The possibility of inducing a suspended animation state similar to natural torpor would be greatly beneficial in medical science, since it would avoid the adverse consequence of the powerful autonomic activation evoked by external cooling. Previous attempts to systemically inhibit metabolism were successful in mice, but practically ineffective in nonhibernators. Here we show that the selective pharmacological inhibition of key neurons in the central pathways for thermoregulatory cold defense is ........ Read more »
Cerri, M., Mastrotto, M., Tupone, D., Martelli, D., Luppi, M., Perez, E., Zamboni, G., & Amici, R. (2013) The Inhibition of Neurons in the Central Nervous Pathways for Thermoregulatory Cold Defense Induces a Suspended Animation State in the Rat. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(7), 2984-2993. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3596-12.2013
I find the numbered (Vancouver) referencing system adopted by many journals very irritating, and I explain why.... Read more »
Clauss, M., Müller, D., & Codron, D. (2013) Source References and the Scientist's Mind-Map: Harvard vs. Vancouver Style. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 44(3), 274-282. DOI: 10.3138/jsp.44.3.005
Steven Pinker explains again why music is not an adaptation but should be seen as a kind of 'supernormal stimulus'...... Read more »
Yesterday another piece of evidence was published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology showing a sea lion (Zalophus californianus) being able to learned to entrain to the beat of the music.... Read more »
Cook, P., Rouse, A., Wilson, M., & Reichmuth, C. (2013) A California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) Can Keep the Beat: Motor Entrainment to Rhythmic Auditory Stimuli in a Non Vocal Mimic. Journal of Comparative Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/a0032345
Not sure why, but this photo of two young scientists working off Greenland has been in my mind for the last 3 days. It shows a 25-year graduate student of Anthropology from Columbia University, Frederica de Laguna, with one of … Continue reading →... Read more »
VanStone, J., & de Laguna, F. (1980) Voyage to Greenland: A Personal Initiation into Anthropology. Ethnohistory, 27(2), 191. DOI: 10.2307/481234
Hello Julie,My, oh my! What an exciting time it was last week, witnessing Dog Spies' migration to the Scientific American Blog Network. Such a great day for dogs, for science and for YOU! Yah! for this recognition of your fabulous writing achievements, communicating the field of canine science to a broader audience. WELL DONE!As for your question about writing and how I do it, I have to admit I'm 'between systems' currently. By this, I mean that I sometimes map out ideas and plan........ Read more »
Liberati Alessandro, Altman Douglas G., Tetzlaff Jennifer, Mulrow Cynthia, Gøtzsche Peter C., Ioannidis John P.A., Clarke Mike, Devereaux P.J., Kleijnen Jos, & Moher David. (2009) The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 62(10). DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.06.006
Dorey Nicole R., Udell Monique A.R., & Wynne Clive D.L. (2009) Breed differences in dogs sensitivity to human points: A meta-analysis. Behavioural Processes, 81(3), 409-415. DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2009.03.011
A couple of years ago, I got into a car wreck. A tire blew out on a truck to my right. It swerved and hit me. I skidded across the road. You know what you’re supposed to do in that situation, right?
You’re supposed to steer into the skid.
I did not. I was unable to correct the skid, and wound up crossing a couple of lanes of the highway. There was no oncoming traffic, and I was fine.
I was trained to do the correct thing and steer into the skid. I took driving lessons. Steering into the s........ Read more »
Fang F. C., Steen R. G., & Casadevall A. (2012) Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(42), 17028-17033. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1212247109
Sometimes even big project could start from a tweet.
Matteo Cantarelli - member of the OpenWorm team - says: "It was 2007 when Giovanni Idili and I started - naively - talking about simulating the worm. We were approaching the problem after having hit common limits of artificial intelligence. We never got to write any code for the worm at that time, we just had lengthy conversations and paper reading sessions together."
... Read more »
Varshney LR, Chen BL, Paniagua E, Hall DH, & Chklovskii DB. (2011) Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network. PLoS computational biology, 7(2). PMID: 21304930
Palyanov A, Khayrulin S, Larson SD, & Dibert A. (2011) Towards a virtual C. elegans: a framework for simulation and visualization of the neuromuscular system in a 3D physical environment. In silico biology, 11(3-4), 137-47. PMID: 22935967
In a previous blogpost, I criticized a recent paper claiming that playing action video games improved reading in dyslexics. In a series of comments below the blogpost, two of the authors have responded to my criticisms. I thank them for taking the trouble to spell out their views and giving readers the opportunity to see another point of view. I am, however, not persuaded by their arguments, which make two main points. First, that their study was not methodologically weak and so Current Biology ........ Read more »
Ioannidis JP, Pereira TV, & Horwitz RI. (2013) Emergence of large treatment effects from small trials--reply. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 309(8), 768-9. PMID: 23443435
SUMMARY: I am trying to learn the truth regarding a published piece that caused at least one reader to ask: "Is this really true??? If it is not true how can they get away with saying this???" Read more... Read more »
Melo Martim, & O’Ryan Colleen. (2007) Genetic differentiation between Príncipe Island and mainland populations of the grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), and implications for conservation. Molecular Ecology, 16(8), 1673-1685. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.03128.x
Blackburn Tim M., Harvey Paul H., & Pagel Mark D. (1990) Species Number, Population Density and Body Size Relationships in Natural Communities. The Journal of Animal Ecology, 59(1), 335. DOI: 10.2307/5176
For this week’s video tip of the week, I’m going to highlight the services of figshare. Figshare is a terrific resource for storing data, posters, paper, slides, code, movies, and more. Nearly any sort of digital item that you may be creating as part of your research or research communications projects can be uploaded to [...]... Read more »
Cai, Y., Wilson, M., & Peccoud, J. (2010) GenoCAD for iGEM: a grammatical approach to the design of standard-compliant constructs. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(8), 2637-2644. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq086
A new editorial in The Journal of Comparative Neurology celebrates a paper that goes the extra mile in making its anatomical data available:
(The authors) provide an unprecedented level of access to their supporting data by publishing their full set of experimental outcomes in the form of virtual slides, or whole‐slide images.
The editorial nicely summarizes why archiving data from brain slices is particularly important. Brains are complex structures, and there is necessarily a lot of inter........ Read more »
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is a good portal for the S&C coach. However, I keep reading articles in it that make me question its scientific rigour. I’ve already written about a recent paper in which a completely invalid methodology was used (although I must thank them for this as it was a great teaching tool). Now, they have published an article entitled “Changes in Height, Body Weight, and Body Composition in American Football Players From 1942 to 2011″.... Read more »
Anzell AR, Potteiger JA, Kraemer WJ, & Otieno S. (2013) Changes in height, body weight, and body composition in American football players from 1942 to 2011. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 27(2), 277-84. PMID: 23222088
Hey Julie, All those conferences sound completely AMAZING! I love that both dog urine and poo are totally appropriate topics for us to discuss in our conversations. All the other scientists are so jealous right now!I hope you've been well since getting home again. We've just been through the longest heatwave ever recorded in Melbourne over the past fortnight (9 days over 30oC / 90oF in a row) and today it's finally cooled off, hooray! I haven't posted you the TimTams I promised you on Twitt........ Read more »
Gosling Samuel D., Augustine Adam A, Vazire Simine, Holtzman Nicholas, & Gaddis Sam. (2011) Manifestations of Personality in Online Social Networks: Self-Reported Facebook-Related Behaviors and Observable Profile Information. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(9), 483-488. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0087
Seligman Martin E. P., Ernst Randal M., Gillham Jane, Reivich Karen, & Linkins Mark. (2009) Positive education: positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3), 293-311. DOI: 10.1080/03054980902934563
I would like to discuss one method used for estimate thickness of Antarctic ice, which could be easily adopted for space exploration and could be used to estimate the thickness of ice mantle on extraterrestrial planets, on Ceres and other bodies in the main asteroid belt, and on Jovian moons.... Read more »
Miller, T., Schaefer, R., & Brian Sequeira, H. (2012) PRIDE (Passive Radio [frequency] Ice Depth Experiment): An instrument to passively measure ice depth from a Europan orbiter using neutrinos. Icarus, 220(2), 877-888. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.05.028
In case you missed it, I had a guest post this week in Nature's SpotOn NYC series on Communication and the Brain (#BeBraiNY), held in conjunction with Brain Awareness Week. The theme concerned the challenges of engaging the public's interest in cognitive sciences, and communicating the knowns (and unknowns) of brain disorders:In the current funding climate of budget cuts and sequestration, there’s a wide latitude between overselling the immediate clinical implications of "imaging every spike........ Read more »
Joachim Allgaier, Sharon Dunwoody, Dominique Brossard, Yin-Yueh Lo, & Hans Peter Peters. (2013) Journalism and Social Media as Means of Observing the Contexts of Science. BioScience. info:/10.1525/bio.2013.63.4.8
Martian exploration is unquestionably a hot topic right now. Mainstream media outlets have largely focused on the most visible efforts of the Curiosity mission, and that’s a good thing. While people might be thrilled with the photographs that they have an opportunity to view on their screens however, they may be less familiar with the [...]... Read more »
Peters, G., Smith, J., Mungas, G., Bearman, G., Shiraishi, L., & Beegle, L. (2008) RASP-based sample acquisition of analogue Martian permafrost samples: Implications for NASA's Phoenix scout mission. Planetary and Space Science, 56(3-4), 303-309. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2007.10.001
Amato P, Doyle SM, Battista JR, & Christner BC. (2010) Implications of subzero metabolic activity on long-term microbial survival in terrestrial and extraterrestrial permafrost. Astrobiology, 10(8), 789-98. PMID: 21087159
Being able to predict the pace of technological development could be quite useful for a lot of people. No surprise then, that several models (or ‘laws’) have been posited that aim to describe how technological progress will unfurl (the most famous one probably being Moore’s law, for those interested: original article here). However, these laws [...]... Read more »
Nagy, B., Farmer, J., Bui, Q., & Trancik, J. (2013) Statistical Basis for Predicting Technological Progress. PLoS ONE, 8(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052669
"It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is." -President Bill Clinton, August 17, 1998image: Brain electrodes, by laimagendelmundoDr. Vaughan Bell at Mind Hacks wrote a terrific post on The history of the birth of neuroculture as a follow-up to his Observer piece on Folk Neuroscience. That article explained how neuro talk has invaded many aspects of everyday discourse. In the new post he briefly covers the history of modern neuroscience, a necessary prelude to contemporary neuroc........ Read more »
Adelman, G. (2010) The Neurosciences Research Program at MIT and the Beginning of the Modern Field of Neuroscience. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 19(1), 15-23. DOI: 10.1080/09647040902720651
LEWIS, N. (1948) SUGGESTIVE RESEARCH LEADS IN CONTEMPORARY NEUROCHEMISTRY. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 136(13), 866. DOI: 10.1001/jama.1948.02890300016005
Because it is hard to get a paper published in a high-impact journal, it is often assumed that such papers are of particularly high quality. In practice, however, these journals focus more on newsworthiness of findings than methodological rigour, and, as Tressoldi et al (2013) have shown, their standards of statistical reporting can be low. This point is illustrated by a recent paper in Current Biology entitled "Action video games make dyslexic children read better." This study was ser........ Read more »
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