EvoMRI: Open Science session accepted for ESOF 2010 http://ff.im/bi8Mb
EvoMRI: Open Science session accepted for ESOF 2010 http://ff.im/bi7ES
EvoMRI: Liked "Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2010: Call for Proposals" http://ff.im/bh7zJ
The closing paragraph of ‘Nature, Red in Tooth and Flame Part-2’ mentioned how extrinsic factors in the environment, such as the presence of increased atmospheric oxygen and an abundance of herbaceous plants to serve as fuel, collectively worked to generate frequent and intense wildfires during the Pennsylvanian Period approximately 300 million years ago. It was the presence of these Carboniferous wildfires that positively selected fire-tolerant gymnosperm species for continued development, and initiated their adaptive radiation towards the representative pine trees that occupy the modern-day savannas in the southeastern United States. It is within contemporary savannas that the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and the southern slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa) express their fiery ancestry; however, the fire......
Beckage, B., Platt, W., & Gross, L. (2009) Vegetation, Fire, and Feedbacks: A Disturbance‐Mediated Model of Savannas. The American Naturalist, 174(6), 805-818. DOI: 10.1086/648458 Vegetation, Fire, and Feedbacks: A Disturbance‐Mediated Model of Savannas
See original: Ecosytem Engineering and Fire Ecology, Part 3
4th french-german interdisciplinary Workshop for Social and Human Sciences, organized by Giraf
Sur les traces de la trace / Der Spur auf den Spur
at the Maison Heinrich Heine (www.maison-heinrich-heine.org).
The programm is attached to this post (also available online at: www.giraf-iffd.ways.org)
The Workshop is open to the public.
The Giraf team
Gangloff, M., Siefferman, L., Seesock, W., & Cliff Webber, E. (2009) Influence of urban tributaries on freshwater mussel populations in a biologically diverse piedmont (USA) stream. Hydrobiologia. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-009-9948-9 Influence of urban tributaries on freshwater mussel populations in a biologically diverse piedmont (USA) stream
With only less than 52 days left before the start of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), the website for this unique event in the history of the United Nations was officially launched at a ceremony in Montreal, held with more than 500 participants representing the 193 Parties to the Convention and partner [...]
See original: 2010 International Year of Biodiversity Website launched
Previously I posted on the general features of oxytocin, what it acts on, and where it basically acts, and what it's mostly known for. But the reality is that oxytocin is a LOT more complicated than that, and has different effects of your body and your behavior, depending on who you are. It varies from person to person (as all biological things do) as well as between men and women. And today, we're going to discuss the ladies. Because if there is anything oxytocin is famous for, it's for its effects on women.
(Yes, yes, we will cover this bit).
You may have noticed lots of links in the previous post. Those links are to the literature which I searched before posting. There will be lots more links in this one to examples of studies which support what I'm going to tell you about. Of course, all of these are in science-ese, and so if you are puzzling over something and can't make it out, give a shout out in the comments with the particular paper, and Sci will do her best to cover the paper later on. I have a feeling that oxytocin is going to be a recurring topic.
So here we go.
This one's for the ladies
See original: Oxytocin: This one's for the Ladies [Neurotopia]
Ok, maybe not so shocking.In my talks on childhood obesity I'll always point out that the simple act of sitting on a sofa doesn't in and of itself cause weight gain and on my blog I'll also regularly point out that the rise in childhood obesity isn't a consequence of a lack of physical activity, but rather an increase in food. Putting those two together I've always presumed that TV watching was symptomatic of a less healthy lifestyle that included more calories than the lifestyles of kids who didn't watch much TV.Well guess what? Maybe I was right. A fascinating study was recently published in the journal Obesity that specifically sought to answer what it is about watching TV that leads kids to gain weight. The study looked at the TV viewing habits, lifestyles and weights of 2,374 Greek children between the ages of 1 and 5.The findings?Those kids watching the most TV were indeed the heaviest and this relationship persisted even after controlling for potential confounders like physical activity. What this means is that kids who exercised and watched lots of TV still had the same rates of obesity as the kids who didn't exercise and watched lots of TV.So what was the cause? The researchers studied many different variables but at the end it came down to the simple fact that the kids who watched the most TV consumed the most calories. Now exactly what, when and why they're eating more isn't yet clear. Are they eating more junk because they see more commercials for junk? Do they sit there with a bag of chips in their laps (the researchers think indeed, it's food consuming while watching TV that makes the difference), or are they eating more in the hours they're not watching TV? The stuff for future research.Bottom line? Once again it seems it's about intake and not output.Manios, Y., Kourlaba, G., Kondaki, K., Grammatikaki, E., Anastasiadou, A., & Roma-Giannikou, E. (2009). Obesity and Television Watching in Preschoolers in Greece: The GENESIS Study Obesity, 17 (11), 2047-2053 DOI: 10.1038/oby.2009.50...
Manios, Y., Kourlaba, G., Kondaki, K., Grammatikaki, E., Anastasiadou, A., & Roma-Giannikou, E. (2009) Obesity and Television Watching in Preschoolers in Greece: The GENESIS Study. Obesity, 17(11), 2047-2053. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2009.50 Obesity and Television Watching in Preschoolers in Greece: The GENESIS Study
See original: Shocking new study on how TV causes pediatric obesity.
This week an interesting study appeared in Current Biology. The research suggests that newborns don’t just cry randomly, but that - when studying the audio signal of their crying - one can distinguish French crying from German crying babies. The German babies - only three days old - cry in a downward fashion, their French contemporaries showed an increasing swelling of the cry and stop abruptly (click on figure for two typical examples).Babies do hear about three months before they are born. The few prenatal studies that are available show that babies, in that stage of their development, already hear and remember sounds. For instance, they recognize the sound of their mothers voice just after birth, and they can distinguish between tunes that they heard during pregnancy from those they haver never been exposed to before.These results made the researchers hypothesize that exposure to the language spoken by the caregivers (mother, father, etc.) influence the crying, since French language, on average, consists of raising melodies, and German intonation often shows a decreasing shape.While until the general assumption was that children between 6 and 18 months start to imitate their mother langauge, the researchers claim that this is actually happening at day one.My interpretation would be different. I would not so much relate these results to language, but to the musical aspects of speech: rhythm, melody, stress (i.e. prosody). As quite some studies have shown (e.g., authors like Fernald, Trehub, Trainor, and others), infants and young children are extremely sensitive to' musical' variations in their environment. I would therefore claim these results are actual evidence for a musical sensitivity for the idea than that it is evidence for the start of learning a language.P.S. I describe this argument in length in my new book Iedereen is muzikaal (unfortunately, only available in Dutch, as yet).Mampe, B., Friederici, A., Christophe, A., & Wermke, K. (2009). Newborns' Cry Melody Is Shaped by Their Native Language Current Biology DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.09.064...
Mampe, B., Friederici, A., Christophe, A., & Wermke, K. (2009) Newborns' Cry Melody Is Shaped by Their Native Language. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.09.064 Newborns' Cry Melody Is Shaped by Their Native Language
Images of vulnerable species found in the UK's coastal waters
See original: Under the sea
Scientists and anglers work like a well-trained pit crew to tag a massive Great White, collect data, and get DNA samples. Expedition Week: Expedition Great White : MON NOV 16 9P et/pt : channel.nationalgeographic.com
See original: Tagging the Great White