Posts

March 27, 2015

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5:24 AM | 'Mini-lungs' Aid The Study Of Cystic Fibrosis
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have successfully created 'mini-lungs' using stem cells derived from skin cells of patients with cystic fibrosis, and have shown that these can be used to test potential new drugs for this debilitating lung disease. The research is one of a number of studies that have used stem cells - the body's master cells - to grow 'organoids', 3D clusters of cells that mimic the behaviour and function of specific organs within the body. Other recent examples have […]
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5:23 AM | Special Microbes Make Anti-obesity Molecule In The Gut
Microbes may just be the next diet craze. Researchers have programmed bacteria to generate a molecule that, through normal metabolism, becomes a hunger-suppressing lipid. Mice that drank water laced with the programmed bacteria ate less, had lower body fat and staved off diabetes -- even when fed a high-fat diet -- offering a potential weight-loss strategy for humans. read more
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5:23 AM | Drinking And Driving? Don't Even Think About It, Your Car Won't Let You
If every new car made in the United States had a built-in blood alcohol level tester that prevented impaired drivers from driving the vehicle, how many lives could be saved, injuries prevented, and injury-related dollars used for something else? read more
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5:22 AM | Autistic And Non-autistic Brain Differences Isolated
The functional differences between autistic and non-autistic brains have been isolated for the first time, following the development of a new methodology for analyzing MRI scans.read more
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5:22 AM | Prevention Beats Cure: Adapting To Climate Change Would Bring New Problems
Adapting to climate change could have profound environmental repercussions, according to a new study from the University of East Anglia. Research in Nature Climate Change reveals that adaptation measures have the potential to generate further pressures and threats for both local and global ecosystems. Lead researcher Dr Carlo Fezzi, from UEA's School of Environmental Sciences, said: "Climate change is a just a little bit more complicated than we previously thought. We need to take into account […]
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5:22 AM | In The Pipeline: First Blood Test For Osteoarthritis
The first blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be developed, thanks to research by the University of Warwick. The research findings could potentially lead to patients being tested for osteoarthritis and diagnosed several years before the onset of physical symptoms. Conducted by the University's Medical School, the research identified a biomarker linked to both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Whilst there are established tests for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the newly identified biomarker […]
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5:22 AM | Can The UN Ensure Open Access To Plant Genomes?
A plant scientist from The Australian National University (ANU) has called for the United Nations to guarantee free and open access to plant DNA sequences to enable scientists to continue work to sustainably intensify world food production. Dr Norman Warthmann, a plant geneticist at the ANU Research School of Biology, has lodged a submission with the UN, which is currently considering issues to include in its 2015 Global Sustainable Development Report. Food security depends on an acceleration […]
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5:22 AM | Sipuleucel-T In Prostate Cancer: Indication Of Added Benefit
Sipuleucel-T (trade name Provenge) has been approved since September 2014 for men with metastatic prostate cancer who have few or no symptoms and do not yet require chemotherapy. In the dossier assessment conducted by the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) in January 2015, no added benefit could be derived for sipuleucel-T. In an addendum, the Institute now examined information subsequently submitted by the manufacturer in the commenting procedure: According to […]
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5:22 AM | International Study Raises Questions About Cause Of Global Ice Ages
A new international study casts doubt on the leading theory of what causes ice ages around the world -- changes in the way the Earth orbits the sun. The researchers found that glacier movement in the Southern Hemisphere is influenced primarily by sea surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide rather than changes in the Earth's orbit, which are thought to drive the advance and retreat of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere. The findings appear in the journal Geology. A PDF is available […]
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5:22 AM | Scientists Must Reduce Antibiotic Use In Experiments
Scientists should reduce antibiotic use in lab experiments - according to a researcher at the University of East Anglia. Microbiology, molecular biology and genetic research such as the Human Genome Project use antibiotics in experiments. But it all adds to the global problem of antibiotic resistance according to Dr Laura Bowater, from UEA's Norwich Medical School. A new article published today in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy highlights the problem. Dr Bowater said: "The […]
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5:22 AM | Recycling Plastic Works, Additives To Biodegrade Plastics Don't
Recycling plastic works, additives to biodegrade plastic do not, according to a new study from Michigan State University which finds that several additives that claim to break down polyethylene (i.e., plastic bags) and polyethylene terephthalate (i.e., soda bottles) simply don't work in common disposal situations such as landfills or composting. "Making improper or unsubstantiated claims can produce consumer backlash, fill the environment with unwanted polymer debris and expose companies to […]
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5:22 AM | Protons Hog The Momentum In Neutron-rich Nuclei
Like dancers swirling on the dance floor with bystanders looking on, protons and neutrons that have briefly paired up in the nucleus have higher-average momentum, leaving less for non-paired nucleons. Using data from nuclear physics experiments carried out at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, researchers have now shown for the first time that this phenomenon exists in nuclei heavier than carbon, including aluminum, iron and lead. read more
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4:48 AM | Deal With It - Life Is Full Of Uncertainty
Experiments dating back to the 1960s show people have less of a reaction to viewing an unpleasant image or experiencing an electric shock when they know it’s coming than when they’re not expecting it. read more
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3:36 AM | Memory research using planarians
Planarians are truly experiencing a “Golden Age” of neuroscientific discovery. Here is a link to a very well-written and interesting article by the journalist Arielle Duhaime-Ross. I have the honor of knowing the young scientists who is the subject of the article. Also, one of the scientists who were interviewed for this article is your …
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2:27 AM | Telepathy, possibly?
Imagine a world where our thoughts could be instantly transmitted to machines and other people’s brains. An important application of thought transmission would be creating sophisticated neuroprosthetics for people with a variety of disorders, a goal that has sparked exciting research into connecting brains with machines, computers (BMI/BCI) and other brains (brain-to-brain interfacing, BTBI). Large-scale BTBI would […]

March 26, 2015

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11:41 PM | Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science
My review in "Science" can be found here (paywall). From the summary:The life of Ivan Pavlov was characterized by both sluchainost' (chance and randomness) and pravil'nost' (regularity and lawfulness), two words which appear frequently in Pavlov's own writing. In a new biography, Daniel P. Todes draws on multilingual archival and literary sources to capture the subtleties of the famous physiologist's life and work. The result, according to reviewer Stephen T. Casper, is an exemplary work of […]
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11:38 PM | Our taste in music may age out of harmony
As we get older, our brains may be less able to discriminate between harmony and dissonance ScicuriousNeuroscience by Bethany Brookshire 11:44am, March 27, 2015 In music, some notes ring together in beautiful harmony, while others rattle against each other. Our brains process consonance and dissonance differently, but the differences decrease as we grow older.Vancouver […]
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11:25 PM | Stereotype lowers math performance in women, no one noticed
Originally posted on Lunatic Laboratories:Stereotypes about people can affect how we look at a person, but sometimes it causes other problems. Gender stereotypes about women’s ability in mathematics negatively impact their performance. And in a significant twist, both men…
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10:59 PM | Binding Pollutants In Water Using Adsorber Particles
In January of 2015 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) lowered the threshold value for bisphenol A in packaging.  The scientific determination behind that is irrelevant at this point, the only times Europe backs off on bizarre science assertions are when it comes to things like making ugly fruit illegal to sell or claiming water does not cure thirst, so companies are stuck with creating dubious alternatives or just using less, but the public is often educated by advertising so they […]
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10:40 PM | How The Brain Remembers Pain - And How To Artifically Relieve It
Chronic pain is a common complaint affecting millions of people worldwide. Because it is often a non-specific symptom, proper treatment strategies are more like 'keep doing things until something works'. A new study has identified a cellular mechanism in the brain of mice that contributes to the development of chronic pain, which the authors believe can lead to a novel pharmacological treatment strategy for chronic pain.  read more
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10:27 PM | Stereotype lowers math performance in women, no one noticed
Stereotypes about people can affect how we look at a person, but sometimes it causes other problems. Gender stereotypes about women’s ability in mathematics negatively impact their performance. And in a significant twist, both men and women wrongly believe those stereotypes will not undermine women’s math performance — but instead motivate them to perform better. […]

Boucher, K., Rydell, R. & Murphy, M. (2015). Forecasting the experience of stereotype threat for others, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 58 56-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2015.01.002

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8:00 PM | Antibiotic Use In Livestock Could Increase 67 Percent - What Impact On Effectiveness?
Antibiotic consumption in livestock worldwide could rise by 67 percent from 2010 levels by 2030. What will that mean for the effectiveness of antimicrobials in humans?Five countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - will experience a growth of 99 percent in antibiotic consumption, compared with an expected 13 percent growth in their human populations over the same period. In the United States, antibiotic consumption in animals represents is the overwhelming majority of total […]
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7:16 PM | Recommended video
This link has a series of interviews with prominent neuroscientists (Haggard, Smith, Koch, Greenfield, Martin, Hameroff, Theise). “Does brain make mind” is a good watch. http://www.closertotruth.com/series/does-brain-make-mind
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7:03 PM | “Open Source, Open Science” Meeting Report – March 2015
On March 19th and 20th, the Center for Open Science hosted a small meeting in Charlottesville, VA, convened by COS and co-organized by Kaitlin Thaney (Mozilla Science Lab) and Titus Brown (UC Davis). People working across the open science ecosystem attended, including publishers, infrastructure non-profits, public policy experts, community builders, and academics. Open Science has […]
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6:29 PM | Dark Matter - Now With More Darkness
Dark matter is an umbrella term for matter that no one has directly detected but must be out there or physics at the very large scale makes even less sense than it makes now. Since it does not reflect, absorb or emit light, it is invisible, so whatever it 'is' is only known to exist via its gravitational effects on matter as we know it.read more
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6:20 PM | High-fat diet causes brain inflammation and alters behavior
We hear in the media all the time, obesity is effecting our health. In most cases when we talk obesity we are talking about heart disease, sedentary activity, or chronic overeating. But what if a high-fat diet — regardless of obesity — has more than just an affect on your waistline? What if the consumption of fatty […]

Bruce-Keller, A., Salbaum, J., Luo, M., Blanchard, E., Taylor, C., Welsh, D. & Berthoud, H. (2015). Obese-type Gut Microbiota Induce Neurobehavioral Changes in the Absence of Obesity, Biological Psychiatry, 77 (7) 607-615. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.07.012

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5:44 PM | 15 Breeds Of Dog In England Killed By Mystery Kidney Disease 
At least 30 dogs in England have been killed in less than 18 months by an unknown disease which causes skin lesions and kidney failure, reveals research published in Veterinary Record. The disease is believed to be Alabama rot (cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy), a condition which has been seen in the USA in greyhounds for almost 30 years. While there have been occasional reports of the disease in individual dogs outside of the USA, this is the first report of a series of cases […]
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5:43 PM | Got Fresh Milk? Now You Do, Without Being On The Grid
Milk is a key element for household food security and provides a stable income to farmers including women, who are usually in charge of taking care of the milk-producing animals in the low-income countries. Currently pathogen growth in milk is managed with refrigeration or with chemicals. Although bacterial growth in milk is managed with refrigeration in the high-income countries, a high cost of infrastructure and a demand for a permanent electricity supply prevent milk refrigeration in the […]
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4:39 PM | The Mediterranean Diet Will Reduce Global Warming
The Mediterranean diet became a health fad when epidemiologists looked at a region in Europe and determined that their lower heart disease was due to more fish.A new paper uses a debunked claim "it takes a gallon of gas to make a pound of beef" and uses that to declare that a new diet would reduce global warming. The authors from the University Hospital Complex of Huelva, Jaume I University of Castellón and the University of Huelva compared the daily menus in Spain, based […]
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4:17 PM | Roseroot Herb For Depression - Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial
Rhodiola rosea (R. rosea), or roseroot, may be a beneficial treatment option for major depressive disorder, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, comparison trial of oral R. rosea extract versus conventional antidepressant for mild to moderate major depressive disorder.read more
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