Posts

August 19, 2014

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6:17 PM | Hobby Lobby and the War on Race and Women
There is a war going on and it’s not on foreign soil. This war is the fight for the status quo, a war where you are only worth your skin color, a […]

Weisman CS & Chuang CH (2014). Making the Most of the Affordable Care Act's Contraceptive Coverage Mandate for Privately-Insured Women., Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25128037

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11:50 AM | Dagli equilibri di Nash ai comportamenti collettivi
Quando ho condiviso il tweet qui sotto, non mi ero reso ancora conto del nome che avevo appena letto, eppure avrebbe dovuto suonarmi un campanello nella testa. Continuano i riconoscimenti internazionali per la #matematica dell'Universita' della #Calabria pic.twitter.com/JHIWaVlVGu— Gianluigi Filippelli (@ulaulaman) August 18, 2014Poi dopo è successo che sono andato a ricontrollare (che poi i campanelli magari suonano e semplicemente la suoneria è così bassa che non la […]

Nash, J. (1950). Equilibrium points in n-person games, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 36 (1) 48-49. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.36.1.48

Nash J. (1951). Non-Cooperative Games, The Annals of Mathematics, 54 (2) 286-295. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1969529

Gottlob G., Greco G. & Scarcello F. (2003). Pure Nash equilibria, Proceedings of the 9th conference on Theoretical aspects of rationality and knowledge - TARK '03, 215-230. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/846241.846269

Greco, G. & Scarcello, F. (2009). On the complexity of constrained Nash equilibria in graphical games, Theoretical Computer Science, 410 (38-40) 3901-3924. DOI: 10.1016/j.tcs.2009.05.030

Goldstone, R. & Janssen, M. (2005). Computational models of collective behavior, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9 (9) 424-430. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2005.07.009

Beni G. (1993). Swarm Intelligence in Cellular Robotic Systems, Robots and Biological Systems: Towards a New Bionics?, NATO ASI Series Volume 102 703-712. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-58069-7_38

Bonabeau E., Dorigo M. & Theraulaz G. (2000). Inspiration for optimization from social insect behaviour, Nature, 406 (6791) 39-42. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/35017500

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8:36 AM | How to help an anxious interviewee - be mean to them?
They've barely taken their seat, but it's obvious that your interviewee is nervous. You give her a reassuring smile and nod affirmatively at each of her answers, hoping to put her at ease. Unfortunately, it turns out that positive feedback does a socially anxious interviewee no favours. In fact, it would be better to turn that smile upside-down.We know this from a new study from North Illinois University where a "careers counsellor" (actually a research assistant) conducted practice interviews […]

Budnick CJ, Kowal M & Santuzzi AM (2014). Social anxiety and the ironic effects of positive interviewer feedback., Anxiety, stress, and coping, 1-17. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24773204

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8:23 AM | Family processes and trajectory in autism
The paper by Woodman and colleagues [1] looking at trajectory and autism in adolescents and adults is the source material for today's post (another micropost). Concluding that: "Overall, autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors were observed to improve over the study period" of about 8 years, the authors also reported that "greater improvements were associated with higher levels of maternal praise (based on maternal speech samples) and higher quality mother-child relationships". If I remember […]

Woodman AC, Smith LE, Greenberg JS & Mailick MR (2014). Change in Autism Symptoms and Maladaptive Behaviors in Adolescence and Adulthood: The Role of Positive Family Processes., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070471

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August 18, 2014

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9:14 PM | The 10,000-Hour rule is nonsense
Have you heard of Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule? The key to success in any field is practice, and not just a little. A new publication in the journal Psychological Science had a good look at all the evidence and concludes that this rule is nonsense. No Einstein in you, I am afraid. The authors of […]

Macnamara, B.N., Hambrick, D.Z. & Oswald, F.L. (2014). Deliberate Practice and Performance in Music, Games, Sports, Education, and Professions: A Meta-Analysis, Psychological Science, DOI: 10.1037/e633262013-474

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5:21 PM | We can Build it Better: The First Artificial Cell Network
  How does the old saying go? Imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery? Well that is what we’ve been trying to do for a very long time, but mimicking the […]

Karzbrun E, Tayar AM, Noireaux V & Bar-Ziv RH (2014). Programmable on-chip DNA compartments as artificial cells., Science (New York, N.Y.), 345 (6198) 829-32. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25124443

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8:21 AM | The simple piece of information that could dramatically increase your muscular endurance
How most of us choose to behave is shaped powerfully by the behaviour of others (or, more specifically, our perception of their behaviour). Psychologists call this the influence of "social norms", and its potency has been investigated extensively in the context of environmentally friendly behaviours like recycling, and health behaviours, such as binge drinking and frequency of exercise.What if this same psychological lever could be exploited, not to encourage people to take up more physical […]

Priebe, C. & Spink, K. (2014). Blood, sweat, and the influence of others: The effect of descriptive norms on muscular endurance and task self-efficacy, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15 (5) 491-497. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.04.012

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8:10 AM | ADHD in the prison population: a micropost
"Compared with published general population prevalence, there is a fivefold increase in prevalence of ADHD in youth prison populations (30.1%) and a 10-fold increase in adult prison populations (26.2%)"."Mianly dry" apparently @ Paul WhiteleyThat was the primary conclusion reached in the meta-analysis by Young and colleagues [1] looking at the collected peer-reviewed literature on "the variable prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in incarcerated populations".There […]

Young S, Moss D, Sedgwick O, Fridman M & Hodgkins P (2014). A meta-analysis of the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in incarcerated populations., Psychological medicine, 1-12. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25066071

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1:00 AM | Can psychopathy be treated?
Some psychological conditions receive a disproportionate amount of attention in popular media relative to how frequently they actually occur in the population. One of those is psychopathy, a personality disorder that is characterized by antisocial behavior, impulsivity, and a lack of empathy. Psychopaths may be charming on the surface but tend towards pathological deception and indifferent manipulation of other people. And they are more likely to have behavioral problems or be involved in […]

Polaschek, D. (2014). Adult Criminals With Psychopathy: Common Beliefs About Treatability and Change Have Little Empirical Support, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23 (4) 296-301. DOI: 10.1177/0963721414535211

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August 17, 2014

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10:16 PM | Where did Ebola come from? Rooting the un-rootable
As with other emerging viruses, the manner in which Ebolavirus outbreaks appear seemingly from nowhere merely adds to their terror. What is especially intriguing about the current outbreak in West Africa is that it's the wrong virus in the wrong place: as a strain of Zaire Ebolavirus, we would expect to see this virus in central Africa. The modern way to answer the 'where did it come from' question is to compare the genomic sequences of different viruses, and this was one of the first things […]

Dudas G & Rambaut A (2014). Phylogenetic Analysis of Guinea 2014 EBOV Ebolavirus Outbreak., PLoS currents, 6 PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24860690

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7:41 PM | Wind Turbines Pose Risk to Bats
The Drive for Green Energy We need sustainable, affordable and clean energy production to fuel the economy, and the drive towards more environmentally friendly energy production versus coal and peat burning energy production has seen a large number of wind … Continue reading →

Lehnert LS, Kramer-Schadt S, Schönborn S, Lindecke O, Niermann I & Voigt CC (2014). Wind farm facilities in Germany kill noctule bats from near and far., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25118805

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7:41 PM | Wind Turbines Pose Risk to Bats
The Drive for Green Energy We need sustainable, affordable and clean energy production to fuel the economy, and the drive towards more environmentally friendly energy production versus coal and peat burning energy production has seen a large number of wind … Continue reading →

Lehnert LS, Kramer-Schadt S, Schönborn S, Lindecke O, Niermann I & Voigt CC (2014). Wind farm facilities in Germany kill noctule bats from near and far., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25118805

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6:37 PM | DNA nets could be ‘ancient defence weapon’
DNA is essential to complex life – it is a complex set of instructions on how to build every protein in your body, from the signaling hormones in your head to the (unwanted) hairs on your feet. But the code of life for us could well be the code of death for pathogens invading our…

Robb C.T., Dyrynda E.A., Gray R.D., Rossi A.G. & Smith V.J. (2014). Invertebrate extracellular phagocyte traps show that chromatin is an ancient defence weapon., Nature communications, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25115909

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6:36 PM | Schizophrenia and the Twilight Zone
You are now entering the Twilight Zone. You may remember the television show, with it’s odd twists and turns, but for people with schizophrenia it means something just a little […]

Morris RW, Quail S, Griffiths KR, Green MJ & Balleine BW (2014). Corticostriatal Control of Goal-Directed Action Is Impaired in Schizophrenia., Biological psychiatry, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25062683

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3:26 PM | A mosaic vaccine that could potentially protect from different ebola strains
Disclaimer: The mosaic vaccine paper discussed in this article is from my own group and overlaps with some of the research I do. I'm sure you've been following the latest news about the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa."The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the world's deadliest to date and the World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency as more than 1,000 people have died of the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria this year." [Source: BBC News]The […]

Friedrich BM, Trefry JC, Biggins JE, Hensley LE, Honko AN, Smith DR & Olinger GG (2012). Potential vaccines and post-exposure treatments for filovirus infections., Viruses, 4 (9) 1619-50. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23170176

Fischer W, Perkins S, Theiler J, Bhattacharya T, Yusim K, Funkhouser R, Kuiken C, Haynes B, Letvin NL, Walker BD & Hahn BH (2007). Polyvalent vaccines for optimal coverage of potential T-cell epitopes in global HIV-1 variants., Nature medicine, 13 (1) 100-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17187074

Fenimore PW, Muhammad MA, Fischer WM, Foley BT, Bakken RR, Thurmond JR, Yusim K, Yoon H, Parker M, Hart MK & Dye JM (2012). Designing and testing broadly-protective filoviral vaccines optimized for cytotoxic T-lymphocyte epitope coverage., PloS one, 7 (10) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23056184

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August 16, 2014

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5:00 PM | Is your Stomach… Controlling your Mind?
Close the blinds, lock the doors, and find a safe place to hide. Are you alone? No, no you aren’t and you may not even be in control of your […]

Alcock J, Maley CC & Aktipis CA (2014). Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms., BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25103109

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10:27 AM | True facts about anglerfish | @GrrlScientist
To the female anglerfish, the human male is a very loud, annoying and unnecessarily complicated pair of gonads.Caturday has arrived once again, so it is time to watch some animals doing stuff! Today's caturday animal is the anglerfish, an ancient taxonomic order of bony fishes that arose sometime between 100 and 130 million years ago. (In contrast, humans are mere evolutionary babies, having appeared sometime between just 2 and 6 million years ago.)Anglerfishes got their name from their method […]

Miya M., James W Orr, Rachel J Arnold, Takashi P Satoh, Andrew M Shedlock, Hsuan-Ching Ho, Mitsuomi Shimazaki, Mamoru Yabe & Mutsumi Nishida (2010). Evolutionary history of anglerfishes (Teleostei: Lophiiformes): a mitogenomic perspective, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10 (1) 58. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-58

Widder E.A. (2010). Bioluminescence in the Ocean: Origins of Biological, Chemical, and Ecological Diversity, Science, 328 (5979) 704-708. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1174269

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10:08 AM | The Mata mata turtle
Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: ReptiliaOrder: TestudinesFamily: ChelidaeGenus: ChelusSpecies: Chelus fimbriataConservation Status: Least ConcernCommon Name(s): Mata mata, Mata mata turtle, Matamata and other similar variationsMata mata, a strange name for what is sure one of the world's strangest turtles! This large, South American river turtle is the only surviving species of the genus Chelus and is easily one of the most unusual creatures you are likely to encounter in the […]

Lombardini ED, Desoutter AV, Montali RJ & Del Piero F (2013). Esophageal adenocarcinoma in a 53-year-old mata mata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus)., Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 44 (3) 773-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24063112

Wang L, Zhou X, Nie L, Xia X, Liu L, Jiang Y, Huang Z & Jing W (2012). The complete mitochondrial genome sequences of Chelodina rugosa and Chelus fimbriata (Pleurodira: Chelidae): implications of a common absence of initiation sites (O(L)) in pleurodiran turtles., Molecular biology reports, 39 (3) 2097-107. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21655955

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7:21 AM | The epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders
A very short post for readers to ponder based on the paper by Amanda Baxter and colleagues [1] who talked about the global epidemiology of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)."In 2010 there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASDs, equating to a prevalence of 7.6 per 1000 or one in 132 persons".Aside from emphasising the word 'estimated' (I highlighted that), be prepared to see the Baxter paper and that quote cited quite a bit in the peer-reviewed literature in times to […]

A. J. Baxter, T. S. Brugha, H. E. Erskine, R. W. Scheurer, T. Vos & J. G. Scott (2014). The epidemiology and global burden of autism spectrum disorders, Psychological Medicine, Other:

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August 15, 2014

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8:46 PM | Global similarity signals of recognition strength
The below article was recently rejected from the Journal of Neuroscience as a ‘Journal Club’ commentary on Davis et al., 2014, ‘Global neural pattern similarity as a common basis for categorization and recognition memory’. Hoping that my efforts will not go to waste, I’d like to give the piece an alternate home here. Please read, […]

Davis T, Xue G, Love BC, Preston AR & Poldrack RA (2014). Global neural pattern similarity as a common basis for categorization and recognition memory., The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 34 (22) 7472-84. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24872552

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7:20 PM | In Defense of Eating Junk Food in Eating Disorder Treatment
Should eating disorder patients be introduced to “junk food” or “hyper-palatable” foods during treatment? A few days ago, I stumbled across a blog post where Dr. Julie O’Toole, Founder and Director of the Kartini Clinic for Disordered Eating, argues against introducing “junk food” during ED treatment. The crux of the argument is that “hyperpalatable foods”—e.g., chips and Cheetos—are not real food and should never be forced or […]

Spring, V.L. & Bulik, C.M. (2014). Implicit and explicit affect toward food and weight stimuli in anorexia nervosa., Eating Behaviors, 15 (1) 91-4. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24411758

Steinglass, J.E., Sysko, R., Glasofer, D., Albano, A.M., Simpson, H.B. & Walsh, B.T. (2011). Rationale for the application of exposure and response prevention to the treatment of anorexia nervosa., The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 44 (2) 134-41. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20127936

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5:29 PM | Swamp Thing and Plant Communication
Maybe I’m dating myself here, but ever see the swamp thing movie, television show, or even the comic? Call me picky, after all we are talking about a human/plant hybrid, […]

G. Kim,, M. L. LeBlanc,, E. K. Wafula,, C. W. dePamphilis, & J. H. Westwood. (2014). Genomic-scale exchange of mRNA between a parasitic plant and its hosts, Science, Other:

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3:34 PM | Breaking research: A new technique for uncovering cell-specific differences in the Drosophila “interactome”
You’ve probably heard the term “genome” before, which refers to the set of genes in an organism.  Biology has a lot of buzzwords for describing what’s going on inside cells, and one of the recent ones is “interactome”. The word “interactome” refers to all of the interactions that are occurring between proteins, the large molecules […]

Mukherjee K., Bethany L. Christmann & Leslie C. Griffith (2014). Neuron-specific protein interactions of Drosophila CASK-β are revealed by mass spectrometry, Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 7 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2014.00058

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1:18 PM | Gene Therapy- The Future of Schizophrenia Treatment?
A study was recently released in Nature looking at genes linked to schizophrenia with the hope of helping researchers to find a whole host of brand new treatments for patients […]

Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (2014). Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci., Nature, 511 (7510) 421-7. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25056061

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8:21 AM | Researchers Trace the Beginnings of Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Blood cellsRed blood cell (left), a platelet (middle) and a white blood cell.Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) differentiate to all other blood cell types, but there are still many questions about their development and how their fate is decided.Now, in a new paper published online this week in Nature, researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine elaborate upon a crucial signaling pathway and the role of key proteins, which may help clear the way to generate HSCs […]

Kobayashi I, Kobayashi-Sun J, Kim AD, Pouget C, Fujita N, Suda T & Traver D (2014). Jam1a-Jam2a interactions regulate haematopoietic stem cell fate through Notch signalling., Nature, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25119047

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8:07 AM | Psychotic experience following childhood neurodevelopmental diagnosis
The paper by Golam Khandaker and colleagues [1] suggesting a higher risk of psychotic episodes (PEs) in early adolescence among those with a diagnosed childhood neurodevelopmental disorder (ND) makes for some interesting reading. Detailing several diagnoses as falling under the banner of neurodevelopmental disorder (autism spectrum, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dysorthographia, dyscalculia), researchers concluded that: "The risk of PEs was higher in those with, compared with those […]

Khandaker GM, Stochl J, Zammit S, Lewis G & Jones PB (2014). A population-based longitudinal study of childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, IQ and subsequent risk of psychotic experiences in adolescence., Psychological medicine, 1-10. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25066026

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12:25 AM | Few but strong: dense tornado clusters on the rise in the United States
Driving along a US highway, this is not something you want to see out your side window.  The United States has the highest rate of tornadoes per year compared to any other country, so unfortunately this is something many US … Continue reading →

JB Elsner, SC Elsner, TH Jagger (2014). The increasing efficiency of tornado days in the United States, Climate Dynamics,

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August 14, 2014

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7:35 PM | Bringing the Fight to hidden HIV
We’ve got even more news for the HIV cure front. Yesterday we talked about broadly neutralizing antibodies, today we are going to be touching on that yet again,so if you […]

Ariel Halper-Stromberg, Ching-Lan Lu, Florian Klein, Joshua A. Horwitz, Stylianos Bournazos, Lilian Nogueira, Thomas R. Eisenreich, Cassie Liu, Anna Gazumyan, Uwe Schaefer, Rebecca C. Furze, Michael S. Seaman & Rab Prinjha, Alexander Tarakhovsky (2014). Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies and Viral Inducers Decrease Rebound from HIV-1 Latent Reservoirs in Humanized Mice, Cell, Other:

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1:30 PM | Competition for ecological niches limits evolution of new species | @GrrlScientist
A recently published study finds that competition for ecological niches limits the evolution of new species. Further, this study finds that speciation rate slows or even stops as available ecological niches fill up. Why are there so many more species in some regions than in others? According to a recent study, competition for ecological niches limits the evolution of new species. Further, this study, which analysed the genetic and evolutionary relationships between all 461 species of Himalayan […]

Price T.D., Hooper D.M., Buchanan C.D., Johansson U.S., Tietze D.T., Alström P., Olsson U., Ghosh-Harihar M., Ishtiaq F. & Gupta S.K. & (2014). Niche filling slows the diversification of Himalayan songbirds, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13272

FJELDSÅ J. (2013). The global diversification of songbirds (Oscines) and the build-up of the Sino-Himalayan diversity hotspot, Chinese Birds, 4 (2) 132-143. DOI: 10.5122/cbirds.2013.0014

Richman A.D. & Price T. (1992). Evolution of ecological differences in the Old World leaf warblers, Nature, 355 817-821. DOI: 10.1038/355817a0

Kennedy J.D., Weir J.T., Hooper D.M., Tietze D.T., Martens J. & Price T.D. (2012). Ecological limits on diversification of the Himalayan core Corvoidea, Evolution, 66 (8) 2599-2613. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01618.x

Alström P., Hooper D.M., Liu Y., Olsson U., Mohan D., Gelang M., Hung L.M., Zhao J., Lei F. & Price T.D. & (2014). Discovery of a relict lineage and monotypic family of passerine birds, Biology Letters, 10 (3) DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.1067

Harmon L.J., Schulte J.A., Larson A. & Losos J.B. (2003). Tempo and Mode of Evolutionary Radiation in Iguanian Lizards, Science, 301 (5635) 961-964 . DOI: 10.1126/science.1084786

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8:09 AM | Learning disability in autism: how prevalent is it?
"Results showed that 36.8 % of the children met the criteria for ID [intellectual disability], with 60.2 % of these in the mild range (IQ 50-69) and 39.8 % in the moderate range (IQ 35-49)".That was the finding reported by Mélina Rivard and colleagues [1] looking at the co-occurrence of intellectual disability (also called learning disability here in Blighty) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) "in young children". Based on an analysis of over 200 children diagnosed with an ASD, […]

Rivard M, Terroux A, Mercier C & Parent-Boursier C (2014). Indicators of Intellectual Disabilities in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070470

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