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Converting Skin Cells to Neurons: A Fight Against Huntington’s
Neurological diseases are some of the hardest to fight against (in my opinion). The big reason is the brain, we still know so little about it and treatment for anything […]

Victor, M., Richner, M., Hermanstyne, T., Ransdell, J., Sobieski, C., Deng, P., Klyachko, V., Nerbonne, J. & Yoo, A. (2014). Generation of Human Striatal Neurons by MicroRNA-Dependent Direct Conversion of Fibroblasts, Neuron, 84 (2) 311-323. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.10.016

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Are All Labrador Retrievers the Same?
Or do show dogs and field dogs vary in temperament?Photo: c.byatt-norman / ShutterstockIt’s often said there are personality differences between Labrador Retrievers bred to show (conformation dogs) and those bred to work (field dogs). And chocolate labs have a reputation for being different than black and yellow labs. Is it true? New research by Sarah Lofgren et al (Royal (Dick) Veterinary School, University of Edinburgh) investigates.Although many Labrador Retrievers are family pets, […]

Lofgren, S., Wiener, P., Blott, S., Sanchez-Molano, E., Woolliams, J., Clements, D. & Haskell, M. (2014). Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 156 44-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.04.006

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Martin Gardner
Come ha ricordato Maurizio Codogno è stato il centenario di Martin Gardner. Recupero oggi con la traduzione di un articolo di David Singmaster uscito su "Nature" nel 2010 come ricordo per la figura di riferimento che ha rappresentato per moltissimi lettori, amanti della matematica e matematici professionisti.Dalla metà degli anni '50 fino ai primi anni '80 del XX sexolo, probabilmente la più nota sezione di Scientific American è stata Mathematical games di Martin […]

Singmaster D. (2010). Obituary: Martin Gardner (1914–2010), Nature, 465 (7300) 884-884. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/465884a

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Video Tip of the Week: SeqMonk
Always on the lookout for effective visualization tools, I recently came across a series of videos about the SeqMonk software. It’s not software that I had used before, so I wanted to look at the videos, and then try it out. It downloaded quickly, offered me an extensive list of genomes to load up, and […]

Chatterjee A., P. A. Stockwell, E. J. Rodger & I. M. Morison (2012). Comparison of alignment software for genome-wide bisulphite sequence data, Nucleic Acids Research, 40 (10) e79-e79. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gks150

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Death By Haunted House
Halloween is a time when fear is invited. The rush of adrenaline in a controlled environment is life-affirming. Not much else to comment on here, except that he seems to have excellent oral hygiene for a chainsaw-wielding maniac.A big man with the chainsaw and the gaping wound on his face jumps out from around the corner and growls. You leap backward and scream, your heart pounding in your ears. You’re ready to either take that power tool and teach him a lesson or to run like the kid from […]

Greek, R. (2012). Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing. By Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers. Knopf Doubleday Publishing: New York, NY, USA, 2012; Hardback, 320 pp; $16.23; ISBN-10: 0307593487, Animals, 2 (4) 559-563. DOI: 10.3390/ani2040559

Volchan, E., Souza, G., Franklin, C., Norte, C., Rocha-Rego, V., Oliveira, J., David, I., Mendlowicz, M., Coutinho, E., Fiszman, A. & Berger, W. (2011). Is there tonic immobility in humans? Biological evidence from victims of traumatic stress, Biological Psychology, 88 (1) 13-19. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.06.002

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Autism, parental concerns and socioeconomic status
I'd like to think that there are some rather important messages to be taken from the paper by Xiang Sun and colleagues [1] on level of parental concern, socioeconomic status (SES) and risk of autism. Not only did the authors conclude that: "a higher SES was not associated with the risk of having ASC [autism spectrum conditions]" they also found that: "No child met ASC criteria where parents expressed no concerns".Do you prefer "fashion victim" or "ensembly challenged"?SES - including […]

Sun, X., Allison, C., Auyeung, B., Baron-Cohen, S. & Brayne, C. (2014). Parental concerns, socioeconomic status, and the risk of autism spectrum conditions in a population-based study, Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35 (12) 3678-3688. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.07.037

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Dude, wheres my Hover Car? Oh wait…
We all (of a certain age) remember the Jetsons, a futuristic family with hi-tech gadgets and gizmos. However, nothing said, “the future is here” quite like things hovering. Even in […]

Hendo Hover (2014). Hendo Hoverboards - World's first REAL hoverboard, Kickstarter, Other:

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Inflazione infinita e fine del tempo
Come saprete i dati di BICEP che sembrava dovessero confermare l'inflazione cosmica e le onde gravitazionali primordiali hanno subito una verifica negativa. Come spiegano molto bene Amedeo e Sandro, l'interpretazione dei risultati è stata completamente ribaltata dalle analisi di Planck.Uno degli aspetti che, con quell'annuncio di metà aprile, non avevo trattato ma che mi sarebbe piaciuto era la questione dell'inflazione infinita. Questa ipotesi teorica venne introdotta da Alan […]

Alan H. Guth (2001). Eternal Inflation, arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0101507v1

Guth A.H. (2007). Eternal inflation and its implications, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 40 (25) 6811-6826. DOI: 10.1088/1751-8113/40/25/S25

Bousso R., Freivogel B., Leichenauer S. & Rosenhaus V. (2011). Eternal inflation predicts that time will end, Physical Review D, 83 (2) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physrevd.83.023525

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Antibiotics and childhood obesity: a weighty correlation
It's been a few weeks since the publication of the paper by L. Charles Bailey and colleagues [1] correlating early multiple exposure to broad spectrum antibiotics with obesity in infancy. On purpose I've left it a while before talking about this research so as to let the scientific dust settle a little and get a flavour for some of the discussions about this research (see here and see here).You're a true vulgarian, aren't you?A few details about the Bailey study first:Looking at the […]

Bailey LC, Forrest CB, Zhang P, Richards TM, Livshits A & DeRusso PA (2014). Association of Antibiotics in Infancy With Early Childhood Obesity., JAMA pediatrics, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25265089

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A Venusian Mystery Explored Once More
Venus, the place where women are from… supposedly. To say Venus has a harsh climate would be an understatement, this is one of many reasons why we will never (or […]

Harrington, E. et. Al (2014). The puzzle of radar-bright highlands on venus: a high-spatial resolution study in Ovda regio, Geological Society of America, Other:

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