Development

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Development

Yet another piece of evidence for the futility of abstinence education. Masters et al., publishing in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, show that an adolescent’s attitude about sex is a much stronger indicator that they will actually have it than their attitudes about abstinence. The study followed around 300 teenagers from Seattle…

Functional MRI (fMRI) is a very useful technique, but it lacks in resolution making some systems difficult to study. Adams et al. show in a study of ocular dominance columns in humans why good old staining is still useful when we reach the limits of imaging.

It’s mad, I tell you, madddd! Mad scientists these days. Always going around saying, “Hey, you know how that animal could be better? If it had another head. Muahahaha!” Anyway, the (possibly mad) scientists Wolfgang Jakob and Bernd Schierwater wanted to know more about the genes that determine the body plan of multicellular organisms. In…

A great article in the NYTimes about the debate over a sensory integration disorder: The problem, these therapists say, is in the brain, which is not properly integrating the onslaught of information coming through the senses, often causing anxiety, tantrums and problems in the classroom. Such difficulties, while common in children with developmental disorders like…

No, this is not like voodoo prediction where they will know what will happen 12 years hence. All of us, however, are capable in degrees of predicting what is going to happen over short time scales. This predicition falls into two general categories. First, we can predict the behavior of inaminate objects such as knowing…

Evidence has been found for the stem cell theory of cancer development. For those of you not aware of this theory, it holds that cancers originate from cells that have inadequately differentiated from their stem cell origins. This would contrast with more standard theories of cancer development that have cells de-differentiating from a more mature…

Watch Oligodendrocytes Move in Vivo!

If you remember back from when I was at the Society for Neuroscience, I saw a talk by Bruce Appel where he showed videos of oligodendrocytes migrating and myelinating in the zebrafish. Oligodendrocytes are the myelin forming cell in the central nervous system of vertebrates — the cells that coat axons in a sheet of…

So I am sititng in a movie theater the other day, and some teenagers sitting behind me are talking. Of course, they are talking. They are ALWAYS talking behind me. And what particularly irks me is that it is a Tuesday night during the school year, and I only come to movies at 10 pm…

Differing from the typical strategy of threatening potential suitors with castration, scientists speculate that phermones from fathers delay their daughters sexual development: Chemical cues from fathers may be delaying the onset of sexual maturity in daughters, as part of an evolutionary strategy to prevent inbreeding, according to researchers at Penn State. … “Recently, experts elsewhere…

Why we lay babies on their backs: Research suggests that healthy newborn infants do not have what doctors call “nasoaxillary reflex” — a protective reflex that helps keep their nasal passages open. In adults lying on their side, the nasoaxillary reflex ensures that the uppermost nasal airway is open, Dr. Christopher O’Callaghan of the University…