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September 5th, 2007 - Dan Goodman's journal

September 5th, 2007

September 5th, 2007
04:48 pm


Happy Birthday, dreamshark!!

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10:37 pm


From the NyTimes:

Short on Labor, Farmers in U.S. Shift to Mexico
From bna.com's newsletter:

Orchestra conductors, movie distributors and others who rely on music in the public domain will get another chance to challenge a law extending some copyright protections. A three-judge panel of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals today revived a legal challenge of another act that extended that protection to foreign works, some of which were already in the public domain. Coverage at
Decision at

Tokyo, alarmed by the global dominance of Google and other foreign internet services, is spearheading a project to try to seize the lead in new search technologies for electronic devices. The push has been sparked by concerns in Japan that the country's pre-eminence in consumer electronics has faded and value in the technology industry is moving away from hardware.
<http://tinyurl.com/22cg2c> [FT]
From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 5-Sep-2007
American Journal of Emergency Medicine
New CPR promises better results by compressing abdomen, not Chest
A biomedical engineer at Purdue University has developed a new method to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation that promises to be more effective than standard CPR because it increases nourishing blood flow through the heart by 25 percent over the current method.

Public Release: 5-Sep-2007
Journal of Neuroscience
Adult brain can change, study confirms
It is well established that a child's brain has a remarkable capacity for change, but controversy continues about the extent to which such plasticity exists in the adult human primary sensory cortex. Now, neuroscientists from MIT and Johns Hopkins University have used converging evidence from brain imaging and behavioral studies to show that the adult visual cortex does indeed reorganize -- and that the change affects visual perception.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Public Release: 5-Sep-2007
Migrating squid drove evolution of sonar in whales and dolphins, researchers argue
Sperm whales, dolphins and other "toothed" whales hunt squid so deep in the ocean they must rely on biosonar. UC Berkeley paleontologists argue for a likely evolutionary scenario that explains how these whales developed echolocation. What initially was a rudimentary echolocating ability to find hard-bodied nautiloids in surface waters 40 million years ago was perfected, as nautiloids declined, into a refined biosonar system able to find soft-bodied squid as they migrate downward during the day.
University of California Museum of Paleontology

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11:12 pm


From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 5-Sep-2007
Molecular Ecology
New study shows greenback cutthroat trout involved in recovery effort misidentified
A new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder indicates biologists trying to save Colorado's native greenback cutthroat trout from extinction over the past several decades through hatchery propagation and restocking efforts have, in most cases, inadvertently restored the wrong fish.
National Science Foundation, Colorado Division of Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Public Release: 5-Sep-2007
The Sociology of Health and Illness
Research says doctor's gender may hinder early diagnosis of heart disease in women
New research in the US and UK by Warwick Medical School shows that a doctor's gender may hinder early hinder early diagnosis of heart disease in women.
The key finding in the research was how the doctors approached the issue of patient age. Increasing age is known to be an important risk factor for CHD amongst both men and women. However many of the doctors in the study showed a clear bias in favour of male patients when considering age as a diagnostic factor. This bias was even more pronounced amongst female doctors.

Public Release: 5-Sep-2007
PLoS Biology
Dangerous Liaisons
A German-American research collaboration discovers how the immune system can drive the formation of new species.

Public Release: 5-Sep-2007
'Alien' jaws help moray eels feed
Moray eels have a unique way of feeding reminiscent of a science fiction thriller, researchers at UC Davis have discovered. After seizing prey in its jaws, a second set of jaws located in the moray's throat reaches forward into the mouth, grabs the food and carries it back to the esophagus for swallowing.
National Science Foundation

Public Release: 5-Sep-2007
McGill study promises faster-acting anti-depressants
A McGill University study has found that a new class of drugs known as serotonin4 (5-HT4) receptor agonists may take effect four to seven times faster than traditional selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The study, led by former McGill post-doctoral fellow in psychiatry Guillaume Lucas with his supervisor, the late Dr. Guy Debonnel, was published in the Sept. 6 issue of the journal Neuron.
Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Fonds de Recherche en Santé du Québec

Public Release: 5-Sep-2007
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Study finds a high rate of asthma in college athletes
More than a third of college athletes assessed for breathing problems had test results suggesting exercise-induced asthma, even in those athletes who had no previous history of asthma, a new study shows. The findings paralleled earlier findings of a high prevalence of exercise-induced asthma among Olympic athletes. The work also underscores the need to develop more routine diagnosis and management tools in athletes to detect the potentially serious condition among athletes.
NIH, American College of Chest Physician

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11:35 pm


From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 4-Sep-2007
Social Science History
Widely held beliefs about early Cherokee settlement patterns likely incorrect
Two new studies from the University of Georgia show for the first time that long-held assumptions about Cherokee settlement patterns may have been incomplete at best.
National Science Foundation

Public Release: 4-Sep-2007
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Income inequality associated with overnourishment and undernourishment in India
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Bristol have examined the extent to which income inequality is predictive of the double nutritional burden of undernutrition and overnutrition in India. They found that people living in Indian states with high levels of income inequality experienced a greater risk of both under- and overnutrition, even after adjusting for various demographic, economic and behavioral variables.
National Institutes of Health Career Development Award

Public Release: 4-Sep-2007
PLoS Biology
Ultraconserved elements in the genome: Are they indispensable?
Ultraconserved elements are DNA sequences, hundreds of base pairs long, that are 100-percent identical in mice, rats and humans. Their perfect conservation for over 80 million years was thought due to evolutionary pressure, such that if even one nucleotide changes, the organism would die. But in a new study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute, knockout mice with deleted ultraconserved elements showed virtually no ill effects.
National Institutes of Health, US Department of Energy

Public Release: 4-Sep-2007
Journal of Neurolinguistics
Having right timing 'connections' in brain is key to overcoming dyslexia
Using new software developed to investigate how the brains of dyslexic children are organized, University of Washington researchers have found that key areas for language and working memory involved in reading are connected differently in dyslexics than in children who are good readers and spellers. However, a three-week instructional program can normalize those connections.
NIH/National Insitute of Child Health and Human Development

Public Release: 4-Sep-2007
Molecular Biology and Evolution
The aye-ayes have it: The preservation of color vision in a creature of the night
Brian Verrelli and his ASU team have performed the first sweeping, genetic evolutionary study of color vision in the aye-aye (pronounced "eye-eye"), a bushy-tailed, Madagascar native primate. Verrelli, lead author George Perry, and collaborator Robert Martin's results, published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, have led to some surprising conclusions on how this unusual nocturnal primate may have retained color vision function.
[Actually, the full press report doesn't seem to say they've found an answer yet.]

Public Release: 4-Sep-2007
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Selection on genes underlying schizophrenia during human evolution
Several genes with strong associations to schizophrenia have evolved rapidly due to selection during human evolution, according to new research in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Wednesday, September 5, 2007).
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, East Carolina University, National Institutes of Health

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11:48 pm


From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 3-Sep-2007
Excavations reveal first beehives in ancient Near East
Amihai Mazar, Eleazar L. Sukenik Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, revealed that the first apiary (beehive colony) dating from the Biblical period has been found in excavations he directed this summer at Tel Rehov in Israel's Beth Shean Valley. This is the earliest apiary to be revealed to date in an archaeological excavation anywhere in the ancient Near East, said Prof. Mazar.

Public Release: 3-Sep-2007
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Pop stars more than twice as likely to die an early death
Rock and pop stars are more than twice as likely as the rest of the population to die an early death, and within a few years of becoming famous, reveals research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The findings are based on more than 1050 North American and European musicians and singers who shot to fame between 1956 and 1999.
[Caution: There doesn't seem to have been comparison with unfamous musicians.]

Public Release: 3-Sep-2007
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Pig study sheds new light on the colonisation of Europe by early farmers
The earliest domesticated pigs in Europe, which many archaeologists believed to be descended from European wild boar, were actually introduced from the Middle East by Stone Age farmers, new research suggests.
Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Smithsonian Institution
The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Smithsonian Institution also showed that within 500 years after the local domestication of the European wild boar, the new domestics completely replaced the Middle Eastern pigs that had arrived in Europe as part of the ‘farming package’.

Dr Greger Larson, who performed the genetic analysis said: "The domestic pigs that were derived from the European wild boar must have been considered vastly superior to those originally from Middle East, though at this point we have no idea why. In fact, the European domestic pigs were so successful that over the next several thousand years they spread across the continent and even back into the Middle East where they overtook the indigenous domestic pigs. For whatever reason, European pigs were the must have farm animal."

Public Release: 3-Sep-2007
Archives of General Psychiatry
Adult offspring of parents with PTSD have lower cortisol levels
A small study suggests that adults whose parents are Holocaust survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder appear to have lower average levels of the stress hormone cortisol than the adult offspring of parents without PTSD, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Public Release: 3-Sep-2007
Psychiatric Services
Psychiatrists are the least religious of all physicians
A survey of the religious beliefs and practices of American physicians has found that the least religious of all medical specialties is psychiatry. Among psychiatrists who have a religion, more than twice as many are Jewish and far fewer are Protestant or Catholic. The study also found that religious physicians, especially Protestants, are less likely to refer patients to psychiatrists, and more likely to send them to members of the clergy or religious counselors.
Greenwall Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program
Although 61 percent of all American physicians were either Protestant (39%) or Catholic (22%), only 37 percent of psychiatrists were Protestant (27%) or Catholic (10%). Twenty-nine percent were Jewish, compared to 13 percent of all physicians. Seventeen percent of psychiatrists listed their religion as "none," compared to only 10 percent of all doctors.

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