Today I bring you something extra special: A guest post from Lucas Brouwers of the world-famous blog Thoughtomics. He loves genomes, I love plankton, and you get a great story involving spaceships, genomic party crashers, and, of course, a planktonic … Continue reading →... Read more »
Denoeud F, Henriet S, Mungpakdee S, Aury JM, Da Silva C, Brinkmann H, Mikhaleva J, Olsen LC, Jubin C, Cañestro C.... (2010) Plasticity of Animal Genome Architecture Unmasked by Rapid Evolution of a Pelagic Tunicate. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 21097902
Placebo effects are a great way to start a conversation, particularly if one is at a Clinical Trials Festival. Rather than being fascinated by the possibilities of the brain’s internal capacities to influence its own outputs, some believe placebo effects are a nuisance and something to either ignored or removed. Well, as you will see [...]... Read more »
 Wager TD, Rilling JK, Smith EE, Sokolik A, Casey KL, Davidson RJ, Kosslyn SM, Rose RM, & Cohen JD. (2004) Placebo-induced changes in FMRI in the anticipation and experience of pain. Science (New York, N.Y.), 303(5661), 1162-7. PMID: 14976306
 Mondloch MV, Cole DC, & Frank JW. (2001) Does how you do depend on how you think you'll do? A systematic review of the evidence for a relation between patients' recovery expectations and health outcomes. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal , 165(2), 174-9. PMID: 11501456
 Hrobjartsson, A., & Gotzsche, P. (2004) Is the placebo powerless? Update of a systematic review with 52 new randomized trials comparing placebo with no treatment. Journal of Internal Medicine, 256(2), 91-100. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2004.01355.x
 Kamper SJ, Machado LA, Herbert RD, Maher CG, & McAuley JH. (2008) Trial methodology and patient characteristics did not influence the size of placebo effects on pain. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 61(3), 256-60. PMID: 18226748
The HIV pandemic in the US has developed a stable appearance over the last few years, and that appearance is notably non-white and non-wealthy. When the pandemic was discovered nearly thirty years ago, it was—in the US—primarily a disease of gay men. In Africa, the disease is everyone’s. Women make up significantly more than half [...]... Read more »
Jemmott, L., Jemmott, J., & O'Leary, A. (2007) Effects on Sexual Risk Behavior and STD Rate of Brief HIV/STD Prevention Interventions for African American Women in Primary Care Settings. American Journal of Public Health, 97(6), 1034-1040. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2003.020271
DiClemente RJ, Wingood GM, Harrington KF, Lang DL, Davies SL, Hook EW 3rd, Oh MK, Crosby RA, Hertzberg VS, Gordon AB.... (2004) Efficacy of an HIV prevention intervention for African American adolescent girls: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 292(2), 171-9. PMID: 15249566
Petroll, A., DiFranceisco, W., McAuliffe, T., Seal, D., Kelly, J., & Pinkerton, S. (2008) HIV Testing Rates, Testing Locations, and Healthcare Utilization among Urban African-American Men. Journal of Urban Health, 86(1), 119-131. DOI: 10.1007/s11524-008-9339-y
Bogart, L., Wagner, G., Galvan, F., & Banks, D. (2009) Conspiracy Beliefs About HIV Are Related to Antiretroviral Treatment Nonadherence Among African American Men With HIV. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 1. DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181c57dbc
Romer, D., Sznitman, S., DiClemente, R., Salazar, L., Vanable, P., Carey, M., Hennessy, M., Brown, L., Valois, R., Stanton, B.... (2009) Mass Media as an HIV-Prevention Strategy: Using Culturally Sensitive Messages to Reduce HIV-Associated Sexual Behavior of At-Risk African American Youth. American Journal of Public Health, 99(12), 2150-2159. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.155036
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010) Prevalence and awareness of HIV infection among men who have sex with men --- 21 cities, United States, 2008. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 59(37), 1201-7. PMID: 20864920
There was a very interesting speech/language session at SfN this year organized by Jonathan Peelle. Talks included presentations Sophie Scott, Jonas Obleser, Sonia Kotz, Matt Davis and others spanning an impressive range of methods and perspectives on auditory language processing. Good stuff and a fun group of people. It felt kind of like a joint lab meeting with lots of discussion. I want to emphasize one of the issues that came up, namely, the brain's response to intelligible speech and wh........ Read more »
Okada K, Rong F, Venezia J, Matchin W, Hsieh IH, Saberi K, Serences JT, & Hickok G. (2010) Hierarchical organization of human auditory cortex: evidence from acoustic invariance in the response to intelligible speech. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 20(10), 2486-95. PMID: 20100898
Historically, perhaps due to human interest in maximizing fishing activity, we have assumed that there is a great deal of gene flow in marine populations. This assumption allowed us to maximize fishing efforts without guilt, since a large, ocean-wide population would allow fish from other parts of the world to refill populations that we had reduced by overfishing. But you know what they say about assumptions: they make an ASS out of U and ME. Thus marine biologists have taken an interest ........ Read more »
Beacham, T. (2002) Multiple stock structure of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) off Newfoundland and Labrador determined from genetic variation. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59(4), 650-665. DOI: 10.1006/jmsc.2002.1253
Bradbury, I., Hubert, S., Higgins, B., Borza, T., Bowman, S., Paterson, I., Snelgrove, P., Morris, C., Gregory, R., Hardie, D.... (2010) Parallel adaptive evolution of Atlantic cod on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in response to temperature. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1701), 3725-3734. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0985
Hellberg, M. (2009) Gene Flow and Isolation among Populations of Marine Animals. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 40(1), 291-310. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.110308.120223
Have you ever cut up an apple to take for lunch, or prepared apples for a fresh fruit tray only to have them turn an unappealing shade of brown? You’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with brown apple slices, but they certainly don’t look nice, which discourages some people from eating as many apples as they should. Apples are a healthy snack and anything that gets people to eat more fruit could be considered Continue reading...... Read more »
Herb Aldwinckle, & Mickael Malnoy. (2009) Plant Regeneration and Transformation in the Rosaceae . Transgenic Plant Journal , 1-39. info:/
Bachem, C., Speckmann, G., van der Linde, P., Verheggen, F., Hunt, M., Steffens, J., & Zabeau, M. (1994) Antisense Expression of Polyphenol Oxidase Genes Inhibits Enzymatic Browning in Potato Tubers. Bio/Technology, 12(11), 1101-1105. DOI: 10.1038/nbt1194-1101
Rommens CM, Ye J, Richael C, & Swords K. (2006) Improving potato storage and processing characteristics through all-native DNA transformation. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 54(26), 9882-7. PMID: 17177515
Thipyapong P, Hunt MD, & Steffens JC. (2004) Antisense downregulation of polyphenol oxidase results in enhanced disease susceptibility. Planta, 220(1), 105-17. PMID: 15300439
"Two chimps had been shut out of their shelter by mistake during a cold rain storm. They were standing dejeted, water streaming down their shivering bodies, when Professor Köhler chanced to pass." Upon opening the door for the two chimps, Dr. James Leuba recounts, "instead of scampering in without more ado, as many a child would have done, each of them delayed entering the warm shelter long enough to throw its arms around his benefactor in a frenzy of satisfaction."
"Chimpanzees," primatolog........ Read more »
Krisin E. Bonnie, & Frans B. M. de Waal. (2004) Primate Social Reciprocity and the Origin of Gratitude. in Robert A. Emmons , 213-229. info:/
DEWAAL, F. (1997) The Chimpanzee's service economy: Food for grooming. Evolution and Human Behavior, 18(6), 375-386. DOI: 10.1016/S1090-5138(97)00085-8
HART, B., & HART, L. (1992) Reciprocal allogrooming in impala, Aepyceros melampus. Animal Behaviour, 44(6), 1073-1083. DOI: 10.1016/S0003-3472(05)80319-7
Seyfarth RM, & Cheney DL. (1984) Grooming, alliances and reciprocal altruism in vervet monkeys. Nature, 308(5959), 541-3. PMID: 6709060
Recently, at the NY Chemotherapy Foundation symposium, Dr Phil Kantoff from Dana Farber gave a lecture on new therapeutic strategies in prostate cancer. Despite the unsociably early hour (7.30am), the room was almost packed. While waiting for the session to … Continue reading →... Read more »
Gattinoni, L., Ji, Y., & Restifo, N. (2010) Wnt/ -Catenin Signaling in T-Cell Immunity and Cancer Immunotherapy. Clinical Cancer Research, 16(19), 4695-4701. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-0356
Staal, F., Luis, T., & Tiemessen, M. (2008) WNT signalling in the immune system: WNT is spreading its wings. Nature Reviews Immunology, 8(8), 581-593. DOI: 10.1038/nri2360
Fleming HE, Janzen V, Lo Celso C, Guo J, Leahy KM, Kronenberg HM, & Scadden DT. (2008) Wnt signaling in the niche enforces hematopoietic stem cell quiescence and is necessary to preserve self-renewal in vivo. Cell stem cell, 2(3), 274-83. PMID: 18371452
There are a number of factors, both behavioural and environmental, which are thought to play important roles in the current epidemic of obesity. These range from things like increased soft-drink consumption and decreased physical activity, which are at least nominally under our personal control, to more external factors like viruses, light pollution, and environmental contaminants, over which we have little or no control. How much of a role do these external factors play in the obesity epidemi........ Read more »
Klimentidis, Y., Beasley, T., Lin, H., Murati, G., Glass, G., Guyton, M., Newton, W., Jorgensen, M., Heymsfield, S., Kemnitz, J.... (2010) Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1890
An article was released online Monday in Environmental Health Perspectives which surprised me. For the last five or six years I’ve been enthusiastically extolling the evils of triclosan in the environment, but the connection with human immune dysfunction really caught me by surprise, most likely because I’m a microbiologist (this is probably not news to [...]... Read more »
Clayton, E., Todd, M., Dowd, J., & Aiello, A. (2010) The Impact of Bisphenol A and Triclosan on Immune Parameters in the US Population, NHANES 2003-2006. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002883
Pycke, B., Crabbe, A., Verstraete, W., & Leys, N. (2010) Characterization of Triclosan-Resistant Mutants Reveals Multiple Antimicrobial Resistance Mechanisms in Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(10), 3116-3123. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.02757-09
A surprising new model for studying muscle function was unveiled this week: the couch potato mouse. While these mice maintain normal activity and body weight, they don’t have the energy to exercise. In the December 1 issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, Dr. Daniel Kelly, Dr. Christoph Zechner and their colleagues report what happens when [...]... Read more »
Zechner C, Lai L, Zechner JF, Geng T, Yan Z, Rumsey JW, Collia D, Chen Z, Wozniak DF, Leone TC.... (2010) Total Skeletal Muscle PGC-1 Deficiency Uncouples Mitochondrial Derangements from Fiber Type Determination and Insulin Sensitivity. Cell metabolism, 12(6), 633-42. PMID: 21109195
Fossilized dinosaur tracks can be exceptionally informative traces of prehistoric life, but figuring out what dinosaur made a particular set of footprints can be tricky. Unless an animal literally dies in its tracks, the best we can do is to match the skeletal anatomy of dinosaur feet with the anatomical clues left in the impressions [...]... Read more »
Romilio, A., & Salisbury, S. (2010) A reassessment of large theropod dinosaur tracks from the mid-Cretaceous (late Albian–Cenomanian) Winton Formation of Lark Quarry, central-western Queensland, Australia: A case for mistaken identity. Cretaceous Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2010.11.003
Yesterday I was out with my running group, and chatting with an acquaintance. She was saying that someone at her office had accused her of “eating her feelings” when she was stressed. Her: She accused me of eating my feelings! I’m kind of upset she would say that…so I had a cookie, and then a [...]... Read more »
Ulrich-Lai YM, Christiansen AM, Ostrander MM, Jones AA, Jones KR, Choi DC, Krause EG, Evanson NK, Furay AR, Davis JF.... (2010) Pleasurable behaviors reduce stress via brain reward pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(47), 20529-34. PMID: 21059919
I recently came across a new editorial in Analytics Chemistry by Royce Murray entitled, Science Blogs and Caveat Emptor. The main thesis of the editorial is that you can trust peer-reviewed literature, you can trust mainstream science news, but when it comes to science blogs – caveat emptor. Murray states the following: “I firmly believe... Read more »
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
You know Pollyanna. It’s come to be a label we assign to describe people with optimistic outlooks. But it’s not just optimism. We also often assume gullibility and naïveté. New research from Canadian researchers shows us our stereotypes and assumptions may be quite in error. It turns out the those who tend toward the Pollyanna end [...]
Related posts:Deception Detection: The latest on what we know
Quick trial tips: Blinking, babies and on the left!
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
... Read more »
Carter, N.L., & Weber, J.M. (2010) Not Pollyanna’s: Higher generalized trust predicts lie detection ability. . Social Psychological and Personality Science. info:/
Regular readers of these pages will recall numerous posts on the profound effect of sleep deprivation on appetite and metabolism - a factor, believed by many, to be a major driver of the obesity epidemic (and not just in kids!).
Although epidemiological studies on sleep leave much to be desired both in quality and representativeness, current [...]... Read more »
Quick! How many dots?
You can do that fast, right? You don’t even have to count.
In comparison, as fast as you can, how many dots?
That’s much trickier, isn’t it? Slower. You have to count.
The first, “at a glance” way of determining the number of things is called subitizing.
A new paper by Bisazza and colleagues takes a look at these abilities in guppies. Guppies, like many other fish, have a behaviour that is sensitive to numbers of things: joining a school of other fish. Bisa........ Read more »
Being able to see your unborn child is truly an amazing experience. Ultrasound (diagnostic sonography) is a common diagnostic tool for, among other things, imaging the foetus to determine its age, look for abnormalities and observe blood flow in the umbilical cord. But possibly its most memorable effect is seeing your baby's heart beat - and in 3D/4D ultrasounds, seeing your baby's face.
The term "ultrasound" applies to acoustic energy (sound) with a frequency above the audible range of human h........ Read more »
Kurjak, A., Miskovic, B., Andonotopo, W., Stanojevic, M., Azumendi, G., & Vrcic, H. (2007) How useful is 3D and 4D ultrasound in perinatal medicine?. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 35(1), 10-27. DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2007.002
Carrera, J.M. (2006) Donald School Atlas of Clin. Application of Ultrasound in Obs/ Gyn. www.jaypeebrothers.com. DOI: 10.5005/jp/books/10226
Recently I featured a piece about how turtle hatchlings change their movement strategy several times in just the first few hours of life in order to suit their changing needs as they move across different types of sand. Well, to go from the sublime to the ridiculous (or rather, just from the really small to the truly gargantuan) there’s a new paper out that shows that whale sharks, too, adjust the way they move according to their needs. This new work follow........ Read more »
Gleiss, A., Norman, B., & Wilson, R. (2010) Moved by that sinking feeling: variable diving geometry underlies movement strategies in whale sharks. Functional Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2010.01801.x
Brunnschweiler, J., Baensch, H., Pierce, S., & Sims, D. (2009) Deep-diving behaviour of a whale shark during long-distance movement in the western Indian Ocean . Journal of Fish Biology, 74(3), 706-714. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2008.02155.x
Assuming you're in a heterosexual relationship, which is worse: for your partner to be unfaithful with a person of the opposite or the same sex? According to a pair of US psychologists, the answer depends on whether you're a man or woman. Men, they've found, are less likely to continue a relationship with an unfaithful partner who's had a heterosexual affair, as opposed to a homosexual affair. For women, it's the other way around - they're more troubled by their male partner going off with anoth........ Read more »
Confer, J., & Cloud, M. (2011) Sex differences in response to imagining a partner’s heterosexual or homosexual affair. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(2), 129-134. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.09.007
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