Posts

October 16, 2014

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9:20 PM | The “New” Roots of our Friends the Mitochondria
Mitochondria, the proverbial “powerhouse” of the cell. Mitochondria are found in virtually all eukaryotic cells, plant or animal and we thought that was pretty much the end of the story. […]

Zhang Wang & Martin Wu (2014). Phylogenomic Reconstruction Indicates Mitochondrial Ancestor Was an Energy Parasite , PLoS ONE, Other:

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8:51 PM | Biologically functional protein folding
Misfolded proteins clump together in a surprising place Excerpt 1): “Our findings have challenged the notion of the aggregation process as a passive consequence of accumulating misfolded proteins,” says Stowers Investigator Rong Li, Ph.D., who led the study. Using budding...Read more
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8:39 PM | Sperm Wars In The Fight For Promiscuity
It sounds a little trampy to humans but in nature, it's not unusual for a female to copulate with several males in quick succession. Chimpanzees are a well-known example.  When that happens, sperm war breaks out."The sperm of the different males then compete within the female to fertilize the eggs," says   evolutionary biologist Steven Ramm from Bielefeld University. "Generally speaking, the best sperm wins. This may involve its speed or also be due to the amount of sperm transferred. […]
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8:30 PM | Toxic Playgrounds: Broken Hill Kids Exposed To Poisonous Dust
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8:18 PM | Inherited Memories: Too Good To Be True?
In December last year, researchers Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler made a splash with a paper seeming to show that memories can be inherited. This article, published in Nature Neuroscience, reported that if adult mice are taught to be afraid of a particular smell, then their children will also fear it. Which is pretty wild. […]The post Inherited Memories: Too Good To Be True? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Francis G (2014). Too much success for recent groundbreaking epigenetic experiments., Genetics, 198 (2) 449-51. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25316784

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8:14 PM | Follow Your Oven On Twitter: A Common Interface For The Social Web Of Things?
A paper in the International Journal of Web-Based Communities suggests that the familiar interfaces of online social networking sites might be adapted to allow us to interact more efficiently with our networked devices such as cars, domestic appliances and gadgets. The concept would also extend to the idea of those devices connecting with each other as necessary to improve efficiency of heating and lighting, make our home entertainment systems smarter and much more.read more
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7:41 PM | When your name changes
People change their names for all sorts of reasons. Marriage is only one. What can you do to make sure people can find your scientific papers if you change your name?When you’re talking about your own CV or website, the task is trivial. All it takes is a note mentioning the name change.The problem is that many people look for papers through search engines: Google Scholar, Web of Science, PubMed, and so on. If they only know you by one name, they will not find papers you authored under the […]
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7:00 PM | Agriculture: Diversity Produces Greater Long-Term Yields Than Monocultures
80 years ago, America was going through The Dust Bowl and farmers got a lot of the blame. They didn't let land lay fallow, or used monocultures. Now we know it was the worst drought of the last 1,000 years, 7X larger than other comparable intensity droughts that struck North America since 1000 A.D. 75 percent of the country was affected, 27 states severely, and farming had very little to do with it. But farmers have gotten a lot more scientific since then anyway. They know monocultures can […]
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6:30 PM | Back To School, Teachers: Myths About The Brain Hold Back Education
Myths about the brain are common among teachers worldwide and are hampering teaching, according to new research which presented teachers in the UK, Holland, Turkey, Greece and China with seven 'neuromyths' and then asked whether they believe them to be true. Over 25% of teachers in the UK and Turkey believe a student's brain would shrink if they drank less than six to eight glasses of water a day, while 50% of those surveyed believe we only use  10% of our brains and that children are less […]
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6:19 PM | Is Axon Guidance by Attraction and Repulsion, or by a Roll of the Dice?
Attractants and repellants guide axons to their targets.  On its journey, a migrating axon may be confronted with multiple attractive and repulsive guidance cues.  This presents a conundrum. How does the axon avoid a tug-of-war between attractants and repellants?  Does the strongest cue win?  Can one cue negate the effects of another?  Can an axon switch its responsiveness to cues until they all match?  

Tang, X. & Wadsworth, W. (2014). SAX-3 (Robo) and UNC-40 (DCC) Regulate a Directional Bias for Axon Guidance in Response to Multiple Extracellular Cues, PLoS ONE, 9 (10) Other:

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6:09 PM | Interview with George Hook
I recently did an interview with George Hook on Newstalk regarding the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award I hold with Professor John Aggleton at Cardiff University. The interview is from 23.30 to 36.30 on the Newstalk site. Filed under: Uncategorized
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6:08 PM | Why Do We Find it So Hard to Write About Ourselves?
For many students right now, an overwhelming mountain stands between them and th...
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6:00 PM | The Brain’s White Matter–Learning beyond Synapses
A new study shows that learning a new motor skill requires generation of new myelin, the electrical insulation on nerve axons.
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5:55 PM | For Learning Anatomy, Cadavers Still Work Best
There's just no substitute for a dead body. Computer teaching is all the rage and simulation can do many things, but when it comes to anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers. Cary Roseth, psychologist at Michigan State University, said the paper suggests cadaver-based instruction should continue in undergraduate human anatomy, a gateway course to medical school, nursing and other health and medical fields.read more
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5:43 PM | Why Do We Find it So Hard to Write About Ourselves?
Throes of Creation by Leonid Pasternak. Wikimedia CommonsFor many students right now, an overwhelming mountain stands between them and the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. In this case, I’m not talking about Christmas—rather, I’m referring to the end of the Application Season.Across the country, high school and college students are feverishly applying to institutions of higher education—doling out, on average, nine applications each. In order to afford the […]
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5:24 PM | NEURO.tv Episode 13 – Neuroscience in the courtroom and invasion of privacy, with Nita Farahany.
Nita Farahany, Professor of Law and Philosophy at Duke University is a leading scholar on the ethical implications of biosciences and emerging.
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5:04 PM | Science Left Behind 2014: The Anti-Vaccination Update
Science Left Behind, a book I co-authored in 2012 with Dr. Alex Berezow, covered the ways that anti-science beliefs had become mainstream among political progressives in the United States. It addressed dozens of topics but the three biggest ones denied by progressives (along with a few fellow liberals and Democrats) were the findings that anti-vaccine, anti-biology and anti-energy science positions were overwhelmingly left.read more
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5:01 PM | 'Extreme Altruists' Are Motivated By Gut Instinct
Intuitive processes may underlie decisions of those who help others while risking their own lives. Credit: AAresTT/ShutterstockBy Penny Orbell, The ConversationIf you noticed a person in grave danger would you act first and think later in order to save them? New research suggests people who put their own lives in danger to help others make the decision to do so without a second thought. read more
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4:43 PM | Lemurs Like To Make An Informative Visit To The Bathroom
Human bathroom walls contain messages that are wonderfully informative about our modern condition - they can tell you who to call if you have an evolutionary mandate to procreate or even notify you that someone else once peed in the same spot. White-footed sportive lemurs learn a lot about each other due to bathrooms also. Only instead of writing on the walls, they use scent-marks to communicate with their own kind. A study published online in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology by Iris […]
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4:23 PM | Network of BioThings Hackathon – Nov 7-9
The Network of BioThings is sponsoring a hackathon. NoB Hackathon poster Come one, come all. Mainly though, sign up because space is fairly limited.
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2:36 PM | Siblings Make Boys Prosocial
In modern culture, boys are often slighted; girls get billions devoted to their welfare while boys are the default excuse for whatever is wrong. Almost every television show that has a tough woman has her disclaiming, 'I grew up in a house full of boys', which is insulting to both girls and boys. And that public relations has worked. Boys in surveys increasingly feel like peer relationships are less valuable. But new surveys show that may be not so; while sisters claim to benefit from having […]
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2:26 PM | Should teenagers sleep in and start school later in the day?
Would teenagers do better in their exams if they could sleep in and start school later in the day? Can physical fitness improve academic achievement? Will teaching the same lesson multiple times over with breaks between sessions improve learning? Can computer games teach children to read? These questions above are part of a multi-million-pound research project, […] The post Should teenagers sleep in and start school later in the day? appeared first on Your Brain Health.
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1:30 PM | Why We Should Make Time For Remembering The Future
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1:00 PM | Would Immunity From Malpractice Reduce 'Defensive Medicine' Costs?
In America, the cost of health care is not high just because the medicine is the best in the world, it is also because of lawsuits. Due to judgments in court cases that have earned tens of millions of dollars for lawyers - one aggressive lawyer demonized hospitals for not doing enough caesarian-sections and earned enough money to become a Senator and then a Vice-Presidential contender in 2004 - hospitals and offices have instituted a 'defense medicine' policy; even if there is no […]
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1:00 PM | New Horizons Pluto Mission Gets Potential Kuiper Belt Targets
The Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered three Kuiper Belt objects that the New Horizons spacecraft could potentially visit after doing a fly-by of Pluto in July 2015.The Kuiper Belt is a vast rim of primordial debris encircling our solar system. KBOs belong to a unique class of solar system objects that has never been visited by spacecraft and which contain clues to the origin of our solar system.The Kuiper Belt objects are each about 10 times larger than typical comets, 1 to 2 percent of the […]
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12:30 PM | Insects Also Prize Good Leadership
Not every human can be a great leader but not everyone is made to follow either. This has been shown to apply to elsewhere in the animal kingdom as well: insect larvae follow a leader to forage for food, both leaders and followers benefit, growing much faster than if they are in a group of only leaders or only followers, according to a new study. The research looked at larvae of the iconic Australian steel-blue sawfly Perga affinis often known as 'spitfires'. Sawfly larvae can grow to 7 […]
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12:30 PM | Warm Oceans Had Less Oxygen, Show Microfossils
By pairing chemical analyses with micropaleontology, the study of tiny fossilized organisms, researchers believe they can decipher how global marine life was affected by a rapid warming event more than 55 million years ago.   The work revolves around the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a well-studied analogue for modern climate warming. Documenting the expansion of OMZs during the PETM is difficult because of the lack of a sensitive, widely applicable indicator of dissolved […]
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12:30 PM | Lockheed Martin’s Fusion Reactor
Since I recently covered the new claims being made for the E-cat cold fusion device (which, in my opinion, is almost certainly bogus), I found it interesting that Lockheed Martin recently produced details for their research into a hot fusion reactor. Their research team, called the Skunk Works, have been working on a new design [...]
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12:00 PM | Psoriasis And Hypertension Correlated
Patients with severe psoriasis are more likely to have uncontrolled hypertension, according to a cross-sectional study using information collected from a medical records database, which the authors say provides further evidence of a strong link between psoriasis and hypertension. read more
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10:56 AM | Virtual Reality Research — Some Early Problems with Data Reanalysis and Risks of Open Data
Originally posted on The Scholarly Kitchen:She Blinded Me with Science (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Last week, Stephen Colbert interviewed Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic. Ever the provocateur, Colbert immediately challenged Wieseltier to state his critique of modern culture…
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