Posts

October 15, 2014

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2:23 PM | Random Walks, the Brain Initiative, and the Genius of Einstein's Brain
Over a four-month period in 1905, Einstein published a series of remarkable papers that changed our conception of time and space.
Even more remarkable is the instrument that enabled Einstein to unlock the mysteries of time and space.  His brain.  Credit: internetarchivebookimages
Some100 billion neurons allowed Einstein to think.  And in order to do this, the neurons in Einstein's developing brain formed a network of neural circuits.  By sending […]
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2:17 PM | The Attraction of Axons; the Moth or the Spider?
An axon is attracted towards its target by guidance cues.  A moth flies towards the source of a pheromone.  A spider is sucked across the floor towards the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner.  Is the attraction of an axon towards its target more like the movement of the moth or the spider?credit: pmillera4External molecules direct the movement of the axon, the moth, and the spider.  In response to pheromone molecules a moth directs its movement toward the source of the […]
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1:30 PM | A stressful youth makes for a devoted finch dad
Stress is generally thought to be a bad thing. But a new study shows that under certain conditions, a stressful childhood could make a zebra finch a better father.
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1:13 PM | Remembering visual images
There is an interesting recent paper (see citation) on visual memory. The researchers’ intent is to map and areas and causal directions between them for a particular process in healthy individuals so that sufferers showing lost of that process can be studied in the same way and the areas/connections which are faulty identified. In this […]

Nenert, R., Allendorfer, J. & Szaflarski, J. (2014). A Model for Visual Memory Encoding, PLoS ONE, 9 (10) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107761

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12:36 PM | A Rush of Blood to the Brain
An article from Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry that discusses the concept of ‘moral disability’ and brain trauma in Victorian times includes a fascinating section on what was presumably thought to be the science of ‘knocking some sense into the brain’. The piece is by medical historian Brandy Shillace who researches Victorian scientific ideas and how […]
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11:54 AM | La investigación del autismo financiada por el gobierno federal de los Estados unidos
James Madison escribió la célebre frase: “Si los hombres fueran ángeles, no sería necesario ningún gobierno. Si los ángeles gobernaran a los hombres, ni controles externos ni internos en el […]
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11:27 AM | Love and Work
#180541146 / gettyimages.com Love and work are two cornerstones of adult human life. The capacity to love and work adequately was considered by Freud as important for our well-being. Adult romantic or love relationships are grounded in childhood attachment patterns. As per the famous and well [...]Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
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11:16 AM | Thinking You Are Bullet Proof might just Kill You.
Alcohol seemed to fortify me, make me stronger limbed, heroic, thrusting and invincible. With alcohol in me I communed with the Gods. The blood seemed to flow around my body better, muscles seemed to get enhanced. I was less inhibited, funnier, nicer, more humane, better company. I looked on the world and it’s troubles with […]
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8:17 AM | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Mid-Cingulate Cortex
What happens in the brain during a highly immersive reading experience? According to the fiction feeling hypothesis (Jacobs, 2014), narratives with highly emotional content cause a deeper sense of immersion by engaging the affective empathy network to a greater extent than neutral narratives. Emotional empathy — in this case, the ability to identify with a fictional character via grounded metarepresentations of ‘global emotional moments’ (Hsu et al., 2014) — relies […]

Hsu CT, Conrad M & Jacobs AM (2014). Fiction feelings in Harry Potter: haemodynamic response in the mid-cingulate cortex correlates with immersive reading experience., Neuroreport, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25304498

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1:30 AM | What is the habenula?
Despite the fact that it is present in almost all vertebrate species, very little was known about the habenula until fairly recently. In the past several years, however, the habenula has received a significant amount of attention for its potential role in both cognition (e.g. reward processing) and disorders like depression. Still, the habenula remains a little-known structure whose functions are yet to be fully elucidated.Where is the habenula?The habenula is part of the diencephalon and, […]
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12:30 AM | Mind The Gender Gap: Why Women Must Still Fight For Equality In Science
Pulsars were discovered by a woman, Jocelyn Bell. Credit: WikimediaBy Hazel Hall, Edinburgh Napier University What was the greatest astronomical discovery of the 20th century? Some would say pulsars – highly magnetized, rotating neutron stars emitting beams of electromagnetic radiation. The scientific world was informed of these in a paper published by Nature in 1968. read more
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12:17 AM | “The voice of the heart” available at Amazon in English and Spanish!
Originally posted on Baldscientist:The voice of the heart is already available at Amazon.com! Here are the first few lines of the story: The voice of the heart I am awake. Nice; this is one of the most restful nights that I have ever had. I don’t even think I dreamt. Wait. I just remembered…

October 14, 2014

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11:59 PM | Ada Lovelace And Others Inspire Women In STEM, But We Must Make Careers Worth Their While
It's Ada Lovelace day. Image credit: unknownBy Jan Bogg, University of LiverpoolThroughout the year there are special days that see newsagents fill with celebratory cards. Perhaps punched cards would be more appropriate for Ada Lovelace Day, which marks both the mathematical prowess of the woman dubbed the “first computer programmer” and the cultural barriers she faced – those women in science and technical fields still face today. read more
Editor's Pick
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11:46 PM | Evolutionary theorists justify fear of the Ebola viruses
Scientists Rein In Fears of Ebola, a Virus Whose Mysteries Tend to Invite Speculation By CARL ZIMMER OCT. 13, 2014 Excerpt: “Pardis C. Sabeti, a geneticist at Harvard, and her colleagues have analyzed the genomes of Ebola viruses isolated from...Read more
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11:30 PM | The History Of Genetically Modified Tomatoes
What's not red and about the size of your thumb? Tomatoes, before ancient scientists set out to make them patabale.  This genomic history of tomato breeding, based on sequencing of 360 varieties of the tomato plant, has vaulted beyond the first tomato genome sequence completed just two years ago. It will lend insight into science for people who believe genetic modification only began happening during the Clinton administration. Analysis of the genome sequences of these 360 varieties and […]
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11:30 PM | How Bacterial Species Evolve Antibiotic Resistance
Given a critical change in the environment, how exactly do species adapt? read more
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10:34 PM | Hydraulic Fracturing Correlated To Earthquakes In Ohio
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, is a way to extract natural gas from shale rock, by using a modern process to inject a high-pressure water mixture at the rock to release the gas inside. By all accounts it has been an environmental boon, responsible for causing energy emissions from coal to plummet back to early 1980s levels without causing energy prices to rise and harm poor people.read more
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10:33 PM | The importance of olfactory receptors
Smell Turns Up in Unexpected Places By ALEX STONEOCT. 13, 2014 Excerpt: “I’ve been arguing for the importance of these receptors for years,” said Dr. Hatt, who calls himself an ambassador of smell, and whose favorite aromas are basil, thyme...Read more
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10:30 PM | New Amsterdam On Mars Is Bold, But Is It Feasible?
The Dutch have always been bold. Not just any culture would make wooden shoes a thing and turn tulip bulbs into a luxury investment. And if you like New York City, you can thank New Amsterdam. Now Holland wants to be a colonial power again, this time on Mars. The "Mars One" project, announced in 2012, wants to establish the first human colony on the Red Planet by 2025. It's a one-way trip but there is no shortage of people willing to be one of the four that will build the first human […]
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10:03 PM | A stressful youth makes for a devoted finch dad
ScicuriousAnimals,Neuroscience BY Bethany Brookshire 9:30am, October 15, 2014 Male zebra finches stressed during development turn out to be better dads, a new study shows.David Cook Wildlife Photography/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)Stress is our coping response.  Whether emotional or physical, stress is how […]
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9:36 PM | There Is No Such Thing As Reptiles Any More – Here's Why
No, it's nothing to do with a reptilian existential crisis – just a name game. Credit: melanie cook/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SABy Dustin WelbourneYou have likely been to a zoo at some point and visited their reptile house. A building where the climate control dial is stuck on the “wet sauna” setting, and filled with maniacal children competing to be the first to press their ice cream covered face and hands on every available piece of clean glass. read more
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8:58 PM | Carbon’s Place in a Silicon World
Everything is silicon based, well mainly your computer, your TV, your ipad, and pretty much every piece of electronics in existence. Still the world turns and so does technology; at […]

Sharon Bahena-Garrido, Norihiro Shimoi, Daisuke Abe, Toshimasa Hojo, Yasumitsu Tanaka & Kazuyuki Tohji (2014). Plannar light source using a phosphor screen with single-walled carbon nanotubes as field emitters, Review of Scientific Instruments, Other:

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8:21 PM | Modern Droughts Are Nothing - 1934 Was The Worst Of The Last 1,000 Years
In an instantaneous, 24-hour news cycle, a lot of being made of current U.S. droughts but the 1934 version was 7X larger than other comparable intensity droughts that struck North America between 1000 A.D. and 2005, and nearly 30 percent worse than the next most severe drought that struck the continent in 1580, finds a new analysis.  read more
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7:40 PM | Biologically-based EES cause vs the pseudoscientific nonsense of SET
The EES expands what is recognized as causally relevant in the process of evolution (link opens pdf) www.nature.com/polopoly_fs/7.20356.1412604225!/suppinfoFile/514164a_s1.pdf Excerpt: “organisms inherit a wide variety of materials from their ancestors, including epigenetic marks, hormones, symbionts, learned knowledge and skills, and ecological...Read more
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6:21 PM | BMAL1 and Memory
This post is long overdue. I finished my PhD at the end of May. Finishing was a whirlwind of dissertation writing, manuscript submitting, review addressing. My paper on the requirement of the circadian protein BMAL1 for hippocampal-dependent memory was accepted soon after I defended. I created this illustration for the cover of Learning & Memory, abstractly […]
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6:08 PM | Revisiting landmark folate-autism study
Geneticist Joe Cubells is re-examining a Chinese study of folic acid supplementation and its impact on autism risk The post Revisiting landmark folate-autism study appeared first on Lab Land.
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5:44 PM | Recent College Graduates See Job Boom
Though the American economy remains in a malaise, with alarming numbers of people chronically unemployed for so long they no longer are considered unemployed because they can't get unemployment benefits any more, two areas have been exempt from that - government employees and new college graduates. Unlike the rest of the economy, those two sections never had negative growth and now hiring is expected to jump a whopping 16 percent for newly minted degree-holders in 2014-15, according to […]
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5:31 PM | Pregnancy Pressure: Now You Should Watch Diet And Exercise Too
Mothers are already responsible for propagating the species, a thankless job which men wisely avoid in all ways, but now they may be tasked with a better diet and exercising more also, because it has been directly associated with a range of improved outcomes at birth by researchers from the University of Adelaide. They say it is the  biggest study of its kind two papers were published on the findings in BMC Medicine.read more
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5:31 PM | Lamar Smith's attack on NSF a thinly veiled attempt to suppress environmental education
It's no secret that Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology committee, has been waging a war on the National Science Foundation. See here, here, here and here. In a 2013 piece in USA Today, Smith, writing with Eric Cantor stated:While the NSF spends most of its funds well, we have recently seen far too many questionable grants, especially in the social, behavioral and economic sciences. A link to a more complete list of the suspect grants on which […]
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5:03 PM | Family history of alcoholism interacts with alcohol to affect brain regions involved in behavioral inhibition
We cite and quote directly from a very interesting article on how a family history of alcoholism contributes to impulsivity, the one psychological domain that turns up repeatedly and is supported in studies of alcoholics, addicts and those at risk … Continue reading →
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