Posts

October 19, 2014

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4:30 PM | Digital Death And The Digital Afterlife: How To Have It And How To Avoid It
Image: the conversationBy David Glance, University of Western AustraliaIn 2012, the UK’s Sunday Times reported that actor Bruce Willis was going to sue Apple because he was not legally allowed to bequeath his iTunes collection of music to his children. The story turned out to be false (and shockingly bad journalism) but it did start a conversation about what we can, and can’t, do with our digital possessions. read more
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4:15 PM | Autism: The Truth is (not) Out There
Parents of a child affected by autism naturally want to know the cause. Autism can dramatically disrupt the typical childhood pattern of cognitive, behavioural and social development. At the most severe end, the child may require care for the rest of their lives. Even at the milder end, it may make mainstream education impossible and exclude many opportunities available to typically developing children. Any parent would hope that knowing the cause could lead to better treatment and […]
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4:15 PM | Autism: The Truth is (not) Out There
Parents of a child affected by autism naturally want to know the cause. Autism can dramatically disrupt the typical childhood pattern of cognitive, behavioural and social development. At the most severe end, the child may require care for the rest of their lives. Even at the milder end, it may make mainstream education impossible and exclude many opportunities available to typically developing children. Any parent would hope that knowing the cause could lead to better treatment and […]
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3:52 PM | Gene Duplications Associated With Autism, Schizophrenia Evolved In Last 250,000 Years
 A region of human chromosome 16, known as 16p11.2, is prone to genetic changes in which segments of DNA are deleted or duplicated and is considered to be one of the leading candidates for genetic causes of autism, schizophrenia, and other conditions. A new study finds that a genetic variation that evolved in the last 250,000 years, after the divergence of humans from ancient hominids, likely plays an important role in disease. read more
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3:26 PM | Not The Christian Thing To Do: Reminding People Of Religious Belief Reduces Hostility
Muslim terrorists and the Klu Klux Klan share one thing in common; they claim to be religious even though the ideas they promote (and in the case of the former, the actions they take) are not very nice. The fringes get all of the attention but most religious people are not clinically insane or promoting the deaths of others in order to secure their own place in Heaven, and if you remind them of their religious principles, their attitude toward negative events change, according to a paper […]
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3:15 PM | Not All Fat Is Equal: Amping Up Adenosine May Melt 'Love Handles'
Obesity was once only for the wealthy, then it was only for Americans and the science engine that made food cheap for all, but now globalization has made it possible for the rich and poor worldwide to be fat - which brings greater risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke and diabetes. No one wants to eat less delicious food, but they would take a pill to shed fad and a team ed by Professor Alexander Pfeifer from the University Hospital Bonn believe they have come one step closer to that. […]
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3:12 PM | Frozen Poo Pills: Continued Trials Are Successful in Treating Recurrent C. Difficile
I remember all too well what it was like for my mother when she had Clostridium difficile infection. Post-surgery for colon cancer, the recovery was a breeze compared to the C. […]
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2:55 PM | ACA Lessons Learned: Cost Of Enrollment High Due To Website Issues
Though lots of people used the expensive government health insurance portal healthcare.gov to get information on the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, far fewer could successfully use it to sign up. As the stories of its flaws mounted, larger percentages instead talked to call centers or a navigator without using the website at all. That's a win for the government, which needed to show some success after expending a great deal of political capital and taxpayer money, but not […]
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2:30 PM | Apoptosis Evolution: Cellular Self-destruction Has Been Around Almost As Long As Cells Have
It seems counter-intuitive that in order to survive best as a species, not everything can live forever, but some cells in our bodies are fated to die, and a Mission Impossible-style auto-destruct program insures they do. This elaborate cell death program, known as apoptosis, got a little more insight with a study on the evolution of caspase-8, a key cell death initiator molecule that was first identified in humans. By performing the most extensive evolutionary analysis of the Casp8 protein […]
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2:01 PM | Humans May Have A Spidey Sense For Blind Spots
Credit: Tobyotter via flickrBy: Nala Rogers, Inside Science(Inside Science) -- The spider's iconic leggy shape can abruptly yank our attention, even when we’re focused on something else, according to a new study. Other shapes such as houseflies and hypodermic needles don’t draw our attention in the same way. This suggests that spiders may be hard-wired into our visual systems, helping us avoid a threat that our ancestors faced for millions of years. read more
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1:00 PM | Discovering A Viking Hoard: A Day In The Life Of A Metal Detectorist
Credit: mikecogh, CC BY-SABy Suzie Thomas, University of Helsinki read more
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11:24 AM | Power Makes People Deliberate Less Over Emails
When it comes to emails, power makes people spend less time thinking and more time typing. So say German cyber-psychologists Annika Scholl and Kai Sassenberg in a new paper just published: Experienced Social Power Reduces Deliberation During E-Mail Communication In their study, they recruited 49 undergraduate students. Each participant was first randomly assigned to play […]The post Power Makes People Deliberate Less Over Emails appeared first on Neuroskeptic.
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9:59 AM | Processing the Past via the action steps, 4-12!
Originally posted on The Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism:    Processing the Past via the actions steps, 4-12! by alcoholicsguide How The Alcoholics Anonymous’ program of action helps with emotional dysregulation. When I first came into recovery I was surprised how much more time I spent embroiled in thinking about past incidents and how I had numerous…
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9:13 AM | The Fractal Factor: Patterns in Nature – The Building of the MegaMenger at this year’s Manchester Science Festival
Aristotle once said “In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous.” Living in a world brimming with technology, it is easy to forget the beauty and wonder of the world around us -unless it is accompanied by … Continue reading →
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3:33 AM | Cognitive Psychology Group Colloquium (and The Great Bayes Debate!)
This week we have two special events.First, a colloquium from Prof. Cliff Hooker (a pioneer of Cognitive Science at Newcastle, now an Emeritus Professor) in our usual time slot.Then on Friday we debate whether "Bayesian cognitive models advance our understanding of the human mind." with Dan Navarro (University of Adelaide, http://health.adelaide.edu.au/psychology/ccs/people/dan/) and Don van Van Ravenzwaaij in the affirmative and Ben Newell (http://www2.psy.unsw.edu.au/Users/BNewell/) and Scott […]
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12:24 AM | The exceptions of biology: square “bacteria”
This is a very short post with something curious that I found… Whenever we think “bacteria”, most of us immediately think of diseases, or, if you are a biologist or have ever taken a biology course, you immediately think about roundish-, corkscrew- or “stick-like”- shaped microorganisms. Click here for a good blogpost on these forms… …

October 18, 2014

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9:53 PM | ALPHA GENOMIX
ALPHA GENOMIX LABORATORIES INC Alpha genomics (for those unfamiliar with their spelling) Re: Dr. Hani El Shawa, who is first author of Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Disrupts Intraneocortical Circuitry, Cortical Gene Expression, and Behavior in a Mouse Model of FASD. The...Read more
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9:01 PM | Sharpen your thinking about business advice: Sensitivity, specificity and base rates
Your news feed might have pieces about how to get better at business (or indeed your living your life). They might have a seemingly empirical basis, and offer numbers of great specificity: the ten ways the successful manage their time; … Continue reading →
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6:55 PM | New Genetic Test to help Solve Rare Disease Diagnosis
My sister suffers from a rare disease which causes small fiber polyneuropathy, or the killing of nerves in her hands and feet. As it progresses she has trouble standing or […]

Lee, H., Deignan, J., Dorrani, N., Strom, S., Kantarci, S., Quintero-Rivera, F., Das, K., Toy, T., Harry, B., Yourshaw, M. & Fox, M. (2014). Clinical Exome Sequencing for Genetic Identification of Rare Mendelian Disorders, JAMA, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.14604

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6:01 PM | IPTF13bvn: Hydrogen-Deficient Supernova Progenitor Discovered?
A recent model says it provides the first characterization of the progenitor for a hydrogen-deficient supernova. Their simulation predicts that a bright hot star, which is the binary companion to an exploding object, remains after the explosion so they secured observation time with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to search for such a remaining star.  read more
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5:31 PM | High-Fat Meals: Males Impacted Most
Unless you are trapped at a Larry Summers protest at Harvard in 2006, you know that male and female brains are not equal in all ways. Another study affirms that, finding a difference when it comes to the biological response to a high-fat diet. Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute scientist Deborah Clegg, PhD, and colleagues found that the brains of male laboratory mice exposed to the same high-fat diet as their female counterparts developed brain inflammation and heart […]
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4:50 PM | Earth's Biggest Migration Gets A New Explanation
Credit: WikipediaBy Peter Gwynne, Inside Science(Inside Science) – Each day small sea creatures known as plankton rise from deep underwater to the ocean's surface during the night and then return to the depths in daytime. Zoologists describe this “diel” movement, named after the Latin word for day, as Earth’s biggest migration. read more
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4:29 PM | Climate Change: It’s Only Human To Exaggerate, But Science Itself Does Not
Credit: EPABy Rob MacKenzie, University of BirminghamTo exaggerate is human, and scientists are human.Exaggeration and the complementary art of simplification are the basic rhetorical tools of human intercourse. So yes, scientists do exaggerate. So do politicians, perhaps even when, as the UK’s former environment secretary Owen Paterson did, they claim that climate change forecasts are “widely exaggerated”. read more
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4:07 PM | KAMRA Inlay: Reading Glasses May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past
Reading glasses have served us for centuries. Why fix a good thing? Because science and technology can.  Presbyopia, blurriness in near vision experienced by many people over the age of 40, could one day be relegated to olden days if a thin ring inserted into the eye gains popularity.read more
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2:42 PM | Play Action Video Games, Boost Your Sensorimotor Skills
A new study has found that people who play action video games such as the "Call of Duty" or "Assassin's Creed" seem to learn a new sensorimotor skill faster than non-gamers do. Sorry, Bungie, "Destiny" was not out when they did the study and auto-rifles would mess up the results anyway. A new sensorimotor skill, such as learning to ride a bike or typing, often requires a new pattern of coordination between vision and motor movement. With such skills, an individual generally moves from novice […]
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2:00 PM | What is consciousness?
Consciousness is a word that we can almost point at. When I say it I am fairly sure I don’t have to give a definition – I mean every one experiences consciousness and so they will know what I am talking about. But it is not so. As Inigo Montoya says, “You keep using that […]
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1:30 PM | Who Owns The Moon?
Credit: Niall Carson/PABy Saskia Vermeylen, Lancaster UniversityWhether you’re into mining, energy or tourism, there are lots of reasons to explore space. Some “pioneers” even believe humanity’s survival depends on colonizing celestial bodies such as the moon and Mars, both becoming central hubs for our further journey into the cosmos. Lunar land peddlers have started doing deals already – a one-acre plot can be yours for just £16.75. read more
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1:00 PM | We Don't Know If God Exists, But We Should Keep Asking
There are many different conceptions of God, and endless questions. Credit: Waiting For The Word, CC BY-NC-SABy Graham Oppy, Monash UniversityDisputes about the existence of God — like most disputes about religion, politics, and sex — almost always generate heat but not light.The question of the existence of God seems intractable. As with other philosophical questions, there is no method to follow in seeking to answer it. Moreover, there is no prospect of reaching an agreed answer […]
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9:13 AM | From Mindless Physics To Physics Of Mind
       For the sake of clarity, let us consider the two widely known, nonsensical scenarios: The first is one that many scientists charge ‘idealist’ philosophers with, although no thinker beyond the dorm room bong level holds this view: All is just a dream and there is no physical world. The second nonsensical scenario is that a physical world “really exists independently out there” and it happens to be the case that consciousness arises in […]
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2:29 AM | Translational Findings: Fruit fly contributions to research in circadian rhythms
What are circadian rhythms, and why are they important to humans? Over the past century, technological innovations have changed human society dramatically, undeniably for the better. But the advent of jet travel, round-the-clock manufacturing, and internet communication has also had a disruptive effect on our bodies’ circadian rhythms. The word “circadian” comes from the latin […]
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