Posts

October 23, 2014

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12:19 PM | A Brain-Training Update
Can playing video games or specifically designed computer games improve your cognitive function? There are many companies who claim that they can and who would like to sell you such games that they claim are “scientifically designed.” So-called brain-training is a burgeoning business, with perhaps the best known product being Lumosity. Lumosity promises: “Scientifically designed [...]
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12:00 PM | Could Life Have Existed Just 15 Million Years After The Big Bang?
A new paper suggests that planets from the remnants of the universe's earliest stars could have supported life on dim, warm planets. Credit: NASA/WMAP Science TeamBy: Ker Than, Inside Science(Inside Science) -- Life in the universe could be much older than previously thought, forming as early as fifteen million years after the Big Bang, according to a provocative new idea proposed by a Harvard astrophysicist. read more
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12:00 PM | The Strange Organic Molecules In Titan's Atmosphere
While studying the atmosphere on Saturn's moon Titan, scientists discovered intriguing zones of organic molecules unexpectedly shifted away from its north and south poles. These misaligned features seem to defy conventional thinking about Titan's windy atmosphere, which should quickly smear out such off-axis concentrations. "This is an unexpected and potentially groundbreaking discovery," said Martin Cordiner, an astrochemist working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, […]
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11:30 AM | How Gut Bacteria Ensure A Healthy Brain – and Could Play A Role In Treating Depression
Your second brain? Credit: hey__paul, CC BYBy Clio Korn, University of Oxford read more
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9:38 AM | Stanford's Center for Law and the Biosciences Fellowship
Quoting from here: Stanford Law School invites applications for the 2015-2016 Fellowship Program at the Center for Law and the Biosciences. The Goal: This fellowship is intended for people who want an academic or policy career working on legal and...
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9:05 AM | Different addictive behaviours all centre on the same inherent difficulties.
by alcoholicsguide   Commonalities across all addictive disorders.  There are those, and some in treatment centres, who maintain that addiction is addiction is addiction. I have not always been convinced by this, mainly because I see differences in temperament and personality among different types of addicts (i.e alcoholics often appear different to heroin addicts in […]
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8:50 AM | How reminders of money affect people's expression and perception of emotion
Bank robbers and gamblers will tell you what people are prepared to do for the sake of money. But money also has more subtle influences. Back in 2006, researchers showed that mere reminders of money made people more selfish (although note a later attempt failed to replicate this result).In the latest research in this field, a team led by Yuwei Jiang have shown that exposing people to pictures of money, or to money-related words, reduces their emotional expressivity and makes them more sensitive […]

Jiang, Y., Chen, Z. & Wyer, R. (2014). Impact of money on emotional expression, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 55 228-233. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.07.013

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1:28 AM | In theory, or supported by experimental evidence?
Carl Zimmer typically makes statements like the one below without prefacing them with “in theory.” That’s how he establishes the bias towards evolutionary theory in nearly everything he reports. For example: “During the development of eggs and sperm, each pair...Read more

October 22, 2014

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11:39 PM | Drink Up, Baby Boomer: Alcohol Associated With Better Memory
A new study found that people ages 60 and older who do not have dementia benefit from light alcohol consumption; it has been associated with higher episodic memory, the ability to recall memories of events.  Moderate alcohol consumption was also linked with a larger volume in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for episodic memory. The relationship between light alcohol consumption and episodic memory goes away if hippocampal volume is factored in, providing new evidence that […]
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11:30 PM | Will Holding Thermal Printer Paper Really Send Your BPA Levels Soaring?
Structure of Bisphenol A. Credit: Ian MusgraveBy Ian MusgraveBisphenol A is in the news again. A paper just published in the Public Library of Science with the alarming title of “Holding Thermal Receipt Paper and Eating Food after Using Hand Sanitizer Results in High Serum Bioactive and Urine Total Levels of Bisphenol A (BPA)” is bound to ratchet up anxiety levels about this chemical yet again. read more
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11:30 PM | Why Do We Find It So Hard To Write About Ourselves?
Credit: The ConversationBy Jordan Gaines Lewis, Penn State College of MedicineIf you’ve ever applied for a job, you know how hard it is to write the perfect cover letter that will make you stand out above all the other applicants. It’s a competitive job market, and more often than not, career seekers find themselves face-to-face with blank computer screens in an attempt to pen that one short masterpiece. read more
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11:00 PM | The Comets Of Beta Pictoris
Beta Pictoris is a young star, only about 20 million years old, located about 63 light-years from us. It is surrounded by a huge disc of material, a very active young planetary system where gas and dust are produced by the evaporation of comets and the collisions of asteroids.read more
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10:31 PM | Cancer Mutations, Now With Faster Modeling
By sequencing the genomes of tumor cells, thousands of genetic mutations have been linked with cancer. Sifting through this deluge of information to figure out which of these mutations actually drive cancer growth has proven to be a tedious, time-consuming process but MIT researchers have now developed a new way to model the effects of these genetic mutations in mice. Their approach, based on the genome-editing technique clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is much […]
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10:31 PM | How Lymph Nodes Expand During Disease
A new paper finds that the same specialized immune cells that patrol the body and spot infections also trigger the expansion of the immune organs known as lymph nodes. The immune system defends the body from infections but can also spot and destroy cancer cells and lymph nodes are at the heart of this response, but it was unclear how they expand during disease.  Researchers  at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute found that when a type of immune cell known as dendritic […]
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9:25 PM | Hand Sanitizers Increase BPA Levels From Cash Register Receipts
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers.  It is also used in thermal paper cash register receipts and a new paper finds that is cause for concern. BPA has not been found to be harmful by the Centers for Disease Control, they say levels from all sources is 1/1000th safe levels for the US, the EU and Canada, but it is controversial due to publicity by […]
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8:57 PM | Tropical Depression 9: Bay Of Campeche In The Gulf Of Mexico
NOAA's GOES-East Satellite captured the birth of Tropical Depression Nine formed over the western Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to make a quick landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The clouds associated with the depression stretched over the Yucatan Peninsula and into the western Caribbean Sea were captured on Oct. 22nd at 1600 UTC (12 p.m. EDT).read more
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7:55 PM | Converting Skin Cells to Neurons: A Fight Against Huntington’s
Neurological diseases are some of the hardest to fight against (in my opinion). The big reason is the brain, we still know so little about it and treatment for anything […]

Victor, M., Richner, M., Hermanstyne, T., Ransdell, J., Sobieski, C., Deng, P., Klyachko, V., Nerbonne, J. & Yoo, A. (2014). Generation of Human Striatal Neurons by MicroRNA-Dependent Direct Conversion of Fibroblasts, Neuron, 84 (2) 311-323. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.10.016

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7:06 PM | Clot dissolver tPA’s tardy twin could aid in stroke recovery
Tissue-type plasminogen activator, meet urokinase-type plasminogen activator. You guys probably know each other. The post Clot dissolver tPA’s tardy twin could aid in stroke recovery appeared first on Lab Land.
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7:04 PM | This Is Not The Immigration Crisis You're Looking For
When is an immigration crisis not an immigration crisis? When people who do not live where it is happening change the definition of an immigration crisis. A new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy examines historical immigration data, the "push" and "pull" factors currently motivating Mexicans and Central Americans to migrate to the U.S. and then attempts to explain why current undocumented immigration streaming across the Mexican border is not a crisis. read more
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6:27 PM | Does the thought control obesity?
One of the most important health problems in recent years in some developed countries is rising cases of obesity.
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5:29 PM | Olive, Corn, Soybean Or Sunflower Oil - The Science Answer As To What Is Best For Frying
Frying in oil is one of the world's most popular ways to prepare food — chicken and French-fried potatoes are staples but even candy bars and whole turkeys have joined the list of deep-friend goodness.  Lots of oil make health claims but there is a whole range of physical, chemical and nutritional properties that can degrade oil quality when heated so a paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry  tested four different refined oils — olive, corn, […]
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4:51 PM | Researchers Created A Laser Bullet To See What It Would Look Like - And Here It Is
Laser-powered weapons have been a staple of science-fiction movies for so long we think we know what they would look like, but we really don't. Researchers at the Laser Centre of the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw decided to find out, and make a real film of it. They fired an ultrashort laser pulse through the air and captured it on video and when they slowed it down they found that it looks lot like a […]
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4:42 PM | FOXP2: Silencing Speech Gene Causes Cancer Cells To Metastasize
Metastasis of breast cancer occurs when cells move from the primary tumor to other parts of the body.read more
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4:00 PM | From Stevens to Synapses: A Conversation with Kelsey Martin
Take your wildest guess.  How many neurons make up the human brain?  You’re not guessing wild enough if you said anything less than a trillion.  The circuitry of the human brain consists of a quadrillion (1015) synapses.  These neural circuits aren’t necessarily hard-wired and have the capacity to be re-wired in response to experience. In … Continue reading →
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3:12 PM | Epidemiologists Link Air Pollution To Autism
Children with autism spectrum disorder, a range of conditions characterized by social deficits and communication difficulties, were more likely to have been exposed to higher levels of certain air toxics during their mothers' pregnancies and the first two years of life compared to children without the condition, according to preliminary findings presented today at the American Association for Aerosol Research annual meeting in Orlando. Other epidemiologists have linked everything from living […]
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1:00 PM | There’s no need to panic about enterovirus
The enterovirus behind this year’s outbreak, EV-D68, has been around for decades and generally causes mild symptoms.
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12:30 PM | Obesity, Cancer, Mental Health: What Links Them All?
By Alessandro R Demaio, Harvard UniversityThere’s been a lot of discussion about obesity this week. Whether or not it’s a disease (as it is in the USA now) and how this label would positively or negatively influence action taken by society and governments in addressing this large and growing burden.This conversation is important, but I have noticed very often it ends with confusion. Questions around why we begin talking about obesity - and end discussing mental health, cancer, heart […]
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12:00 PM | As The Weather Changes, So Do Beliefs About Climate Change
By: Karin Heineman, Inside Science(Inside Science TV) – Who can forget the winter of 2013-2014? Record-breaking cold temperatures and heavy snowfall hit from the Rocky Mountains all the way to the East Coast.Although the majority of Americans still believe that global warming is happening, the especially blustery winter caused some people to question whether global warming is really happening.“Almost invariably we find that after any winter a drop off in belief in the existence of […]
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12:00 PM | Should you reply to spamming students?
A colleague, who is a new assistant professor, asked on Facebook, if he should reply to an “endless” stream of emails from international students.I know the kinds of letters this person is asking about. Many show the candidate has extremely limited ability to express him or herself in written English, the tone is often obsequious, and the letters are often clearly “form” letters send to who knows how many institutions.What’s the right course of action? On the one […]
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11:30 AM | Competition, Not Mandates And Subsidies, Keep Health-Care Costs Low - Study
America has a health care problem. It is excellent, the best in the world, but it is expensive. Rather than solving the problems of defensive medicine costs, designed to prevent lawsuits by conducting unnecessary tests, or tort reform to prevent lawyers from convincing people they are 'suing an insurance company' so the cost won't matter, America has instead created mandates so everyone is forced to buy insurance, and then subsidized people who can't afford it.read more
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