Posts

July 18, 2014

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7:15 PM | Where are they now? (Veterinary edition)
Back in 2006, I wrote:In another one of those still-not-quite-sure-how-this happened events of the summer, I spent this afternoon meeting with various people about a summer internship program with high school students. I’ll have a student, Amanda, working with me for six weeks starting next Monday. Not quite sure what I'll have her do yet. Will have to spend some time sorting out project ideas next week.What happened after that? I came up with a project, Amanda rocked it for six weeks, […]
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6:17 PM | 147 Cells!
We’re getting closer to 150!  147 cells are now complete!
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5:57 PM | M’s Happy Birthday Happy Hour!
It’s M’s 25th Birthday today so we’ll celebrating with special points tiers! Our Happy Hours will run between 2-4 pm EST. The rules are as follows: Score 1,000 points, we’ll add an additional 250 points to your score. Score 2,500 points, we’ll add an additional 2,500 points to your score. …
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4:56 PM | The Brain, Down Syndrome, and Antibiotics
At first glance the title might sound a little weird. But if that is the case then you probably want to read this. Researchers  have identified a group of cells in […]

Chen, C., Jiang, P., Xue, H., Peterson, S., Tran, H., McCann, A., Parast, M., Li, S., Pleasure, D., Laurent, L. & Loring, J. (2014). Role of astroglia in Down’s syndrome revealed by patient-derived human-induced pluripotent stem cells, Nature Communications, 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5430

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4:25 PM | Why would robots have heads?
Or conversely, why is your head near your brain? Sensory organs came before or after cephalization? In other words, do we have a head because it is advantageous to be able to respond quickly to quickly changing incoming sensations (vision, audition)? This is interesting: However, flatworms differ from more advanced animals in that their mouths are in […]
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3:26 PM | Rare disease diagnosis, accelerated by social media
Emory geneticists' involvement in an effort to diagnose children with a rare genetic disorder. Whole exome sequencing comes up too. The post Rare disease diagnosis, accelerated by social media appeared first on Lab Land.
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12:26 PM | New Organic Farming Meta-analysis – What Does it Really Show?
The Guardian’s headline reads: Clear differences between organic and non-organic food, study finds. While this article was better than most in including some caveats, it was clearly favorable to the conclusions in the study, and failed, in my opinion, to properly put the new study into an informative context. How does this new study add to [...]
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9:10 AM | PTSD Treatment and Large Scale Propranolol Trials
Emily Anthes discusses memory dampening here, including some helpful information about ongoing, large scale trials of propranolol to treat PTSD in those who already have it. Here's an excerpt (footnote omitted): Perhaps, researchers hypothesized, propranolol could weaken emotional memories if...
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8:42 AM | Students say men are more attractive when they take risks, but only risks relevant to our hunter-gatherer ancestors
A willingness to take risks enhances men's sex appeal. This much we know from past research. What's not clear, is whether this is because of cultural beliefs about traditional gender roles, or if it's an evolutionary hang-over (or perhaps both). John Petraitis and his colleagues have put these two explanations to the test by drawing a distinction between risk-taking behaviours that reflect the challenges faced by our ancestors, and contemporary risks based around modern technology.Over […]

July 17, 2014

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10:05 PM | Zombie symposium outbreak
The latest issue of Integrative and Comparative Biology is now out! And the cover story comes from one of the papers from the parasite symposium I co-organized with Kelly Weinersmith! It’s been three years in the making, and I want to tell you how it all happened.It all started with #SciFund.I sometimes tell students, “You never know who’s going to walk through your door,” as a way of saying that research and career opportunities and plans are often completely […]
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9:42 PM | The Lion Cries Tonight? Emotions and the Animal Brain (Part 1)
“Even insects express anger, terror, jealousy and love, by their stridulation.”— Charles Darwin (1) Of philosophers who study ethics, 60% rate meat-eating on the ‘immoral’ side of a value scale (compared to 19% of the general population; 2). Such a large discrepancy in beliefs between ethicists and the general population intrigued me. What are the […]
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9:25 PM | Towards a scientifically unified therapy
Today’s edition of Nature has an excellent article on the need to apply cognitive science to understanding how psychological therapies work. Psychological therapies are often called ‘talking treatments’ but this is often a misleading name. Talking is essential, but it’s not where most of the change happens. Like seeing a personal trainer in the gym, […]
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9:11 PM | We just launched a journal. 
We just launched a journal. 
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8:39 PM | PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)
Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): The pill to banish painful memories—forget it!, Practical Ethics In The Popular Press: The Moral Hazards and Legal Conundrums of Our Robot-Filled Future, Wired The Trouble With Brain Science, New York Times Opinion Pages Scientists...
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8:33 PM | Naked mole rats, star-nosed moles, and tentacled snakes: the research of Ken Catania
A classic paper about Naked Mole Rats was passed around on twitter recently and I thought that it would be a good time to revisit some of the greatest hits of Ken Catania, wonder neuroethologist. There is tons of interesting neuroscience questions that pertain to the strange animals you’ll find in the wild but very […]
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8:30 PM | Are music lessons the key to smarter kids?
My 4 year-old son Jamie started piano lessons last year. This might seem a little young, but the classes are designed to make learning music fun. Jamie’s teachers use an unique multi-sensory approach that engages the different senses: auditory, visual and kinaesthetic (movement). The kids learn the notes as: do, re, mi, fa, so, etc, and each note has […]The post Are music lessons the key to smarter kids? appeared first on Your Brain Health.
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8:00 PM | To do your best, find a rival
There are rivals in every walk of life. A new study shows that for runners, a rival might help them do their best.
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7:03 PM | Watch Mode is Back!
Watch mode is back and better than ever! If you’re having difficulty with your cube, just ask an admin for some assistance! They will enter your cube with you and give you pointers. In watch mode, admins can see your trace in real time, and can let you know what …
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6:09 PM | More Evil, More Cubes
Greetings from the underworld.  The GrimReaper has been absent a long time, it took time to climb through the forest of mergers and a most tangled jungle of dendrites.  But fear not, the GrimReaper has brought you a present. 10 of the most evil cubes in the history of EyeWire.  Each full of …
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6:01 PM | Lucy is Wrong; We Use Way More Than 10% of Our Brains
Scarlett Johansson as Lucy; Fandango“It is estimated most human beings only use ten percent of their brain’s capacity,” lectures Professor Norman, played by actor Morgan Freeman, in the trailer for the new thriller Lucy. “Imagine if we could access 100 percent. Interesting things begin to happen.”I know I haven’t earned my Ph.D. yet, Professor, but I beg to differ. You see, we all access 100% of our brains every day. And we don’t have to be […]
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5:43 PM | Tenure-Track Position at U. of Ottawa Faculty of Law
via Jennifer Chandler: The Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law invites applications for professorial positions. The Common Law Section invites applications for two tenure-track positions, commencing at the level of Assistant Professor. A more experienced...
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5:17 PM | To do your best, find a rival
A new study in runners shows rivalry is linked with a performance boost ScicuriousPsychology by Bethany Brookshire 4:00pm, July 17, 2014 While runners generally have friendly competition in a road race, a new paper shows that sometimes rivalry can help an athlete beat a friend to the finish.ptufts/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)I have been a runner for more than 10 years. For much of […]
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5:04 PM | A New way to Fight HIV, Using your Genome!
Outsmarting something as “simple” as a virus doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. If only you could set it down to take the SAT’s or something. Unfortunately, in the […]

Michaud, H., SenGupta, D., de Mulder, M., Deeks, S., Martin, J., Kobie, J., Sacha, J. & Nixon, D. (2014). Cutting Edge: An Antibody Recognizing Ancestral Endogenous Virus Glycoproteins Mediates Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity on HIV-1-Infected Cells, The Journal of Immunology, DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1302108

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4:30 PM | Interdisciplinary Conference on Love and Human Agency
via Agnieszka Jaworska and see the poster here: Download LHA Conference poster Love and Human Agency, an interdisciplinary research project supported by the John Templeton Foundation, is pleased to announce an interdisciplinary conference on Love and Human Agency, to be...
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4:01 PM | Much Win. Many congratulations. Amaze competition. So Doge. Wow.
Doge takes the win in the ultimate internet meme showdown! Overall, players did 7,531 cubes. Team Doge averaged 19,221 points per player with 31 contenders. Grumpy cat clocked in 13,893 ppp with 28 players. @twister2 lead doge, racking up 42K points. jbinsc and galarun flanked the victory. Nseraf lead the …
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3:43 PM | Make believe rich people
One of my undergraduate mentors told me, “Academics are make believe rich people.”Academics don’t get the actual money, but they get some of the same perks that rich people get. Some of the examples he used were maybe more relevant to some universities than others (access to faculty clubs, campus golfing, and so on), but others, like being able to travel regularly (thank you, conferences) are true of most academics.Likewise, the ability to say what you want is easier if […]
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2:10 PM | "Lucy" is Wrong; We Use Way More Than 10% of Our Brains
"It is estimated most human beings only use ten percent of their brain's capacit...
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1:15 PM | How Do Barnacles Mate?
It’s hard enough to find a mate when you’re able to get up and move around. But just imagine the difficulties the poor barnacle faces, permanently glued to an underwater rock or hull. See how barnacles seek out and get with mates in my latest Zoologic post: How Do Barnacles Mate?
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12:16 PM | European Commission Human Brain Project Hubbub
In 2013 the European Commission awarded $1.3 billion to a project to simulate the human brain in a supercomputer. While everyone is excited about this prospect, and welcomes the infusion of cash, recently the project has come under public criticism. More than 180 neuroscientists signed an open letter criticizing the way the project is being [...]
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9:02 AM | Childhood Maltreatment Predicts Later Alcoholism
Ample evidence exists for higher rates of substance abuse and dependence among maltreated individuals (1) so much so that alcoholism and addiction for many represent a developmental cascade. In clinical samples undergoing treatment for substance use disorders, between one third and … Continue reading →
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