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Posts

April 08, 2014

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4:47 PM | The Mystery Of The Hexagon On Saturn's North Pole
An unusual hexagonal shape surrounding Saturn's north pole was spotted on the planet for the first time thirty years ago and nothing similar, with such a regular geometry, has been found on any other (non-Earth, obviously) planet in the Solar System. That's not the only mystery. Saturn is the only planet in the Solar System whose rotation time remains unknown.  Writing in Geophysical Research Letters, the University of the Basque Country Planetary Sciences Group has now been able […]
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4:41 PM | Simulating Yeast Metabolism To Understand Changes During Wine Fermentation
Rubén Martínez, a graduate in Biology and Biochemistry at Elhuyar Fundazioa, and colleagues have developed a new methodology that makes it possible to know what physiological state the yeast is in at each point in the wine fermentation process.  This knowledge is of particular interest for producers, since changes in the grape directly affect the chemical composition of the must.read more
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4:41 PM | Alexithymia in psychological problems and addictions
Alexithymia has been that it is a factor accompanying adult to excessive and continuous alcohol consumption, but affect children in the same way?
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4:35 PM | Neuroinformatics 2014: abstract submission extended to April 27
The yearly INCF Congress provides a meeting place for researchers in all fields related to neuroinformatics. This year, the congress will take place August 25-27 in Leiden, Netherlands. Keynotes will be given by: - Margarita Behrens, Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA “The epigenome and brain circuit changes during postnatal development” - Dmitri (Mitya) Chklovskii, […]
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4:28 PM | Black Carbon Hitches A Ride To The Ocean Floor On Passing Particles
Some of the carbon, like the black soot and charcoal residue of fires, that finds its way into Earth's oceans stays there for thousands for years, and some of the black carbon breaks away and hitches a ride to the ocean floor on passing particles. Virtually all black carbon results from combustion. Soot, the airborne version of black carbon, is a key element of smoke. Charcoal is another form of black carbon. Each form is produced naturally by wildfires, as well by industry and other […]
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4:22 PM | Cetuximab And Chemo For Advanced Colorectal Cancer May Lead To More Rapid Cancer Progress
Research that  evaluated whether the drug cetuximab and chemotherapy together worked better than chemotherapy alone as a treatment in addition to surgery for people with bowel cancer that had spread to the liver but could be surgically removed, found it is not effective in some settings, and indeed may result in more rapid cancer progression. The New EPOC study in The Lancet Oncology details that the trial patients either received chemotherapy on its own or chemotherapy combined with […]
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4:09 PM | Whites Become More Conservative When Thinking About Minorities Becoming Majorities
Want to turn a liberal into a conservative? Present the prospect of a racial minority becoming the overall majority in the United States, according to an analysis of Pew Research data. White Americans across the spectrum move more toward the conservative end of the political spectrum, according to a paper in Psychological Science which suggests that increased diversity in the United States could actually lead to a wider partisan divide. Of course, it depends on the minority. Legal […]
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3:57 PM | Tracking Sugar Movement In Plants
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia, overturns a long-held theory in plant science [see:http://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=11631]. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory who are co-authors on this paper conducted critical radiotracer studies that support the new theory that plant sugars play a dominant role in regulating branching at plant stems. […]
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3:05 PM | Information theory of behavior
Biology can tell us what but theory tells us why. There is a new issue of Current Opinion in Neurobiology that focuses on the theory and computation in neuroscience. There’s tons of great stuff there, from learning and memory to the meaning of a spike to the structure of circuitry. I have an article in this issue and […]

Sharpee, T., Calhoun, A. & Chalasani, S. (2014). Information theory of adaptation in neurons, behavior, and mood, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 25 47-53. DOI:

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2:02 PM | Tueday Crustie: Eat my ride
From the Aquatilis Expedition (on Twitter here):Hyperia galba is a small crustacean which uses jellyfish as its home and a source of food simultaneously.Hat tip to Miss Mola Mola.
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12:08 PM | Geocentrism – Seriously?
I just saw the trailer of a new movie, The Principle. The movie is produced by Robert Sungenis, who writes the blog Galileo Was Wrong. Sungenis is what we technically call a kook. He believes the earth is at the center of the universe and that there was no Jewish holocaust, but rather the Jews were [...]
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10:07 AM | Knowing your grandmother
There is a spectrum of ways in which the brain may hold concepts that range from very localized to very distributed, and there is little agreement of where along that spectrum various concepts are held. At the one end is the ultimate local storage: a single ‘grandmother’ neuron that recognizes your grandmother in matter how […]

Bowers JS, Vankov II, Damian MF & Davis CJ (2014). Neural Networks Learn Highly Selective Representations in Order to Overcome the Superposition Catastrophe., Psychological review, PMID:

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6:53 AM | La alexitimia en los problemas psicológicos y las adicciones
La alexitimia se ha visto que es un factor que acompaña en adultos al consumo excesivo y continuado de alcohol, ¿pero afectará de igual forma a los más jóvenes? Aquí únicamente se muestra el resumen, para leer la entrada entera pulsa sobre el título.
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5:46 AM | Before Neanderthals, Early Modern Humans Took Down A Giant Elephant In England
A new study suggests that early humans living thousands of years before Neanderthals, were able to work together in groups to hunt and slaughter animals as large as the prehistoric elephant.University of Southampton archaeologist Dr. Francis Wenban-Smith discovered a site containing remains of an extinct straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) in 2003, in an area of land at Ebbsfleet in Kent, during the construction of the High Speed 1 rail link from the Channel Tunnel to London. […]
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4:47 AM | Epidural Electrical Stimulation Allows 4 Paraplegic Men To Voluntarily Move Their Legs
Four young men who have been paralyzed for years achieved groundbreaking progress — moving their legs. Writing in the journal Brain, the researchers from the University of Louisville, UCLA and the Pavlov Institute of Physiology say the breakthrough is a result of epidural electrical stimulation of the spinal cord. All four participants were classified as suffering from chronic, motor complete spinal cord injuries and were unable to move their lower extremities prior to the implantation of […]
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4:20 AM | Neuroscientists, With CARMEN, You Now Have No Excuse Not To Share Raw Data
Researchers have developed a system allowing neurophysiologists to share raw data with each other, something they hope will generate new discoveries in the field.The first type of data they collected and standardized are recordings of so called ‘retinal waves’. During early development, retinal neurons generate signals that rapidly spread across from one cell to another, much like a Mexican wave in a football stadium. These patterns of activity are thought to help forge the neural […]
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4:20 AM | Neuroscientists, You Now Have No Excuse Not To Share Raw Data
Researchers have developed a system allowing neurophysiologists to share raw data with each other, something they hope will generate new discoveries in the field.The first type of data they collected and standardized are recordings of so called ‘retinal waves’. During early development, retinal neurons generate signals that rapidly spread across from one cell to another, much like a Mexican wave in a football stadium. These patterns of activity are thought to help forge the neural […]
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4:14 AM | Human Bones Can Teach Us About 6,000 Years Of Farming
We can identify an athletic body by analysis of their skeletons because bones show remarkably rapid adaptation to both the intensity and direction of strains. Put under stress through physical exertion – such as long-distance walking or running – they gain in strength as the fibers are added or redistributed according to where strains are highest.  read more
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1:25 AM | Hey regular Monday.
Hey regular Monday.
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1:04 AM | Famed amnesia case,  K.C. died last week. Having lost both...
Famed amnesia case,  K.C. died last week. Having lost both hippocampuses after a motorcycle accident, he was somehow able to hold on to some memories, though “devoid of all context and emotion”… and his identity.   That’s actually a common theme in the neuroscience of accidents. It’s easy to see the victims of brain damage as reduced or diminished, and they are in some ways. But much of what they feel from moment to moment is […]
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12:27 AM | Is ketamine really a plausible treatment for depression?
Last week, a publication in the Journal of Psychopharmacology made international news by reporting that patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) showed improvement after being given the dissociative hallucinogenic drug ketamine. Ketamine, which is traditionally used as an anesthetic in humans and other animals, is probably better known for its use as a party drug (in this context it is often called "special K"). However, a growing body of evidence has begun to suggest that ketamine […]

Diamond, P., Farmery, A., Atkinson, S., Haldar, J., Williams, N., Cowen, P., Geddes, J. & McShane, R. (2014). Ketamine infusions for treatment resistant depression: a series of 28 patients treated weekly or twice weekly in an ECT clinic, Journal of Psychopharmacology, DOI:

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April 07, 2014

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11:42 PM | Can You Put A Price On Ecological Restoration?
Can you put a price on ecological restoration? Of course you can. In fact, you must, or the discourse will be taken over by activists for whom price is no object. In the real world, an evidence-based price on clean water and soil fertility helps the United Nations set ecological restoration targets for degraded and deforested land.Forests provide essential ecosystem services for people, including timber, food and water. For those struggling with the after-effects of deforestation, the main […]
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11:27 PM | I Can Haz Blood? The Surprising World Of Pet Blood Transfusions
What makes a good blood donor? A willingness to welcome anyone who enters the room, it seems, and names  Don Juan, Napoleon, Gucci, Azur, and Marissa don't hurt. “I chose them for their hematological characteristics, but also for their good disposition. We didn’t want cats that would be stressed when handled or that needed excessive sedation,” said Dr. Marie-Claude Blais, Professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.read more
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11:27 PM | I Can Haz Blood? The Surprising World Of Pet Transfusions
What makes a good blood donor? A willingness to welcome anyone who enters the room, it seems, and names like Don Juan, Napoleon, Gucci, Azur, and Marissa don't hurt either.“I chose them for their hematological characteristics, but also for their good disposition. We didn’t want cats that would be stressed when handled or that needed excessive sedation,” said Dr. Marie-Claude Blais, Professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.read more
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11:18 PM | Open Science? Try Good Science.
If the Neuroscience Information Framework is any guide, we are certainly in an era of “Openness” in biomedical science.  A search of the NIF Registry of tools, databases and projects for biomedical science for “Open” leads to over 700 results,  ranging from open access journals, to open data, to open tools.  What do we mean […]
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11:05 PM | On The Eve Of The ACA, Primary Care Doctors Are Available - If You Have The Right Insurance
Previous expansions in Medicaid eligibility by states were not associated with an erosion of perceived access to care or an increase in emergency department use - so why are so many now complaining that no doctors will take Medicaid? The problem is compounded by the fact that low-income uninsured adults in states that opted not to expand Medicaid eligibility as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act appear to have more health-related issues than those uninsured adults living in […]
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10:12 PM | Saccades Not Cultural: Chinese People Have Faster Eye Responses
Rapid eye movements, known as saccades, have been a source of a nature versus nurture debate.  One hypothesis has been that this neurological behaviour is a product of culture in people of Chinese origin. A new study casts doubt on that.  Scientists tested three groups – students from mainland China, British people with Chinese parents and white British people – to see how quickly their eyes reacted to dots appearing in the periphery of their vision. These […]
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9:52 PM | If your kid hates broccoli, try, try again
Repeated exposure to foods may be the antidote to picky eating.
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9:14 PM | Forum and Wiki Are Back!
Just what you guys have been waiting for!  Our forum and Wiki page are finally working again.  Visit http://forum.eyewire.org/ and http://wiki.eyewire.org/ to learn more about Eyewire. If you are interested in contributing to the Wiki page just remember that you need to create a new account (you are welcome to use the same user …
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8:44 PM | Is there creative accounting in behavioural economics?
The Financial Times has an excellent article on the future of behavioural economics. Despite the fact that it is an incisive piece on a form of applied psychology that won Daniel Kahneman the Nobel Prize and has revolutionised political thinking, the FT has entitled the article ‘Behavioural economics and public policy’, to ensure it doesn’t […]
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