Posts

December 05, 2014

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8:12 PM | scinerds: We are built to be kind Greed is good. Competition is...
scinerds: We are built to be kind Greed is good. Competition is natural. War is inevitable. Whether in political theory or popular culture, human nature is often portrayed as selfish and power hungry. UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner challenges this notion of human nature and seeks to better understand why we evolved pro-social emotions like empathy, compassion and gratitude. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’, born from the Darwinian theory of […]
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7:37 PM | Fruitcake – Will It Last Forever?
We wanted to know if fruitcake really will last forever. So we asked a scientist.
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7:17 PM | Cerebrovascular physiology – article alert #90
Orthostatic tolerance and the brain 462- Impact of hypocapnia and cerebral perfusion on orthostatic tolerance – Lewis et al. 463- Phenylephrine Alteration of Cerebral Blood Flow During Orthostasis; Effect on N-Back Performance in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Medow et al. Cerebral autoregulation 464- Does the static cerebral autoregulatory plateau have a finite slope in healthy […]
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5:31 PM | Prosopometamorphopsia: The Woman Who Saw Dragons
A 52 year old woman suffered from a strange problem: she saw dragons wherever she looked. Here's the medical case report in The Lancet: Prosopometamorphopsia and facial hallucinations from a team of researchers including the famous Oliver Sacks. In July, 2011, a 52-year-old woman presented to our psychiatric outpatient clinic with a life-long history of seeing people’s faces change into dragon-like faces and hallucinating similar faces many times a day. What does a dragon […]
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5:30 PM | Keychain-sized gadget, devised by several UC Berkeley students,...
Keychain-sized gadget, devised by several UC Berkeley students, lets you constantly track exposure to air pollution via a smartphone app. But it’s also a way of crowdsourcing much broader studies on air quality. Read more here →
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5:00 PM | Does Rating Education Schools Have a Future?
Colleges of education have been around this country for more than a century and have been responsible for producing the majority of public school educators. But in recent decades pundits have started to complain that their value to the country is a little, well, questionable. Back in 2010 Education Secretary Arnie Duncan grumbled that “By almost any standard, many if not most of the nation’s 1,450 schools, colleges and departments of education are doing a mediocre job of preparing […]
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4:00 PM | Used Tips – ‘nearly career’
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1:00 PM | Used Tips – ‘parents’
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1:00 PM | Recommended reads #41
45 things I’ve learned about science since I was a student, by Rob Dunn. Knowing these things matters. Staying conscious of these things when it matters is even more important. Pretty much the best set of advice for science and life as a scientist I can recall ever reading. American universities are experiencing a brain…
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11:07 AM | Friday links: #ESA100, the value of natural history collections, and more
Also this week: the crowdfunded mammoth, you vs. your mistakes, childcare in academia, Nature goes open access, can you trust your collaborators, and more. From Meg: The Chronicle of Higher Education ran a piece by David Scholnik, better known as … Continue reading →
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10:00 AM | Not (yet) on the High Street: Five Scientific Stocking Fillers for the Future
Is it the end of chocolate coins and oranges? Frances Vaughan takes a look at stocking-fillers of a different kind. 1. ‘Spider man’ gloves Researchers at the University of Stanford have designed a pair of hand-sized silicone pads which could allow humans to scale walls and buildings using just their hands and feet. Modelled on…
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8:33 AM | Public service announcement: How not to email a professor
Quite regularly you get emails that annoy you… often they are flippant emails, and sometimes from students. Harmless or probably naïve that they are, they do get up some peoples’ noses. But every once in a while you get one that really gets your goat. Several months after some media coverage of a research paper from my group (as it happens one of my favourite papers I’ve been involved with of all time) I got a real gem of an email. “Woah!!! Who the F*%K is this guy […]
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7:30 AM | Getting a grip on malaria with light | Athene Donald
Optical tweezers, which allow small objects to be manipulated by a focussed light beam, are being used to explore the invasion of human blood cells by parasitesMalaria remains a major killer. Although generally preventable and curable, it kills around two-thirds of a million people, mostly children, each year.The life cycle of the parasite that is the infectious agent has been worked out over the last 150 years. It includes a stage in which the parasite is propagated by mosquitoes, but the […]
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2:06 AM | A Difference of Experience.
In 2006, in early May, I was arrested for drunk driving. When I used to drink, I drove drunk a great deal. I believed I was “good at it”. And, compared to merely occasional drinkers, maybe I was. After all, I never had an accident and I frequently drove with blood alcohol levels that were […]

December 04, 2014

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10:50 PM | uciarchives: ucirvine: UCI student Adele Halili makes friends...
uciarchives: ucirvine: UCI student Adele Halili makes friends with Cherry, the cutest kind of stress relief at Paws b4 Finals until 2 p.m. at Gateway Plaza (lower level). Thanks, UCI Libraries! (at Gateway Study Center - UC Irvine) Nobody can convince our student assistant that this isn’t ‘Lil Sebastian.
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9:39 PM | Psychiatry: End of the Road for “Endophenotypes”?
An important new study could undermine the concept of ‘endophenotypes’ – and thus derail one of the most promising lines of research in neuroscience and psychiatry. The findings are out now in Psychophysiology. Unusually, an entire special issue of the journal is devoted to presenting the various results of the study, along with commentary, but […] The post Psychiatry: End of the Road for “Endophenotypes”? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Iacono WG, Vaidyanathan U, Vrieze SI & Malone SM (2014). Knowns and unknowns for psychophysiological endophenotypes: Integration and response to commentaries., Psychophysiology, 51 (12) 1339-1347. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25387720

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9:39 PM | Psychiatry: End of the Road for "Endophenotypes"?
An important new study could undermine the concept of 'endophenotypes' - and thus derail one of the most promising lines of research in neuroscience and psychiatry. The findings are out now in Psychophysiology. Unusually, an entire special issue of the journal is devoted to presenting the various results of the study, along with commentary, but here's the summary paper: Knowns and unknowns for psychophysiological endophenotypes by Minnesota researchers William Iacono, Uma Vaidyanathan, Sc
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9:15 PM | Empathy & Compassion in the brainEmpathy is a complicated...
Empathy & Compassion in the brainEmpathy is a complicated task for the brain. Reptiles probably can’t do it and it’s going to occur in pretty simple forms for most mammals. But in humans, it really engages the frontal lobes: these newer regions of the brain that are involved in more complex symbolic processes like language, considering alternatives and imagining the future. Empathy requires that you think: there’s someone else out there who has feelings and thoughts […]
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8:06 PM | On the persistence of a dogma in cerebrovascular physiology
When I received the latest issue of Physiology on my desk yesterday, I was pretty excited to read this particular review about physiological responses to acute exercise and training in different organs! Wow, there was even a section related to the brain ! And it was the first section ! So, I decided to bring […]
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5:12 PM | laughingsquid: ‘Hush’, Smartphone-Enabled, Noise-Masking...
laughingsquid: ‘Hush’, Smartphone-Enabled, Noise-Masking Earplugs That Create a Soothing Sleep Environment Three current and former UC San Diego students — all of them named Daniel — developed the “smart” earplug that lets in some sounds while blocking others. Hush is primarily designed for people who want to shut out noise so they can sleep, but hear selected sounds, such as an alarm clock. The earplugs connect wirelessly to smartphones, which send alarms […]
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5:00 PM | Good Students Don't Really Have Any Trouble Getting in at Elite Colleges
College admissions are a source of great anxiety for high school students and their parents. Every spring features high school students with bundled nerves waiting anxiously for fat envelopes from the colleges of their choices, or at least their second or third choices. (It’s this anxiety that fuels a lot of the American college rating game.) They and their parents also hope anxiously that at least a few of these schools will be reasonably affordable. In the back of everyone’s […]
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3:05 PM | Flipping a classroom or flipping out?
Flipping the classroom: it's all the rage! Certainly there are enough data out there to support the case that students learn better in an active learning situation than a straight lecture. So obviously we should all be rushing out to modify our classes to fit a new paradigm, right? At what cost? Superstar scientist, Meg […]
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1:35 PM | Advocates Say Feds Can Force States to Increase Spending on Higher Ed
NEW ORLEANS—If federal policymakers are serious about giving all students access to affordable higher education, they should leverage some of the billions of dollars in existing federal funding to make states stop cutting their budgets for public universities and colleges. At the current rate of disinvestment, “We won’t have state universities in 50 years,” said F. King Alexander, president and chancellor of Louisiana State University. And public universities themselves […]
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12:13 PM | Nominate antibody companies for the CiteAb Awards
Are you happy with the commercial antibodies you’re using? If you are, you can now nominate your favourite antibody company in the “Researcher’s Choice” category of the first annual CiteAb Antibody Awards. CiteAb is partnering with F1000Research to launch the awards, which aim to celebrate the very best suppliers, reagents and individuals [...]
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11:36 AM | Helping PhD Students To Be More Productive With Mendeley; win a four-year collaboration plan
The PhD time of a researcher’s life may be one of the most trying times; you work long hours for little pay, but at the end of the tunnel is the satisfaction of a thesis and good work done. But it can sometimes be hard to stay motivated throughout. Mendeley is teaming up with Next […]
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11:00 AM | Late-semester thoughts on flipping the classroom
As I’ve written about in a couple of recent posts, this semester has been really busy. I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the combination of field season and flipping the Intro Bio classroom and haven’t really had time for anything else. … Continue reading →
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2:45 AM | pbsdigitalstudios: A warming climate is threatening to bring a...
pbsdigitalstudios: A warming climate is threatening to bring a mysterious, dormant bacteria back to life. What does that mean for us? http://to.pbs.org/permafrost Researchers at Berkeley Lab have descended on Barrow, Alaska to study permafrost — soil that remains frozen throughout the seasons, often for thousands of years. They’re interested in permafrost because it has the potential to release an enormous amount of greenhouse gases in a short amount of time if rising

December 03, 2014

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10:40 PM | The influence of fatherhood on the science of Charles...
The influence of fatherhood on the science of Charles Darwin There are drawings in Charles Darwin’s papers that defy explanation — until we remember that Darwin and his wife Emma had a huge family of ten (rambunctious) children. Scholars believe that a young Francis Darwin —the naturalist’s son— drew this on the back of Darwin’s manuscript for On the Origin of Species. UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner has noted that Darwin’s family life may have […]
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7:05 PM | Crowd-funded science: thoughts after 185 people gave us $10,733 for research
I’ve spent the last month pushing our Experiment.com crowd-funding campaign, to support my lab’s upcoming research in the Falkland Islands. After successfully hitting our $10,000 goal with four days to go, I feel like I have a few thoughts about the process (and a lot of you have asked), so here goes: […]
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7:01 PM | The Gay Essay In the late 1960s a young photographer by the name...
The Gay Essay In the late 1960s a young photographer by the name of Anthony Friedkin began to photograph what is now considered the early days of the modern gay rights movement. From the burned down gay friendly churches to early pride parades with glamorous drag queens, he exhibited the work in 1973 – and may have been a bit ahead of his time. Friedkin saw it as a process of self discovery: The experiences I had while photographing these people were vastly different and at times beyond […]
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