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  • October 25, 2011
  • 03:00 AM
  • 3,742 views

Can a Siphon Work In Vacuo? [video] | @GrrlScientist | Punctuated Equilibrium

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

Video proof that siphons do not require atmospheric pressure to suck... Read more »

Boatwright, A., Puttick, S., & Licence, P. (2011) Can a Siphon Work In Vacuo?. Journal of Chemical Education, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/ed2001818  

  • October 24, 2011
  • 06:39 PM
  • 633 views

Siphons really do suck

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: Video proof that siphons do not require atmospheric pressure to suck ... Read more »

Boatwright, A., Puttick, S., & Licence, P. (2011) Can a Siphon Work In Vacuo?. Journal of Chemical Education, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/ed2001818  

  • October 24, 2011
  • 12:59 PM
  • 544 views

Three Myths About Power

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind



Does Power Corrupt? source

The reign of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi came to an end last week at the hands of a combination of rebel and UN forces. Qaddafi-- at least according to the American news media and some of his own people--was widely considered a tyrannical ruler who stifled free expression and democracy during his 40 years of rule. Whenever I think of men like Qaddafi, the social psychologist in me can't help but think that the situation has created the tyrant we now know-- that there is something about power that changes people, and transforms them into ruthless and oppressive individuals.

This explanation fits our narrative about power nicely, but it actually doesn't hold up well to empirical investigation. In today's blog I discuss three myths about power. We come to believe these myths based on anecdotal evidence, even though they don't seem to hold up to empirical investigation.

Read More->... Read more »

Chen, S., Lee-Chai, A., & Bargh, J. (2001) Relationship orientation as a moderator of the effects of social power. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(2), 173-187. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.80.2.173  

  • October 24, 2011
  • 03:51 AM
  • 884 views

When is it right to Smack a Child?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

“Spare the rod and spoil the child” Last week I received an odd request from a local radio station. They phoned to ask if I would take part in an on-air discussion about parenting issues – I was more than a little bemused. Having no experience of parenting (babysitting doesn’t count) – I felt ill … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • October 24, 2011
  • 01:42 AM
  • 1,328 views

Why are doctors more accurate with difficult cases?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer Because with difficult cases doctors tend to use refelective reasoning for diagnostic decisions. Reflective reasoning is effortful, conscious analysis of features exhibited by a case. When engaged in reflection for solving a case, physicians tend to more carefully consider case findings, search for alternative diagnoses, and examine their own thinking. A recent study indicated [...]


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Mamede S, Schmidt HG, Rikers RM, Penaforte JC, & Coelho-Filho JM. (2008) Influence of perceived difficulty of cases on physicians' diagnostic reasoning. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 83(12), 1210-6. PMID: 19202502  

  • October 18, 2011
  • 10:45 AM
  • 883 views

Evidence Based Point of Care Summaries [2] More Uptodate with Dynamed.

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

This post is part of a short series about Evidence Based Point of Care Summaries or POCs. In this series I will review 3 recent papers that objectively compare a selection of POCs. In the previous post I reviewed a paper from Rita Banzi and colleagues from the Italian Cochrane Centre [1]. They analyzed 18 POCs with respect to their [...]... Read more »

  • October 17, 2011
  • 01:59 AM
  • 926 views

Explaining Diagnostic Errors

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer One possible mechanism for diagnostic errors made by physicians is the availability bias. Clinical reasoning is one of the most important achievements after med school. Flaws in clinical reasoning can result in diagnostic errors and medical mistakes. Availability bias is the doctor who diagnoses a certain disease more often since it comes to mind [...]


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Mamede, S., van Gog, T., van den Berge, K., Rikers, R., van Saase, J., van Guldener, C., & Schmidt, H. (2010) Effect of Availability Bias and Reflective Reasoning on Diagnostic Accuracy Among Internal Medicine Residents. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 304(11), 1198-1203. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.1276  

  • October 16, 2011
  • 05:00 PM
  • 887 views

World Food Day / Blog Action Day

by Matthew Garcia in Hydro-Logic

Today is World Food Day, as designated by the United Nations on the anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945, and as such is this year's Blog Action Day on the topic of food...... Read more »

  • October 14, 2011
  • 05:47 AM
  • 782 views

“Hey you, Fatty! Stop eating so much!” declares UK government

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

That’s right, being fat is your fault after all. Yesterday, the UK minister for health, Andrew Lansley jabbed his not-too-chubby finger at the overweight far lacking insight into their food addiction. In a rally-call to the 60% of overweight adult Britons, his announced a new ‘national ambition’ is to cut out the hamburgers and go … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • October 13, 2011
  • 12:19 PM
  • 888 views

Evidence Based Point of Care Summaries [1] No “Best” Among the Bests?

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

For many of today’s busy practicing clinicians, keeping up with the enormous and ever growing amount of medical information, poses substantial challenges [6]. Its impractical to do a PubMed search to answer each clinical question and then synthesize and appraise the evidence. Simply, because busy health care providers have limited time and many questions per day. As [...]... Read more »

Banzi, R., Liberati, A., Moschetti, I., Tagliabue, L., & Moja, L. (2010) A Review of Online Evidence-based Practice Point-of-Care Information Summary Providers. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 12(3). DOI: 10.2196/jmir.1288  

Goodyear-Smith F, Kerse N, Warren J, & Arroll B. (2008) Evaluation of e-textbooks. DynaMed, MD Consult and UpToDate. Australian family physician, 37(10), 878-82. PMID: 19002313  

  • October 13, 2011
  • 10:48 AM
  • 761 views

Kill Popular Science

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

This is a preliminary review of Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. I reveal serious errors and distortions from his peer-reviewed sources.... Read more »

Kevin Beaver, Ashley Sak, Jamie Vaske, & Jessica Nilsson. (2010) Genetic risk, parent–child relations, and antisocial phenotypes in a sample of African-American males. Psychiatry Research, 175(1-2), 160-164. info:/

Lu RB, Lee JF, Ko HC, Lin WW, Chen K, & Shih JC. (2002) No association of the MAOA gene with alcoholism among Han Chinese males in Taiwan. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology , 26(3), 457-61. PMID: 11999895  

Philibert RA, Gunter TD, Beach SR, Brody GH, & Madan A. (2008) MAOA methylation is associated with nicotine and alcohol dependence in women. American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, 147B(5), 565-70. PMID: 18454435  

  • October 12, 2011
  • 12:17 AM
  • 1,345 views

Cleaning an Amorsolo: A new digital cleaning technique for oil painting

by nath in Imprints of Philippine Science

A painting degrades overtime because of different chemical and physical processes. The degradation may be due to some dirt or dust, or light exposure which hastens the usual deterioration of the chemicals used in the paint.

Physical cleaning of the painting is one of the ways to bring the painting back to its original state. A problem though arises because physical cleaning of the painting is mostly subjective. There are no clear standards of restoration and it is pratically trial and error.
This is particularly risky if the painting is a treasured heritage such as an Amorsolo.... Read more »

  • October 10, 2011
  • 10:00 PM
  • 515 views

A history of music cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

One of the pioneers in the field that would come to be called music cognition was H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins (1923-2004). Not only was Longuet-Higgins one of the founders of the cognitive sciences (he coined the term in 1973), but as early as 1971 he formulated, together with Mark Steedman, the first computer model of musical perception. That early work was followed in 1976 with a full-fledged alternative in the journal Nature, seven years earlier than the more widely known, but, according to Longuet-Higgins, less precisely formulated, Generative Theory of Tonal Music of Lerdahl and Jackendoff.... Read more »

Longuet-Higgins, C. (1983) All in theory — the analysis of music. Nature, 304(5921), 93-93. DOI: 10.1038/304093a0  

Longuet-Higgins, H. (1976) Perception of melodies. Nature, 263(5579), 646-653. DOI: 10.1038/263646a0  

Honing, H. (2011) The illiterate Listener. On music cognition, musicality and methodology. Amsterdam University Press. info:other

  • October 10, 2011
  • 08:00 AM
  • 746 views

Cooperation Is Child’s Play

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Cooperation confounds us: Humans are the only members of the animal kingdom to display this tendency to the extent that we do, and it’s an expensive endeavor with no guarantee of reciprocal rewards. While we continue to look for answers about how and why cooperation may have emerged in human social and cultural evolution, we [...]









... Read more »

  • October 10, 2011
  • 01:39 AM
  • 1,142 views

Do Admission Interviews Predict Performance in Residency?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer Since we’re busy selecting new residents for our program an article about the subject caught my eye. This article was about whether a structured, behavior-based applicant interview predicts future success in an obstetrics and gynecology residency program. Interesting question since little is known about the use of residency interview in predicting the applicant’s future [...]


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  • October 9, 2011
  • 08:06 PM
  • 715 views

Friday Fun: Breaking News! Correlation Does Not Equal Causation

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind



Man and IPhone pictured in loving embrace (source)

Right now I am teaching a personality psychology class and we are talking about research methods. Invariably, anytime I teach psychological methods I always end up talking about correlations--specifically, that a correlation is an association between two variables and nothing more. The important point is that correlations--even those that come from fancy associations between behavior and brain images--do not mean causation. Students are typically quite receptive to this information.

It's too bad that some journalists (and to be fair, even some scientists) forget this lesson. 

Just for fun, I gave out extra credit this week to any student who could find a news article claiming causation from correlation. I gave my students a 6 hour time window to complete this assignment. Not surprisingly, half my class of 60 students came back with a unique example (for those keeping score at home, that's 30 news articles that inappropriately infer cause from correlations)! Below, I summarize my three favorites:

Read More->... Read more »

Veerman JL, Healy GN, Cobiac LJ, Vos T, Winkler EA, Owen N, & Dunstan DW. (2011) Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis. British journal of sports medicine. PMID: 21844603  

  • October 9, 2011
  • 02:46 AM
  • 1,020 views

An ontology for QSAR and cheminformatics

by egonw in Chem-bla-ics

QSAR and QSPR are the fields that statistically correlate chemical substance features with (biological) activities (QSAR) or properties (QSPR). The chemical substance can be molecular structures, drug (which are not uncommonly mixtures), and true mixture like nanomaterials (NanoQSAR). Readers of this blog know I have been working towards making these kind of studies more reproducible for many years now.

Parts of this full story include the Blue Obelisk Data Repository (BODR), QSAR-ML, the CDK for descriptor calculation, the Blue Obelisk Descriptor Ontology (BODO, doi:), still used by the CDK, and in the past by JOELib too, and much, much more. Really, I still feel that the statistics is by far the easiest bit in QSAR modeling.

New in this list of tools to make QSAR more reproducible, is the CHEMINF ontology, which further formalizes cheminformatics computation. In a collaboration with Janna and Christoph (EBI), Michel and Leonid (Carlton University), and Nico (formerly at Cambridge, now at CSIRO), we have cooked up an ontology, and the computational bits of it are captured by the below figure from the paper that just appeared in PLoS ONE.




Both the paper and the ontology have a Creative Commons license. The ontology has already been used by Leonid in other papers, and I have been using it already in the RDF-ed version of ChEMBL.

Next steps for me regarding this ontology is to convert to BODO to be based on CHEMINF, but highly interesting too is a reformulation of QSAR-ML to be based on CHEMINF. The QSAR markup language was long started before RDF came into the picture, so please forgive us for now using RDF from the start there.

One particularly interesting aspect this ontology captures is the difference between molecular entities and mixtures. Not uncommonly, QSAR studies correlate drugs to their binding affinities, even if those drugs are in fact mixtures of stereoisomers. While 0D, 1D, and 2D descriptors are not affected, geometrical descriptors most certainly are. Moveover, the modeled endpoint is very possibly the property of only one of the stereoisomers, most certainly for binding affinities. Yet, many QSAR study reports in literature do not record such details. The CHEMINF ontology defines the terms you need to publish such details.

Hastings, J., Chepelev, L., Willighagen, E., Adams, N., Steinbeck, C., & Dumontier, M. (2011). The Chemical Information Ontology: Provenance and Disambiguation for Chemical Data on the Biological Semantic Web PLoS ONE, 6 (10) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025513... Read more »

  • October 9, 2011
  • 12:00 AM
  • 665 views

Girls Versus Boys: The Final Battle

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

Here I review SAT score gender gaps by race, with special attention to the progress of Asian women. Plus, I detail the allele frequencies by race of body fat genes identified in a recent meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies.... Read more »

Kilpeläinen TO, Zillikens MC, Stančákova A, Finucane FM, Ried JS, Langenberg C, Zhang W, Beckmann JS, Luan J, Vandenput L.... (2011) Genetic variation near IRS1 associates with reduced adiposity and an impaired metabolic profile. Nature genetics, 43(8), 753-60. PMID: 21706003  

  • October 7, 2011
  • 05:17 PM
  • 370 views

“I love you this many dollars worth.”

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

“Presents are the best way to show someone how much you care. It is like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, ‘Hey man, I love you this many dollars-worth.’” – Michael Scott

How true is this quote? Is it really the thought that counts, or deep down are you placing a dollar amount on your relationship?
... Read more »

  • October 7, 2011
  • 11:13 AM
  • 521 views

Scandal-less

by Lee Turnpenny in The Mawk Moth Profligacies

Commending science... and the reporting of it.... Read more »

Noggle S, Fung HL, Gore A, Martinez H, Satriani KC, Prosser R, Oum K, Paull D, Druckenmiller S, Freeby M.... (2011) Human oocytes reprogram somatic cells to a pluripotent state. Nature, 478(7367), 70-5. PMID: 21979046  

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