Posts

September 12, 2014

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12:00 PM | China Shows There's More To Renewable Energy Than Fighting Climate Change
The Tangshanpeng Wind Farm in China. Credit: Flickr/Land Rover Our Planet, CC BY-SABy John Mathews and Hao Tan, University of Newcastle read more
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11:58 AM | Can Psychology Explain What Happened Between Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp?
Although there has been a verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial, will this satisfy global curiosity as to what happened on the night that Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead by Oscar Pistorius?
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11:22 AM | Of shrinking brains and modern anxieties
A recent piece in Discover magazine highlights research on changes in brain size over the last 20 000 years. Contrary to what you might expect, the findings seem to point to decreasing size up until very recently (the last century or so, when better nutrition and public health measures became available). The article doesn’t mention […]
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8:33 AM | Astrocyte role in gamma waves
The study of the brain has been very neuron centered. Glial cells outnumber neuron by about 10 to 1 in the cortex and are known to be important to brain function but it is not clear just what they do other than some housekeeping tasks and shepherding neurons to their final locations during development. Astrocyte […]

Lee, H., Ghetti, A., Pinto-Duarte, A., Wang, X., Dziewczapolski, G., Galimi, F., Huitron-Resendiz, S., Pina-Crespo, J., Roberts, A., Verma, I. & Sejnowski, T. (2014). Astrocytes contribute to gamma oscillations and recognition memory, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (32) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1410893111

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8:23 AM | Psychologists compare the mental abilities of Scrabble and crossword champions
Completed Scrabble (left) and crossword grids (image from Toma et al 2014).Every year, hundreds of word lovers arrive from across the US to compete in the American Crossword Puzzle tournament. They solve clues (e.g. "caught some Z's") and place the answers (e.g. "sleep") in a grid. Meanwhile, a separate group of wordsmiths gather regularly to compete at Scrabble, the game that involves forming words out of letter tiles and finding a suitable place for them on the board.Both sets of players have […]

Toma, M., Halpern, D. & Berger, D. (2014). Cognitive Abilities of Elite Nationally Ranked SCRABBLE and Crossword Experts, Applied Cognitive Psychology, DOI: 10.1002/acp.3059

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7:59 AM | Alcoholism is a Family Disease!
It is so great and very heartening that Dr George Koob, imminent researcher into addiction and Director of the US National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction is so profoundly knowledgeable about the consequences of alcoholism on the suffering families … Continue reading →
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5:14 AM | Testing out a #drawing app with the #brain. More practice to be done when it comes to drawing on my phone. #art #sciart #science
via Instagram http://ift.tt/1rQF1dO
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4:14 AM | Mechanisms that are not understood increase clarity
Science 12 September 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6202 pp. 1240-1241 DOI: 10.1126/science.1252966 Perspective RNA Function RNA and dynamic nuclear organization John Rinn1,2,3, Mitchell Guttman4 Excerpt: “While the mechanism for how lncRNAs establish these domains is not fully understood, it is...Read more
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2:56 AM | Pattern recognition and conserved receptors (TAARs)
Olfactory Receptor Patterning in a Higher Primate The article links the senior author’s prior works form nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated events to her 2005 coauthored work: Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction. It is surprising to see Nobel Laureate,...Read more
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2:15 AM | Nutrient-dependent erythropoiesis and anemia
A critical role for mTORC1 in erythropoiesis and anemia Excerpt 1): “Cells must coordinate their rate of growth and proliferation with the availability of nutrients. mTOR , a serine-threonine kinase, is one the key proteins responsible for nutrient signaling in...Read more
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2:08 AM | Reflections on TEDMED D.C., 2014: The Big Picture
There's a BLOGGING LOUNGE! So obviously I'm here.Greetings from TEDMED 2014! I type this at The Hive surrounded by the hub-bub, brilliant minds, and countless coffee stations that could only power an event this stimulating. I'm currently eating a Kind bar, chillin' in the Blogging Lounge (yeah, that's a thing here), and keeping an ear open for when I'll be called to get lunch at an event they call TableTalk. There's also a nap station which, as a sleep scientist, I wholeheartedly endorse.We're […]
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12:13 AM | Does fasting improve mental acuity and help you live longer?
Todays guest blog post comes from Dr Devika Garg, a fresh PhD in neurosciences from the National University of Singapore, with a passion for bringing complex science to the public in simple and engaging ways. She has interests in poetry, music, the creative ways neurons function to create complex animal behaviors, and the wonderful way […]The post Does fasting improve mental acuity and help you live longer? appeared first on Your Brain Health.
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12:01 AM | Ebola Crisis In West Africa: Where Did All The Development Money Go?
Health systems aren't sexy. Credit: Truthout.org, CC BY-NC-SABy Sophie Harman, Queen Mary, University of London read more

September 11, 2014

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11:00 PM | Unusual Biochemistry: Fat Proteins Interact Directly With Mitochondria
Researchers have revealed an unusual biochemical connection: ft (Fat) genes interact directly with mitochondria in cells. Mitochondria are the primary sources of energy production within our cells and there are some 200 pathologies linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. read more
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10:52 PM | PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)
Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): Where Is The Brain In The Human Brain Project? Nature News In The Popular Press: Could Deep-Brain Stimulation Fortify Soldiers’ Minds? Scientific American Brain-to-Brain Communication Is Finally Possible. It's Just Very Clunky, Vox Woman of...
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10:51 PM | Brilliance Often Springs from Boredom
Every so often, we face a job we dread because it seems exceedingly dull. As a child, I felt that way about household chores—scrubbing a toilet, sweeping a floor, wiping a countertop, weeding. I... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:50 PM | "Toward a Jurisprudence of Psychiatric Evidence: Examining the Challenges of Reasoning from Group Data in Psychiatry to Individual Decisions in the Law"
Recently Published in SSRN (and forthcoming in the University of Miami Law Review): "Toward a Jurisprudence of Psychiatric Evidence: Examining the Challenges of Reasoning from Group Data in Psychiatry to Individual Decisions in the Law" Carl E. Fisher,Columbia University -...
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10:37 PM | "The Selective Allure of Neuroscientific Explanations"
Recently published on PLoS One: "The Selective Allure of Neuroscientific Explanations" NICHOLAS SCURICH, University of California, Irvine ADAM SHNIDERMAN, Texas Christian University Some claim that recent advances in neuroscience will revolutionize the way we think about human nature and legal...
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10:30 PM | Captured: The Sound Of An Atom
Researchers have used sound to communicate with an artificial atom, demonstrating phenomena in quantum physics using sound rather than light. The interaction between atoms and light has been studied extensively but making acoustic waves couple to an artificial atom is a newer endeavor. An artificial atom is an example of such a quantum electrical circuit. Just like a regular atom, it can be charged up with energy which it subsequently emits in the form of a particle. This is usually a particle […]
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10:14 PM | Alien Life Search Guidelines Released
Astronomers searching the atmospheres of alien planets for gases that might be produced by life, such as oxygen, ozone, or methane, may be missing the mark - because those gases can be produced non-biologically. Methane is a carbon atom bound to four hydrogen atoms. On Earth, much of it is produced biologically - burping cows are a classic example - but it can also be made inorganically; for example, volcanoes at the bottom of the ocean can release the gas after it is produced by […]
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10:13 PM | Different economies of academic success
From the K-12 system to their undergraduate degree, students are taught that they are operating in a credential economy. What is valued are whether or not you get a high school diploma, a certain GPA, a bachelor’s degree.After so long operating in a credential based system, it should be no surprise that they have trouble comprehending the idea that at higher levels, in post-graduate work, academics are operating in a reputation economy. It’s no big deal to have a doctoral degree; […]
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10:01 PM | Which Patients Are Most Likely To Delay Hospice Enrollment?
Almost 20 percent cancer patients wait to enroll in Hospice until their last three days of life.  Their courage and determination is admirable, Hospice is palliative care, but it shortchanges both patients and their families and a new paper seeks to create a profile for people like to be late admissions. The team examined de-identified data from electronic medical records of 64,264 patients in 12 hospices in the Coalition of Hospices Organized to Investigate Comparative Effectiveness […]
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9:45 PM | Mapping 15 Years Of Carbon Dioxide Emissions
There hasn't been a lot of progress made on greenhouse gas emissions policies - while America and the EU have made efforts to curb emissions, three countries that account for 3X the emissions of the US are exempt from treaties under an umbrella of developing nation status. And neither policy makers nor the public trusts climate science the way they do other fields. What the world needs is globally consistent, independent emissions assessments - and a lot less self-reporting, errors and lack of […]
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9:30 PM | B1 Deficit Linked To Brain Damage
Thiamine - vitamin B1 - can potentially cause a fatal brain disorder called Wernicke encephalopathy. Wernicke encephalopathy typically occurs in people who have disorders such as alcoholism and anorexia that lead to malnourishment and is an example of the wide range of brain diseases called encephalopathies that are caused by metabolic disorders and toxic substances Symptoms can include confusion, hallucinations, coma, loss of muscle coordination and vision problems such as double vision and […]
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9:02 PM | Male Scientists Forsake Careers For Family - Or The Other Way Around
Though perception is that academia is harder on women when it comes to career and families, and they need to adopt a more corporate approach to penalize mothers less, it isn't just women; one third of men in academic science scale back their careers to focus on family life, according to surveys.read more
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9:00 PM | Genetic Mutation BRAFV600E Linked To Melanoma Progression
The genetic mutation BRAFV600E secretes a protein that promotes the growth of melanoma tumor cells and modify the network of normal cells around the tumor to support the disease's progression, according to a new paper. Targeting this mutation with Vemurafenib reduces this interaction, and suggests possible new treatment options for melanoma therapy. BRAFV600E is common present in metastatic melanoma. read more
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8:22 PM | The Endometriosis Burden On Women
Endometriosis often takes a long time to be diagnosed and affects all areas of a woman's life, from sex to emotional wellbeing, from personal relationships to work.  Endometriosis is a chronic, recurring disease that is experienced by approximately 10 per cent of women worldwide. Common symptoms include painful menstruation, heavy menstrual bleeding, painful sex and infertility.read more
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7:36 PM | Spinosaurus: The First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur
The first truly semi-aquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, has been announced. New fossils of the massive Cretaceous-era predator reveal it adapted to life in the water some 95 million years ago, providing the most compelling evidence to date of a dinosaur able to live and hunt in an aquatic environment. The fossils also indicate that Spinosaurus was the largest known predatory dinosaur to roam the Earth, measuring more than 9 feet longer than the world's largest Tyrannosaurus rex […]
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6:29 PM | Game Of Thrones Weather: Winter Is Coming Vs. You Know Nothing, Jon Snow
The seasons are about to change and that means a new round of projections, prognostications, sooth-saying and doomsday forecasts.If you think you know which of those are done by the civilized world and which of those are done by pagan Wildlings, you know nothing about modern climate science and culture.In George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire", a wall separates two very different people - think England and Scotland. South of The Wall, the people of Winterfell are always preparing for the […]
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6:01 PM | Non-coding RNA: Genetic Modification Anti-Science Groups Can't Protest
Modern genetic modification, where biologists cause a plant to express a natural protein taken from another plant that wards off pests, is protested by environmental groups and organic farmers. Organic farmers will spray Bt on their plants, while calling them organic food, yet the same food that expresses Bt naturally, like many plants do, is a Frankenfood. It's the protein expression, they insist. There may be a compromise between the world of science - and not letting poor people die - and […]
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