Posts

August 22, 2014

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1:41 AM | PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)
Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): A better understanding of mental illness hasn’t reduced the stigma around it, Washington Post In The Popular Press: The Machine that Tried to Scan the Brain -- In 1862, NPR Brains of Autistic Children Have...
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1:30 AM | Don't Dismiss A 2014 'Super' El Niño Just Yet
By Agus Santoso, Senior Research Associate at UNSW Australia.It looks like it’s all over bar the shouting for the chance of this year bringing on a “super” El Niño. Or is it? read more
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1:24 AM | When There Is A Penis Mystery, Just Blame Endocrine Disruptors
Endocrine disruptor.No one knows why Hypospadias, a birth defect where the urethral opening is abnormally placed, became more common among Swedish boys in recent decades. Before 1990, it happened in 4.5 per 1,000 boys, and after that increased to 8 per 1,000 boys.Researchers looked at past attributed causes (in epidemiology, they find two curves that go the same direction and attribute causation), such as low-birth weight, being born a twin, or being born from in vitro fertilization (IVF) to […]
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1:09 AM | How to speak the language of thought
We are now beginning to crack the brain’s code, which allows us to answer such bizarre questions as “what is the speed of thought?” When he was asked, as a joke, to explain how the mind works in five words, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker didn’t hesitate. “Brain cells fire in patterns”, he replied. It’s a […]
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12:50 AM | Global Warming Hiatus Part Of A Natural Cycle
Though the end of the 20th century looked like we were going to see runaway temperatures around the globe, that hasn't really happened despite countries like China and Russia and Mexico and India continuing to belch CO2 into the atmosphere.More than a dozen hypotheses have been proposed for the so-called global warming hiatus, ranging from air pollution to volcanoes to sunspots and now the University of Washington has entered the fray, saying that the heat absent from the surface is plunging […]
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12:30 AM | Vitamin D Plus Interleukin-32 Protein Helps Kill Active TB
A study has identified a protein that appears to play a key role in protecting people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis — the bacterium that causes tuberculosis — from developing the active form of the disease. The protein, interleukin-32, was discovered to be one biomarker of adequate host defense against TB.read more
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12:30 AM | Treatment Against Lethal Marburg Virus Developed
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and collaborators at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, have protected nonhuman primates against Marburg virus, also known as Angola hemorrhagic fever. There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved for human use and no post-exposure treatment that has completely protected nonhuman primates against MARV-Angola, the most deadly Marburg viral strain, with a mortality rate of up to 90 percent. This virus, which is in the same family as Ebola, has a […]

August 21, 2014

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11:52 PM | Paid Editors On Wikipedia – Should You Be Worried?
Paid editors on Wikipedia – should you be worried?By Kim Osman, PhD Candidate at Queensland University of TechnologyWhether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people were being paid to contribute content to the encyclopedia? read more
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11:35 PM | Measuring Calcium Buildup To Predict Heart Disease In Those With Chronic Kidney Disease
Calcium buildup in the coronary arteries of chronic kidney disease patients may be a strong indicator of heart disease risk, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health assert that coronary calcium outperforms two other commonly used measures of subclinical atherosclerosis in predicting the risk of heart disease among individuals with kidney disease. Approximately 50 percent of all […]
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11:30 PM | Muslims Are Not Too Culturally Immature For Democracy
When America invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan, critics of President George Bush insisted that Muslim countries were not ready for democracy and he would fail.  Were they right? Does Islam only lend itself to dictatorships? The record in the past hundred years is not good. What was once a cradle of scientific thought hasn't produced anything meaningful since the new fundamentalism took hold. But sociologists say Muslims may be ready than western liberals think.   read more
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11:00 PM | Life Boils Down To Five 'Rules' ... Or So Says The Madingley Model
By James Smith, Research Fellow in Fisheries at UNSW AustraliaIt may sound overly simple, but just five processes can define us as animals: eating, metabolism, reproduction, dispersal and death.They might not seem like much, but, thanks to a mathematical model from scientists at Microsoft Research, we know that these five processes are the key to all ecosystems. read more
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10:30 PM | Electric Sparking May Have Altered Properties Of Lunar Dust
The moon is a tranquil place but an article in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets suggests that periodic storms of solar energetic particles may have significantly altered the properties of the soil in the moon's coldest craters through the process of sparking - it just took eons. The article proposes that high-energy particles from uncommon, large solar storms penetrate the moon's frigid, polar regions and electrically charge the soil. The charging may create sparking, or […]
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9:54 PM | The Genomic Love Triangle Of Canola
The recently published genome of Brassica napus — commonly known as canola — paves the way for improved versions of the plant, which is used widely in farming and industry. read more
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7:58 PM | From blog to journal
I recently wrote a slightly whinging blog post about the time I spent updating all my online profiles after I had my most recent paper published. To my surprise, that experience got mentioned in a recent news article in Nature. It’s a sidebar that only appears in the online version of the story, not the print version, alas.It’s a good reminder that when you write in public, you never know where your influence stops.Related postsUpdating, updating, and updating some moreExternal […]
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7:02 PM | Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infections In Young Girls
Young girls with an intense, red, itchy rash on their outer genital organs - vulvitis - may be at increased risk of developing urinary tract infections, according to new research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Vulvitis is not a disease, but rather inflammation of the the vulva. It is the most common gynecological condition in pre-menstrual girls and is the greatest reason for referral to a pediatric gynecological specialist.  The treatment may be as simple as better hygiene […]
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7:02 PM | Sympatric Speciation: Ant Evidence For Alternate Mechanism Of Species Formation
read more
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7:02 PM | Mars, Saturn And The Claws Of Scorpius
Across Australia, catch Mars and Saturn around 8 pm local time.Source: Museum Victoria/Stellarium By Tanya Hill, Museum Victoria read more
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6:35 PM | The first scientist…or natural philosopher
Nature has a review of a book on Aristotle: Aristotle is considered by many to be the first scientist, although the term postdates him by more than two millennia. In Greece in the fourth century BC, he pioneered the techniques … Continue reading →
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5:02 PM | Jonas Salk and the Polio Comeback
Jonas Salk, you should know this name, but chances are you don’t. He was the inventor of the polio vaccine, a disease that was feared more than the atomic bomb. […]

Drexler JF, Grard G, Lukashev AN, Kozlovskaya LI, Böttcher S, Uslu G, Reimerink J, Gmyl AP, Taty-Taty R, Lekana-Douki SE & Nkoghe D (2014). Robustness against serum neutralization of a poliovirus type 1 from a lethal epidemic of poliomyelitis in the Republic of Congo in 2010., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25136105

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4:53 PM | From the vault: I•Con 2 logo
I•Con was a fan run science fiction convention in Victoria, British Columbia. There are several SF conventions with that name, but in this case, “I” was supposed to stand for “Island”, as in Vancouver Island.There were two iterations of I•Con, and I was involved in organizing the second one, in October 1991. I was the art show director, helped get Barry Beyerstein invited as a science guest, and did miscellaneous other things, including designing the logo you […]
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4:30 PM | How Science Is Using The Genetics Of Disease To Make Drugs Better
By Mark Lawler, Queen's University BelfastPersonalized medicine is the ability to tailor therapy to an individual patient so that, as it’s often put, the right treatment is given to the right patient at the right time. But just how personal is it?While the phrase might conjure up images of each patient getting their own individual therapeutic cocktail – this isn’t actually the case. Designing an individually tailored package would be too labour intensive and (at least […]
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4:30 PM | Following Your Diet? A Blood Sample Can Tell
It’s possible to assess dietary compliance from a blood sample - that is useful in controlled dietary intervention studies investigating the health benefits of specific diets, since such studies have mainly relied on the participants’ self-reported dietary intake, which is often biased, making it more difficult to assess the real health benefits.read more
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4:00 PM | Would Open Science Solve Bottlenecks In Developing Biopharmaceutical Products?
Due to increased regulations, a culture war against pharmaceutical corporations, and the high costs of trials, companies have increasingly allowed early taxpayer-funded biomedical research to spread the risk among hundreds of millions of people. The pace of invention has slowed considerably and it may be because of academic culture, according to a new study. An analysis of patented university inventions has revealed early bottlenecks on the path to commercialization and the authors suggest that […]
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3:57 PM | psydoctor8: Answer these 3 questions, and help settle a debate...
psydoctor8: Answer these 3 questions, and help settle a debate in my lab!
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3:56 PM | Though It's The 11th Cyclone This Season, Karina Is A Giant 9 From Space
Tropical Storm Karina was weakening on August 20 when NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Terra snapped a visible image of Tropical Storm Karina on August 20 at 19:40 UTC (3:40 p.m. EDT). The MODIS image showed that a thick band of strong thunderstorms spiraled into Karina's center from the southeast. The band of thunderstorms wrapped around Karina's eastern and northern quadrants, spiraling into the center from […]
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3:31 PM | A Genetic Recipe For Limb Regeneration
A team of researchers  is a step closer to solving the mystery of how lizards regenerate their tails. They have found the genetic "recipe", which involves genetic ingredients in just the right mixture and amounts. The scientists used molecular and computer analysis tools to examine the genes turned on in tail regeneration. The team studied the regenerating tail of the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis), which when caught by a predator, can lose its tail and then grow it […]
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2:57 PM | Never underestimate the power of a thorough literature review
As someone who is currently writing their thesis, I have a major piece of advice for PhD students embarking on their studies… Never underestimate the power of a thorough literature review! Always, always, always read as much as you can about the field of research you are working in. Especially if there are numerous inconsistencies […]
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2:09 PM | Assistant Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, R.I. 02912
The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) invites applications for atenure-track Assistant Professor position in cognitive neuroscience beginning July 1, 2015. Allcandidates utilizing methodological approaches such as neuroimaging to address basic questions in anyarea of cognitive neuroscience will be considered. Exceptional candidates whose research addressestopics relevant to psychiatric disorders are particularly encouraged to apply. This appointment will […]
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1:45 PM | Monthly Transfusions Reduce Silent Strokes In Kids With Sickle Cell Anemia
Silent strokes are a loss of blood flow to parts of the brain. Such strokes do not cause immediate symptoms and typically go undiagnosed, but they cause damage. In kids, they can even lower IQ. read more
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12:30 PM | Researching Magic
David Gorski and I have just published a paper in Trends in Molecular Medicine titled: Clinical trials of integrative medicine: testing whether magic works? While we have published literally thousands of online articles discussing these issues here, at Science-Based Medicine, and other venues, it’s great to get an article in the peer-reviewed literature, which hopefully [...]
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