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from a different Daily Dish – 365 petri dishes, by Klari Reis House of Wisdom, the splendid new blog on Arabic science from Mohammed Yahia, editor of Nature Middle East describes an effort to map the Red Sea’s coral reefs with satellite, aerial, adn ship-based technologies. Nice project and a promising new blog. Brain and…

Jonah Lehrer’s story on “Depression’s Upside” has created quite a kerfuffle. The idea he explores — that depression creates an analytic, ruminative focus that generates useful insight — sits badly with quite a few people. It’s not a brand-new idea, by any means; as Jonah notes, it goes back at least to Aristotle. But Jonah…

Hits of the week past

Hits of the week: Savage Minds (with a spiffy website redesign) asks Why is there no Anthropology Journalism? Jerry Coyne takes sharp exception to both a paper and a SciAm Mind Matters article by Paul Andrews and Andy Thomson arguing that depression might be an evolutionary adaptation. Dr. Pangloss punches back. (NB: 1. I was…

Neuroskeptic ponders the growing evidence that antidepressants significantly best placebo only in the more (or most) depressed patients. His take is that: antidepressants treat classical clinical depression, of the kind that psychiatrists in 1960 would have recognized. This is the kind of depression that they were originally used for, after all, because the first antidepressants…

via Wall Street Journal Health Blog: For a while now, the FDA and other regulators have been looking at safety risks associated with a few drugs patients sometimes take before getting MRI scans. While it’s common for new risks to crop up with established drugs, the Times of London this weekend highlighted an interesting twist…

1. Maybe it was just the headline … but the runaway winner was “No pity party, no macho man.” Psychologist Dave Grossman on surviving killing. Actually I think it was the remarkable photo, which looks like a painting. Check it out. 2. I’m not vulnerable, just especially plastic. Risk genes, environment, and evolution, in the…

In a disturbing post at ScienceInsider, Jon Cohen and Martin Enserink explain why the swine flu vaccine is running so late. Or at least they try to explain why it’s so late. For while all the suppliers are running into problems, we’re not allowed to know what they are. The delays are substantial and critical.…

Notables from the last 24: Over at Gene Expression, Razib casts a skeptical eye on a study of the neuroanatomical variability of religiosity. The brain areas identified in this and the parallel fMRI studies are not unique to processing religion [the study states], but play major roles in social cognition. This implies that religious beliefs…

At Gene Expression, Razib casts a skeptical eye on a study of the neuroanatomical variability of religiosity. The brain areas identified in this and the parallel fMRI studies are not unique to processing religion [the study states], but play major roles in social cognition. This implies that religious beliefs and behavior emerged not as sui…

My latest piece for Slate examines the unsettling consequences of the United States’ choice of swine flu vaccines. The good news about these vaccines is that, to judge by the first vaccine trial results, published last week, they appear to work fast, safely — and at about a half to a quarter of the doses…