I don’t get too concerned about the so-called nanny state and I don’t get agitated regarding public health interventions as some infringement of my personal freedom. Maybe it’s because I’m a doctor – I am aware of my own bias here. I was delighted to see the smoking ban in public and I completely support [...]... Read more »
Sims, M., Maxwell, R., Bauld, L., & Gilmore, A. (2010) Short term impact of smoke-free legislation in England: retrospective analysis of hospital admissions for myocardial infarction. BMJ, 340(jun08 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c2161
Scene from 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.50 First Dates maintains a venerable movie tradition of portraying an amnesiac syndrome that bears no relation to any known neurological or psychiatric condition (Baxendale, 2004).That isn't true anymore...Smith et al. (2010) have recently reported an unusual case of functional, or psychogenic amnesia in which FL, a 51 year old woman with 15 years of education and average intelligence, cannot remember what happened to her from one da........ Read more »
Smith, C., Frascino, J., Kripke, D., McHugh, P., Treisman, G., & Squire, L. (2010) Losing memories overnight: A unique form of human amnesia. Neuropsychologia. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.05.025
Will we have a universal Influenza vaccine someday? Will we find something that eliminates the need of developing a new vaccine every year and ensuring that great part of the population receives it?
The annual development of flu vaccines is a very expensive way of avoiding this disease even if it is the most efficient way. [...]... Read more »
Sui, J., Hwang, W., Perez, S., Wei, G., Aird, D., Chen, L., Santelli, E., Stec, B., Cadwell, G., Ali, M.... (2009) Structural and functional bases for broad-spectrum neutralization of avian and human influenza A viruses. Nature Structural , 16(3), 265-273. DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1566
Wang, T., & Palese, P. (2009) Universal epitopes of influenza virus hemagglutinins?. Nature Structural , 16(3), 233-234. DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1574
Appearance matters – but not in the same way for male and female political candidates. Limiting this discussion to the beauty-relevant elements of Chiao, Bowman, & Gill’s 2008 study, being attractive has an effect on rates of voting for female candidates while appearing approachable has an effect on women’s rates of voting for male candidates [...]... Read more »
Chiao, J., Bowman, N., & Gill, H. (2008) The Political Gender Gap: Gender Bias in Facial Inferences that Predict Voting Behavior. PLoS ONE, 3(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003666
It’s called the biopsychosocial model, but how much attention do we really pay to the social part of this model? While we know the medical model has its limitations (especially when we’re looking at how people respond to having health problems), in pain management I wonder whether we now have a ‘psychological’ model of pain … Read more... Read more »
Engel, G. (1979) The biopsychosocial model and the education of health professionals. General Hospital Psychiatry, 1(2), 156-165. DOI: 10.1016/0163-8343(79)90062-8
Harding G, Campbell J, Parsons S, Rahman A, & Underwood M. (2010) British pain clinic practitioners' recognition and use of the bio-psychosocial pain management model for patients when physical interventions are ineffective or inappropriate: results of a qualitative study. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 51. PMID: 20298540
A lawyer pulled a made-for-television courtroom stunt that illustrated the dangers of eyewitness testimony and the limits of memory. It unfortunately landed him in hot water.... Read more »
Levin DT, Simons DJ, Angelone BL, & Chabris CF. (2002) Memory for centrally attended changing objects in an incidental real-world change detection paradigm. British journal of psychology (London, England : 1953), 93(Pt 3), 289-302. PMID: 12230832
Simons, D. J., & Levin, D. T. (1998) Failure to detect changes to people during a real-world interaction. Psychonomic Bulletin , 644-649. info:/
Why are there no perennial grain crops? That’s the provocative question posed by a recent paper in Evolutionary Applications written by three scientists working at The Land Institute. Whose institutional mission, of course, is to breed just this sort of crop, on the assumption that they “could reduce soil erosion while maintaining production of food [...]... Read more »
Van Tassel, D., DeHaan, L., & Cox, T. (2010) Missing domesticated plant forms: can artificial selection fill the gap?. Evolutionary Applications. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2010.00132.x
An analysis of two recent publications describing two different systems that can penetrate solid tumors and deliver/distribute anti-cancer therapeutics throughout the tumor tissue, thereby improving treatment efficacy.... Read more »
Sugahara, K., Teesalu, T., Karmali, P., Kotamraju, V., Agemy, L., Greenwald, D., & Ruoslahti, E. (2010) Coadministration of a Tumor-Penetrating Peptide Enhances the Efficacy of Cancer Drugs. Science, 328(5981), 1031-1035. DOI: 10.1126/science.1183057
Davis, M., Zuckerman, J., Choi, C., Seligson, D., Tolcher, A., Alabi, C., Yen, Y., Heidel, J., & Ribas, A. (2010) Evidence of RNAi in humans from systemically administered siRNA via targeted nanoparticles. Nature, 464(7291), 1067-1070. DOI: 10.1038/nature08956
I recently received an email from a graduate student in Philosophy regarding protein function. Not sure if that person wants his name advertised, so I will keep it to myself.
I am a fan of your blog, and interested in the philosophy of biology. One particularly interesting question is what makes something have a function; when [...]... Read more »
Khersonsky O, Roodveldt C, & Tawfik DS. (2006) Enzyme promiscuity: evolutionary and mechanistic aspects. Current opinion in chemical biology, 10(5), 498-508. PMID: 16939713
Jeffery, C. (2003) Moonlighting proteins: old proteins learning new tricks. Trends in Genetics, 19(8), 415-417. DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9525(03)00167-7
A few days ago, I posted this poll about the show The Big Bang Theory, asking the question if it was bad for science (and women). I closed the poll last night, the votes are in, you people have spoken. Here’s the final results from 58 votes – and thanks for voting, polls are fun!
Most [...]... Read more »
Ford, T., Boxer, C., Armstrong, J., & Edel, J. (2007) More Than "Just a Joke": The Prejudice-Releasing Function of Sexist Humor. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(2), 159-170. DOI: 10.1177/0146167207310022
I’m happy and proud to tell you that Lab Rat was kind enough to write today’s blogpost. She brings you a fascinating story about little magnetic particles found in some bacteria, that may help them find their way like compasses do. Normally she writes great posts on bacteria on her own blog, which [...]... Read more »
Komeili, A. (2006) Magnetosomes Are Cell Membrane Invaginations Organized by the Actin-Like Protein MamK. Science, 311(5758), 242-245. DOI: 10.1126/science.1123231
For a long time it was believed that males have better spatial and numerical abilities resulting in their greater aptitude for mathematics compared to females. But research in cognitive development of human infants and children has failed to support these claims. Instead, scientists now have enough evidence to conclude that the same set of biologically [...]... Read more »
Beilock SL, Gunderson EA, Ramirez G, & Levine SC. (2010) Female teachers' math anxiety affects girls' math achievement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(5), 1860-3. PMID: 20133834
Hyde JS, Lindberg SM, Linn MC, Ellis AB, & Williams CC. (2008) Diversity. Gender similarities characterize math performance. Science (New York, N.Y.), 321(5888), 494-5. PMID: 18653867
Whole grain and bran consumption are linked to reduced overall death rates and cardiovascular disease deaths in white women with type 2 diabetes, according to recent research from Boston-based investigators. This is an important association since diabetics are prone to develop cardiovascular disease and suffer premature death. Anything that can easily counteract those trends is welcome. Several prior [...]... Read more »
He, M., van Dam, R., Rimm, E., Hu, F., & Qi, L. (2010) Whole-Grain, Cereal Fiber, Bran, and Germ Intake and the Risks of All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease-Specific Mortality Among Women With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Circulation, 121(20), 2162-2168. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.907360
I read a paper today (actually, more like an essay) by Peter Wangersky, a longtime chemical oceanographer. Titled “Methods of sampling and analysis and our concepts of ocean dynamics,” it is essentially a personable ramble through six decades of marine science, reflecting on the technical capabilities and sampling methods over time and the [...]... Read more »
Peter J. Wangersky. (2005) Methods of sampling and analysis and our concepts of ocean dynamics. Scientia Marina, 69(S1), 75-84. info:/10.3989/scimar.2005.69s175
Mortality in successfully treated TB patients is an important measure of the efficacy of treatment. However, there is no routine monitoring of TB patients after treatment completion to understand what happens to them after successful treatment for tuberculosis. We recently did a study in rural south Ethiopia to measure mortality in TB patients after they [...]... Read more »
Datiko DG and Lindtjørn B. (2010) Mortality in successfully treated tuberculosis patients in southern Ethiopia: retrospective follow-up study. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis, 14(7), 1-6. info:/
He, G., Xie, Y., Wang, L., Borgdorff, M., van der Werf, M., Fan, J., Yan, X., Li, F., Zhang, X., Zhao, Y.... (2010) Follow-Up of Patients with Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis Four Years after Standardized First-Line Drug Treatment. PLoS ONE, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010799
As I'm sure you're all aware by now, human life expectancy for both young and old in the most developed regions of the world is slowly increasing, and this has been the case for some time. As medical technology advances and our wealth grows, we benefit in ways that lead to less biochemical damage to the complex machinery of our body accumulated over the course of a lifetime - and thus a greater likelihood of living longer. That the medical and research establishments have achieved this ongoing b........ Read more »
Rousson, V., & Paccaud, F. (2010) A set of indicators for decomposing the secular increase of life expectancy. Population Health Metrics, 8(1), 18. DOI: 10.1186/1478-7954-8-18
Gay men who feel compelled to act less gay or even straight in certain social situations are, according to Blashill and Vander Wal (2010), more likely to get anxious and/or depressed.... Read more »
Blashill, A., & Vander Wal, J. (2010) Gender Role Conflict as a Mediator between Social Sensitivity and Depression in a Sample of Gay Men. International Journal of Men's Health, 9(1), 26-39. DOI: 10.3149/jmh.0901.26
The overall pattern of the results shows that students of less experienced and less qualified professors perform significantly better in the contemporaneous course being taught. In contrast, the students of more experienced and more highly qualified introductory professors perform significantly better in the follow-on courses.... Read more »
Carrell, S., & West, J. (2010) Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors. Journal of Political Economy, 118(3), 409-432. DOI: 10.1086/653808
So say Mijares and colleagues (2010), reporting the discovery of a small human third metatarsal from Callao Cave in the northern Philippines. The paper present a brief overview of fieldwork conducted at Callao since 2003 that exposed Pleistocene deposits at the site. The age of the layer in which the metatarsal was recovered was obtained through Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) and Uranium Series (U-Series) on two cervid teeth, one of which yielded an age of 66 +11/-9 kya.From Mijares et al. (2010:........ Read more »
Mijares, A., Détroit, F., Piper, P., Grün, R., Bellwood, P., Aubert, M., Champion, G., Cuevas, N., De Leon, A., & Dizon, E. (2010) New evidence for a 67,000-year-old human presence at Callao Cave, Luzon, Philippines. Journal of Human Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.04.008
Sleep problems commonly complicate the management of autism spectrum in children and adults. Behavioral therapy for insomnia can be effective, However, many fail to respond to behavior therapy and clinicians then consider drug treatment options.Wright and colleagues from the UK conducted a clinical trial of melatonin in children with autism spectrum and severe sleep problems. The children in this study failed a behavioral intervention prior to beginning the drug study. This study was remarka........ Read more »
Wright B, Sims D, Smart S, Alwazeer A, Alderson-Day B, Allgar V, Whitton C, Tomlinson H, Bennett S, Jardine J.... (2010) Melatonin Versus Placebo in Children with Autism Spectrum Conditions and Severe Sleep Problems Not Amenable to Behaviour Management Strategies: A Randomised Controlled Crossover Trial. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 20535539
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