Posts

July 18, 2014

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3:01 PM | Baboons Trade Morning Favors for All-Day Payoffs
Primates basically invented “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Baboons, for example, trade grooming for favors from other troop members. Social relationships are important to the monkeys. But it seems they put more effort into certain relationships depending on the time of day: in the morning, lower-ranking baboons invest more energy in grooming […]The post Baboons Trade Morning Favors for All-Day Payoffs appeared first on Inkfish.

July 15, 2014

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4:18 PM | Here’s What Happens When You Put Camera Traps in Trees
The world holds very few unexplored places between zero and six feet off the ground. If humans can walk right up to it and take a picture, we probably already have. But the tops of the trees, like the bottom of the ocean, are a different story. “We know so much less about arboreal mammal […]The post Here’s What Happens When You Put Camera Traps in Trees appeared first on Inkfish.

Gregory, T., Carrasco Rueda, F., Deichmann, J., Kolowski, J. & Alonso, A. (2014). Arboreal camera trapping: taking a proven method to new heights, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 5 (5) 443-451. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12177

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July 09, 2014

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3:19 PM | Say No to Nocebo: How Doctors Can Keep Patients’ Minds from Making Them Sicker
“First, do no harm,” the saying goes, but that might be close to impossible. Just as our expectations can make us feel better, they can also make us feel much worse. This means that how doctors phrase their instructions or introduce new drugs may have a real impact on our health. But some doctors are […]The post Say No to Nocebo: How Doctors Can Keep Patients’ Minds from Making Them Sicker appeared first on Inkfish.

Bingel, U. (2014). Avoiding Nocebo Effects to Optimize Treatment Outcome, JAMA, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.8342

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July 04, 2014

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2:22 PM | The Shambulance: 5 Reasons Not to “Cleanse” Your Colon
Happy Independence Day! Here’s hoping all your fireworks are experienced externally. This post first appeared in October 2012. **************** The Shambulance is an occasional series in which I try to find the truth about bogus or overhyped health products. Physiologist Steven Swoap is with me at the helm. If you’ve been tempted by promotions for “colon hydrotherapy”—that […]The post The Shambulance: 5 Reasons Not to “Cleanse” Your […]

July 01, 2014

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1:25 PM | To Feed the World, Try Legos
“It was an idea that just popped into my head,” says Ludovico Cademartiri, a materials scientist who’s upped his research game by using Legos. He hopes other researchers will steal his idea, and not just because Legos are fun. Cademartiri thinks the humble bricks could help solve the world’s impending food crisis. Members of Cademartiri’s […]The post To Feed the World, Try Legos appeared first on Inkfish.

Lind, K., Sizmur, T., Benomar, S., Miller, A. & Cademartiri, L. (2014). LEGO® Bricks as Building Blocks for Centimeter-Scale Biological Environments: The Case of Plants, PLoS ONE, 9 (6) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100867

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June 27, 2014

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12:46 PM | Objects Bring Fear the Closer They Appear
Quick: which of these things should you worry about if it’s coming toward you? a.) grizzly bear b.) pedestrian c.) frowny face emoticon You many not have time to assess all the risks (is the bear running? does the frowny face have greater-than-symbol eyebrows?). But without thinking about it, you’ll have a bad feeling about […]The post Objects Bring Fear the Closer They Appear appeared first on Inkfish.

Hsee, C., Tu, Y., Lu, Z. & Ruan, B. (2014). Approach aversion: Negative hedonic reactions toward approaching stimuli., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106 (5) 699-712. DOI: 10.1037/a0036332

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Editor's Pick

June 24, 2014

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2:45 PM | City Birds Are Adapted for Every Kind of Stress
Whether you make your home in a high-rise apartment building or a drainpipe, city life has a different pace than country life. Urban environments mean an endless series of challenges for your mind and body: noise, crowds, pollution, quick decisions while facing oncoming vehicles. City-dwelling humans like to think of themselves as  tough and not […]The post City Birds Are Adapted for Every Kind of Stress appeared first on Inkfish.
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