Posts

September 22, 2014

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2:31 AM | 30 Years Left To Reach The Limit: CO2 Emissions Will Reach New Record High In 2014
Carbon dioxide emissions, the greenhouse gas that has been most strongly implicated in global warming, will reach a record high of 40 billion tons.read more
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1:53 AM | Quantum Teleportation 25 Kilometers Away
Physicists at the University of Geneva have succeeded in teleporting the quantum state of a photon to a crystal over 25 kilometers of optical fiber. The experiment shatters the previous record of 6 kilometers achieved 10 years ago by the same  team. Passing from light into matter, using teleportation of a photon to a crystal, shows that, in quantum physics, it is not the composition of a particle which is important, but rather its state, since this can exist and persist outside such […]
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1:47 AM | Global Carbon Report: Emissions Will Hit New Heights In 2014
Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel and cement production. Source: CDIAC, Friedlingstein et al. 2014, Global Carbon Project 2014By Pep Canadell, CSIRO and Michael Raupach, Australian National University read more

September 21, 2014

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11:49 PM | RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated events
Many colleagues and most of my antagonists seem to be unwilling to accept the fact that RNA-directed DNA methylation links the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man. Lack...Read more
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11:10 PM | Raj Persaud in conversation with Elizabeth Lunbeck discussing her new book – ‘The Americanization of Narcissism’ – DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST
Discussing her new book with psychiatrist Raj Persaud, Elizabeth Lunbeck explains ‘The Americanization of Narcissism’ published by Harvard University Press. This is an important tome because it critically tackles the way the modern age thinks of itself. Lunbeck identifies some key moments in the notion that this is a particularly narcissistic age. One seems to […]
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7:57 PM | Miracles are not miracles to evolutionary theorists
Science 19 September 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6203 pp. 1443-1445 DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6203.1443 No miracles Excerpt: “There’s a reason these crows make tools and other birds don’t,” he says. “It’s not a miracle.” THAT SENTENCE, along with the even shorter phrase...Read more
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6:33 PM | Move over Carbon nanotubes introducing Diamond nanothreads
Carbon nanotubes, the wave of the future. Our hopes and dreams for the future have been firmly placed in using the unique material for everything from electronics to engineering. Unfortunately […]

Fitzgibbons, T., Guthrie, M., Xu, E., Crespi, V., Davidowski, S., Cody, G., Alem, N. & Badding, J. (2014). Benzene-derived carbon nanothreads, Nature Materials, DOI: 10.1038/nmat4088

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5:49 PM | Experts Issue Plea For Better Research And Education For Advanced Breast Cancer
Breast cancer experts around the world have issued a plea to researchers, academics, drug companies, funders and advocates to carry out high quality research and clinical trials for advanced breast cancer, a disease which is almost always fatal and for which there are many unanswered questions. In the latest international consensus guidelines for the management of advanced breast cancer, published simultaneously in the leading cancer journals The Breast and Annals of Oncology [1] today […]
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5:48 PM | Evolution Of Responses To (un)fairness
The sense of fairness did not evolve for the sake of fairness per se but in order to reap the benefits of continued cooperation, so say Frans de Waal, PhD, and Sarah Brosnan, PhD, co-authors of a review article about inequity aversion (IA), which is defined as a negative reaction to unequal outcomes. The review is published in Science. Their conclusion comes after the co-authors reviewed more than 35 IA-related studies to address their hypothesis that it is the evolution of forestalling […]
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5:48 PM | Milestone In Chemical Studies Of Superheavy Elements
An international collaboration led by research groups from Mainz and Darmstadt, Germany, has achieved the synthesis of a new class of chemical compounds for superheavy elements at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Research (RNC) in Japan. For the first time, a chemical bond was established between a superheavy element – seaborgium (element 106) in the present study – and a carbon atom. Eighteen atoms of seaborgium were converted into seaborgium hexacarbonyl complexes, […]
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4:50 PM | Mathematical model: microRNA and epigenetic regulation
Hypothesis & Theory ARTICLE Front. Genet. | doi: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00345 Interplay of microRNA and epigenetic regulation in the human regulatory network. Excerpt: “…a detailed model of the epigenetic interaction and its relations with the cellular environment would be required, and this...Read more
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4:26 PM | Environmental Pollutants Make Worms Susceptible To Cold
Imagine you are a species which over thousands of years has adapted to the arctic cold, and then you get exposed to a substance that makes the cold dangerous for you. This is happening to the small white worm Enchytraeus albidus, and the cold provoking substance, called nonylphenol, comes from the use of certain detergents, pesticides and cosmetics. Nonylphenol is suspected of being a endocrine disruptor, but when entering the worm it has another dangerous effect: It inhibits the worm's ability […]
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4:26 PM | Patients With Advanced, Incurable Cancer Denied Palliative Care
Many patients with advanced, incurable cancer do not receive any palliative care, reveals new research to be presented later this month at the ESMO 2014 Congress in Madrid, Spain, 26-30 September. The findings are astonishing as they come at the same time as 15 new oncology centres in Europe, Canada, South America and Africa are being awarded the prestigious title of 'ESMO Designated Centre of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care.'read more
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2:58 PM | Why Natural Gas, Including Fracking, Is Better For The Environment Than Wind And Solar
There is nothing inherently superior about natural gas from hydraulic fracturing - fracking - it has the same emissions as regular natural gas. But it is a lot lower than coal and does not have the political baggage of nuclear energy and that is why environmentalists lobbied for it over the last 40 years.read more
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2:36 PM | Long-distance Communication From Leaves To Roots
Leguminous plants are able to grow well in infertile land, and bear many beans that are important to humans. The reason for this is because most legumes have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, called rhizobia, that can fix nitrogen in the air and then supply the host plant with ammonia as a nutrient. The plants create symbiotic organs called nodules in their roots. However, if too many root nodules are made it will adversely affect the growth of the plants, because the energy cost of […]
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2:36 PM | Neurons Express 'gloss' Using Three Perceptual Parameters
Japanese researchers showed monkeys a number of images representing various glosses and then they measured the responses of 39 neurons by using microelectrodes. They found that a specific population of neurons changed the intensities of the responses linearly according to either the contrast-of-highlight, sharpness-of-highlight, or brightness of the object. This shows that these 3 perceptual parameters are used as parameters when the brain recognizes a variety of glosses. They also found that […]
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2:35 PM | Graphene Sensor Tracks Down Cancer Biomarkers
An ultrasensitive biosensor made from the wonder material graphene has been used to detect molecules that indicate an increased risk of developing cancer. The biosensor has been shown to be more than five times more sensitive than bioassay tests currently in use, and was able to provide results in a matter of minutes, opening up the possibility of a rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tool for patients. The biosensor has been presented today, 19 September, in IOP Publishing's journal 2D […]
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12:51 PM | Unconscious effects
There is an interesting item in ScienceDaily (here) on the effect of perceptions that we are not conscious of. We can perceive an object, understand its meaning, and have that meaning affect our behavior, without any conscious awareness of the object. The paper’s lead author, Cacciamani, says, “Every day our visual systems are bombarded with […]
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11:21 AM | Warning: This Post Will Change Your Brain
Last week I gave a talk in Brazil called Why Is It So Hard To Think About The Brain?, Well, no sooner have I returned than a story appeared that illustrates my point all too well. A neuroscience paper made headlines around the world on Friday. Here’s Time‘s take: One Dose of Antidepressant Changes the […]The post Warning: This Post Will Change Your Brain appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Schaefer, A., Burmann, I., Regenthal, R., Arélin, K., Barth, C., Pampel, A., Villringer, A., Margulies, D. & Sacher, J. (2014). Serotonergic Modulation of Intrinsic Functional Connectivity, Current Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.024

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3:12 AM | Planarians, Regeneration, and the Medicine of the Future – From Quarks to Quasars
Hi! I would like to share a short interview/profile that the website “From Quarks to Quasars” (http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/) posted about The First Brain and yours truly. You can access the interview here. Want to see more of the things I write? Go here for some other posts. TFB is available as an ebook (Kindle, Nook, as well …
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2:45 AM | Seemingly futile cycles are not thermodynamically futile
Scientists discover an on/off switch for aging cells The switch controls the growth of telomeres, the timekeepers of cells September 19, 2014 Excerpt: Understanding how this “off” switch can be manipulated–thereby slowing down the telomere shortening process–could lead to treatments...Read more
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1:21 AM | Do bacterial proteins evolve?
Among the phrases most likely to get my attention but least likely to get the attention of an evolutionary theorist is “bacterial proteins evolve.” See for example (with my emphasis): To provide insight into how bacterial proteins evolve to adapt to...Read more
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12:59 AM | “Kardashians” in science
On “Kardashians” in science and the general relationship between achievement and fame Posted on September 19, 2014 by Lascap Excerpt Ultimately, it is all about the relevance of one’s contribution. But trying to discredit an increasingly important form of academic...Read more

September 20, 2014

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11:48 PM | Living in Our Bodies: Embodiment, Eating Disorders and the IDEA Scale
A good deal of my time is devoted to reading articles about eating disorders, feminism, qualitative research, and embodiment. I don’t know if this makes me a very interesting person or a very boring one, but it certainly makes me a very opinionated one, especially about these topics. Lately, I’ve been exploring the literature around eating disorders and embodiment in particular, trying to get a sense of how researchers attend to “embodiment” in the development, course, […]
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9:18 PM | EXACTLY HOW IRRATIONAL ARE DELUSIONS? Raj Persaud talks to Lisa Bortolotti
DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST Raj Persaud in conversation with Lisa Bortolotti – Professor of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham – discussing her latest book on delusions and irrationality Lisa Bortolotti is Professor of Philosophy at Birmingham University and her main research area is the philosophy of cognitive science. In her work she has focused so far […]
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9:18 PM | IS THERE SUCH A THING AS ‘FUNERAL MANIA’? Raj Persaud in conversation with Assistant Professor of Epidemiology Katherine Keyes DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST
Katherine Keyes is Associate Professor of Epidemiology Columbia University and with serveral colleagues had published a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry investigating what happens when people suffer one of the worst stresses of all – the unexpected death of a loved one. The Burden of Loss: Unexpected Death of a Loved One and […]
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8:05 PM | More Children Making Music, But Are Lessons Too Conventional?
Does this count as homework? Credit: Rob Boudon, CC BYBy Mark Banks, University of Leicester read more
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7:43 PM | Lengthen Telomeres and Turn Back Aging
Want to live longer and healthier? Of course you do, well science may just have the answer! Scientists have discovered an on-and-off “switch” in cells that may hold the key […]

Tucey, T. & Lundblad, V. (2014). Regulated assembly and disassembly of the yeast telomerase quaternary complex, Genes & Development, DOI: 10.1101/gad.246256.114

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3:48 PM | Probable changes in connectivity
Table of Contents: Nature Reviews Neuroscience October 2014 Vol 15 No 10 Excerpt from: Research Highlights: Learning and memory: Uncoupling memory traces “The emotional valence of a memory can be changed, and this probably involves a change in the connectivity...Read more
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1:01 PM | Vitamin E, Selenium Don't Help Age-Related Cataracts In Men
Taking daily supplements of selenium and/or vitamin E appears to have no significant effect on the development of age-related cataracts in men, according to new findings from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) Eye Endpoints (SEE) Study.   Some research, including animal studies, has suggested that dietary nutrients can have an effect on the onset and progression of cataracts. Vitamin E and selenium are of particular interest. read more
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