Posts

October 18, 2014

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6:55 PM | New Genetic Test to help Solve Rare Disease Diagnosis
My sister suffers from a rare disease which causes small fiber polyneuropathy, or the killing of nerves in her hands and feet. As it progresses she has trouble standing or […]

Lee, H., Deignan, J., Dorrani, N., Strom, S., Kantarci, S., Quintero-Rivera, F., Das, K., Toy, T., Harry, B., Yourshaw, M. & Fox, M. (2014). Clinical Exome Sequencing for Genetic Identification of Rare Mendelian Disorders, JAMA, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.14604

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6:01 PM | IPTF13bvn: Hydrogen-Deficient Supernova Progenitor Discovered?
A recent model says it provides the first characterization of the progenitor for a hydrogen-deficient supernova. Their simulation predicts that a bright hot star, which is the binary companion to an exploding object, remains after the explosion so they secured observation time with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to search for such a remaining star.  read more
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5:31 PM | High-Fat Meals: Males Impacted Most
Unless you are trapped at a Larry Summers protest at Harvard in 2006, you know that male and female brains are not equal in all ways. Another study affirms that, finding a difference when it comes to the biological response to a high-fat diet. Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute scientist Deborah Clegg, PhD, and colleagues found that the brains of male laboratory mice exposed to the same high-fat diet as their female counterparts developed brain inflammation and heart […]
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4:50 PM | Earth's Biggest Migration Gets A New Explanation
Credit: WikipediaBy Peter Gwynne, Inside Science(Inside Science) – Each day small sea creatures known as plankton rise from deep underwater to the ocean's surface during the night and then return to the depths in daytime. Zoologists describe this “diel” movement, named after the Latin word for day, as Earth’s biggest migration. read more
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4:29 PM | Climate Change: It’s Only Human To Exaggerate, But Science Itself Does Not
Credit: EPABy Rob MacKenzie, University of BirminghamTo exaggerate is human, and scientists are human.Exaggeration and the complementary art of simplification are the basic rhetorical tools of human intercourse. So yes, scientists do exaggerate. So do politicians, perhaps even when, as the UK’s former environment secretary Owen Paterson did, they claim that climate change forecasts are “widely exaggerated”. read more
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4:07 PM | KAMRA Inlay: Reading Glasses May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past
Reading glasses have served us for centuries. Why fix a good thing? Because science and technology can.  Presbyopia, blurriness in near vision experienced by many people over the age of 40, could one day be relegated to olden days if a thin ring inserted into the eye gains popularity.read more
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2:42 PM | Play Action Video Games, Boost Your Sensorimotor Skills
A new study has found that people who play action video games such as the "Call of Duty" or "Assassin's Creed" seem to learn a new sensorimotor skill faster than non-gamers do. Sorry, Bungie, "Destiny" was not out when they did the study and auto-rifles would mess up the results anyway. A new sensorimotor skill, such as learning to ride a bike or typing, often requires a new pattern of coordination between vision and motor movement. With such skills, an individual generally moves from novice […]
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2:00 PM | What is consciousness?
Consciousness is a word that we can almost point at. When I say it I am fairly sure I don’t have to give a definition – I mean every one experiences consciousness and so they will know what I am talking about. But it is not so. As Inigo Montoya says, “You keep using that […]
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1:30 PM | Who Owns The Moon?
Credit: Niall Carson/PABy Saskia Vermeylen, Lancaster UniversityWhether you’re into mining, energy or tourism, there are lots of reasons to explore space. Some “pioneers” even believe humanity’s survival depends on colonizing celestial bodies such as the moon and Mars, both becoming central hubs for our further journey into the cosmos. Lunar land peddlers have started doing deals already – a one-acre plot can be yours for just £16.75. read more
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1:00 PM | We Don't Know If God Exists, But We Should Keep Asking
There are many different conceptions of God, and endless questions. Credit: Waiting For The Word, CC BY-NC-SABy Graham Oppy, Monash UniversityDisputes about the existence of God — like most disputes about religion, politics, and sex — almost always generate heat but not light.The question of the existence of God seems intractable. As with other philosophical questions, there is no method to follow in seeking to answer it. Moreover, there is no prospect of reaching an agreed answer […]
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9:13 AM | From Mindless Physics To Physics Of Mind
       For the sake of clarity, let us consider the two widely known, nonsensical scenarios: The first is one that many scientists charge ‘idealist’ philosophers with, although no thinker beyond the dorm room bong level holds this view: All is just a dream and there is no physical world. The second nonsensical scenario is that a physical world “really exists independently out there” and it happens to be the case that consciousness arises in […]
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2:29 AM | Translational Findings: Fruit fly contributions to research in circadian rhythms
What are circadian rhythms, and why are they important to humans? Over the past century, technological innovations have changed human society dramatically, undeniably for the better. But the advent of jet travel, round-the-clock manufacturing, and internet communication has also had a disruptive effect on our bodies’ circadian rhythms. The word “circadian” comes from the latin […]
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October 17, 2014

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11:38 PM | #Brain article of interest: Scientists find 'hidden brain signatures' of consciousness in vegetative state patients
From Neuroscience News -- ScienceDailyRead the full article here-> http://ift.tt/1yLleok
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11:00 PM | Why Ebola Wasn’t Stopped By Huge Investments In African Healthcare
Credit: EPABy Uli Beisel, Bayreuth UniversityDespite it being nearly six months after the Ebola outbreak was confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), we are still hearing stories of severe shortage of gloves in health facilities in West Africa. Many nurses have been asked to reuse them or merely rub their hands with chlorine after consultations. read more
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10:35 PM | New .Health Internet Domains Could Risk Public Health
Image credit:  Ph0neutria via shutterstockBy: Benjamin Plackett, Inside Science(Inside Science) — Until last year, website designers had a choice of just 22 Internet domains to use as suffixes at the end of URLs, excluding country-specific ones. The familiar “dot-com” and “dot-org” hail from the Reagan era, and the trickle of new domains since has usually been met with much discussion and occasionally debate or even discontent. read more
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9:11 PM | Panic Over Ebola Echoes 19th Century Fear Of Cholera
Fears of cholera coming shared a lot in common with fear of Ebola. Graetz 1883 © Historical Society of PennsylvaniaBy Sally Sheard, University of LiverpoolOn October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera. It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed from its Bengal heartland through Europe, before reaching the Baltic ports. It was only a matter of time. read more
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8:55 PM | Should First Responders Use Acupuncture And Hypnosis During Disasters?
When most people think of first responders, they think of paramedics or combat medics or other medically-trained personnel doing CPR and other life-saving procedures in stressful situations.They do not think of acupuncture. A review article in Medical Acupuncture - since it is a review, it is collating other articles about acupuncture, rather than science or medicine - argues that first responders should be trained in integrative medicine approaches such as acupuncture, hypnosis and […]
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8:02 PM | A look at Air Pollution and Your Body
We have all probably seen stories from China on the horrid air pollution there. Accompanying those reports of course are the statistics for air pollution that deaths have caused. For […]

Gamon LF, White JM & Wille U (2014). Oxidative damage of aromatic dipeptides by the environmental oxidants NO2˙ and O3., Organic & biomolecular chemistry, 12 (41) 8280-7. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25207524

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7:39 PM | Have Sharp Vision? Your Brain May Be Fooling You
We assume that we can see the world around us in sharp detail but our eyes only process a fraction of our surroundings precisely. In a series of experiments, psychologists at Bielefeld University investigated how the brain fools us into believing that we see in sharp detail. They find that our nervous system uses past visual experiences to predict how blurred objects would look in sharp detail. Its central finding is that our nervous system uses past visual experiences to predict how blurred […]
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7:00 PM | Fracking Boom Could Mean Up To 12% More Carbon Emissions
Better get our heads out of the sand and run. Credit: Peter Byrne/PABy Erik Bichard, University of SalfordThe consistent message from those who would seek to exploit shale gas is that it has three distinct advantages over existing forms of fossil fuel energy: it is cheap, it has a lower influence on global warming, and it reduces the reliance in foreign imports. read more
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6:32 PM | Nanocryotron Adder: Superconducting Circuits Simplified
Computer chips with superconducting circuits would be 50 to 100 times as energy-efficient as today's chips due to a lack of electrical resistance. That means less heat, less deformation and less energy cost. Superconducting chips also promise greater processing power. Superconducting circuits that use so-called Josephson junctions have been clocked at 770 gigahertz, or 500 times the speed of the chip in the iPhone 6.read more
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6:03 PM | Brainsplode! New post on the BSR blog
My latest on the BSR blog is up! Check it out here. In it, I outline some spooky sensations in the brain, some fun, others not so fun. Please also enjoy the artwork, created by me in powerpoint, except for the … Continue reading →
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5:01 PM | Giant Kangaroos Were More Likely To Walk Than Hop
Modern day kangaroos exhibit a hopping form of locomotion. Credit: Leo/Flickr, CC BY-SABy Christine Janis, Brown UniversityExtinct giant kangaroos may have been built more for walking, rather than hopping like today’s kangaroos, especially when moving slowly. read more
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3:22 PM | Do emotional processing problems run in the family?
Throughout our blogs so far we have looked at who the vulnerability to later alcoholism is transmitted genetic via family members. The task for science is answering the question – “What exactly is inherited in this vulnerability?” Again via various blogs we have looked at certain vulnerabilities that we believe contribute to the aetiology of alcoholism […]
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3:17 PM | Group Sequencing Means High-Speed Evolution In The Lab
DNA analysis has become increasingly cost-effective since the human genome was first fully sequenced in the year 2001. Sequencing a complete genome, however, still costs around $1,000 each so sequencing the genetic code of 100s of individuals would be expensive. For non-human studies, researchers very quickly hit the limit of financial feasibility.  read more
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1:00 PM | Magic Magnetic Mirrors Reflect Light In Uncanny Ways
In Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, the 1871 sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the title character finds a mirror that behaves in a surprising and unexpected way.  Now bizarre mirrors have become a reality. In an Optica report, scientists have demonstrated, for the first time, a new class of mirror that works like no other - it forgoes a familiar shiny metallic surface and instead reflects infrared light by using an unusual magnetic […]
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12:39 PM | Trying to cover up black lines #science #neuroscience #painting #brain #science #art #wip
via Instagram http://ift.tt/1riy6JI
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12:31 PM | Brain Activity in Vegetative Patients
A vegetative state is a particular kind of coma in which patients appear to be awake but give no signs (by definition) of any awareness. They do not respond to their environment in any way or do anything purposeful. Some patients display a flicker of awareness, and they are categorized as minimally conscious. Neuroscientists have [...]
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12:30 PM | Snobbery In The Academy Is Alive And Well And Doing Harm
If you've ever felt as though professors treat you with less than respect, you're probably not alone. Credit: Flickr, CC BY-SABy Brian Martin, University of Wollongong and Majken Jul Sørensen, University of WollongongA female engineering student walked into her first lab class. One of the male students said, “The cookery class is in another room.” read more
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12:30 PM | How Mitochondria Began - Parasitic Coevolution Gets A New Wrinkle
Parasitic bacteria were the first cousins of mitochondria, the energy factories in our cells – and first acted as energy parasites in those cells before becoming beneficial, according to a University of Virginia study that used next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to decode the genomes of 18 bacteria that are close relatives of mitochondria.read more
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