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  • November 2, 2011
  • 06:33 PM

Marijuana: The New Generation

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

  What’s in that “Spice” packet?
They first turned up in Europe and the U.K.; those neon-colored foil packets labeled “Spice,” sold in small stores and novelty shops, next to the 2 oz. power drinks and the caffeine pills. Unlike the stimulants known as mephedrone or M-Cat, or the several variations on the formula for MDMA—both of which have also been marketed as Spice and “bath salts”—the bulk of the new products in the Spice line were synthetic versions of cannabis. ........ Read more »

  • November 2, 2011
  • 04:03 PM

Night of the Bargain Hunter: some bats pick prey based on the cost of the hunt

by Matt Soniak in

While they’re less likely to Wall Street than a barn upstate, bats are as concerned as we are about the economy. Their economy revolves around energy instead of money, though, and a problem on the balance sheet can be a matter of life and death. If they spend more energy catching a meal than that [...]... Read more »

Koselj K, Schnitzler HU, & Siemers BM. (2011) Horseshoe bats make adaptive prey-selection decisions, informed by echo cues. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 278(1721), 3034-41. PMID: 21367788  

Salvatore J. Agosta, David Morton, & Kellie M. Kuhn. (2003) Feeding ecology of the bat Eptesicus fuscus: ‘preferred’ prey abundance as one factor influencing prey selection and diet breadth . Journal of Zoology , 260(2), 169-177. info:/10.1017/S0952836903003601

  • November 2, 2011
  • 10:43 AM

What is peer-review for?

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

(This is re-posted from the Scientific American Guest Blog)There is a lot of back and forth right now amongst the academic technorati about the "future of peer review". The more I read about this, the more I've begun to step back and ask, in all seriousness:What is scientific peer-review for?This is, I believe, a damn important question to have answered. To put my money where my mouth is I'm going to answer my own question, in my own words:The scientific peer-review process increases the probabi........ Read more »

  • November 2, 2011
  • 12:01 AM

Patellar Tendon versus Hamstring Autografts: 11-year Follow-Up of a Randomized Clinical Trial

by Nicole Cattano in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

The goals of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery are to decrease symptoms, increase function, and to return to pre-injury activity status. There are numerous techniques and grafts utilized for ACL reconstruction, including autografts or allografts. Autografts are frequently selected, and can consist of patellar tendon (PT) or semitendinosus and gracilis (STG) tendons. Currently, there is no consensus as to which graft is the best option for optimal outcomes. Therefore, th........ Read more »

  • November 1, 2011
  • 10:54 AM

Understanding cancer metastasis – possible new therapeutic targets

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

. “Scientists at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia have identified a key mechanism of metastasis that could lead to blocking tumor growth if their findings are confirmed.” AACR press release Loved this opening to an AACR press release about a … Continue reading →
... Read more »

  • November 1, 2011
  • 04:49 AM

Trip or Treat?

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

Experience a hallucination without psychedelics... Read more »

Caputo GB. (2010) Strange-face-in-the-mirror illusion. Perception, 39(7), 1007-8. PMID: 20842976  

  • November 1, 2011
  • 12:01 AM

Performance of Updated Recommendations for ECG Interpretations When Screening Athletes

by Jeffrey B. Driban in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

SMR has summarized a few studies (see related posts below) regarding the debate about whether or not electrocardiograms (ECGs) should be included in preparticipation physical examinations. One concern is that universal ECG screening may lead to a high rate of false positive findings (summary of common diagnostic terms). To address this concern, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), one of the organizations endorsing ECG screening, recently updated recommendations for ECG interpretation among........ Read more »

  • October 31, 2011
  • 06:17 PM

On a Mission for Protein Information

by Jennifer in OpenHelix

It’s probably just the human brain’s ability to connect dots  &  find patterns, but it can be interesting how many “unrelated” events and information bits accumulate in my head & eventually get mulled into an idea or theory. Take, for example, a recent biotech mixer, bits from an education leadership series & a past Nature [...]... Read more »

Edwards, A., Isserlin, R., Bader, G., Frye, S., Willson, T., & Yu, F. (2011) Too many roads not taken. Nature, 470(7333), 163-165. DOI: 10.1038/470163a  

  • October 31, 2011
  • 04:15 PM

Things that might’ve happened to you during Halloween weekend

by NerdyOne in Try Nerdy

Happy Halloween, Nerds! With Halloween falling on a Monday this year, my guess is that many of you did your Halloween partying some time over the past few days. Maybe you had an awesome costume that you spent months planning, or maybe you threw on a black turtleneck at the last minute and called yourself Steve Jobs (too soon?). Either way, I think there’s a high probability that you enjoyed some candy, and perhaps an alcoholic beverage or two (three, four, five…). Am I right? (Unles........ Read more »

  • October 31, 2011
  • 04:13 PM

The Google of Negative Results

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A new online resource has been launched which offers us the chance to find out what isn't happening in science.BioNOT is a free searchable database of negative findings in biology and medicine.Text mining approaches to the scientific literature have become increasingly popular as a way of helping researchers to make sense of a growing number of papers. But they've tended to focus on positive findings and skim over negative ones. In this sense they're following in the tradition of scientists them........ Read more »

  • October 31, 2011
  • 03:03 PM

Are women “afraid” to give birth on Halloween?

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Happy Halloween! Halloween is associated with ghouls, death, witches, zombies, and all sorts of other “negative” images.  Although most Americans enjoy celebrating Halloween, it has a stereotype of being the creepiest and darkest of US holidays.  One might say that Valentine’s Day … Continue reading →... Read more »

Levy BR, Chung PH, & Slade MD. (2011) Influence of Valentine's Day and Halloween on Birth Timing. Social science , 73(8), 1246-8. PMID: 21880409  

  • October 31, 2011
  • 12:32 PM

An easier (and safer) route to stem cell therapies

by Bruce Lieberman in Beaker

Could there be a safer and more predictable way to reprogram adult skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells?... Read more »

  • October 31, 2011
  • 12:26 PM

A Natural History of Vampires

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Medveđa, Serbia. Jan. 1732 — The Carpathian mountains loomed ominously to the east, as if nature herself was conspiring with evil. In the valley below a shadow had been draped over the corpses that now littered the quiet cemetery. Of the forty villagers exhumed that morning, a total of thirteen had been identified as vampires. [...]

... Read more »

  • October 31, 2011
  • 03:54 AM

Trick or Treatment: Do Doctors Encourage Poor Patient Behaviors?

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

Happy Pumpkin Day folks, and to celebrate this day of weird encounters, I am going to reel off a list of the commonest peeves I have experienced in the past couple of years I have been doing Medicine. There are obvious gaps in the stories, and many are not even unique to me, but I [...]... Read more »

Moseley, J., O'Malley, K., Petersen, N., Menke, T., Brody, B., Kuykendall, D., Hollingsworth, J., Ashton, C., & Wray, N. (2002) A Controlled Trial of Arthroscopic Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. New England Journal of Medicine, 347(2), 81-88. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa013259  

  • October 31, 2011
  • 03:45 AM

Buried Alive!

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The pathological fear of being buried alive is called taphophobia1 [from the Greek taphos, or grave]. Being buried alive seems like a fate worse than death, the stuff of nightmares and horror movies and Edgar Allan Poe short stories. What could be pathological about such a fear? When taken to extremes, it can become a morbid, all-consuming obsession. In 1881, psychiatrist Enrico Morselli wrote about "two hitherto undescribed forms of Insanity" (English translation, 2001):As the result of some ob........ Read more »

  • October 31, 2011
  • 01:32 AM

What is Celiac Disease?

by Brooke N in Smaller Questions

An extensive overview of Celiac disease, from immunological response and tissue pathology to diagnosis and clinical manifestations.... Read more »

Peter H.R. Green, M.D., and Christophe Cellier, M.D., Ph.D. (2007) Celiac Disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 1731-1743. info:/

  • October 31, 2011
  • 12:01 AM

Consistency of a Clinical Reaction Time Assessment Between Seasons: A Possible Low Cost Concussion Assessment?

by Jeffrey B. Driban in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Reaction time is commonly impaired after a concussion and is often assessed in computerized concussion assessment programs. Unfortunately, many sports medicine clinicians, particularly those working with younger athletes, may not have access to computerized concussion assessment programs. Therefore, Eckner et al developed a simple clinical measurement of reaction time; however, the test-retest reliability (consistency) of their assessment as well as computerized reaction time assessments have no........ Read more »

  • October 30, 2011
  • 01:36 AM

Charles Beevor: The Sign of a “Bloody” Jerk

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

Forgive the hyperbolic title. Do not take offense and read on before hating on me. Thanks. Please note the post script for added justification for this inflammatory title, if you so feel. Thanks. Now on with the main show! Charles Edward Beevor is probably the most well known for the eponymous neurological sign in his [...]... Read more »

Pearce, J. (2005) Beevor’s Sign. European Neurology, 53(4), 208-209. DOI: 10.1159/000086731  

  • October 28, 2011
  • 10:07 AM

‘Cancer Free’? What kind of Cancer does Chavez really have?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Is the Venezuelan president really ‘cancer free’? Rumours started in July 2011 that the Venezuelan ‘dictator was’ unwell. Officials vociferously denied it. Now it is known that Hugo Chavez has been suffering from cancer, has undergone chemotherapy, and survived kidney failure. But the true nature of his illness remains shrouded in mystery. Enthusiatically claiming he [...]... Read more »

  • October 28, 2011
  • 12:04 AM

Effect of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Exercise Tolerance in Asthmatic Individuals

by Jeffrey B. Driban in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Patients with asthma place a greater demand on their inspiratory muscles, particularly during exercise. The greater workload may increase the risk of fatigue of the inspiratory muscles and therefore exacerbate dyspnea (shortness of breath) and reduce exercise tolerance. It has been hypothesized that strength training the inspiratory muscles in patients with asthma may help decrease the intensity of dyspnea and improve exercise tolerance. Therefore, Turner et al. performed a matched double-blind ........ Read more »

Turner LA, Mickleborough TD, McConnell AK, Stager JM, Tecklenburg-Lund S, & Lindley MR. (2011) Effect of inspiratory muscle training on exercise tolerance in asthmatic individuals. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(11), 2031-8. PMID: 21502887  

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