Posts

July 28, 2014

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5:48 PM | One of world’s best ideas: the distinction between genotype and phenotype
One of the most important ideas ever is the distinction between genotype and phenotype – between our genes and the traits they influence. It seems obvious to us now, but scarcely more than 100 years ago it wasn’t, which led … Continue reading →
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5:31 PM | What percent nature? What percent nurture?
The Nature versus Nurture debate is over: we no longer ask if genetics governs personality or if environment does. They work together, and it’s hard to pick their effects apart. But surely we can pick their effects apart a little? For example, if a dog trainer is trying to impress upon their students the importance of getting a puppy from a good breeder who takes behavior into account — or conversely, the importance of bringing a new puppy to a puppy class: what should she tell […]

Liinamo A.E., Peter A.J. Leegwater, Matthijs B.H. Schilder, Johan A.M. van Arendonk & Bernard A. van Oost (2007). Genetic variation in aggression-related traits in Golden Retriever dogs, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 104 (1-2) 95-106. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2006.04.025

Strandberg E. & Peter Saetre (2005). Direct genetic, maternal and litter effects on behaviour in German shepherd dogs in Sweden, Livestock Production Science, 93 (1) 33-42. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.livprodsci.2004.11.004

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5:13 PM | A New Hepatitis C Treatment offers Hope
Well this might seem weird, but today is world hepatitis day. I guess I should qualify weird with the fact that it’s only weird because no one really knows. What […]

Lawitz, E., Sulkowski, M., Ghalib, R., Rodriguez-Torres, M., Younossi, Z., Corregidor, A., DeJesus, E., Pearlman, B., Rabinovitz, M., Gitlin, N. & Lim, J. (2014). Simeprevir plus sofosbuvir, with or without ribavirin, to treat chronic infection with hepatitis C virus genotype 1 in non-responders to pegylated interferon and ribavirin and treatment-naive patients: the COSMOS randomised study, The Lancet, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61036-9

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5:06 PM | US Educators Lead the World in Overestimating Student Poverty, Which May Affect Educational Mobility
AndreSource: Andreas Schleicher OECD Do educators’ perceptions of how disadvantaged their students are matter? Put another way, when teachers think their students are underprivileged, do they have lower expectations for them, and do their students achieve less at school? In a July 22, 2014, article “Poverty and the perception of poverty - how both matter for schooling outcomes,” Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at the Organization for Economic […]
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4:57 PM | The Science of Heartbreak
The Science of Heartbreak Why is a ‘broken heart’ so painful? Check out Audible: http://bit.ly/XIcZpz Subscribe! It’s FREE http://bit.ly/10kWnZ7 Join the fun! TWITTER – http://bit.ly/16mYsWW FACEBOOK – http://on.fb.me/12fEcFg Written and created by Mitchell Moffit (twitter @mitchellmoffit) and Gregory Brown (twitter @whalewatchmeplz). Further Reading: Why Does Social Exclusion Hurt? The Relationship Between Social and Physical PainRead More »
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4:40 PM | Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other's Butts?
If dogs have such a keen sense of smell, why do they spend so much time with their noses near each other's rear ends? This video gives a quick introduction to dog butt science and explains why their noses aren't overwhelmed by the smell of poop.Read more...
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4:30 PM | A linguist has a question about sampling when the goal is causal inference from observational data
Nate Delaney-Busch writes: I’m a PhD student of cognitive neuroscience at Tufts, and a question came recently with my colleagues about the difficulty of random sampling in cases of highly controlled stimulus sets, and I thought I would drop a line to see if you had any reading suggestions for us. Let’s say I wanted […] The post A linguist has a question about sampling when the goal is causal inference from observational data appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
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4:23 PM | All of the Data that’s Fit to Collect
My graduate thesis in exercise physiology involved answering a research question that required collecting an awful lot of data before I had enough for analysis. I was comparing muscle fatigue in males and females, and in order to do this I had to find enough male-female pairs that matched for muscle volume. I took skin […]
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4:20 PM | Would You Notice A Massive Increase In Police Presence?
Let's say the police patrol presence in your area was tripled. Would you feel safer? If you were a criminal, would be feel more afraid? A now-infamous year-long study showed that most likely you wouldn't even notice.Read more...
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4:10 PM | Escape from the July 20 Haboob in Western Nevada
At 3:37 pm, July 20th, my phone made a strange and loud noise in my pocket, and I took it out to find the first of two emergency alerts that I would receive from the National Weather Service.The first NWS alert, for the Lovelock area, is on the bottom.Besides the emergency alert sound, similar to that of the emergency broadcast system on radio and TV, the "Severe" and "Avoid travel" were phrases that caught the attention of the two geologists working that day, geologists who were hoping to […]
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4:10 PM | Escape from the July 20 Haboob in Western Nevada
At 3:37 pm, July 20th, my phone made a strange and loud noise in my pocket, and I took it out to find the first of two emergency alerts that I would receive from the National Weather Service.The first NWS alert, for the Lovelock area, is on the bottom.Besides the emergency alert sound, similar to that of the emergency broadcast system on radio and TV, the "Severe" and "Avoid travel" were phrases that caught the attention of the two geologists working that day, geologists who were hoping to […]
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4:00 PM | This Week's TV: It's Sharktopus Vs. Pteracuda Vs. A Second Sharknado!
While the world prepares for the onslaught of a second Sharknado movie, Conan O'Brien is about to die at the tentacles of a new Sharktopus. Plus, Gravity Falls is back for more paranormal hijinks and The Strain gets its hands bloody with a vampire autopsy. See all the details below!Read more...
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3:57 PM | Hands-On and Student-Centered: Subverting the Typical College Experience
A Canadian college is following the K-12 education trend towards more student-centered, hands-on, and interdisciplinary teaching. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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3:45 PM | 5 Practices for Calming Racing Thoughts
Racing thoughts may be a daily reality for you or an occasional annoyance. Racing thoughts are common for people with anxiety when they’re facing a stressor. They’re also common in bipolar disorder, ADHD and other medical conditions, according to Marla Deibler, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders. For instance, anxious thoughts may […]
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3:30 PM | Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Beautiful Anolis smaragdinus
The Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles, produced by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, are “Loose-leaf accounts of taxa (measuring 8.5 x 11 inches) prepared by specialists, including synonymy, definition, description, distribution map, and comprehensive list of literature for each taxon. Covers amphibians and Reptiles of the entire Western Hemisphere. Individual accounts […]
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3:25 PM | One more hummingbird picture
Sorry, can’t resist posting one more hummingbird picture. The rufous, on the left, have just finally arrived at our house. They’re usually earlier in the summer, and they’re very aggressive, driving away the black-chins who have been here since late spring. Moments after this picture was snapped, the rufous drove the black-chin away:
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3:25 PM | Compressed Subspace Matching on the Continuum / Subspace Learning From Bits
Two different techniques to learn more about the subspace you're in.Compressed Subspace Matching on the Continuum by William Mantzel, Justin RombergWe consider the general problem of matching a subspace to a signal in R^N that has been observed indirectly (compressed) through a random projection. We are interested in the case where the collection of K-dimensional subspaces is continuously parameterized, i.e. naturally indexed by an interval from the real line, or more generally a […]
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3:08 PM | Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool Movie Test Footage Is Heartbreakingly Perfect
Despite X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Green Lantern, there was one comic superhero Ryan Reynolds was born to play — Deadpool. Test footage from the once-in-development movie has surfaced, and not only is it great, it is genuinely tragic that this movie has never been made... yet.Read more...
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3:06 PM | Ancient Earth fossils could be found on the moon
Experiments with a large cannon have shown that fossilised algae could have made the journey to the moon intact, providing an exciting window into Earth's past
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3:00 PM | "Colossally Poor Timing" of Asteroid Caused Dinosaur Extinction
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh say the dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out had it happened slightly later or earlier in history.Read more...
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2:56 PM | Immigrant youth to Canada are less active than Canadians, but only for a little bit
Regular readers of the blog and my Twitter profile will know that my PhD dissertation is focused on the health of young people to Canada. In particular, I’m interested in how their health changes over time – does it get …The post Immigrant youth to Canada are less active than Canadians, but only for a little bit appeared first on Public Health.
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2:41 PM | Public service announcement: NIH #GSPfuture meeting livestream now
There’s a workshop running today and tomorrow, called: Future Opportunities for Genome Sequencing and Beyond: A Planning Workshop for the National Human Genome Research Institute July 28-29, 2014 Follow on Twitter at #GSPfuture Workshop Agenda It’s live streaming here:  http://www.genome.gov/GenomeTVLive/ I’m sure the recordings will be available later, though, if you come across this at […]
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2:40 PM | Elephants Might Be Able To Self-Medicate To Induce Labor
We know that animals have found ways to get themselves drunk or high by eating certain plants or fermented fruit, but recently, scientists have started studying the self-medication of animals — a branch of science dubbed zoopharmacognosy. This is how we discovered elephants might have a way to bring on labor. Read more...
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2:39 PM | Undertheorized and unvalidated: Stocklmayer & Bryant vs. NSF Indicators “Science literacy” scale part I
The paper isn’t exactly hot off the press, but someone recently lowered my entropy by sending me a copy of Stocklmayer, S. M., & Bryant, C. Science and the Public—What should people know?, International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 2(1), 81-101 (2012).  Cool article! The piece critiques the NSF’s Science Indicators “factual knowledge” questions. As is well known to the 9.8 billion readers of this blog (we’re down another couple billion this […]
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2:30 PM | Holy @#$%, If The Evil Dead TV Show Happens It'll Star Bruce Campbell!
Uh, remember how when Sam Raimi announced at Comic-Con that he and his brother Ted were working on an Evil Dead TV series and that Bruce Campbell was somehow involved? And I figured he could be doing anything from starring to producing? Turns out it's the former. Groovy.Read more...
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2:25 PM | Stan NYC Meetup – Thurs, July 31
The next Stan NYC meetup is happening on Thursday, July 31, at 7 pm. If you’re interested, registration is required and closes on Wednesday night: http://www.meetup.com/Stan-Users-NYC/events/193685802/   The third session will focus on using the Stan language. If you’re bringing a laptop, please come with RStan, PyStan, or CmdStan already installed.   We’re going to […] The post Stan NYC Meetup – Thurs, July 31 appeared first on Statistical Modeling, […]
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2:21 PM | When Icebergs Attack, Maggots in the Loo (Yup), the Problem with NYC’s Rat Problem
By Jason Bittel Daddy knows best: Longmont, Colorado, voted to ban fracking a year and a half ago, but a state district judge just struck down the town’s ban, saying it conflicts with state regulations (see "Hometown Heroine"). The highlight (lowlight?) of the story is undoubtedly the following quote from Judge D.D. Mallard’s ruling: “While the Court appreciates the Longmont citizens' sincerely-held beliefs about risks to their health and […]
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2:21 PM | How a squid forms a relationship with a bacterium
How do you get into a mutually beneficial relationship? That is the question researchers asked in a recent paper in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, albeit for a squid and its bacterial partner. The researchers showed that in order for the Hawaiian bobtail squid to form a symbiotic relationship with the bioluminescent Vibrio fischeri, […]
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2:20 PM | The World We Want: Sustainable Development without Chronic Hunger
Undernutrition during childhood increases risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCD) in adulthood.  History teaches us that girls who experience famine conditions famine conditions are more likely to develop peripheral artery disease and diabetes mellitus in adulthood (Portrait et al., 2011). Undernutrition in early life leads to stunting. 
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2:20 PM | Software development becoming less mature?
Michael Fogus posted on Twitter this morning Computing: the only industry that becomes less mature as more time passes. The immaturity of computing is used to excuse every ignorance. There’s an enormous body of existing wisdom but we don’t care. I don’t know whether computing is becoming less mature, though it may very well be […]
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