Pure Pedantry

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Numerous studies have attempted to correlate general intelligence with different anatomical measures. (You might even argue that the phrenologists were working in this vein.) Likewise many studies have attempted to relate intelligence to the function of different brain regions — using techniques like fMRI or PET scanning. However, relatively few studies have attempted to correlate…

Go Blonde with Fungus

Wired Science reports on a way to bleach your hair without all issues of…you know…turning it so stiff and destroyed that it resembles a donkey tail. All you women of the world itching to turn blonde, take note. The system involves an enzyme from forest fungus. Which is good somehow. Forest fungus on your hair…

I caught this interesting sentence over at Marginal Revolution: as consumption approaches satiation, workers reduce their hours of work to prevent themselves from actually reaching satiation. More technically, as workers approach satiation, their labor supply curves start to “bend backwards.” The result is that rising labor demand stemming from rising productivity raises wages yet reduces…

I know this will be of interesting for about 1 in a hundred of you, but there is a REALLY good review of hippocampal and parahippocampal region connectivity in April’s Nature Review Neuroscience. Of special interest, there is an interactive .pdf in the supplementary information where you can identify the connections between one region to…

I have been reading more on the Natasha Richardson story overnight, and it appears the story has moved into blame-placing mode. (For the original discussion of the story, read this.) Possible places to lay the blame (that I have read thus far): The absence of mandatory helmet laws Canadian medicine’s failure to administer rapid CTs…

So I am way behind the news cycle on this, but I wanted to comment briefly on actress Natasha Richardson’s death as a result of an epidural hematoma. From everything I read, she seemed like a very good actress, a very decent woman, and an excellent wife and mother, so I was saddened to read…

Reversible Dementia in the Elderly

The New Old Age blog at the NYTimes — hadn’t read it before, but I like it — has a post about reversible causes of cognitive decline in the elderly. I think they make a really good point: there are reversible causes to senility. Not all mental decline in the elderly is “normal” and certainly…

If you work in infectious diseases in a hospital — or frankly if you work anywhere in a hospital — the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a serious problem. You have to be constantly aware of what the right drug is to prescribe to ensure its maximum effectiveness, and — though rare — there…

This is just unbelievable. At a day care center in Arkansas, 10 kids were accidentally given windshield wiper fluid instead of Kool-Aid: Child welfare investigators plan to talk to the owner of an Arkansas daycare center where 10 children were sickened after they were given windshield wiper fluid to drink. “They’ll go out, they’ll get…

Most of the stuff you hear about hyperbaric oxygen being used to treat is total nonsense. It isn’t effective at treating autism or cerebral palsy. But an article in the Times makes the point that it is effective for treating some things: The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, the professional organization in this field, recognizes…