Posts

April 11, 2015

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4:30 PM | In 1921, Baseball Considered Banning Radio Broadcasts
In December 2011, when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Texas Rangers signed away their local television rights for about $3 billion apiece, the sport media heralded a new record for local television rights fees. Accounting for roughly 43 percent of MLB’s $8 billion haul in 2014, media revenues have made the players rich and the owners even richer.Today, the idea that a team would ban its games from being broadcast is unthinkable, so ingrained are TV and radio contracts in the […]
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4:04 PM | Should Caffeine Be A Schedule 1 Drug?
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), certain drugs need to be regulated because they are bad. The “worst” drugs are put into the highest schedule. The funny thing about those drugs listed in the schedule 1 category is that preclinical assays of drug abuse have determined that they have relatively weak abuse liability or possibly none at all. From the DEA site, here are the criteria for schedule 1 and the list of example drugs:Schedule I Controlled Substancesread more
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3:46 PM | HD 189733b: Infernal Exoplanet With 500 MPH, 3000 Degree Winds
Not all exoplanets are going to be habitable, many will be just the opposite. Astronomers have measured the temperature of the atmosphere of an exoplanet with unequaled precision and determined we won't be vacationing there any time soon. By crossing two approaches, using the HARPS spectrometer and a new way of interpreting sodium lines, researchers have been able to conclude that exoplanet HD 189733b is showing infernal atmospheric conditions, with wind speeds of more than 1,000 kilometers per […]
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3:31 PM | Brain Sarcasm Centre "Totally Found"
A new study published in the journal Neurocase made headlines this week. Headlines like: "Sarcasm Center Found In Brain's White Matter". The paper reports that damage to a particular white matter pathway in the brain, the right sagittal stratum, is associated with difficulty in perceiving a sarcastic tone of voice. The authors,  studied 24 patients who had suffered white matter damage after a stroke. In some cases, the lesions included the sagittal stratum in the right hemisphere, and
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3:05 PM | The Famed Olive Trees Of Puglia Are Ravaged By Disease – Here's How Science Can Save Them
A common, humble field bug is spreading a disease that has already infected millions of olive trees in Italy.Olive and citrus fruit crops throughout the Mediterranean are threatened, yet there has been a collective failure to recognize the danger and take decisive action. read more
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2:30 PM | Mapping Mitochondria To Better Understand Neuronal Disorders Like Parkinson's Disease
Researchers have discovered how nerve cells adjust to low energy environments during the brain's growth process, which may one day help find treatments for nerve cell damage and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.Neurons in the brain have extraordinarily high energy demands due to complex dendrites that expand to high volume and surface areas. It is also known that neurons are the first to die from restriction of blood supply to tissues, causing a shortage […]
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1:00 PM | Human Norovirus Might Infect Dogs, Can They Infect Us Back?
Human norovirus can cause an immune response in dogs so it leads to obvious concern over whether or not dogs can transmit it to other people.Norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, is extremely contagious among humans. It infects 19-21 million Americans annually - more than six percent of the US population - according to the CDC. Those infections may result in as many as 71,000 hospitalizations, and 800 deaths.read more
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10:00 AM | She’s giving me hallucinations
Last year I did a talk in London on auditory hallucinations, The Beach Boys and the psychology and neuroscience of hallucinated voices, and I’ve just discovered the audio is available online. It was part of the Pint of Science festival where they got scientists to talk about their area of research in the pub, which […]
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9:41 AM | Spike activity 10-04-2015
Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: A new series of BBC Radio 4’s mind and brain magazine programme All in the Mind has just kicked off. The New York Times has an excellent piece on America’s mental illness fuelled, jail and treatment revolving door: For Mentally Ill Inmates, a Cycle […]
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4:03 AM | The Voice of the Heart – Reduced to $0.99; here is the first chapter for free. And, do not forget the giveaway!
Before the “main course”, please remember that there is still time to participate in the free giveaway of my Book The First Brain. For the instructions on how to participate, please go here. ~~~ The Voice of the Heart is my first try at science fiction, now reduced to 99 cents… The story is about …
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1:08 AM | #Brain article of interest: The world's first head transplant patient could experience a fate 'worse than death'
From Business InsiderRead the full article here-> http://ift.tt/1Ok1pcS
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12:06 AM | The universe is expanding, but how fast?
We are expanding, well more accurately the universe is expanding. However researchers have found certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought. The results have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. Most importantly, the findings hint at the possibility that […]

Milne, P., Foley, R., Brown, P. & Narayan, G. (2015). THE CHANGING FRACTIONS OF TYPE IA SUPERNOVA NUV–OPTICAL SUBCLASSES WITH REDSHIFT, The Astrophysical Journal, 803 (1) 20. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/803/1/20

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April 10, 2015

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11:45 PM | Glass Is Not Liquid But Metal Can Be Both
A very popular urban myth is that window glass is a liquid.  This apparently originated by the recognition that old European cathedrals had windows with the glass being thicker at the bottom than the top.  The actual cause of this is not attributable to gravity pulling the glass downward in a slump but rather the early window manufacturing techniques followed by a common practice of mounting window glass with the thicker side down.  read more
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11:25 PM | What If The Universe Isn't Accelerating The Way We Think?
How fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang is something of a puzzling question. It wasn't that long enough that we didn't know it was accelerating at all, and a new study finds the acceleration of the expansion of the universe might not be as fast as thought.The currently accepted view of the universe expanding at a faster and faster rate, pulled apart by an unknown force labeled under the umbrella term 'dark energy', is based on observations that resulted in the 2011 Nobel […]
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8:52 PM | Don’t Judge a Brain by its Size
According to Ronald Hoy, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University, jumping spiders are one of the smartest invertebrates, despite having a brain the size of a poppy-seed (less than a millimeter in diameter). Instead of making a sticky web to catch their prey, jumping spiders find their victims, stalk them and then […]
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8:40 PM | Natural Papain Enzyme In Cosmetics Can Act As Allergen
Papain, found naturally in papaya and ioften referred to as a “plant-based pepsin”, is an important industrial protein-degrading enzyme for the food and cosmetic industries. The cosmetic industry uses papain in exfoliating treatments to remove dead surface skin and there even are enzyme-based shampoos for house pets to clean the fur and make it easier to brush. But lots of natural things can trigger allergic reactions. read more
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8:34 PM | Enzyme in cosmetic products can cause allergy
Papain is found naturally in papaya and is often referred to as a “plant-based pepsin” in reference to the digestive enzyme pepsin that is present in the stomach. Researchers looked at the effect of papain directly on the skin of mice as well as on skin cells in the petri dish. Skin consists of several […]

Stremnitzer, C., Manzano-Szalai, K., Willensdorfer, A., Starkl, P., Pieper, M., König, P., Mildner, M., Tschachler, E., Reichart, U. & Jensen-Jarolim, E. & (2015). Papain Degrades Tight Junction Proteins of Human Keratinocytes In Vitro and Sensitizes C57BL/6 Mice via the Skin Independent of its Enzymatic Activity or TLR4 Activation, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, DOI: 10.1038/jid.2015.58

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7:51 PM | Brain surgery with a light touch
In epilepsy surgery, how much effect does ablation of the hippocampus and amygdala have on cognitive function -- if the surgeon avoids an open resection? The post Brain surgery with a light touch appeared first on Lab Land.
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7:32 PM | Not So Fast: Is There a Connection Between Religious Fasting and Eating Disorders?
I’ve always wondered about how being encouraged to fast for religious reasons might impact those who are vulnerable to eating disorders and those who already have eating disorders. I can’t imagine it would be easy to be around others who were fasting in the name of religion while struggling with an eating disorder. Equally, I can certainly see the dangers of participating in fasting for those who are predisposed to eating disorders. Despite not being religious myself, however, I […]
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6:08 PM | Why Does The Pinocchio Lizard Have A Long Nose?
For more than 50 years, people said that the "Pinocchio Lizard" (horned anole lizard), called such for its long, protruding nose, was extinct, but that was just a fib by nature.  In 2005, it was found living at the tops of tall trees in the cloud forests of Ecuador. Like many species that are considered rare or endangered, it is instead the case that there are not many of them and never have been, and they are limited to a small area. Why the nose? Only the males have long noses, and they […]
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5:59 PM | "It’s easy to spot a hallucination only when it’s bizarre. For all we know, we hallucinate all the..."
“It’s easy to spot a hallucination only when it’s bizarre. For all we know, we hallucinate all...
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4:35 PM | Biofuel Subsidy Pitfall: Carbon-Emitting Conversion Of Millions Of Acres Of Grassland
In 2005, environmentalists got what they and former Vice-President Al Gore had lobbied for since the late 1980s; federal subsidies to commercialize biofuels. Mr. Gore later admitted that he was just endorsing biofuels to get corn belt votes for his presidential run and few academic scientists had publicly disagreed because, well, they voted for him.The result of the last corporate subsidy effort: Corn and soy growers have been happy, to be sure, but poor people got rising food costs and […]
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3:54 PM | Feeling successful
This is sitting on my desk.The inside says:To celebrate the outstanding UTPA authors who have published scholarly works or been awarded major research grants in the past year.It’s next week. I’m not going. There are more interesting things I could do. Trivia night at the pub, the Face-Off finale, cheap movie night... But most importantly, I’m not going because it doesn’t make me feel good about what I achieved.I got thinking about what makes me feel successful after […]
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2:28 PM | Climate Change May Accelerate Carbon Loss From Soils
Soil is considered e a semi-permanent storehouse for ancient carbon but it may instead be releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere faster than thought, which means that the carbon bomb not happening in one study could be happening in this other one published in Nature Climate Change. In the paper, researchers showed that chemicals emitted by plant roots act on carbon that is bonded to minerals in the soil, breaking the bonds and exposing previously protected carbon to decomposition by […]
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2:23 PM | Pediatric Cholesterol Guidelines For Young Adults Would Mean 400,000 More Statin Users
Sometimes guidelines cause people to be on medication who otherwise would not need to be. We have seen this concern due to runaway claims about the nebulous "pre-diabetes" diagnoses being discussed, and in commercials on television for prescription products to prevent anaphylaxis even though 0.05% of kids is ever going to be at risk and they are exploiting the allergy fad culture to make money.read more
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2:10 PM | ADHD Clinical Trial Research: Reading Links
In the upcoming week I will be reviewing a few recent clinical trials in ADHD.Here are a few of the studies that caught my eye as recent and important research.Clicking on the title will take you to the research abstract and for some studies a link to the free full-text manuscript.Behavioral treatment for sleep problems in children with ADHDSleep problems are a common contributing factor to the clinical profile in ADHD. In this study, 244 children with ADHD received a standard behavioral […]
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1:30 PM | KRAS Gene Hijacks Pancreatic And Lung Cancer Defenses
A vital self-destruct switch in cells is hijacked - making some pancreatic and non small cell lung cancers more aggressive, according to new research which found that mutations in the KRAS gene interferes with protective self-destruct switches, known as TRAIL receptors, which usually help to kill potentially cancerous cells. The research, carried out in cancer cells and mice, shows that in cancers with faulty versions of the KRAS gene these TRAIL receptors actually help the cancer cells to […]
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1:00 PM | Is Science Better Than Journalism At Self-Correction?
Rolling Stone’s retraction of an incendiary article about an alleged gang rape on the campus of the University of Virginia certainly deserves a place in the pantheon of legendary journalism screw-ups. It is highly unusual – although not unprecedented – for a news organization to air its dirty laundry so publicly. read more
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1:00 PM | Rural Black Women Have Less Depression And Mood Disorders
African-American women who live in rural areas have lower rates of major depressive disorder (MDD) and mood disorder compared with their urban counterparts, while rural non-Hispanic European-American women have higher rates for both than their urban counterparts, according to a new study. Major depressive disorder is a debilitating mental illness and the prevalence of depression among both African- and Rural-Americans is understudied, according to background in the study. Addie Weaver, Ph.D., […]
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12:30 PM | Long Surgery Delays Common For Melanoma Patients On Medicare
Melanoma is the leading cause of skin cancer¬related deaths and surgical excision is the primary therapy for melanoma. It is recommended that melanomas should be excised within 4 to 6 weeks of the diagnostic biopsy because surgical delay may result in the potential for increased illness and death from other malignant neoplasms, along with anxiety and stress.  In a study that included more than 32,000 cases of melanoma among Medicare patients, approximately 20 percent experienced a […]
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