Posts

March 27, 2015

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7:09 PM | Damselfly War Games - Aerial Sparring And Wing Coloration
Before a male damselfly hot-headedly enters into a duel of aerial sparring, it first works out its strategy. It gives its opponent's wings a once-over to assess its strength, knowing that more transparent wings and larger red spots generally show a stronger rival. Those who then decide to engage in long fights either try to wear their opponent down, or dazzle them with brilliant aerial moves that are too hard to follow. These damselfly war game strategies are set out in a study published in […]
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7:09 PM | Costly Up Front, But High Value Care For Incidental CT Findings Worth It
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has released new guidelines on the management of asymptomatic neoplastic pancreatic cysts found incidentally during computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The author of a commentary being published in Annals of Internal Medicine explains how the AGA's bold new recommendations will affect the way physicians consider diagnostic testing. The new guidelines back away from previous recommendations that were more aggressive. […]
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4:42 PM | Researchers find how body’s good fat talks to the brain
There are two types of fat we humans have — white and brown — unfortunately only one of them is “good fat” and it is unfortunately not the one we tend to produce. Well new research shows that brown fat tissue, the body’s “good fat,” communicates with the brain through sensory nerves, possibly sharing information that […]

Garretson JT, Teubner BJ, Grove KL, Vazdarjanova A, Ryu V & Bartness TJ (2015). Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ Controls Ingestive Behavior, Agouti-Related Protein, and Neuropeptide Y mRNA in the Arcuate Hypothalamus., The Journal of neuroscience, 35 (11) 4571-81. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25788674

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4:21 PM | Drinking Raw Milk Dramatically Increases Risk For Foodborne Illness, Analysis Finds
An analysis conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) found that the risks of drinking raw (unpasteurized) cow's milk are significant. Consumers are nearly 100 times more likely to get foodborne illness from drinking raw milk than they are from drinking pasteurized milk. In fact, the researchers determined that raw milk was associated with over half of all milk-related foodborne illness, even though only an estimated 3.5% of the U.S. population consumes raw […]
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4:17 PM | Research on medical abortion/miscarriage may change international routines
Two scientific studies are expected to form the basis of new international recommendations for the treatment of medical abortions and miscarriages. One of the studies shows that it is possible to replace the clinical follow-up examinations recommended today with medical abortions that include a home pregnancy test. The other study shows that midwives can safely and […]

Oppegaard, K., Qvigstad, E., Fiala, C., Heikinheimo, O., Benson, L. & Gemzell-Danielsson, K. (2015). Clinical follow-up compared with self-assessment of outcome after medical abortion: a multicentre, non-inferiority, randomised, controlled trial, The Lancet, 385 (9969) 698-704. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61054-0

Dr Marie Klingberg-Allvin, PhD, Amanda Cleeve, MSc, Susan Atuhairwe, MSc, Nazarius Mbona Tumwesigye, PhD, Prof Elisabeth Faxelid, PhD, Josaphat Byamugisha, PhD & Prof Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson, PhD (2015). Comparison of treatment of incomplete abortion with misoprostol by physicians and midwives at district level in Uganda: a randomised controlled equivalence trial, The Lancet, DOI: http://dx..org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61935-8

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4:00 PM | Ontario Agriculture Minister Can't Even Pronounce Varroa Mites
I wouldn't have thought a reason to ban the type of pesticides called neonicotinoids ("neonics"), which replaced broad spectrum organophosphate pesticides with a product similar to nicotine that naturally acts on specific receptors in the nerve synapses of some insects but is harmless to anything else, would be because politicians can't pronounce "varroa mites", yet environmentalists living in the modern Food Babe-ish 'if you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't eat it' world have made that more […]
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3:44 PM | Our taste in music may age out of harmony
Age-related hearing loss may be more than just the highest notes. The brain may also lose the ability to tell consonance from dissonance, a new study shows.
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3:39 PM | Music played by professionals activates genes for learning and memory
Music performance is known to induce structural and functional changes to the human brain and enhance cognition. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying music performance have been so far unexplored. A Finnish research group has now investigated the effect of music performance (in a 2 hr concert) on the gene expression profiles of professional musicians from […]

Kanduri, C., Kuusi, T., Ahvenainen, M., Philips, A., Lähdesmäki, H. & Järvelä, I. (2015). The effect of music performance on the transcriptome of professional musicians, Scientific Reports, 5 9506. DOI: 10.1038/srep09506

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3:27 PM | ¿A quién afectan más los trastornos del estado de ánimo?
Una de las labores del profesional de la salud mental es entender el perfil de pacientes, en este caso que sufren trastornos del estado de ánimo y ansiedad. El artículo original está en ¿A quién afectan más los trastornos del estado de ánimo?
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3:27 PM | Who is affected more by mood disorders?
One of the tasks of the mental health professional is to understand the profile of patients here who suffer from mood disorders and anxiety. The original article is in Who is affected more by mood disorders?
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2:30 PM | Implantable Micropacemaker Designed For Unborn Baby Hearts
With each beat of a healthy heart, an electrical signal moves from the upper to the lower chambers of the heart. As this signal moves, it results in the heart contracting and pumping blood. Congenital heart block is a defect of the heart's electrical system that originates in the developing fetus, greatly slowing the rate of the heart and impacting its ability to pump blood.Although the condition can be diagnosed in utero, all attempts to treat the condition with a standard pacemaker have […]
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2:19 PM | Brain Evolution And Music: Playing Activates Genes In Humans And Songbirds
Music perception is well preserved in human evolution but the specific biological determinants of music practice are largely unknown. A study of professional musicians found enhanced activity of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor behavior, learning and memory when they practiced.  Several of those up-regulated genes are also known to be responsible for song production in songbirds and that suggests a potential evolutionary conservation in sound perception and […]
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1:40 PM | So Much For Branding: 1 Percent Of You Can Draw The Apple Logo
If you see a chicken, you know that's a chicken. If you see a cartoon of a chicken, you know that's a chicken.But can you draw a chicken from memory?Most people cannot draw anything that looks anything like a chicken, but is it because branding is not quality, our memories are poor, or we lose something between brains and fingers? What about something simpler and in the daily lives of Apple users more than chickens like the Apple logo? Can they draw it from memory? Probably not, as it […]
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1:32 PM | Why It Took Big Humans To Populate Europe
One of the dominant hypotheses of evolution is that our genus, Homo, evolved from small-bodied early humans to become the taller, heavier and longer legged Homo erectus that was able to migrate beyond Africa and colonize Eurasia. Not so, according to a new anthropology paper. read more
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1:19 PM | My Last Zoologic Post
Thank you, and goodbye for now, from Zoologic. See the post here .
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1:00 PM | Reduce College Tuition By Separating Funding For Research And Education
The Australian federal government again failed in its attempt to allow universities to set their own prices for student fees. The key concern with the package was that student fees would rise sharply. However, this is not a necessary outcome of a deregulated university system.Prices could be pressured to stay low if there were more competition. read more
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1:00 PM | Your Brain In The Supermarket
You're out shopping for basic goods you have bought many times. Is  choosing these products a complicated decision or a simple one?  It could be complex: Factors like price, quality, and brand loyalty may run through your mind. Indeed, some scholars have developed complicated models of consumer decision-making, in which people accumulate substantial product knowledge, then weigh that knowledge against the opportunity to explore less-known products. read more
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12:30 PM | The Stars May Be Singing
The study of fluids in motion – now known as hydrodynamics – goes back to the Egyptians so it has been involved in a lot of experiments but now it has provided something new; experimental evidence that stars may generate...sound.read more
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12:05 PM | Dark Matter Collisions
The existence of dark matter is one of the coolest science stories of my lifetime. When I was growing up I was in love with pretty much every field of science, but particularly with astronomy, and at that time we had no idea that 85% of the matter in the universe even existed. We now [...]
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10:10 AM | Why it's important that employers let staff personalise their workspaces
The sparring mitt, yellow stitches spelling "SLUGGER" casually lying on the desk. The Mathlete trophy on a high shelf. A Ganesha statue, slightly chipped. Why do people bring these kinds of personal objects into the workplace?Researchers Kris Byron and Gregory Laurence found answers by consulting 28 people in a range of jobs and workplaces. They used the "grounded theory" approach, starting with a clutch of more open-ended interviews and then pursuing the lines of inquiry that emerged, in every […]
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8:59 AM | Inside the mind of the pilot who flies to crash by Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen
Inside the mind of the pilot who flies to crash   Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   BBC News is reporting French investigators concluded that the co-pilot of the Germanwings flight, Andreas Lubitz, appeared to want to “destroy the plane”, intentionally initiating a descent while the pilot was locked out, leading to the crash in […]
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5:24 AM | Soda Bans, Bike Lanes: Which 'natural Experiments' Really Reduce Obesity?
Banning sodas from school vending machines, building walking paths and playgrounds, adding supermarkets to food deserts and requiring nutritional labels on restaurant menus: Such changes to the environments where people live and work are among the growing number of solutions that have been proposed and attempted in efforts to stem the rising obesity epidemic with viable, population-based solutions. But which of these changes actually make an impact?read more
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5:24 AM | Shrinking Habitats Have Adverse Effects On World Ecosystems
An extensive study of global habitat fragmentation - the division of habitats into smaller and more isolated patches - points to major trouble for a number of the world's ecosystems and the plants and animals living in them. The study shows that 70 percent of existing forest lands are within a half-mile of the forest edge, where encroaching urban, suburban or agricultural influences can cause any number of harmful effects - like the losses of plants and animals. The study also tracks seven […]
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5:24 AM | 10 Tips For Choosing An Academic Dean
Clear and realistic expectations are key to successfully hiring heads of departments, say Professor Pierre-Alain Clavien, University of Zurich, and Joseph Deiss, former President of the Swiss Confederation, in a commentary in Nature magazine. Selecting a chair for a position in clinical academic medicine is often problematic, with the diverse demands placed on the position proving a constant source of debate. Today's heads of departments are not only expected to be outstanding physicians, […]
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5:24 AM | Levee Detonations Reduced 2011 Flood Risk On Mississippi River
A controversial decision in 2011 to blow up Mississippi River levees reduced the risk of flooding in a city upstream, lowering the height of the rain-swollen river just before it reached its peak, according to a newly published computer modeling analysis led by UC Irvine scientists. The work focused on a Missouri agricultural area called the New Madrid Floodway that was inundated when the levees were detonated. The researchers found that the region would have flooded anyway if the river had […]
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5:24 AM | Quantum Games And An Atlas Of Human Thoughts
Are humans born with the ability to solve problems or is it something we learn along the way? A research group at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, is working to find answers to this question. The research group has developed a computer game called Quantum Moves, which has been played 400,000 times by ordinary people. This has provided unique and deep insight into the human brain's ability to solve problems. The game involves moving atoms around on the screen and […]
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5:24 AM | Kidney Cancer Detected Early With Urine Test
If kidney cancer is diagnosed early -- before it spreads -- 80 percent of patients survive. However, finding it early has been among the disease's greatest challenges. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a noninvasive method to screen for kidney cancer that involves measuring the presence of proteins in the urine. The findings are reported March 19 in the journal JAMA Oncology. The researchers found that the protein biomarkers were more than […]
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5:24 AM | Opossum-based Antidote To Poisonous Snake Bites
Scientists have turned to the opossum to develop a promising new and inexpensive antidote for poisonous snake bites. They predict it could save thousands of lives worldwide without the side effects of current treatments. Worldwide, an estimated 421,000 cases of poisonous snake bites and 20,000 deaths from these bites occur yearly, according to the International Society on Toxicology. read more
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5:24 AM | Religion And Belief Systems Have A Place In Schools
The place of religions and belief systems, especially Christianity, in the school curriculum is a sensitive issue provoking much discussion and debate in Australia. The issue came to head in Britain last year with what has been titled the “Trojan Horse affair”. A small number of Islamic schools were investigated about the types of values being taught. The investigations led to Prime Minister David Cameron arguing that all schools must teach what it means to be British.read more
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5:24 AM | 'Mini-lungs' Aid The Study Of Cystic Fibrosis
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have successfully created 'mini-lungs' using stem cells derived from skin cells of patients with cystic fibrosis, and have shown that these can be used to test potential new drugs for this debilitating lung disease. The research is one of a number of studies that have used stem cells - the body's master cells - to grow 'organoids', 3D clusters of cells that mimic the behaviour and function of specific organs within the body. Other recent examples have […]
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