Posts

August 26, 2014

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9:30 AM | Is the Heart of the Matter White (and Grey)?
Is the Impulsive Behaviour that Precedes Addiction Hardwired into the Brain? AUG 25 Posted by alcoholicsguide In various blogs we have forwarded the idea that emotional and stress dysregulation are that the heart of addiction and alcoholism and are also possible … Continue reading →
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8:30 AM | In Higher Education, Quality Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
What the government sees as a quality university isn’t necessarily the same as what students see. University of Nottingham. Flickr/Simon Paterson, CC BY-SA By Jane O'Callaghan Kotzmann, Deakin University read more
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7:00 AM | Drinking small amounts of alcohol boosts people's sense of smell
As our modern world relies overwhelmingly on sight and sound to transmit information, it might not strike you quite how acute our sense of smell is. In fact we humans can outperform the most sensitive measuring instruments in detecting certain odours, and distinguish smells from strangers from those of our blood relations. Now new research suggests our natural olfactory talents may be even greater when we use modest amounts of alcohol to reduce our inhibitions.A team led by Yaara […]
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5:30 AM | Black Carbon Linked To Cardiovascular Health In Women
Black carbon pollutants from wood smoke might be enough to trap heat near the earth's surface and warm the climate but a new study led by McGill Professor Jill Baumgartner suggests that black carbon may also increase women's risk of cardiovascular disease.  To investigate the effects of black carbon pollutants on the health of women cooking with traditional wood stoves, Professor Jill Baumgartner, a scholar at McGill's Institute for the Health and Social Policy, measured the daily exposure […]
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5:00 AM | Don't Overlook What’s Underfoot – Save The Bugs And Germs
Honey bees play a vital role in pollination but their populations are under threat in many parts of the world. Flickr/Paul Stein, CC BY-SA By Andrew Beattie read more
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4:30 AM | Aspirin Linked To Reduced Risk Of Reccurring Blood Clots
Aspirin may be a promising alternative for those who can't take long-term anticoagulant drugs that prevent clots from reoccurring in the veins, according to a new paper in Circulation. In a combined analysis of two similar independent studies, 1,224 patients who received 100 mg of aspirin a day to treat blood clots were monitored for at least two years. In the International Collaboration of Aspirin Trials for Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism or INSPIRE analysis, researchers found that aspirin […]
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4:00 AM | Medical Marijuana Linked To Fewer Opioid Overdose Deaths
Prescriptions for opioid painkillers for chronic pain have increased in the United States and so have overdose deaths, but a new study focused on how the availability of alternative nonopioid treatment, such as medical marijuana, may affect overdose rates.  States that implemented medical marijuana laws appear to have lower annual opioid analgesic overdoses death rates (both from prescription pain killers and illicit drugs such as heroin) than states without such laws although the reason […]
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3:54 AM | Australopith: Taung Child Was Not Human, Finds Study
The Taung Child, a hominin discovered in South Africa 90 years ago by Wits University Professor Raymond Dart, has been studied using the Wits University Microfocus X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) facility and the results cast doubt on theories that Australopithecus africanus shows the same cranial adaptations found in modern human infants and toddlers. Instead it seems to disprove current support for the idea that this early hominin shows infant brain development in the prefrontal region […]
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3:26 AM | How Boron Facilitates Better Corn Yields
Boron deficiency is a common cause of reduced crop yields in places like Missouri and the eastern half of the United States. It is common for corn and soybean farmers to supplement their soil with boron and now researchers at the University of Missouri have found that boron plays an integral role in development and reproduction in corn plants. The researchers anticipate that understanding how corn uses the nutrient can help farmers make informed decisions in boron deficient areas and improve […]

August 25, 2014

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11:55 PM | Birds being bros
  Who knew birds were such good friends to other animals? via reddit
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11:30 PM | Rare Stiff Person Syndrome Cured? Two Case Reports
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11:13 PM | Zombie Ant Fungi knows it’s prey
So awhile back I was bored and to kill some time wisely I wrote this little bit on real life (sometime potential) zombies. It featured a special section on a […]

de Bekker C, Quevillon LE, Smith PB, Fleming KR, Ghosh D, Patterson AD & Hughes DP (2014). Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite., BMC evolutionary biology, 14 (1) 166. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25085339

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10:55 PM | Complication Risk Of Deep Brain Stimulation For Parkinson Patients Not Age Related
For patients with advanced Parkinson disease who have involuntary movements, deep brain stimulation has been found to be an effective treatment for reducing motor disability and improving quality of life.  Some recent studies suggest that deep brain stimulation plus medical therapy is better than medical therapy alone for patients with  Parkinson disease and early motor complications. Most clinical studies have excluded patients older than 75 years of age, although no specific age […]
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10:35 PM | Fungicide Vinclozolin Linked To Great Granddaughter's Stress
Feeling stressed out? Blame your great-grandparents. Psychologists have linked ancestral exposure by a common fungicide, vinclozolin, to the stress levels of rats generations later. Epigenetically. Vinclozolin is a fungicide commonly used by farmers to ward off rots, molds and blights. read more
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9:38 PM | The last year
This is my iPad cover:By this time next year, I’m going to need a new cover. The University of Texas-Pan American won’t exist any more. It will be abolished and replaced by University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. (And that name won’t fit on an iPad cover, either, darn it.)Today is the first day of the fall semester, and it is a little bittersweet knowing that this is the start of the last year for this university. I’ve heard quite a few people already talking about it. […]
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7:38 PM | Unpacking Recovery Part 3: Can Patients Imagine Recovery?
Today I have the distinct pleasure of writing about one of my favourite articles about eating disorder recovery by Malson et al. (2011) exploring how inpatients talk about eating disorder recovery. I have personally found this article to be very helpful in understanding some of the difficulties of understanding and achieving recovery in our social context. As Malson and colleagues explain (and as we’ve established), eating disorder recovery is elusive. Often, poor prognosis is described […]

Malson H, Bailey L, Clarke S, Treasure J, Anderson G & Kohn M (2011). Un/imaginable future selves: a discourse analysis of in-patients' talk about recovery from an 'eating disorder'., European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association, 19 (1) 25-36. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21182163

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7:30 PM | Have A Cocktail: How Zombie Ant Fungi Manipulates Brains Of Hosts
A parasitic fungus that reproduces by manipulating the behavior of ants emits a cocktail of behavior-controlling chemicals when encountering the brain of its natural target host, but not when infecting other ant species, a new study shows. The findings, which suggest that the fungus "knows" its preferred host, provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, according to researchers. "Fungi are well known for their ability to secrete chemicals that affect their […]
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7:23 PM | Alcohol and Your Heart
Health benefits of moderate drinking come under fire.One of those things that “everybody knows” about alcohol is that a drink or two per day is good for your heart. But maybe not as good for your heart as no drinks at all.Joint first authors Michael V. Holmes of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College in London, and Caroline E. Dale at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in London, recently published a multi-site meta-analysis of […]
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7:14 PM | Hypothesis on evolution of PMS attracts hostility
A new hypothesis states that PMS is evolutionarily useful for making women leave an infertile partnership. But other scientists question whether the hypothesis is reasonable or, in fact, even necessary.
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7:13 PM | Hypothesis on evolution of PMS attracts hostility
Researcher suggests premenstrual syndrome prompts women to leave infertile partnerships ScicuriousPsychology,Health,Evolution by Bethany Brookshire 3:14pm, August 25, 2014 A new hypothesis posits that PMS is evolutionarily useful for making women leave an infertile partnership. But other scientists question whether the hypothesis is reasonable or, in fact, even […]
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7:05 PM | Glycocongugates Are More Than The Sum Of Their Sugars
A certain type of biomolecule, called a glycoconjugate,  is built like a nano-Christmas tree. Its many branches are bedecked with sugary ornaments that get all the glory. That's because, according to conventional wisdom, the glycoconjugate's lowly "tree" basically holds the sugars in place as they do the important work of reacting with other molecules. A chemist at Michigan Technological University has discovered that the tree itself — the scaffold — is a good deal more than a […]
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6:09 PM | Toddlers And Their Intuitive Understanding Of Probability
Children learn many skills simply by watching people around them. Without any explicit instructions, youngsters figure out how to do things like press a button to operate the television and twist a knob to open a door. Scholars have taken this further and found that children as young as age 2 intuitively use mathematical concepts such as probability to help make sense of the world around them.read more
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5:34 PM | Eyes With More Yellow Pigment See Better In Haze
People with more yellow pigment in their eye may be better able to see distant objects in hazy conditions, according to a new paper in Optometry and Vision Science. Increased macular pigment (MP) may help in filtering out "blue haze," thus making distant objects more visible, according to an experimental study by Laura M. Fletcher, MS, and colleagues of University of Georgia, Athens. "The results suggest that people with high levels of yellow macular pigment may have some slight advantage […]
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5:23 PM | Counter-Intuitive: Too Many Ethical Companies Is Bad For Society
For 'credence' services such as auto-repair, health care, and legal services, when more service providers care about the customer's well-being, society as whole may actually be worse off.    Why? Because the benefit to the customers for the service is difficult to assess before and even after the service. For example, when an auto mechanic tells a customer to make some repairs, the average customer is unable to discern the veracity of the recommendation. The risk of not doing repairs […]
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4:30 PM | Training Your Heart To Protect Your Brain
Exercising to improve our cardiovascular strength may protect us from cognitive impairment as we age, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated Institut universitaire de gératrie de Montréal Research Centre. The researchers worked with 31 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 and 54 older participants aged between 55 and 75. This enabled the team to compare the older participants within their peer group and against the younger […]
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4:30 PM | Changes In The Eye Predict Dementia Before Symptoms Show
Researchers have found that a loss of cells in the retina is one of the earliest signs of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in people with a genetic risk for the disorder—even before any changes appear in their behavior.read more
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4:11 PM | Are most co-morbidities really substance-induced disorders?
In this blog we re-emphasize the need for accurate diagnosis of co-morbidity with a substance use disorder. It appears form the article cited here (1) that diagnosis is often flawed in many studies and that the so-called diagnosis of co-morbidity … Continue reading →
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4:00 PM | ALS: An Infographic and the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Knowing Neurons team accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! We nominate EyeWire, Kerri Smith of Neurpod, Dan Ariely, and Oliver Sacks!   ~ Infographic by Jooyeun Lee, Anita Ramanthan, Kate Fehlhaber, and Jillian Shaw. ~ References: Renton A.E. & Bryan J Traynor (2013). State of play in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis genetics, Nature Neuroscience, 17 … Continue reading →

Renton A.E. & Bryan J Traynor (2013). State of play in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis genetics, Nature Neuroscience, 17 (1) 17-23. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.3584

Vucic S., Rothstein J.D. & Kiernan M.C. (2014). Advances in treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: insights from pathophysiological studies., Trends in neurosciences, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24927875

Ferraiuolo L., Andrew J. Grierson, Michael Sendtner & Pamela J. Shaw (2011). Molecular pathways of motor neuron injury in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Nature Reviews Neurology, 7 (11) 616-630. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrneurol.2011.152

Andersen P.M. (2011). Clinical genetics of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: what do we really know?, Nature Reviews Neurology, 7 (11) 603-615. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrneurol.2011.150

Dion P.A. & Guy A. Rouleau (2009). Genetics of motor neuron disorders: new insights into pathogenic mechanisms, Nature Reviews Genetics, 10 (11) 769-782. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrg2680

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3:57 PM | Disco biscuits
This is a video of Professor Stephen Stahl, author of Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology, doing a DSM-5 themed version of Stayin’ Alive by the BeeGees.   After working out that, no, no-one has dropped acid in your morning Red Bull, you may notice that the professor busts some pretty respectable moves.   Link to video on […]
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3:51 PM | American Heart Association Declares War On E-Cigarettes
The American Heart Association has drafted a policy recommendation on the use of e-cigarettes and their impact on tobacco-control efforts and says that because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, they are tobacco products and should be subject to all laws that apply to these products.  Writing in its in-house publication, Circulation, the association also calls for new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes and for more research into the product's health […]
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