Posts

October 30, 2014

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2:31 PM | Now That People Are Thinking About Ebola Vaccines, Pay More Attention To Measles
Measles is one of the most contagious of vaccine-preventable diseases, with the average person with measles capable of infecting 12-18 people if susceptible, and the contagiousness of measles infection highlights gaps in vaccination in the United States that have appeared over the last decade, because of skepticism about childhood vaccination in coastal states like California and Oregon and Washington. In those states, otherwise educated people worry that vaccines may cause autism and would […]
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2:30 PM | The Risks And Rewards Of Two Popular Gastric Bypass Procedures
A recent study compared two of the most commonly performed bariatric surgery procedures. There are tradeoffs between the two surgical approaches in potential risks and benefits and so there has been an ongoing debate about which can achieve weight loss, with conflicting results in systematic reviews.  The two procedures were laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and adjustable gastric banding (AGB). The result was that RYGB resulted in much greater weight loss than AGB but had […]
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2:00 PM | Jays Find Others’ Food Stashes Through Eavesdropping
Eurasian Jays are known for caching food and remembering its location for later. They’re also known for their tendency to pilfer the caches of other jays. A new study shows jays can find other birds’ food stashes by watching or simply listening to them caching. Read my latest Zoologic post: Sneaky Jays Look and Listen to Steal From Other s.
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12:18 PM | Homeopathy for Ebola
New Zealand Green MP, Steffan Browning, stepped in it recently when he signed a petition asking the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop and distribute homeopathic remedies to end the Ebola epidemic. Unfortunately this is not an Onion article. Browning later tried to do damage control by stating that his support of the petition was “unwise” [...]
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11:38 AM | Fright Week: The Stranger in the Mirror
In the mirror we see our physical selves as we truly are, even though the image might not live up to what we want, or what we once were. But we recognize the image as “self”. In rare instances, however, this reality breaks down.In Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a ballerina who auditions for the lead in Swan Lake. The role requires her to dance the part of the innocent White Swan (for which she is well-suited), as well as her evil twin the Black Swan — which is […]

Barnier AJ, Cox RE, Connors M, Langdon R & Coltheart M (2011). A stranger in the looking glass: developing and challenging a hypnotic mirrored-self misidentification delusion., The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 59 (1) 1-26. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21104482

Chandra SR & Issac TG (2014). Mirror image agnosia., Indian journal of psychological medicine, 36 (4) 400-3. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25336773

Connors MH & Coltheart M (2011). On the behaviour of senile dementia patients vis-à-vis the mirror: Ajuriaguerra, Strejilevitch and Tissot (1963)., Neuropsychologia, 49 (7) 1679-92. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21356221

Mendez MF, Martin RJ, Smyth KA & Whitehouse PJ (1992). Disturbances of person identification in Alzheimer's disease. A retrospective study., The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 180 (2) 94-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1737981

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11:29 AM | Dry Drunk Syndrome
Alcoholics Anonymous refers to the alcoholic who has stopped drinking, but who still demonstrates alcoholic attitudes and behaviors, as a “dry drunk.” Such individuals are said to have sobriety but not recovery. We will explore the dry drunk syndrome in more detail in later blogs. The dry drunk syndrome highlights to us that there is more […]
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10:30 AM | The psychology of "mate poaching" - when you form a relationship by taking someone else's partner
According to one estimate, 63 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women are in their current long-term relationships because their current partner "poached" them from a previous partner. Now researchers in the US and Australia have conducted the first investigation into the fate of relationships formed this way, as compared with relationships formed by two unattached individuals.An initial study involved surveying 138 heterosexual participants (average age 20; 71 per cent were women) four times […]
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10:04 AM | Gambling Disorder and Emotional Processing deficts
Following on from our recent blog on emotional dysfunction in sexual addiction we continue our series which explores the inherent role of  emotional dysfunction in all addictive disorders. We will explore eating disorders later. Here we use excerpts from a … Continue reading →
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6:30 AM | Why no brain-in-a-vat
A comment on the previous blog asked for a discussion of embodied cognition. I will try to express why I find embodied cognition a more attractive model than classic cognition. My natural approach to living things is biological – I just think that way – and if something does not make much sense from a […]
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4:31 AM | OYM52: SKA2 Sucks
We’ve got the pleasure of welcoming Ian Mahar back to the hosts’ table this week, and he’s bringing tales of foreign adventure with him.  Having recently attended a neuroscience conference in Brazil, he’s had a taste of how science is done, and how academic conferences are structured outside of North America.  As an ambassador for ...read more The post OYM52: SKA2 Sucks appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.
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2:59 AM | Why the brain uses “sparse codes”
In 1972, Horace Barlow, great-grandson of Darwin, wrote an article in which he put forth “A neuron doctrine for perceptual psychology?” (The question mark at the end shows that Barlow was a contemplative guy.) With this doctrine, Barlow tried to relate the firing of neurons in sensory pathways with subjectively experienced sensation. One of the […]
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1:53 AM | Traveling to Prison, There Are No Systems
This post is part of a collaborative narrative series composed of my writing and Chris Arnade’s photos exploring issues of addiction, poverty, prostitution and urban anthropology in Hunts... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:08 AM | Come here often?
Come here often?

October 29, 2014

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10:43 PM | yet another Python state machine (and why you might care)
TL;DR: I wrote a minimalistic state machine implementation in Python. You can find the code on GitHub. The rest of this post explains what a state machine is and why you might (or might not) care. The post is slanted towards scientists who are technically inclined but lack formal training in computer science or software […]
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10:18 PM | "What Does It Mean to be a Mechanism? Stephen Morse, Non-Reductivism, and Mental Causation"
Recently published in SSRN (and forthcoming in Criminal Law and Philosophy): "What Does It Mean to be a Mechanism? Stephen Morse, Non-Reductivism, and Mental Causation" KATRINA SIFFERD, Elmhurst College Stephen Morse seems to have adopted a controversial position regarding the...
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10:17 PM | Mini Human Stomach Created In The Lab - Using Adult Stem Cells
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) became the target of researchers a decade ago due to restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). While media reports were claiming biology was dead if President Bush didn't violate President Clinton's Dickey-Wicker law, researchers instead moved to iPSCs and now they have been able to generate functional, three-dimensional human stomach tissue in a laboratory.read more
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10:16 PM | "Binding Future Selves"
Recently published in SSRN (and recently published in 75 Louisiana Law Review No. 1 (2014)): "Binding Future Selves" KAIPONANEA T. MATSUMURA, Arizona State University Courts traditionally treat a person entering an agreement as the same person at the time of...
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9:46 PM | Okay With Disgusting Images? You Vote This Way 95 Percent Of The Time
Maggot infestations, rotting carcasses, unidentifiable gunk in the kitchen sink – how much your brain responds to disgusting images could predict whether you are liberal or conservative. If you don't want to read any further because this is based on functional magnetic resonance imaging and claims that political leaning is a biological trait, here is the short version and you can just rant in the comments: if you are not grossed out, you are a liberal. The authors feel so confident in the […]
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9:29 PM | PRC1 Caught: Cancer-Related Cell Enzyme In Action
A research team has produced a detailed working image of an enzyme in the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) related to the BRCA1 breast-cancer protein. PRC1 regulates cell development and is associated with many types of cancer because enzymes like PRC1 turn on or turn off the activity of genes in a cell by manipulating individual chromosome units called nucleosomes. read more
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8:11 PM | Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs, Still Hates Golden Rice
Greenpeace is set to launch a series of attacks against crop biotechnology this week. It has scheduled a news conference for Friday titled “Ecological Agriculture, A Climate Resilient Model of Agriculture: The Way Forward,” which purportedly makes  its case against vitamin-enhanced Golden Rice. read more
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7:54 PM | Mercury Program: Want To Own The Camera Used By Schirra And Cooper In Space? It's Up For Auction
The camera and lens that Wally Schirra and Gordo Cooper carried into space during their Mercury Program flights is going up for auction in a few weeks. Wally Schirra, a known camera enthusiast, said the Hasselblad camera they used was held in highest regard by photographers for its superior engineering, craftsmanship, and top-of-the-line quality. He reportedly purchased the Hasselblad 500c camera at a Houston photo supply shop in 1962, and brought it back to NASA for mission use […]
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7:35 PM | Explainer: the locus coeruleus
Critical early site of neurodegeneration The post Explainer: the locus coeruleus appeared first on Lab Land.
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7:20 PM | Interesting Study on Deception
When given an opportunity to question people about cheating, we may not be so bad after all at assessing credibility. See the research ("Expertise in Deception Detection Involves Actively Prompting Diagnostic Information Rather Than Passive Behavioral Observation") summarized here. Abstract...
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7:19 PM | More Genetic Links Behind Autism
Vaccines do NOT cause autism. One more time, vaccines DO NOT cause autism. So what does cause autism, that problem has been plaguing scientists for awhile now. Thankfully two major […]

Iossifov, I., O’Roak, B., Sanders, S., Ronemus, M., Krumm, N., Levy, D., Stessman, H., Witherspoon, K., Vives, L., Patterson, K. & Smith, J. (2014). The contribution of de novo coding mutations to autism spectrum disorder, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13908

De Rubeis, S., He, X., Goldberg, A., Poultney, C., Samocha, K., Ercument Cicek, A., Kou, Y., Liu, L., Fromer, M., Walker, S. & Singh, T. (2014). Synaptic, transcriptional and chromatin genes disrupted in autism, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13772

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6:49 PM | The Organic Smog And Ozone Created By Cleaning Your House
An organic compound called limonene provides the pleasant smell of cleaning products and air fresheners but some byproducts of these sweet-smelling compounds could be adding to the air while they remove germs and odors. By cleaning your house, you could be adding smog and ozone to it. read more
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6:34 PM | Supersonic Laser-Propelled Aircraft Get A Step Closer
Aircraft propelled by beams of light rather than fuel? Laser-propulsion just got a step closer thanks to a new method for improving the thrust systems developed by physicists Yuri Rezunkov of the Institute of Optoelectronic Instrument Engineering and Alexander Schmidt of the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute in Saint Petersburg.  Currently, the maximum speed of a spacecraft is limited by the amount of solid or liquid fuel that it can carry. Achieving higher speeds means that more fuel […]
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5:53 PM | Homo Floresiensis: Hobbit Species Continues To Provoke Questions About Human Evolution
By Sarah King, Genetic Literacy ProjectSince the discovery in 2004 of Homo floresiensis, an ancient hominid nicknamed “Flo” and also “hobbit”, after the diminutive villagers from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, due to her small size relative to modern humans, much debate has been raised over the origins of the species. read more
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5:36 PM | Talking While Female: 6 Things About The Perception Of Women's Voices
You may not have realized it, but women's voices are a big topic. For women, at least. I suppose it may be true. If someone asks me to describe the characters in television comedy "The Big Bang Theory", my natural response would be 'the guy that matches the stereotype of how people think physicists are, the actual physicist, the engineer, the psychologist, the girl who looked a lot better with longer hair and the girl with the squeaky voice.'See? 16% of my responses were related to female […]
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5:29 PM | This is Why There are So Many Defibrillators in Casinos
My brief experience in a casino was pretty typical, I'd say. Flashing lights. T...
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5:00 PM | One Giant Leap For Preservation: Protecting Moon Landing Sites
With private space missions just around the corner, we need to think about keeping important lunar sites safe. Cultsofhteshadow/Flickr, CC BY-NC-NDBy Beth O'Leary, New Mexico State UniversityWho will preserve the first lunar landing site at Tranquility Base for future generations? read more
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