Post List

  • October 6, 2010
  • 10:10 AM

Religion and suicide - a patchy global picture

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The previous post took a look at suicides in Switzerland, with a new study showing that, although the non-religious have a higher suicide rate than the religious, that seems to be largely down to assisted dying.

Switzerland is not like most other countries, however, which is where a new study, from an international team lead by Merike Sisak at the Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute, comes in. They looked at data from a major new WHO initiative, SUPRE-MISS. The main objecti........ Read more »

Sisask, M., Varnik, A., Kolves, K., Bertolote, J., Bolhari, J., Botega, N., Fleischmann, A., Vijayakumar, L., & Wasserman, D. (2010) Is Religiosity a Protective Factor Against Attempted Suicide: A Cross-Cultural Case-Control Study. Archives of Suicide Research, 14(1), 44-55. DOI: 10.1080/13811110903479052  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 10:06 AM

Child Psychopaths? Poor eye contact and thoughts on psychiatric disorders.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

Psychiatric disorders are diagnosed by determining the presence of specific symptoms, mostly without regards for what caused the symptoms. That is, if you have a specific number of symptoms and meet some additional criteria, then by definition, you have the disorder. For the most part, the rest of medicine doesn’t work this way. If you [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 09:06 AM

Nuclear receptors show evolution is the greatest tinkerer

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

An international team of researchers charted the one billion year evolutionary course that a protein family followed, finding that today's novelty and complexity came about through many small changes... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

How to regrow a limb

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Humans can’t grow back severed hands. Not even a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Otherwise, there would be no need for that scene at the end of The Empire Strikes Back showing Luke getting a spiffy new cyborg hand.

What humans need med droids for, amphibians accomplish with ease. Adults can regrow entire limbs. Tadpoles, well, they don’t have limbs yet, but they can regrow their tails. A tail is a complex organ, with nerves, muscle, blood vessels, and the like, so it’s not like ........ Read more »

Tseng A, Beane W, Lemire J, Masi A, & Levin M. (2010) Induction of vertebrate regeneration by a transient sodium current. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(39), 13192-13200. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3315-10.2010  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Is ‘modern culture’ bad for our health and well-being?

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

From Global Health Promotion There is increasing evidence indicating that well-being in high-income societies may be in decline. One influential theory for this trend blames the driving values of materialism, individualism and consumerism in ‘modern’ societies, which in turn exert a damaging influence on well-being. These trends lead to an increase of social and health [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:26 AM

How to form a habit

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

This has nothing to do with nuns' clothing. Habits are those behaviours that have become automatic, triggered by a cue in the environment rather than by conscious will. Health psychologists are interested for obvious reasons - they want to assist people in breaking unhealthy habits, while helping them adopt healthy ones. Remarkably, although there are plenty of habit-formation theories, before now, no-one had actually studied habits systematically as they are formed.

Phillippa Lally and her tea........ Read more »

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C., Potts, H., & Wardle, J. (2009) How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.674  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:26 AM

The Tragedy of Othello Syndrome

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Benjamin Evett, John Douglas Thompson, and Mirjana Jokovic in the American Repertory Theatre's production of Othello.O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mockThe meat it feeds on. Iago, Act III scene iii of Shakespeare's OthelloOthello syndrome is a rare psychiatric condition marked by morbid, pathological, or delusional jealousy (Miller et al., 2010). It can occur in the context of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, or epilepsy, but sometimes it's ob........ Read more »

Miller, M., Kummerow, A., & Mgutshini, T. (2010) Othello Syndrome. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 48(8), 20-27. DOI: 10.3928/02793695-20100701-05  

TODD J, & DEWHURST K. (1955) The Othello syndrome; a study in the psychopathology of sexual jealousy. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 122(4), 367-74. PMID: 13307271  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 01:26 AM

Sensitivity to Social Rejection and Inflammatory Responses to Stress

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Sci thought this particular paper was of current relevance, due in part to the public attention that bullying and social rejection has been getting lately.  I think it’s really important that this gets in the public eye and that something is done about it, and so Sci will contribute her sciencey best to talk about [...]... Read more »

Slavich GM, Way BM, Eisenberger NI, & Taylor SE. (2010) Neural sensitivity to social rejection is associated with inflammatory responses to social stress. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(33), 14817-22. PMID: 20679216  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 01:00 AM

Organic vs. conventional food on health: not enough data

by Colby Vorland in Biofortified

You may recall last year’s review by Dangour and colleagues that concluded, based on 162 studies, that “there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs.” This brought about much controversy on the web, as well as a rebuttal by Benbrook et al.  Media reporting that failed to acknowledge limitations of this research, such as that it did not examine potential contaminant use, health outcomes, or Continue reading...... Read more »

Dangour AD, Lock K, Hayter A, Aikenhead A, Allen E, & Uauy R. (2010) Nutrition-related health effects of organic foods: a systematic review. The American journal of clinical nutrition. PMID: 20463045  

  • October 5, 2010
  • 10:41 PM

When is webometrics most useful?

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Like many terms in Information Science (including 'Information Science' itself) the term 'webometrics' is pretty vague. Björneborn and Ingwersen (2004) defined webometrics as "the study of the quantitative aspects of the construction and use of information resources, structures and technologies on the Web drawing on bibliometric and informetric approaches." I guess this definition will have to do for the time being. Thelwall*, Klitkou, Verbeek, Stuart and Vincent (2010) set out to find in whi........ Read more »

Thelwall, M., Klitkou, A., Verbeek, A., Stuart, D., & Vincent, C. (2010) Policy-relevant Webometrics for individual scientific fields. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(7), 1464-1475. DOI: 10.1002/asi.21345  

  • October 5, 2010
  • 08:55 PM

To the Victors Go the Orgasms, Says Study on Post-Election Desire

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Basketball games, elections and other head-to-head contests seem to affect the testosterone of people who care about them. Some studies have found that testosterone production goes down in fans of the losing side (for example, among male McCain supporters after the 2008 Presidential vote). And others found the hormone goes up among supporters of a winning team. Now this paper in last month's Evolution and Human Behavior claims to have found a practical consequence: After U.S. elections,........ Read more »

Gonzalez-Bono, E., Salvador, A., Ricarte, J., Serrano, M., & Arnedo, M. (2000) Testosterone and attribution of successful competition. Aggressive Behavior, 26(3), 235-240. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2337(2000)26:33.0.CO;2-L  

  • October 5, 2010
  • 08:50 PM

A Lack of Energy May Increase the Size of Human Civilization

by Michael Long in Phased

John DeLong (Yale University, United States) and coworkers present a paradoxical finding, namely that a lack of available energy supplies will enable the human population to keep on growing, rather than stabilize, in the coming decades. This news feature was written on October 5, 2010.... Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 07:27 PM

Are global energy supplies inadequate to slow human population growth?

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

When we think of human population change and resource use, it’s easy to assume that more people will consume more resources, such as water, energy, and food. An important corollary is that resource limitations will limit population growth.  Thomas Malthus was perhaps the most influential proponent of this idea.
However, several factors complicate this story:
(1) Affluence [...]... Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 06:39 PM

The Extirpation Superhighway: Publication Highlights More Burrowing Owl Losses

by Scott A. in JournOwl

It was just a couple weeks back when I brought you troubling information found by the Center for Biological Diversity (buried in the Imperial Irrigation District report) regarding the state of burrowing owls in the Imperial Valley.  Those surveys showed a 27% decline in breeding burrowing owls in what is California’s largest population.  Well, I [...]... Read more »


  • October 5, 2010
  • 06:01 PM

Single, sole, dual, multiple sourcing?

by Jan Husdal in

This paper examines the costs and benefits of single versus multiple sourcing strategies, dependent on probability and consequences of supply disruption, vendor price escalation, inventory and schedule issues, technology access and quality control. [ ... ]... Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 05:43 PM

The Wednesday Post (6/10/10)

by thomastu in Disease Prone

Still walking around with our pandemic-response-pants down So I’ve been reading about previous pandemics on the new History of Vaccines site: smallpox, Spanish flu, Bird flu, Swine flu… All have had big impacts on our society and shows how vulnerable we really are. But at least we can rest assured that we’ve seen this coming, [...]... Read more »

Gershon RR, Magda LA, Qureshi KA, Riley HE, Scanlon E, Carney MT, Richards RJ, & Sherman MF. (2010) Factors Associated With the Ability and Willingness of Essential Workers to Report to Duty During a Pandemic. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. PMID: 20881624  

  • October 5, 2010
  • 05:37 PM

The fast woodlouse

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

I have featured two common woodlice species before. There is a third common garden species, the fast woodlouse, Philoscia muscorum. As it name implies, it is quite fast, with long legs that keep its body well above the ground. Its dark, rounded head, and a longitudinal dark stripe along its shiny, marbled body, make it easy to identify (for a simple key to ID British woodlice click here). The fast woodlouse is a native European species which is also found in the U.S. It is of medium size (around........ Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 05:08 PM

Assassin Bugs Use Their Victims as Shields

by Kevin Zelnio in The Online Laboratory of Kevin Zelnio

When we think of ‘prey’ we generally think of nourishment, but prey has other use too. Jackson & Pollard report on a fascinating case in which the ant-snatching assassin bug (Acanthaspis petax) makes a “backpack” of its victims to avoid being seen by its own predator, the deadly jumping spider. Masking to avoid [...]... Read more »

  • October 5, 2010
  • 04:56 PM

Risk Factors in Children with a Bipolar Parent

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Dr. Audie Henin presented the October 2010 lecture for the Warren Frontiers of Neuroscience series on October 5, 2010.  Her presentation “Familial, Neurobiological and Cognitive Risk Factors for Bipolar Disorder in Youth” will be summarized in my notes below.  Dr. Henin is an associate professor at Harvard University and is affiliated with Massachussetts General Hospital.Dr. Henin and her research team have been involved in a series of studies in high-risk children focusing on a va........ Read more »

Henin A, Biederman J, Mick E, Sachs GS, Hirshfeld-Becker DR, Siegel RS, McMurrich S, Grandin L, & Nierenberg AA. (2005) Psychopathology in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder: a controlled study. Biological psychiatry, 58(7), 554-61. PMID: 16112654  

Henin A, Mick E, Biederman J, Fried R, Wozniak J, Faraone SV, Harrington K, Davis S, & Doyle AE. (2007) Can bipolar disorder-specific neuropsychological impairments in children be identified?. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 75(2), 210-20. PMID: 17469879  

  • October 5, 2010
  • 02:48 PM

Bobtail squid and their microscopic friends

by Mike Mike in Cephalove

I’ve recently gotten into microbiology (I got a book on protozoans, and I’m hooked,) so I decided to try to find something microbiological to write about. Lo and behold, after a few Pubmed searches, I came upon some papers about an bioluminescent bacteria called Vibrio fischeri. Of course, not just any bacteria would do for [...]... Read more »

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