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Posts

April 17, 2014

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8:58 PM | Probiotics Ineffective For Infant Colic Symptoms
Colic affects about one in five infants in the United States annually and accounts for numerous pediatric visits during the first several months after birth. Among the many claims of probiotic marketing is that it helps with reduction of colic symptoms but a phase III, double blind, randomized placebo controlled trial published in the British Medical Journal concluded that the use of the probiotic L reuteri for infant colic did not reduce crying or fussing in infants nor was it effective in […]
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8:35 PM | Eat Your Broccoli—Choline in the Brain
There have been many studies investigating the ways that the brain develops and which supplements play essential roles in helping the brain grow and function at maximum capacity. One such nutrient is choline. Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is important in memory and cognitive function in the brain. For this reason […]
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8:04 PM | EyeWire Neurons in Virtual Reality at TED 2014
TED Conferences are known to be environments of intellectual awesomeness. This year we had the pleasure of bringing a little EyeWire neurons into Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift as well as superman style navigation with a KINECT on an 18 million pixel screen. This exhibit was made possible thanks to …
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7:48 PM | Kepler-186f : An Earth-Sized Planet In A Habitable Zone
Astronomers using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope report discovery of the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun. While planets have previously been found in the habitable zone, they are all at least 40 percent larger in size than Earth and […]
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7:46 PM | Is Parkinson's An Autoimmune Disease?
NEW YORK, NY (April 16, 2014) — The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson's disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person's own immune system, similar to the way autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis attack the body's cells. The study was published April 16, 2014, in Nature Communications.read more
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7:38 PM | PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)
Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): Why are scientists trying to map every single neuron in the brain?, Vox In The Popular Press: Antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to autism risk in boys: Study, CBS News A Patient's Bizarre Hallucination Points...
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5:39 PM | New MRSA Superbug In Brazil
An international research team has identified a new superbug that caused a bloodstream infection in a Brazilian patient. The new superbug is part of a class of highly-resistant bacteria known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, which is a major cause of hospital and community-associated infections. The superbug has also acquired high levels of resistance to vancomycin, the most common and least expensive antibiotic used to treat severe MRSA infections worldwide. read m
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5:00 PM | Without Science Leadership, Food Shortages Could Be Critical World Issue By 2050
The world could be less than 40 years away from a food shortage that will have serious implications for people and governments, according to a senior science advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development. It's not Paul Ehrlich/John Holdren Doomsday Prophet levels of gloom, but it's a sign we need to keep science advancing.read more
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4:42 PM | Tourette Syndrome - Brain Training Overcomes Tics In Study
Children with Tourette syndrome may unconsciously train their brain to more effectively control their tics.How so? A recent study found that teenagers diagnosed with  Tourette syndrome   were slower than typical peers when asked to perform a task that involved them simply moving their eyes to look at targets but buterr when the task was more demanding and required them to choose between looking at or away from targets. They were as fast as their peers but made fewer eye movements […]
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4:08 PM | Tesla On The Horizon: Wireless Power Now Works Over 15 Feet
Researchers have reported a big improvement in the distance of wireless power.   Their "Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS) boosts the extended range of inductive power transfer up to 5 meters between transmitter and receiver coils.  It's not quite the rumors about Nikola Tesla but if you think that's not a lot, ponder that Bluetooth is only slightly greater after 15 years in progress.read more
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3:31 PM | Is Nick Szabo The Creator Of Bitcoin? Linguists Say They Have The Answer
A recent Newsweek article claimed that the mystery of the brains behind Bitcoin had been solved - and Dorian S. Nakamoto was the guy.The primary author of the celebrated cryptocurrency Bitcoin paper has remained unknown. Bitcoin is an Internet-based virtual currency which allows users to buy goods and services online. The payment system, introduced in 2009, is supposedly easier and safer than sending money via more traditional means. Using Bitcoin to pay for items also means avoiding credit […]
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3:25 PM | The Suicide Epidemic Among India’s Marginalized Farmers
A statistical analysis determines that in India’s agriculture sector following the liberalization of the nation’s economy during the 1990s,  suicides among small, debt-ridden farmers - who are clinging to tiny holdings, less than one hectare - and are trying to grow cash crops, such as cotton and coffee, that are highly susceptible to global price fluctuations - have been the result.By contrast, areas such as Gujarat, in which cash crops are mainly cultivated on large-scale […]
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3:00 PM | Numbers in the brain
If you look around, number quantities are inescapable: our culture is based on precisely measuring time, distance, and quantities. However, even creatures that aren’t exposed to sophisticated human number systems are inevitably exposed to quantities of things. Animals in the wild come into contact with varying quantities of other animals and of their food, and […]
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2:40 PM | Sex Reversal: In Brazilian Cave Insects, Females Have The Penises
Researchers have discovered little-known cave insects, four distinct but related species in the genus Neotrogla, with rather novel sex lives - the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia.read more
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2:11 PM | Predicting Recovery from Coma
I have been following the literature on using newer technologies (PET, fMRI, and quantitative EEG) to evaluate the brain activity of patients who appear unresponsive, loosely referred to as coma, or more generally disorders of consciousness. A new study, which I will get to below, adds an interesting element to the research. For background, disorders [...]
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2:00 PM | Is It Good For Kids To Have A Pet?
People overwhelmingly believe that having pets is overall a good thing for children. Indeed, a 2003 paper by developmental psychologist Gail F. Melson reports that most parents say that they acquired... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Mueller M.K. (2014). Is Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) Linked to Positive Youth Development? Initial Answers, Applied Developmental Science, 18 (1) 5-16. DOI:

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2:00 PM | Is It Good For Kids To Have A Pet?
People overwhelmingly believe that having pets is overall a good thing for children. Indeed, a 2003 paper by developmental psychologist Gail F. Melson reports that most parents say that they acquired... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:53 PM | Close to truth
I have been thinking about induction and deduction. I was taught that I could prove something was true with deduction but not with induction. A logical argument gives truth with a capital T. But for years I have not accepted this way to thinking. All the logical argument gives is a relationship. If the axioms […]
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11:10 AM | Presentación del libro tiulado “Estilo de Vida y Depresión”
Entrevista a D. Mauro García Toro, doctor y profesor de Psicopatología de la UIB, quien nos desvela los secretos de su última obra "Estilo de Vida y Depresión" Aquí únicamente se muestra el resumen, para leer la entrada entera pulsa sobre el título.
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9:25 AM | How To Fool A Plagiarism Detector
Should you trust plagiarism detection software? In my view, no – we should never treat an automated plagiarism report as definitive evidence, whether positive (as proof of plagiarism) or negative (as proof of innocence.) These tools are useful for rapidly screening texts to raise red flags, but once a suspicion is raised, only old-fashioned manual […]The post How To Fool A Plagiarism Detector appeared first on Neuroskeptic.
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8:00 AM | A photograph can be worth a thousand words
There has long been a tradition of using photographs to capture, reveal, and expose. A photograph has the ability to arouse emotion – oftentimes, some would argue, more effectively than a verbal or written description.In a recent article in Social Dynamics, Rory du Plessis of the University of Pretoria (South Africa) has brought to life a case example of the power photographs can hold. In an analysis of two sets of photographs produced by the Grahamstown Lunatic Asylum between 1890 and […]
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5:45 AM | Research Shows That Bacteria Survive Longer In Contact Lens Cleaning Solution Than Thought
Each year in the UK, bacterial infections cause around 6,000 cases of a severe eye condition known as microbial keratitis – an inflammation and ulceration of the cornea that can lead to loss of vision. The use of contact lenses has been identified as a particular risk factor for microbial keratitis. New research, presented today at the Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference in Liverpool, shows that a bacterial strain associated with more severe infections shows enhanced […]
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5:44 AM | Creative Activities Outside Work Can Improve Job Performance
SAN FRANCISCO -- Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman and colleagues. Creative pursuits away from work seem to have a direct effect on factors such as creative problem solving and helping others while on the job, said Eschleman, an assistant professor of psychology.read more
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5:44 AM | Key Milestone For Brown Fat Research With A Ground-breaking MRI Scan
The first MRI scan to show 'brown fat' in a living adult could prove to be an essential step towards a new wave of therapies to aid the fight against diabetes and obesity. Researchers from Warwick Medical School and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust used a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based method to identify and confirm the presence of brown adipose tissue in a living adult. Brown fat has become a hot topic for scientists due its ability to use energy and burn […]
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5:44 AM | Sprifermin Offers Benefit For Cartilage Loss From Knee Osteoarthritis
In a new study in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, at 12 months, total femorotibial cartilage thickness loss was reduced in sprifermin (recombinant human fibroblast growth factor 18)-treated knees compared to placebo-treated knees, with effects being significant in the lateral femorotibial compartment but not in the central femorotibial compartment. Results published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), showed that sprifermin […]
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12:48 AM | Play That Funky Music - And Humans Will Dance
Rhythmic drum patterns with a balance of rhythmic predictability and complexity may influence our desire to dance and enjoy the music, according to a new paper by music scholar Maria Witek from the University of Oxford and colleagues. read more
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12:08 AM | Natural Schmatural, We Want To Know What Our Food Doesn't Have In It
Sid Salter, director of public affairs at Mississippi State University, writes in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that labels have gone too far. read more

April 16, 2014

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10:15 PM | It’s your own time you’re wasting
British teachers have voted to receive training in neuroscience ‘to improve classroom practice’ according to a report in the Times Educational Supplement and the debate sounded like a full-on serial head-desker. The idea of asking for neuroscience training at all sounds a little curious but the intro seemed like it could be quite reasonable: Members […]
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9:02 PM | What Do Preschoolers Learn from Fantastical Picture Books?
One of the new picture books making the bedtime rounds at our house is How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, which describes and depicts dinosaurs doing such un-dinosaurly things as tucking themselves into bed or kissing their human mothers good night. The book is whimsical, gorgeously illustrated, and includes a scientific angle, as the genus names […]

Ganea, P., Canfield, C., Simons Ghafari, K. & Chou, T. (2014). Do cavies talk? The effect of anthropomorphic picture books on children's knowledge about animals, Frontiers in Psychology, 5 DOI:

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Editor's Pick
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9:02 PM | If Parents Won't Give Their Kids Vaccines, Will They Give Their Child A Drug For Measles?
Though measles outbreaks remain somewhat under control, they aren't going down. Deaths have held steady at around 150,000 per year since 2007. The developing world can get something of a pass for not being able to contain measles. In anti-science hotbeds like the coasts in America and some countries in Europe, it's unforgivable. What was once only the domain of religious fundamentalists is now dominated by wealthy elites who count on the herd immunity of commoners to protect their children and […]
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