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  • May 26, 2017
  • 12:14 PM
  • 25 views

How to find articles in open access – tips from my favorite nerd

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Scholarly communication available online, whether in journals or repositories, adds up to millions, and this figure grows every year. What browser efficient tools are available to researchers, librarians, students, and the like to find the open-access versions of the articles that interest them? … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 17, 2017
  • 03:08 PM
  • 127 views

Paper About Plagiarism Contains Plagiarism

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Regular readers will know that I have an interest in plagiarism. Today I discovered an amusing case of plagiarism in a paper about plagiarism.

The paper is called The confounding factors leading to plagiarism in academic writing and some suggested remedies. It recently appeared in the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA) and it's written by two Saudi Arabia-based authors, Salman Yousuf Guraya and Shaista Salman Guraya.



Here's an example of the plagiarism: a 2015 paper by ... Read more »

  • May 17, 2017
  • 04:20 AM
  • 90 views

Carbon nanotubes, what are they good for?

by kylius wilkins in It Ain't Magic

Kylius Wilkins talks to Urs Frey and his paper that described his recent success manufacturing carbon nanotubes (CNTs).... Read more »

  • May 16, 2017
  • 10:15 AM
  • 102 views

Fatal Attraction: Praying Mantises (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Britta Bibbo We all know the character: an incredibly beautiful woman that seduces the rough-and-tumble action hero, only for him to later find himself chained up over a lava pit with sharks in it! …Or something like that. A “femme fatal” is the idea of a beautiful woman who leads men to their demise. None are more perfect for this role than the female praying mantis. Praying mantis females practice the art of deception through sexual cannibalism. It’s exactly how it sounds: the male is attracted to the female and tries to make some babies, but instead ends up being devoured. Sexual cannibalism hardly seems like a good strategy for keeping the mantis population up, but some argue it’s merely females taking advantage of every scrap of food they can find… even if it’s a loving male. False garden mantis (Pseudomantis albofimbriata). Image by Donald Hobern from Wikimedia Commons.When male mantises encounter a female in the wild they only have one thing on the brain, while a female may be more interested in self-preservation. If she hasn’t encountered food for a few days she will be VERY hungry and not all that interested in mating; in many species of mantises it is known that female mantises will eat males, even while having sex! So how do female mantises attract males? For most insects, females are able to attract males with pheromones, chemicals released from an individual that affect other individuals of the same species. For instance, females can emit pheromones that will be telling of their age, reproductive status, and body condition. Males are able to detect pheromones from great distances and these pheromones play a role in allowing a male to determine how attractive a female could be. Before any sexy time can begin, females have to show that they are open to male advances. Showing a male you’ve never met before that you’re interested can be a difficult task- so females typically emit pheromones that are known as honest signals. These signals accurately convey female interest in mating, as well as her reproductive status, age, and body condition. Because the majority of females are being honest, males don’t have to think twice about their mate’s intentions. This is where female deception comes into play. If a female takes advantage of the lack of male wariness, she could end up with an easy meal. This deception by the females is what scientists know as the Femme Fatale hypothesis. This hypothesis explains that female mantises are naturally selected to deceive male mantises, and exploit them as food. This idea hasn’t had much backing evidence until Dr. Kate Barry of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia sought to test this hypothesis with the false garden mantis (Pseudomantis albofimbriata). After considering the test subjects and how the mantises communicate, Kate expected one of three possible outcomes: 1. There will be no pattern between female hunger and male attraction (if female false garden mantises are not femme fatales and false garden mantis pheromones do not communicate feeding-related information). 2. The well-fed females will attract the most males, while hungry females will attract the fewest males (if female false garden mantises are not femme fatales and females are always honest about their quality and willingness to mate). 3. The hungriest females will attract the most males, while well-fed females will still attract some males (if female false garden mantises are femme fatales and females are dishonest about their quality and willingness to mate when they are hungry). To test her expectations, Kate gathered juvenile mantises that were close to their adult forms to have many male and female mantises that have no previous mating experience. Once the mantises were adults, females were given different feeding regimens to have a range of hunger. Categories included Good (well-fed), Medium (slightly less fed), Poor (hungry), and Very Poor (very, very hungry). Adult mantises were housed in a circular cage that separated each female individually around the edge, while the males were kept in the center. Diagram of cage experiment was conducted in. Image by Britta Bibbo.To allow the males to smell the female pheromones, researchers separated males by special walls that the males could not see through, but could still detect the pheromones given off by a female. The number of males on a female’s side of the cage was used to measure how attractive her pheromones were to the males. The results of this study concluded that pheromones produced by the females that were very hungry were the most attractive to males. Through deception, the hungriest females are seen as sexier than well-fed, healthy females that are willing to mate! This result is surprising; normally females that are well-fed are seen as “sexier” because they have more nutrients available to them, making them more fertile. Hungry females have fewer nutrients available to them, making them less fertile, and therefore not as “sexy”. These hungry female mantises are advertising themselves as well-fed, fertile, and ready to rock when really, they’re not. Simply put, these results show that males are being catfished, and then consumed. Whether hungry females are actively trying to deceive males or if it’s just coincidental still needs to be looked into, but for now, be thankful for a partner who will see you as more than just a piece of meat! Literature Cited:Barry, K. (2014). Sexual deception in a cannibalistic mating system? Testing the Femme Fatale hypothesis Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1800), 20141428-20141428 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1428 ... Read more »

  • May 10, 2017
  • 04:29 PM
  • 157 views

Gender disparities in science persist despite significant advances

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The participation of women as authors in academic publications has been increasing significantly worldwide and in all areas of knowledge, reaching 49% in Brazil and Portugal, followed by Australia (44%) and the European Union (41%). Gender equity in science, however, still has a long way to go, especially in the editing and peer review functions. A study of more than 41,000 articles published between 2007 and 2015 shows that male editors - who are majority - preferentially select same gender referees. … Read More →... Read more »

Markus Helmer, Manuel Schottdorf, Andreas Neef, & Demian Battaglia. (2017) Gender bias in scholarly peer review. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.21718.001  

Lerback, J., & Hanson, B. (2017) Journals invite too few women to referee. Nature, 541(7638), 455-457. DOI: 10.1038/541455a  

  • May 8, 2017
  • 01:25 PM
  • 137 views

Health systems in Brazil and regionalization policies

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

There is currently a crucial moment in the implementation of the Unified Health System (SUS), since its performance is questioned on all sides, in general, magnifying a superficial view of its failures and denying many of its successes. … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 8, 2017
  • 12:56 AM
  • 131 views

Finding real rewards in a virtual world

by adam phillips in It Ain't Magic

A new study shows that mice who learn to find goals in virtual reality use their hippocampus the same was as in the real world.... Read more »

  • May 2, 2017
  • 10:20 AM
  • 175 views

Openness is the only quality of an academic article that can be objectively measured

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Quality of scientific research articles is a widespread preoccupation in academic circles. The most used proxy is based on citation counts, not of the article itself, but of the averages of articles appearing in the same journal during a given time window. This is known as the Journal Impact Factor, which may be objective within its own definition, but utterly lacks objectivity with regard to scientific quality of individual articles. Only some technical qualities of articles can be assessed at the time of their publication, and, significantly, their openness, the degree to which the research results they describe can be immediately and universally shared. … Read More →... Read more »

  • April 25, 2017
  • 01:46 PM
  • 254 views

Editors of Brazilian journals – a hard life that is getting harder! [Originally published as the editorial in Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências vol. 89 no. 1]

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The financing of journals of Brazil can be improved by extending the validity period of research grants, in order to allow publishers a better plan for articles publication. An editorial written by Alexander Kellner in the first issue of 2017 of Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências examines the challenge faced by editors of journals of Brazil and highlights their hard work in attracting relevant manuscripts, seeking to achieve ever greater levels of excellence and internationalization. … Read More →... Read more »

CORDEIRO, Y., & SCHUCK, P. (2015) Hot Topics in Biomedical Sciences. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 87(2), 1271-1272. DOI: 10.1590/0001-376520158722  

Vasconcelos, S., Sorenson, M., Watanabe, E., Foguel, D., & Palácios, M. (2015) Brazilian Science and Research Integrity: Where are We? What Next?. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 87(2), 1259-1269. DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201520150165  

  • April 24, 2017
  • 04:22 AM
  • 214 views

Promising mouse model for Ngly1 deficiency

by adam phillips in It Ain't Magic

A recent study of Ngly1 deficient mice used a secondary knockout to create double knockouts with symptoms similar to human NGLY1 deficiency.... Read more »

  • April 22, 2017
  • 11:30 PM
  • 285 views

Intrinsic Motivation Is Caused by Achievement

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Education interventions (specifically those dealing with mathematics education) designed to increase achievement may be better uses of time than those designed to increase intrinsic motivation.... Read more »

  • April 17, 2017
  • 01:00 PM
  • 62 views

The emergence of the alternative metric that can make the measurement of world academic production more fair and egalitarian

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

The growing use of social networks for various purposes, including the dissemination of scientific communication, has required the creation of a new method of measuring and analyzing the flow of information in these environments. Altmetria emerged as a subarea of Metrics Information Studies to meet this need, and can complement traditional methods of evaluation, thus making it more fair and egalitarian. … Read More →... Read more »

  • April 11, 2017
  • 10:22 AM
  • 354 views

Risking Limb for Life? (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Matthew Whitley Imagine you are walking alone in parking lot, when suddenly somebody grabs you by the arm and flashes a knife, demanding your money. Do you A) scream for help, B) try to wrestle the knife away, or C) remove your arm from your shoulder and make a break for it? Disarming your assailant may seem preferable to dis-arming yourself, but for a lizard option C is a likely response. A lizard tail left behind. Image by Metatron at Wikimedia Commons.You likely have heard before that many lizards can break off their tail when trying to make an escape. This ability is called caudal autotomy; autotomy meaning the ability to shed a limb, and caudal simply being a fancy word for tail. Of course, losing a limb is no simple procedure, and lizards possess many specialized features to make caudal autotomy possible. There are two main kinds of caudal autotomy in lizards: intervertebral and intravertebral. Intervertebral refers to when the tail breaks between vertebrae, and is considered the simpler and more primitive form. Intravertebral, on the other hand, involves some more complex features. The word intravertebral refers to fracture planes found in the middle of each vertebra in the middle of the lizard’s tail. At these fracture planes, the bone can easily snap in half. This snapping of bone is performed by the lizard itself—when its tail is caught, muscles surrounding the bone just above where its tail is held squeeze tight until the bone breaks. After the bone breaks, the rest of the tail follows: the skin stretches and breaks, muscles detach, any remaining tissue divides, and—POP—the tail falls off! After snapping your arm off to run from an attacker, you would probably just bleed out in your retreat, but lizards have that covered. In their tails, lizards have sphincters (rings of muscle) along their arteries—vessels that normally carry blood to the tail. When the tail is detached, these sphincters tighten to prevent blood from gushing out. Additionally, their veins, which normally bring blood back from the tail, have valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards, similar to the valves in your heart. And while the lizard makes its escape, the dislocated tail jerks and twitches, which distracts the lizard’s assailant. The tail owes its spastic actions to fast, glycolytic muscles, a variety of muscle that can act quickly and with a lot of force, but wears out quickly. After our reptilian friend has made its daring escape, it has a new problem—it has no tail. A lizard without its tail is at a disadvantage, just as you would be without your arm. Lizards rely on their tails for several functions, including movement, nutrient storage, and social and sexual behaviors. Fortunately, lizards that exercise caudal autotomy can actually re-grow their tails, a process which itself is highly complex. In lieu of a lengthy explanation of another amazing phenomenon, I’ll share this tidbit: to regain lost nutrients and help recover, some lizards have been known to go back and eat their lost tail! So when you tear off your arm to escape a mugger, don’t forget to return to the scene of the crime to self-cannibalize…or maybe just buy some pepper spray beforehand. Here you can see that the lizard is caught by the tail, pops it off and runs away, and the tail is left twitching.Works CitedBateman, P., & Fleming, P. (2009). To cut a long tail short: a review of lizard caudal autotomy studies carried out over the last 20 years Journal of Zoology, 277 (1), 1-14 DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2008.00484.xClause, A., & Capaldi, E. (2006). Caudal autotomy and regeneration in lizards Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Comparative Experimental Biology, 305A (12), 965-973 DOI: 10.1002/jez.a.346Gilbert, E., Payne, S., & Vickaryous, M. (2013). The Anatomy and Histology of Caudal Autotomy and Regeneration in Lizards Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 86 (6), 631-644 DOI: 10.1086/673889 ... Read more »

Clause, A., & Capaldi, E. (2006) Caudal autotomy and regeneration in lizards. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Comparative Experimental Biology, 305A(12), 965-973. DOI: 10.1002/jez.a.346  

Gilbert, E., Payne, S., & Vickaryous, M. (2013) The Anatomy and Histology of Caudal Autotomy and Regeneration in Lizards. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 86(6), 631-644. DOI: 10.1086/673889  

  • April 11, 2017
  • 08:08 AM
  • 65 views

The Landscape of Neuroscience 2006 - 2015

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

How has neuroscience changed over the past decade? In a new paper, Hong Kong researchers Andy Wai Kan Yeung and colleagues take a look at brain science using the tools of citation analysis.



Yeung et al. extracted data from 2006-2015 from Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports (JCR), which track publications and citations. All journals that the JCR classifies in the "Neurosciences" category were included.

The first change Yeung et al. noticed was that the number of published neuros... Read more »

  • April 7, 2017
  • 03:02 PM
  • 51 views

Outsourcing and precariousness of work in the social assistance policy

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

This paper presents the work conditions of psychologists hired by private organizations to work at the Sistema Único de Assistência Social (Unified System for Social Assistance). Among other things, it concludes that this “outsourcing” process has been allowing temporary contracts, high turnover rates, late payment of salaries, dismissal of large groups of employees and lack of continuing education, which impacts the health of the workers and the quality of the services offered. … Read More →... Read more »

  • April 7, 2017
  • 02:18 PM
  • 300 views

Are we in the GSM Radar?

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Google Scholar Metrics (GSM) offers alternative metrics to the JCR Impact Factor and the SJR, namely the h-5 index. To enter this world ranking that covers more than 40,000 journals it is only necessary to publish an average of 20 articles per year and be cited. However, there are hundreds of journals (our journals) that are not being indexed in GSM. They're off Radar. … Read More →... Read more »

Enrique Ordua-Malea, Alberto Martín-Martín, Juan M. Ayllón, & Emilio Delgado López Cozar. (2016) La revolución Google Scholar: destapando la caja de Pandora académica. Universidad de Granada. info:/

  • April 4, 2017
  • 06:00 PM
  • 193 views

New rice fights off drought

by adam phillips in It Ain't Magic

Researchers have created drought resistant transgenic rice using a gene from a small Eurasian flowering plant.... Read more »

  • April 4, 2017
  • 11:00 AM
  • 313 views

Researchers Finally Ask: Does Your Cat Even Like To Be Around You?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This cat has had enough and is running away from home. Photo by Danielle Menuey.While dogs happily and obliviously boast the reputation of being “man’s best friend”, cats have a reputation of being antisocial, independent, and downright grumpy. But do cats really deserve that? Scientists finally decided to find out.Kristin Vitale Shreve and Monique Udell from Oregon State University and Lindsay Mehrkam from Monmouth University asked 25 pet cats and 25 shelter cats their preferences. How do you ask a cat what it prefers, you ask? You run a preference test, of course! A preference test is an experiment in which you place two or more things at equal distances from a subject and then test which of those things the subject spends the most time with.Researchers suggest that these are some happy cats. Photo by Courtney Magnuson.The researchers wanted to know if cats preferred: (1) food, (2) toys, (3) social interactions with humans, or (4) interesting odors. The trouble with that, however, is that there are many different foods, toys, interactions, and odors to choose from. So first, the researchers tested each cats' preferences within each category.Will work for food. Photo by Charity Juang.For food, the researchers put a soft chicken-flavored treat, actual chicken, and tuna into and around three puzzle boxes (so the cats would have easy access to taste some of each food, but couldn’t quickly gobble it up) and measured where the cats spent their time over a 3-minute period. Most of the cats liked the tuna most, next followed by the chicken, and they liked the soft treat the least.For toys, the researchers made a movement toy by attaching a Dancer 101 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy to a board and placing a GoCat Da Bird Feather Toy on the end with clear fishing line that was moved by an experimenter who was hidden outside the room. They then offered the movement toy, a still GoCat Da Bird Feather Toy on a board and a fuzzy shaker-mouse and they measured which toys the cats interacted with over a 3-minute period. Most of the cats liked the movement toy most, and they didn’t have much of a preference between the other two toys.To test for cat preferences for types of human interactions, the cat’s owner (if it was a pet cat) or a researcher (if it was a shelter cat) spent one minute talking to the cat, another minute petting the cat (or holding their hand out to offer petting), and another minute playing with the cat with the feather toy (or holding out the toy). Researchers measured what proportion of each minute the cat spent interacting with the human. The cats interacted most with the humans during the play condition, next followed by petting, and least of all talking.To see what odors cats preferred, the researchers put out cloths embedded with the scent of a gerbil (a potential prey), another cat, or catnip. The cats overwhelmingly preferred the catnip.The preference test. Image from Vitale Shreve et al. 2017.Once the researchers figured out what each cat preferred in each category, they set up a four-way grid with their favorite food, toy, social interaction, and odor and let them spend the next three minutes any way they liked. Although there was a lot of variation among cats, 50% of the cats most preferred the social interaction with the human... even over food! Interestingly, the pet cats (who interacted with their owners) were no different in this regard than the shelter cats (who interacted with a researcher). But 37% of the cats most preferred food (maybe you have one of these cats). 11% preferred toys over all else. Only 1 cat (a pet named Hallie) preferred odor… the catnip fiend!So although cats all have their own personalities, most of them really do like people. And they especially like to play with people. And, it turns out, they even do better at this than dogs (most of whom prefer food over people, when it really comes down to it). So go play with your kitty and give her some tuna… she’ll love you for it. And, yes. This means that even cats can be trained with human interaction and food: ...But maybe not this one:Some cats need more work than others. Photo by Jen Bray. Want to know more? Check this out:Vitale Shreve, K., Mehrkam, L., &... Read more »

  • April 4, 2017
  • 12:49 AM
  • 248 views

A clue towards understanding intrinsically disordered proteins

by ragothamanyennamalli in Getting to know Structural Bioinformatics

ntrinsically disordered proteins are thought to be fully functional, yet do not confirm to a single conformation, thereby identifying their structure via crystallography becomes problematic. Many intrinsically disordered proteins have been studied and analyzed using NMR methods, however the question as to why proteins are intrinsically disordered is still debatable.... Read more »

  • April 3, 2017
  • 01:00 PM
  • 62 views

Medical practice precariousness at the Unified Health System — SUS

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

The medical practice in the Unified Health System is a study topic published in the journal Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas), which reveals the working conditions of these professionals and the impacts on personal health, analyzed through interviews and self-confidence. … Read More →... Read more »

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