Post List

  • January 8, 2010
  • 04:30 AM
  • 963 views

Countdown to extinction: wildlife in the Central African Republic

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

Bouché, P., Renaud, P., Lejeune, P., Vermeulen, C., Froment, J., Bangara, A., Fiongai, O., Abdoulaye, A., Abakar, R., & Fay, M. (2009) Has the final countdown to wildlife extinction in Northern Central African Republic begun?. African Journal of Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2009.01202.x  

  • January 8, 2010
  • 02:10 AM
  • 538 views

Palau'amine

by Rik in NNNS chemistry blog

Palau'amine is a bisguanidine antobiotic first isolated from the marine sponge Stylotella agminata (western Caroline Islands part of Palau) in 1993. Take 600 g of sponge, extract it with 6 liters of methanol, do multiple sessions of chromatography and you may end up with 14 mg of the compound. Palau'amine is characterized by a strained bicyclic 3.3.0 cyclooctane core, a large number of stereocenters, a sensitive pyrrole group and by two guanidine rings which in addition to the potential medicina........ Read more »

Seiple, I., Su, S., Young, I., Lewis, C., Yamaguchi, J., & Baran, P. (2009) Total Synthesis of Palau'amine. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200907112  

  • January 8, 2010
  • 12:00 AM
  • 829 views

Prejudice towards migrants stems partly from the fact that they're awkward to think about

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Survey research consistently shows that people tend to have a poor view of migrants. It's unpalatable but psychologically-speaking, it's no great surprise. After all, the odds are stacked against new-comers: most of us display inherent biases against people who we perceive to be in a different social group from our own - the so-called 'out group bias' - together with a similar aversion to people who are members of a social minority. Migrants usually fit both these descriptions.Now Mark Rubin and........ Read more »

Rubin, M., Paolini, S., & Crisp, R. (2010) A processing fluency explanation of bias against migrants. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(1), 21-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.09.006  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 11:15 PM
  • 555 views

Are suburban neighbourhoods bad for your health?

by Christopher Leo in Christopher Leo

A growing body of research suggests that urban sprawl, in addition to being bad for cities, the environment and agriculture, may also take a toll on your health. For example, in a recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive … Continue reading →... Read more »

Trowbridge MJ, Gurka MJ, & O'Connor RE. (2009) Urban sprawl and delayed ambulance arrival in the U.S. American journal of preventive medicine, 37(5), 428-32. PMID: 19840697  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 10:59 PM
  • 562 views

A Species Factory

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Reefs churn out more biodiversity than other marine environments

... Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 08:59 PM
  • 1,048 views

The elusive Allee effect

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

In keeping with the theme of extinctions from my last post, I want to highlight a paper we’ve recently had published online early in Ecology entitled Limited evidence for the demographic Allee effect from numerous species across taxa by Stephen Gregory and colleagues. This one is all about Allee effects - well, it’s all about how difficult it is [...]... Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 06:47 PM
  • 1,035 views

Complete mtDNA Sequence from an Early Modern Human

by Kris in Ge·knit·ics

Svante Pääbo’s group at the Max Plank Institute have a paper coming out in the February issue of Cell Biology. In it, they describe sequencing a complete early human mitochondrial genome from the Markina Gora specimen from the Kostenki 14 site in Russia. The remains date to around 30,000 years ago, not the oldest human [...]... Read more »

Krause J, Briggs AW, Kircher M, Maricic T, Zwyns N, Derevianko A, & Pääbo S. (2009) A Complete mtDNA Genome of an Early Modern Human from Kostenki, Russia. Current biology : CB. PMID: 20045327  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 05:40 PM
  • 1,068 views

Achtung, Baby: Hazard Ratios

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

The hazard ratio is the statistic of choice for nearly all medical research involving time. And by far the most common method of deriving hazard ratios from data is via the Cox Proportional Hazards model. In a great little editorial in this month's Epidemiology, Miguel Hernán lays out what we lose and what we can gain with a more subtle approach.... Read more »

Hernán, M. (2010) The Hazards of Hazard Ratios. Epidemiology, 21(1), 13-15. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181c1ea43  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 05:14 PM
  • 1,438 views

Ophthalmology Befuddler #001

by sandnsurf in Life in the Fast Lane

An medical student on your team asks you to review an 81 year-old female who speaks little English. She was BIBA to the ED following a fall. Her nursing home transfer sheet says that the fall was witnessed: she tripped and there was no loss of consciousness. The student is concerned that the patient's right pupil is fixed and slightly dilated in the presence of facial abrasions.... Read more »

Hunter, T., Yoshino, M., Dzioba, R., Light, R., & Berger, W. (2004) Medical Devices of the Head, Neck, and Spine. Radiographics, 24(1), 257-285. DOI: 10.1148/rg.241035185  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 04:59 PM
  • 813 views

XMRV not detected in UK chronic fatigue syndrome patients

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

A new retrovirus, xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV), first identified in tumor tissue of individuals with prostate cancer, was subsequently found in 68 of 101 US patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This observation raised the possibility that XMRV is the etiologic agent of CFS. An important question is whether XMRV is associated with [...]... Read more »

Erlwein O, Kaye S, McClure MO, Weber J, Wills G, Collier D, Wessely S, & Cleare A. (2010) Failure to detect the novel retrovirus XMRV in chronic fatigue syndrome. PloS one, 5(1). PMID: 20066031  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 03:22 PM
  • 1,658 views

The outfielder problem: The psychology behind catching fly balls

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

It's football season in America: The NFL playoffs are about to start, and tonight, the elected / computer-ranked top college team will be determined. What better time than now to think about ... baseball! Baseball players, unlike most football players, must solve one of the most complicated perceptual puzzles in sports: how to predict the path of a moving target obeying the laws of physics, and move to intercept it.

The question of how a baseball player knows where to run in order to catch a f........ Read more »

Fink, P.W., Foo, P.S., & Warren, W.H. (2009) Catching fly balls in virtual reality: A critical test of the outfielder problem. Journal of Vision, 9(13), 1-8. info:/10.1167/9.13.14

  • January 7, 2010
  • 01:10 PM
  • 709 views

Even When Scientists are Wrong, Creationists Still Aren't Right

by Jon Voisey in Angry Astronomer

New evidence has shown the most commonly given age of the solar system is wrong.The equations used to derive the age of it from radiometric dating of numerous isotopes was fundamentally flawed because it assumed that the ratio of certain isotopes was the same. Detailed new measurements have shown it's not.This "implies substantial uncertainties in the ages previously determined by Pb-Pb dating". So astronomers have had to recalculate the age of the solar system given this new information.The old........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 12:49 PM
  • 678 views

Omega-3 Fatty Acids - A Promising Novel Therapy For Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

by Michael Ash in Nutri-Link Ltd - Clinical Education

Compared with our ancestors, Western societies today lead a lifestyle that is much more sedentary, probably as a result of cultural changes stemming from modern socio-economic morays. Taking into account differences in body size, our energy expenditure per kilogram of body weight has been estimated to be ... Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 11:22 AM
  • 819 views

One Puff Forward, Two Pounds Back

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Considerable improvements have been made in the health of the population of the United States in the last three decades owing to healthy living interventions, specifically a reduction in smoking. However, during the same period, substantial increases in the incidence of overweight and obesity have adversely impacted the health of the same population. A new [...]... Read more »

Stewart, S., Cutler, D., & Rosen, A. (2009) Forecasting the Effects of Obesity and Smoking on U.S. Life Expectancy. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(23), 2252-2260. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa0900459  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 11:13 AM
  • 961 views

Is the Earth even more sensitive to CO2 levels than we thought?

by James Hrynyshyn in Class M

One of the more common arguments from skeptics of anthropogenic climate change is that the Earth has experienced periods during which atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were much much higher than they are today -- as much as 10 times higher. Why worry about a mere 30% increase over pre-industrial levels?

There are several answers to that challenge. The most obvious is that while it may be true that CO2 levels have been several times higher that today's 387 parts per million, the Earth was also a........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 11:11 AM
  • 840 views

Social filtering of scientific information - a view beyond Twitter

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

It's not information overload, it's filter failure (Clay Shirky)Bonetta (2009) gave an excellent introduction to the micro-blogging service Twitter and its uses and limitations for scientific communication. We believe that other social networking tools merit a similar introduction, especially those that provide more effective filtering of scientifically relevant information than Twitter. We find that FriendFeed (already mentioned in the first online comment on the article, by Jo Badge) shares al........ Read more »

Bonetta, L. (2009) Should You Be Tweeting?. Cell, 139(3), 452-453. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.10.017  

  • January 7, 2010
  • 10:39 AM
  • 1,183 views

Circumcision: A Response to Amy Tuteur

by Martin Robbins in The Lay Scientist

This is a response to a controversial piece in Science Based Medicine by Amy Tuteur, M.D. on circumcision: "The case for neonatal circumcision," which cites a recent journal paper of the same title [1]. Beyond calling for the American medical establishment to put pressure on parents to circumcise their infant children, the article implicitly compares those who don't circumcise or who are opposed to circumcising infants to anti-vaccination activists.





........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 10:05 AM
  • 1,202 views

Masquerading caterpillars hide in plain sight

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Insects that have evolved elaborate mimicry of inanimate objects – leaves, twigs, even bird droppings – to hide from predators are a staple of nature documentaries. But do these masquerades work because they help insects blend into the background, or because predators actually see the insects and then dismiss them as inedible leaves, twigs, or bird droppings? It's a tricky question to answer, but a brief paper in this week's Science presents an experiment that tries to do just that [$a].

T........ Read more »

Skelhorn, J., Rowland, H., Speed, M., & Ruxton, G. (2010) Masquerade: Camouflage without crypsis. Science_id, 327(5961), 51-51. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.1181931

  • January 7, 2010
  • 09:30 AM
  • 715 views

Cycling Cells - The circadian rhythm

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

Circadian rhythm is the cyclic control of cellular processes over a period of roughly twenty-four hours. There are many processes within the body that are held under circadian control; the need to eat and sleep, blood pressure and some hormone production to name a few. Circadian control is an important development in evolution, as it allows behaviour to adapt to appropriate times in the day. Humans have not adapted to function particularly well at night, so using that time for sleeping means the........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 09:13 AM
  • 795 views

Social filtering of scientific information - a view beyond Twitter

by Daniel Mietchen in Daniel Mietchen's blog

(Co-blogged with Björn Brembs and Allyson Lister.)

               "It's not information overload, it's filter failure." (Clay Shirky)


Bonetta (2009) gave an excellent introduction to the micro-blogging service Twitter and its uses and limitations for scientific communication. We believe that other social networking tools merit a similar introduction, especially those that provide more effective filtering of scientifically relevant information than Twitter. We find that Fri........ Read more »

Bonetta, L. (2009) Should You Be Tweeting?. Cell, 139(3), 452-453. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.10.017  

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