Post List

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:39 PM

A Brush with Madness

by Kristopher Hite in Tom Paine's Ghost

I'm giving myself ten minutes to do this. To write whatever storms into my mind then hit post.

I think the archaic revival might run into some barriers. Like starvation, no communication, and other electrical difficulties if it embraces the Abbey-esque Luddite philosophy entirely.

As much as I want to get onto that other boat I think I will just slip between the hulls and end up swimming by myself among the sea-monsters, bullets whizzing past my head with bubbles trailing behind in dark ........ Read more »

Sedel F, Baumann N, Turpin JC, Lyon-Caen O, Saudubray JM, & Cohen D. (2007) Psychiatric manifestations revealing inborn errors of metabolism in adolescents and adults. Journal of inherited metabolic disease, 30(5), 631-41. PMID: 17694356  

Rose FC. (2006) Van Gogh's madness. International review of neurobiology, 253-69. PMID: 16730519  

Altintoprak AE, Ersel M, & Bayrakci A. (2009) An unusual suicide attempt: a case with psychosis during an acute porphyric attack. European journal of emergency medicine : official journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine, 16(2), 106-8. PMID: 19262206  

Mandoki MW, & Sumner GS. (1994) Psychiatric manifestations of hereditary coproporphyria in a child. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 182(2), 117-8. PMID: 8308532  

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:05 PM

Re-Evaluating Ancient Beavers

by Andrew Farke in The Open Source Paleontologist

Beavers are some of the most distinctive (and largest) rodents around today. Two species of the extant beaver, Castor, are found throughout the northern hemisphere, and these animals have an enormous effect on their landscapes. Beavers are perhaps most famous for their dam-building activities, altering the flow of streams and generating valuable wetlands used by other animals. Surely, the impact of this group extends far back in geological time.Many early beavers were fossorial, or burrowing, wi........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 08:25 PM

Monkeys and Uncles

by Laelaps in Laelaps

During the long wind-up to this autumn’s congressional elections, hardly a week went by without a gaffe by Delaware tea partier and Sarah Palin-wannabe Christine O’Donnell. The sharp-tongued political commentator Bill Maher seemed to have an entire stockpile of embarrassing clips from when O’Donnell – then president of the conservative advocacy group the Savior’s Alliance [...]... Read more »

Meikle, W., & Scott, E. (2010) Why Are There Still Monkeys?. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 3(4), 573-575. DOI: 10.1007/s12052-010-0293-2  

Zalmout, I., Sanders, W., MacLatchy, L., Gunnell, G., Al-Mufarreh, Y., Ali, M., Nasser, A., Al-Masari, A., Al-Sobhi, S., Nadhra, A.... (2010) New Oligocene primate from Saudi Arabia and the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Nature, 466(7304), 360-364. DOI: 10.1038/nature09094  

  • November 16, 2010
  • 07:09 PM

This is no Picnic – Seasonal Migration of American Black Bears is a Complicated Business

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Organisms in search of favourable conditions commonly undertake long-distance migrations.  Birds, whales and sea turtles come to mind as typical species that spend a good deal of time on the move; however, there are many animals that undertake seasonal movements to a lesser extent.  Black bears (Ursus americanus) are not recognized as typical ‘round-trip’ migrators, [...]... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 05:05 PM

Gut flora is mostly influenced by species, not diet

by Colby in

Do diet and other environmental factors largely influence microbial composition in the gut, or is this mostly determined by the species of the host? This is a question that has supportive research on each side, but a new paper by … Continue reading →... Read more »

Howard Ochman, Michael Worobey, Chih-Horng Kuo, Jean-Bosco N. Ndjango, Martine Peeters, Beatrice H. Hahn, & Philip Hugenholtz. (2010) Evolutionary Relationships of Wild Hominids Recapitulated by Gut Microbial Communities . PLoS Biology. info:/

  • November 16, 2010
  • 05:03 PM

Winter active bumblebees

by Africa Gomez in BugBlog

We had our first frost yesterday, and it was also a frosty morning today. But coming back home this afternoon, with the light already going weaker, I came across a Tree Bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum feeding on a large Mahonia bush. I have posted before on this bumblebee, a recent natural colonist in the U.K. In the last two decades, reports of winter active bumblebees - mostly Bombus terrestris - have steadily been accumulating, especially in the south of Britain. Queen bumblebe........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 03:52 PM

You are your brand label

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The last post, on how people find secular alternatives to fill one particular emotional need traditionally fulfilled by religion (the need to feel in control), set me to thinking about another study that was published earlier this year.

The study looked at brands, which are a powerful form of self expression. People use brands to send signals about personality and wealth. Many people are, in a very real sense, defined by their brands.

Religion, too, provides a powerful sense of identity. Whe........ Read more »

Shachar, R., Erdem, T., Cutright, K., & Fitzsimons, G. (2010) Brands: The Opiate of the Nonreligious Masses?. Marketing Science. DOI: 10.1287/mksc.1100.0591  

  • November 16, 2010
  • 03:35 PM

Brain MRI White Matter Intensities: Clinical Significance

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

T2 White Matter Hyperintensity (Mild left, Extensive right)Novel imaging findings emerge with the advancement of imaging techniques.  Commonly, the meaning of new imaging findings is unknown until further clinical research provides answers.  This situation describes the finding of white matter intensities on brain magnetic resonance imaging.  White matter intensities are relatively common in the aging brain as well as with a variety of clinical disorders.  Two manuscripts pro........ Read more »

Murray, M., Senjem, M., Petersen, R., Hollman, J., Preboske, G., Weigand, S., Knopman, D., Ferman, T., Dickson, D., & Jack, C. (2010) Functional Impact of White Matter Hyperintensities in Cognitively Normal Elderly Subjects. Archives of Neurology, 67(11), 1379-1385. DOI: 10.1001/archneurol.2010.280  

  • November 16, 2010
  • 02:47 PM

Storing DNA

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

DNA is one of the most important components of the cell. In eukaryote cells (i.e the cells of humans and plants) it is stored inside a nucleus that keeps it safe and away from dangerous things like free radicals produced by the metabolic reactions of the cell. In bacterial cells the DNA isn't nearly as well protected, but the main bulk of the bacterial chromosome (excluding the little floating plasmids) is all kept together in a bundle usually referred to as a nucleoid. However the DNA in cells ........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 01:45 PM

Prokaryotes considered

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

As a college biology major during the 1970s I was taught that cells in which the genetic material is separated from the cytoplasm by a nuclear membrane – such as those of animals, fungi, plants, and protists – are called eukaryotes. In contrast, the DNA of bacteria is not bounded by such a structure, and [...]... Read more »

Prangishvili, D., Forterre, P., & Garrett, R. (2006) Viruses of the Archaea: a unifying view. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 4(11), 837-848. DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro1527  

  • November 16, 2010
  • 01:37 PM

Medication and Self Managing Chronic Pain (ii)

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

If medication is to be part of a toolkit for self managing chronic pain, then it seems to me that it’s important to know as much about the medication and how it should be used as possible.  Once again, today I’m not directly referring to the literature because I haven’t found an awful lot discussing … Read more... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 12:54 PM

To Be or Not to Be: Angry Boss or Happy Boss?

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Everyone can remember having had a wonderful supervisor, who made the job that much easier. Unfortunately, most of us can also remember having had at least one supervisor with anger ... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

The more colourful the lie, the more people believe it, man!

by Caspar Addyman in Your Brain on Drugs

The Splintered Mind has a great guest piece by G. Randolph Mayes reflecting on John Allen Paulos’s latest piece in the New York Times, entitled “Stories vs. Statistics” , which reflects on counter intuitve work of Nobel prize winning work of Tversky and Kahneman on conjunction fallacies.... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 10:58 AM

Tyrannosaurus Had Extra Junk in the Trunk

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Almost everyone has a pretty good idea of what Tyrannosaurus rex looked like. The massive head, scrawny arms, and the bird-like posture are all iconic parts of prehistory’s most famous dinosaur, but its tail would probably be tacked on as an afterthought. You can’t have a good Tyrannosaurus without a tail, but our focus has [...]... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 10:58 AM

A Tadpole Taste Test with Students as “Mock Predators”

by Emily Anthes in Wonderland

Why would a researcher ask his grad students to eat tadpoles?... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 10:50 AM

Sometimes in cancer research there really is hope

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

It’s easy to forget that oncologists (whether medical, radiation or surgical) and hematologists deal with death and dying every single day, it’s sadly an integral part of the daily job.  Sometimes though, something comes along that offers hope or perhaps … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 10:14 AM

A Perception/Action Model of Coordination

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

It's easy to build a model that can fit your data. It's much harder to build a model that actually reflects the perception/action mechanism for a task, but such models are critical. The only current example in the literature is Bingham's model of bimanual coordinated rhythmic movement, and this is how he made it.... Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:07 AM

Guest Post: iRefWeb — Andrei Turinsky

by Mary in OpenHelix

This next post in our continuing semi-regular Guest Post series is from Andrei Turinsky, one of the developers of iRefWeb. If you are a provider of a free, publicly available genomics tool, database or resource and would like to convey something to users on our guest post feature, please feel free to contact us at wlathe AT openhelix DOT com or the contact form (write ‘guest post’ as subject heading). We welcome introductions to your resource, information on updates, highlights of li........ Read more »

Brian Turner, Sabry Razick, Andrei L. Turinsky, James Vlasblom, Edgard K. Crowdy, Emerson Cho, Kyle Morrison, Ian M. Donaldson, & Shoshana J. Wodak. (2010) iRefWeb: interactive analysis of consolidated protein interaction data and their supporting evidence. Database. info:/10.1093/database/baq023

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:05 AM

Is female orgasm adaptive? Let's ask the clitoris.

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Whether or not a trait is an adaptation, shaped by natural selection for a specific function, can be a surprisingly contentious question in evolutionary biology. When the trait in question belongs to human beings, though, "contentious" reaches a whole new level—because when evolutionary biologists consider humans, their conclusions get personal.
.flickr-photo { }.flickr-frameright { float: right; text-align: left; margin-left: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; width:40%;}.flickr-caption { font-size: ........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2010
  • 09:04 AM

The Case of the Phantom Music

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

Imagine a peaceful night of relaxation at home, you curled up in a favorite leather armchair with a novel downloaded on your Nook. Suddenly, you hear music, (whether it is the soaring refrains of Mozart’s Requiem or the building power-chords of Boston’s More than a Feelin’ is up to you), and you spring from your chair. Is it the neighbors? What could be causing this phenomenon? And why present this spooky imagined scenario twelve days after Halloween has ended?... Read more »

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