PLoS ONE https://scienceblogs.com/ en More acupuncture quackademic medicine infiltrates PLoS ONE https://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/09/10/more-acupuncture-quackademic-medicine-in <span>More acupuncture quackademic medicine infiltrates PLoS ONE</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span style="float: left; padding: 5px;"><a href="http://www.researchblogging.org"><img alt="ResearchBlogging.org" src="http://www.researchblogging.org/public/citation_icons/rb2_large_gray.png" style="border:0;" /></a></span>I hate to do this to <a href="http://blog.coturnix.org/">Bora</a> again. I really do. I'm also getting tired of blogging all these crappy acupuncture studies. I really am. However, sometimes a skeptic's gotta do what a skeptic's gotta do, and this is one of those times.</p> <p>As you may recall, a mere week ago I was disturbed to have discovered the publication of a <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/09/quackademic_medicine_infiltrates_plos_on.php">truly horrifically bad acupuncture study in PLoS ONE</a>. It had all the hallmarks of quackademic medicine: an implausible hypothesis, trying to correlate mystical concepts of meridians and <em>qi</em> to anatomy and failing miserably, and dubious statistical modeling. That PLoS ONE actually published this tripe shows me that, for all its claims of being scientifically rigorous, PLoS ONE has a serious problem when it comes to so-called "complementary and alternative medicine" (sCAM or, if you're a fan, CAM). In fact, PLoS ONE has as its tagline "accelerating the publication of peer-reviewed science." Sadly, the acupuncture study published there a month or two ago made me think that going a bit slower wouldn't necessarily be such a bad thing.</p> <p>So does this latest atrocity, which comes from the University of New South Wales, and the Prince of Wales Hospital and is entitled <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0012619">The Brain Effects of Laser Acupuncture in Healthy Individuals: An fMRI Investigation</a>. I'll give Im Quah-Smith and crew some credit. Unlike a <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/08/another_worthless_acupuncture_study_misi.php">recent acupuncture study</a> from a month ago, where the authors explicitly tried to hide that they were not actually doing acupuncture at all but rather were running electrical current thorough the needles, at least Smith et al admit up front that they are using "laser acupuncture." Of course, "laser acupuncture" is no more acupuncture than is "electroacpuncture"--unless, of course, the Chinese were more techologically advanced than anyone had previously suspected, having developed electricity and having understood quantum mechanics a couple of millennia before we backward "Western" scientists did. Either that, or the first incarnation of Deepak Chopra was alive and active back then.</p> <p>Yes, it's just that ridiculous. Before I even discuss the study, I just want to reiterate and reemphasize that "laser" acupuncture is not acupuncture. It is lasers zapping the skin. True, "laser acupuncture" is a much cooler term than "lasers zapping the skin," but that does not make it any more accurate or correct. What is it with woo-meisters and their propensity to take modern technology, graft it onto treatment based on prescientific notions of disease and how the body works, and then "rebrand" it (to put it kindly) into something that sounds cool but goes woo. That's all the "electroacupuncture" study was done, and it's how this "laser acupuncture" study was done.</p> <p>Smith et al begin:</p> <!--more--><blockquote>Despite the remarkable developments in Western Medicine in modern times, public interest in Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM), such as acupuncture, remains high [1], [2]. This may be because TCAM is perceived as holistic and relatively free of adverse effects. However, these treatments sit uncomfortably alongside scientific medicine because of strikingly different explanatory systems and the empirical tests applied by each discipline. In order to bridge the gulf between high public acceptability and the lack of empirical evidence for many of these treatments, it is important to reconcile them with modern scientific concepts. Our focus here is on laser acupuncture, and we address the question whether laser acupuncture produces brain effects that are biologically plausible.</blockquote> <p>Here we go again with the classic argumentum ad populum. Notice that the argument is not that acupuncture works and is scientifically interesting for what it can teach us about the body. Notice that the argument is also not that studies of CAM should be scientifically rigorous because science-based medicine is the best medicine and, if acupuncture can't stand up to rigorous science, we shouldn't use it. Rather, the reason to apply science to acupuncture, according to Smith et al, is to "bride the gulf between high public acceptability and the lack of empirical evidence for many of these treatments. Also notice that Smith et al have set the bar for evidence incredibly low. Heck, they've set it so low that I wonder why they bothered at all. Basically, they are asking whether laser acupuncture causes measurable effects in the brain. Seriously. That's all this study tests. One might as well state the hypothesis as: Shining lasers on the skin will cause changes in the brain. It's such an obvious hypothesis that it's virtually trivial, as this passage slows:</p> <blockquote><p>In this study, we examined the blood oxygen level dependant (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) response to laser simulation on the above mentioned acupoints CV14, LR14, LR8 and HT7. We chose laser acupuncture as it permits blinding of application because of the lack of a local sensation at low intensity, together with the previously mentioned increases in practical usage and limited understanding of its mechanisms. We reasoned that if laser acupuncture is altering a person's mental state a neurological effect should be observable. Further, if the effect differs dependent on the site of stimulation, then the neural locus of the activity should also differ.</p></blockquote> <p>Well, duh. Why wouldn't the effects in the brain differ dependent on the site of stimulation? This is Neuroscience 101, people. In fact, this is so simple that even a surgeon like me can understand, no need to call in a neuroscientist or a neurologist like Steve Novella. In fact, to me this would be the sort of laboratory exercise that Neuroscience 101 students would do if it weren't for the fact that functional MRI is too complex and expensive. The hypothesis, however, is neither complex nor challenging. So what did Smith et al do?</p> <p>Basically, they took 10 students (7 men and 3 women) who had no history of depression or psychiatric disorder and had never undergone acupuncture treatments. They then called upon the magical mystical arts of acupuncture to choose the following acupuncture points:</p> <div align="center"> <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/wp-content/blogs.dir/445/files/2012/04/i-81a50fcad151831781557f4f9b84189d-acupoints.jpg"><img src="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/wp-content/blogs.dir/445/files/2012/04/i-e1a62644eedc558f03e60e2d1825c52b-acupoints-thumb-450x714-55604.jpg" alt="i-e1a62644eedc558f03e60e2d1825c52b-acupoints-thumb-450x714-55604.jpg" /></a> </div> <p>Why were these acupuncture points chosen? Who knows? The mysticism that is traditional Chinese medicine appears to claim that these acupuncture points have relevance for depression, as well as on a <a href="http://aim.bmj.com/content/23/3/103.long">small randomized trial of "laser acupuncture" for depression</a>. One problem that lept out at me right away was that this study was only single-blinded. The subjects were blinded to whether they were receiving "real" or "sham" laser acupuncture, the sham laser acupuncture consisting of the laser being turned off. Four acupuncture points were tested against one sham acupuncture point as follows, alternating between "real" laser acupuncture and placebo laser acupuncture (no laser) at each acupuncture point. fMRI images were acquired and duly analyzed. Lots of MRI time was wasted along with subjects time, and one of the simplest and least revealing tables of results I've ever seen. Particularly suspicous to me is that the results were presented in a single table of results and numeric values. No actual images were presented, which would allow readers to get a much better feel for how significant and convincing the reported results are.</p> <p>Another deficiency in this study is the lack of something that is absolutely critical for any study that involves any form of imaging, be it fMRI or even just simple chest X-rays. What is that something? Blinding. That's what. For any imaging study, it's very important that the radiologists evaluating the images be blinded to the experimenatal group. Even though the images were quantified using computer software, there is still a huge subjective component in analyzing and interpreting fMRI images and identifying the various anatomic areas being examined. Add this to the apparent lack of blinding of the actual acupuncturists doing the "laser acupuncture" and the investigators doing the computer prestidigitation on the fMRI images.</p> <p>After all that effort, here's what the investigators concluded, after bragging that their study was the "first fMRI study to examine the effects of laser stimulation of a suite of acupoints found to be efficacious in a clinical condition (depression)":</p> <blockquote><p>The main finding of our study was that each acupoint or control point resulted in a different pattern of brain activity when contrasted against all the other acupoints or control point. The acupoints we investigated in this study were those that have been used in our previous treatment study for depression [22]. This finding suggests that although these acupoints are all used in the treatment of depression, the neural locus of this effect differs depending upon the site stimulated.</p></blockquote> <p>Well, duh, I repeat. Well, duh. Shine laser light on different parts of the body, and you get different reactions in the brain. Who'da thunk it?</p> <p>Not surprisingly, as nearly all quackademic medical articles do, this study takes utterly uninteresting results and then uses the differences observed in what parts of the brain light up depending upon what acupuncture point has laser light shined on it as evidence that acupuncture--excuse me, <em>laser</em> acupuncture--"works" for depression. Indeed, they even make it explicit. Because shining a laser light on the four acupuncture points cause the fMRI of the brain to light up in areas that are also involved in depression, that must mean that acupunture using these points is a valid treatment for depression. Personally, I see this as confusing correlation with causation combined with the Texas sharpshooter fallacy.</p> <p>Finally, it's interesting to note who the investigators are. A quick Google search on the first author, Dr Im Quah-Smith, revealed <a href="http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/c6/0c0480c6.asp">this gem</a>, which declares that "Dr Im Quah-Smith fervently believes acupuncture can relieve depression. And now she's putting that faith to the test." I also found this video:</p> <div align="center"> <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/TeC7Ld8zsvw?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TeC7Ld8zsvw?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object></div> <p>Now there's some serious quackademic medicine for a serious journal like PLoS ONE.</p> <p>Having read this study, I found it to be a steaming, stinking pile of fetid dingo kidneys, even by the usual low, low, low standards of typical CAM studies. My guess for what happened is this: The authors knew this study didn't meet the standards for a real neuroscience journal. Neither did they want to relegate it to the scientific ghetto of the CAM literature, where editorial standards are so low that they're subterranean and attempts at actual science are intermingled with the purest woo, like homeopathy and <em>reiki</em>. So what to do? Well, PLoS ONE bills itself as a journal where only the science counts, where the reviewers don't make judgments on the import of the science being presented but rather only assure that it is sound, boasting a 60-70% acceptance rate for manuscripts. I can see how PLoS ONE might be a tempting place for a quactitioner to drop off her latest attempt at quackademic medicine. Unfortunately, somehow these latest bits of tooth fairy science on acupuncture belie the scientific rigor that PLoS ONE claims for itself. Seeing these articles in PLoS ONE make me even more certain than I was before that I no longer wish to submit any manuscripts to PLoS ONE.</p> <p>After all, if I'm going to risk having my work placed along side a quackademic article, I should at least aim high--higher than PLoS ONE. <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/08/quackademic_medicine_infiltrates_the_new.php"><em>The New England Journal of Medicine</em>, perhaps</a>?</p> <p><strong>REFERENCE:</strong></p> <p><span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.jtitle=PLoS+ONE&amp;rft_id=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0012619&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fresearchblogging.org&amp;rft.atitle=The+Brain+Effects+of+Laser+Acupuncture+in+Healthy+Individuals%3A+An+fMRI+Investigation&amp;rft.issn=1932-6203&amp;rft.date=2010&amp;rft.volume=5&amp;rft.issue=9&amp;rft.spage=0&amp;rft.epage=&amp;rft.artnum=http%3A%2F%2Fdx.plos.org%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0012619&amp;rft.au=Quah-Smith%2C+I.&amp;rft.au=Sachdev%2C+P.&amp;rft.au=Wen%2C+W.&amp;rft.au=Chen%2C+X.&amp;rft.au=Williams%2C+M.&amp;rfe_dat=bpr3.included=1;bpr3.tags=Clinical+Research%2COther%2CNeuroscience%2CComputational+Neuroscience%2C+Neurology%2C+acupuncture">Quah-Smith, I., Sachdev, P., Wen, W., Chen, X., &amp; Williams, M. (2010). The Brain Effects of Laser Acupuncture in Healthy Individuals: An fMRI Investigation <span style="font-style: italic;">PLoS ONE, 5</span> (9) DOI: <a rev="review" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012619">10.1371/journal.pone.0012619</a></span></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/oracknows" lang="" about="/oracknows" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">oracknows</a></span> <span>Fri, 09/10/2010 - 03:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/clinical-trials" hreflang="en">Clinical trials</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/complementary-and-alternative-medicine" hreflang="en">complementary and alternative medicine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/medicine" hreflang="en">medicine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/acupuncture" hreflang="en">acupuncture</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos-one" hreflang="en">PLoS ONE</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/quackademic-medicine" hreflang="en">quackademic medicine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/clinical-trials" hreflang="en">Clinical trials</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/complementary-and-alternative-medicine" hreflang="en">complementary and alternative medicine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/medicine" hreflang="en">medicine</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/technology" hreflang="en">Technology</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121547" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284103664"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"Laser acupuncture" strikes me as grasping at straws.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121547&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="RJtNeeVoE59ftKPCRCuWzBW_lhc4pM0U4-O24KGar7M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Composer99 (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121547">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121548" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284105807"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This study pisses me off. All quackery does, but it's only natural that when it deals with an illness that you've had firsthand experience with, it's gonna piss you off a little more than usual. Thanks for writing this thorough thrashing.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121548&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9HmS5OwOcwlZtNwufkWMqq-_vb8rDQ3M-wcbiwZGvsY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">David (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121548">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121549" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284106540"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>So, it appears that they take what is *already* discarded (accupuncture) by SBM and graft another more modern and feasible technology (laser) on to it, hoping for results and possibly, respectability - this leads me to propose an alternative name for alt med ( in addition to "quackademic", "sCAM","CAM", "integrative"," complementary", "woo", etc.): the "Trash Can" School"** of medicine, or if you like, in French: "L'Ecole Poubelle" (?)...** (of course, I'm only referencing, not dissing, John Sloan's "Ash Can School" of art which was more based on reality than this study is.)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121549&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="zlATYgfq8DCgpE1GKT1GjMCjNl8B7dlWPeJrEOO4wvE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Denice Walter (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121549">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121550" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284107373"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I have a hypothesis that a kick in the testicles and a kick in the buttocks will result in different patterns of brain activity. Where's my funding and fMRI time?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121550&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Nwz9tqD2T95GVRqLoEHPRMlrZ8Jk4YkYeRCT3nIJW7k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Paul (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121550">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121551" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284108913"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dammit, as someone working on writing a PhD Fellowship application I'm more than a little irritated that someone got money to do this. "...whether laser acupuncture produces brain effects that are biologically plausible." is right up there with "...will further our understanding of [phenomenon]."</p> <p>I think their colleagues should be sent a copy of the paper - scanner time is scarce enough without it being taken up by this nonsense, and maybe some social pressure would help create actual specific hypotheses next time.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121551&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="TZyAFva03UBetg4S5Ihjh784a3sUx9ilpKpW_olBiDY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://moregloriousdawn.wordpress.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sivi (not verified)</a> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121551">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121552" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284111119"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dude. Homeopathic lasers.</p> <p>If lasers are just highly concentrated beams of light, and homeopathy is just a highly dilluted active ingredient, that means that my flashlight is a homeopathic laser.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121552&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="73E3rfBQHrMoArBcTi4eIWAJ-NUUHnX9r7LUjqsZxFg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://nojesusnopeas.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jay.sweet (not verified)</a> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121552">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121553" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284112939"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>PLoS has mechanisms for commenting on and rating their papers. It's likely worth the effort to express your opinions of the paper there - where the comments become part of the article metadata and are visible to all.</p> <p>In fact, if skeptical comments and ratings to sCAM studies on PLoS were very common, it might give this type of 'researcher' reason to seek out other venues to publish their drivel. Heck, could even be part of the solution...</p> <p>N</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121553&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="HrpB7SwT4T90OPkGME_24_ZeYq8ucyy7Cs6FJJ_ozVk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">n.merritt (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121553">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121554" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284113411"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I am not a neuroscientist, nor do I play one on TV. I find it interesting that having a light ... sorry ... laser shined on your skin stimulates a brain response, even if there is no sensation. This would be a necessary - but not sufficient - condition to proving that "laser acupuncture" does, well, anything.</p> <p>But the real potential breakthrough they completely ignore is the possibility of using sharks with laser beams on their heads as therapists! They'd be able get acupuncture, acupressure, and "laser acupuncture" benefits all from a single source. Assuming, of course you can train the shark to identify the correct points and not eat the patients.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121554&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="25mJqJjP4VzodTExlWGyEPT0sYTRvNcgeup9-pR6NsE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Mephistopheles O&#039;Brien">Mephistopheles… (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121554">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121555" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284113708"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I found it interesting that this "study" didn't include an "off-target" control to make sure that their laser equipment wasn't causing an effect on the subject or the fMRI imaging. </p> <p>I was also struck by their claim that the laser stimulation couldn't be felt by the subject. Although they fail to mention the delivered energy in <i>this</i> paper, they <i>do</i> say that the laser set-up was similar to their laughable study on laser acupuncture for depression. Looking up that paper, I find that they delivered 0.5J (500 mJ), which would be 20 sec. of total exposure to their 25 mW laser. Although the authors claim that this was below the level of sensation, they don't mention <i>asking</i> their subjects if they could feel when the laser was "on" and when it was "off". This may be an oversight.</p> <p>However, the bigger question is how insensible laser light is causing a measurable physiological effect. I have a 5 mW laser pointer - if I point it at the correct "acupunture point" on a student and leave it there for 100 sec. (0.5 J delivered energy), can I make them feel less depressed about a failing grade? I suspect not, but that is what these "researchers" claim to have found.</p> <p>In reality - as Orac shows - this was a poorly controlled study that shows only that there is (possibly) some brain reaction to sensations that are (possibly) below the conscious perception threshold (although they don't mention asking).</p> <p>It would be interesting to repeat this study (if it weren't for the horrendous misuse of fMRI time) with a <i>true</i> placebo group that had the laser probe applied but had the actual laser energy delivered into a wet towel next to their body. I suspect, however, that having got the result they wanted, these researchers will never again test their hypothesis.</p> <p>Prometheus</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121555&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="swO2_sEUz-nFA5Q782CKr-a0qKdFWt8hkyxt_gjYnfE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://photoninthedarkness.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Prometheus (not verified)</a> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121555">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121556" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284113850"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>No, no - a flashlight is far too concentrated. You have to turn the flashlight off and rely on the black body radiation of the cold filament and the <i>memory of light</i>.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121556&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="NBq4I_xF-NI_52keL4hV4reyYWchYIotrn4cPn-wfpk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Epinephrine (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121556">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121557" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284114898"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Jay Sweet writes:<br /><i>If lasers are just highly concentrated beams of light, and homeopathy is just a highly dilluted active ingredient, that means that my flashlight is a homeopathic laser.</i></p> <p>Be careful where you point that thing!! When the batteries run down and it just produces a dim glow, it could be capable of slicing through solid neutronium like it's gouda cheese!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121557&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="e3ru4LZjtG3ey832V65FDDv53nvgHN1kQdrSI7imBME"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ranum.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Marcus Ranum (not verified)</a> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121557">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121558" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284116770"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>First of all, totally agree with you that this study is pointless and proves nothing of interest except that the brain lights up when you do stuff. I just had two minor quibbles.<br /> The first regarding running electricity through acupuncture needles -- it might not have existed back in the day, but nowadays electro-acupuncture is the norm for Chinese traditional medicine (being Chinese, I've seen quite a few, and I actually haven't met any acupuncturists who *don't* use electricity). So I'd have no problem with studies that use electroacupuncture. The point is to study acupuncture as it's used now, not as it was used in the Ming dynasty.</p> <p>Also, regarding blinding in fMRI studies. I must say of clinical fMRI studies I've read, hardly any of them are double blinded. So it's valid to criticize a paper for not being double blinded, but I think that issue extends way beyond quackademic medicine or PLOS One</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121558&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1ry9Y9c_-wNUKxCgOdJDBTnDZ3vw8KmxVS0dyT-IU54"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wordresearch.liviablackburne.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Livia Blackburne (not verified)</a> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121558">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121559" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284117296"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>But the real potential breakthrough they completely ignore is the possibility of using sharks with laser beams on their heads as therapists!</p></blockquote> <p>Having suffered from depression myself, I can say that sharks with laser beams on their heads is pretty effective at cheering you up in the short term, but it's not lasting.</p> <blockquote><p>So I'd have no problem with studies that use electroacupuncture. The point is to study acupuncture as it's used now, not as it was used in the Ming dynasty.</p></blockquote> <p>The problem is that electroacupuncture is basically exactly the same thing as a legitimate therapy that is under study, TENS. So while there is no problem with <i>studying</i> "electroacupuncture", <i>calling it</i> electroacupuncture, without at least qualifying that it's basically equivalent to TENS, is misleading.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121559&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="DW2Kq9vIPpShP_BXQs3iyuxWJBDJORP-R3GNdPxdF2I"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://nojesusnopeas.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jay.sweet (not verified)</a> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121559">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121560" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284119322"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Isn't Laser Acupuncture completely <b>pointless</b> by definition.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121560&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="qyagIY760RDkShRmT3iKPJTn3MG8E-wUjb9LsJnEZ4s"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Militant Agnostic (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121560">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121561" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284123910"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>I have a hypothesis that a kick in the testicles and a kick in the buttocks will result in different patterns of brain activity. Where's my funding and fMRI time?</p></blockquote> <p>And what's more, since it causes increased activity in parts of brain that are active in patients with chronic pain, we can assume that kick in the testicles is a valid treatment for chronic pain!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121561&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="yNOInhn38Y_8QyNdwrv4BOc2SxdAo4t5vmSePIcXO5Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">puppygod (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121561">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121562" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284127438"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>All illness can be cured by <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jhaVcEmKws">laser cats</a>. Why won't they fund the studies? Why is the government trying to suppress knowledge?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121562&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="tiMKU1QetNZ2GukSqOCqEI5-c5uwjNvKFqIHcyzQMcU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121562">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121563" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284129403"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I guess I never paid much attention to acupuncture before I started reading this blog. I was a bit of a shruggie. Now that I have been enlightened, I am realizing how insane this stuff is. How do they even get away with misappropriating a term like acupuncture and just sticking whatever other modality on to it that they like? Thanks Orac for telling it like it is.</p> <p>I'm half tempted to pioneer a new therapy called slap acupuncture. I bet some loons would line up for it, get smacked across the face and be dumb enough to come back for seconds.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121563&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="PNiTv4zgaY_aOB5A-5tRfGr7tQGJl9opjVEo0wM136I"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">bluedevilRA (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121563">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121564" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284129803"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I do like the Kuna Mola quilt behind the pin cushion guy. It is very lovely. Though I wondered if all the colors and lines would give some folks a headache.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121564&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ggDRi_Kp69Z73XTtyc6PyILOgIKveYIsllLtkXjjS10"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121564">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121565" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284137536"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>"I'm half tempted to pioneer a new therapy called slap acupuncture. I bet some loons would line up for it, get smacked across the face and be dumb enough to come back for seconds."</i></p> <p>Been done: <a href="http://www.kadir-buxton.com/">http://www.kadir-buxton.com/</a></p> <p>He "cures" people by hitting them hard about the head. I wish I was kidding.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121565&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="gAhBLUHjU1oCWb7_K613D6dHG3vtkjtMm4nlekviclM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mark P (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121565">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121566" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284140651"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Ugh.</p> <p><a href="http://healthnews.uc.edu/news/?/11319/">http://healthnews.uc.edu/news/?/11319/</a></p> <p>"People want to see clinical trials, but itâs hard to do that because you canât get a good control group,â says Colyer. "For example, how do you fake acupuncture well?"</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121566&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="oNvFx1QiftQUAxWfcdoTLkeUB1ca1Eqoz0AURqWI1JU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">j9 (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121566">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121567" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284141418"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>"For example, how do you fake acupuncture well?"</p></blockquote> <p>Well, let's see - beyond the ways that have been done, how about simply doing "real" acupuncture in places totally unrelated to the actual complaint. The patient is diagnosed by one acupuncturist who creates a treatment plan. This is handed to a researcher who randomizes - some get their intended plan, some something else. A second acupuncturist administers the treatment plan with no knowledge of what is being treated.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121567&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="xlpZWm3M1uTtb0ODvs1MQs9R8tyNQCu2NYAJuAuSXxw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Mephistopheles O&#039;Brien">Mephistopheles… (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121567">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121568" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284145531"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Mark P @17 - And he has the answer for global warming too. He blithely assumes that a 10,000 m geothermal well would only take 4 times as ling to drill as a 2500 m oil/gas well and only cost 4 times as much. The Dunning Kruger is strong with that one. He would be a good candidate for Friday Dose of woo except giving mentally ill people concussions isn't very funny.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121568&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="c7fSa2gFtgQ7mir5_xglG_Foo9QqEotfb-i8PeaGkRw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Militant Agnostic (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121568">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121569" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284146000"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Great insightful commentary by Orac (of course)and some funny shite by MephO'B.</p> <p>I've just recently discovered this web site, and I'm hooked. I've been in med ed and science for some decades, and we successfully fought off the attempt to incorporate sCAM (AKA TrashCan Med -- love the new term) into the UGME curriculum here. We also kicked sCAM MDs out of the univ hospital clinical arena (but some do still do woo on the sly). Sadly,some med students are naive and embrace the woo, and more than you can imagine "don't believe" in human evolution. </p> <p>Respectful Insolence rules.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121569&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="R8L2y31dcvXQ6dMqR_uKpoMIJOU3QPGalmDKfaS0xb8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">occamseraser (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121569">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121570" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284147629"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>ps -<br /> PLoSONE is shockingly erratic in quality. Pretty darn good stuff to truly dreadful crap is the skewed rule there. I've seen several papers that I reviewed for other journals (and which were rejected) end up published by PLoSONE for no good reason. I've also reviewed papers for them, some of which were accepted, others not, hit or miss.</p> <p>But it's fast, has an OK impact factor, is media friendly, and does unlimited color. Not free but pretty cheap for authors. Did I mention FAST? And it's not going away. In other words, this won't be the last laughable woosCAM we see in PLoSONE.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121570&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4CcpQT8Jx2wD9KqfgJxnyKiAPiAPvYkOmCJBDLP78rA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">occamseraser (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121570">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121571" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284161630"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It's not so much nonsense as hypnosis.</p> <p>for what it's worth: 20 years ago, I took a course at Columbia to learn hypnosis...the ability to undergo deep trance could be measure by the amount of white seen in the eye when you looked up. </p> <p>so the ability to accept suggestions is neurophysiolgical...</p> <p>On the other hand, during the course, we were told of a Chinese man whose eye roll was zero, and when he tried hypnosis for pain relief, it did not work...he remarked that acupuncture didn't work either.</p> <p>back in the 1970's , the Chinese were showing "open heart surgery" under acupuncture...and our teacher remarked he couldn't see why they smiled through the surgery that including sawing or pounding one's chest cavity open, so he suspected that was trance, not acupuncture.And indeed, only 20 percent of folks could undergo surgery without other drugs etc. (and 20 percent of the population is highly suggestable).</p> <p>An MD friend of mine learned how to induce trance from his (witchdoctor/herbalist) grandmom. He used it often during the Nigerian civil war to do surgery when they ran out of drugs. And I've used it to debride burns. It works, but not for everyone and most people have a limited response to hypnosis...makes one wonder if anyone did a cross experiment with acupuncture with a test to measured how easily they could be hypnotized</p> <p>One wishes for a nice sceptic who knows these facts to debunk the nonsense, but I guess no one wants to check out the research.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121571&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ARXjglcbmQ-uf-fOsrGdA9Gf6ZmDwBZjKXyq1IUTupw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://fkclinic.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tioedong (not verified)</a> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121571">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121572" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284162486"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>tiobang, you might want to check out Steven Novella's blog and podcast (Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, SGU) about those surgeries. Things were not as they seemed... the patients were often given actual anesthetics along with the acupuncture, or told to shut up and endure the pain.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121572&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="oFP9oboroKP3Y4iCrGCBYil4oUKJy3BvXOFCfK83gNs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121572">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121573" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284164414"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>That Kadir-Buxton web page is just too bizarre. Parts of it were highly amusing (he knocked an attacker unconscious and then proceeded to slap him around the buttocks--the attacker upon regaining consciousness then said it was better than sex), but other parts were very disturbing (see how he proposes treating rape victims). Until I read the disturbing parts I thought for sure this is prime material for Orac's Friday Dose of Woo.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121573&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="F7tnX8IuvWVqSrVnhVFX1uqzMtk25EI-MjnmALS05jE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Daniel J. Andrews (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121573">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121574" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284171336"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Leaving aside any link with depression, can anyone explain how shining a laser on a person's skin can cause changes in their brain, unless the laser is causing enough heating to be felt? To me (as someone with very little knowledge of medicine or human biology) this is a real surprise! Is our skin generally light-sensitive?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121574&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="SRCNrCBH4DFlKNJHm9DpWnhMaK3yVNN2W9glRHX8CoM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">njd (not verified)</span> on 10 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121574">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121575" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284180456"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I emailed PLoS to ask them why their standards had dropped so low as to allow this lamentable paper to get published. On my site <a href="http://www.leavingthelandofwoo.com">www.leavingthelandofwoo.com</a> I've listed them as a reputable scientific research source and I pointed out that if they publish material like this, I might have to drop them (which I don't want to do). Peter Binfield of PLoS has now replied to me as follows:</p> <p>"Decisions on individual PLoS ONE papers are always made entirely by the academic editors themselves - PLoS as a publisher imposes no requirements on those editors, and never has. Provided the Editors feel a paper meets our editorial criteria then it is their decision whether or not to accept any given paper. In both of these cases, the Editors presumably felt that the papers met our criteria (and those criteria have not changed since launch).</p> <p>Therefore, please can I suggest that you or Orac leave comments on these papers (via the Comments tab) - this will perhaps allow the editors who edited them (one of whom is a Section Editor); the reviewers who reviewed them; or the authors themselves to respond to the concerns raised. There is no guarantee of course that they will respond, but they are the people who are qualified to do so."</p> <p>Perhaps, if enough people leave enough comments, it will be obvious that the paper should never have been published. Nevertheless, the damage is done since it will be cited as peer-reviewed evidence by those promoting acupuncture, which after all was almost certainly the point of the exercise.</p> <p>I do wonder though whether there are Woo merchants getting in as editors on PLoS, just a thought.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121575&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9ahLQKjrbSW96hfU71V8iXbS-agmfXSunhLGGqDa-6Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.leavingthelandofwoo.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bob Lloyd (not verified)</a> on 11 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121575">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121576" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284187415"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Bah. they aren't even sticking needles in people!<br /> what did they use for control, a sham laser ?<br /> Phoey.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121576&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="nDTfHmxcxs-EtUPyij4n3E2tTqGgS3bLuKt0Ivufy0c"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">DLC (not verified)</span> on 11 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121576">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121577" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284198453"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>From M&amp;M of the article:</p> <p>"The second level analysis (ANOVA) used each individual subject's contrast images, which were effectively the statistical parametric maps of the t-statistics for each voxel. The data had a threshold of p &lt;0.001 with a spatial extent of 15 contiguous voxels."</p> <p>What do you guys think about this image analysis? Maybe I'm being dense here, but it seems to me they didn't apply any multiple testing correction? If so, this paper would suffer from the "dead salmon problem", i.e. a huge multiple testing problem.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121577&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="sD5tV4MWNEEKBEkV3S-CLBZtQZseZjbfTHMX7EM8BLc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mj (not verified)</span> on 11 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121577">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121578" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284198826"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sorry, that should be</p> <p>"...The data had a threshold of p 0.001 with a spatial extent of 15 contiguous voxels."</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121578&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ivKSr-3G5CceSf3fZF6YPSJ6IrDy4QglOF5UXVKOaZk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mj (not verified)</span> on 11 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121578">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121579" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284220050"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>To ridicule a poor study is not the same as to prove that a treatment has no value. You are painting all of acupuncture with the same brush, when there have in fact been some well-controlled studies that show results. Admittedly, the data is not strong. Admittedly, the mechanism by which acupuncture might work in depression (for instance) is unclear. But the same is true of antidepressants (read Sharon Begley's summaries for more on this), which pharmaceutical companies peddle for billions and which, unlike acupuncture, involve quality of life diminishing side effects. Your bio states you are a surgeon (so am I); how many quality studies have been done on back surgery? Can you cite any that include your essential double blind? How would that work, anyway? I agree that complementary medicine is overblown and under-proven, but the same is more or less true of much western medicine. Do you propose therapeutic nihilism, whereby we offer no treatments that haven't been unequivocally proven? People go to doctors because they want help; much of the time they know that quick and simple cure is unlikely. But they still want, and need, support. Fine, ridicule away. But have you heard the saying about the pot calling the kettle black?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121579&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="CHHSFLmgiMIirxlk-j_iFXQ6I5bCmWubYqTCaASMV34"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">will m. (not verified)</span> on 11 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121579">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121580" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284233057"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Will, would the acupuncture that showed <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/05/another_acupuncture_study_misinterpreted.php">toothpicks</a> work just as well qualify as one of those "well-controlled" studies?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121580&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="uMn7W2BF3OWAZ_Qq4J0OxifQxvGOTmXWBuhuxMAf_fI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 11 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121580">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121581" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284284836"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I suspect the subjects <i>could</i> sense when the laser was turned on. </p> <p>@Will M. What do you mean by "western" medicine? I think there is simply medicine. Anyway, the main difference between medicine and acupuncture is that acupuncture is based in pre-scientific ignorance and the best studies of acupuncture show it is no more than an elaborate placebo.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121581&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="rh6CA4nqMqrm51hkg9J6G-knPBuUb4jkLskayq9vwO0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Joe (not verified)</span> on 12 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121581">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121582" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284315843"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>One of the Authors is a PLoS ONE editor:<br /><a href="http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=192">http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=192</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121582&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Q5qE2LqM7rOGF0VYDjy_fRKJkIIRPLDhN6cWPkMGZdo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sam (not verified)</span> on 12 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121582">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121583" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284375701"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>N said,</p> <p>"PLoS has mechanisms for commenting on and rating their papers. It's likely worth the effort to express your opinions of the paper there - where the comments become part of the article metadata and are visible to all."</p> <p>This has been the most disappointing part of Orac's treatment of these subjects. PLOS One has a commenting system that allows one to receive criticisms and address them. Such criticisms should be heard by their authors as peer review doesn't end at the journal editors. There is one comment on there now that got a response from the authors, so they seem to be willing to engage.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121583&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="WS162F3z6NCHytFXDReGsw9lOxmTf77NmruDMRP9RtY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mkandefer (not verified)</span> on 13 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121583">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121584" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284386511"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This morning I gave blood, and noticed a new question that I don't remember being there two months ago (and I did answer "No"):</p> <p>"In the four months have you had any acupuncture?"</p> <p>I guess they might to flag a person's blood for hepatitis!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121584&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hWKSXLSq7euFZ_KS7pLDaAzrbsi4KsRpSmCmp583qxE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 13 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121584">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121585" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1284452931"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dear Orac,</p> <p>I'm a bit late adding to this thread, but as I've just read the article I'll comment. There are various problems with the paper (from my perspective), but despite the lack of a clear rationale for the study, the most obvious interpretation of the results is that they are negative - 3 out of 4 'woo' stimuli gave brain activation, against 1 out of 1 dummy stimuli. That's 75% against 100%. Not really a win for the woo.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121585&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="uMC_zGeFDh6NIj1l6ohcoSgrYfPWKzLwv9HYbzDqYOc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dnm (not verified)</span> on 14 Sep 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121585">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121586" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1318446771"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I was shocked at the obvious ignorance of this author (and that of the respondants) who is claiming to rationally disparage this research project. </p> <p>You are ridiculing acupuncture as some sort of mystical medicine when you obviously know nothing about it and have obviously not read any modern literature and research on the topic. If you had you would know about current research, for example, on the fascia soft tissue and how it is being considered as the possible mechanism of acupuncture. This reserach is also showing how non- acupuncture points can provide results but not to the extent of acupuncture points. You might like to look at research by the likes of Langevin and articles by Finando and Finando.</p> <p>I do not know who you are or if you are in fact scientists. If you are it is a wonder that human kind has made any progress at all with such closed minds and narrow thinking.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121586&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="lhJC5nq8CPiaupYm9geoGADzK1lKhysX3qZVrJpUz6Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">xenja (not verified)</span> on 12 Oct 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121586">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121587" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1318449160"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Xenja, you must have been really shocked! It took you over a year to think of that evidence free response.</p> <p>Next time choose a more recent article on acupuncture to become indignant about, and make sure you cite those papers (journal, title and date) of that current research. Be sure to include journal, title and date, the random last names are not enough.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121587&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="wX3rXS0BcGXBo9BtIM9D0s-UCoMT5wMNXjfFLrMz6zw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 12 Oct 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121587">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121588" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1318741273"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>No, not that shocked, only just came across your blog &amp; responded after reading. References are as follows - these are just the tip of the iceberg by the way:</p> <p>Finando, S. and D. Finando (2011). "Fascia and the mechanism of acupuncture." Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 15(2): 168-176.</p> <p>Langevin, H. M. (2006). "Connective tissue: A body-wide signaling network?" Medical Hypotheses (66): 1074-1077.</p> <p>Langevin, H. M., &amp; Yandow, J.A. (2002). "Relationship of Acupuncture Points and Meridians to Connective Tissue Planes." The Anatomical Record (New Anat) 269: 257-265.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121588&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="yji9g6DAREEcsVXqNG6NdlP-0g-uvEnrPzzqi4h9j1w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">xenja (not verified)</span> on 16 Oct 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121588">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121589" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1323907749"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Im Quah-Smith is still promoting and spruiking her quac(k)ademia by way of a letter received today by my husband (who is an incredibly fit sports enthusiast) and never seen nor heard of her. She is moving to new premises in Roseville. Well â wooptido. Dream on Ms I Q-S.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121589&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="KVpUwPkYXIxa0VOLDUzei0744kikeF_SNzTplrN-Ztc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Flabbergasted (not verified)</span> on 14 Dec 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121589">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121590" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1327594246"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The childish, sarcastic tone and content of this critique demonstrates a gross lack of knowledge and defensiveness. This attitude and behaviour is an embarrassment to your profession and deprives you of any respect, credibility and intelligence that you profess to have. I find this in fact alarming. Please focus on the good that you can do rather than the damage you can cause others. Even if you do not agree with the discipline there is no need for personal attacks.This says more about you than the person you are targeting.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121590&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="YHmS-_yk9vRRHFyDDZfrgreGcUoJF_pmG5KWWTXYP40"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Toni (not verified)</span> on 26 Jan 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121590">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1121591" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1327597710"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>So, which specific parts of Orac's critique demonstrate 'a gross lack of knowledge'? The research described in the paper he's critiquing is best described as poor in quality &amp; design - if you think otherwise then please explain why. (Otherwise we might have to conclude that you are tone-trolling...)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1121591&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="O5KZfWLGU1W6xNazG2OIUxPy1D6oYmTimcOmbYfdWAQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://sci.waikato.ac.nz/bioblog" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alison (not verified)</a> on 26 Jan 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-1121591">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/insolence/2010/09/10/more-acupuncture-quackademic-medicine-in%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Fri, 10 Sep 2010 07:00:00 +0000 oracknows 20640 at https://scienceblogs.com Gulf Oil Spill Disaster: Spawn of the Living Dead for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna? https://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2010/06/09/atlantic-bluefin-tuna-oil-spil <span>Gulf Oil Spill Disaster: Spawn of the Living Dead for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span style="font-size: 10px">tags: <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/ecology" rel="tag">ecology</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/marine+biology" rel="tag">marine biology</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/conservation+biology" rel="tag">conservation biology</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/endangered+species" rel="tag">endangered species</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/habitat+preferences" rel="tag">habitat preferences</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/Northern+Bluefin+Tuna" rel="tag">Northern Bluefin Tuna</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/Atlantic+Bluefin+Tuna" rel="tag">Atlantic Bluefin Tuna</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/Thunnus+thynnus" rel="tag">Thunnus thynnus</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/Yellowfin+Tuna" rel="tag">Yellowfin Tuna</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/Thunnus+albacares" rel="tag">Thunnus albacares</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/fisheries" rel="tag">fisheries</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/PLoS+ONE" rel="tag">PLoS ONE</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/researchblogging.org/" rel="tag">researchblogging.org</a>,<a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/peer-reviewed+research" rel="tag">peer-reviewed research</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/journal+club" rel="tag">journal club</a></span></p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4647619592/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4021/4647619592_435e30d7f5_o.jpg" width="432" height="304" /></a></p> <p>An adult Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, <i>Thunnus thynnus</i>. </p></div> <p><span style="float: left; padding: 5px;"><a target="window" href="http://www.researchblogging.org"><img src="http://www.researchblogging.org/public/citation_icons/rb2_large_gray.png" style="border:0;" /></a></span><br /></p><p align="justify" class="lead">A recently published study, intended to provide data to commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico so they maximize their catch of Yellowfin Tuna, <i>Thunnus albacares</i>, whilst avoiding bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, <i>Thunnus thynnus</i>, suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct. </p> <!--more--><p align="justify">"The population has declined 80 percent to 90 percent of what its original spawning biomass was," said the study's senior author, Barbara Block, a MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Award" Laureate and marine biologist at Stanford University. </p> <p align="justify">Even though it has been illegal to catch Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico for more than 20 years, they are accidentally caught by commercial yellowfin tuna, swordfish and marlin fisheries. To avoid bycatch, it is essential to identify the spatio-temporal locations of bluefin so commercial fisheries can modify their techniques to avoid them. </p> <p align="justify">It is generally known that migratory bluefin enter the Gulf of Mexico to spawn each March and stay through June before returning to the North Atlantic Ocean to forage. These giant fish, which can live to be 30 years old and weigh more than 1,400 pounds each, are thought to be similar to salmon; returning to the same area where they were born to spawn. But it is not known with certainty when nor where these fish are, so avoiding them whilst targeting their close relatives, yellowfin tuna, is not a simple matter. </p> <p align="justify">A team of scientists designed a series of studies to remedy this lack of precise information. Their studies relied on two data sources, both of which required them to .. go fishing. The first data source was catch and effort data reported by fishery observers on commercial longline vessels in the Gulf of Mexico from 1992 through 2005. The second data source was the researchers' own catch and effort data collected during six scientific longline cruises in the Gulf of Mexico between 1998 and 2002, as part of their Tag-A-Giant program. The Tag-A-Giant fishing efforts were conducted for the purpose of placing electronic tags on bluefin tuna, which were then released (using methods shown on this video):</p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/KUqxGT-7SxI&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/KUqxGT-7SxI&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;showinfo=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object><p><br /><br /></p> <p align="justify">This video, filmed by videographer Bill Hitchcock in January 2009, shows Stanford University's Dr. Barbara Block electronically tagging one of the largest Atlantic bluefin tuna ever tagged off North Carolina. To date more than 1,000 electronic tags have been deployed on Atlantic bluefin by the Block Lab's Tag A Giant program, and the results are helping us to understand how these animals use their open ocean habitat. </p></div> <p align="justify"><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4682850826/"><img class="inset right" src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4062/4682850826_11cd1d2e1c_m.jpg" width="150" height="91" /></a>The researchers' pelagic longline sets (n =112) consisted of 188±95 circle hooks baited with either squid or sardines, placed at depths of 100-200 meters (1999) or 40-120 meters (2000-2002). Circle hooks (pictured, right) are designed to decrease wounding and release mortality, while also increasing the chance of landing the fish once they take the bait. Both the commercial fisheries and Tag-A-Giant sets were made in the US exclusive economic zone from 86.06<sup>o</sup>W to 94.90<sup>o</sup>W in longitude and 26.67<sup>o</sup>N to 28.5<sup>o</sup>N in latitude (Figure 1): </p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4677743641/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4011/4677743641_b8be968459.jpg" width="500" height="395" /></a></p> <p><b>Figure 1. Locations of pelagic longline sets in the Gulf of Mexico.</b> Each grey square indicates where one or more longline sets were recorded by fishery observers on commercial longline vessels (n = 2662 sets) within the 1 x 1<sup>o</sup> area (we are unable to show locations of individual sets due to privacy concerns). Each red circle indicates a single longline set during our laboratory's cruises on longline vessels targeting bluefin tuna for tagging (n = 112 sets).<br /> DOI: <a rev="review" target="window" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010756">10.1371/journal.pone.0010756</a></p> </div> <p align="justify">During these time periods, a total of 288 bluefin and 6633 yellowfin tuna were captured by 944 fishery and 112 researcher longline sets in the Gulf of Mexico (Figure 2; note that the axes are different sizes):</p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4678372732/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4042/4678372732_f83764c87d.jpg" width="500" height="360" /></a><br /><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4678372796/"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1308/4678372796_185aa2bbe5.jpg" width="500" height="344" /></a></p> <p><b>Figure 2. Numbers of bluefin and yellowfin tuna per longline set.</b> Histograms show the number of (A) bluefin and (B) yellowfin tuna caught in each longline set.<br /> DOI: <a rev="review" target="window" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010756">10.1371/journal.pone.0010756</a></p> </div> <p align="justify">These data provided the research team with a general idea as to where these two species are located in the Gulf of Mexico. When the researchers analyzed their catch/bycatch data to determine when bluefin and yellowfin tuna were present in the Gulf of Mexico, they found that bluefin tuna are highly seasonal, whilst yellowfin are not (Figure 3):</p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4677743833/"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1291/4677743833_fe7270720b.jpg" width="500" height="366" /></a><br /><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4678372926/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4049/4678372926_24395028ee.jpg" width="500" height="414" /></a></p> <p><b>Figure 3. Mean and relative bluefin and yellowfin tuna CPUE.</b> Circles indicate monthly mean (A) catch per unit effort (CPUE) of bluefin (closed circles) and yellowfin tuna (open circles) in the Gulf of Mexico, and (B) mean ratio of number of bluefin to 100 yellowfin caught. Error bars indicate 1 sd (based on 1000 bootstrap samples).<br /> DOI: <a rev="review" target="window" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010756">10.1371/journal.pone.0010756</a></p> </div> <p align="justify">The above data show that the majority (87.4%) of the bluefin tuna bycatch occurred during their breeding season that occurs annually from March to June, peaking in April (0.472±0.075 fish per 1000 hooks), whilst no bluefin were caught between July through November (Figure 3A). In contrast, whilst yellowfin tuna numbers were modestly variable, with the highest numbers being caught in July (12.8±0.84 fish per 1000 hooks) and the lowest numbers in March (5.48±0.34 fish per 1000 hooks), yellowfin were consistently present in the Gulf of Mexico throughout the year. Comparisons between the rate of bluefin bycatch to yellowfin catch showed this ratio was highest for the month of April (6.4±1.0 bluefin caught per 100 yellowfin) (Figure 3B). </p> <p align="justify">But precisely where are bluefin tuna located? Are they present everywhere throughout the Gulf of Mexico, or do they prefer specific locations? Once again, bycatch data show that bluefin tuna are much more specialized in their habitat preferences (and therefore, have a more limited range; Figure 4A) than are yellowfin tuna (Figure 4B):</p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4677743959/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4677743959_26abf7b2cd.jpg" width="500" height="343" /></a><br /><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4678373084/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4023/4678373084_8733ea3b35.jpg" width="500" height="347" /></a></p> <p><b>Figure 4. Spatial variability of bluefin and yellowfin tuna CPUE.</b> Catch per unit effort (CPUE) of (A) bluefin and (B) yellowfin tuna are indicated by size of circles. Crosses indicate locations where more than 5000 hooks were set but no fish were caught.<br /> DOI: <a rev="review" target="window" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010756">10.1371/journal.pone.0010756</a></p> </div> <p align="justify">"The bluefins' habitat requirements are relatively exact so we can predict with reasonable accuracy where bluefin tuna are likely to be spawning at any given time based on oceanographic data continually being gathered by satellites and weather buoys," said lead author Steven Teo, a conservation biologist and postdoctoral scholar at the University of California at Davis. </p> <p align="justify">"Both catch data and electronic tags indicate the Gulf of Mexico along the continental shelf is the preferred habitat of this majestic fish," agreed Dr Block. </p> <p align="justify">Not only were yellowfin tuna caught in some areas where bluefin tuna were not caught, but yellowfin were caught in most areas in the Gulf of Mexico throughout the year, whereas bluefin tuna were primarily caught off the continental shelf of the southern United States in relatively deep waters, and only at specific times of the year. Latitude also strongly affected bluefin range but longitude did not (data not shown): bluefin catches were primarily restricted between 25 and 28<sup>o</sup>N. </p> <p align="justify">"This is in stark contrast to yellowfin tuna, which exhibit much more generalized environmental preferences," Dr Teo added. </p> <p align="justify">The research team used their data describing the habitat preferences and spatio-temporal distributions for bluefin and yellowfin tuna to develop a mathematical model to predict where bluefin and yellowfin tuna might be at a given place and time. Their model identified two main regions in the Gulf where bluefin are found; one in the eastern Gulf of Mexico to the north of the Loop Current, and the other in the western Gulf of Mexico. Both regions are along the slope where the shallow continental shelf depth plunges rapidly to the deep sea (Figure 8): </p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4678385794/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4037/4678385794_00328fdb2e.jpg" width="500" height="324" /></a><br /><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4678385878/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4016/4678385878_ece27eb10d.jpg" width="500" height="326" /></a></p> <p><b>Figure 8. Expected probability of catching bluefin tuna.</b> Colors indicate the expected probability of catching one or more bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico on 15 May (A) 2002 and (B) 2005. Circles indicate actual relative bluefin tuna CPUE for May 2002 and 2005. Crosses indicate locations where at least one longline set was deployed but no fish were caught.<br /> DOI: <a rev="review" target="window" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010756">10.1371/journal.pone.0010756</a></p> </div> <p align="justify">It is here, where warm Gulf waters meet colder seafloor currents where cyclonic eddies are formed. Cyclonic eddies are circular, swirling areas where warm and cool gulf streams circle around each other. A counterclockwise flow of oceanic water in the northern hemisphere is a cyclonic eddy: the center of the eddy is comprised of cool, nutrient-rich waters and is lower in height (by a few tens of centimeters) than the outer lying waters. The hot-bodied bluefin tuna preferentially spawn in these rich, cool waters. </p> <p align="justify">The team's findings indicate that it is possible to utilize spatio-temporal management techniques to avoid bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna on their breeding grounds. The yellowfin tuna fishery could simply utilize other areas in the Gulf of Mexico during the bluefin breeding season. </p> <p align="justify">"The giant bluefin only show up for about a month, and this is the time they show up," said Dr Block. "Bluefin tuna are moving to the Gulf of Mexico exactly right now to spawn." </p> <p align="justify">But tragically, Dr Block continued, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is centered in one of the bluefin's preferred breeding areas. "Many of the tuna go exactly to that region."</p> <p align="justify">Further, when you compare the location of bluefin spawning areas to a video animation based on another group's oceanographic model that predicts where Deepwater Horizon's runaway oil is expected to go, you'll see that this is a looming crisis for the already seriously endangered Northern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: the Deepwater Horizon oil rig is located in the middle of one of their preferred spawning areas. In fact, Dr Block recalls regularly seeing petroleum vessels when conducting her research in the area in the past. </p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/gKRS-J4BdbU&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gKRS-J4BdbU&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object></div> <p align="justify">According to Dr Block, until this leak occurred, it looked like the sushi craze was the fish's biggest threat. "Now, just when you need [the species] to have a nice spring so that it can spawn," she remarked, "you have this accident."</p> <p align="justify">Even though these animated oceanographic models are meant to be predictive only, their predictions about where BP's oil is going are supported by other scientists' observations: bluefin larvae and young, which float near the surface of the water, are clearly in the path of the runaway oil. </p> <p align="justify">"We're trying to get a look at these young fish and their abundance and their distributions before they may become impacted by the spilled oil," said Jim Franks, a senior research scientist at the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast research laboratory. Dr Franks and colleagues recently returned from a 12-day collecting trip in the Gulf of Mexico. </p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4686478508/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4072/4686478508_97ce6baa0b.jpg" width="500" height="271" /></a></p> <p>Larval bluefin tuna. </p> <p>Image: Jim Franks, University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Lab. </p> </div> <p align="justify">"Where we found bluefin tuna larvae, those waters would ultimately have carried the young fish up into an area that was most likely impacted by the oil," Dr Franks reported. "I suspect the larvae and eggs won't be able to escape if they [encounter] oil.'' </p> <p align="justify">"Based on the magnitude and the location of the spilled oil, we think they are in a very precarious situation," Dr Franks concluded. </p> <p align="justify">Even though a large adult female bluefin may produce as many as 40 million eggs, only a few will survive -- most are eaten by predators or destroyed by storms or other natural events. If oiled, the developing eggs or larvae will likely die. But chemical dispersants may also kill the eggs or larvae. Even if the dispersants don't kill them outright, since they reduce the surface tension of water, they will probably cause the eggs or larvae to sink to much deeper levels than normal, where they're less likely to survive. </p> <p align="justify">"The most delicate stage of life is the larval stage of any fish, and any fish floating in oil is probably not a happy larva," agreed Dr Block, who was not on the cruise. "I would urge BP and others involved in this oil incident to invest in finding out the effect of this oil on the larval fish of North America." </p> <p align="justify">"It's just depressing," added marine biologist Bruce Comyns, an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi's Department of Coastal Sciences, who was on the voyage. </p> <p align="justify">"You don't have to be a researcher, you can be just someone who has an interest in the environment," Dr Comyns continued. "We're not just talking about the surface being affected, we talking about the entire water column being affected."</p> <p align="justify">But all may not be lost for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, according to Molly Lutcavage, a research professor and director of the Large Pelagics Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She recently spearheaded a project off the coast of Nova Scotia where she and her colleagues implanted 41 adult bluefin tuna with pop-up satellite tags. Even though that tracking data is preliminary, they suggest that bluefin may spawn at different times of the year, either in the Gulf (unlikely) or possibly in other locations. </p> <p align="justify">"Many fish aren't entering the Gulf of Mexico, which supports the possibility very strongly that there are other spawning areas," Dr Lutcavage reported. "If that's the case, then the good news is that [bluefin] have much broader spawning areas than previously thought, so fewer larvae might be affected by the oil spill. That may be the only silver lining."</p> <p align="justify">Of course, in view of each population's fidelity to their natal spawning areas, it still is possible that this oil leak will lead to the demise of the Gulf population of bluefin tuna. </p> <p align="justify">In view of all these uncertainties, it is impossible to say for sure what this oil leak will do to the already dwindling bluefin population, but the effect of the oil and the poisonous dispersants on the more than 8,300 species of plants and animals in the region could be devastating. Scientists predict it will be years or decades before the true toll of this disaster will be known.</p> <p align="justify">"There is a much larger disaster unfolding here environmentally than people realize," Dr Block warned. "There is a lot of focus on the Louisiana shoreline, but this is America's greatest fisheries nursery, and we've got to pay attention to what's going on immediately."</p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4647619708/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4647619708_7fef2851a7.jpg" width="500" height="333" /></a></p> <p>A schoal of Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, <i>Thunnus thynnus</i> [<a target="window" href="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4647619708_837c00a476_o.jpg" width="849" height="565"></a>larger view].</p> </div> <p><b>Source:</b></p> <p align="justify"><span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.jtitle=PLoS+ONE&amp;rft_id=info%3A%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010756&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fresearchblogging.org&amp;rft.atitle=Comparative+Influence+of+Ocean+Conditions+on+Yellowfin%0D%0Aand+Atlantic+Bluefin+Tuna+Catch+from+Longlines+in+the%0D%0AGulf+of+Mexico.&amp;rft.issn=&amp;rft.date=2010&amp;rft.volume=5&amp;rft.issue=5&amp;rft.spage=0&amp;rft.epage=&amp;rft.artnum=http%3A%2F%2Fdx.plos.org%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010756&amp;rft.au=Steven+L.+H.+Teo&amp;rft.au=Barbara+A.+Block&amp;rfe_dat=bpr3.included=1;bpr3.tags=Biology%2CGeosciences%2CMathematics%2CBehavioral+Biology%2C+Conservation+Biology%2C+Endangered+Species%2C+Ecology%2C+Reproductive+Behavior%2C+Marine+Biology%2C+Oceanography%2C+Zoology%2C+Environmental+Health%2C+Probability+and+Statistics">Steven L. H. Teo, &amp; Barbara A. Block (2010). <b>Comparative Influence of Ocean Conditions on Yellowfin and Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Catch from Longlines in the Gulf of Mexico.</b> <span style="font-style: italic;">PLoS ONE, 5</span> (5) DOI: <a rev="review" target="window" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010756">10.1371/journal.pone.0010756</a>.</span> </p> <p><i>Additional resources:</i></p> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.tagagiant.org/">Tag-A-Giant Foundation</a> offers a free brochure that describes the fish, their work and includes lots of colorful images and maps [<a target="window" href="http://tagagiant.org/media/TGFbrochure.pdf">PDF</a>]</p> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.largepelagics.unh.edu/">Large Pelagics Research Center</a> awards $500 for archival tags implanted in Atlantic Bluefin Tuna [<a target="window" href="http://www.largepelagics.unh.edu/pdf/tunaposter.pdf">poster PDF</a>]</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/grrlscientist" lang="" about="/author/grrlscientist" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">grrlscientist</a></span> <span>Wed, 06/09/2010 - 10:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/conservation" hreflang="en">conservation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/endangered-species" hreflang="en">Endangered Species</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/environment" hreflang="en">environment</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/fish" hreflang="en">fish</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/journal-club" hreflang="en">journal club</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/politics" hreflang="en">Politics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/zoology" hreflang="en">zoology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/atlantic-bluefin-tuna" hreflang="en">Atlantic Bluefin Tuna</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/bpr3orgp52" hreflang="en">bpr3.org/?p=52</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/conservation-biology" hreflang="en">conservation biology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ecology" hreflang="en">ecology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/fisheries" hreflang="en">fisheries</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/habitat-preferences" hreflang="en">habitat preferences</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/marine-biology" hreflang="en">Marine Biology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/northern-bluefin-tuna" hreflang="en">Northern Bluefin Tuna</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/peer-reviewed-research" hreflang="en">peer-reviewed research</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos-one" hreflang="en">PLoS ONE</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/streaming-video" hreflang="en">streaming video</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/thunnus-albacares" hreflang="en">Thunnus albacares</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/thunnus-thynnus" hreflang="en">Thunnus thynnus</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/video" hreflang="en">Video</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/yellowfin-tuna" hreflang="en">Yellowfin Tuna</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/conservation" hreflang="en">conservation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/endangered-species" hreflang="en">Endangered Species</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/environment" hreflang="en">environment</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/fish" hreflang="en">fish</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/journal-club" hreflang="en">journal club</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/politics" hreflang="en">Politics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/zoology" hreflang="en">zoology</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/life-sciences" hreflang="en">Life Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075844" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276096752"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>A very informative post on a tragedy in the making. I would also add that the ramifications obviously extend way beyond the gulf.</p> <p>After the virtual death sentence on ABFT the other month, with stocks at roughly 10% or less of pre 1990, they are now heading for the Dodo collection.</p> <p>The worst part is we see this happening and do basically nothing.</p> <p>In perspective off the top of my head, (from memory), average catch sized fish were coming in at 4kg out in the Atlantic, where it is now a free for all - and these are some of the largest fish ever.</p> <p>Very sad. The whole microbial ecology of the region of the gulf has been screwed at the worst possible time. I don't see much hope for anything in the plankton there this year, and probably not for a long time to come.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075844&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="E_fzYILoTmhGKtEV4koTmSIcBe8y96xKs38PNN4jdIk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://voyageai.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Scott D (not verified)</a> on 09 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075844">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075845" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276102453"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Oh, my Lord, will it never end? I despair.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075845&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="dOdUq3JSyRT2PrDFcra0ZmW2zwBooNQc2pTE92uOO4w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Murray (not verified)</span> on 09 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075845">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075846" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276115807"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It's hard not to use the language of extremists in the emotional reaction I have to events like this. On the internet you have to be taken at your word, so bandying around violent words is verboten. But god damn if it isn't tempting when people are messing up the world like this.</p> <p>Invariably someone will come along in the thread to blame them damn Americans demand for oil. That isn't all of us (bus rider here) and even those of us in cars, if asked, would gladly pay more for gas if asshats in industry would prevent shit like this from happening.</p> <p>No blame for the poor from me. I want to make BP executives the new Chicken of the Sea, dammit. I wanna bycatch some White Pasty Billionaires in my drift net. GRRRRAAAAAAH!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075846&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ylnJ-6CRgvtLDIELH3vv_mgp8EcYguqmoWUDeuY4wCg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">CS Shelton (not verified)</span> on 09 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075846">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075847" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276156996"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Humans just fuck everything up.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075847&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hkUohn3d_fSPHnAajbkqsHoW6-oGXsvZRnHPybzng5k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Gini (not verified)</span> on 10 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075847">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075848" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276173258"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Yikes! I keep forgetting how big these things are!</p> <p>Why oh why did this have to happen in Spring? Worst possible time what with the phytoplankton bloom kicking off the most productive season of the year and the ideal time for spawning of many species etc... Do you think a moratorium on any tuna fishing in the region for a year or so would help? Reducing the bycatch to 0 might help make up for this year's catastrophic mess... :s</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075848&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="z5bMCW1suh_Cclex2_tlfRJ5AiyKOSVmZiPzmN3WfiE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://crazycrishereandthere.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cristina (not verified)</a> on 10 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075848">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075849" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276178763"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow, I knew the situation was bad for the Bluefin, but this is really distressing. Thanks for such a well put together piece.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075849&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="N4ieTLCZaPTtxmP8EZRXxWhdnyR-LsTfcNHOjEWmhQA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.birding.typepad.com/gulf" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Drew Wheelan (not verified)</a> on 10 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075849">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075850" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276181509"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>Invariably someone will come along in the thread to blame them damn Americans demand for oil. That isn't all of us (bus rider here) and even those of us in cars, if asked, would gladly pay more for gas if asshats in industry would prevent shit like this from happening.</i></p> <p>Disclaimer: European view here, think of it as an outside observer psychoanalyzing a sick patient.</p> <p>Well, yes, what you say is obviously a problem. But the US domestic oil price isn't the real issue. If people would pay 10x the price, oil would still be pumped, but it would simply be more profitable.</p> <p>The issue is that massive amounts of oil are needed daily, therefore the US is extremely dependent on oil. This dependency is what drives oil exploration in the Mexican Gulf and other things such as the oil-focused US foreign policy, for example in relations with the Saudi royal family, geopolitics of the Middle East, and so on.</p> <p>You don't cure a drug addict by asking more money for a drug. Instead, you try to remove the need or desire to obtain the addictive substance. If there is no need/desire for the drug, the drug will not be used.</p> <p>Therefore to fix the problem, the dependency to oil must be diminished.</p> <p>A notable detail is that the system has to be fixed from the demand-side. The diminishing of the oil dependency cannot be left to the market alone through price-modifying mechanisms, because by the time the market has eventually worked the situation through with all the lobbying, corruption, politics and other systematic inefficiencies, oceans will be poisoned with oil, the fish will be dead and coasts will be decorated by sticky tar-like blobs.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075850&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="PtBDtKRATDaZzMIGeyH_ToiugzZx192wYelj567ya9M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span> on 10 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075850">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075851" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276199285"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Oil isn't a drug. Asking more money for it does, eventually, drive people to alternatives. Asking less money for the alternatives helps too.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075851&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="24GSnO64s2_id1ROP2jJvc4ZvEEjZLnkjjgi7UUsk-A"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Nathan Myers (not verified)</span> on 10 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075851">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075852" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276262338"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>God gave us the tools... Once again we have failed another test.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075852&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="AZ6swE8rMeC0f1f2MXpwCmapkyTmo6Tk-l0G_EyVinw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Froggy (not verified)</span> on 11 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075852">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075853" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276356713"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Good perspectives, Anonymous and Nathan. Yes, frankly I'd be glad to see Americans lighten the demand. But being poor, I can see how our society is really set up from square one to keep poor people from having reasonable options.</p> <p>Where you live - Can't afford to live close to work.<br /> How you commute - Can't fight the moneyed interests<br /> to get good mass transit in place.<br /> What you buy - Can't afford the "fair trade," gotta<br /> keep supporting child slavery down at the Walmart.<br /> What you eat - Transfat-laden Chorizos from the<br /> Cash&amp;Carry are cheaper than health food.<br /> How you survive - Paying a few thousand here, a few<br /> thousand there for ER visits is - if you're lucky -<br /> cheaper than health insurance.</p> <p>The people with the power to bring real change to this country need to remember what the fuck ethics are. Or how about simply paying attention to the science? If we kill the oceans, we're gonna go extinct. Checkmate, Capitalism. Thanks for playing! You don't get another quarter.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075853&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9pH0K1b6qoyLTJcqYTUQOXe2K_mxRKgmvBerAq4tNog"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">CS Shelton (not verified)</span> on 12 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075853">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075854" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276424282"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I am enclosing a letter to a Louisiana based inorganic chemist working for the USGS, detailing a real fix for the oil slick. </p> <p>Dear Mr. Rosenbauer,<br /> I have looked for, but have not found any statement by the USGS as to a mineral cure to the oil slick. There are several. I suggest that it is time you folks weighed in on this catastrophe with the gravity of your organization's long history of respected science. The solution to the 'slick' will not be a material that floats and has to be re-collected...to difficult, too expensive. The solution will not be any 'manufactured product'...due to the magnitude of the slick, that too, would be too slow to 'gear up' and too expensive. That leaves only a mineral fix to the problem, with natural reserves in sufficient quantity to address the problem. In fact, Halliburton just finished preliminary tests on a 'halloysite clay' from the Dragon Mine near Eureka, UT which possesses ample reserves. This material sinks the oil with which it comes in contact, forming an 'organoclay' compound which reduces the oil's surface tension, and is a natural conduit for microbes, leading to a enhanced bioremediation time for the sunken oil. It proved very effective, but also, too expensive. Unfortunately, the Dragon Mine is an underground mine, and their expense per ton is $185, plus due to the unique nature of their product they expect over a thousand dollars per ton total sale price. Good stuff, too expensive. Fortunately, another form of nanoclay has shown the same ability to sink oil. I own claims of a high aluminum (25%) montmorillonite (MMT), that will sink oil in five seconds. The sink-age rate of oil to very finely pulverized material is nearly one to one.<br /><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn6j_Alwe7s">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn6j_Alwe7s</a></p> <p>Other MMT's may be just as effective, I don't have the capacity to flock test them all. Besides, you only need one to work for the right price. For this purpose I'm marketing my material for $23 per ton (half the price of a gallon of dispersant)... or... $4.75 per sunken barrel of crude. That's a total of a little over 10 million dollars (in material costs alone) to sink and bioremediate all the oil leaked so far into the Gulf. Too good to be true??? Not really, but you'll have to admit it's good bang for the buck. Please ... ask me to send you some of this MMT to test and verify what I've said. The solution to this 'slick' is long overdue, especially if it is as easy as sprinkling some dirt on it...fancy dirt I agree, but dirt none-the-less. I find that my word by itself has no 'weight', and expect that the 'weight' ascribed to USGS statements is thunderous. Perhaps someone in power will listen to you'all. Heaven knows I've been trying to get the word out before it's too late for all the southern coast, and with minimal impact. </p> <p>Thank you for your consideration,</p> <p>Craig Rosequist<br /> 1767 N. Apple Valley Dr.<br /> Apple Valley, UT 84737</p> <p>I might add that there is an abundance of past clinical research that identifies clay (MMT in particular) as a prime material enabling enhanced bioremediation of oil damaged beaches. The research has been done. The material is so non-toxic that health advocates ingest it daily as part of their health regimen. It has been added to Koi food as a mineral supplement by the Japanese for over a thousand years. It is safe, and has a long and impressive history of being safe for human and aquatic life.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075854&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="W1xeBOQmirj33ZnDv09MdXl05Gzbadzks0C_MSjtDw4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Craig Rosequist (not verified)</span> on 13 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075854">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075855" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1278205437"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>FYI: IT'S VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO LIVE IN AMERICA WITHOUT A CAR. THIS WAS DONE BY DESIGN. LOOK UP SOMETHING AND LEARN.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075855&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="pukmPoqhPAtvXws75j5_u3DZLnKlQPJtzYRXRFIAY50"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">insanityrules (not verified)</span> on 03 Jul 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075855">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="134" id="comment-2075856" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1278212612"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>*bzzzzt!* wrong-o, insanityrules. i've lived on both coasts of the USA and i only owned a car for one year (when i was 19 and lived in a rural area). i got rid of it as soon as i could and never looked back. </p> <p>but in one sense, you are correct: it is <i>nearly impossible</i> to live in rural or farm country without a car or other vehicle. but living in a suburb or city...? no car necessary because you can (and should) rely upon walking, bicycles, and various forms of public transit to get around.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075856&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="DJ6ifj4VC-f2Xw3WZrnMjVbUSAMFk0Q_n4hFh4Z1v38"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/grrlscientist" lang="" about="/author/grrlscientist" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">grrlscientist</a> on 03 Jul 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075856">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/grrlscientist"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/grrlscientist" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/Hedwig%20P%C3%B6ll%C3%B6l%C3%A4inen.jpeg?itok=-pOoqzmB" width="58" height="58" alt="Profile picture for user grrlscientist" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/grrlscientist/2010/06/09/atlantic-bluefin-tuna-oil-spil%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Wed, 09 Jun 2010 14:59:29 +0000 grrlscientist 90922 at https://scienceblogs.com Is That A T. rex Up Your Nose? New Species of Nose-dwelling Leech Discovered https://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2010/04/19/mucosal-leech-infestation-tyra <span>Is That A T. rex Up Your Nose? New Species of Nose-dwelling Leech Discovered</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span style="font-size: 10px">tags: <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/evolutionary+biology" rel="tag">evolutionary biology</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/evolutionary+biogeography" rel="tag">evolutionary biogeography</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/molecular+biology" rel="tag">molecular biology</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/medicine" rel="tag">medicine</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/ectoparasite" rel="tag">ectoparasite</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/orificial+hirudiniasis" rel="tag">orificial hirudiniasis</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/mucosal+leech+infestation" rel="tag">mucosal leech infestation</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/hirudinoids" rel="tag">hirudinoids</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/leech" rel="tag">leech</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/Tyrannobdella+rex" rel="tag">Tyrannobdella rex</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/public+health" rel="tag">public health</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/zoology" rel="tag">zoology</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/PLoS+ONE" rel="tag">PLoS ONE</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/anatomy" rel="tag">anatomy</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/phylogenetic+analysis" rel="tag">phylogenetic analysis</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/taxonomy" rel="tag">taxonomy</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/researchblogging.org/" rel="tag">researchblogging.org</a>,<a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/peer-reviewed+research" rel="tag">peer-reviewed research</a>, <a target="window" href="http://technorati.com/tag/journal+club" rel="tag">journal club</a></span></p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4526010158/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4008/4526010158_ec51b12334.jpg" width="403" height="500" /></a></p> <p><b>Figure 1. Mucosally invasive hirudinoid leeches.</b> Known from a wide variety of anatomical sites including eyes (A) as in this case involving <i>Dinobdella ferox</i> (B), mucosal leech species, as in a case involving <i>Myxobdella annandalei</i> (C), more frequently feed from the nasopharyngeal surfaces of mammals (D). [<a target="window" href="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4008/4526010158_ec51b12334_b.jpg" width="825" height="1024"></a>larger (and more delightfully repulsive) picture.]<br /> DOI: <a rev="review" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010057">10.1371/journal.pone.0010057</a>. </p></div> <p><span style="float: left; padding: 5px;"><a target="window" href="http://www.researchblogging.org"><img src="http://www.researchblogging.org/public/citation_icons/rb2_large_gray.png" style="border:0;" /></a></span><br /></p><p align="justify" class="lead">Most people are repulsed by leeches -- those spineless blood sucking animals that are not only ugly, but can, in extreme cases, pose a threat to the host's life. But most people are blissfully unaware that some species of leeches specialize in attacking mammalian mucous membranes -- those hairless, smooth and moist tissues that line the mouth, intestines, eyes and urinary and reproductive tracts (Figure 1). </p> <!--more--><p align="justify">As if most people don't have enough blood-suckers in their lives, a new species of mucous-membrane infesting leech was discovered in the nostril of a 9-year-old girl. She frequently bathed in lakes, rivers and streams in the Amazonian part of Peru and was distressed when she felt "a sliding sensation" in the back of her nose. </p> <p align="justify">The girl's physician, Renzo Arauco-Brown, at the School of Medicine at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, removed the leech and sent it to Mark Siddall, a leech expert and curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Despite careful study, Dr Siddall and his colleagues were unable to place this specimen into any of the known leech families. </p> <p align="justify">However, they did note that the specimen had eight very large teeth embedded in its jaw (Figure 2); </p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4525761543/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4525761543_bcb9427b23.jpg" width="500" height="424" /></a></p> <p><b>Figure 2. Comparative jaw morphology of <i>Tyrannobdella rex</i>.</b> (A) Stereomicrograph of the single dorsal jaw of <i>T. rex</i> with large teeth. Scale bar is 100 µm. (B) <i>Tyrannobdella rex</i> anterior sucker exhibiting velar mouth and longitudinal slit through which the dorsal jaw protrudes when feeding. Scale bar is 1 mm. (C) Compound micrograph in lateral view of eight large teeth of <i>T. rex</i>. Scale bar is 100 µm. (D) Lateral view of jaw of <i>Limnatis paluda</i> illustrating typical size of hirudinoid teeth. Scale bar is 100 µm. [<a target="window" href="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4525761543_bcb9427b23_b.jpg" width="1024" height="868"></a>larger view].<br /> DOI: <a rev="review" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010057">10.1371/journal.pone.0010057</a>. </p></div> <p align="justify">Unlike any other leech species known to science so far, this new species is also unique because it has only one jaw. But possessing only one jaw apparently doesn't hamper its blood-sucking abilities. </p> <p align="justify">"It uses it like a saw," said Dr Siddall. "It doesn't need a huge wound, because it has incredible suction power to get blood."</p> <p align="justify">Embedded in that single jaw are eight very large teeth. Although its teeth are not more than 130 microns tall (roughly the width of a human hair), "that's at least five times as high as that of other leeches," explained Dr Siddall. "We named it <i>Tyrannobdella rex</i> because of its enormous teeth."</p> <p align="justify"><i>Tyrannobdella rex</i> is Latin for "tyrant leech king."</p> <p align="justify">Since researchers and medical doctors were alerted to this previously unidentified leech, two more cases were re-discovered, also from 1997, from different clinics in the western Amazon. </p> <p align="justify">Unlike many leeches, which latch onto bodies from the outside, <i>T. rex</i> attaches itself to the mucous membranes inside the nose of its victims. The victims -- all young children (so far) -- described parasitization by this aptly-named new species as being quite painful. </p> <p align="justify">"Every one of the people who were found with these in the clinical cases had a frontal headache," remarked Dr Siddall. "Their teeth are big, and these things hurt." </p> <p align="justify">Hirudiniasis -- the habit of particular leech species for invading an orifice and feeding on mucous membranes -- has been reported for a variety of leech species in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Because of this huge geographic range, scientists originally regarded this feeding habit "only as a loathsome oddity and not a unifying character for a group of related organisms," according to the research team. However, a closer look at the morphology, anatomy as well as the genetics reveals similarities between these widely distributed animals. </p> <p align="justify">The morphology and anatomy of <i>T. rex</i> reveals it is less than 5 centimeters (two inches) long, and unlike most leeches, which seem to be bags of gametes, <i>T. rex</i> has extremely small genitalia (Figure 3); </p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4525770823/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4525770823_05611fc51b.jpg" width="368" height="500" /></a></p> <p><b>Figure 3. Comparative internal and external anatomy of <i>Tyrannobdella rex</i>.</b> (A) Whole body ventral view illustrating annulation, relative size of the caudal sucker and relative position of gonopores. (B) Eyespot arrangement illustrated dorsally. (C) Male and female median reproductive anatomy. [<a target="window" href="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4525770823_05611fc51b_b.jpg" width="754" height="1024"></a>larger view].<br /> DOI: <a rev="review" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010057">10.1371/journal.pone.0010057</a>. </p></div> <p align="justify">"The width of the adult leech is about 1 centimeter, or about the width of my pinkie, while the genitalia are about one-tenth to one-fifth the width of a millimeter, or 100 to 200 microns," Dr Siddall explained. "The diameter of a blood cell is only about seven microns."</p> <p align="justify">Several morphological and anatomical characters suggest that all of the leeches that specialize in attaching to mucosal membranes to feed on the host's blood are closely related. </p> <p align="justify">Phylogenetic analyses of several genes further provide strong evidence for the close relationships between <i>T. rex</i> and the other mucous-membrane feeding leeches. This family tree indicates these leeches actually belong to a single group (Figure 4); </p> <div class="centeredCaption"> <p><a target="window" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/84727393@N00/4526401426/"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4526401426_786db74f51.jpg" width="370" height="500" /></a></p> <p><b>Figure 4. Single most parsimonious tree based on combined 18S rDNA, 28s rDNA, 12s rDNA, and COI datasets.</b> The family Praobdellidae formed a well-supported monophyletic group of leeches that exhibits a predilection for mammalian mucosa. All groups received 100 percent bootstrap support and posterior probabilities of 1.00 except as noted on the tree. Branches are drawn proportional to amount of change. [<a target="window" href="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4526401426_786db74f51_b.jpg" width="758" height="1024"></a>larger view].<br /> DOI: <a rev="review" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010057">10.1371/journal.pone.0010057</a>. </p></div> <p align="justify"><i>T. rex</i> is most closely related to the Mexican leech, <i>Pintobdella chiapasensis</i>, which parasitizes the nasal passages of tapirs. Another close relative, known as the Terrible Ferocious Leech, <i>Dinobdella ferox</i>, feeds on mucous membranes in the rectum, vagina or upper airway in humans and other mammals. </p> <p align="justify">The regular host for this particular <i>T. rex</i> remains unknown. </p> <p align="justify">"We think the leech could feed on aquatic mammals, from their noses and mouths for example, where they could stay for weeks at a time," said graduate student Anna Phillips, first author on this paper who led the study. </p> <p align="justify">Interestingly, unlike the newly described Peruvian <i>T. rex</i> and its better-known Mexican sister species, <i>P. chiapasensis</i>, <i>D. ferox</i> is an Old World leech found in throughout India and Taiwan. This tremendous geographic separation indicates that the common ancestor for all leeches evolved when all the world's continents were united into a single very large landmass of Pangaea before the supercontinent broke up, the researchers said. </p> <p align="justify">"The earliest species in this family of these leeches no doubt shared an environment with dinosaurs about 200 million years ago when some ancestor of our <i>T. rex</i> may have been up that other <i>T. rex</i>'s nose," remarked Dr Siddall.</p> <p align="justify">There are between 600 and 700 species of leeches known to science, but Dr Siddall and his colleagues think there may be as many as 10,000 species throughout the world. </p> <p align="justify">"Last week, we were up to our necks in water in Peru trying to find more," remarked the brave Dr Siddall. </p> <p><b>Source:</b></p> <p align="justify"><span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.jtitle=PLoS+ONE&amp;rft_id=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010057&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fresearchblogging.org&amp;rft.atitle=Tyrannobdella+rex+N.+Gen.+N.+Sp.+and+the+Evolutionary+Origins+of+Mucosal+Leech+Infestations&amp;rft.issn=1932-6203&amp;rft.date=2010&amp;rft.volume=5&amp;rft.issue=4&amp;rft.spage=0&amp;rft.epage=&amp;rft.artnum=http%3A%2F%2Fdx.plos.org%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010057&amp;rft.au=Phillips%2C+A.&amp;rft.au=Arauco-Brown%2C+R.&amp;rft.au=Oceguera-Figueroa%2C+A.&amp;rft.au=Gomez%2C+G.&amp;rft.au=Beltr%C3%A1n%2C+M.&amp;rft.au=Lai%2C+Y.&amp;rft.au=Siddall%2C+M.&amp;rfe_dat=bpr3.included=1;bpr3.tags=Biology%2CEvolutionary+Biology%2C+Anatomy%2C+Ecology%2C+Molecular+Biology%2C+Taxonomy%2C+Zoology">Phillips, A., Arauco-Brown, R., Oceguera-Figueroa, A., Gomez, G., Beltrán, M., Lai, Y., &amp; Siddall, M. (2010). <b><i>Tyrannobdella rex</i> N. Gen. N. Sp. and the Evolutionary Origins of Mucosal Leech Infestations.</b> <span style="font-style: italic;">PLoS ONE, 5</span> (4) DOI: <a rev="review" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010057">10.1371/journal.pone.0010057</a></span></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/grrlscientist" lang="" about="/author/grrlscientist" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">grrlscientist</a></span> <span>Mon, 04/19/2010 - 03:10</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/biology" hreflang="en">biology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/invertebrates" hreflang="en">Invertebrates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/journal-club" hreflang="en">journal club</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/medicine" hreflang="en">medicine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/zoology" hreflang="en">zoology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/anatomy" hreflang="en">anatomy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/biogeography" hreflang="en">biogeography</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/bpr3orgp52" hreflang="en">bpr3.org/?p=52</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ecology" hreflang="en">ecology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ectoparasite" hreflang="en">ectoparasite</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/evolutionary-biology" hreflang="en">Evolutionary Biology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/hirudinoids" hreflang="en">hirudinoids</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/leech" hreflang="en">leech</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/molecular-biology" hreflang="en">Molecular Biology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/mucosal-leech-infestation" hreflang="en">Mucosal Leech Infestation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/orificial-hirudiniasis" hreflang="en">orificial hirudiniasis</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/peer-reviewed-research" hreflang="en">peer-reviewed research</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/phylogenetic-analysis" hreflang="en">phylogenetic analysis</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos-one" hreflang="en">PLoS ONE</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health" hreflang="en">public health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/taxonomy" hreflang="en">Taxonomy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/tyrannobdella-rex" hreflang="en">Tyrannobdella rex</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/biology" hreflang="en">biology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/invertebrates" hreflang="en">Invertebrates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/journal-club" hreflang="en">journal club</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/medicine" hreflang="en">medicine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/zoology" hreflang="en">zoology</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/life-sciences" hreflang="en">Life Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2074991" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1271662855"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>If you are interested in learning about everyday indigenous life in the Upper Peruvian Amazon, please visit <a href="http://www.ninosdelaamazonia.org">www.ninosdelaamazonia.org</a> You will see amazing photos, all of them taken by the children who live there. It is a unique perspective and a true document of their realities. Thank you.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2074991&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ysRbPWdQ9htmSQ_pPA_UmbFWuwee9dAipxOS8vRf-8U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ninosdelaamazonia.org" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">amylynn (not verified)</a> on 19 Apr 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2074991">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2074992" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1271666960"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>T. rex lives! IT LIVES!</p> <p>Oh, wait, you mean that's a leech, not a dinosaur?</p> <p>Aw, fuck.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2074992&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1Ml7adZDaGLtAGqMWxwjDV9JCJjeasrAF1rePDUa2MM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Katharine (not verified)</span> on 19 Apr 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2074992">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2074993" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1271667811"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This is a very interesting article. But what happened to the comparison to the Rethuglicans? The header from the life sciences page of science blogs compared this leach to the Rethuglicans.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2074993&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="MRJbHXHeadFSAIeq8kOaFU-oJYINiCGBdaxxMFwRPtY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike (not verified)</span> on 19 Apr 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2074993">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="134" id="comment-2074994" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1271670188"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>mike, i should have kept it, i guess. i removed my references to rethuglicans from this piece because i didn't want to insult the leech.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2074994&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jS0jHnW8-Au9j4SnmkEh1dAf2uAFbqs1DA4AFE24Byc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/grrlscientist" lang="" about="/author/grrlscientist" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">grrlscientist</a> on 19 Apr 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2074994">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/grrlscientist"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/grrlscientist" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/Hedwig%20P%C3%B6ll%C3%B6l%C3%A4inen.jpeg?itok=-pOoqzmB" width="58" height="58" alt="Profile picture for user grrlscientist" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2074995" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1271673292"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thank you for this complete and interesting analysis of the new leech. I really appreciate the technical details. Nonetheless, EW EW EW EW.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2074995&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="rFJS_mFWFGvG-TKWq8-_jcCWjeLTQ5q-3WN5VO38kzA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">parclair (not verified)</span> on 19 Apr 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2074995">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2074996" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1271692472"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Mike @ #3:</p> <blockquote><p>This is a very interesting article. But what happened to the comparison to the Rethuglicans?</p></blockquote> <p>Aren't the similarities obvious? Disgusting, writhing, spineless, brainless, heartless, slack-jawed, blood-sucking little worms with tiny genitalia.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2074996&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="io3d3d1FxZRKr-mAVnefxsHXBjdVkmjQis6hAKEpR78"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Phillip IV (not verified)</span> on 19 Apr 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2074996">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2074997" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1271704996"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Well, the leech has an excuse for not knowing any better, and it's also incapable of lying.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2074997&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="sShGoY4x4rbLCZ2wWTrlG7gIQf6iAPedJm-B96Jj2do"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arancaytar (not verified)</span> on 19 Apr 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2074997">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2074998" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1271756135"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It would be interesting to see a study of what different people consider repulsive or disgusting. I've never been disgusted by leeches or ticks, even when they've been attached to me. Blood &amp; shit &amp; pus &amp; puke have never bothered me much. I love snakes and am not afraid of them altho an unexpected snake certainly has the ability to startle me. For some reason mammals seem to creep me more than inverts or non-mammalian verts do. I'd rather be bitten by a fish or turtle, for instance, than be even a mouse. When I was a kid old people creeped me. I don't mind dissection but I don't like getting engine grease &amp; grit on me. Guess this is why I'm a biologist rather than a mechanic. Are other people viscerally repulsed by leeches? I guess some must be.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2074998&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="GOYahDrdV5xIU4fLf0nmZTcD_GM0o2Ge8rWkRPJADTU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">darwinsdog (not verified)</span> on 20 Apr 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2074998">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2074999" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1272903147"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>darwinsdog, I'm one of the people repulsed by leeches. The animated comedy Futurama put out its 4th straight-to-DVD release not too long ago; it features a leech (an alien leech, even) in the plot. My friend was greatly entertained by my reaction to the leech when it was on screen; lots of jumping, shuddering, etc. (from me, not the leech. Although that leech could JUMP!) I think it's the combination of the fact that they have no 'head' (they're just tubes with mouths - and gonads, I now learn), and they have suction cups, and if you hold them in a bowl they can track body heat. I'm not nearly as repulsed by ticks, though that might just be because of familiarity.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2074999&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="7NqI_QUhGg43rBFn6QCIzoNpWOsqwvlS3Xb0nmKvuDY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">blue e (not verified)</span> on 03 May 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2074999">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075000" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1272914939"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I believe I would be more than just "distressed" to feel a "sliding sensation at the back of my nose." Some parts of the body are not supposed to move.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075000&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Y8fzOZ6dDunZUYi04La3NCUFLPw3fyx92qglP8p-15E"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://natureisoutthere.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Joy K. (not verified)</a> on 03 May 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075000">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075001" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1273133942"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>...most people are blissfully unaware that some species of leeches specialize in attacking mammalian mucous membranes...</i></p> <p>WAS. <i>WAS</i> "blissfully unaware" of this. I am not just absolutely 100% certain that I thank you for destroying this blissful unawareness of mine.</p> <p>Must go scrub brain with bleach now.</p> <p><i>hhhrrrrrgh</i> :::shudder:::</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075001&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="fKB5Sjut5bEHnOMQCSgmuGuiaCHbZmJ_G5sWmUjnt4k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Luna_the_cat (not verified)</span> on 06 May 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075001">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075002" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1275511844"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Man! This post made my skin crawl. If you meant to put me off of swimming in ponds and rivers forever, you succeeded!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075002&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="q-bEnoxIR3kBdCLkH_Jr9CS2lPMaXtMGmI5tVC8NLW4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.cephalove.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike Mike (not verified)</a> on 02 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075002">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-2075003" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1276169950"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'm with darwinsdog on this one! Leeches are not gross and disgusting at all. That said, I am a parasitologist, so I may be a) totally biased, and b) clearly in the right profession. Worms, ticks, leeches etc. are perfectly acceptable lovely animals to me, and I always laugh with amazement at the sheer ingenuity of these critters when I see pathology pictures which make other people faint, vomit and generally display disgust.<br /> What disgusts me personally: monkeys and apes, especially chimps. They have that kind of freaky almost-human thing which also makes me hate dolls and mannequins, and also, apes should wear underwear if they are so damned anthropomorphical.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2075003&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="arImEELRoWz3gJyFelNBVSDWkBiorDg_HCaBmm_HFb0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">wormgirl (not verified)</span> on 10 Jun 2010 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2075003">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/grrlscientist/2010/04/19/mucosal-leech-infestation-tyra%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 19 Apr 2010 07:10:17 +0000 grrlscientist 90688 at https://scienceblogs.com Nature vs. Science https://scienceblogs.com/primatediaries/2009/07/19/nature-vs-science <span>Nature vs. Science</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Jorge Cham has just posted his latest <a href="http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php">PhD Comic</a>, this one taking on the rivalry between <em>Nature</em> and <em>Science</em>. Look behind the scenes at how the science publishing industry <em>REALLY</em> works. It's enough to make you want to publish only in <em>PLoS ONE</em>!</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/emjohnson" lang="" about="/author/emjohnson" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">emjohnson</a></span> <span>Sun, 07/19/2009 - 13:01</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/humor" hreflang="en">humor</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/publishing-0" hreflang="en">Publishing</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/nature" hreflang="en">Nature</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/phd-comics" hreflang="en">Phd Comics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos-one" hreflang="en">PLoS ONE</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/science" hreflang="en">Science</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="132" id="comment-2476302" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1248080760"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>;-)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2476302&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="DUHKfO0Jv-r04K-J5qmQ5ONeRVYwrgmqTSDO4Lddkuc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/Bora-Zivkovic" lang="" about="/author/Bora-Zivkovic" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">clock</a> on 20 Jul 2009 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/3436/feed#comment-2476302">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/Bora-Zivkovic"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/Bora-Zivkovic" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/Bora%20Zivkovic.jpg?itok=QpyKnu_z" width="75" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user clock" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/primatediaries/2009/07/19/nature-vs-science%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Sun, 19 Jul 2009 17:01:16 +0000 emjohnson 143495 at https://scienceblogs.com Oooo I'm a winner! https://scienceblogs.com/observations/2009/06/01/oooo-im-a-winner <span>Oooo I&#039;m a winner!</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>No, not Publisher's Clearing House.</p> <p>And not that 3 Quark's thing - not yet, anyway. You know, you could go <a href="http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/3-quarks-daily-2009-science-prize-vote-here.html">vote for observation's of a nerd</a>, though, and better my odds...</p> <p><img src="http://sciencecommons.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/one_web.gif" />But, no, I'm referring to something way more awesome to win. I'm this month's everyONE <a href="http://everyone.plos.org/2009/06/01/blog-post-of-the-month-%E2%80%93-may-2009/">PLoS ONE Blog Post of the Month</a>! Miraculously, out of <a href="http://researchblogging.org/post-search/list?search_text=journal.pone">48 entries</a>, the kind folks over at <a href="http://everyone.plos.org">everyONE</a> have chosen <a href="http://observationsofanerd.blogspot.com/2009/05/size-does-matter.html">my post</a> on a PLoS paper about <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0005707">size and status</a> as this month's winner. </p> <p>Thanks for the love, everyONE! I know those other posters are incredible bloggers, so I feel really honored to have won amongst this elite group!</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/cwilcox" lang="" about="/author/cwilcox" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cwilcox</a></span> <span>Mon, 06/01/2009 - 04:34</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/everyone" hreflang="en">everyONE</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos-one" hreflang="en">PLoS ONE</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/observations/2009/06/01/oooo-im-a-winner%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 01 Jun 2009 08:34:00 +0000 cwilcox 141861 at https://scienceblogs.com Oh Ida! https://scienceblogs.com/observations/2009/05/20/oh-ida <span>Oh Ida!</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><img src="http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/files/2009/05/darwinius440.jpg" width="150" />I'd be lying if I tried to claim that this whole "missing link," possible-primate-ancestor hasn't piqued my interest. So, since this blog is supposed to talk about anything and everything that does that, I would be failing you if I didn't at least briefly mention it. Even I can't completely avoid a media explosion.</p> <p>Here's the thing: I'm not a paleontologist. For that matter, I'm not an expert on primate or human evolution. Sure, I might understand it a little better than the average Joe or (apparently) science journalist, but I have nowhere near the knowledge or skills to accurately condone or dissect a paper of this nature. </p> <p>I can say that calling anything a "missing link" is simply ridiculous, and to do so reveals a clear lack of understanding of how evolution works. Evolution isn't a chain; it's more like a branching tree. First off, the odds of finding part of the branch which leads directly to us - not a smaller branch off of it - is highly unlikely. <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Humanevolutionchart.png"><img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Humanevolutionchart.png" width="300" /></a>Even the best known fossils of human evolution are not necessarily ancestors so much as the other branches which came from them - Neanderthals are a great example. Take a look at the image on the right. What do you think the odds of finding a single fossil from one of those little bottlenecks instead of the large, bulbous areas is? The simple fact is that finding an example of a small subpopulation of a species that happened to lead to another is highly unlikely. </p> <p>Explained another way: think of all the species of whale and dolphin that are out there. Now, imagine, that a particular population of killer whales -perhaps because they feed on marine mammals instead of fish - leads to some entirely new species, which lead to other species, that, millions of years from now, someone is trying to determine the origins of. What do you think the odds are that they a) find a fossilized killer whale of all the cetacean species that are out there and b) that itâs from the small group of killer whales that evolved into the new species? While any find gives us clues about the evolution and origins of an animal, it can't automatically be assumed to be a direct descendant, let alone a "missing link". </p> <p>Of course, that doesn't mean a fully intact fossil, complete with a body outline and stomach contents, isn't an amazing and incredible find. It is. Period. <i>Darwinius masillae</i>, nicknamed "Ida", is a fantastic fossil. Not a "missing link", but a truly remarkable discovery none the less, which is sure to reveal much about how its species lived 47 million years ago. </p> <p>And while I may not be the right person to teach you everything you need to know about this find, I am really, really good at reading what other people write, particularly those who are far more informed than I am on this topic. So, that said, if you want to learn more about this remarkable discovery, here are my suggestions.</p> <p>1. First off, <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0005723">here's the paper itself</a>. If you haven't already, I suggest reading it. It probably won't be entirely intelligible if you're not a paleontologist - that's ok. At least, having read it, you can approach the claims about the fossil with a better understanding of what is known about it. </p> <p>2. After you read the paper, read something that explains it in layman's terms - like <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/05/ida_the_fossil_primate.php">Greg Laden's excellent explination of the paper</a> or <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/05/darwinius_masillae.php">this article by PZ Myers</a>. It will help you digest, a bit anyhow, what was said. And if you're ambitious, <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2009/05/introducing_ida_-_the_great-gr.php">A Blog Around The Clock</a> has a very complete list of links to articles about Ida. You can go buck wild reading up on it.</p> <p>3. As well as enjoying the sheer marvel of this fossil and the explinations of the find, be sure to read the critiques. <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/laelaps/2009/05/poor_poor_ida_or_overselling_a.php">Brian Switek</a> has a great critique of this paper - the kind I'm not qualified to write. <a href="http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2009/05/19/darwinius-it-delivers-a-pizza-and-it-lengthens-and-it-strengthens-and-it-finds-that-slipper-thats-been-at-large-under-the-chaise-lounge-for-several-weeks/">Carl Zimmer</a> also tackles the media hype versus what was really found.</p> <p>And perhaps, if by chance, some experts do read this blog, they can discuss this in the comments so that everyone else can benefit from their wisdom and insight :)</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/cwilcox" lang="" about="/author/cwilcox" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cwilcox</a></span> <span>Tue, 05/19/2009 - 21:32</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/darwinius-masillae" hreflang="en">Darwinius masillae</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ida" hreflang="en">Ida</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/missing-link-0" hreflang="en">Missing Link</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos-one" hreflang="en">PLoS ONE</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/observations/2009/05/20/oh-ida%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Wed, 20 May 2009 01:32:00 +0000 cwilcox 141847 at https://scienceblogs.com Our effects are simple: the more people, the fewer fish https://scienceblogs.com/observations/2009/05/07/our-effects-are-simple-the-more-people-the-fewer-fish <span>Our effects are simple: the more people, the fewer fish</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="http://nerdychristie.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/decliningfishsizeoffkeys.jpg"><img src="http://nerdychristie.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/decliningfishsizeoffkeys.jpg?w=140" border="0" /></a><span style="float:left;padding:5px;"><a href="http://www.researchblogging.org"><img alt="ResearchBlogging.org" src="http://www.researchblogging.org/public/citation_icons/rb2_tiny.png" /></a></span>People are bad news for fish - yeah, we've known that for awhile. Just look at the decrease in size of catch off the Florida Keys from 1957 to the 1980s and 2007 (on right) and that conclusion is obvious. But, surprisingly, little research has been able to show how human populations affect a group of fish. Most studies focus on one type of fish or are contained to a small area because their manpower is limited to a small team of scientists diving and recording data themselves. Others simply look hypothetically at what increases or decreases in some variable like pollution would have. And even those that are large in scale work off of fisheries data, which is only collected by certain (usually industrialized) countries, leaving many areas undocumented. Christopher D. Stallings, a biologist from the Zoology department at Oregon State University, decided that we needed to capture a bigger picture of the effects that people are having on fish right now all over - and he found a way, thanks to a motivated organization called REEF.</p> <p>REEF, the <a href="http://www.reef.org/">Reef Environmental Education Foundation</a>, was founded in 1990 out of growing concern about the health of the marine environment, and the desire to provide the SCUBA diving community a way to contribute to the understanding and protection of marine populations. What they do - the simplified version - is teach divers how to count and ID fish, then allow them to go out on their own and record species data. With over 127,000 surveys and counting, they've got a lot of data on what species have been seen where and when. And most importantly, the data is available to any researcher who wants to use it.</p> <p><a href="http://nerdychristie.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/fishsizetrends.png"><img src="http://nerdychristie.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/fishsizetrends.png?w=300" border="0" /></a>So Stallings did something that surprisingly few scientists have done and used the REEF survey data to compare the sightings of large, predatory fish throughout the Caribbean. The results, <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0005333">published in PLoS ONE</a>, are clear. When he compared the fish data with the human population densities for the same areas, he found a humbling trend. The more people there were in a place, the fewer large predators there were. The predator populations dropped by 2.2% on average for every 100 people per square kilometer increase in human density. Not only were there fewer large fish, the ones that were there were far less diverse. As human population numbers increased in an area, 15 of the 20 different predatory species he looked at disappeared, and the remaining five were the smallest. </p> <p>Stallings points to fishing as the most likely cause of this dramatic effect, though certainly other factors could be at play. Since the data doesn't look at why the fish populations changed, there could be other reasons, including increased pollutants or loss of habitat. </p> <p><img src="http://www.thewreck.net/Images/ReefShark.jpg" width="250" alt="Reef Shark" />It's also hard to say what effects the absence of these predators will have on the reefs themselves. Studies have suggested that losing top predators can have a dramatic, negative impact on a community. The loss can make an ecosystem less resilient to change like increased temperatures or major events like hurricanes. It can also make them vulnerable to invasive species. But studying such effects in detail is difficult, as no one wants to remove predators from an area to see what happens. </p> <p>This study is important because it highlights just how strong the impact we have on the oceans that surround us. A 2% decrease per 100 people is <strong>huge</strong> when you think about it. For example, Miami, FL has 2,532.1 people per square kilometer, which is more than double the density of Tampa, FL which has 1,146.7 people per square kilometer. With those numbers, we'd predict that the reefs off of Miami have over 30% less predatory fish that the ones off Tampa - and those are both big cities with a lot of people, major ports and a lot of fishing. Imagine how staggering the difference between those big cities and what the oceans would be like if we weren't there at all. </p> <p>This study also opens the door for a lot more usage of the incredible data collected by REEF. Finally, we have a way to look at the Caribbean (and other) fish populations that isn't limited in scope. We can, at last, see the big picture, without biasing the results towards industrialized countries, particular habitats, or only a few species. Unfortunately, the bigger picture isn't a pretty one.</p> <p><font size="1"><span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.jtitle=PLoS+ONE&amp;rft_id=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0005333&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fresearchblogging.org&amp;rft.atitle=Fishery-Independent+Data+Reveal+Negative+Effect+of+Human+Population+Density+on+Caribbean+Predatory+Fish+Communities&amp;rft.issn=1932-6203&amp;rft.date=2009&amp;rft.volume=4&amp;rft.issue=5&amp;rft.spage=0&amp;rft.epage=0&amp;rft.artnum=http%3A%2F%2Fdx.plos.org%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0005333&amp;rft.au=Stallings%2C+C.&amp;rfe_dat=bpr3.included=1;bpr3.tags=Biology%2CZoology%2C+Molecular+Biology%2C+Marine+Biology%2C+Ecology%2C+Evolutionary+Biology%2C+Cell+Biology%2C+Behavioral+Biology%2C+Biochemistry%2C+Immunology">Stallings, C. (2009). Fishery-Independent Data Reveal Negative Effect of Human Population Density on Caribbean Predatory Fish Communities <span style="font-style:italic;">PLoS ONE, 4</span> (5) DOI: <a rev="review" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0005333">10.1371/journal.pone.0005333</a></span></font></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/cwilcox" lang="" about="/author/cwilcox" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cwilcox</a></span> <span>Thu, 05/07/2009 - 04:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos-one" hreflang="en">PLoS ONE</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/reef" hreflang="en">REEF</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/observations/2009/05/07/our-effects-are-simple-the-more-people-the-fewer-fish%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Thu, 07 May 2009 08:49:00 +0000 cwilcox 141830 at https://scienceblogs.com Open Science: Good for Research and Researchers [Bora Zivkovic's Presentation at Columbia] https://scienceblogs.com/seed/2009/02/22/bora-zivkovics-presentation-at <span>Open Science: Good for Research and Researchers [Bora Zivkovic&#039;s Presentation at Columbia]</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><form mt:asset-id="6324" class="mt-enclosure mt-enclosure-image" style="display: inline;"><img src="http://scienceblogs.com/seed/wp-content/blogs.dir/373/files/2012/04/i-c86106d9fc9c4e765dccc437b765cc91-Bora.jpg" alt="i-c86106d9fc9c4e765dccc437b765cc91-Bora.jpg" /></form> <p>Thursday, February 19 ScienceBlogger Bora Zivkovic from <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/clock/">A Blog Around the Clock</a> gave a presentation on open science as part of a panel discussion at Columbia University in New York City. The event, titled "Open Science: Good for Research, Good for Researchers?" was organized by the <a href="http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/news/exhibitions/2009/2009-02-03.scholarly_comm.html">Scholarly Communication Program</a> and also featured presentations by Jean-Claude Bradley of Drexel University, and Barry Canton of <a href="http://ginkgobioworks.com/">Gingko BioWorks</a> and <a href="http://openwetware.org/wiki/Main_Page">OpenWetWare</a>.</p> <p>For those who have read Bora's <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/clock/open_science/">many posts </a> here on ScienceBlogs promoting the open science movement, it was obvious before he even uttered a word that open science is both "good for research" and "good for researchers," and he presented convincing arguments to make his case.</p> <p>Throughout history, he explained, the dissemination of scientific knowledge has been intimately intertwined with the quest for power. In the first "wave" of revolution in scientific communication, figures like Issac Newton—who used their wealth and social status to publish scientific books as a monument to their intellect—were in competition with proponents of scientific journals, which allowed a wider and more diverse array of individuals to achieve fame in science. </p> <p>"The whole movement of journals was a small number of people having a vision and pushing for it really hard," Bora explained.</p> <!--more--><p>The vision eventually broke through and became the norm, as scientific careers are now based primarily on publishing through journals, whereas books are merely a side product. But now, Bora said, we are amidst a second wave of revolution in science communication, where another force is pulling journals out of their position of prominence: The Internet. "It's changing everything we do when it comes to science, not just how we publish it."</p> <p>According to Bora, every revolution in technology expands the proportion of information that becomes sharable. And though scientific journals once served a great purpose, they now effectively limit shared knowledge because they depend on costly resources to produce. With the Internet, ideas about science and research can be shared through every step of the scientific process in a way that is cheap and accessible. </p> <p>While data used to be kept in notebooks, it can now be published directly onto the web so data sets can be analyzed and shared by anyone, not just the individuals in close proximity to the lab where the data was collected. "You can't put video on paper, but you can put it on the web," Bora said, pointing out that this makes it possible for scientists to learn techniques that may not have been communicated as effectively through written descriptions.</p> <p>But the best part, according to Bora, is that while journals have to be printed using expensive resources, open science methods via the web can be free so that anybody can have access. "Now that is really democratizing," he said, reminding the audience that you don't have to be at a prestigious university to enter the world of elite science; you can be wherever you want as long as you are smart and have ideas.</p> <p>Video footage of the event will soon be available on the Scholarly Communication Program website's <a href="http://scholcomm.columbia.edu/?q=past-events">past events</a> page.</p> <h3 style="margin: 0 56px 12px; font: bold 11px 'Trebuchet MS'; text-transform: uppercase;">Also, check out these links for more about the presentation and open science:</h3> <ul class="arrowLinks" style="margin: 0 56px 24px; font-size: 12px;"><li><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2009/02/quick_check-in_from_nyc.php">Bora's account of the event on A Blog Around the Clock</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/news/exhibitions/2009/2009-02-03.scholarly_comm.html">Link to a description of the event on Columbia University's website</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/news/exhibitions/2009/2009-02-03.scholarly_comm.html">Press Release: Scholarly Communication Program to Host Panel on Open Science, from the Columbia University Libraries website</a></li> </ul></div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/amillikan" lang="" about="/author/amillikan" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">amillikan</a></span> <span>Sat, 02/21/2009 - 18:05</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/culture" hreflang="en">Culture</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/bora-zivkovic" hreflang="en">Bora Zivkovic</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/columbia" hreflang="en">Columbia</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/open-access" hreflang="en">Open Access</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/open-science" hreflang="en">open science</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos" hreflang="en">PLOS</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos-one" hreflang="en">PLoS ONE</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/seed/2009/02/22/bora-zivkovics-presentation-at%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Sat, 21 Feb 2009 23:05:10 +0000 amillikan 68723 at https://scienceblogs.com Tetris good for more than wasting time https://scienceblogs.com/observations/2009/01/07/tetris-good-for-more-than-wasting-time <span>Tetris good for more than wasting time</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><img src="http://crazy-jokes.com/arcade-games/images/tetris.jpg" width="200" /><span style="float:left;padding:5px;"><a href="http://www.researchblogging.org"><img alt="ResearchBlogging.org" src="http://www.researchblogging.org/public/citation_icons/rb2_tiny.png" /></a></span>Ok, I simply had to post about this new study from PLoS ONE because my boyfriend, Barry, absolutely loves the game Tetris. Anyhow, new research has found that <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004153">Tetris can help treat PTSD flashbacks</a>, which is pretty cool for a really old, really simple video game.</p> <p><a href="http://observationsofanerd.blogspot.com/2009/01/ok-i-simply-had-to-post-about-this-new.html">Read the rest of this post!</a><span class="fullpost"></span></p> <p>Here's how it works. Your brain has limited resources and capacity. In other words, your brain can only process, remember and manage so much input at a time. When you see an image or perform a mental task, you have to put energy into it and resources. After witnessing a traumatic incident, part of your brain is allocating resources to that image, causing it to later reappear in flashbacks. So, hypothetically, if you could force that part of the brain to focus on something else, the flashbacks would lessen or completely stop.</p> <p>Of course, this is easier said than done. Finding the right activity which can act as a 'cognative vaccine' for such events is not easy. After all, it has to be involved and stimulating enough to warrant the brain power allocated to the stressful event. And anyone who has had even a glimpse of the kind of stressful event that can cause PTSD knows that "forgettting" the trauma and focusing on something else isn't that easy. </p> <p>Currently, vivid flashbacks are treated with psychiatry and drugs. However, the counseling often only occurs after a significant buildup of symptoms (like flashbacks) and the drugs don't just help rid you of flashbacks - they destroy your memory of the event all together. So if, say, you need to testify in court, you might have a problem. Some current methods of treatment have even been <a href="http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/176/6/589">shown to worsen symptoms</a>. </p> <p>Researchers from Oxford may have found a better way. They say that since flashbacks are sensory-perceptual, visuospatial mental images that tend to implant in memory somewhere between 1-6 hours after an event, you can disrupt them from ever forming by providing other sensory-perceptual, visuospatial mental images during that time. Their choice? Tetris.</p> <p>Tetris has been shown to occupy much of the same kind of memory that a flashback does. People even seem to 'relive' intense moments of Tetris play much later on - which, of course, I can totally vouch for. Who hasn't gone over and over 'if only I'd rotated that piece <i>that</i> way!'?</p> <p>So the researchers exposed people to a violent film depicting death and injury, then had them play Tetris or just sit there. Afterwards, they sat alone for 10 minutes, and reported any flashbacks to the film. Tetris, it turned out, significantly reduced the number of flashbacks. The subjects continued reporting flashbacks over a week long period, and the Tetris players continued to experience fewer flashbacks. Later, when subjects were tested on the film, both groups performed equally, so Tetris didn't impair voluntary memory of the trauma, just involuntary.</p> <p>Using this kind of 'cognitive vaccine' could reduce PTSD from all kinds of traumatic events, from fires to rape. Although, imagine, you walk out of a burning building, sit down, and the emergency worker hands you a DS to play for a few minutes before you're interviewed about the scene. It seems almost ridiculous, but it could really help a lot of people. Who'd have thought Tetris was so useful for anything other than wasting time?</p> <p><font size="2"><span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.jtitle=PLoS+ONE&amp;rft_id=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004153&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fresearchblogging.org&amp;rft.atitle=Can+Playing+the+Computer+Game+%E2%80%9CTetris%E2%80%9D+Reduce+the+Build-Up+of+Flashbacks+for+Trauma%3F+A+Proposal+from+Cognitive+Science&amp;rft.issn=1932-6203&amp;rft.date=2009&amp;rft.volume=4&amp;rft.issue=1&amp;rft.spage=0&amp;rft.epage=0&amp;rft.artnum=http%3A%2F%2Fdx.plos.org%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004153&amp;rft.au=Emily+A.+Holmes&amp;rft.au=Ella+L.+James&amp;rft.au=Thomas+Coode-Bate&amp;rft.au=Catherine+Deeprose&amp;rfe_dat=bpr3.included=1;bpr3.tags=Biology%2CPsychology%2CZoology%2C+Molecular+Biology%2C+Marine+Biology%2C+Ecology%2C+Evolutionary+Biology%2C+Cell+Biology%2C+Behavioral+Biology%2C+Biochemistry%2C+Immunology">Emily A. Holmes, Ella L. James, Thomas Coode-Bate, Catherine Deeprose (2009). Can Playing the Computer Game âTetrisâ Reduce the Build-Up of Flashbacks for Trauma? A Proposal from Cognitive Science <span style="font-style:italic;">PLoS ONE, 4</span> (1) DOI: <a rev="review" href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004153">10.1371/journal.pone.0004153</a></span></font></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/cwilcox" lang="" about="/author/cwilcox" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cwilcox</a></span> <span>Tue, 01/06/2009 - 21:36</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/cognitive-vaccine" hreflang="en">Cognitive Vaccine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/plos-one" hreflang="en">PLoS ONE</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/tetris" hreflang="en">Tetris</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/brain-and-behavior" hreflang="en">Brain and Behavior</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/observations/2009/01/07/tetris-good-for-more-than-wasting-time%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Wed, 07 Jan 2009 02:36:00 +0000 cwilcox 141699 at https://scienceblogs.com