Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: more religion and child abuse [Effect Measure]

Richard Dawkins has taken a lot of abuse himself for having the temerity to suggest that some kinds of religious upbringings can be considered abusive even if no physical harm is involved. We know that Catholic children suffered abuse at the hands of priests and nuns, and that some fundamentalist Christians have also engaged in extremely abusive practices. We don't usually think of Jews as routinely engaging in this, but there is something non-sectarian about the fundamentalist mindset. You could do a 'global search and replace' and this sad tale of escape from orthodox Judaism could be interchanged with those of many evangelical Christian or Muslim sects. I have no trouble calling this institutionalized child abuse:

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: more religion and child abuse [Effect Measure]

Para chegar ao cérebro, só com passe VIP!

Pode não parecer à primeira vista, mas para um fármaco chegar ao cérebro, ele precisa ser especial. Está pensando que é qualquer um que pode passar pela barreira hematoencefálica?Se a última palavra embaralhou, eu explico: barreira hematoencefálica nada mais é que o conjunto de células super-ultra-mega unidas que compõem os vasos sanguíneos do cérebro. Os espaços entre essas células são tão pequenos que praticamente nada as atravessa. Você deve estar pensando: como os nutrientes que estão no sangue chegam ao cérebro, se nada passa pela barreira? Moléculas maiores, como a glicose, passam do sangue para o tecido cerebral através de mecanismos especiais sofisticados, envolvendo "transportadores" que permitem sua passagem de forma seletiva. Moral da história: a entrada de substâncias no cérebro é algo altamente controlado, e não é para qualquer molécula não!A barreira hematoencefálica é uma complicação a mais para quem desenvolve novas moléculas para o tratamento de doenças cerebrais - é preciso que o fámaco chegue no local da doença para poder agir. Se é difícil fazer uma molécula atravessar a barreira, a nanobiotecnologia pode dar a ela um passe VIP e facilitar as coisas: quando encapsulamos uma molécula em uma nanopartícula e revestimos a mesma com polissorbato 80, conseguimos fazer com que ela atravesse a barreira hematoencefálica e atinja o tecido cerebral.Quer um exemplo dessa estratégia? Pesquisadores da Índia e da Malásia encapsularam rivastigmina, um fármaco usado no combate ao Mal de Alzheimer, em nanopartículas poliméricas. Metade das nanopartículas foi revestida com 1% de polissorbato 80 e outra metade não foi. Ratos foram tratados de três maneiras diferentes: 1) com rivastigmina não-encapsulada, 2) com rivastigmina em nanopartículas poliméricas sem polissorbato 80, e 3) com rivastigmina em nanopartículas poliméricas revestidas por polissorbato 80. O resultado pode ser visto claramente no gráfico abaixo:As setas coloridas, cuja adição na figura é por minha conta, indicam a concentração de fármaco que atravessou a barreira hematoencefálica e chegou ao tecido cerebral. A seta vermelha aponta para o fármaco encapsulado em nanopartículas revestidas com polissorbato 80. Fica evidente que a concentração de fármaco no cérebro, neste caso, é muito maior que aquela proporcionada pela encapsulação em nanopartículas sem polissorbato 80 (seta verde). Por sua vez, encapsular a rivastigmina em nanopartículas sem polissorbato 80 (seta verde) dá o mesmo resultado que administrá-la da forma convencional - sem uso da nanotecnologia (seta amarela). A conclusão? Nanopartículas revestidas com polissorbato 80 fizeram com que mais fármaco chegasse ao tecido cerebral - isso é positivo, ja que mais fármaco no local de ação aumenta a eficácia do tratamento. Essa estratégia é válida não só para o Mal de Alzheimer, mas também para tumores e outras desordens cerebrais.Uma pequena observação...Como fica evidente no gráfico, a rivastigmina chegou a outros locais além do cérebro: fígado, baço, pulmões, rins. Isso demonstra que nem sempre é possível atingir o ideal, que é fazer com que o fármaco chegue apenas ao local de ação no corpo (no caso, o cérebro). Embora mais fármaco chegue ao cérebro usando a estratégia do polissorbato 80, o paciente não estará livre de potenciais efeitos adversos causados pela chegada do fármaco em outros locais que não são o alvo, tal qual já acontece em um tratamento convencional que não emprega nanotecnologia. WILSON, B., SAMANTA, M., SANTHI, K., KUMAR, K., PARAMAKRISHNAN, N., & SURESH, B. (2008). Poly(n-butylcyanoacrylate) nanoparticles coated with polysorbate 80 for the targeted delivery of rivastigmine into the brain to treat Alzheimer's disease Brain Research, 1200, 159-168 DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.01.039...

WILSON, B., SAMANTA, M., SANTHI, K., KUMAR, K., PARAMAKRISHNAN, N., & SURESH, B. (2008) Poly(n-butylcyanoacrylate) nanoparticles coated with polysorbate 80 for the targeted delivery of rivastigmine into the brain to treat Alzheimer's disease. Brain Research, 159-168. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.01.039  Poly(n-butylcyanoacrylate) nanoparticles coated with polysorbate 80 for the targeted delivery of rivastigmine into the brain to treat Alzheimer's disease


See original: Research Blogging - All Topics - Portuguese Para chegar ao cérebro, só com passe VIP!

2009 November 8

2009 November 8



M7: Open Star Cluster in Scorpius Credit & Copyright: Louie Atalasidis

M7 is one of the most prominent
open clusters
of stars on the sky.

The cluster, dominated by bright blue
stars,
can be seen with the naked eye in a dark sky
in the tail of the constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).

M7 contains about 100 stars in total, is about
200 million years old,
spans 25
light-years across, and lies about 1000 light-years away.

The above deep exposure was taken last month over several nights from
Yalbraith,
NSWAustralia.

The M7 star cluster
has been known since ancient times, being noted by
Ptolemy in the year
130 AD.

Also visible are a
dark dust cloud
and literally millions of unrelated stars
towards the Galactic center

galaxy collision

See original: Astronomy Picture of the Day
 - Page2RSS 2009 November 8

the wages of syntax

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See original: atheistcartoons.com the wages of syntax

Kim Stanley Robinson on writing about Utopias

In an interview with Terry Bisson, science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson talks about the importance of writing about utopias:
Terry Bisson: My favorite of that series is Pacific Edge, the utopia of the series. What’s yours? Are there any particular problems in writing a utopia?
Kim Stanley Robinson: My favorite is The Gold Coast, for personal [...]

See original: Resilience Science Kim Stanley Robinson on writing about Utopias

Sad news about Warren DeLano

I just heard the sad news about Warren DeLano, one of the giants of open source scientific software (and the author of PyMOL). Warren passed away suddenly a few days ago. Like everyone else, I’m stunned and saddened by this news. For those of you who don’t know, PyMOL is a fantastic piece [...]

See original: The OpenScience Project Sad news about Warren DeLano

Income inequality drives church attendance

The Dutch press is reporting a new study with an international perspective on what drives church attendance (the authors are Stijn Ruiter, senior researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, and Frank van Tubergen, a professor of sociology in Utrecht).

What they set out to do was to compare the major theories on what causes religion, using data from the World Values Survey and other sources. Broadly speaking, you can summarize these theories like this:...

Stijn Ruiter, & Frank van Tubergen. (2009) Religious Attendance in Cross-National Perspective: A Multilevel Analysis of 60 Countries. American Journal of Sociology. info:/


See original: Research Blogging - All Topics - English Income inequality drives church attendance

*** Call for Papers *** The Journal of Social & Psychological Sciences (Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2010)

01/07/2009 00:38
25/11/2009 00:38
Europe/Paris
Logo or Venue image: 
Contact Email: 

Journal of Social & Psychological Sciences

Volume 3 Issue 1 January 2010

The Journal of Social & Psychological Sciences
(JSPS) is an internationally recognised and fully peer reviewed journal that publishes scholarly work in the humanities and social sciences that have a psychosocial orientation. Examples of areas include: Gender and Identity, Embodiment of Gender, Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Psychoanalysis and Social Theory. Manuscripts may be in the form of reviews, short communications, Letters to the Editor, Research Papers, Conference Presentations (with clearance from conference organisers), commentaries and replies to other articles or research papers. The editorial board is currently accepting submissions in these areas and prospective authors are reminded of the important dates to be adhered to.

Important Dates:

All papers must be submitted by the 25th of November 2009

Happy Carl Sagan Day! [The Primate Diaries]

His birthday is actually on Monday, but today marks the first annual event initiated by Broward College in Florida. In honor of the event, here is Carl Sagan's final interview prior to his death. Amazing isn't it that the science vs. religion debate hasn't changed much after 15 years. But it must be the atheists that are to blame!

You may be interested in my earlier post discussing Carl Sagan's principled stance on nuclear winter that I wrote to accompany Seed magazine's interview with biologist Paul Ehrlich.

Think big thoughts today and take Sagan's message of skepticism and humble awe of the universe with you.

[Video below the fold.]

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select Happy Carl Sagan Day! [The Primate Diaries]

Science in the open » Reflections on Science 2.0 from a distance - Part I

Reflections on Science 2.0 from a distance - Part I

See original: Del.icio.us Science in the open » Reflections on Science 2.0 from a distance - Part I

And so, driven on ceaselessly toward new shores [Tomorrow's Table]

I am traveling now far away from home towards a large lake in Zurich. What a perfect time to receive this poem from Jan Visser.

Le Lac (written in 1820 by Alphonse de Lamartine)

Ainsi, toujours poussés vers de nouveaux rivages,
dans la nuit éternelle emportés sans retour,
ne pourrons-nous jamais sur l'océan des âges
jeter l'ancre un seul jour?

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select And so, driven on ceaselessly toward new shores [Tomorrow's Table]

even more depressed than usual.

I don't have a good analogy and I don't really have the energy right now to figure out how to blog anonymously about what has been going on lately.

Suffice it to say, it's nothing new, nothing dramatic. If it were an isolated event, or only a few, that would be easier to paint as a picture.

Instead it has to do with the frustration of not being able to explain what it's like being subtly but consistently slighted over and over and over and over (death by a thousand pinpricks, basically).

The frustration of dealing with scientists who consistently and repeatedly offend or disappoint me (or both).

The frustration of noticing that non-scientists somehow manage to be less offensive, less disappointing, more supportive, better people. My own cynicism that this is part of why I would rather be around students, because they were people before they started school and they haven't yet lost their heart and creativity (which science seems to beat out of everyone).

The frustration of noticing that it is only in the non-science parts of my life where I have female role models who manage to set a good example AND encourage me AND give concrete, useful suggestions that help me reach my goals.

I could list all the things that are bothering me this week, but I have other things I need to do, science things that should be fun, and I will be happier when I just do them, or at least they will be done and then I can move on without feeling as if I am being lazy.

Still, I am distracted by the low but consistent drumbeat of none of this is going to help, it's too late already.

Not to mention the creeping feeling that this is somebody else's deja vu, history repeating itself because nobody listened the first time when this happened to legions of other women scientists.

And yet, it continues to happen. And I feel like I'm screaming into the forest like a broken tree, and nobody is around to hear me.

Today I spent some time slowly catching up on reading blogs I missed while buried under a pile of other things. I am still feeling disconnected from the writing mood.

In a way, it is usually good for me to be busy - I am better about being "in the moment" when I am too busy to think beyond what is in front of my face, in firefighting mode.

But in other ways I don't think it's good for me to go too long without writing. For whatever reason, it is therapeutic in the sense that I feel worse when I don't do it, even if I don't always feel better when I do.

See original: YoungFemaleScientist even more depressed than usual.