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Posts

April 20, 2014

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5:00 PM | New Discovery turns Neuroscience Upsidedown
Sometimes finding out that something established isn’t true is more groundbreaking than finding something new. That is exactly what happened this week when it was found out that the covering that […]

Tomassy G.S., Berger D.R., Chen H.H., Kasthuri N., Hayworth K.J., Vercelli A., Seung H.S., Lichtman J.W. & Arlotta P. (2014). Distinct Profiles of Myelin Distribution Along Single Axons of Pyramidal Neurons in the Neocortex, Science, 344 (6181) 319-324. DOI:

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1:31 PM | Was Lamarck right after all? A look at epigenetic inheritance
Myths © EEGFrom the Wikipedia definition of epigenetics: "In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene activity that are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence."Wait a minute... how can we inherit anything that's not encoded in the DNA? All the information we inherit from our parents is coded in the DNA ... Right?That's correct. However, there's something very important that goes hand in hand with the information contained in the genes: […]

Heard E & Martienssen RA (2014). Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance: Myths and Mechanisms., Cell, 157 (1) 95-109. PMID:

Lim JP & Brunet A (2013). Bridging the transgenerational gap with epigenetic memory., Trends in genetics : TIG, 29 (3) 176-86. PMID:

Hunter, P. (2008). We are what we eat. The link between diet, evolution and non-genetic inheritance, EMBO reports, 9 (5) 413-415. DOI:

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10:03 AM | The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy”
Can quantum physics help to diagnose schizophrenia and depression? A paper just published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease claims that a technique called ‘quantum resonance spectroscopy’ (QRS) can accurately diagnose various mental health problems. But is it quantum wizardry or magic quackery? According to the authors of the new paper, Zhang et […]The post The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy” appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Zhang Y, Liu F, Shi J, Yue X, Zhang H, Du X, Sun L & Yuan J (2014). Exploratory quantum resonance spectrometer as a discriminator for psychiatric affective disorders., The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 202 (4) 287-91. PMID:

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April 19, 2014

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9:30 PM | The nose knows: How to pick your friends
We all have that friend. Let's call her Jane. Jane is bubbly and gregarious. Jane doesn't attend a party, she manifests it. She seeks out social gatherings and is enlivened by human presence. Jane is a good listener and has many trusted friends. What can explain Jane's extroversion? The answer, astonishingly, is her attraction to human body odor. 

Lübke, K., Croy, I., Hoenen, M., Gerber, J., Pause, B. & Hummel, T. (2014). Does Human Body Odor Represent a Significant and Rewarding Social Signal to Individuals High in Social Openness?, PLoS ONE, 9 (4) DOI:

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8:25 PM | Monotonicity of EM Algorithm Proof
Here the monotonicity of the EM algorithm is established. $$ f_{o}(Y_{o}|\theta)=f_{o,m}(Y_{o},Y_{m}|\theta)/f_{m|o}(Y_{m}|Y_{o},\theta)$$ $$ \log L_{o}(\theta)=\log L_{o,m}(\theta)-\log f_{m|o}(Y_{m}|Y_{o},\theta) \label{eq:loglikelihood} $$ where \( L_{o}(\theta)\) is the likelihood under the observed data and \(L_{o,m}(\theta)\) is the likelihood under the complete data. Taking the expectation of the second line with respect to the conditional distribution of \(Y_{m}\) given \(Y_{o}\) and […]

Ruslan R Salakhutdinov, Sam T Roweis & Zoubin Ghahramani (2012). On the Convergence of Bound Optimization Algorithms, arXiv, arXiv:

Wu C.F.J. (1983). On the Convergence Properties of the EM Algorithm, The Annals of Statistics, 11 (1) 95-103. DOI:

McLachlan G. & Peel D. DOI:

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8:25 PM | Brains Anti-Distraction System Found
So once my Grandmother… oh wait sorry, I was distracted while typing. As it turns out I’m not the only one. But there is hope, two Psychologists at Simon Fraser University […]

Gaspar J.M. & McDonald J.J. (2014). Suppression of Salient Objects Prevents Distraction in Visual Search, Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (16) 5658-5666. DOI:

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6:19 PM | Introduction to Traditional Peer Review
Peer review was introduced to scholarly publication in 1731 by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which published a collection of peer-reviewed medical articles. Despite this early start, in many... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Bailar, J. (2011). Reliability, fairness, objectivity and other inappropriate goals in peer review, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14 (01) 137-138. DOI:

Biagioli, M. (2002). From Book Censorship to Academic Peer Review, Emergences: Journal for the Study of Media & Composite Cultures, 12 (1) 11-45. DOI:

Benos DJ, Bashari E, Chaves JM, Gaggar A, Kapoor N, LaFrance M, Mans R, Mayhew D, McGowan S, Polter A & Qadri Y (2007). The ups and downs of peer review., Advances in physiology education, 31 (2) 145-52. PMID:

Bornman, L. (2008). Scientific Peer Review: An Analysis of the Peer Review Process from the Perspective of Sociology of Science Theories, Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, 6 (2)

Brown, R. (2006). Double Anonymity and the Peer Review Process, The Scientific World JOURNAL, 6 1274-1277. DOI:

Callaham ML, Baxt WG, Waeckerle JF & Wears RL (1998). Reliability of editors' subjective quality ratings of peer reviews of manuscripts., JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 280 (3) 229-31. PMID:

Godlee, F., Gale, C. & Martyn, C. (1998). Effect on the Quality of Peer Review of Blinding Reviewers and Asking Them to Sign Their Reports, JAMA, 280 (3) 237. DOI:

Lee, C. J.,, Sugimoto, C. R.,, Zhang, G., & Cronin, B. (2013). Bias in Peer Review, JASIST, 64 (1) 2-17.

Spier R (2002). The history of the peer-review process., Trends in biotechnology, 20 (8) 357-8. PMID:

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4:51 PM | First female “penis” discovered in cave-dwelling insects
Image showing the female penis of N. auroraCredit: Current Biology, Yoshizawa et al.Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: InsectaOrder: PsocopteraFamily: PrionoglarididaeGenus: NeotroglaSpecies: N. aurora, N. curvet and 2 otherThis Thursday, researchers announced that they have discovered several insect species that display the "world's first" known instance of gender-reversed genitalia. In simple words, they have found 4 insect species with female... "penises." and male […]

Yoshizawa, K., Ferreira, R., Kamimura, Y. & Lienhard, C. (2014). Female Penis, Male Vagina, and Their Correlated Evolution in a Cave Insect, Current Biology, DOI:

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11:29 AM | Typing Method for Cryptosporidium Meleagridis
We recently developed a highly applicable method for typing of Cryptosporidium meleagridis isolates. C. meleagridis is the third most common species involved in human cryptosporidiosis, a dirrhoeal disease taking a major toll on global health. Molecular typing of Cryptosporidium is critical to understanding transmission and identifying outbreaks. Until now, no robust method has been available […]

Kotloff KL, Nataro JP, Blackwelder WC, Nasrin D, Farag TH, Panchalingam S, Wu Y, Sow SO, Sur D, Breiman RF & Faruque AS (2013). Burden and aetiology of diarrhoeal disease in infants and young children in developing countries (the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, GEMS): a prospective, case-control study., Lancet, 382 (9888) 209-22. PMID:

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9:34 AM | Dump fossil fuels for the health of our hearts
Cleaning up air pollution will provide immediate health gains as well as longer-term climate benefits, highlights New York University's George Thurston

Pope, C. (2003). Cardiovascular Mortality and Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution: Epidemiological Evidence of General Pathophysiological Pathways of Disease, Circulation, 109 (1) 71-77. DOI:

Smith, K., Jerrett, M., Anderson, H., Burnett, R., Stone, V., Derwent, R., Atkinson, R., Cohen, A., Shonkoff, S., Krewski, D. & Pope, C. (2009). Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: health implications of short-lived greenhouse pollutants, The Lancet, 374 (9707) 2091-2103. DOI:

Horton, D., Harshvardhan, . & Diffenbaugh, N. (2012). Response of air stagnation frequency to anthropogenically enhanced radiative forcing, Environmental Research Letters, 7 (4) 44034. DOI:

Kelly, J., Makar, P. & Plummer, D. (2012). Projections of mid-century summer air-quality for North America: effects of changes in climate and precursor emissions, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, 12 (2) 3875-3940. DOI:

Thurston, G. (2013). Mitigation policy: Health co-benefits, Nature Climate Change, 3 (10) 863-864. DOI:

Rice, M., Thurston, G., Balmes, J. & Pinkerton, K. (2014). Climate Change. A Global Threat to Cardiopulmonary Health, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 189 (5) 512-519. DOI:

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4:46 AM | Energy Expenditure (Calories Burned) in Anorexia Nervosa Patients
How many calories do patients with anorexia nervosa need to eat to gain a kilo (2.2 lbs)? It seems like a simple question and one that we should have figured out a long time ago, given the importance (err, necessity) of refeeding and weight restoration in recovery from anorexia nervosa. Unfortunately, research in this area has often led to contradictory results (see Salisbury et al., 1995 and de Zwaan et al., 2002 for reviews). Fortunately, a paper by Stephan Zipfel and colleagues […]

Zipfel S, Mack I, Baur LA, Hebebrand J, Touyz S, Herzog W, Abraham S, Davies PS & Russell J (2013). Impact of exercise on energy metabolism in anorexia nervosa., Journal of Eating Disorders, 1 (1) 37. PMID:

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April 18, 2014

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6:42 PM | X-Rays Help Understand High-Temperature Superconductivity
A new study pins down a major factor behind the appearance of laser-induced high-temperature superconductivity in a promising copper-oxide material. Read more »

Först, M., Tobey, R., Bromberger, H., Wilkins, S., Khanna, V., Caviglia, A., Chuang, Y., Lee, W., Schlotter, W., Turner, J. & Minitti, M. (2014). Melting of Charge Stripes in Vibrationally Driven La1.875Ba0.125CuO4: Assessing the Respective Roles of Electronic and Lattice Order in Frustrated Superconductors, Physical Review Letters, 112 (15) DOI:

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4:39 PM | Can Fruit Flies Glow in the Dark?
Question: How is a fruit fly like a firefly? No, this is not an obvious answer (their names start with the letter “f”) or the beginning of a bad entomology joke. These two organisms may both be winged insects, but as it turns out, what makes the firefly light show such a special treat on […]

Mofford D.M., Reddy G.R. & Miller S.C. (2014). Latent luciferase activity in the fruit fly revealed by a synthetic luciferin., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, PMID:

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3:00 PM | 1 in 20 Misdiagnosed by Doctors: 10 things you can do about it
A new study out this week says that 1 in 20 adults will be misdiagnosed in outpatient clinics in the US. Thats roughly 12 million people each year, if that […]

Singh H., Meyer A.N.D. & Thomas E.J. The frequency of diagnostic errors in outpatient care: estimations from three large observational studies involving US adult populations, BMJ Quality & Safety, DOI:

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2:03 PM | Glucosidase I: Could targeting N-linked glycosylation of proteins help us fight viral infection?
Viruses are sneaky.  As you probably already know from your last bout with the common cold or the flu, for most viral infections doctors will simply prescribe plenty of water and […]

Sadat, M., Moir, S., Chun, T., Lusso, P., Kaplan, G., Wolfe, L., Memoli, M., He, M., Vega, H., Kim, L. & Huang, Y. (2014). Glycosylation, Hypogammaglobulinemia, and Resistance to Viral Infections, New England Journal of Medicine, 2147483647. DOI:

Herscovics, A. (1999). Importance of glycosidases in mammalian glycoprotein biosynthesis, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 1473 (1) 96-107. DOI:

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2:00 PM | The Cournot model of oligopoly. A success story
Economic models of perfect competition and of monopoly only need to include individual behavior that takes the environment as given. In the case of […] Read more The post The Cournot model of oligopoly. A success story appeared first on Mapping Ignorance. Related posts:Experimenting with markets Modeling diversity in Macroeconomics Experiments in fairness

Ferreira J.L. (2014). Capacity precommitment, price competition and forward markets, Economics Letters, 122 (2) 362-364. DOI:

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2:40 AM | Dear CNRS: That mouse study did not "confirm" the neurobiological origin of ADHD in humans
Late last week the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS - the acronym is based on the French translation) put out a press release describing a study conducted through a collaboration between several of its researchers and scientists from The University of Strasbourg. CNRS is a large (30,000+ employees), government-run research institution in France. It is the largest research organization in Europe, and is responsible for about 1/2 of the French scientific papers published […]

Mathis, C., Savier, E., Bott, J., Clesse, D., Bevins, N., Sage-Ciocca, D., Geiger, K., Gillet, A., Laux-Biehlmann, A., Goumon, Y. & Lacaud, A. (2014). Defective response inhibition and collicular noradrenaline enrichment in mice with duplicated retinotopic map in the superior colliculus, Brain Structure and Function, DOI:

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April 17, 2014

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7:29 PM | Research on flies suggests that lost stem cells are naturally replaced by non-stem cells
Erika MatunisCreditJohns Hopkins researchers have discovered an unexpected phenomenon in the organs that produce sperm in fruit flies, when a certain kind of stem cell is killed off experimentally, another group of non-stem cells can come out of retirement to replace them.The discovery sheds light on the tiny "environments" that stem cells occupy in animal bodies and may help explain how stem cells in tumors replenish themselves, the researchers report in the May 8 issue of the journal Cell […]

Phylis Hétié, Margaret de Cuevas, Erika Matunis (2014). Conversion of Quiescent Niche Cells to Somatic Stem Cells Causes Ectopic Niche Formation in the Drosophila Testis, Cell Reports, Other: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2014.03.058

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7:17 PM | Danish Project to Make Polymer Solar Cells More Profitable
Project Megawatt intends to make polymer solar cells profitable enough to allow power generation from polymer solar cells to compete on market terms with traditional coal-fired power plants. Read more »

Krebs, F., Espinosa, N., Hösel, M., Søndergaard, R. & Jørgensen, M. (2014). 25th Anniversary Article: Rise to Power - OPV-Based Solar Parks, Advanced Materials, 26 (1) 29-39. DOI:

Sommer-Larsen, P., Jørgensen, M., Søndergaard, R., Hösel, M. & Krebs, F. (2013). It is all in the Pattern-High-Efficiency Power Extraction from Polymer Solar Cells through High-Voltage Serial Connection, Energy Technology, 1 (1) 15-19. DOI:

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7:17 PM | Mesenchymal stem cells require hydrogen sulfide to function properly
Professor Songtao ShiMesenchymal stem cells need to produce hydrogen sulfide in order to properly multiply and form bone tissue, according to a new study from the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Ostrow School of Dentistry.Professor Songtao Shi, principal investigator on the project, said the presence of hydrogen sulfide produced by the cells governs the flow of calcium ions. The essential ions activate a chain of cellular signals that results in osteogenesis, or the creation of […]

Liu, Y., Yang, R., Liu, X., Zhou, Y., Qu, C., Kikuiri, T., Wang, S., Zandi, E., Du, J., Ambudkar, I. & Shi, S. (2014). Hydrogen Sulfide Maintains Mesenchymal Stem Cell Function and Bone Homeostasis via Regulation of Ca2+ Channel Sulfhydration, Cell Stem Cell, DOI:

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5:44 PM | Li-Sulfur Batteries Last Longer With Metal-Organic Frameworks
Researchers at the PNNL added a kind of nanomaterial called a metal-organic framework, to the battery’s cathode to capture problematic polysulfides that usually cause lithium-sulfur batteries to fail after a few charges. Read more »

Zheng, J., Tian, J., Wu, D., Gu, M., Xu, W., Wang, C., Gao, F., Engelhard, M., Zhang, J., Liu, J. & Xiao, J. (2014). Lewis Acid–Base Interactions between Polysulfides and Metal Organic Framework in Lithium Sulfur Batteries, Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI:

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2:00 PM | Is It Good For Kids To Have A Pet?
People overwhelmingly believe that having pets is overall a good thing for children. Indeed, a 2003 paper by developmental psychologist Gail F. Melson reports that most parents say that they acquired... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Mueller M.K. (2014). Is Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) Linked to Positive Youth Development? Initial Answers, Applied Developmental Science, 18 (1) 5-16. DOI:

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1:39 PM | What’s the Answer? (new Biostars interface)
BioStars is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions and issues. We are members of the community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at BioStars that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Every Thursday we will be highlighting one of those items or discussions here […]

Parnell L.D., Lindenbaum P., Shameer K., Dall'Olio G.M., Swan D.C., Jensen L.J., Cockell S.J., Pedersen B.S., Mangan M.E. & Miller C.A. & (2011). BioStar: An Online Question & Answer Resource for the Bioinformatics Community, PLoS Computational Biology, 7 (10) e1002216. DOI:

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11:32 AM | Cannabis use and structural changes in the brain
  “One or two spliffs a week could mess up your brain” – Metro, 16 April 2014 Spark your interest? This headline caught the eyes of the Antisense team, so […]

Gilman, J., Kuster, J., Lee, S., Lee, M., Kim, B., Makris, N., van der Kouwe, A., Blood, A. & Breiter, H. (2014). Cannabis Use Is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users, Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (16) 5529-5538. DOI:

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10:29 AM | Modified stem cells may offer treatment for Alzheimer's disease
Mathew Blurton-JonesUC Irvine neurobiologists have found that genetically modified neural stem cells show positive results when transplanted into the brains of mice with the symptoms and pathology of Alzheimer's disease. The pre-clinical trial is published in the journal Stem Cells Research and Therapy, and the approach has been shown to work in two different mouse models.Alzheimer's disease, one of the most common forms of dementia, is associated with accumulation of the protein amyloid-beta […]

Blurton-Jones, M., Spencer, B., Michael, S., Castello, N., Agazaryan, A., Davis, J., Müller, F., Loring, J., Masliah, E. & LaFerla, F. & (2014). Neural stem cells genetically-modified to express neprilysin reduce pathology in Alzheimer transgenic models, Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 5 (2) 46. DOI:

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8:31 AM | Mitochondrial dysfunction as a neurobiological subtype of autism
The paper by Suzanne Goh and colleagues [1] reporting on "a possible neurobiological subtype of mitochondrial dysfunction in ASD [autism spectrum disorder]" is a worthy addition to the research roll call which has graced this blog down the years. Based on the analysis of brain lactate levels - a potential marker of mitochondrial dysfunction - via the analysis of lactate doublets on brain magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), authors picked up a significantly higher rate of […]

Goh, S., Dong, Z., Zhang, Y., DiMauro, S. & Peterson, B. (2014). Mitochondrial Dysfunction as a Neurobiological Subtype of Autism Spectrum Disorder, JAMA Psychiatry, DOI:

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April 16, 2014

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9:02 PM | What Do Preschoolers Learn from Fantastical Picture Books?
One of the new picture books making the bedtime rounds at our house is How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, which describes and depicts dinosaurs doing such un-dinosaurly things as tucking themselves into bed or kissing their human mothers good night. The book is whimsical, gorgeously illustrated, and includes a scientific angle, as the genus names […]

Ganea, P., Canfield, C., Simons Ghafari, K. & Chou, T. (2014). Do cavies talk? The effect of anthropomorphic picture books on children's knowledge about animals, Frontiers in Psychology, 5 DOI:

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Editor's Pick
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8:19 PM | Sex in (floral) advertising
Having a wingman can be helpful, but for many plants it’s absolutely crucial. Flowering plants don’t have smoky bars, speed dating or eHarmony. They have to rely entirely on their tiny wing—well, I guess “men” isn’t really appropriate. But unlike your witty friend who backs you up in the bar, pollinators don’t help plants with their … Continue reading →

Dötterl S, Glück U, Jürgens A, Woodring J & Aas G (2014). Floral Reward, Advertisement and Attractiveness to Honey Bees in Dioecious Salix caprea., PloS one, 9 (3) PMID:

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5:50 PM | L'universo spiegato a mia sorella
Non voglio fare concorrenza alla splendida spiegazione di Amedeo o a quella tecnica di Corrado, ma mia sorella, leggendo il post di pancia scritto nella sera dell'annuncio di BICEP2, ha candidamente confessato di non aver capito cosa era accaduto quel giorno. E allora proviamoci, a raccontarlo. (da The Cartoon History of the Universe #1 di Larry Gonick)C'era una volta un'idea di universo, che era la Terra al centro, quindi il Sole, la Luna e gli altri pianeti e sullo sfondo le stelle fisse, […]

Hubble E. (1929). A relation between distance and radial velocity among extra-galactic nebulae, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 15 (3) 168-173. DOI:

Gamow G. (1948). The Evolution of the Universe, Nature, 162 (4122) 680-682. DOI:

Alpher R.A. & Herman R. (1948). Evolution of the Universe, Nature, 162 (4124) 774-775. DOI:

Alpher R., Bethe H. & Gamow G. (1948). The Origin of Chemical Elements, Physical Review, 73 (7) 803-804. DOI:

Peebles P.J.E., Schramm D.N., Turner E.L. & Kron R.G. (1994). The Evolution of the Universe, Scientific American, 271 (4) 52-57. DOI:

McLeish T.C.B., Bower R.G., Tanner B.K., Smithson H.E., Panti C., Lewis N. & Gasper G.E.M. (2014). History: A medieval multiverse, Nature, 507 (7491) 161-163. DOI:

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2:00 PM | 2D brain mapping: gene expression and spatial location
Let’s try a little game. If I’d show you only parts of a famous building: a column, part of a wall, the ceiling…Would you be […] Read more The post 2D brain mapping: gene expression and spatial location appeared first on Mapping Ignorance. Related posts:The (energetical) cost of having a brain Mapping areas involved in voluntary forgetting is not simple... it is double! Reinforcement learning in the brain

Grange P., Bohland J.W., Okaty B.W., Sugino K., Bokil H., Nelson S.B., Ng L., Hawrylycz M. & Mitra P.P. (2014). Cell-type-based model explaining coexpression patterns of genes in the brain, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (14) 5397-5402. DOI:

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