlined few rules of thumb. In summary, a highly recommended paper for the the computational biology peers.Reference:Noble, W. (2009). A Quick Guide to Organizing Computational Biology Projects PLoS Computational Biology, 5 (7) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000424
Original article is
available at Fisheye Perspective blog. Stay
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Noble, W. (2009) A Quick Guide to Organizing Computational Biology Projects. PLoS Computational Biology, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000424
[Editor's Note: Lamaze International is in the process of moving the archives of our When Research is Flawed series to Science & Sensibility. When Research is Flawed is a series of brief critiques of influential studies that have shaped policy and practice, despite having serious flaws, significant limitations, or both. - AMR]
Commentary on: Hannah ME, [...]... Read more »
Hannah ME, Ohlsson A, Farine D, Hewson SA, Hodnett ED, Myhr TL, Wang EE, Weston JA, & Willan AR. (1996) Induction of labor compared with expectant management for prelabor rupture of the membranes at term. TERMPROM Study Group. The New England journal of medicine, 334(16), 1005-10. PMID: 8598837
ACOG Committee on Practice Bulletins-Obstetrics. (2007) ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 80: premature rupture of membranes. Clinical management guidelines for obstetrician-gynecologists. Obstetrics and gynecology, 109(4), 1007-19. PMID: 17400872
Schrag S, Gorwitz R, Fultz-Butts K, & Schuchat A. (2002) Prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal disease. Revised guidelines from CDC. MMWR. Recommendations and reports : Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Recommendations and reports / Centers for Disease Control, 51(RR-11), 1-22. PMID: 12211284
Dare MR, Middleton P, Crowther CA, Flenady VJ, & Varatharaju B. (2006) Planned early birth versus expectant management (waiting) for prelabour rupture of membranes at term (37 weeks or more). Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 16437525
Hannah ME, Ohlsson A, Wang EE, Matlow A, Foster GA, Willan AR, Hodnett ED, Weston JA, Farine D, & Seaward PG. (1997) Maternal colonization with group B Streptococcus and prelabor rupture of membranes at term: the role of induction of labor. TermPROM Study Group. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 177(4), 780-5. PMID: 9369819
Seaward PG, Hannah ME, Myhr TL, Farine D, Ohlsson A, Wang EE, Haque K, Weston JA, Hewson SA, Ohel G.... (1997) International Multicentre Term Prelabor Rupture of Membranes Study: evaluation of predictors of clinical chorioamnionitis and postpartum fever in patients with prelabor rupture of membranes at term. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 177(5), 1024-9. PMID: 9396886
Seaward PG, Hannah ME, Myhr TL, Farine D, Ohlsson A, Wang EE, Hodnett E, Haque K, Weston JA, & Ohel G. (1998) International multicenter term PROM study: evaluation of predictors of neonatal infection in infants born to patients with premature rupture of membranes at term. Premature Rupture of the Membranes. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 179(3 Pt 1), 635-9. PMID: 9757963
Christie Wilcox is now passionate toward conservation biology, although she didn’t originally start off that way. While she always had an affinity to nature and animals, she didn’t realize that she wanted to be a biologist until she “stumbled” upon it in college. “When I’m at the beach and everyone is running away from jellyfish, I get excited and run up closer to check it out!”... Read more »
Smith, N., Wilcox, C., & Lessmann, J. (2009) Fiddler crab burrowing affects growth and production of the white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) in a restored Florida coastal marsh. Marine Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-009-1253-7
Christie Wilcox is now passionate toward conservation biology, although she didn’t originally start off that way. While she always had an affinity to nature and animals, she didn’t realize that she wanted to be a biologist until she “stumbled” upon it in college. “When I’m at the beach and everyone is running away from jellyfish, I get excited and run up closer to check it out!”
Wilcox began at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, as a double major in physics and marine biology. After her first semester, Christie decided that the more advanced math that physics required was not for her, so she dropped physics and continued with her major in marine biology. Once Christie became more involved in marine biology, she realized that she wanted to focus more on cells and how they function, and their inter-relationships to the whole animal.... Read more »
Smith, N., Wilcox, C., & Lessmann, J. (2009) Fiddler crab burrowing affects growth and production of the white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) in a restored Florida coastal marsh. Marine Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-009-1253-7
A prominent idea in linguistics is that humans have an array of specialised organs geared towards the production, reception and comprehension of language. For some features, particularly the physical capacity to produce and receive multiple vocalizations, there is ample evidence for specialisation: a descended larynx (Lieberman, 2003), thoracic breathing (MacLarnon & Hewitt, 1999), and several [...]... Read more »
Beckner, C; Blythe, R; Bybee, J; Christiansen, M.H.; Croft, W; Ellis, N.C.; Holland, J; Jinyun Ke; Larsen-Freeman, D; Schoenemann, T. (2009) Language is a complex adaptive system. Language Learning. info:/
WRAY, A., & GRACE, G. (2007) The consequences of talking to strangers: Evolutionary corollaries of socio-cultural influences on linguistic form. Lingua, 117(3), 543-578. DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2005.05.005
So often we hear of large studies like the GSS being used for attitudes towards science. We also hear the results of science achievement metrics and are disappointed. This article provides a great mix between generalizable quantitative understanding gained through use of a validated instrument and more individualized understanding gained through qualitative research using a critical feminist lens. The authors choose this sequential mixed-methods approach to attend to "questioning how to meet the needs of the many while coming to understand the uniqueness of the individuals among the many." The other problem they address is confounding categories. In other words, typical studies study either urban/suburban/rural OR majority/minority OR gender OR socioeconomic status, but they seek to understand attitudes in this population who are urban AND low SES AND African-American AND female. There's definitely a tension between grouping this category and exploring the heterogeneity within the category - and what will be most useful in eventually promoting the participation of this group in science. Attitudes are important because they are predictors of choosing science classes. The study participants were 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at a school in the midwest. The school population is 99% African American, 1% Multiracial, and 88% qualify for free lunch (this is a typical measure in the US for the SES of a school). Eighty-nine students completed the questionnaire (the modified Attitudes Toward Science Inventory). Thirty were purposively selected to participate in group interviews. The selected students represented each grade and level of academic achievement as shown by their results on a statewide standardized test. All participants qualified for free lunch and were African American. The questionnaire was administered by an African American teacher who is part of the research team. The group interviews consisted of 3 or 4 participants and were semi-structured. They were conducted by a Caucasian (or shall we say European-American) researcher who is a former science teacher. The authors mitigated the impact of this choice by having her introduce herself and make several site visits prior to the interviews. However, IMO, this is still a problem, particularly with this group of participants. The girls generally had positive perceptions of science, were confident, were not anxious, and had a desire to do science. The girls either had content-related definitions of science (it's about plants, the moon, keeping your body healthy) or process-related definitions (a way of learning about..., help you be a detective..., "an adventure of fun"....) (yay process girls!). In discussing the importance of science a third mentioned things like knowing what to eat, how to stay safe from a tornado, and what not to touch on a nature hike. A few mentioned science's importance for doing well in school or for an eventual career like in forensics or as a teacher or veterinarian. Some girls didn't see science as important for them at all (as in, well you need to know how to read to get a job, so that's important). Some of the girls experimented with their families at home or even at home on their own. Others saw it as just another thing done in school where you read the book, do what the teacher tells you to do, and then answer questions. They saw no relationship to things outside of school. Some of the students felt that they were very successful in doing science and if they ever got stuck, some help from the teacher would be enough to get them past it. Others were very frustrated and didn't understand the questions they got in their labs or projects they did. From these results the authors created profiles of some girls who, for example, viewed science as a process, did work outside of school, and are successful as high confidence/anti-anxiety, high desire/value and other profiles that were low on one or another of these areas. What's really interesting is that there were some girls in this group with positive attitude, with high confidence, high desire, and who valued science who were C students in science. Why? The authors are going to try "connected problem based learning" to try to challenge the girls with real world problems, have them work together in small groups with a teacher as a facilitator, etc. This article is one of what will, I hope, be a series as these authors continue to work in and with this school. Buck, G., Cook, K., Quigley, C., Eastwood, J., & Lucas, Y. (in press). Profiles of Urban, Low SES, African American Girls' Attitudes Toward Science: A Sequential Explanatory Mixed Methods Study Journal of Mixed Methods Research DOI: 10.1177/1558689809341797 Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Buck, G., Cook, K., Quigley, C., Eastwood, J., & Lucas, Y. (2009) Profiles of Urban, Low SES, African American Girls' Attitudes Toward Science: A Sequential Explanatory Mixed Methods Study. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. DOI: 10.1177/1558689809341797
Over the years a number of iconic musicians have met tragic deaths from either an overdose or suicide (e.g. Bradley Nowell and Kurt Cobain from two of my favorite bands); the former a possible mode of the latter. In light of DJ AM's recent passing, a prescription drug overdose the most likely culprit, and today's commemoration of Michael Jackson's 51st birthday, I couldn't help but ponder the possible associations between creativity, psychopathology, and suicide. Where is that fine line between creative genius and psychopathology? Does it take a severe mood disturbance to produce a truly creative work of art...to the point of self-destruction? Are musicians more vulnerable to psychopathology and at higher risk for attempting suicide? I provide a few abstracts from past studies addressing this fascinating topic.Virginia Woolf as an example of a mental disorder and artistic creativityThis is an attempt to evaluate the mental disorder that the novelist Virginia Woolf suffered, and to determine the relationship between her creativity and her insanity. What mostly characterizes her illness is the presence of typical phases of severely impairing depression and significant hypomania, culminating in suicide at the age of 59. This is a convincing life history of a bipolar II disorder, although the "broad bipolar spectrum" is less easy to define operational than bipolar disorder I. She was moderately stable as well as exceptionally productive from 1915 until she committed suicide in 1941. Virginia Woolf created little or nothing while she was unwell, and was productive between attacks. A detailed analysis of her own creativity over the years shows that her illnesses were the source of material for her novels.Musical creativity and suicideThe different abilities involved in artistic creativity may be mirrored by differences among mental disorders prevalent in each artistic profession, taking poets, painters, and composers as examples. Using suicide rates as a proxy for the prevalence of mental disorders in groups of artists, we investigated the percentage of deaths by suicide in a sample of 4,564 eminent artists who died in the 19th and 20th centuries. Of the sample, 2,259 were primarily involved in activities of a linguistic nature, e.g., poets and writers; 834 were primarily visual artists, such as painters and sculptors; and 1,471 were musicians (composers and instrumentalists). There were 63 suicides in the sample (1.3% of total deaths). Musicians as a group had lower suicide rates than literary and visual artists. Beyond socioeconomic reasons, which might favour interpretations based on effects of health selection, the lower rate of suicides among musicians may reflect some protective effect arising from music.Suicide among eminent artistsTo evaluate suicide risk by profession among eminent artists data from Garzanti's Encyclopedia, a broad biographical repertory, were used. Six categories in the visual and literary arts were compared: architects, painters, sculptors, writers, poets, and playwrights. Only people whose deaths occurred in the 1800s or 1900s were included since it is likely that underestimation of suicide has been lower in the more recent centuries. A total of 59 suicides were observed in a sample of 3,093 people: this corresponds to a ratio of 1.90%. Suicides were 51 among men (ratio 1.75%) and 8 among women (ratio 4.30%). The comparison by profession indicates that poets and writers exceed the mean suicide ratio of the sample. Painters and architects, conversely, have a clearly lower risk than the mean. Mean age of suicides was 44 yr. (SD = 12), with writers being slightly older (48 yr., SD = 12) than other artists. Artists who died of causes other than suicide reach a mean of 65 yr. (SD = 10). Suicide among artists seems to have a peculiar pattern, clearly different from the pattern of the general population, wherein suicide risk is higher among men and older people. Adverse financial circumstances and the stress attributed to rejection of personal products may contribute to the specific risk of suicide among artists. The link between mental disorders, such as manic-depression, which imply a higher risk of suicide, and creativeness is discussed as a contributing factor.Gender and suicide risk among artists: a multivariate analysisResearch on mental disorders among male artists has suggested that artists are at risk of suicide. However, given that men are higher in suicide risk than women, the presumed suicide risk of artists may be an artifact of sampling bias. A logistic regression analysis of data from 21 states finds that artists have 270% higher risk of suicide than nonartists. However, after controlling for gender and sociodemographic variables, this risk level is reduced to 125%. The findings are related to both psychiatric and work-related stress factors that may place artists at risk of suicide as an occupational group.Creativity, depression and suicideThe relationship between suicide and creativity has long been a subject of considerable concern. The author presents evidence indicating that in fact depression, suicide, and creativity are related. Several hypotheses for the relationship are posited. It is suggested that the same changes in the serotonergic system that are associated with depression in general and with impulsive suicides and homicides in the extreme may also be responsible for an element of risk taking that characterizes creativity and innovation in a person psychodynamically predisposed to being creative.The relation between depression and artThe relationships between depression and art are many and varied. Examples of poets, novelists, and musicians spring to mind who have vividly portrayed depression, usually from personal experience of it. These portrayals often had a psychohygienic significance for the artists concerned--as in the case of Goethe, who, in writing 'The sorrows of young Werther', exorcised his own suicidal impulses and thoughts, thus probably saving his own life. Artists have also depicted the physiognomy of depressives, e.g. Hans Baldung Grien in his picture 'Saturn' showing the pronounced nasolabial folds described by Veraguth as indicative of melancholia. Relationships between depression and art also play a role in certain theories of creativity, such as that of Silverman, who postulates that in the depressive phase new impressions arise which then find their expression in a manic phase. Finally, there are the various creative therapies designed in cases of depression (e.g. by encouraging the patient to paint or draw) to reactivate the nondominant hemisphere of the brain. Particularly in chronic or recurrent depressions this reactivation also serves to open up to the patient new perspectives for the solution of the problems that drive him into depression."Last days...in part, fictional." - Kurt CobainFigueroa C G (2005). [Virginia Woolf as an example of a mental disorder and artistic creativity] Revista medica de Chile, 133 (11), 1381-8 PMID: 16446863Preti A, De Biasi F, & Miotto P (2001). Musical creativity and suicide. Psychological reports, 89 (3), 719-27 PMID: 11824743... Read more »
Figueroa C G. (2005) [Virginia Woolf as an example of a mental disorder and artistic creativity]. Revista medica de Chile, 133(11), 1381-8. PMID: 16446863
Stack S. (1996) Gender and suicide risk among artists: a multivariate analysis. Suicide , 26(4), 374-9. PMID: 9014267
Global financial crisis might cause spike in marine species transport
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Floerl, O., & Coutts, A. (2009) Potential ramifications of the global economic crisis on human-mediated dispersal of marine non-indigenous species. Marine Pollution Bulletin. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.08.003
by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog
The second RNA segment of the influenza virus genome encodes the PB1 protein – part of the viral RNA polymerase – and, in some strains, a second protein called PB1-F2. The latter protein is believed to be an important determinant of influenza virus virulence. The absence of a full-length PB1-F2 protein has been suggested [...]... Read more »
Trifonov, V., Racaniello, V., & Rabadan, R. (2009) The Contribution of the PB1-F2 Protein to the Fitness of Influenza A Viruses and its Recent Evolution in the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic Virus. PLoS Currents: Influenza. info:other/
We usually think of education as reducing misconceptions and poor reasoning. However, it appears this is not always the case. Cognitive biases are those “short cuts” in thinking we take that save cognitive effort, but often cause us to reach erroneous conclusions. For example, the bandwagon effect is the tendency to believe something because many [...]... Read more »
Morsanyi, K., Primi, C., Chiesi, F., & Handley, S. (2009) The effects and side-effects of statistics education: Psychology students’ (mis-)conceptions of probability. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34(3), 210-220. DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2009.05.001
I haven’t picked on the fMRI folks for awhile, but was inspired today by a new post over at the excellent neuroscience-of-language blog Talking Brains entitled “Functional brain imaging, it’s not always where you think it is.” And that reminded me that I also want to write something about an excellent article in Scientific American [...]... Read more »
“Virons le virus” (Institut Merieux Benelux, 1991)
One of the important drivers of influenza virus evolution is mixed infection: Infection of the same individual with two different strains of virus, which can then reassort to generate brand-new viral genomes. This presumably what happened, for example, with the recent swine-origin influenza virus (SOIV): some pig was [...]... Read more »
Ghedin, E., Fitch, A., Boyne, A., Griesemer, S., DePasse, J., Bera, J., Zhang, X., Halpin, R., Smit, M., Jennings, L.... (2009) Mixed Infection and the Genesis of Influenza Virus Diversity. Journal of Virology, 83(17), 8832-8841. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00773-09
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