Post List

  • November 27, 2010
  • 05:20 PM

Religion promotes punishing wrongdoers - but is that a good thing?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

"Costly punishment" is the term used to describe an interesting phenomenon in which people will punish wrongdoers even if it brings a cost to themselves. For example, you could imagine a situation where a vigilante attempts to beat up a criminal - risky, if the criminal gets the upper hand. It's an understandable reaction if you are going to have to deal with the individual again.

Yet lab studies show that people will punish misbehaviour even if all the transactions are anonymous and "single-sh........ Read more »

McKay R, Efferson C, Whitehouse H, & Fehr E. (2010) Wrath of God: religious primes and punishment. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 21106588  

  • November 27, 2010
  • 05:13 PM

Quickie – Considerations of in vivo electrophysiology

by Neuromancy in Neuromancy

I’m just reading a paper on the response properties of monoamine neurons, and it starts out with a few points of consideration for electrophysiological recording of neurons in vivo. I thought I’d relay them here.

The evidence that you are recording from a given type of neuron (dopaminergic, serotinergic etc.) is almost always indirect. It is usually . . . → Read More... Read more »

  • November 27, 2010
  • 01:34 PM

SNAP = Full Motion exerGaming

by Stephen P. Yang, Ph.D. in ExerGame Lab

Is Playstation Move and Microsoft Kinect the newest motion gaming option? Not quite, Anthony Whitehead has been working in the exergaming space for some time and in 2007 presented his SNAP project (Sensor Networks for Active Play) and more recently revealed some of the data on how effective SNAP could be  Exergame effectiveness: what the numbers can tell us Anthony Whitehead  Carleton University Hannah Johnston  Carleton University Nicole Nixon ........ Read more »

Anthony Whitehead, Nick Crampton, Kaitlyn Fox, & Hannah Johnston. (2007) Sensor networks as video game input devices. Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Future Play. info:/

  • November 27, 2010
  • 12:26 PM

Mapping fitness: bacteria, mutations, and Seattle

by Steve Matheson in The Panda's Thumb

Thinking about fitness landscapes can stimulate detailed discussion and consideration of the meanings and limitations of such metaphors, and my introductory comments did just that. Most notably, Joe Felsenstein pointed us to the various ways these depictions can be employed, and urged everyone to use caution in interpreting them.All too true, but the goal here is modest: I want to discuss the interesting questions that arise when considering the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes, i.e........ Read more »

Loh E, Salk JJ, & Loeb LA. (2010) Optimization of DNA polymerase mutation rates during bacterial evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(3), 1154-9. PMID: 20080608  

  • November 27, 2010
  • 12:25 PM

The Epidemiology of Trauma in PTSD-II

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post, I looked at the varieties of traumatic experiences and their risk of inducing PTSD in men and women.  Another aspect of the epidemiology of PTSD is a more basic look at the overall prevalence of exposure to individual traumatic experiences. There has been significant discussion and research to define the trauma severity required to increase risk of a PTSD response.  Early studies tended to have a lower threshold for severity.  They included not only a pers........ Read more »

  • November 27, 2010
  • 10:45 AM

Brain Development and College Football

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Most of us have experienced the thrills and agonies of watching our chosen sports teams either perform well or poorly. During college football season in the United States, millions of fans devote their weekends to watching people run up and down fields while trying to avoid getting too injured. Those who follow college football notice [...]... Read more »

  • November 27, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Isopachys: worm-like skinks from Thailand and Myanmar

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

I've been ill, and pressing deadlines for book chapters and other projects have kept me busy. An inability to post stuff on Tet Zoo always frustrates me, as there's just so much Tet Zoo-relevant stuff to get through. And, on that note: I must have said on many occasions that there are whole tetrapod groups, consisting of hundreds or even thousands of species, that I've either never mentioned at all, or have only touched on in passing. I aim to get through as many as I can while the going's goo........ Read more »

  • November 27, 2010
  • 09:35 AM

The Town That Went Mad

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Pont St. Esprit is a small town in southern France. In 1951 it became famous as the site of one of the most mysterious medical outbreaks of modern times.As Dr's Gabbai, Lisbonne and Pourquier wrote to the British Medical Journal, 15 days after the "incident":The first symptoms appeared after a latent period of 6 to 48 hours. In this first phase, the symptoms were generalized, and consisted in a depressive state with anguish and slight agitation.After some hours the symptoms became more clearly d........ Read more »

GABBAI, LISBONNE, & POURQUIER. (1951) Ergot poisoning at Pont St. Esprit. British medical journal, 2(4732), 650-1. PMID: 14869677  

  • November 27, 2010
  • 06:27 AM

Uppsala Status Report

by egonw in Chem-bla-ics

As you know, my post-doc in Uppsala ended. It was a good time, and it was great collaborating on Bioclipse with Ola, Jonathan, Arvid, and Carl. I would have loved tighter integration with the work of Maris and Martin, but that was limited to one joined paper (in press). I thank Professors Jarl Wikberg and Eva Brittebo for allowing me to continue my research at their department, and hope this is not the end of the collaboration yet.

Like with new year, the end of a contract is a good time to ref........ Read more »

Spjuth, O., Alvarsson, J., Berg, A., Eklund, M., Kuhn, S., Mäsak, C., Torrance, G., Wagener, J., Willighagen, E., Steinbeck, C.... (2009) Bioclipse 2: A scriptable integration platform for the life sciences. BMC Bioinformatics, 10(1), 397. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-10-397  

Spjuth, O., Willighagen, E., Guha, R., Eklund, M., & Wikberg, J. (2010) Towards interoperable and reproducible QSAR analyses: Exchange of datasets. Journal of Cheminformatics, 2(1), 5. DOI: 10.1186/1758-2946-2-5  

  • November 26, 2010
  • 04:48 PM

Biofilm Assembly and Microbial Life in Extreme Conditions

by Michael Long in Phased

Biofilm assembly provides insight into the cellular and biochemical mechanisms underlying archaeal adaptation to extreme conditions.... Read more »

Koerdt, A., Gödeke, J., Berger, J., Thormann, K. M., & Albers, S.-V. (2010) Crenarchaeal Biofilm Formation under Extreme Conditions. PLoS ONE, 5(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014104  

  • November 26, 2010
  • 01:45 PM

How Not to Respond to Negative Research – Addendum

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Does carboxyhemoglobin vary that much that a few seconds later, the HbCO is wildly different?

If that is the case, why buy a machine that will only give us a snap shot of a rapidly fluctuating and unreliable number?

Is there any reason to believe that carboxyhemoglobin changes that rapidly and unpredictably?... Read more »

  • November 26, 2010
  • 12:21 PM

The Epidemiology of Trauma in PTSD

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

PTSD represents a pathological response to a serious trauma. The evolution of the diagnostic criteria for PTSD has included a broadening of the types of trauma exposures felt sufficient to trigger PTSD.  The original criteria included combat, concentration camp confinement, natural disaster, rape or physical assault.  The current DSM-IV criteria for trauma require that "the person experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an event(s) that involved actual or threatened death or seri........ Read more »

  • November 26, 2010
  • 12:14 PM

Prehistoric Clues Provide Insight into Climateʼs Future Impact on Oceans

by Allie Wilkinson in OH, FOR THE LOVE OF SCIENCE!

The Miocene marks a period in geologic time in which massive changes were occurring to Earth. Major landmasses came close to their present-day positions, and the closing of the Tethys Ocean ended the circumglobal circulation of warm waters. Modern patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation developed, as gyres formed in the northern and southern hemispheres, [...]... Read more »

Lambert, O., Bianucci, G., Post, K., de Muizon, C., Salas-Gismondi, R., Urbina, M., & Reumer, J. (2010) The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene epoch of Peru. Nature, 466(7302), 105-108. DOI: 10.1038/nature09067  

  • November 26, 2010
  • 10:30 AM

Mink Vs. Vole

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

A mink stole may be stylish, but a live American mink can be an ecological nightmare. The carnivores have invaded habitats around the world, wiping out everything from native seabirds to fish. Now, Scottish biologists are reporting success in ousting the enemy with a “clear and hold” campaign of epic proportions.
Since 2006, a small, […] Read More »... Read more »

  • November 26, 2010
  • 09:21 AM

Music Therapy and Speech Production for Children with Autism

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

It is estimated that for every 1,000 children born, two to six will be diagnosed with autism. Because of its relatively large presence, treatments and therapies for the impairments autistic children face are constantly being developed and improved. One of the most significant impairments associated with Autism is extreme difficulty in the development of speech and language. Some of the features of the language and speech impairment that autistic children face are unusual word choice, pronoun rev........ Read more »

  • November 26, 2010
  • 08:12 AM

Massive Magnets Reveal More Sex In the Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

"Is that a 7 Tesla magnet in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?"German neuroscientists Metzger et al report on the results of a study using the latest, ultra-high-field Magnetic Resonance Imaging to measure brain activity in response to sexually arousing stimuli.Most fMRI studies are done using MRI scanners with a field strength of either 1.5 Tesla or, most commonly nowadays, 3.0 Tesla. However, a few especially forward-thinking, by which I mean wealthy, research centres have starte........ Read more »

  • November 26, 2010
  • 08:03 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s like that 1980’s shampoo commercial featuring Kelly LeBrock that seemed so silly.  “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful…”. And decades later, we find that the sentiment is not only true, but we know it is true and we fear what will happen when others envy us! The research findings that we truly dislike the [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Beware what the other side will tell you…
Simple Jury Persuasion: Turning weakness into strength
Simple Jury Persuasion: How........ Read more »

van de Ven N, Zeelenberg M, & Pieters R. (2010) Warding Off the Evil Eye: When the Fear of Being Envied Increases Prosocial Behavior. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS. PMID: 20889930  

  • November 26, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Fibre Supplement Can Decrease Glycemic Index

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

Yesterday, I blogged about the results of the DIOGENES study showing that a moderately high-protein diet, that also has a relatively low glycemic index, may be better for sustaining weight loss.
This post prompted a number of questions regarding the glycemic index (GI) - which most readers may recall refers to the relative speed with which [...]... Read more »

Brand-Miller JC, Atkinson FS, Gahler RJ, Kacinik V, Lyon MR, & Wood S. (2010) Effects of PGX, a novel functional fibre, on acute and delayed postprandial glycaemia. European journal of clinical nutrition. PMID: 20924393  

  • November 26, 2010
  • 06:30 AM

How Not to Respond to Negative Research

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

That advice from Dr. O'Reilly may encourage us to return fire fighters to an environment that has already made them toxic, but with the mistaken belief that they have carboxyhemoglobin levels of zero, when their carboxyhemoglobin is really very high.

Dr. O'Reilly's advice is bad for Masimo investors.

Dr. O'Reilly's advice is bad for patients.

Dr. O'Reilly's advice misrepresents the research.... Read more »

Nilson D, Partridge R, Suner S, & Jay G. (2010) Non-invasive carboxyhemoglobin monitoring: screening emergency medical services patients for carbon monoxide exposure. Prehospital and disaster medicine : the official journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine in association with the Acute Care Foundation, 25(3), 253-6. PMID: 20586019  

  • November 25, 2010
  • 07:01 PM

Who writes health news?

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

In times of financial difficulties, health reporters are usually the first to be let go. This is especially true if they actually know something about health (it makes them more expensive). Financial cutbacks mean that media outlets have to rely on news agencies or have non-specialist journalists report health. The authors of "Does it matter who writes medical news stories" are familiar with such problems (and their consequences), since they are reviewers of health news stories for the Australia........ Read more »

Wilson, A., Robertson, J., McElduff, P., Jones, A., & Henry, D. (2010) Does It Matter Who Writes Medical News Stories?. PLoS Medicine, 7(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000323  

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