Tangled Bank Number 64


tangled.jpgWelcome to the Neurophilosopher’s weblog, and to the sixty-fourth edition of Tangled Bank, a fortnightly carnival of the best in science, medicine and nature blogging.

First of all, apologies for posting the carnival 2 days late – I got the dates muddled and thought it was due on the 14th! (Thanks Bora.) I was planning to meet Professor Myers at the Natural History Museum tomorrow, but now I’m not so sure that’s a good idea!

So let’s get straight down to business, with your unlucky Friday the 13th edition of Tangled Bank. Better late than never.

I’ve arranged the submissions into several categories. Some of them fall into none of the categries, and I’ll start with those.

Jeremy opens The Voltage Gate with a post called The Devil Comes a Calling, in which he argues that Faustian tendencies in modern science fiction are a symptom of society’s ignorance and fear of science.

Josh shares some Thoughts from Kansas with us. In a post called political independence and scientific activism, he argues that there’s nothing wrong with the Scientists and Engineers for Change being viewed as a partisan group.

At Salto Sobrius, Martin is skeptical about ‘subjectivity research’ being carried out at the University of Copenhagen. 

Sunny B, the Wandering Visitor, explains why it can be difficult turning away from the television screen, and Jim at Science Made Cool discusses the implications of “backyard” space programs.

dna_cpk_lg.jpgMolecular & cellular biology

Earlier this month, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the winners of this years Nobel Prizes. The prize for Physiology or medicine was shared by Andrew Fire and Craig Mello for their discovery of RNA interference.

Michael is pleased that the winners of this year’s prizes did not need Z immer frames to collect their awards. Over at Adaptive Complexity, he describes how Fire and Mello discovered RNAi.

On the Fight Aging! blog there’s a post on how damage to mitochondrial DNA makes you look old, and Lab Cat Cathy breaks down the biochemistry of starch (excuse the pun!) to explain why there’s a minimum temperature for cooking pasta.

e_coli.jpg Microbiology

From MicrobiologyBytes, we have two posts about quorum-sensing (QS), the process by which bacteria use signalling molecules to communicate with each other and co-ordinate behaviour. The first is an overview of the QS phenomenon; the second describes the implications of recent findings for treating pneumococcal diseases.

Charles at Science & Reason has a post on Deinococcus radiodurans, an extremophile bacterium that can repair its DNA after being subjected to powerful radiation.


Orac at Respectful Insolence discusses the dangers of choosing alternative therapies over conventional forms of treatment.

At Genetics & Health, Hsien has been testing Medstory Beta, an ‘intelligent’ health and medicine search engine which uses AI algorithms to organize search results into categories such as conditions, personal health and procedures, and even provides a list of genes associated with the search term.

mri_brain.jpgNeuroscience & psychology 

At The Mouse Trap, Sandeep has a post about what the analysis of terms used to describe colour can tell us about the development of language and cognition

I give you a gripping story full of blood and brains, which should really be filed under molecular and cellular biology. But I couldn’t justify a neuroscience category with just one entry, so I’ve categorized it as neuroscience so that I can include a pic of a brain!


Daniel, a Down To Earth kind of guy, discusses a study which investigates the effects of drought on pinyon pine populations in southwest North America.

At the new-look 10,000 Birds, Mike gives us the lowdown on phoebes.

Jane gives us a short post on the relationship between kudzu, hurricanes and soybean rust, from her blog, Perceiving Wholes.

Last, but not least, Sunil at Balancing Life describes the strangleweed, a parasitic plant that sniffs out its host.

And there you have it. Thanks to all the contributors for their submissions. Tangled Bank Number 65 will be at Meta_Analyses on 25th October. Send your submissions to host@tangledbank.net.

I’m hosting Circus of the Spineless at the end of the month, so if you’d like to contribute to that, visit the homepage for details. Finally, I’ll also take this opportunity to plug Encephalon and The Synapse, two neuroscience carnivals, submissions to which have been dwindling recently.

Other carnivals I’ve hosted:

7 thoughts on “Tangled Bank Number 64

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  4. Very nice, except for this:

    “At Salto Sobrius, Martin is skeptical about ’subjectivity research’ being carried out at the University of Copenhagen. ”

    Martin is not being skeptical. Martin is blabbing about it from reading not much more than one website. He’s basically saying he doesn’t get it, he’s not interested in reading up on it, he doesn’t want to look up any definitions, but if no one is going to explain what it is, then he’s going to call it BS. I thought that was an ID strategy…

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