Monthly Archives: August 2010

Evolutionary and Developmental Precursors for the Human Mathematical Mind

Now that summer is starting to fade, here is something else to look forward to: The 2010-2011 American Scientist Pizza Lunch speaker series returns next month.

Join us at noon, Tuesday, Sept. 21 here at Sigma Xi to hear Duke University cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Brannon give a talk entitled: “Evolutionary and Developmental Precursors for the Human Mathematical Mind.” In other words, Brannon studies what we all take for granted: our ability to do the numbers. She does it, in part, with studies of human babies and other primates.

Thanks to a grant from the N.C. Biotechnology Center, American Scientist Pizza Lunch is free and open to science journalists and science communicators of all stripes. Feel free to forward this message to anyone who might want to attend. RSVPs are required (for the slice count) to cclabby@amsci.org

Directions to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society in RTP, are here: http://www.sigmaxi.org/about/center/directions.shtml

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Lots of great stuff today – here is a sampling:
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Hydrogen Bonding (video)

Grand Rounds Vol. 6 No. 49 – a conference in a tropical island resort

The summer is almost over, but we can try to remain in the summery mood just a little bit longer. Perhaps we can go to a medical conference held at a luscious tropical island resort, listen to presentations, chat in the hallways, and then have great fun at the bar in the evenings. And call it Grand Rounds. No coats and ties allowed – this meeting is supposed to be fun!

Day 1 – Morning session: Biomedical Science

Let’s start with controversy! Laika’s MedLibLog digs into the XMRV controversy with another comprehensive treatment prompted by the newest paper in the field – Does the NHI/FDA Paper Confirm XMRV in CFS? Well, Ditch the MR and Scratch the X… and… you’ve got MLV. And Abbie at ERV covers the same paper without mincing her words – ouch! – in XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome: Scientific Blue Balls.

Diane Meier at The John A. Hartford Foundation blog wrote a review and summary of a blockbuster study on palliative care and quality (and length!) of life: Palliative Care: We Still Have a Lot to Learn.

Day 1 – afternoon session: The Brain and The Mind

SharpBrains contributors have two entries this week. The first one is by Jo Ellen Roseman and Mary Koppel at AAAS: The Brain in Science Education: What Should Everyone Learn? The second one is Why working memory matters in the knowledge age: study by Dr. Tracy Alloway.

How to Cope with Pain reviews exciting, new, non-invasive and non-medication treatments for pain, in Brain Re-training To Decrease Pain.

Will Meek, PhD is working through human psychology, one post at a time. The latest installment is Romantic vs Committed Love.

Dinah at Shrink Rap, differentiating normal moods from those associated with mental illness: Emotion versus Mental Illness.

Day 1 – hallway conversations: Practice, Patients, Nursing and Cases

Katrina Racial Violence is a poignant recollection of treating a Katrina survivor, who had been threatened with violence, by Toni Brayer, MD at EverythingHealth.

‘Nancy Nurse, RN, MD’ on the Muse, RN is a post motivated by the phrase “If she’s so smart, why isn’t she a doctor?”. Its a little dicey…but Nurses need some dice every once in a while.

Medical Resident, from A Medical Resident’s Journey responds to a recent blog post in the New York Times by Pauline Chen on medical errors: On Medical Mistakes…. And another post on the same topic, at Supporting Safer HealthcareI Care For You; I Am Your Doctor – focuses on the fact that, unfortunately, communication can break down at this most crucial time.

Physician Quality Report Cards, Part II on Kent Bottles Private Views is a post about a physician’s resistance to administrative review and patient feedback. Doctor report cards, NFL football, teachers, controversy, and nasty comments. What more could you want in a blog post?

Fizzy, last week’s host of Grand Rounds over on Mothers in Medicine, starts with a cartoon and writes about looking too young to be a doctor: Get confident, stupid!

Waterworks at Other things amanzi is a great story by Bongi about a joke he played on a not-so-hard-working urologist.

From Kimberly Manning, FACP at ACP Hospitalist, Life at Grady: Black and white, a story about a patient questioning his doctor’s race.

When do medical students start learning to practice medicine defensively? It didn’t take long for this one to encounter the opening lesson: Defensive Medicine 101… it starts now, at The Notwithstanding Blog.

And a little comparative medicine from Dog Zombie: Comparative medicine: what is a wallaby?

Greg Friese at Everyday EMS Tips: Paramedic that Knows Everything Declines Additional Learning

Day 2 – morning session: Medicine and Technology

Livetweeting surgery is becoming all the rage these days. Ramona of Suture for a Living writes about the latest case: Double Hand Transplant on Twitter.

Physicians are a group that greatly adopted the use of smartphones in theor work. Ryan DuBosar at ACP Internist comments in QD: News Every Day–What smartphone are you using?

In Doctors Not Using Email Like It’s 2010 It’s 2010, Elaine Schattner, MD at Medical Lessons considers physicians’ selective use of email, a no-longer-new technology that might, if embraced, facilitate communication between doctors and patients.

Michelle R. Wood of Occam Practice Management looks at some Famous Last Words in regard to technology, and how those words turned out…including the worries about the “paperless” Health Information Technology.

Day 2 – afternoon session: History of Medicine

Delia O’Hara at Birth Story introduces us to a historical figure of Alexis Carrel, who pioneered vascular surgery and transplant surgery.

At From the Hands of Quacks, Jaipreet Virdi gives us a glimpse of quirky medicine from the past, in How to Avoid Deafness and for those who want to know more, there is a Reading List.

Day 2 – hallway conversations: Healthcare policy

Louise at Colorado Health Insurance Insider discusses Amendment 63 On The Ballot In Colorado which will determine who can purchase health insurance.

Day 2 – evening at the bar: The Fun Stuff

The Happy Hospitalist tried something new – to draw a cartoon: Parkinson’s Cruise Cartoon (The Happy Hospitalist Original)

The Poetry Contest at The Examining Room of Dr.Charles ends tonight. Many great health/medical poems were submitted and some of them were posted there. Here is Thirteen Ways of Seeing, a poem (in 13 parts) by Aidel Moodnick.

And with this, the tropical island resort conference ends. Have a great trip home! We’ll see you all again next week at the Grand Rounds hosted by Musings of a Dinosaur.

Introducing The Guardian Science Blogging Network

Early this morning, The Guardian launched their brand new science blogging network, adding another shiny new island to the growing archipelago of the science blogging universe.

Alok Jha introduces the network:

You would not know it from general media coverage but, on the web, science is alive with remarkable debate. According to the Pew Research Centre, science accounts for 10% of all stories on blogs but only 1% of the stories in mainstream media coverage. (The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism looked at a year’s news coverage starting from January 2009.)

On the web, thousands of scientists, journalists, hobbyists and numerous other interested folk write about and create lively discussions around palaeontology, astronomy, viruses and other bugs, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, evolutionary biology, extraterrestrial life or bad science. For regular swimmers in this fast-flowing river of words, it can be a rewarding (and sometimes maddening) experience. For the uninitiated, it can be overwhelming.

The Guardian’s science blogs network is an attempt to bring some of the expertise and these discussions to our readers. Our four bloggers will bring you their untrammeled thoughts on the the latest in evolution and ecology, politics and campaigns, skepticism (with a dollop of righteous anger) and particle physics (I’ll let them make their own introductions).

The four initial bloggers (apart from Alok who will continue blogging on the already well-known Guardian ScienceBlog) are Martin Robbins, Jon Butterworth, Evan Harris and my old friend and SciBling GrrlScientist.

So, subscribe to their RSS feed and their Twitter list and their official Twitter account, then go and post Hello comments on their blogs.

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I am back, after a 10-hr drive from NJ to NC, and preparing Grand Round for tomorrow morning. In the meantime, read these:

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Open Laboratory 2010 – submissions so far

Note: if you have recently moved your blog, please e-mail me the corrected URLs for your entries

The list is growing fast – check the submissions to date and get inspired to submit something of your own – an essay, a poem, a cartoon or original art.

The Submission form is here so you can get started. Under the fold are entries so far, as well as buttons and the bookmarklet. The instructions for submitting are here.

You can buy the last four annual collections here. You can read Prefaces and Introductions to older editions here.

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