Post List

  • September 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Childhood Obesity Predicts High Blood Pressure

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

As readers will recall, I am currently attending the 23rd Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension here in Vancouver.
As presented at this conference, the Increasing number of people living with hypertension (as with diabetes) is largely driven by the current obesity epidemic.
Importantly, a new study by Roy Sabo and colleagues from Virginia Commonwealth University, [...]... Read more »

  • September 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Virtual Therapy – Wave of the Future?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by the absence of a positive effect, low mood, and various associated emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Associated symptoms include sadness, pessimism, loss of interest, changes in sleep, decreased appetite, and decreased motivation. New technology has allowed depression to now be treated by way of computer. European countries [...]... Read more »

Marks IM, Cavanagh K, & Gega L. (2007) Computer-aided psychotherapy: revolution or bubble?. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 471-3. PMID: 18055948  

Bates B, Choi JY, Duncan PW, Glasberg JJ, Graham GD, Katz RC, Lamberty K, Reker D, Zorowitz R, US Department of Defense.... (2005) Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Adult Stroke Rehabilitation Care: executive summary. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation, 36(9), 2049-56. PMID: 16120847  

  • September 28, 2010
  • 06:33 AM

The Cretaceous birds and pterosaurs of Cornet: part II, the pterosaurs

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

It's always been clear that pterosaurs were present in the Cornet assemblage (for the background on Cornet and its archosaur fossils, you need to have read part I).

However, exactly what sort of pterosaurs are present at Cornet has been somewhat uncertain: the Late Jurassic ctenochasmatoid Cycnorhamphus, ornithocheirids and the Early Cretaceous Asian dsungaripterid Dsungaripterus were all reported from the assemblage during the 1980s (e.g., Jurcsák & Popa 1984) but, as with the birds, the remains on which these identification were based aren't great. In fact, most of the pterosaur bones from Cornet can't be conclusively identified beyond Pterosauria or Pterodactyloidea, and claims that such taxa as Cycnorhamphus are present can't be supported (Dyke et al. 2010) [art above by Mark Witton - a Tet Zoo exclusive (err, I think). It shows a group of dsungaripterids hounding an azhdarchid. The illustration is one of many that will appear in Mark's pterosaur book, currently in preparation. An excerpt is available here]. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • September 28, 2010
  • 06:01 AM

Independent Neanderthal Innovation - Some Additional Considerations

by Julien Riel-Salvatore in A Very Remote Period Indeed

One of my upcoming papers (Riel-Salvatore 2010) was written-up in a series of mainstream news outlets, including the New York Times, the BBC, Discovery News, AOLNews, MSNBC and sundry others. The original, reproduced in Science Daily, was published under the headline "Neanderthals More Advanced Than Previously Thought: They Innovated, Adapted Like Modern Humans, Research Shows." In the original ... Read more »

Churchill SE, & Smith FH. (2000) Makers of the early Aurignacian of Europe. American journal of physical anthropology, 61-115. PMID: 11123838  

Green, R., Krause, J., Briggs, A., Maricic, T., Stenzel, U., Kircher, M., Patterson, N., Li, H., Zhai, W., Fritz, M.... (2010) A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome. Science, 328(5979), 710-722. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188021  

Higham, T., Brock, F., Peresani, M., Broglio, A., Wood, R., & Douka, K. (2009) Problems with radiocarbon dating the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Italy. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28(13-14), 1257-1267. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.12.018  

Trinkaus, E. (2003) An early modern human from the Pestera cu Oase, Romania. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(20), 11231-11236. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2035108100  

Zilhão, J. (2006) Neandertals and moderns mixed, and it matters. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 15(5), 183-195. DOI: 10.1002/evan.20110  

  • September 28, 2010
  • 05:52 AM

Researchers discover genetic ‘volume control’ for inherited breast cancers

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Back in the 1990s, Cancer Research UK scientists played a fundamental role in the discovery of two major “cancer genes”, BRCA1 and BRCA2. Inheriting a fault in one of these genes greatly increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, and they’re also linked to an increased risk of prostate and ovarian cancer. Thankfully, inherited faults [...]... Read more »

Bolton KL, Tyrer J, Song H, Ramus SJ, Notaridou M, Jones C, Sher T, Gentry-Maharaj A, Wozniak E, Tsai YY.... (2010) Common variants at 19p13 are associated with susceptibility to ovarian cancer. Nature genetics. PMID: 20852633  

Goode EL, Chenevix-Trench G, Song H, Ramus SJ, Notaridou M, Lawrenson K, Widschwendter M, Vierkant RA, Larson MC, Kjaer SK.... (2010) A genome-wide association study identifies susceptibility loci for ovarian cancer at 2q31 and 8q24. Nature genetics. PMID: 20852632  

  • September 28, 2010
  • 05:42 AM

It pays to be a married member of the Armed Forces rather than a singleton

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Marriage and the military: Evidence that those who serve marry earlier and divorce earlier From Armed Forces & Society The military compensation and benefits system benefits married members compared to single ones without dependents. The Armed Forces place high demands on their personnel and their families. To reduce turnover and retain sufficient numbers of qualified [...]... Read more »

  • September 28, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Placing the power to prevent HIV in the hands of women

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Gender, development, and HIV/AIDS: Implications for child mortality in less industrialized countries From International Journal of Comparative Sociology HIV/AIDS continue to have a devastating toll on less industrialized societies, According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) (2007) there were an estimated 2.1 million deaths from HIV/AIDS and 2.9 million new HIV infections [...]... Read more »

  • September 28, 2010
  • 12:15 AM

Transfer of transgenic crop toxins to aquatic ecosystems potentially widespread in the industrial Corn Belt of the U.S.

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are back in the news.  A few days ago, NPR featured a couple of blog posts (here and here) considering whether the new GMO “supersized” salmon will be harmful to aquatic ecosystems.
A concern with GMOs is that—like the early adoption of pesticides—potential risks are being borne by the environment and consumers [...]... Read more »

Jennifer L. Tank, Emma J. Rosi-Marshall, Todd V. Royer, Matt R. Whiles, Natalie A. Griffiths, Therese C. Frauendorf, and David J. Treering. (2010) Occurrence of maize detritus and a transgenic insecticidal protein (Cry1Ab) within the stream network of an agricultural landscape. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1006925107

  • September 27, 2010
  • 11:30 PM

Because publishing your paper is only half of the job

by Rogue in Into Oblivion

The title of this posting refers to the excellent article from David Dobbs I bookmarked very recently. I’d like to present you a very interesting initiative from French bioscience research program for high-school students called « Tous chercheurs ». The Community Page of the very last PLoS Biology is dedicated to this project and I find it really great. Because, indeed, publishing your science paper is only half of the job.... Read more »

  • September 27, 2010
  • 08:08 PM

Choosing an algorithm – benchmarking bioinformatics

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

You’ve been asked to to run a bioinformatics analysis. How do you choose what algorithm to use?

My first suggestion would be to talk to experienced bioinformatics scientists or computational biologists. It’s a lot quicker, and it’ll save you making mistakes that the research literature assumes you know better not to. You’ll also avoid the trap [...]... Read more »

  • September 27, 2010
  • 08:03 PM

American family values: where even the dull can dream!

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

One of the issues when talking about the effect of environment and genes on behavioral and social outcomes is that the entanglements are so complicated. People of various political and ideological commitments tend to see the complications as problems for the other side, and yet are often supremely confident of the likely efficacy of their [...]... Read more »

Johnson W, Deary IJ, Silventoinen K, Tynelius P, & Rasmussen F. (2010) Family background buys an education in Minnesota but not in Sweden. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(9), 1266-73. PMID: 20679521  

  • September 27, 2010
  • 04:10 PM

Faculty, librarians and student research skills: are we on parallel paths?

by bjms1002 in the Undergraduate Science Librarian

One of the themes I’ve been writing a lot lately is that department faculty and librarians aren’t talking to each other as much as they should, especially in areas that they are both concerned about.  One of the biggest areas we need to be talking more about concerns student’s library research skills (or information literacy [...]... Read more »

Davies-Vollum, Katherine Sian, & Greengrove, Cheryl. (2010) Developing a “Gateway” Course to Prepare Nontraditional Students for Success in Upper-Division Science Courses. Journal of College Science Teaching, 40(1), 28-33. info:/

  • September 27, 2010
  • 04:10 PM

Was Ice the Original "Cell" in Early Earth?

by Michael Long in Phased

The research of Philipp Holliger (Medical Research Council, United Kingdom) and coworkers suggests that ice may have helped the first RNA molecules to self-replicate and isolate themselves from the surrounding environment, thereby serving as the first primitive living "cell." This news feature was written on September 27, 2010.... Read more »

Attwater, J., Wochner, A., Pinheiro, V. B., Coulson, A., & Holliger, P. (2010) Ice as a protocellular medium for RNA replication. Nature Communications, 1(6), 1-8. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1076  

  • September 27, 2010
  • 02:33 PM

Autumnal parasites

by Lucas in thoughtomics

Sometimes I come across crazy parasite stories when I’m browsing scientific archives online. But this time was different, when a story came to me straight from the Dutch woodlands.
Poor acorn.
A week ago, someone asked me to find out what was happening to some poor acorns that were found in a broadleaf forest. The acorns [...]... Read more »

Stone, G., van der Ham, R., & Brewer, J. (2008) Fossil oak galls preserve ancient multitrophic interactions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1648), 2213-2219. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0494  

  • September 27, 2010
  • 02:30 PM

The Brain Private Fort or Social Arena?

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Mirror neurons are famous. Some would argue that they are too famous for their own good, others would say that they are the biggest discovery since Dennis Lillee got caught with an aluminium cricket bat.  Well now we are realising that they are not just about movement – here Shikta Dey talks about an interesting [...]... Read more »

Rizzolatti, G., & Craighero, L. (2004) The Mirror-Neuron System. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27(1), 169-192. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.27.070203.144230  

[2] Keysers C, Kaas JH, & Gazzola V. (2010) Somatosensation in social perception. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 11(6), 417-28. PMID: 20445542  

[3] Moseley GL, Olthof N, Venema A, Don S, Wijers M, Gallace A, & Spence C. (2008) Psychologically induced cooling of a specific body part caused by the illusory ownership of an artificial counterpart. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(35), 13169-73. PMID: 18725630  

  • September 27, 2010
  • 02:25 PM

Fear/Anxiety/Avoidance – treatments review!

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

For years, clinicians working in pain management have mixed together a rich assortment of strategies to help people function better.  But to identify the ‘active ingredients’ of multidisciplinary pain management using a cognitive behavioural approach, it’s been important to tease each element apart.  One size does not fit all – and just as a physician … Read more... Read more »

  • September 27, 2010
  • 01:50 PM

How to burn a few extra calories while at work

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

On a number of occasions Travis has pointed to the negative health effects of sedentary activity, such as sitting, for extended periods of time. That is, regardless of the amount of exercise you get, the more time you spend sitting (an inevitable consequence of office work for many of us) the higher your risk of disease. Thus, we should be trying our best to limit the amount of time we spend sitting.
Some people are proponents of things like the treadmill desk. Some prefer sitting on an exercise ball. Others enjoy simply standing at their desk.
But what is the caloric expenditure of these various activities? How comfortable is it to work while standing or sitting on an exercise ball?
A study published back in 2008 specifically addressed this issue.
In the study, a total of 24 men and women employed in sedentary clerical occupations were asked to perform a typing task under 3 conditions: sitting in office chair, sitting on an exercise ball, or standing. During this time, their heart rate and oxygen consumption were measured to assess caloric expenditure. Additionally, each participant rated their level of fatigue, comfort, and general liking for each situation.
In terms of caloric expenditure, both the sitting on an exercise ball and standing conditions resulted in greater energy expenditure than working while sitting in an office chair – approximately 4 more calories per hour.
In terms of participants’ subjective experience, they felt the exercise ball was as comfortable to sit on while working as was the office chair, but both of these sitting postures were more comfortable than standing (not surprisingly). The participants also rated their level of fatigue higher when sitting on the ball or while standing in contrast to the office chair. And finally, in terms of general liking – participants preferred to work while seated – regardless of whether they were seated in a chair or on an exercise ball.
For all of you productivity nuts out there, you may also be curious to see how much work the participants completed under the 3 conditions. The authors of the study assessed the total number of words typed during a 20 minute period, and found compareable numbers of words typed across teh conditions.
Take home message? If you’re getting bored of your office chair, maybe its time to slowly introduce sitting on an exercise ball for at least a part of your work day. You’ll be equally as comfortable and productive, but you’ll burn a few extra calories.
More important than the few extra calories, you’ll be the topic of discussion around the water cooler.
Have a great Monday,
Beers, E., Roemmich, J., Epstein, L., & Horvath, P. (2008). Increasing passive energy expenditure during clerical work European Journal of Applied Physiology, 103 (3), 353-360 DOI: 10.1007/s00421-008-0713-y
... Read more »

Beers, E., Roemmich, J., Epstein, L., & Horvath, P. (2008) Increasing passive energy expenditure during clerical work. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 103(3), 353-360. DOI: 10.1007/s00421-008-0713-y  

  • September 27, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Commuting to Work

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Elio

An underwater microbial mat has been found in fairly shallow waters off the coast of Chile and, according to headlines (click here and here), it’s the size of Greece, or about 132,000 km2 (or for us norte-americanos, about the size of Alabama). These communities of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria have been known for some time, but their attention has been highlighted by the recent version of the Census of Marine Life. In fact, they were discovered in 1963 by the oceanographer and microbiologist Victor Gallardo of Chile’s University of Concepción. Scientists may not have known much about these huge mats much earlier on, but the local fishermen sure did and called them estopa, Spanish for burlap or unwashed wool or flax.

Aficionados of the giant sulfur-oxidizing bacterium Thiomargarita namibiensis and other bacterial gargantuas likely include Thioploca, the occupants of these mats, in their catalog of microbial marvels. This is a genus of gliding, filamentous bacteria that live in aquatic sediments where they face the same problem as Thiomargarita, namely how to hook up their fuel (sulfides) with their final electron acceptors (nitrates). (For details of their metabolism, see a recent paper.)... Read more »

Høgslund S, Revsbech NP, Kuenen JG, Jørgensen BB, Gallardo VA, van de Vossenberg J, Nielsen JL, Holmkvist L, Arning ET, & Nielsen LP. (2009) Physiology and behaviour of marine Thioploca. The ISME journal, 3(6), 647-57. PMID: 19262616  

  • September 27, 2010
  • 12:19 PM

Pleiades Promoter Project

by Eva Amsen in the Node

A recent paper in PNAS describes the development of MiniPromoters: human DNA promoters of less than 4 kb, designed to drive gene expression in specific areas of the brain. The initiative is called the Pleiades Promoter Project, and so far they have confirmed brain-region specific activity in knockin mice for 27 of their MiniPromoters. The [...]... Read more »

Portales-Casamar, E., Swanson, D., Liu, L., Leeuw, C., Banks, K., Ho Sui, S., Fulton, D., Ali, J., Amirabbasi, M., Arenillas, D.... (2010) A regulatory toolbox of MiniPromoters to drive selective expression in the brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(38), 16589-16594. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1009158107  

  • September 27, 2010
  • 12:15 PM

Distinguishing Our Universe From Other Similar Universes In The Multiverse.

by Joseph Smidt in The Eternal Universe

Srednicki and Hartle have raised an interesting concern recently about a limitation on the predictive power of multiverse theories. They observe that in multiverse theories, exact snapshots of our universe happen several times in different places. So if we want to have a physical theory that describes our universe, the one we live in, then the question arises: how can we tell which one it is from

... Read more »

Srednicki, M., & Hartle, J. (2010) Science in a very large universe. Physical Review D, 81(12). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.81.123524  

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