Posts

July 16, 2014

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8:06 AM | What does it feel like to be depressed?
We're used to reading about depression as a checklist of symptoms. These lists have their uses, but arguably they miss the human story of what depression truly feels like. Now the psychologists Jonathan Smith and John Rhodes have published their analysis of the first-hand accounts of seven therapy clients, (three women and four men) about what it's like to be depressed for the first time. The participants had an average age of 44, and all had been referred for therapy in London.The first theme […]
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5:30 AM | How To Accelerate Electrons The Van Allen Belt Way
What creates the two gigantic donuts of radiation surrounding Earth called the Van Allen radiation belts? The Van Allen Probes launched in 2012 want to find out. The inner Van Allen radiation belt is fairly stable, but the outer one changes shape, size and composition in ways that scientists don't yet perfectly understand. Some of the particles within this belt zoom along at close to light speed, but just what accelerates these particles up to such velocities? Recent data from the Van Allen […]
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5:00 AM | Comments for first half of July 2014
Anna Sharman asks why authors publish in small, paywalled journals, using my story as an example. I try to answer.Lenny Teytelman notes that retractions don’t seem to hurt journals very much. Brands can survive mistakes, which may be a good thing.
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4:00 AM | Rainwater Found Below Earth's Crust
Rainwater can penetrate below the Earth's fractured upper crust, according to a new study. It had been thought that surface water could not penetrate the ductile crust, where temperatures of more than 300°C and high pressures cause rocks to flex and flow rather than fracture, but researchers have now found fluids derived from rainwater at these levels.  Fluids in the Earth's crust can weaken rocks and may help to initiate earthquakes along locked fault lines. They also concentrate […]
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3:30 AM | Donate A Kidney, Save A Life, Get Denied Health Insurance
Donating a kidney is a selfless act and it is going to save a life. But even before the Affordable Care Act, it had pitfalls if you wanted to add or change health insurance. In the future, the only option could be state Medicare programs, which many doctors are refusing to accept now.   Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer refuse health insurance to live kidney donors or charge them a higher insurance rate. But, as with 'If you like […]
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1:32 AM | If Scientists Were Wall Street Executives, Fraudsters Would Be In Jail
Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Robert Harding Chair in global child health and policy and Co-Director of the Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto says in BMJ that criminal sanctions are necessary to deter growing research misconduct.read more
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12:08 AM | After Unconventional Launch, ESA Spaceplane Gets Ready For Reentry
ESA’s spaceplane is getting ready to showcase reentry technologies. Instead of heading north into a polar orbit, as on previous flights, Vega will head eastwards to release the spaceplane into a suborbital path reaching all the way to the Pacific Ocean.Final tests are being done on ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, IXV, launched in early November, to make sure that it can withstand the demanding conditions from liftoff to separation from Vega. IXV will flight test the […]

July 15, 2014

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11:00 PM | Why Worms Don't Get Drunk
Neuroscientists have created mutant worms that don't get intoxicated by alcohol, by inserting a modified human alcohol target into the worms. An alcohol target is any neuronal molecule that binds alcohol, of which there are many. One important aspect of this modified alcohol target, a neuronal channel called the BK channel, is that the mutation only affects its response to alcohol. The BK channel typically regulates many important functions including activity of neurons, blood vessels, the […]
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9:32 PM | Raising State Math, Science Graduation Requirements Will Mean More Dropouts
Education is in something a Catch-22. If they have standards, there will be dropouts among people who don't want to do the work to reach the minimum levels. If they don't have standards, they are just an assembly line and that is bad for teacher morale. Because who is going to get blamed if students don't succeed? Teachers.read more
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9:32 PM | New Assay Spots Fake Malaria Drugs
A new assay is inexpensive, simple, and can tell whether or not one of the primary drugs being used to treat malaria is genuine – an enormous and deadly problem in the developing world. The World Health Organization has estimated that up to 200,000 lives a year may be lost due to the use of counterfeit anti-malarial drugs. When commercialized, the new technology may be able to help address that problem by testing drugs for efficacy at a cost of a few cents.read more
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9:02 PM | Teenage Boys: Hey, We Like To Cuddle Too - Except With Teenage Girls
Teenage boys are often considered aloof and distant by parents and driven by desire by teenage girls, but they are not so simple, say scholars at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.  Teenage boys desire intimacy and sex in the context of a meaningful relationship and value trust in their partnerships, providing a contradictory snapshot of masculine values in adolescence.read more
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8:44 PM | Do Actions Speak Louder than Feelings? [Video]
    // Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of the tenth video in... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:45 PM | Man-Made Chemicals Not A Factor In Hawaiian Turtle Tumors
For nearly four decades, some have suspected that persistent organic pollutants -  a large group of man-made chemicals that, as their name indicates, persist in the environment - contributed to a green turtle's susceptibility to the virus that causes fibropapilomatosis, a disease that forms large benign tumors that can inhibit the animal's sight, mobility and feeding ability.  A new paper by researchers from the Hollings Marine Laboratory (HML) and university and federal collaborators […]
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6:28 PM | Fish Oil Supplements Reduce Cognitive Decline, Improve Memory - Retrospective Study
Over 5 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer's disease. It is the most common form of dementia and is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Desperate families latch onto just about any possible treatment, including supplements. Do they work? Not so far. But in a retrospective study, older adults involved in the  Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study were assessed with neuropsychological tests and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) every six months. […]
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6:18 PM | Arsenic: Kids Shouldn't Have Rice Drinks At All, Say Gastroenterologists
If your baby is allergic to milk, your choices might get a little more narrow, if the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition have their way. In a commentary in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, they say that the inorganic arsenic levels of dietary products used by children should be regulated, and make the recommendation that […]
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5:52 PM | PSA: Proper Grammar
Here’s a plea for using proper grammar! Thanks Weird Al!
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5:39 PM | Have you ever wondered what is the longest gestation period for a bird, or what is the maximum age for a squirrel?
Well wonder no more! NIF is here to help answer these burning questions. This week we have a couple of new sources from the aging community: AnAge and the Lifespan Observations Database. The AnAge data set contains data based on the phylogenetic tree and users can select or search for individual species or groups of […]
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5:30 PM | Schizophrenia and Autism: A New Connection
Autism and Schizophrenia, at first glance there probably isn’t a whole lot in common other than they are disorders that fall in that lovely book the DCM-5. The brain is […]

Chie Shimamoto1,, Tetsuo Ohnishi, Motoko Maekawa, Akiko Watanabe, Hisako Ohba, Ryoichi Arai, Yoshimi Iwayama, Yasuko Hisano, Tomoko Toyota, Manabu Toyoshima & Katsuaki Suzuki (2014). Functional characterization of FABP3, 5 and 7 gene variants identified in schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder and mouse behavioral studies, Human Molecular Genetics, Other:

Citation
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4:30 PM | The Big Data Problem Will Also Be A Problem For Science 2.0
George Dyson. Credit: edge.orgIf you read about Big Data for very long, a quote from science historian George Dyson is sure to come up: "Big data is what happened when the cost of keeping information became less than the cost of throwing it away." That will be a platform to talk about the challenges, etc.But there is a bigger problem that shows the challenges of Big Data - that isn't what Dyson said. But like with Einstein quotes about bees, in a Google world, where accuracy is measured by […]
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4:09 PM | Does psychological consequences have pulmonary embolism?
When there is any chronic physical illness brings consequences in everyday life which must be adapted to cope with it as best as possible.
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4:06 PM | Birdsnap App Can Help You Identify Birds
Birdsnap is an app that can be used on the web or on your iPhone. It uses many of the techniques of facial recognition software to identify birds. The web based version of Birdsnap is actually very easy to use: upload your picture, click on the bird’s eye, click on the bird’s tail, enter your location along with the date the picture was taken, and click submit. I’ll demonstrate how to use Birdsnap even though it was unable to identify the bird I submitted. Last Wednesday I […]
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3:55 PM | Oetzi The Tyrolean Iceman's 'Non-Human' DNA
Much of what we know about Öetzi - the 'Tyrolean Iceman’ – such as what he looked like and that he suffered from lactose intolerance, stems from a tiny bone sample which allowed the decoding of his genetic make-up. A team of scientists have examined the part of the sample consisting of non-human DNA. In the DNA mixture, they detected a sizeable presence of a particular bacterium: Treponema denticola, an opportunistic pathogen involved in the development of periodontitis. The […]
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3:33 PM | Tuesday Crustie: iSopod, the original iPod?
But wait! You can do this! From here. Hat tip to Jarrett Byrnes.
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3:31 PM | Water Doesn't Always Wet Water - No, Really
Liquid water is essential for almost every biological process so understanding liquid water is crucial for understanding biology - including some of its exceptional behavior.   According to classical understanding, when water contacts other water, it will spread out and finally both mix together, i.e., water always completely wets water due to the hydrogen bonds formed among water molecules.read more
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3:31 PM | B Vitamins Don't Prevent Alzheimer's Disease
Taking B vitamins doesn't slow mental decline nor will it prevent Alzheimer's disease, according to clinical trial data involving 22,000 people. High levels in the blood of a compound called homocysteine have been found in people with Alzheimer's disease, and people with higher levels of homocysteine have been shown to be at increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Taking folic acid and vitamin B-12 are known to lower levels of homocysteine in the body, so this gave rise to the 'homocysteine […]
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2:43 PM | Labs Characterize Carbon For Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries could benefit from a theoretical model created at Rice University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that predicts how carbon components will perform. The model is based on intrinsic characteristics of materials used as battery electrodes. These include limitations on quantum capacitance (the ability of the material to absorb charge) and the material's absolute Fermi level, which determines how many lithium ions may bond to the electrodes.read more
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2:43 PM | Welcome Back, LeBron: Why Catching Boomerang Employees Is Smart
Until a week before basketball player LeBron James returned to the NBA team that drafted him as a rookie, the Cleveland Cavaliers, owner Dan Gilbert had a scathing letter on his website criticizing James. Many fans had thrown out his jerseys. Suddenly, after so much acrimony, James returned him, two championships and four playoff runs to his credit. What happened? Gilbert caught the boomerang. Maybe you should also. According to two papers dealing with organizational behavior and human […]
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1:00 PM | In female flies, sex is more complex than yes or no
A female fruit fly’s role in mating has appeared to be a simple yes or no. But now three new papers show the behavior is far more subtle, and intricate, than first thought.
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12:26 PM | BBC Fail on Acupuncture Documentary
Alternative Medicine’s best friend, and in my opinion largely responsible for what popularity it has, is a gullible media. I had thought we were turning a corner, and the press were over the gushing maximally clueless approach to CAM, and were starting to at least ask some probing questions (like, you know, does it actually [...]
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8:30 AM | What Disease Killed This 700-year-old Skeleton?
Using shotgun metagenomics to sequence DNA from a calcified nodule in the pelvic region of a 700-year-old middle-aged male skeleton excavated from the settlement of Geridu in Sardinia, European researchers have recovered a genome of the bacterium Brucella melitensis.read more
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