Post List

  • November 4, 2009
  • 04:01 PM

who wants to build a warp drive anyway?

by Greg Fish in weird things

Usually, when I post about a scientific paper, the focus is on its methodology and interpreting its conclusions into real world applications. This time, we’re going to do something a little different and use an oft cited paper on the plausibility of warp drive propulsion to build a theoretical model of our own. You see, [...]... Read more »

Richard Obousy, & Gerald Cleaver. (2008) Warp Drive: A New Approach. JBIS. arXiv: 0712.1649v6

  • November 4, 2009
  • 03:03 PM

Thermodynamics shows US chief executives are paid nearly 130 times too much

by Jacob Aron in Just A Theory

With banks being bailed out all over the place these days, many people are asking themselves why those in charge get paid such high salaries. Are CEOs really worth their million pound bonuses? Not according to Venkat Venkatasubramanian, who has calculated that US chief executives get paid nearly 130 times what they should.
As a professor [...]... Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 01:44 PM

Sexual Attraction, Health and Evolution: It's a Rocky Road

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

Which physical characteristics make for attraction? Many popular science reports evoke evolutionary psychology arguments as explanations of why modern humans supposedly respond to these attractiveness cues, but often times these reports fail to consider conflicting data realities as well as the many subtle limitations that are generally involved in research...... Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 11:02 AM

Lowering Pharma firewalls: Just for Bioinformatics or Chemoinformatics also

by Abhishek Tiwari in Fisheye Perspective

Notion of pre-competitive collaboration has been in under experiment steadily for quite sometime now. Notable examples are the Airbus consortium of European aircraft manufacturers, the Sematech consortium of US semiconductor manufacturers, banks working together to launch Visa and Mastercard, our recent moon lust and many more. But this was never a case for pharmaceutical industry until now which is now lowering industry firewalls to shift funding and focus from early- to late-stage projects by ........ Read more »

Barnes, M., Harland, L., Foord, S., Hall, M., Dix, I., Thomas, S., Williams-Jones, B., & Brouwer, C. (2009) Lowering industry firewalls: pre-competitive informatics initiatives in drug discovery. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 8(9), 701-708. DOI: 10.1038/nrd2944  

  • November 4, 2009
  • 10:45 AM

Anxiety in boys and substance use in girls: Paths to major depression in adolescence?

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

Recently I finished writing an article with child depression researcher Dr. Maria Kovacs about the concept of prodromal processes in child and adolescent depression. The article should be appearing early next year on a  special issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. In that article, we reviewed the extensive literature on the predictors [...]... Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 10:35 AM

Zinc inhibits rhinovirus replication

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The title of this post should not come as a surprise to readers of virology blog – it was shown in 1974 that zinc could interfere with replication of rhinoviruses (see “Zinc and the common cold“). I am referring to the result of my first experiment to study the mechanism of zinc inhibition – something I promised I would document on these pages.
... Read more »

KORANT, B., KAUER, J., & BUTTERWORTH, B. (1974) Zinc ions inhibit replication of rhinoviruses. Nature, 248(5449), 588-590. DOI: 10.1038/248588a0  

  • November 4, 2009
  • 09:12 AM

IQ,SES and heritability

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

A reader of this blog wrote to me recently regarding a series of posts I have written regarding IQ,SES and heritability, and I thought it would be good to share the comments with the rest of the mouse trap community and to delineate my position on the matter (and what I believe the studies show [...]Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:IQ matters…or does it? This is just an FYI post regarding two great articles...IQ variations across time and space : the why and wherefore? Mind H........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

The impact from recreational power boating on freshwater turtles

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Attention all boaters, please slow down for wildlife! A new study finds that recreational power boating can pose serious threats to freshwater turtles.

Researchers from the University of Ontario measured the occurrence of power boating injuries to northern map turtles ... Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 07:45 AM

Tip of the Week: CHOP CNV database

by Mary in OpenHelix

One of the hottest searches we see all the time is for more information on CNVs, or copy number variations.  These intriguing structural variants in our genomes explain a lot of the reason that SNP hunting for complex diseases like schizophrenia and autism weren’t able to elucidate the problems as most people expected.  These spectrum sorts of conditions were just not going to turn out as straightforward as the sickle-cell variation or the cystic fibrosis stories.
Resources to catalog an........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 07:23 AM

Long Toes & Short Ankles Help Sprinters Accelerate Faster

by in

The Journal of Experimental Biology has published an interesting paper about some unique features in sprinters: longer toes and shorter ankle joints. The only one flaw is that their sample size is limited, they only compared 12 collegiate sprinters with 12 non-athletes of the same height. Regardless, from a physical anthropological point of view, this [...]... Read more »

Knight, K. (2009) SHORT HEELS GIVE ELITE SPRINTERS THE EDGE. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212(22). DOI: 10.1242/jeb.039735  

  • November 4, 2009
  • 07:17 AM

MM#07 Answer: Haplosporidia -- spores with lids

by Psi Wavefunction in Skeptic Wonder

Johan, our resident micropaleontologist, got this past week's Mystery Micrograph - congratulations! The answer was: Haplosporidia. Johan went the extra mile and identified its genus: Minchinia. This one is M.mercenariae, from Ford et al. 2009 JEM:Minchinia mercenariae (Haplosporidian) from the clam Mercenaria mercenaria; 13 - SEM of spore with arrow pointing to the opening; 12 - spore with a closed hinged lid; 2 - Minchinia's 'habitat' in the clam connective tissue (which it has taken over), whi........ Read more »

AZEVEDO, C., BALSEIRO, P., CASAL, G., GESTAL, C., ARANGUREN, R., STOKES, N., CARNEGIE, R., NOVOA, B., BURRESON, E., & FIGUERAS, A. (2006) Ultrastructural and molecular characterization of Haplosporidium montforti n. sp., parasite of the European abalone Haliotis tuberculata. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 92(1), 23-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.jip.2006.02.002  

  • November 4, 2009
  • 06:59 AM

Changing patterns of investment in biofuels

by Ciaran O'Neill in Biotechnology for Biofuels

The research and development of biofuels is beginning to attract investment from large international companies, including those traditionally associated with their fossil fuel predecessors.

A series of news articles published in Nature evaluate recent shifts in interest and investment in jatropha and algae as biofuel feedstocks, as well as techniques to produce cellulosic ethanol and liquid fuel directly from biomass (content requires subscription or payment).
With the announcement this........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 04:53 AM

CCTV cameras don't reassure, they frighten

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

People are no more fearful of crossing a street with a young male skinhead in it than they are a street with a smartly dressed woman present, unless, that is, a CCTV camera is overhead. The new finding appears to undermine one of the key justifications for Britain's network of 4.2 million surveillance cameras: that they provide reassurance to the public. It seems that the sight of a CCTV camera can have the opposite effect, cueing the perception of a threat. Dave Williams and Jobuda Ahmed presen........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 03:38 AM

Graph Theory to the rescue

by Jan Husdal in

Graph Theory. In Supply Chain Management? In this paper, graph theory is used to model interactions between supply chain vulnerability drivers and to calculate a supply chain vulnerability index. That is a novel approach, but does it work?... Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 02:41 AM

Insomnia and Depression

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

patients with depression often complain of difficulty getting to sleep, frequent awakenings during the night, early morning awakening, or nonrestorative sleep
patients with mood disorders exhibit higher rates of sleep disturbance than the general population, and sleep disturbance can continue even during periods of remission
patients with insomnia are up to 10 times more likely to have [...]

Related posts:Winter Depression Or Seasonal Affective Disorder It’s the time of year again, th........ Read more »

BENCA, R., & PETERSON, M. (2008) Insomnia and depression. Sleep Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/S1389-9457(08)70010-8  

Holshoe, J. (2009) Antidepressants and Sleep: A Review. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 45(3), 191-197. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2009.00221.x  

  • November 3, 2009
  • 11:21 PM

Building a Religion: The Rock Art Evidence

by teofilo in Gambler's House

The idea that the kachina cult was not an indigenous development among the Pueblos but was instead introduced from the south seems to have originated with a 1974 article by Polly and Curtis Schaafsma.  As they note, while some previous scholars had noted some elements of the cult that suggested Mesoamerican influence, the general consensus [...]... Read more »

  • November 3, 2009
  • 08:38 PM

Endangered Birds Share Traits with Extinct Species

by Scott A. in JournOwl

There’s an old adage that pops up all the time not just in reference to conservation, but in the subject area of “you name it.”  And for this very reason it has become quite ubiquitous.  It goes something like “Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it” or some variation there in [...]... Read more »

  • November 3, 2009
  • 03:26 PM

Fish migrate to escape climate change

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

A study out today in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series shows that global warming could have a major effect on the fishing industry by forcing large fish populations from their original habitats. About half of the fish stocks studied in the Atlantic ocean, many of them commercially valuable species, have shifted northward over the [...]

... Read more »

  • November 3, 2009
  • 02:34 PM

Anime film characters: Do we perceive the intended race, or our own?

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

One of my favorite cartoons as a child was "Speed Racer." It featured an all-American boy (first name, "Speed," last name, "Racer") engaging in that most American of pastimes: driving fast cars. Except that "Speed Racer" wasn't really American; it was made in Japan, and the original Japanese voices were crudely overdubbed in English. Perhaps I can be excused for not noticing the Japanese origins of the show -- I was only 10 years old. Even now, as an ........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2009
  • 09:54 AM

Components of green tea interfere with the physiologic role of the native prion protein and its conversion into the pathologic prion protein

by Brian Appleby in CJD Blogger

As I continue to catch up on my articles, this post is about an article by Rambold and colleagues that was published in the Journal of Neurochemistry.  The researchers’ study was designed to identify compounds that would interfere with the propagation of the pathologic prion protein.  The two compounds investigated in the present article were the main components of green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and gallocatechin gallate (GCG).  This was an in vitro study that us........ Read more »

Rambold, A., Miesbauer, M., Olschewski, D., Seidel, R., Riemer, C., Smale, L., Brumm, L., Levy, M., Gazit, E., Oesterhelt, D.... (2008) Green tea extracts interfere with the stress-protective activity of PrP and the formation of PrP . Journal of Neurochemistry, 107(1), 218-229. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05611.x  

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