Posts

February 23, 2015

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9:56 PM | African-Americans May Not Trust Flu Vaccines
A survey asking if people took a flu vaccine revealed some interesting statistics - if their physician specifically recommended it, they were far more likely to have gotten one and vaccination rates among African-Americans was a low 62 percent.90 percent of patients received vaccination if their physician advocated for it compared to 58 percent of patients whose physician did not, the results showed. Vaccination rates in European-Americans were 93 percent and in Asian-Americans 84 […]
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9:26 PM | A Side-Effect Of Antibiotics May Not Be A Side-effect At All, It May Be A Feature
Just about everyone in the developed world has taken an antibiotic to treat a bacterial infection and the instructions are well-known; don't stop after you start to feel better, even though you know they are killing machines.Yet the picture may be more complex, according to a new paper, and it might change our understanding of why bacteria produce antibiotics in the first place. "For a long time we've thought that bacteria make antibiotics for the same reasons that we love them - because […]
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9:21 PM | Brain waves help memory formation
Our brains generate a constant hum of activity: As neurons fire, they produce brain waves that oscillate at different frequencies. Long thought to be merely a byproduct of neuron activity, recent studies suggest that these waves may play a critical role in communication between different parts of the brain. A new study adds to that […]

Brincat, S. & Miller, E. (2015). Frequency-specific hippocampal-prefrontal interactions during associative learning, Nature Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1038/nn.3954

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7:06 PM | An epigenetic trap (the prequel)
See also: An epigenetic trap (the sequel) Excerpt: “Support for the link from one epigenetic trap to cell type differentiation was included in the molecular epigenetics section of our 1996 review, which detailed how RNA-mediated chromatin remodeling occurs.” My comment:...Read more
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6:55 PM | How Posture Can Affect the Brain
For decades now, scientists have had a good knowledge of the descending neural and hormonal pathways by which the human brain influences the human body. But until quite recently, there was still a tendency to underestimate just how much the human body influences the human brain. In an experiment reported in 2010, however, social psychologist [...]
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5:17 PM | Are 'Hookups' Changing the Way Men and Women View Each Other?
The authors of this latest study, published in the academic journal 'Body Image', conclude that from their results, it is difficult to say which gender was more critical in their assessment of the body of a romantic partner.
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4:57 PM | If You Smoke 15 Cigarettes In A Closed Car, You Could Pass Out
A new paper based on a series of theoretical calculations using applied physics says that if you smoke 15 cigarettes in a sealed car in just over an hour, you could lose consciousness.So crack a window. Or don't smoke in a car. Or don't smoke.Why create the estimate? Starting this October, drivers in England will be banned from smoking in their cars if they are carrying children as passengers and the reason was not just because of vague epidemiological claims about second-hand or even […]
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4:35 PM | Walking Football - The Health Benefits Without The Injury
Like sports, want to play into old age without the injury risk? Walking football - or basketball, or lots of other things - might be the answer.Football - soccer in the United States - is running and kicking. If you change the running to walking, the skill is the same but the injury risk is reduced. Although coaches have long forced players to walk, the same way guitar teachers force players to play a fast piece slowly, as a popular movement Walking Football began in 2011, as a way  […]
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4:12 PM | Why Do Women Lag In Academic Medicine Leadership Positions?
Though women are 20 percent of full-time faculty in medical schools, they are not rising to senior leadership positions in similar numbers, a situation strikingly different from the corporate world, where women have choices about how high they want to rise.read more
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4:02 PM | Recovery Identity
We continue to mine the research wisdom of William L White on the next few blogs. William White is one of a growing number of researchers looking into recovery. This is an oft neglected part of research although we are … Continue reading →
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3:42 PM | Mindfulness Meditation May Improve Sleep Quality
Mindfulness meditation practices resulted in improved sleep quality for older adults with moderate sleep disturbance in a clinical trial comparing meditation to a more structured program focusing on changing poor sleep habits and establishing a bedtime routine, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. Sleep disturbances are a medical and public health concern for our nation's aging population. An estimated 50 percent of individuals 55 years and older have some sort of […]
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3:42 PM | Brain Protein With High Affinity For Valium
Valium, one of the best known antianxiety drugs, produces its calming effects by binding with a particular protein in the brain. But the drug has an almost equally strong affinity for a completely different protein. Understanding this secondary interaction might offer clues about Valium's side effects and point the way to more effective drugs. read more
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3:06 PM | Effects of Iron Deficiency in Female Runners (A Guest Post)
By Ana Breit When people think of nutritional deficiencies, they probably picture women with goiters due to lack of iodine or other newsworthy examples. In reality, the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States is iron deficiency. Iron Deficiency (ID) is especially common in endurance athletes, especially female athletes. Start of 2013 Roy Griak Invitational Cross Country Meet at the University of Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Larson.Iron is the metal in humans […]

Auersperger I, Škof B, Leskošek B, Knap B, Jerin A & Lainscak M (2013). Exercise-induced changes in iron status and hepcidin response in female runners., PloS one, 8 (3) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23472137

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3:00 PM | New CP-Odd Higgs Boson Results By ATLAS
The paper to read today is one from the ATLAS collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider -my competitors, as I work for the other experiment across the ring, CMS. ATLAS has just produced a new article which describes the search for the CP-odd A boson, a particle which arises in Supersymmetry as well as in more generic extensions of the Standard Model called "two-higgs doublet models". What are these ? read more
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2:38 PM | One Foot in Psychology and One in Biology
Q&A with Marta Kutas Marta Kutas has been smitten from the beginning with ERPs – event-related potentials, measures of electrical activity in the brain. She calls them “temporally exquisite instruments for investigating what the brain does – loosely, the mind.” Kutas, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, is this year’s recipient […]
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1:13 PM | ADHD Is Real
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has long been a target of those who dislike the very concept of mental disorders. This is partly because the emotional stakes are high – the diagnosis often results in children being treated with stimulants. Opposition to the concept of ADHD also reflects fundamental misunderstandings about medicine. A recent opinion [...]
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12:56 PM | Argumentation, Autism, and the Serenity Prayer
According to several dictionaries argumentation is the study of effective reasoning manifested by how a person presents justifications for or against something being discussed. During discussion we make statements that […]
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12:53 PM | Worried about the ‘zero risk’ approach to childhood? Relief is now just a click away
Originally posted on Rethinking Childhood:I am pleased to announce that my 2007 book No Fear: Growing up in a risk averse society can now be downloaded direct from this website as a pdf, thanks to my publishers Calouste Gulbenkian…
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10:46 AM | Recovery: can you feel “Better than Well!”?
Degrees of Recovery? Better than Well – I love this concept and reality and relate to it myself. This is a reality for many recovery people who feel they had an amplified recovery or in simple terms, people who got better than well! This people did not simply have the pathology of addiction extracted from […]
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10:32 AM | ¿Existe una epidemia de ansiedad en Chile?
Los trastornos de ansiedad se han convertido en una señal de identidad entre los países desarrollados, pero ¿Hasta qué punto está presente en Chile? El artículo original está en ¿Existe una epidemia de ansiedad en Chile?
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10:32 AM | Is there an epidemic of anxiety in Chile?
Anxiety disorders have become today in a sign of identity among developed countries, but what extent is present in Chile? The original article is in Is there an epidemic of anxiety in Chile?
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9:18 AM | The “Backfire Effect”: Correcting false beliefs about vaccines can be surprisingly counterproductive
Nearly half of the US population wrongly believes the flu vaccine can give you flu,but correcting this error has the opposite of the desired effectBy guest blogger Simon OxenhamAccording to a new study, 43 per cent of the US population wrongly believes that the flu vaccine can give you flu. In actual fact this is not the case – any adverse reaction, besides a temperature and aching muscles for a short time, is rare. It stands to reason that correcting this misconception would be a good […]

Nyhan, B. & Reifler, J. (2015). Does correcting myths about the flu vaccine work? An experimental evaluation of the effects of corrective information, Vaccine, 33 (3) 459-464. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.11.017

Brendan Nyhan, Jason Reifler, Sean Richey & Gary L. Freed (2014). Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial, PEDIATRICS, 133 (4) DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-2365d

Lewandowsky, S., Ecker, U., Seifert, C., Schwarz, N. & Cook, J. (2012). Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13 (3) 106-131. DOI: 10.1177/1529100612451018

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8:27 AM | The smart unconscious
We feel that we are in control when our brains figure out puzzles or read words, says Tom Stafford, but a new experiment shows just how much work is going on underneath the surface of our conscious minds. It is a common misconception that we know our own minds. As I move around the world, […]
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12:39 AM | More Regulations, Taxes, Unlikely To Create A Tipping Point For A US Black Market In Cigarettes
Tobacco use has plummeted in the past few decades, due to high taxes, bans on advertising and generous contracts for public relations companies to vilify smokers - but there are still more than a billion people worldwide who regularly use tobacco, including many who purchase the products illicitly. read more
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12:07 AM | Methane Leaks From Three Large US Natural Gas Fields In Line With Federal Estimates
Tens of thousands of pounds of methane leak per hour from equipment in three major natural gas basins that span Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania, according to airborne measurements published today. But the overall leak rate from those basins is only about one percent of gas production there--lower than leak rates measured in other gas fields, and in line with federal estimates.read more
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12:07 AM | New Test To Predict The Effectiveness Of Cancer Vaccines
Cancer vaccines are designed to turn the body's own immune system specifically against tumor cells. Particularly promising are vaccines that are directed against so-called neoantigens: These are proteins that have undergone a genetic mutation in tumor cells and, therefore, differ from their counterparts in healthy cells. The tiny alteration - sometimes only a single protein building block has been changed - gives the protein on the tumor cell surface novel immunological characteristics that can […]
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12:00 AM | New neurons in the adult brain help us adapt
The discovery that the human brain continues to produce new neurons in adulthood challenged a major dogma in the field of neuroscience, but the role of these neurons in behavior and cognition is still not clear. In a review article researchers synthesize the vast literature on this topic, reviewing environmental factors that influence the birth of […]

Opendak, M. & Gould, E. (2015). Adult neurogenesis: a substrate for experience-dependent change, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2015.01.001

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February 22, 2015

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10:56 PM | Specific Genetic Enhancers May Have Contributed to Larger Brains in Humans
Though humans don’t have the largest and most complex brains of the mammals (those distinctions go to the sperm whale and the elephant, respectively), the complexity of our language and […]
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9:32 PM | Entzia And Miren - Two New Potato Varieties
Potatoes are an essential food for humans and now two new varieties produced by the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development have been added to the Registry of Commercial Varieties. read more
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6:02 PM | Neurofeedback – or how the mind trains the brain
There is no lack of advertisements  for devices, games and tasks that are meant to train our thinking and memory, just as exercise trains muscle. And, wouldn’t it  be great if we could increase our brain power like Lucy in … Continue reading →
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