Posts

January 27, 2015

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12:57 PM | In dreams…an illness that never sleeps!
It is often said that we have an illness of addiction that never rests, when you are in a meeting it is outside doing press ups, when you awake it is at the foot of the bed waiting, “hey ready to go!” In the early weeks and months (years) of recovery I often had “drinking” […]
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12:16 PM | Entrevista a D. Ignacio Abaitua sobre Enfermedades Raras
Entrevista realizada a D. Ignacio Abaitua Borda, Jefe de Área, Instituto de Investigación de Enfermedades Raras, quien nos habla sobre su labor. El artículo original está en Entrevista a D. Ignacio Abaitua sobre Enfermedades Raras
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9:38 AM | No one noticed when this man's speech was fed to him by a 12-year-old. Welcome to the Cyranoid Illusion
Imagine if the words that came out of your mouth were spoken by another person. Would anyone notice? This idea was explored by social psychologist Stanley Milgram, famous for his studies into obedience, but he never published his results.Milgram called the hybrid of one person's body and another person's mind, a Cyranoid, after the play Cyrano de Bergerac, in which the handsome Christian woos a woman using the graceful words provided by plain-looking Cyrano. Now the concept has been resurrected […]
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7:21 AM | 2004 BL86 - 'Near Miss' Asteroid Even Has Its Own Moon
The first radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86, which made its closest approach today at 8:19 a.m. PST - a distance of only 745,000 miles (3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon) - reveal that it even has its own small moon.The closeness did not take anyone by surprise. Asteroid 2004 BL86 was discovered on Jan. 30, 2004, by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey in White Sands, New Mexico and its trajectory is well understood. Monday's flyby was the closest approach the […]
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6:34 AM | Internal consistency is overrated, or How I learned to stop worrying and love shorter measures, Part I
[This is the first of a two-part series motivating and introducing precis, a Python package for automated abbreviation of psychometric measures. In part I, I motivate the search for shorter measures by arguing that internal consistency is highly overrated. In part II, I describe some software that makes it relatively easy to act on this […]
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4:18 AM | Quantum entanglement, mass, and biomass
Joseph Kover seems closer than most other physicists to linking light-induced amino acid substitutions to cell type differentiation and biomass via the biophysically constrained chemistry of protein folding.  Today he posted notice of the following publication with the comment: “…...Read more
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3:45 AM | Wiggles: Inconsistencies Undermine Model Reliability For Projecting Decade-To-Decade Warming
A new study finds that most climate models may have wiggles that undermine accuracy - but they are likely underestimating the degree of decade-to-decade variability occurring in mean surface temperatures as Earth's atmosphere warms. The models also provide inconsistent explanations of why this variability occurs in the first place and such discrepancies undermine the models' reliability for projecting the short-term pace as well as the extent of future warming, the study's authors warn. As […]
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1:32 AM | Toxoplasma gondii parasite controls the mind by changing how key brain DNA is read
Toxoplasma gondii is a mind-commandeering brain parasite that is known to possess the uncanny ability to change a human being’s personality, making individuals more neurotic post-infection. More disturbingly, single-celled Toxoplasma has been linked to an increased risk of suicide in women and a higher chance of having children that will later go on to develop schizophrenia. […]
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12:50 AM | If Abortion Is A Choice Then Sex Selection Abortion Should Remain Legal
Opposing this law change is not anti-feminist. shutterstockBy Pam Lowe, Aston UniversityA campaign is underway in the United Kingdom to make it illegal to abort a child based on its gender. Proponents say they are worried about women being coerced into terminating female fetuses and that action needs to be taken to stop discrimination against baby girls. read more
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12:30 AM | What Parts Of Education Should Be Done By Teachers Instead Of Parents?
read more
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12:01 AM | Genetics Underpinning Antimalarial Drug Resistance Revealed
The largest genome-wide association study to date of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum unveils a complex genetic architecture that enables the parasite to develop resistance to our most effective antimalarial drug, artemisinin. The results could help to improve early detection of emerging artemisinin resistance. The global research collaboration analysed 1612 samples from 15 locations in Southeast Asia and Africa finding 20 mutations in the kelch13 gene, a known artemisinin resistance […]
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12:01 AM | How Stable Are Arsenic Compounds Found In Edible Algae?
Researchers at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have studied the stability of diverse arsenic species found in edible marine algae and have established the best conditions for their storage and preservation. By developing a specific analytical method, members from the research group of Materials Technology and Environment (TEMATMA) of the School of Civil Engineering of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have studied the stability of diverse chemical species of arsenic found […]
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12:01 AM | Age-related Macular Degeneration: Blindness Linked To Calcium Deposits In The Eye
Microscopic spheres of calcium phosphate have been linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness, in a new paper. AMD affects 1 in 5 people over 75, causing their vision to slowly deteriorate, but the cause of the most common form of the disease remains a mystery. The ability to spot the disease early and reliably halt its progression would improve the lives of millions, but this is simply not possible with current knowledge and techniques.read

January 26, 2015

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11:12 PM | How Gut Bacteria May Affect Brain Health
The hundred trillion bacteria living in an adult human, mostly in the intestines, making up the gut microbiome, may have a significant impact on behavior and brain health, according to a new paper. The many ways gut bacteria can impact normal brain activity and development, affect sleep and stress responses, play a role in a variety of diseases, and be modified through diet for therapeutic use are described in a review article ("The Gut Microbiome and the Brain") in Journal of Medicinal […]
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11:12 PM | Lowering Blood Pressure And Cholesterol Saved 20,000 Lives In England
Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol saved 20,000 lives in England. The impact of statins, credit with 14 percent of the drop, was greatest among the most affluent in the population, suggesting that these drugs have helped maintain health inequalities between rich and poor, say the researchers. The researchers wanted to quantify the contributions made by drug treatment (primary prevention) and changes in population risk factors (blood pressure and total cholesterol) to the falling rates of […]
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10:50 PM | HESS Collaboration Finds Three Extremely Luminous Gamma-ray Sources In The Large Magellanic Cloud
A multinational team of astronomers working on the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) telescopes found three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way. These are objects of different types, namely the most powerful pulsar wind nebula; the most powerful supernova remnant; and a shell of 270 light years in diameter blown by multiple stars, and supernovae - a so-called superbubble.read more
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10:50 PM | Natural Gas Is Good But Old Leaky Pipes Releasing Methane Are Bad
Imagine if every time you filled your car with gas, a few gallons didn't make it into the tank and instead spilled onto the ground. That's essentially what happens every day with the aging system of underground pipes and tanks that delivers natural gas to Boston-area households and businesses, with adverse economic, public health, and environmental consequences. Now a group of atmospheric scientists at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has produced hard numbers that […]
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10:50 PM | Why Crows Have A Bad Reputation
In literature, crows and ravens are a bad omen and are associated with witches. Most people believe they steal, eat other birds' eggs and reduce the populations of other birds. But a new study, which has brought together over 326 interactions between corvids and their prey, demonstrates that their notoriety is not entirely merited.read more
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10:36 PM | You can’t unboil an egg? Well… now you can.
There is a saying, “you can’t unboil an egg.” Usually this is just illustrating cause and effect; you can’t turn back time, or what’s done is done. Well now scientists have successfully unboiled an egg, so suck it thermodynamics. An international team of chemists have accomplished this feat – an innovation that could dramatically reduce costs for cancer treatments, […]

Yuan, T., Ormonde, C., Kudlacek, S., Kunche, S., Smith, J., Brown, W., Pugliese, K., Olsen, T., Iftikhar, M., Raston, C. & Weiss, G. (2015). Shear-Stress-Mediated Refolding of Proteins from Aggregates and Inclusion Bodies, ChemBioChem, DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201402427

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10:07 PM | Deaths Of Extremely Premature Infants Decline
In a large, national study of extremely premature infants, researchers found that death rates decreased from 2000 to 2011. An analysis of specific causes found that deaths attributed to immaturity or pulmonary causes and complicated by infection or central nervous system injury all decreased; however, deaths attributed to necrotizing enterocolitis increased. Necrotizing enterocolitis is an intestinal complication resulting from prematurity. The study results are published in the Jan. 22 issue […]
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9:43 PM | Maybe the UTRGV mascot should be the zombie, because the debate won’t die
Just when thought we had finished with the whole Vaqueros controversy, it’s back in the news. Texas lawmaker Terry Canales has made good on his threat.... er, promise... to introduce legislation that would almost certainly get rid of the “Vaquero” as mascot. The bill, from my point of view, is... problematic. It reads:The university shall include on the ballot:the “Broncs”;the “Ocelots”; andany other options the university chooses, including nicknames […]
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7:20 PM | Kindness – How do Children Become Kind?
[This is a non-technical piece I did for the Powering Kindness campaign on the development of kindness in children, and how it relates to changes in brain function]. It’s an age-old argument – are we born to be kind to others or … Continue reading →
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6:45 PM | Planet With Rings Found Outside Solar System - And They Are Bigger Than Saturn
Astronomers have discovered a ring system eclipsing the very young Sun-like star J1407.And it is huge, much larger and heavier than the ring system of Saturn. The ring system, the first of its kind to be found outside our solar system, was discovered in 2012 and the new data analysis shows that it consists of over 30 rings, each of them tens of millions of kilometers in diameter.There are gaps in the rings, which indicate that satellites ("exomoons") may have formed. read more
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6:26 PM | The Bed Bug’s Piercing Penis (A Guest Post)
By Rachael Pahl Sex is a dangerous, but necessary, part of life. Across the animal kingdom, there are a multitude of things that can go wrong. You could be injured in a fight by someone who wants to steal your mate, or maybe your partner eats you because you’re taking too long. Either way, nature must have a pretty good reason for the traumatizing effects of sex. A male bed bug traumatically inseminates a female. Image by Rickard Ignell at the Swedish University of Agricultural […]

Morrow, E. & Arnqvist, G. (2003). Costly traumatic insemination and a female counter-adaptation in bed bugs, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270 (1531) 2377-2381. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2514

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6:19 PM | Extend that New Year’s energy – to what benefit?
Data from the Center for Health Discovery and Well Being cohort The post Extend that New Year’s energy – to what benefit? appeared first on Lab Land.
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6:18 PM | Stigma: Nearly Half Of Workers Won't Tell Their Boss About A Mental Health Problem
A long-running gag in film and television comedies is for an employee at a corporation who may be in trouble to invent an illness covered in the policy handbook, such as alcoholism or drug addiction. In those stories, the employee then cannot be fired and all kinds of mechanisms are invoked to show sensitivity and compassion. What never gets played for laughs is suicide or mental health. Even in Hollywood culture, invariably inclined to faux tolerance and where all bad behavior is […]
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6:00 PM | What Should You Do In A Flu Epidemic? Stay At Home And Watch Television
Non-pharmaceutical interventions include actions individuals can take to reduce disease spread, such as hand washing and minimizing contacts with sick people, and they play a key role in reducing the spread of infectious diseases such as influenza, according to a new paper. Social distancing, staying indoors and avoiding social activity, is an important Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) in the event of an epidemic, especially when a vaccine is unavailable or limited. Whether privately […]
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5:44 PM | Mammalian Heart Regenerative Capacity Depends On Severity Of Injury
A new study by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles has shown that neonatal mouse hearts have varying regenerative capacities depending upon the severity of injury. Using cryoinjury - damaging the heart through exposure to extreme cold in order to mimic cellular injury caused by myocardial infarction - investigators found that neonatal mouse hearts can fully recover normal function following a mild injury, though fail to regenerate after a severe injury. Published online by the […]
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5:29 PM | Poisoned Synapses not Crocodile Bile the Likely Killer of Mozambique Beer Drinkers
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4:52 PM | You Want That Coffee With Morphine Or Without?
A team of scientists from Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa and the University of Brasilia have discovered tranquilizing properties in previously unknown protein fragments of coffee beans.They did tests and found that these opioid peptides outperformed morphine in mice.read more
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