Post List

  • February 8, 2011
  • 08:33 AM

Healthy Men Bottle Up Their Emotions

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

The crisis of masculinity dictates that men must all be hurtling toward hell at a rate of knots, with nothing in clear sight to redeem us. However, could it be that padded out panic is as manufactured as frozen peas? Possibly. For sure though, much that is said about how men do emotions and do help for emotions that get too much borrows loosely from the truth. The truth, itself, is remarkably more diverse and complex. ... Read more »

Levant, R, Wimer, D, & Williams, C. (2011) An Evaluation of the Health Behavior Inventory-20 (HBI-20) and Its Relationship to Masculinity and Attitudes Towards Seeking Psychological Help Among College Men. Psychology of Men . info:/

  • February 8, 2011
  • 08:32 AM

Pakistan floods: Predictable or predicted, but a disaster nonetheless

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

Unusually heavy monsoon rains in July and August 2010 left large swaths of Pakistan underwater. At least 18 million people were affected by the flood, and it is estimated that, more than six months later, several hundred thousand remain without … Continue reading →... Read more »

Webster, P. J., Toma, V.E., & Kim, H.-M. (2011) Were the 2010 Pakistan floods predictable?. Geophysical Research Letters. info:/10.1029/2010GL046346

  • February 8, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

The Science Behind Health At Every Size (HAES)

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

Regular readers of these pages will recall my past criticism of the use of BMI in individual counseling, my introduction of the Edmonton Obesity Staging System (which classifies obese patients not by how “big” they are but rather by how “sick” they are), and the many previous posts that recommend avoidance of weight gain rather [...]... Read more »

  • February 8, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

It’s not lonely at the top, after all: dominant chimps have more parasites

by Matt Soniak in

It wasn’t more than a few decades ago that stress was seen merely as an unpleasant mental state or a mild irritation. Stanford neurologist Robert Sapolsky recognized early on, though, that it had real, significant impact on one’s health. In a Wired piece from last summer,  “Under Pressure,” Jonah Lehrer relates how Sapolsky he first [...]... Read more »

  • February 8, 2011
  • 07:12 AM

Banking as an ecosystem

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

Most of my interest in the use of biology in economics concerns humans being subject to the forces of selection like any other biological organism. With this starting point, it is natural to pull across many of the tools, models and methods of analysis that evolutionary biologists use. Sometimes those models and tools are of [...]... Read more »

Haldane, A., & May, R. (2011) Systemic risk in banking ecosystems. Nature, 469(7330), 351-355. DOI: 10.1038/nature09659  

  • February 8, 2011
  • 06:17 AM

A striking clue and some more

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

My colleagues participating to “The many faces of QCD” in Ghent last year keep on publishing their contributions to the proceedings. This conference produced several outstanding talks and so, it is worthwhile to tell about that here. I have already said about this here, here and here and I have spent some words about the [...]... Read more »

Silvio P. Sorella, David Dudal, Marcelo S. Guimaraes, & Nele Vandersickel. (2011) Features of the Refined Gribov-Zwanziger theory: propagators, BRST soft symmetry breaking and glueball masses. arxiv. arXiv: 1102.0574v1

N. Vandersickel,, D. Dudal,, & S.P. Sorella. (2011) More evidence for a refined Gribov-Zwanziger action based on an effective potential approach. arxiv. info:/1102.0866

Axel Maas. (2011) Scalar-matter-gluon interaction. arxiv. arXiv: 1102.0901v1

  • February 8, 2011
  • 05:38 AM

Employability – attitudes & orientations

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

In the last post I discussed the definitions of employability that had been created by a variety of groups (employers, policy makers and academics). Did you spot the glaring omission? On the whole, students and graduates don’t tend to go in for definitions of employability; they are too busy trying to live it. However, Martin [...]... Read more »

  • February 8, 2011
  • 05:30 AM

Finding method in biological madness

by Becky in It Takes 30

Our tiny human minds are often boggled by the complexity of biological systems.  If that system evolved to do the job we think it does, we say to ourselves, why couldn’t it have been simpler?  Surely all those extra components and those extra feedback loops aren’t really necessary.  Or are they? A multinational, multidisciplinary team [...]... Read more »

Kolodkin AN, Bruggeman FJ, Plant N, Moné MJ, Bakker BM, Campbell MJ, van Leeuwen JP, Carlberg C, Snoep JL, & Westerhoff HV. (2010) Design principles of nuclear receptor signaling: how complex networking improves signal transduction. Molecular systems biology, 446. PMID: 21179018  

  • February 8, 2011
  • 04:26 AM

How microscopic plankton explain the opening of the Northwest Passage

by Miriam in Deep Sea News

For centuries, mariners sought the Northwest Passage, a route through the Canadian ice that connected the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. Today, the Arctic ice has melted so much that the Northwest Passage exists – there’s already multinational wrangling over shipping rights. Why is the Arctic melting so fast? There are a number of reasons, . . . → Read More: How microscopic plankton explain the opening of the Northwest Passage... Read more »

Spielhagen, R., Werner, K., Sorensen, S., Zamelczyk, K., Kandiano, E., Budeus, G., Husum, K., Marchitto, T., & Hald, M. (2011) Enhanced Modern Heat Transfer to the Arctic by Warm Atlantic Water. Science, 331(6016), 450-453. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197397  

  • February 8, 2011
  • 04:07 AM

Health care costs and ancestry

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

If you are an engaged patient who has been prescribed medication I assume you’ve done your due diligence and double-checked your doctor’s recommendations (no, unfortunately an M.D. does not mean that an individual is omniscient). Several times when I’ve been prescribed a medication I have seen a note about different recommended dosages by race when I did further research. Because of my own personal background I am curious when it says “Asian.” The problem with this term in medical literature is that “Asian” in the American context is derived from a Census category constructed in 1980 for bureaucratic and political purposes. It amalgamates populations which are genetically relatively close, East and Southeast Asians, with more distant ones, South Asians (when my siblings were born I remember that my parents listed their race as “Asian” when they filled out paper work for the hospital).
But at least the issues with an “Asian” category are clear. Consider the “Hispanic/Latino” category. In the the USA this term also became popular through government fiat around 1970, as a catchall for people whose ancestry derives from the Spanish speaking Americas, with Spaniards, Portuguese, and Brazilians, ...... Read more »

Yang JJ, Cheng C, Devidas M, Cao X, Fan Y, Campana D, Yang W, Neale G, Cox NJ, Scheet P.... (2011) Ancestry and pharmacogenomics of relapse in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nature genetics. PMID: 21297632  

  • February 8, 2011
  • 02:15 AM

Anatomical Wax Models: Craft of Art?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

The use of wax for the reproduction of organs or parts of the human body started of at the end of the 17th century. A Sicilian wax artist, Gaetano Giulio Zumbo, and a French surgeon Guillaume Desnoues worked together in making the first realistic anatomical models from colored wax.
Gaetano Giulio Zumbo produced four highly realistic [...]

No related posts.... Read more »

  • February 7, 2011
  • 11:44 PM

Super Bowl weight damage – are temporary indulgences ok?

by Colby in

Last night my Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl 45 (woo!).  Like many people in Wisconsin and throughout the country, I was watching the game with friends, surrounded by lots of food and drink.  I can’t imagine most people are … Continue reading →... Read more »

Ohlrich H, Leon JB, Zimmerer J, & Sehgal AR. (2006) The impact of Super Bowl parties on nutritional parameters among hemodialysis patients. Journal of renal nutrition : the official journal of the Council on Renal Nutrition of the National Kidney Foundation, 16(1), 63-6. PMID: 16414444  

  • February 7, 2011
  • 09:25 PM

Choice vs Gender Discrimination in Math-Intensive Science

by Michael Long in Phased

Choice, not direct discrimination, explains the current low representation of women in tenure-track, math-intensive, research-based faculty positions.... Read more »

Stephen J. Ceci, & Wendy M. Williams. (2011) Understanding current causes of women’s underrepresentation in science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1014871108

  • February 7, 2011
  • 08:58 PM

Codex of all Codecies | Knowing, Part 2

by Michael Lombardi in a New Life in the Sea

In continuing this review and analysis of the film 'Knowing', we must absolutely address the numeric sequence which was obsessively scribed by the character Lucinda Embry. The sheet of paper containing several hundred seemingly random digits was placed into an elementary school's 'time capsule' to be opened some 50 years later. Upon opening and rediscovery of this number sequence, we are taken on a thrilling journey to unlock the secrets embedded in this sequence of digits - which as interpreted - is a key to a deterministic (see Part 1) past, present, and future existence (or rather destruction).
Codes, symbols, and translative indices have been among those most controversial topics throughout history. Science has uncovered factual significance with several coded objects - and yet an equal number of conspiracies have evolved from them. This is largely given that the historical knowledge gap is so broad and left wide open for interpretation - wildly imaginative interpretation in many cases.
With 2012 around the corner, this topic has been right out there in the mainstream public eye, and in full force. We frequently hear about deep and dark conspiracies associated with things like the Dresden Codex, Nostradamus, Georgia Guidestones, the Rosetta Stone, and even the Bible. All of this is truly fascinating, but one can only hope that some hard science comes from their interpretations to help us narrow that broad knowledge gap out there and help us progress somewhat constructively rather than wallowing away in front of the tv thinking that the world is coming  to an end!

In 'Knowing', the codex that we are presented with is a number sequence. This is unique from those previously listed as numbers are considered a universal mode of communication, as opposed to communicating in a specific language. In fact, count systems have been discovered that may be as early as 35,000 years old, making numbers the oldest known mode of written communication. Lucinda, in her extra-terrestrial state of  possession, communicated in numbers to allow her message of Earthly disasters to be understood by anyone in the future - any race, any language, any age, and possibly even on any other intelligent planet.

It is not too far fetched to send numeric messages into the future for this very purpose. In fact, Carl Sagan is well known for the first, using the Arecibo telescope in 1974, in an attempt to solicit a response from extra-terrestrial intelligences.

Numbers are at the foundation of everything - including all of the bits and bytes behind this website. Numbers run so deep in all aspects of life, that we often seek to define relationships in nature and fundamental existence with numerical sequences and patters. And herein lies our problem with 'Knowing'...are the patterns that we arrive at with - including those with statistical significance - manifestations of creativity? coincidences of random chance? some universally implicated determinism? or prophecy?

That item - prophecy - will be addressed in our review of 'Knowing', Part 3.

Stay tuned.

LaLonde, L. (1974). The Upgraded Arecibo Observatory Science, 186 (4160), 213-218 DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4160.213

Sitler, R. (2006). The 2012 Phenomenon New Age Appropriation of an Ancient Mayan Calendar Nova Religio, 9 (3), 24-38 DOI: 10.1525/nr.2006.9.3.024

 Related articles
random chance vs determinism | Knowing, Part 1 (
the historical value of the history on The History Channel (

for more from the author, visit

... Read more »

  • February 7, 2011
  • 07:36 PM

Better Cheese with Machines

by FrauTech in Design. Build. Play.

Who would have known something so innocuous as cheese would be breaking so many boundaries. I talked last year about the cheese wheel that went into space. Now some research in the Journal of Food Engineering offers some methods for measuring cheese composition. You know an article that begins The cheese industry demands... is going to be good. I picture them to be a 1950s-esque men in black kind of organization setting the requirements for cheese. But food composition is serious business, after all Taco Bell is being sued for its beef content in its tacos. Using ultrasonics to detect food composition has been around and has advantages over traditional methods. Mostly you don't have to destroy the food you're testing. In this case the experimenters were analyzing eight brands of cheese. They extracted cylinders of the cheese samples and used a pair of narrow band ultrasonic transducers. These devices generate sound waves in the ultrasonic range and in this case send them at the cheese. They rounded out their test equipment with a pulser receiver and a good old oscilloscope. They then measured the ultrasound velocity of the samples at various temperatures. The receiver measured the time it took the wave to travel through the cheese, six trials each, and they had the cylinders measured to an accuracy of 0.01 mm. What maybe was expected was that the velocity would be based on the fat and water content of the cheeses. The fat behaving differently at various temperatures was what led to velocity measurements at different temperatures.What they found was the structure of the cheese mattered a lot. The equations for modelling wave propagation based on dairy fat could change based on how the manufacturer made their cheese and the texture of the cheese even if the fat and water composition was very similar. The experimenters also made their own cheese blends using a vacuum to remove extraneous air and found their predictions fared better in this case because the differences in cheese structure and manufacturing didn't have as much of an effect.So sound waves to test food? Probably not too far around the corner. It's easy to think of industrial applications where this would simplify your quality process or even better a way of making government food agencies much more productive with their limited resources. But there would have to be a lot of development and specialization to get it to be accurate.Telis-Romero, J., Váquiro, H., Bon, J., & Benedito, J. (2011). Ultrasonic assessment of fresh cheese composition Journal of Food Engineering, 103 (2), 137-146 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2010.10.008... Read more »

Telis-Romero, J., Váquiro, H., Bon, J., & Benedito, J. (2011) Ultrasonic assessment of fresh cheese composition. Journal of Food Engineering, 103(2), 137-146. DOI: 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2010.10.008  

  • February 7, 2011
  • 03:57 PM

Have Something Important to Remember? Sleep On It

by Alex in ionpsych

Students often hear that they should get a good night’s sleep before a test.  Even if you load up on coffee and Red Bull to study all night you’ll be wired and stressed, and that certainly isn’t going to help.  … Continue reading →... Read more »

Wilhelm, I., Diekelmann, S., Molzow, I., Ayoub, A., Molle, M., & Born, J. (2011) Sleep Selectively Enhances Memory Expected to Be of Future Relevance. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(5), 1563-1569. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3575-10.2011  

  • February 7, 2011
  • 02:23 PM

Can one have pain and not know it?

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

By Flavia Di Pietro I think about this a lot.  It leads me to ponder the distinction between pain and nociception.  We found a chapter on exactly this in a great book we are slowly reviewing at BiM – The Science of Pain.  The chapter’s title grabbed me: Conciousness and Pain.  It’s really got me [...]... Read more »

[1] Merksey, H. (1986) Pain terms: a current list with definitions and notes on usage. Pain Suppl. 3 S215-S221. info:/

  • February 7, 2011
  • 01:30 PM

How can I know if I have cataracts and its severity?

by Pablo Artal in Optics confidential

Lear about a new optical method to detect and grade cataract... and more... Read more »

  • February 7, 2011
  • 01:13 PM

Review: Children Interpret a Comic

by Neil Cohn in The Visual Linguist

This insightful article examines children’s understandings of comic books over time using a Western comic A Gunman in Town!. The study looked at ten children in each of 3rd, 5th, and 8th grade, balanced for gender and race with diverse socio-economic status. They were shown each frame individually and asked its contents following each panel. This might not have hugely hampered the sequential understanding though, since the panels seem largely dominated by text.All the children recognized broader information: that the book was a Western and that it would end with the villain losing. All the children were concerned with the concept that the story was going to end, showing knowledge of it as a story and that stories have endings. Most of the phenomena showed small jumps and differences in understanding between grades. For instance, in readings of the last panel of the book, a steady increase of children recognized the correct reading order of word balloons (Grade:number of kids – 3rd:2, 5th:4, 8th:7). Many third graders would skip over reading dialogue, especially when it was heavy in panels. They also will gather most of their reading from stereotypic knowledge, missing important story elements or filling in missed information with further stereotypic knowledge about genre. Fifth graders pick up far more information than third graders, with explanations seeming less stereotypic – allowing them to anticipate and integrate events more quickly and accurately. Eighth graders “move back and forth between their knowledge of conventional genre structure and the particular story” (46). Fifth graders are more capable of predicting future events from individual panels — each panel implies something about future events. While eighth graders can predict to the end of the story, fifth graders make more short-term predictions about action sequences. Eighth graders see the story as conventionally ordered by the dictates of the genre. Two strategies were used by eighth graders. When uninterested, they use a “flat” style that perceives and decodes the story as it unfolds bit by bit. A contiguous reading style incorporates the understanding of the genre to expand on the given information with schematic knowledge (unlike with third graders, this isn’t to make up for missed information though).These results further indicate that the ability to understand sequential images increases with age, and perhaps with exposure/experience.Pallenik, M. (1976). A Gunman in Town! Children Interpret a Comic Book Studies in the Anthropology of Visual Communication, 3 (1), 38-51 DOI: 10.1525/var.1976.3.1.38[Originally posted: 12/24/07]... Read more »

Pallenik, M. (1976) A Gunman in Town! Children Interpret a Comic Book. Studies in the Anthropology of Visual Communication, 3(1), 38-51. DOI: 10.1525/var.1976.3.1.38  

  • February 7, 2011
  • 12:56 PM

Mixing it up for organic tomatoes

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

The many benefits of growing a mixture of crop varieties together have now been demonstrated for many crops under many conditions. Latest entry is in a kind of specialised niche — organic tomatoes for processing — and the results are a little underwhelming. Three scientists at the University of California, Davis, grew one, three or [...]... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit